Category Archives: Life

Adopting Coco Pop

Well I didn’t intend to take a 2+ month hiatus from blogging. In fact, it was a New Year’s goal to blog more!

But if you follow me on social media, then you already know that I made a rather significant life change in mid-January when I adopted this little one from the Humane Society of Silicon Valley:


Some people were shocked that I, a never-owned-a-pet-before person decided to adopt a dog.

I have actually wanted a dog for years and came thisclose to buying this puppy last October:


But the timing wasn’t right and it didn’t feel right to be buying a dog from a breeder (although she was a good breeder).

I shelved the idea of getting a dog but about a month or so later I met my property manager’s dogs and loved them. He told me he got them from the Humane Society of Silicon Valley and from then on I started visiting their web site daily casually perusing available dogs.

A few weeks later my cousin Lauren adopted Oliver, a 4-yr old Kelpie in Oregon.


At Christmas we had Chip, Oliver, and another aunt’s two pugs. Being around all those doggies refueled my desire to adopt one for myself.

I researched other rescue organizations but really liked what HSSV does for dogs.

Coco Pop

I intended to get a dog that was at least a year or two old – that was my initial goal.

Then, on the first Saturday afternoon of the New Year I pulled up HSSV’s web site and low and behold this puppy appeared:


I was immediately smitten. The look in her eyes and the expression on her face just drew me in.

I called them and they were surprised that she was on the web site. She was mistakenly posted prematurely and wasn’t yet ready for adoption. They removed her from the web site, but now that I knew she was there, I called them constantly to ask about her.

A week later I dragged my friend Belina with me down to HSSV to see her in person. As soon as I saw her I wanted her even more.

They didn’t offer pre-adoption, but Belina pressured them and they finally had me meet with an adoption counselor, go through the interview process, and then they listed me as first on a “pre-notification” list to call when she finally was ready for adoption.

Four days later, on Wed, Jan 15th, I got the call that she was finally ready. And I was told that she had a long list of people who wanted her so if I wanted her I had to come right then; I had just a few hours window to get her.

I literally dropped everything, canceled the rest of my meetings for the day and went and got her. I had nothing and my house was not puppy-proofed but they had a store at the humane society where I could pick up the basic necessities.

Not gonna lie – the first two weeks with her were hell. She was only 10 weeks old, and I had never owned a pet, let alone a puppy before. I had no idea what I was doing.

We dealt with house training, separation anxiety, pre-vaccinated confinement and all the other typical things puppies go through. I had a trainer come over to work with the both of us, which was a HUGE help. I don’t think I would have made it without those three hours she spent with us – they made all the difference.

Since then Coco’s completed her first Puppy Manners course, received her all her vaccinations and has more or less gotten the hang of house training.

We are now in a weekly Obedience class, go on 3-4 walks a day and I’ve been able to leave her home for up to three hours so far. She goes to doggie day care and sometimes is boarded overnight with the dog walker/sitter.

She is so much fun and I’m so glad I have her.

To say it’s been a major life change has been an understatement. But it’s all good – because of her I now know so many neighbors that I hadn’t spoken to in seven years of living here and have reconnected with friends who are also pet owners who I hadn’t spoken to at all.

And ironically, now that I have to stick to the schedule I put her on, I am so much more productive with my time and my house is cleaner than it’s ever been. Life has settled down and I now have a new “normal.”

So if you’re still reading, thanks for sticking around – I’m hoping to return to blogging on a more regular basis (at least more often than once every two months!).

PS I don’t intend to make this a doggy blog, but I am now so curious as to how people with dogs raise them – it’s opened a whole new world for me. So I set up a Tumblr for Coco, for those who are interested. And if you have a doggie blog, or are a dog owner and have any tips, please feel free to reach out and share!

New Year, New Look

Having an online presence has become a norm in how we connect and communicate with others, making our web sites and online profiles our “first impressions.”

It was a little over a year ago that I took the Girls Guide to Web Design course. It exposed me to just how much work and attention to detail is involved in creating a web site. It’s not easy! These days whenever I come across a web site, I find myself analyzing how its organized and built. It’s made me develop a deep appreciation and admiration for those who do this professionally.

One of the designers I’ve followed for a while is Blair. I first came across her work when she redesigned Chic Runner. I really liked the colors and simplicity of her new look. Shortly thereafter, Blair also redesigned Twentysix and Thensome. Again, I loved the colors, as well as the use of fonts and how the content was organized to display.

I continued to follow Blair’s work and admired all of the web sites she quickly added to her portfolio. I also added her personal blog to my Feedly which has become one of my favorite blogs to read. I am so impressed with how creatively talented she is. I knew that when I was ready to give my blog a new look she was the designer that I wanted to work with.

I’ve felt a shift in my mindset that has put me on a new (to me) path of personal development. My horizons are being broadened and my views on certain things are being reframed. While I still love my old interests, I’m also discovering new ones that I know I’ll want to write about here. I felt it was time to give this old site a new look.

So when Blair starting taking on new projects, I added myself to her queue. We started working on a new look for my site last November and completed it in December.


I am so pleased with this new design! It looks clean, organized and nicely incorporates all of the elements and widgets that I wanted included.

And Blair was so easy to work with! I’m not the best when it comes to explaining my “vision” of things, but after providing just a few examples/samples, she created a site that I love!

I find that having my own web site is empowering. It’s my own personal “playground” that provides me, an introvert by nature, a way to express myself.

Thanks Blair for bringing my vision to life!

P.S. To go along with my new blog design I decided to try something new and created a Facebook page for this blog. I’ll be posting links to posts there, as well as other articles, videos and readings that I find of interest and think you might too. Feel free to join my community there too!

The First Page of A New Year

A Blank Page on A New Year | The Tao of Me source

About this time last year I read this tweet that someone posted:

“Fill your heart with hope and believe in yourself.”

I loved it so much that I adopted it as my personal “theme” for the year. It helped me to make 2013 the first year that I stayed mindful of my goals for the entire year.

And while I did set a handful of goals to complete over the course of the year, I think the key to last year’s success was that I also set short-term goals each month that were achievable within those 30-days. Doing so helped me to convert some of those goals into daily habits.

For this year, I’ve chosen my personal theme to be:

“Finding happiness and balance through good health.”

It’s modified from a quote I read in People magazine (proof that inspiration can come from anywhere!).

This year my goals are:

Personal Growth
Start a garden
Take a photography class
Take a sewing class (carryover from last year)
Adopt a dog

Complete the Whole 30 program
Recover from Adrenal Fatigue and restore my digestive system

Try to do TRX Burpees
Learn to ride my road bike (carryover from last year)

PR a distance
Be well enough to train for and complete a marathon


My 30-day goals for January are:

Build Core Strength

I really need to get back into the habit of core work, especially with me taking a break from long distance running right now, and my trainer on vacation.

So my plan for achieving this goal is to complete a 30-day Plank challenge (found on Instagram), and take some barre classes (thanks for the suggestion, Jo!). I’ve already signed up for a 30-day introductory special at The Bar Method and have my first class tomorrow! It’s the first time in ten years that I’ll be a “January Joiner” somewhere :)

Complete the Whole 30 Program

I’ll elaborate more on the Whole 30 Program in a post of its own, but I’m starting it today with the full endorsement from my doctor. I’ve read some incredible stories of healing from people who have completed it, and I’ve already enlisted a few family members to join me. Given that I’ve been grain-free since the end of November, I don’t anticipate this being too much of a change — just a few new modifications.

Grow My Gratitude Practice

The Grace and Gratitude workshop I participated in last month was an incredibly positive experience in personal growth. It’s begun to change my thinking and reframe the way I look at things. And while the workshop ended last month, I still want to continue to grow my gratitude practice. At the end of every day I sit down and recap my day in my Moleskin journal. I’ve begun to add a few lines noting what I was grateful for that day.

500 Words A Day

Last month I started to try writing 1000 words a day. I even downloaded an app that counts the number of words as you type. And you know what I found? That writing that many words is really hard thing to do. It’s even more daunting when you try to do it every single day. But those few days that I did write felt more complete. So naturally, I want to do it more often.

But 1000 words is a reach for me so I scaled back and managed my self-expectations. Instead of 1000 words, I am going to attempt to write 500 words every day this month.

This is the one goal that I am most nervous about actually being able to achieve so I was delighted to
read that one of my favorite writers, Jeff Goins issued a 500 Word a Day challenge. And he’s even going to provide daily prompts!

I’m also hopeful that this practice will lead to more blogging because I know I’ve been slacking here.

Read A Book

If you only knew how many unread books I have on my Kindle just waiting to be read…


I’ve given each of these goals a lot of thought over the course of the past six weeks. They weren’t randomly selected. They were chosen because they are things that I genuinely want to experience for my own personal growth and satisfaction.

Throughout the year I’ll blog honestly about how I’m doing with each of these goals.

Have you set any goals for yourself for this New Year? If so, please share – I’d love to read about them!