My Health & Fitness Routine

I want to let you know that you’re beautiful. Just. the. way. you. are.

Is anyone else questioning this fact? Do you look in the mirror and ask, what can I do to be thinner? or just more toned? Or immune to gravity? I do. More than I’d like to admit. I analyze. Critisize. Then I tell myself, I am my perfect weight. I love my body. I love what it’s capable of. And I don’t need to change a thing.

I’ve been thinking about this post for a long time and can’t decide how to approach it. Fitness. Exercise. Diet. Body Image. Women feeling judged for how they look, not for what they do. And how we’re passing these messages on to our children.

I’d really like to have all the answers, and then package them up and give them to you. But I decided instead that I’d take you along on the journey. I don’t have all the answers. I do have a lot of the questions.

I will share what I do to be healthy. I’ve developed a few good habits over the years. You might not agree with me but that’s okay. Some thing might be triggering. I could say something wrong. I just going to go ahead anyway. Besides, I think only 5-10 people will read this.

I’m also going to share with you what works for other people. I have some friends who are willing to share their own health and fitness practices. I think it will be a good cross-section.

I’m excited.

April Showers

I recently learned that rainy days aren’t so bad if you have rainwear you love. Last year I bought a new raincoat and I’m excited when I get a chance to wear it. I had a raincoat but it’s not very waterproof — kind of necessary for a raincoat.

My original coat is from J. Crew from Spring of 2019 and I still like it. It’s the shorter of the two. A cotton-nylon blend. I love the dark moss color. It’s lightweight and fairly stylish. You could even wear it if it’s not raining. It’s cute.

The new coat is by Joules which I bought on Amazon. It’s polyester-cotton with a cotton-nylon lining that has a very pretty floral pattern. It really repels water and definitely keeps you dry. The hood even has a little visor.

Now, rain boots. I have a pair from J. Crew that are very minimal, black rubber in a sort of chelsea boot style. They’re not terribly comfortable, like I wouldn’t want to wear them all day. But they get the job done.

Then I have a classic pair of tall Hunter boots. Remember when people decided those were cool? I got some about 10 years after that, second-hand. They are great when it’s just bucketing down. But if you’re not slogging through puddles on a country walk with your dog, do you really need them? I say no. You definitely don’t want to wear them for long or drive a car in them.

If it’s wet but not aggressively raining, I will wear my green rubber gardening clogs, because, you know, clogs. They’re by a brand called Nora.

I also have my Doc Marten‘s which are not for rain, but won’t get ruined if it’s a little rainy. They have that really stiff, shiny leather.

If I were to get a new pair of boots, I’d get these from Everlane. They look really cool. I would replace the J. Crew ones with them. But for now, if it rains, I’m all set.

What I Packed for a Week in California

What I Packed for a Week in California

I just got back from a trip to Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista. I have family, friends, and clients there and really enjoyed getting away for a bit.

Packing for a trip is a challenge for me, and probably for a lot of people. I want to make sure I have everything I need but I really don’t want to check baggage. I managed to fit everything into my small carryon, but then the airline gate-checked it anyway!

So, one week. 7 days. 7 outfits, right? Yes, and no. Here’s what I decided to take:

7 pairs of pants: Black jeans, wide-leg blue jeans, skinny blue jeans, white chinos, hiking pants, black sweats, white shorts
7 tees: long sleeve striped t, long sleeve black t, green t, gray t, white t, blue bowie t, gray tank
5 second-layer tops: Patagonia fleece, cable knit sweater, gray cashmere sweater, navy sweatshirt, striped turtleneck
2 pair leggings, 2 sports bras
5 pairs of shoes: Blundstone boots, Veja sneakers, Nike sneakers, Birkenstock Bostons, Troentorp clogs
1 coat: green quilted



DAY ONE: Flying from Philadelphia to San Jose. I wore my new wide-leg J.Crew jeans which I knew would be comfortable for sitting on a plane for hours, a thrifted Comme des Garçonnes striped tee, my Patagonia fleece, green H&M jacket, and my Blundstone boots because they were too bulky to pack.

DAY TWO: Walking my friend’s dog in the pouring rain, then lunch and shopping with my mom in downtown Santa Cruz. We ate at El Palomar, one of my many favorite taquerias. Then I went and bought a Santa Cruz Skateboards sweatshirt for myself and tee shirts for my family at Pacific Wave. Later that night, my mom and I met up with my brother and had dinner at The Crow’s Nest, watching the sun set over the ocean. Perfection. I wore my LL Bean hiking pants, long sleeve black tee, Patagonia fleece, green H&M Jacket, and Blundstones. (The rain stopped and the sun came out in the afternoon, so I swapped the boots for sneakers.)

DAY THREE: Dog walking, shopping, and client visit. I had so much fun hanging out with my bestie, eating at Zoccoli’s Deli, shopping at the amazing Pacific Trading Company, and then dropping in on my super cool client Current eBikes. I wore a pair of AG jeans, my oversized Bowie tee, and Troentorp clogs. My outfit may seem too casual to meet a client, but not when it’s Santa Cruz.

DAY FOUR: Drive down to San Juan Bautista. We headed south to the beautiful old mission town of San Juan Bautista. The drive was beautiful, lots of green rolling hills, cows, and fields of artichokes, garlic and strawberries. They had a ton of rain and you could see the areas that got flooded. Not good. I wore white Everlane chino pants, a LL Bean cotton cable knit sweater, and Birkenstock Bostons. 

DAY FIVE: Met up with a bunch of women for our annual getaway. We hiked, talked, ate, talked more, ate more. I wore a pair of black LL Bean sweats, Everlane cashmere sweater, and Nike Daybreak sneakers.

DAY SIX: Headed back to Santa Cruz. Took a very windy bike ride along West Cliff Drive to Natural Bridges, took a nap to recover, then went out to dinner at Burger. I wore GAP leggings, my new Santa Cruz sweatshirt, and my Veja sneakers.

DAY SEVEN: Flight home. Boo. I wore black LOFT jeans, a striped turtleneck, and Troentorp clogs. I ended up borrowing a duffle bag to pack the extra stuff.

I didn’t need the shorts at all. I could have done without the white pants. Since I knew I was going to buy the sweatshirt I could have left one sweater out. And just taken the Nikes, not the Vejas. Most worn items: black sweats and Patagonia fleece. I was so glad I took my Bostons. Although they aren’t good for rain, they double as slippers. So, if you’re traveling to California in March it’s all about being warm and comfy.

Sweater Outfits

Sweater Outfits

I have about a dozen sweaters. In an effort to appreciate them more and avoid buying new ones, I did a shop-my-closet, try-on session recently. It really helps me to pick out items I don’t usually wear and also pair them with things that I wouldn’t usually choose. I find that makes getting dressed in the winter more fun. Here are a couple of outfits I felt pretty good about.

J Crew sweater | Madewell jeans | Madewell boots

This thin, cotton, almost a shirt sweater is so old but doesn’t look it. It’s dark navy blue and goes with everything. I’m wearing it with an old pair of Madewell boy jeans that I recently patched the knee on. I had them up on Poshmark to sell, but have been thinking of keeping them. And then I’m wearing an also old pair of brown swede Madewell boots.


GAP sweater | Everlane jeans | Docs

I love this forest green GAP turtleneck. I went with a 90s off-duty model look by tucking it into my new Everlane 90s cheeky jeans and black Doc Marten boots. Not sure this is me, but it kind of works.

Everlane sweater vest | J Crew skirt | Troentorp clogs

I got this sweater vest recently at Everlane and I love it. Wearing it without a shirt underneath would probably not happen in real life but I thought it looked cool. The whole mini skirt and tights combo is another thing that is outside my comfort zone. With the clogs, I feel very Scandi. I threw a black wool jacket over it and kind of liked that too.

LL Bean sweater | Leather pants | Birkenstock Bostons

Loving this fishermen’s sweater so much. I tried it with some leather pants I thrifted last year. An amazing find! And then I chose my Bostons, which seemed an odd choice but looked pretty cool.

J Crew sweater | J Brand jeans | Lotta’s clogs

This J Crew sweater is a navy V neck that’s also an old fave. The jeans are thrifted. I haven’t worn them yet. I don’t usually go for the bootleg style, but they’re very flattering. I like them with a high heel like these brown clogs.

LL Bean sweater | Nili Lotan pants | J Crew rain boots

I got this green cashmere sweater from LL Bean last Fall and it’s so nice. I picked the khaki chinos to go with because the two greens seemed almost clashing, or too matching. I don’t know. The rain boots are old from J Crew.

Book Reviews: July – December 2022

The Saints of Swallow Hill

Donna Everhart

I wanted to like this book, but it had some really unpleasant events. It takes place on a turpentine camp in Georgia during the depression. The story focuses on two white protagonists who endure terrible abuse, while the black workers are treated far worse. There is good historical research and some redemption, but not an enjoyable read.

The Lincoln Highway

Amor Towles

After reading A Gentleman in Moscow and The Age of Civility, I thought I’d love this too. And I did. It just got off to a slow start. A beautiful homage to the Road Trip genre, it’s part Huck Finn and part Odyssey. Set in the early 50s with a cast of interesting characters, it is beautifully written and such a fun ride.



Kent Haruf

My favorite book this year. It follows a collection of lost and unlucky characters who find friendship and meaningful connections with each other. But the best thing about this book is the writing. Every word is perfect, every phrase is lyric and profound. So simple and so perfect.


Living Untethered

Michael A. Singer

I read this non-fiction book on a recommendation of a friend. I chose to listen to it on audio and I think, no, I know I would have enjoyed it more if I read it. But, it was so, so good. Deep existentialist pondering! What could be better? Just the explanation of the creation of the universe will put your whole life into perspective.

The Sympathizer

Viet Thanh Nguyen

I am very proud of myself for reading this Pulitzer Prize-winning book. It’s obvious why it got such high praise. The writing is amazing. At times it felt too intellectual but I’m not mad about it. I would not normally chose a book about the Vietnam war, but this isn’t necessarily about that. It starts at the end of the war and follows the path of a double agent living as an immigrant in America. Not only is it an unflinching look at the relationship between Vietnamese and Americans, it’s unapologetically angry. I learned so much and am changed by it.

Station Eleven

Emily St. John Mandel

I’m finally getting around to reading this. I’d heard it was really good but also fairly dark. It describes a deadly flu pandemic and a troupe of traveling actors through a devastated dystopia world, written before it actually happened. Doesn’t sound like a fun read, does it? But I am enjoying it.