Life Update: Gratitude Spin

Gratitude

If there’s anything I can admit freely, it’s that I’ve made a lot of mistakes this year.

As evidenced by the sparse posting I’ve done in 2015, my life has been a little chaotic. Aside from planning The Hello Sessions (which is happening in less than a month!), I started a new job in the springtime–and then, rather quickly, realized that I was absolutely the wrong person for the job.

There were a lot of reasons I was unhappy– reasons I won’t go into here. What I will say is that there’s a lot of career advice out there that says you absolutely need to stay in a job for at least a year, or that you definitely shouldn’t quit a job unless you’ve been made an offer, and in reality that’s all very relative. I held onto those rules and my health began to go downhill quickly. I developed a nasty case of eczema, a stress-induced eyelid twitch, and suffered from insomnia, all of which disappeared in the days after I made the decision to move on.

The funny thing is that opportunities arrive when you really need them to, when you’re ready for them. A position opened up at Bentley University, on a fantastic team in which I’ve been given a massive amount of freedom to be creative, build the community, and manage things as I see fit. And although my 10 second commute has turned into a 75 minute commute, as I begin each day I feel incredibly fortunate to have landed in a place that feels just right.

Speaking of commutes, I’m beginning to embrace mine. I’ve found a pretty, back roads route and I’ve become an Audible member. My most recent acquisition was The Gratitude Diaries, which has reminded me to look back on things not as mistakes but as lessons. To put a spin on the little annoyances (turning “Ugh, going to bed at 10pm is hard!” to “I’m so grateful that I can actually sleep again,”). To spend more time feeling lucky for all the good in my life, like James (who never once told me to please stop obsessing), and my family, and my career, and my friends (both old and new), and our lovely home, and our ability–even in those troublesome times–to laugh. A lot.

And now, on to autumn.

Love, Joy

Life Update: I Have a New Job!

Frock Files: I Have a New Job!

When we came back from Hawaii a few weeks ago, things had changed. Yes, we were browner and more relaxed and a few pounds heavier, but there was one other thing, too. While we were traveling, I received a job offer that was so good and exciting and wonderful that there was no way I could walk away. So I said yes. Yes, yes, yes.

Leaving my current role at the university isn’t easy because I have loved working there. I’ve formed awesome relationships with my coworkers and our award-winning team. They’re just the best, smartest, most talented people around. I’ve nurtured the school’s social media presence–we call it my baby, which is what it feels like. And I have great pride in the university, which has risen up from its underdog days to become an awesome research institution. I’ll miss it, and I’ll be forever grateful that my team gave me the chance to prove myself there. We have done incredible things together.

All that said, I’m so ridiculously excited about what’s ahead in my new role. I’ll be handling social media and community engagement for a company that helps people to find their dream jobs, to negotiate better, to essentially become better, more confident versions of themselves. For years, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life but their materials helped me to figure it out and even to land my job at the university! I have to admit, it was a little odd to interview with the company that taught me how to interview. But because the materials are all about being an authentic, high performing individual, the impact is universal. I’m thrilled that I’ll get to be part of this impressive, growing team of rock stars.

My new job is completely remote, which means I’ll be spending a lot more time here in my home office. Way back when, I painted it dark grey, and while I’ve enjoyed my little cave, I’m beginning to feel like it might not do for 40+ hours each week. So another change is on the way–a white washed, sunny office (to match our white washed, sunny bedroom!).

If you see me and I have paint splatters all over myself, it’s because it’s going to take a LOT of primer to cover up my previous paint job. But I know that once it’s done, it will feel like a fresh start. Like spring.

 

Local’s Guide to Visiting Oahu

Local's Guide to Visiting Oahu

My dear friend Sarah Khandjian of Sarah Hearts will be visiting Oahu for the first time in May, so she asked for a few recommendations. Since we just got back from there (where my entire family still lives), everything was fresh in my mind–and I may have gotten a little carried away! If you’re looking for awesome places to eat, play, and shop that both locals and visitors enjoy, this is the post for you.

Honolulu: By Honolulu, I don’t mean Waikiki. I really don’t like to go to Waikiki because it’s such a weird place full of other people’s ideas of what they think Hawaii is supposed to be like. It’s fun for a couple of days and then it gets old. Here are a few places we love that are just outside of Waikiki, in the parts of Honolulu that locals actually go to

Kaimuki: A warning that this neighborhood isn’t very pretty but is chock full of great little gems. My sister lives around here, so we’ve done our fair share of exploring! Most of the things we love are food related. You can have breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Town (so delicious!), coffee at Coffee Talk, or dim sum at Happy Days. I adore the Sugarcane boutique. You can also drive up the road to Kahala Mall where there are more boutiques, a Whole Foods (if you want to stock up for your hotel/condo/cottage), and some good restaurants.

Hawaii Kai: Just past Kaimuki and Kahala is Hawaii Kai, home to beautiful beaches. If you like to snorkel, head to Hanauma Bay. You might even see some turtles there!

Local's Guide to Visiting Oahu

Chinatown: Eat lunch or dinner at The Pig and the Lady, visit the authentic lei stands (that locals actually go to!), and if you can, catch a show at the historic Hawaii Theatre.

Local's Guide to Visiting Oahu

The Windward Side: We always stay in Kailua, even though it’s not really near anyone we know, because it’s so beautiful. The drive in and out of the Windward side always makes us feel like we’re heading into Jurassic Park. If you’re in the market for accommodations, there are lots of good ones out here–usually $150 or less, with a kitchenette and free parking. This one has been our favorite. Here are some other things we love in this laid back area:

Ho’omaluhia Botanical GardensI’ll pause here to say that I’m not really a botanical gardens kind of person, but this place is so magical and breathtaking that we make an effort to go every time we’re in Hawaii. It’s tranquil and lush. There are lots of places to sit and enjoy the atmosphere, so it’s a great place to bring a picnic.

Valley of the TemplesWe like to go here because it’s a little like popping into some gorgeous part of Japan for an hour or so. You can ring the gong, enjoy the koi, visit the big Buddha, and take some incredible photos.

Lanikai Beach

Boots & Kimo’s and Cinnamon’s are both Kailua institutions for breakfast or brunch. You’ll need a nap after eating at either!

 

shaveice

North Shore: You can drive from Kailua to the North Shore along Kamehameha Highway, which is very scenic. The route takes you along the perimeter of the island, through some VERY down home country towns. When we did it last week, we saw a bunch of signs that said things like, “Keep the country country!” Which probably sounds really southern, but actually means that they don’t want any strip malls on their beachfront properties.

Waimea Bay: Basically all you could ever hope for in a beach in Hawaii. I like to try to get there on the earlier side or else it can be difficult to find parking.

Hale’iwa Town: This is a little surf town and I just love it! If you only visit one of the places from this email, I think it should be Hale’iwa. It’s just so charming. We like Papoku’s for lunch (a real, Hawaii style plate lunch), Matsumoto’s for shave ice, and all of the little stores that line the streets.

Oh, now I’m homesick all over again!

P.S. Previous Oahu recommendations: Part 1 and Part 2

The Hello Sessions!

The Hello Sessions - Workshops for Creatives in Portland, OR - 10/9/15 TheHelloSessionsBrunch2

You know that big announcement I’ve been hinting at for months? It’s time for the big reveal! This coming October 9th, Melissa and I will be putting on a small workshop-based conference called The Hello Sessions in Portland, Oregon!

The Hello Sessions - Workshops for Creatives in Portland, OR - 10/9/15

We have lots and lots of details to share, but first we wanted to let you in on the big news. Our official announcement came a couple of weekends ago at brunch with some of our favorite Pacific Northwest bloggers, which was held at Urban Farmer. Over fizzy drinks (and wine from La Crema), good conversation, and delicious food, we kicked things off in style.

The Hello Sessions - Workshops for Creatives in Portland, OR - 10/9/15

The Hello Sessions - Workshops for Creatives in Portland, OR - 10/9/15

Minted hosted the event, and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect partnership. Everything grew out of the gorgeous invitations we chose from their collection, including the most magical, show stopping flower arrangements by the talented Anna Mara. Minted handled all the thoughtful touches, like the framed photos of attendees with their mothers wrapped in Minted’s new line of fabric.

The Hello Sessions - Workshops for Creatives in Portland, OR - 10/9/15

The Hello Sessions - Workshops for Creatives in Portland, OR - 10/9/15

Each piece of the brunch hinted at what’s to come, from the quintessentially Portland vibe of Urban Farmer to the gorgeous decor to the swag bags. Our Minted totes held:

www.linneapaulina.com

 

It was such a fun morning and we’re so excited that we finally get to share our news with you! In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more details about what you can expect from the conference, when you can purchase tickets, and who our awesome workshop leaders are. We’re beyond thrilled with the incredible community that’s already joined us around our event, and we can’t wait to welcome you to The Hello Sessions!

All photos taken by the talented Linnea Paulina!

Burning Out; Burning Bright

Burnt Out; Burning Bright

Contrary to evidence otherwise, I haven’t slipped out the back door of this blog never to appear again. Life just got incredibly full for awhile–the kind of full that results from blizzard after blizzard pushing plans this way and that until they all have to happen in a much more rapid succession than anyone planned. There have been great highs, unexpected lows–but mostly, it’s just been ridiculously busy.

Finally, I’m catching my breath.

As I write this, I’m sitting in a cottage on the east side of Oahu, the island on which I grew up. Trade winds are pushing their way through the Ti leaf plants and then past the curtains. The clouds are threatening rain, which, at this point, is a little like an adorable child trying (unsuccessfully) to be frightening. We love the fat, warm raindrops and the rainbows that come afterward. I love that someone is mowing their grass right now–how many days have passed since the last time I heard that sound?

This is the third year James has come home with me, and for the first time we aren’t skidding across the island, trying to cram in visits with friends and family. After the year of hospital stays, Lyme disease, huge projects, a gigantic office move (for James), and storm after storm, we made the decision to actually do in Hawaii what normal people do: relax.

I have big news to share with you in a few days, but for the time being I’ll be hanging out with my favorite people–my family–eating delicious things, hanging out on the beach, and generally remembering what it’s like to breathe again.

Love, Joy

P.S. Some of my favorite places on Oahu.

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