As I was gearing up for the summer I had a laundry list of things I wanted to do before the season was up. Like throw a fabulous Wellness Event (check), get my Hollywood Bowl concerts in (check) enjoy the beach (check) celebrate the nuptials of one of my best friends (check), and really just be open to getting out of the house and exploring the city and giving up complacency on the couch.
Well I did all of that and more!
I’ve got to admit, I’m not the biggest beach person…well I take that back, I loves me a Caribbean beach. I’ll take the white sand, crystal blue waters, and plethora of people willing to give you a good rub down for the amount you would pay for a McDonald’s value meal. However, California beaches just don’t have those luxuries. It’s like they say about flying first class, flying coach is forever tainted when you’ve experienced that much luxury.
But well, it IS summer in Cali and it’s almost a right of passage to have at least one beach day on record to make it all feel real. Sooooo I wentto the beach, armed with my Bestie, my God Daughter, and enough snacks to make Honey Boo Boo happy, for a no fuss no muss beach day.
Sure I almost got 3rd degree burns walking on the hot sand, which then required me to walk under the pier where I discovered a whole community of mole people. But it was worth seeing my God Daughter happy as she exclaimed “the beach is my favorite place in the world” and well, there is noone else I would clean the sand out of my crotch for while praying I don’t get crabs but her! Plus going to the beach inspired this post, which only confirms that inspiration is everywhere… even in places you deem uninspiring.
The Hollywood Bowl otherwise known as “my happy place” was the next on my list to experience.
I really did the Bowl up this year and I had a pretty amazing time doing it!
While I usually go with a big group of friends, this year I kept it pretty low-key and enjoyed the majority of the shows with my honorary sister and brother-in-law Eric and Carmen. They, like me, love going to the bowl during the week (HELLO open seating & limited traffic) and often purchase tickets for shows two months in advance. They’re so sweet because every year they include me and I’ve become their lovable, drunky third wheel 😉
I think the thing I love most about Hollywood Bowl is the venue itself! Sitting under the stars as you listen to your favorite musical act and sip on the cocktail of your choice while snacking on the food that you carefully prepared prior (because umm YES you can bring food and drink into the Bowl with no problem) is magical! Plus you can’t beat the acoustics! I imagine even J.Lo could sound like Whitney Houston in this place ( I kid, I kid I love me some J.Lo).Besides going to the Bowl for their summer concert series, I also hit up Kiss N Grind for a few day parties. If you haven’t been to or heard of Kiss N Grind than you are missing out! But don’t worry I got you covered click here to see what it’s about.
I’m not much of a club girl, but I vibe with Kiss n Grind. You’ve got the down to earth, artsy, multi-cultural grown folks of LA, so you’re not going to get that velvet rope, assholey vibe that you’d find at the Hollywood “it” clubs, plus! The music is always on point! The above picture was taken at the Michael Jackson celebration in Grand Park. Questlove was spinning and played all of MJ’s hits as well as the rest of the Jackson’s! IT was LIT to put it simply.I also love that the venue changes often so the atmosphere is pretty fluid. Plus if Issa Ray thinks it’s cool enough to center an entire episode of Insecure around , than you know it’s pretty hype (wait, did I just use lit and hype in a sentence? Yeah I’m rolling my eyes at myself too.)
The Hummingbird Village had our biggest event YET this past summer. We hosted a wellness event complete with vendors, panel discussions and guest speakers and entertainers. It was a HUGE feat! One that we had been talking about and planning for months. To see it all come together felt like such a huge accomplishment for us.
I also hosted my very first brunch and learn, which is a series of workshops that I am doing surrounding the topic of passion: How to define it, successfully fulfill them and stay on track. The subject matter has been pretty vital in this my progression throughout the years and has really helped me define what it is I really want out of my life.
Because I am so passionate about passion I knew that my focus in The Hummingbird Village would be helping people figure out their own.
The first brunch was a success and I’ve now made it into a 3 part series! If you’re interested in signing up for part 1 again, just click here.
Being able to share in the important milestones of my friends lives has been such a blessing to me. Friendship is so important and I pride myself in showing up for my friends in times of celebration as well as sorrow. So I was happy to do just that for one of my very best friends Angelina, who was marrying the love of her life Anthony (seriously Anthony and Angelina? The alliteration alone shows that they’re meant to be).
It had been gorgeous the entire weekend, so I knew Angelina’s outdoor wedding at a beautiful Upstate New York vineyard was going to be perfect! However Mother Nature had other plans, when all of a sudden right between the cocktail hour and reception, the sky opened up and torrential rain began to pour! I mean rain so hard and wind so swift, the wedding cake had to be held down for fear it would fly away!
If that were me I knew I would be a MESS, but my beautiful friend and her handsome hubby danced in that rain and made the very best of it! It was such a sight to see! After the storm everyone was hugging and high-fiving like it was a blessing, and really when you look like this after a torrential rain threatens to ruin your wedding day, maybe it kinda is.
Probably the biggest change over the summer was my move! I’d spent 5 years at my big little craftsman apartment and while I absolutely loved this place, it was time for me to transition into a new phase of life.
Good thing I am a constant Craigslist stalker! I mean I literally log on multiple times a week and just keep my feelers out for new places, in better neighborhoods at low prices. Although it took me two years of heavy searching, that place finally appeared in the form of a cute little Spanish style home in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Long Beach. Like I literally live next to million dollar homes now y’all!
Now I’d rather wear 6 inch heels through Disneyland all day then to move, but I have to say with the help of my family and friends, this was the easiest move I have ever done (save for my move back to California from New York, where I just sold everything I owned and started over).
As I did my last walk through of my old apartment I was reminded of all of the wonderful memories that had been made there. Like my weekly Sunday dinners, my 33rd birthday where a beautiful singer and guitar player entertained my guests over brunch, or the crazy Christmas parties each year. Each one larger than the next, and never having the cops called on me in spite of it. Yep, I made a ton of memories in my old place and I am grateful for every single one!
This summer has been a reminder to continuously go out and do the things that bring me joy! To take chances and celebrate the victories and the losses. I now see that each phase in my life is requiring that I be better than the phase before it, and honestly I’m here for it! Now more than ever, I am ready to step into new experiences,relationships and opportunities with less fear and more enthusiasm. I’ve learned that everything truly is and will always be alright and any regret I will ever have or have had will be the regret of not believing in myself and doing the work to continuously grow and be better. It may sound cliché but clichés are usually grounded in actuality.
So, what has been the highlight of your summer? What has required you to grow over these last 3 months? I’d love to know in the comments below!