Brown Baggin’ it.

Is it just me? Or do you get that Back to School feeling when September rolls around? Even though I am not going back to school, and haven’t for a few years now, I still get nostalgic this time of year.

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That being said, September was always a month of renewal, adventure and exploration. To celebrate the whimsy of childhood I decided to put myself on financial house arrest for the next 30 days… so whimsical.  Haaaaaa… Really though, a good challenge, meaning No Buy on anything beyond necessities for 30 days. With a strict social & entertainment budget of $100 ($25 a week? That is 2 drinks in Portland! GAH!)

Back to the adventure and exploration part… I am so excited to see what fun things there are to do in town for free. I love a good hike, a good concert in the park, and especially a good Netflix night with friends (especially if it is Jason Bateman night). I am also super excited to get into the kitchen and get creative for as many meals as possible.

I like to spend Sunday night in the kitchen, barefoot, listening to music. I like to get prepped for the week, and to be honest, I find cooking therapeutic and relaxing. This is the part of the challenge I am most excited about, less excited about possibly running out of mascara, and not going to Powell’s for 30 days…

Okay, Okay, Why? Because I like a challenge, I want to save up for some big life moments, and I want to build an arsenal of things to add to my routine to continue to build towards grown up things, like going to England and seeing a live taping of Top Gear… I mean Roth IRAs and making a larger contribution to my 401K.

The above images are mine, you can follow my food and my life on instagram @Grishley.

 

Tethers & Tin Cans

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I won’t lie, I had a few pretty incredible conversations this week. Some with old friends, and some with new ones. Amidst the fun, the curiosity, and the courage it sometimes takes to keep a new conversation afloat, I found myself circling back to the theme of opportunity. Repeatedly I was told what an incredible array of opportunities lie in front of me. That the potential for achieving my dreams can be determined by what I do now. I could feel the hair on my arms standing up, and at some moments I felt that choking feeling creep into my throat. I felt a rush of excitement, anticipation, but also time.

You know the old phrase “There is no time like the present”?  The more I think about it, I think the better phrase is “There is no time like the present, for the things that are present”. Perhaps “now, now, now” is not the best strategy for all things. What I have come to over the past few weeks, is that for the things I can control, I will act in the present, push forward and continue to explore the things I like to do to find the ones I love. Adversely, the things questionable to the present, will remain as they are, an arms length away. Finding the permission to pause, was perhaps the biggest awakening.

I don’t really believe in the excuse of distraction, probably because I am a ritualistic compartmentalist. I keep things separate, giving a very rare view into my entire life to only those closest to me. Knowing this about myself, I feel somewhat empowered to focus on the present. Leading tethers into other scripted dreams, and tin can telephones to the periphery of lovely people who occupy those areas. Holding on tight to my loved ones who were present when my current opportunities were only blue prints.

If you’re going after a big dream, even a little one, feel free to toss me a can on the line. I’ll know it means that you’ll only pick up if you choose to, but adversely it will give me the same discretion. The beauty of it being both of us are being that which we love, building a future that makes us readily whole.  I can’t wait to talk to you, whenever next we speak. 

 

Hey Girl.

In the 90’s we had the Spice Girls, in the early 2000’s we had the ladies of Sex & The City, nowadays we have #GirlBoss and Beyonce…

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While I won’t deny feeling some girl power with the above listed, I would also like to reveal the things that give me that girl power boost when I need it.

Sights…

There is nothing like the O.G. Bond Girl, Oliva Munn and Claire Underwood to help you step your game up.

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Sounds…

These are my girl power songs… when a Beyonce club banger just isn’t cutting it.

You can leave your hat on- Etta James

I just want to make love to you- Etta James

Hit the Road Jack- Ray Charles

I’m Feeling Good- Nina Simone

Smells…

Nirvana White by Elizabeth and James, the Mokara candle by Voluspa, and Scent No. 10 Everything and Nothing by Tokyomilk Dark.

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Tastes…

Not every girl moment needs an adult beverage, but these are my go-tos. Basil Hayden’s is my favorite Whiskey, followed by 1792, both of which are the only two liquors I keep in the house. Rounding out my top three Glenkinchie is my favorite Scotch.

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Feel…

I would say feeling your best is the most important weapon in your arsenal. The following are the three things that instantly boost my mood.

OPI’s Hollywood and Wine nail polish (or any other red for that matter), Clinique’s Black Honey Lip Stick, and Benefit They’re Real Mascara.

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xoxo.

Contagion.

I think there was something in the air this week…

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I have always believed that attitude is contagious. Much like the flu, once someone around you catches a strong case, it quickly spreads. Whether it is happiness, optimism, pessimism or negativity, it spreads like wild fire.

Luckily for me, this week in my life, my circle caught a strong case of momentum. It seemed every where I turned this week, my loved ones around me were doing big things. Taking risks, trying new things, committing to changes, and taking some big leaps of faith. Creating a ripple of motivation that gave me goosebumps several times this week.

I had that sore cheek feeling you get when you can’t stop smiling, those awkward head shakes you catch your self in when you’ve let a laugh creep up on you for no reason. I spent a lot of the week in awe of the loved ones in my life.

I don’t know how many times this week I said/texted/wrote/signaled the phrase “I am so happy for you”, and quite honestly, I meant it every single time. At many moments I felt a loss for words settling for something simple, as I felt myself becoming overwhelmed.

To you guys,

Whether you were moving across the globe, starting your own business, standing up for yourself,  going on an adventure, or the countless other things you guys were doing this week, I loved it. Perhaps because you all chose the same week, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of being invincible. I am constantly motivated by your successes, learn with you through your failures, and applaud your courage.

To say that I am proud of you, feels like the wrong statement, as if you belong to me, however that is not the case. I think the more appropriate statement becomes: I look up to you, I love you, keep killing it. To have you in my life is a privilege, to watch you live to the fullest, is a honor, and to see your dreams become your reality gives me every faith that I may do the same. 

xoxo. 

Risky Business.

Do you ever get so far down a road that you can turn to both your left and your right and see that you have narrowed your gaze in the blindness of moving forward. Like walking into a tunnel that comes to a point, the structure that surrounds you narrows as you move forward, and yet you charge on. As you feel the pushback of the wind you create against your arms, you continue on. When you begin to feel the chill of the concrete that skims you shoulders you charge on, slower now, but still forward. Smaller and smaller become the walls around you, the ceiling slanting downward to meet your height as you inch forward. Your pace slows until there is no movement left to be had, you can neither turn back nor move forward. Awarded your stature by your unrelenting movement forward.

Quickly ignored were all of the open doorways at your side, quickly missed were all the trapdoors and ladders, until the gift of their presence had expired. Each of them a risk too heavy to weigh against a future you participated in the manifestation of. So onward you went until at your destiny you arrived. For others this is the perfect place to land. Protected, in a place to catch you breath, having not missed an opportunity to arrive first.

For you though, you see the distance in front of you, almost as if through a telescope now. Held by your position. The responsibilities you have acquired in your sprint to the finish have become heavy now. Expensive momentary necessities that motivated your charge into the darkness. Counting backward now at the risks you passed up. The tunnels unexplored, the doors gone unopened. Here you have arrived, in great time, but with every curiosity you began with. The heaviest of the kit you hadn’t thought was with you.

Knowing everyone will arrive sooner or later, to stand parallel, just as you are. To shout back to them to slow down is your only charge. In your voice they don’t hear your status, your wealth or your purpose. All they hear is your plea to lessen their pace. The echo encouraging them to wander left and right, explore the passages you so readily passed. “We will all arrive” becomes your advice, “bring a story other than mine”.

Let’s take some risks. Have some adventures. Make some memories. Learn from our mistakes. Let’s fail once in awhile. At least we’ll have something to talk about. 

xoxo.

 

Lately.

“If all that was left of you was your smile, and your little finger. You’d still be more of a man than anyone I’ve ever met.”- Vesper Lynd to James Bond in Casino Royale. 

Some gentlemanly things I have been loving lately.

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Hats.

If life is like a box of chocolates, then people are like pies.
13e3706c9a606579aa4036361ecfca71These are a few of my slices, slivers and wedges you eat from the pan with a fork.

The Shy Kid-Sometimes I just clam up… it’s usually one hundred percent involuntary. Sorry about that. 

The Conquering Hero-When I am not paralyzed by social anxiety, I can be your Brave Heart. I’ll charge into battle for you and get the job done. I like this side of me, it is where I feel most like myself. It’s a good balance to the shyness I tend to experience. 

Your Sponsor- If there was rehab for Adult-ing. I’d be your sponsor for that. Hi I’m Amanda, it has been 9 months since my quarter life crisis. Feel free to call me if you happen to forget that not knowing everything all the time is completely normal. 

**Ashley-I like dancing to hip hop. 

Lady Grish- I do my nails, buy expensive undies, and sometimes spend 45 minutes getting ready. I light candles, and watch Sex & the City… ya know why? Because I like to. 

Mischief Conductor-I like to prank the absolute pants off of people. I thoroughly enjoy doing silly things. I like laughing a lot -laughing is like 63% of my ab routine. I’ll start an indoor water balloon fight, and throw a whole tilapia through your window… good lookin’ out. 

The Hopo-Romo- Admittedly I am a hopeless hopeless romantic. But I don’t want to talk about it. Handwritten notes and white roses are my kryptonite. 

The Nerd Alert- I like being nose deep in a good book or article at all times. I love learning new things, especially about the way that people interact with one another, the way the brain works, and generally everything having to do with science and sports. (SHHHH WE BE NERDING. HARD.)

The Bro- I’ll sit on the couch and watch sports with you. I’ll even shut up during Sportscenter (except to annoyingly go “dun-nah-nah-duh-nah-nah”). I enjoy a scotch and a cigar. I’ll wingman you at the bar. I’ll even pretend to be your wife if someone dances up on you at the club and you don’t want them to (just protect me afterward because she’s bigger than I am).

The Bond Girl- Admittedly I have wanted to be a Bond Girl for the bulk of my post elementary school life. Unfortunately, Oregon State didn’t offer it as a major, so I had to take it on as an extra curricular. I’ll save the world with you… just let me put my heels on. 

Yup that’s me.

**I didn’t come up with this one.