What happened to my blog?!

You guys!! Yikes, I haven’t written anything in months! There has been A LOT going on. I started writing this blog post a couple of months ago, and it started off highlighting how crazy last year was and all the things that derailed me from taking care of my blog and sharing things with my readers. But, as if that wasn’t just life keeping me busy, life really threw me a curveball…I was laid off from my job a little more than a month ago. So, I think in retrospect I can say that the last 13 months have been a whirlwind.

So, I figure this blog post can be a reflection on the year, and some of the things I’m looking forward to this year…especially given the most recent changes for me professionally.

  1. I started a new job – and got laid off – I left a place I called home for eight years, and a place where I would say 95% of my best friends are from. It was hard, but is turning out to be one of the better decisions I’ve ever made. So, I left this last sentence here because it’s important for me to think about the fact that, at one point that move was a good one. It hasn’t been feeling like that as of late, but it’s a journey and I’m on it, so I have to try to make the best of it. I just have to remember that I made some amazing contacts and friends during the year I spent at that company, and that my friends cannot be replaced.
  2. I started working primarily from home – This was directly related to the new job, but it was quite an adjustment. It’s interesting because so many people tell me they could never be productive at home, but I actually found that I got more done. When you’re in an office there’s a lot of relationship building going on, which is natural, but also takes up a lot of time that you could be spending at your desk being productive. On the flip side, I no longer had that interaction and sometimes missed it. So, flip side now is that I may get that interaction back once I land a new gig, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t kind of looking forward to that.
  3. I traveled a ton domestically – this was also directly related to work, but undoubtedly an amazing experience. I tried to think about just how many places I traveled to and had to list them to ensure I didn’t miss anything (but I still feel like I missed one or two):
    1. Austin, Texas
    2. Orlando, Florida
    3. San Diego, California
    4. Portland, Oregon
    5. Chicago, Illinois
    6. Washington, D.C.
    7. New Orleans, Louisiana
    8. Atlanta, Georgia
    9. Tampa, Florida
  4. I adopted a cat (begrudgingly) – there was a little black and white kitty that was wild (somewhat) and my mom had gotten her fixed so she wouldn’t surprise all of us with kittens in the garage. One day we realized she had been attacked on her neck. It didn’t look good and being the empath that I am, I decided that she would be taken to the vet hospital, and that if I paid to get her all fixed up, she would have to stay inside with me. I now have a black and white cat named Lilly – she also goes by Lulu, mow-mow, and Lil (insert eye roll here). If you know me, you know that I have Ruby who I love very much, but also that I had a cat named Allie for 17 years who was special to me, so taking on another cat wasn’t exactly on my list. It took some months, but this cat who was scared of everything now sits on my lap every night while I watch TV. She has turned out to be a sweet cat (despite the number of rugs she destroyed and the vet bills I endured).
  5. I bought a new car! So, I wrote a blog post about my first year driving an all electric vehicle. Well, a year in it was still a really cool thing and I liked it a lot…three years in I was over it. Range anxiety is a real thing my friends! Maybe I should write a blog post on what it’s really like to have only one vehicle and have that vehicle be 100% electric? It made life a little more stressful, and who needs that? So, in true Nikki fashion I went in the complete opposite direction and now have a fully gasoline 4×4 SUV.
  6. I put my health and fitness first. Since October I have REALLY concentrated on getting healthier, eating better and just moving more in general. I have started working out 5-6 days a week, I began incorporating Pure Barre and the stairmaster (P.S. – I HATE the stair master), and signed up for a round of Faster Way to Fitness. I plan to write more about all of those things in future posts, but a little more than 15 pounds down and I’m just feeling so much better both physically and mentally. I know people always says that working out does so much more than make you lose weight. It really changes your vibe in general.

I’m keeping it a little short but sweet as a reintroduction. But, I have so much more to write about and share. I’m also planning to increase my presence on Instagram. There is so much more I can be sharing there as opposed to always just here on the blog. I am realizing we have to be grateful for what we have and when we have it. I lost my job but I have also gained a lot the last month – and for every door that closes a window opens – boy is that cliche of a saying so true!

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Wishbonedreams Turns Two!

WordPress kindly reminded me that my blog turned two last month. Last year I was so excited and so aware when my blog turned one, that I did a whole reflective post and stats on my first year which you can read here.

This year, I was thinking it would be fun to reflect on my very first blog post, which you can find here Four Girls, a Road Trip & Camping. Two years ago myself and three girlfriends (the same three I was in Italy with), decided to road trip up to Oregon and go camping. And not some like comfy camping – I mean don’t get me wrong we had bathrooms and showers – but we also did good old tent camping. It was a lot of fun, but in reflecting on the post I realize how much my blog has changed. I’m still trying to figure out what the niche is – is this blog a travel blog? Not really. I travel, and occasionally share it on the blog, but that’s not it’s main focus. Is my blog about beauty products and outfits? At times I focus on those things, but not all the time. Is my blog about women empowerment and inspiration? Sometimes! The point here is that I still haven’t determined what this blog is supposed to be like, but people seem to enjoy it so I just write about whatever it is I’m feeling.

When I think back on the time I wrote my first blog, I had just changed jobs and was no longer doing executive communications. I was worried that my need to write wouldn’t be satisfied after removing that part of my daily work, so the blog was something to fill that void. It has definitely done it’s job! So much has changed since then! I am no longer working in that position, or at that company for that matter. I have traveled so much more since then – Italy, Mexico, all over the U.S. – and my relationships during that time have evolved, or gone away all together – both good things if you ask me 🙂 But what I’ve realized the most and appreciate the most is everyone who reads this little blog, and though I don’t always know how people are feeling about it, occasionally I’ll see someone I haven’t seen in a while and they’ll tell me how much they love reading my blog, and that is the reason I keep doing it! I enjoy it, it’s a way for me to express my feelings or share my experiences, but ultimately I love hearing that people enjoy it. For me, that’s the point.

I’m keeping this one short and sweet because really this is to say THANKS to the people who take the time read my little blog when it posts. Life gets hard sometimes and doing this makes me happy, and so I hope that reading it makes you all happy and relieves a little bit of the madness that life provides.

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How to Pack for a Work Trip Like a Pro

When I took my new job I knew that there would be some travel involved. What I didn’t realize was just how much travel. Since the end of March I have traveled to Austin, Orlando, Chicago, New Orleans and San Diego – five different cities and four different states (I live in California), all within a four week period. That’s a lot right? As you can imagine, I had to figure out the best way to pack for these trips, because not only am I out on the exhibit floor but there are always activities during the evening at these things as well. With that said, I had to take to my list-making skills and really plan out what I was going to wear and when.

I gave up on the idea of only taking a carry-on. It’s not worth the stress of trying to put a week’s worth of clothes into a tiny bag, so eliminating that right off the bat was very helpful. I realize that many people only ever want to take a carry-on and by all means I feel that way a lot of the time, but for work it just made more sense to take a bigger bag. Anyway, I figured I would list here the process I use for packing. I realize other people probably have a more efficient way of doing this, but this really keeps me organized.

  1. I scroll through my Pinterest account for outfit inspiration. I used to do this the night before work every day (before I was working from home), and would frequently find cute outfits that I could put together just from looking at some of my style boards on Pinterest.
  2. I make a list of the outfit that I’ve been inspired by.
  3. Then I make a packing list that will include all of the pieces that I am planning to pull, in addition to things like underwear and pajamas.
  4. Pull the pieces from my closet and try them on. This is important…there have been times where I have packed something that I was certain would look great on, only to find out at the hotel that I was very, very wrong. So, now I always try it on first before I pack it.
  5. Take a photo of it once it’s on. Sometimes once I’ve tried it on and packed it, I get to the hotel and think, ‘what the heck did I pack this to go with?’ So, to avoid that, I will take a photo of the outfit I tried on so that I can reference it once I’m in the hotel.
  6. Shoes! Be strategic with shoes. Try to pack a shoe that will go with more than one of your outfits.
  7. Jackets – I try my best to wear the one jacket I’ll want on my trip, one the airplane – that way it takes up less room in my bag.
  8. Throw some dryer sheets in with your clothes! It will keep them smelling fresh. Isn’t that the oddest thing? I pack clean clothes, pull them out after half a day of travel and boom, they don’t smell clean!
  9. I always, always unpack completely once I’m in the hotel room. I used to not do this…I would literally live out of my suitcase and not unpack anything, but now that I’m traveling more for work it’s essential to unpack especially for those pieces that will get wrinkled during travel in your suitcase.
  10. Roll you clothes. I’m sure most people already do this, as I’ve been doing it myself for sometime – especially when I packed 10 days work of clothes for an Italy trip into an international sized carry-on.

That’s my list! I hope you find it helpful. I do have some new ideas though that I’m going to try out for one of my next trips for sure. For example, I keep seeing things about packing cubes. It’s supposed to keep things compact and organized – definitely something I’m going to look into purchasing. I also read that packing your socks and undergarments in a small reusable cloth bag helps with organization as well. Given that we use reusable bags for everything I’m definitely looking forward to trying that. Especially because I’m notorious for throwing all of my dirty clothes in the dry cleaning bag and separating them from my leftover clean clothes when I travel home. And another thing…I have yet to find a suitcase that I just love, so that is definitely on my list for future purchase, so if anyone has recommendations let me know!

Until next time folks!

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My Favorite Things About Spring

I decided I wanted to write a post about my favorite things about Spring because I feel like as I’ve gotten older I’ve despised Spring for a couple of different reasons.

  1. Allergies – I never had this problem growing up, unlike my brother Chris who suffered horribly growing up. But as an adult, holy crap it’s awful. It seems the only thing that works for me is Flonase, and even that I can only do every other day because it gives me nose bleeds. I mean, it’s a beautiful time of year but it wreaks havoc on my allergies.
  2. The weather is unpredictable – rain one day, 75 degrees another, 45 degree mornings and then 70 degrees mid-day. I know, I know, dress in layers…but come on!

So, those are a couple of things I don’t like about Spring, BUT there are many more great things than bad so I thought I’d round them up.

  1. Though the weather is crazy and unpredictable, when we do have those 75 degree days, and almost warm evenings it’s a hint of summer nights to come and it always gives me a nostalgic feeling of summer evenings when I was a teenager.
  2. Some of my favorite holidays are during the Spring and Summer. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, my birthday, mom’s birthday, countless friends have birthdays during these months as well – it’s just a time to celebrate others.
  3. Travel! I seem to travel more during these Spring and early Summer months. It’s a good time to get out of town and hangout by a pool.
  4. Mani and pedi colors move into those bright happy colors (at least for me), not so much of the purple, black and reds, but bright and light pinks, and pedicures are more frequent 🙂
  5. Concerts! I’m a huge music lover and it’s the time that music festivals, and summer tours are beginning to launch. This year, just like last, I will kick-off summer with the BottleRock Music Festival in Napa over memorial weekend.
  6. That’s the other thing! 3-day weekends! We go from having a ton of time off during the holidays to just trudging through the workdays and weeks. The warmer months introduce 3-day weekends a plenty.
  7. Your skin warms up and if you’re like me, so does your hair! I’m pretty fair complexion, and as I get older and freak out about being in the sun, I am gradually whiter and whiter every winter (hahah) but the natural warmth your skin color takes on during the warmer months is always nice, and naturally my highlights grow a little brighter too.
  8. It’s lighter out longer! Does anyone else agree that it should always be light out until 7pm? I mean, it just lightens everyone’s mood! Though, don’t get me wrong, I feel like it takes me 3 months to get used to losing an hour, but it’s worth it!
  9. There are baby animals everywhere! Little baby birds, baby squirrels – it’s the cutest and how can you not appreciate Spring for that one thing alone?
  10. Everything is green! If you get enough rain – which we hadn’t in many years – but have in the last couple, then you have a tiny bit of time to enjoy rolling green hills before they quickly turn brown during the summer months. It’s not long, but it’s enjoyable while it’s here.
  11. No more being sick! I mean, a spring or summer cold is still common, but bye bye flu season and all that other nasty stuff that is floating around during the winter months.
  12. Windows can stay open all day and night! I have to admit, I’m one of those people who will leave my windows open even just a crack until I can barely stand the cold any longer, so when you can leave them open all day and night for that spring/summer fresh air it’s amazing!
  13. Outside activities…and I don’t mean running, biking etc. outside, I mean one of my favorite outdoor activities which is wine tasting. I live very close to wine country that I think only locals know about (Livermore Valley), and it is one of my favorite things to do. Granted, I will go wine tasting whether it’s storming rain or not, but it’s so nice to pack a lunch and sit on the grass in the sunshine, drink your wine and visit with friends and family. Day drinking anyone?
  14. BASEBALL! I’m a huge Oakland Athletics fan (you read that right, I live in the Bay Area and I am NOT a Giants fan, it’s all about how you’re raised right?) Anyway, Spring indicates that baseball is back and whether you’re heading to Spring training in Florida or Arizona (which I’ve done many times), it means opening day is around the corner, and there is nothing more relaxing to me then sitting in the ballpark on a mild evening or a warm spring day and watching some good old baseball, drinking a beer and eating a hot dog.
  15. It’s wedding and baby season! I have to admit, this is the first year in a long time that I don’t have a wedding to attend this spring, but there’s plenty of babies being born! I guess that’s how it works, right? Weddings galore in your twenties, and then booth the babies start like 5-10 years later. Either way, it’s a reason to see friends and again, celebrate!

What are some of your favorite things about Spring? I’d love to read them!

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The Closet Challenge: Weekend Roundup-Weeks 11 & 12

Hi all! Again – a little behind here. Things have been crazy busy – both in work and in my personal life. I  had a lot of traveling both for work and pleasure last month which is shared on my Instagram – so if you aren’t already following Wishbonedreams definitely check it out. There you can see my daily outfits posts, as well as any travel I’ve been up to.

My brother got married on Saturday, September 30. I was in the wedding so as you can imagine that was quite a busy time as well. Below are the outfits from the last couple of weeks as well as some of my travels 🙂

Top photos are from my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding at Cerruti Cellars in Oakland, CA, Sqauw Valley Oktoberfest, the Madonna Inn and a selfie during a work roadshow in San Luis Obispo. Busy Busy!

Don’t mind the complete chaos of a mess in the background. On my major to-do list this week, now that I have a free weekend for the first time in 5 or 6 weeks! For the closet clutter part of this, I came across a couple of tops recently that I wore once, maybe twice at the most, probably a handful of years ago. Tried them on and immediately remembered why I never wear them. So, I caught myself hanging it back on the hanger and in the closet and thought to myself, what the heck am I doing? So, I took it off of the hanger, grabbed a bag and tossed it in the bag. I now have what I like to think of as an “active” donation bag. So, as I come across things that I don’t like to wear, don’t fit, or simply isn’t my style anymore, I can just toss it in the bag. So far, there are two blouses and two pairs of pants in the bag!

Anyway, I’m looking forward to a quieter October full of pumpkins spiced everything and hopefully cooler weather!

Happy decluttering!

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Why Are Some People Meant to Cross Your Path?

Why are some people meantto cross your path-Why do some people cross our paths? Especially the ones who are here for a fleeting moment and then really, you’ll probably never see them again? I realize that for some of our relationships we know EXACTLY why that person was part of our lives – especially romantic relationships, friendships etc., but I continually have people enter my life for a very, very short amount of time. I find that these encounters seem to leave the biggest impact.

I’ve always thought that it’s meant to teach me something, right? I must have needed this person to enter my life at that very moment, right? It’s hard to know right away; if ever at all. I have experienced this more than a few times. It’s usually when my guard is down, I’m either on vacation or out and about doing something – distracted and not thinking about normal life stuff. These people enter my life, create a connection that I can’t say I have with anyone else, and as quickly as they enter, they’re gone. Sure, there’s FB and IG to stay connected (which helps with the sudden sadness you feel once you say goodbye to that person), but it often takes time to recover from the interaction and connection you felt.

I love meeting good people. People who have amazing personalities, they’re smart, respectful, funny, and just have a genuinely kind heart. I get too caught up in the rat race that is my commute everyday (and where I happen to be writing these very words), to a city I’ve come to try to avoid if I’m not working, to a  job that I enjoy but I’m unsure whether it’s my absolute calling, and then BOOM someone walks in and kind of flips a switch. You see things a little differently, from a different perspective and you realize maybe this isn’t what it’s all supposed to be about?

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I usually meet these amazing people when I’m on vacation. I have less worry, I’m in a better head space, and I’m more open to receive the good and let people in. I’m more open to be myself, smile more (a big one for me as I have a tendency to look VERY serious a lot of the time), and I’m just generally open for someone to engage with me. It’s become the thing I love the most about traveling. These people I meet are meant to touch my life at that particular moment (for whatever reason that may be), and me for them.

The downside, and the thing I don’t like about it is how empty it makes me feel when I have to say goodbye. It can actually be very sad. It’s like having this happy ray of sunshine that made you feel so warm and happy covered by a rain cloud. You’re left with this feeling of desperation to capture it again, but a few days go by and you’re back to your normal days, friends, lives and you slowly forget what that felt like.  The only thing I can say about this is to try your hardest to remember how good that feeling “feels,” and when you aren’t feeling so great think back on how amazing that was. It helps, it really does.

I often grapple with the reality that it’s clear that person wasn’t supposed to be a large part of my life, but they somehow left the biggest impression on me. I used to think I was the only one who got emotionally attached to someone’s genuine spirit upon first meeting them – and this goes for both men and women. I’ve had amazing connections with people who I have maybe met once or twice in my life. It’s like they’re a part of me – it’s a strange feeling. Most recently, someone made me realize it doesn’t just happen to me. It was reciprocated this time, so it felt differently – and maybe it’s been reciprocated in the past and I just didn’t know it – regardless, it impacted me.

I’ve read things about soulmates and how someone can have more than one in their lifetime. I used to think that was a bunch of garbage, but the more I travel and meet people from different places and different walks of life, I realize that those people who touch me and impact me so significantly are probably part of those many soulmates we all have out there just waiting to make that connection with us. And soulmates are in the form of both men and women. I think often times we think of a “soulmate” as the person we are meant to be with romantically. I personally don’t think that is the case. I feel like I’m sounding too “gypsy soul” right now, but it keeps happening to me. People need to feel connected to feel loved and alive, and we don’t always get that in our day-to-day, so when you experience a new place, somewhere beautiful, and you experience it with someone who starts out as a total stranger only to connect and have a great conversation, it’s hard to not think that person was sent to you for a reason. I like to think these people are sent to me in order to help me remember that I still have the ability to connect on that level, and that I can still feel loved and alive.

I’ve had long lasting friendships from almost everywhere I have traveled: Hawaii, Mexico, Las Vegas, Arizona…you name it. With most of the folks I’ve met on vacation I’ve been able to stay connected, and even visit some of them! The connections with these people are very real, and they’re very different than some of the connections I have with my closest family and friends, and for that I’m grateful. I am also thankful that I have the opportunity to travel, to be open enough to meet these wonderful people, and to be aware enough of the impact it has on me as a person, my life, and my world.

I’m sure some of these wonderful people I have met are reading this blog entry right now, so I thank you for enriching my life and making it just a tad bit more enjoyable!

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The Blog Turns One!

Wishbone dreams

It’s been a year since I started my blog! It flew by so fast so I thought it would be fun to share some blogging highlights from the past year. WordPress has some fantastic built in metrics and numbers to track. One of my favorites is the map that highlights all of the countries where people have read your blog!

Blog stats map

My blog has been viewed in 25 different countries! I think that is probably the coolest part about this experience is the ability to touch people as far away as Bahrain!

Some other highlights are listed below:

Top 5 most viewed blog entries

  1. Italy Adventures: Rome Edition
  2. 10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me
  3. Italy Adventures: Florence Edition
  4. Italy Adventures: Venice & Pisa Edition
  5. Italy Adventures: Tuscany Edition

I have to say, the travel blog entries having the most visits doesn’t surprise me. When I first started exploring the idea of having a blog I kept reading that there is so much pressure to decide what your niche is. It actually stressed me out so much that I almost didn’t launch the blog, however the more I read the more I found that some bloggers start out with a particular topic or niche in mind, and end up evolving and changing. So, I decided I would just write about the fun things going on in my life and see where it goes from there. What I found is that my travel blog entries received the most feedback and the most views. Now, if only I could figure out how to travel more often so I can share my stories with all of you?!

The one blog entry, that is a close contender to the number one most viewed (and comes as a huge surprise to me), is the “10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me.” When I wrote that I was in a bit of a writing rut and thought that it could be fun to share, and maybe some people might be interested, but I had no idea it would receive so many views! The beauty of having these insights is the positive reinforcement of what I’m sharing with everyone. If you like it, then I’ll continue to share it!

Total number of views

My blog has been viewed a total number of 425 times! This kind of blows my mind. While I realize that some professional bloggers out there have millions of views, and this may seem like chump change, it actually warms my heart. I really thought maybe 50 people would read my blog, so I’m grateful for those who have taken the time to read it, and humbled by it as well.

This entry is a bit short and sweet, but what I really want to say is thank you to everyone who reads my stuff! Writing is a passion of mine – always has been – so to have the opportunity to write for people (and that you all actually READ it) is a dream come true for me. So, THANK YOU!

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