Breaking up gracefully. 10 tips to help you through the split.


First, I would like to say, I am so, so sorry you are going through a break up.

Second, you will be ok.  I promise.

Breaking up sucks.  There’s no other way to put it.   But having been through my fair share of break ups, I have learned a lot, and figured maybe my trials and tribulations may help others.  I’ve put together this list on how to break up gracefully, and I hope it helps you through this loss.

  1.  A break up is a loss.  Mourn it.  All too often I see people doing things to distract them from facing their break up.  Believing a break up is a loss, I encourage you to grieve it.  Be sad about it, cry, be angry, but face it.  Acknowledge this constant it gone, that your life will be different, and that it is indeed going to be difficult.  But you will be ok.
  2. Set a mourning time limit.  While I encourage mourning the loss, I also encourage moving on from the loss.  During my divorce, my counselor told me to mourn it, but set a date when I would stop crying and move forward.  It sounded silly at first – but it worked.  I set a date for myself, months away, and I let myself be sad.  I let myself cry, be angry, question my decision, and I did so without guilt, because I intentionally allotted time for this process.  Grieving a relationship could easily go on for years, a lifetime for some, but I believe we can take control of this. Don’t sell yourself short, take as much time as you need, but it’s worth it to move on eventually.
  3. Trust your gut.  I would bet every single person after one break up or another, questioned their decision.  Loneliness sets in, and maybe that reason you broke up doesn’t seem like such a big deal now.  You really miss them.  You didn’t try hard enough.  You’re just so sad, and getting back together would make it better.  But I ask you this: Why did you break up?  What led you to believe that you would be better off without this person?  Has that changed?  Do you actually miss the person, or do you miss the companionship or consistency?  It will get harder before it gets easier, but you have to believe in yourself.  You have to trust yourself that you have thought this through, that this wasn’t impulsive, it was intentional.  You knew in your heart what you needed to do.  And you did it.  Trust in yourself, you know you best.  You will be ok.
  4. Take time for yourself.  After my divorce, I spent a solid 9 months focusing on me.  I tell ya, those 9 months were the best 9 months of my life. I went to counseling, I traveled, I quit my boring job, packed up and moved to a little mountain town, found my dream job, I made new friends, I tried new things, I didn’t date, and I felt peace.  I filled my time with activities and people who enriched my life and helped me grow as an individual.  I recognized the errors of my ways and I worked on them.  Let me repeat that, I worked on myself.  I didn’t sit there and blame the other person, I had the humility to realize my actions contributed to the outcome of the relationship as well.  This process humbled me and changed me for the better.  The best part of this me time was realizing I am ok alone.  What peace you feel when you know you are ok alone, and actually enjoy it!
  5. Give it time before you start dating.  I would encourage you to give it at least a few months before you start dating someone, or many someones.  Even if this break up has been a long time coming, you really feel the loss when it actually happens.  Distracting yourself with someone takes away from your time to process and heal.  Pay your relationship (and yourself) some respect by not hoping into another one right away.
  6. Allow yourself to heal by taking some space.  The thought of cutting this constant out of your life if heartbreaking.  This was your best friend, travel buddy, Netflix companion, and it’s crazy to think of life without them.  You want them as a friend still – we can just be friends, right?  Let me start by saying I fully support being friends with an ex….in time.  However, 5 minutes after a break up isn’t enough time.  I know there are some circumstances where exes have to be part of your life (i.e. kids, shared property) but if you don’t have any ties, I would strongly urge you to give yourself (and your ex) some space to grieve and heal.  While it’s hard to think of them not being there, you will get used to it, and you will be ok.  I very much believe it will be harder to move on if they’re still around.  Also, maybe they need the space.
  7. Don’t stalk them on social media.   I bet, out of this whole list, this will be the hardest suggestion for some folks.  What they are doing?  Did they move on already?  Are they wallowing on the couch like I am?  Who is that person they are with?  Stop.  Stop that right now.  I think this is one of the most unhealthy, hindering behaviors you can do after a break up.  Chances are, you might see something you don’t want to see, then what?  This type of behavior, in my opinion, can only cause you pain.  Maybe take a break from being “friends” or “following” each other, block them if you need more restraint.  But give it a break for a while, and do whatever you have to do to not look them up.
  8. Don’t isolate.  It’s easy to sit alone on your couch, night after night, watching re-runs of Sex and the City while crying into your bowl of gelato.  While I support this occasional “woe is me” night, I think you should get up and get out.  Go out with friends, join a meetup group, take your pup to the dog park, but do something, with someone.  We (the human race) need companionship – it helps us through the grieving process and lets us know we are not alone.  Conversely, I think it is ok, beneficial even, to isolate from social media.  Studies have actually shown going on sites like Facebook, and comparing your life against others, can cause feelings of depression.  Deactivate for a bit – get some fresh air!
  9. Be mindful of the advice you receive.  A line that makes me cringe is “the easiest way to get over someone is to get under someone else”.  Are you kidding me? That’s the worst advice, and I guarantee that person is single – not by choice.  So who do you take relationship advice from?  You take it from someone who has the relationship you want.   We all have that go-to person we talk to about everything, but they may not be the best person to give you advice about your break up.  I ask you this – who would you take medical advice from;  your dog fluffy or your doctor?  Think about it.  I also strongly encourage talking to a counselor, especially if you’re having a prolonged, difficult time with the split.  I know there is plenty of people who would never consider going to a counselor, and I think that’s a shame (side note, I would caution you about dating someone resistant to getting help – that’s a red flag in my book).  My counselor has the same morals and beliefs as I do, and has the marriage I want – of course I am going to seek advice from her!  She’s well educated, she thinks of things I wouldn’t even consider, she has the tools to help me, and she just simply knows what she is talking about.  I humbly walk into her office, accepting the fact that I could use the help.
  10. Smile (and exercise).  Did you know even the action of smiling releases endorphins which are responsible for making us feel happy?  Sometimes when I am really down and out, I force a smile, albeit fake, it helps!  I feel like an idiot, but it actually helps my mood!  The same goes for hiking, walking, swimming, or any type of physical exercise.  I feel better by just moving.  So seriously, get off the couch and go outside or to the gym.

Friends, you will be ok.  Keep telling yourself that.  Also, you’re strong, beautiful, handsome, smart, steadfast.  You got this.  You will be ok.

God is good friends.  God is good.  For those that believe in prayer, I offer an 11th tip.  Pray!  Give God your pain, release it to Him, let Him heal you, He WILL not forsake you, you are the love of His life, and He has something better in store for you.

May you…


May you wear polka dotted dresses, and dance through the wildflowers.
May you never stop seeking joy.
May you understand, it’s only temporary.
May you stop and take in your glorious surroundings – wherever you are.
May you have peace knowing you were uniquely made to be you.
May you feel God’s indescribable peace, in the midst of war.
May you trust there is something bigger than you, that loves you.  Yes, you.
May you feel peace when you’re alone, and rejoice that you will be just fine.
May you grasp, though beyond understanding, it is how it is meant to be.
May you realize you command your destiny through your words.
May you smile, even through the heartbreak.
May you know it will get better when you decide it will.
May you know, this is the day the Lord had made, rejoice and be glad in it.

The simple joy … 

I was blessed to spend this weekend at Yosemite National Park – my “happiest place on earth”. Though the scenery was glorious, my joy was found in the dainty wildflowers dancing by the stream near my cottage in the woods. 

Happy 1st Day of Spring 2016



Russian River Wine Tasting

Another post about my jaunts in wine country…

Today was absolutely lovely!  We only tasted at 2 spots – but they both were wonderful!

Stop #1: Korbel Champagne Cellers


$9 for a bottle of delicious Champagne!  I bought the Brut Rose.  YUM!

FREE Champagne tasting!  Everything I had was delicious, and the place is beautiful.  They also have a little market to buy snacks from to picnic.  Bottles of Champagne average around $14!  Can’t beat it.  Also, for my fellow military folks, they generously offer 25% off purchased.

Stop #2: Lunch at Russian River Pub 


As seen on Diners, Drive ins & Dives.  Feeling a little perked from Korbel, we wanted something hearty and delicious.  We had reservations elsewhere, but decided to give this one a go, and we’re super glad we did!


And the best spot yet…..♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Stop #3: Russian River Vineyards


Don’t take this lightly… you MUST go here.  This place, and the staff, has left me with feelings of packing up life and moving to Forestville.  It’s tranquil, quaint, delicious, darling… it’s everything you want.  The grounds are gorgeous, the wine is decadent and they have a delicious looking menu (we were too full to eat!).  They too are generous to us military folks by offering complimentary tasting and 10% off purchases.  A must go.


’twas a beautiful day and a beautiful drive.  So blessed to live this close to paradise!  God is good friends, God is good.


Murphys, CA (you simply MUST go!)

Oh how I love Murphys.   It tis the quaintest little town, full of darling shops, wineries, and delicious restaurants.  It’s super cozy, and you’ll fall in love upon arrival!

On President’s Day weekend they do a “Wine Weekend” where you pay $20 for a glass and get to taste in almost all of the store front wineries (there’s a lot!).  I’ve been the last two years, and have happened upon beautiful weekends!  The drive up from the Bay Area is gorgeous, and only takes 2/5 hours.

My mood for the weekend🙂 The sun is shining, the wine is flowing, it’s a great day.IMG_2263Make sure to grab a coffee and pastry (their savory scones are to die for!) from Aria Bakery & Espresso Cafe and take a 2 min stroll to the creek!  

If you’re hungry for a bigger breakfast, swing by the Murphy’s Hotel.  Great portions and good prices.  Grab a seat on the patio if you can!IMG_2276

History buff?  The town is full of historic buildings, and there’s a cool museum too!

Lavender Heaven!  Yes, Lavender Ridge is a winery (wine is ok…) their shop is absolutely darling, and they have everything lavender  you could possibly want!  As well a cheese pairings.  A must go.

Need a sweet treat?  Or two?  Swing by Lila & Sage’s Cupcake store and drool over the delicious cakes, AND hop on over to the Peppermint Stick for a decadent shake!

For dinner we hit the new Luck Penny Public House, and boy o boy were my fish & chips delicious. They also have live music!  Super cute joint.

Each building in Murphys is darling!  Such old charm mixed with shabby chic.

I hope you’ll trust me when I say GO TO MURPHYS!  You won’t regret it.

God is good friends, God is good.


A Day in the North Bay

After an extremely lazy day 1 of 2016 (I mean LAZY!) I had to be out an about the next day.  I can only sit on my painfully comfortable couch for so long…

Since we were long overdue with our wine pickup, we decided to make a day of it – and it twas lovely!

Breakfast in Petaluma
Tea Room Cafe (A MUST!!) 316 Western Ave, Petaluma, CA 94952
You may have to wait in line, but it’s worth it!  We showed up around 11:00am on a Saturday and had no trouble finding a table.  We had the croissant breakfast sandwich and the chorizo scramble, with a chai latte and coffee.  Everything was delicious.  Don’t forgot to stop at the darling little shop next door (got this cute red beanie there)!

Wine tasting and relaxing
Paradise Ridge Winery  4545 Thomas Lake Harris Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
We became members here… so you know it’s good!  Love love love this place.  The grounds are gorgeous – they have TONS of artwork/sculptures all throughout.  The tasting room is super cozy and the view is lovely.  This was the first place that I loved all the wines – red and white!  Definitely check this out.

Cruise down HWY 12 and enjoy the scenery between spots!!

Sipping tea and strolling
Sonoma Plaza 453 1st St E, Sonoma, CA 95476
There are so many great shops here!  From wine shops, to estate jewelry, from consignment boutiques to “general stores”.  A must stop if you’re in the area.  The plaza encompasses a beautiful park, and has plenty of delicious restaurants to choose from!

Basque Boulangerie 460 First Street East, Sonoma, CA 95476
We stopped here for a mocha, hot tea and chocolate covered macaroon.  YUM!


A truly lovely way to start out the new year!

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In 2016 I Hope

My best (person, friend, soul-sister) is so wise. May 2016 be the best yet


The past year seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye. In 2015 I got promoted, travelled to Vienna, Austria, as well as to Chicago, Austin and Orlando, saw Garth Brooks live in concert (a lifelong dream of mine), adopted my pup, and took on an additional contributor role with Elite Daily. I was challenged within an inch of my life and also experienced some of my greatest joys. 2015 was a year of learning, growing, surrender and acceptance. 2015 showed me that in 2016…

I hope that you fight. I hope that you make mistakes. I hope that you watch something fall apart so you can learn to build something better. I hope you experience pain so that you may be given the chance to feel joy. I hope you see sadness so that you may learn to someday help others through theirs. I…

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Kale, Apple & Parmesan Salad. YUM!

This salad is super simple and extra delicious!

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Depending on how much salad you want to make, feel free to increase or decrease amount of ingredients.
1 bunch Lacianto Kale
1 apple (I use fuji)
1/8 cup of grated parmesan cheese (or however much cheese you want!)
1/2 lemon (zested)
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Start by de-ribbing (is that a word?  Remove the stem) the kale, and shredding the leaves.  Place in a large bowl.  Large dice the apple and add to the kale.  Toss in the parmesan.  In a separate small bowl add the olive oil, juice and zest from the lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.  Whisk for 30 seconds or so until it becomes a little thicker.  Pour over the salad and toss.  It’s that simple and so good!  Good for you too🙂