Venice, CA

Hi!  SO sorry for the lack of posts this week – my baby sister got ENGAGED (to the most wonderful guy in Florence!) and I’ve been shooting a special holiday blog post (you may have seen on instastory) that will be going up on FRIDAY!  I wanted to take a moment and share a few things I’m grateful for on here.  I’m always in major reflection mode around Thanksgiving – and particularly now more than ever since it’s my first holiday season living on the West Coast.  This time last year, my dad, sister and I rented an airbnb in the Hamptons.  It was such a fun week, but to be honest, I was already over the cold and itching to move out of NYC.  I had been unhappy in the city for awhile and felt a strong desire to get back to my West Coast roots.  One of the things I am most grateful for this year is the life I’ve created for myself in LA.  It already feels like home and everything just feels so right…  Without further ado!

  1. My home in LA
    I could go on and on about all of the things I love about LA; the fresh food, the weather, the beach, outdoor workouts, hikes, the friendly people, the laid-back lifestyle, great shopping, fun restaurants, my home, all of the different neighborhoods…   While I do miss things about NYC such as the culture, the energy, my go-to local spots, and friends – my lifestyle in LA is just so much more relaxing and healthy.
  2. My puppy Charlie
    I rescued Charlie; a dachsund terrier from the Vanderpump Dog Foundation about 6 months ago and let me tell you – he has completely changed my life.  He rescued me.  I started to get lonely living and working alone and he brings such light and joy into my home!  He is the sweetest, most cuddly, playful boy and we have so much fun going on mini adventures.  Animals are incredible creatures.  They truly understand you and become so in tune with your emotions – it’s crazy.
  3. Meditation
    I’ve been meditating for exactly 2 years now and can’t believe how much it has helped me stay grounded, calm, focused, and true to myself.  I do TM and took this class in NYC which is also offered online for those of you interested!
  4. My health
    1 week after I moved to LA, I got into a terrible car accident that almost left me paralyzed.  I am SO lucky given the circumstances and thank God everyday that I am ok.  I had to wear a neck brace for 5 weeks and was in physical therapy for months.  I never mentioned or talked about the accident on here because I was in shock and dealing with it privately.  There were many silver linings from the accident.  It made me truly appreciate my body and my health, and helped me visualize what I ultimately want to do with my career – and that is to eventually become a consultant and pour my expertise back into fellow female entrepreneurs and start ups!
  5. Being open to love
    Those of you who have been following me since Day 1 know I was in a serious relationship for almost 8 years.  It ended suddenly 3 years ago and left me completely devastated and heartbroken.  I only recently got over that heartbreak and became open and ready for the possibility of love again.  It’s scary trusting and being vulnerable around someone new, but so worth it for that special bond and connection.
  6. New friends
    I feel so grateful to have connected with such loving, kind, warm women here in LA.  I’ve been able to re-connect with friends from high school and college, and also make new friends through work, friends of friends, my yoga studio, and my neighborhood.  I meet people all the time walking Charlie which is one of my favorite things about having a dog and living in Venice!  Louise and I are going to be doing a fun “How to Make Friends in a New City” post so stay tuned for that.
  7. Father/daughter bonding time
    When I moved out of my NYC apartment, my Venice beach house wasn’t ready yet so I moved home to Arizona for a month and lived with my dad.  I hadn’t lived with my dad as an adult – it had been since senior year of high school, and I hadn’t really spent long extended periods of time with him between work, college, brief holiday weekends, etc. so that month of  father/daughter time I had was priceless.  We played tennis, hiked, watched a zillion movies, grilled, and really got to know one another on a different level.
  8. Sharing my story as an entrepreneur and owning my success
    This past month I had the opportunity to share my life story and entrepreneurial journey to 3 different high profile audiences.  These speeches were different from past public speaking engagements I’ve done (like the Simply Stylist and Create Cultivate conferences) because I was the only one on stage and I was truly just speaking from my heart.  It was emotional (in a good way) writing these speeches and thinking back on all of my struggles and triumphs over the years.  I’ve come a loooooong way since being 22, living in NYC, and eating 99 cent pizza slices for dinner every night HA!  I built this blog and my business from nothing – and continue to use every ounce of creativity, determination, and passion I have to pour into it.  I am so proud of how far I’ve come and will no longer be bashful or embarrassed about my success.  I think it’s so important as women, that we lift each other up and are happy for each other’s success!
  9. Embracing my introverted side
    In my line of work there is never a shortage of events, parties, and dinners to attend.  I’ve mentioned it before, but I am half introverted and half extroverted.  Over the years, I’ve developed less and less of a tolerance for schmoozing and BS.  In the past, I’ve felt the pressure or need to be “on” or “see and be seen” and I honestly can’t stand that anymore.  As a homebody, I’d much rather be cuddled up on my couch with Charlie watching Stranger Things or having a few close girlfriends over for wine and take out.  I now honor and embrace my introverted side versus trying to hide it.  Life is too short!  My goal is to live as authentically as possible.
  10. Aiming for more balance and being open to change
    I read a book this year that deeply impacted me and I highly recommend it.  It’s called Eastern Body Western Mind and is all about the chakra system and basically describes why we are the way we are.  It goes in depth about different personality traits, family dynamics, what good and bad relationships look like – and left me with several “a-ha” moments.  Overall, it made me realize I need to make more time for self-love activities, family, friendships, relationships and work on living in the NOW.  This is not going to be an easy task (I am a bit of a workaholic, constantly striving, planning ahead, and over achieving! hello older child, type a, perfectionist!) but it’s crucial and important.

I want to know – what’s something you’re grateful for and what is something you hope to improve/grow/or learn this year?  Leave me a comment below and sign up for my newsletter for a chance to win a $1000 Nordstrom gift card.  I’ll announce the winner on Friday – just in time for the Black Friday sales!!!!  Good luck :)

Alexis blouse (similar) // Levi’s jeans