2017 So Far: The Year of Yes

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With almost a quarter of 2017 come and gone already, I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on what I’ve experienced so far. I didn’t really make new years resolutions this year, but the one thing I decided was to make an effort to embrace more situations that scare me and make more decisions that make me happy. I purposely made these goals very broad, to allow myself to explore what it is that scares me and makes me happy.

Graduating from the Bunny Slopes – In January, I went on a semi-spontaneous snowboarding trip. It was my second time snowboarding and I was nervous about falling and shortness of breath from the altitude…not far off from the fears I experienced the first time I went snowboarding. Last time, I may have only gone down the bunny slope a total of three times before knocking out in the warm and cozy lodge while the rest of the crew went up the mountain. This time, with some peer pressure…I mean a lot of encouragement from my friends, I embraced the fear of falling and actually allowed myself the opportunity to learn! It was a lot of fun an I’m glad I did it. I also learned new phrases like “Shredding the gnar today bro?” lol.

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Taking on Public Speaking – I did not get into the public relations field because of increased opportunities to speak in front of crowds. It has always been my least favorite part of the profession because I always imagined myself as the person “behind the scenes.” Which, for the most part, is my role. Most of my job is outreach program development, which does require plenty of interaction with people, but on an individual basis. In the past couple of months, I’ve started leading meetings with other departments and making presentations at board meetings on a regular basis. I still struggle with the nervousness, but with every presentation that I complete, I’ve  become a little more comfortable and confident in the way I present my reports. It also helps that I receive such helpful feedback from my colleagues.

Getting Back to My Creative Side – I’ve upped the activity in my DIY, writing and photography side of my brain. This is something that I neglected in 2016. Last year centered around establishing myself at my job, and with that came less trips to Michaels and JoAnns and more nights of unwinding with Netflix. Not saying I didn’t enjoy that, I just miss using my hands to create things! Now that I feel like I’m at a good place in my career, I’ve taken the past few months getting back into finding the time/place to express these creative urges…including maintaining this blog. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m trying! (I’m currently sitting at Barnes & Nobles on a Tuesday evening to force myself  to get this post written). See below for a few photos I captured on some random exploration days I had recently in Los Angeles.

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Saying Yes to Travel – I travelled to Seattle, Washington for the first time in March! Going into the year, I didn’t have any set travel plans, I just knew I wanted to go somewhere. As opportunities to travel come up, I’m making more of an effort to work it into my schedule. I’m a big fan of taking advantage of 3-day weekends and turning them into mini-vacations. I’m also a working adult now that accrues vacation days…so that’s a thing to consider. Luckily, my boss is also awesome and encourages me to take these mini-vacation opportunities. She’s all about making sure the team doesn’t “burn out” and I appreciate that. Anyways, I’m grateful that I was invited to join my friends’ trip to Seattle because it’s been the highlight of my year so far! I’ve had multiple people tell me that they could imagine me loving Seattle, and they weren’t wrong. The only thing that I didn’t enjoy so much was the biting wind chill D: Such cold. Much freeze. I took so many photos in the city, so here are a few for you to browse through:

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Running Past the Pain – Second 10K down. Much more exercise to go. I signed up for A Better World Running‘s Spring Equinox 10K on March 25th as a source of motivation to get back into running. The training process was….hit and miss. I started training 6 weeks out (when I should’ve started 8 weeks out) and on the week prior to the race, I travelled to Seattle and spent that week prepping for the trip and not running. Surprisingly though, I had the best race experience I’ve had to date! Out of the 3 races I’ve done (10K, half marathon, then this 10K), I ran the furthest without stopping, I experienced my runner’s high at 3.5 miles which lasted to the end, I stopped feeling the pain in my shin and ankles at 4 miles, and it was great! We’ll see if 2017 brings another medal to the collection…I’m debating on signing up for another 10K this year.

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And…that’s been some of the highlights of my year thus far. I’m looking forward to doing more scary and exciting things and documenting them here 🙂 I hope you all are have had a productive first quarter of 2017 ❤ Let me know how your goals have been shaping up this year!

Sincerely,

Mez ❤

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Art & Craft with Me(z): Sea Shell Bowl Decor

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Hello friends! So I have decided to try my hand at a few DO-IT-YOURSELF projects this season, since summer is one of the best times to take up a hobby. I have always had a therapeutic relationship with arts and crafts. I used to create all sorts of  things: from tissue paper flowers, paintings, cards, frames and so much more. I was the type to tug on my mom’s sleeve asking her to buy me all kinds of arts and crafts books from Jo-Ann’s and Michael’s. I can still spend more than an hour in either of these stores just making my way through the aisles. I haven’t had much time these past couple of years to get back into crafting, so I’m grateful to have this summer to take a stab at it again. So, I thought I would start with something ridiculously simple. I present to you my sea shell bowl filled with sea shells and rocks! Ta-da!

Quick disclaimer: I’m no expert in any kind of craft in particular, I just enjoy doing them! So hopefully you enjoy delving into this creative realm with me 🙂

With that said, welcome to the first Art & Craft with Mez!

Childhood meets adulthood

One of my main projects this summer was to repaint and re-vamp my childhood bedroom. It originally had oh-so-very-bright two-toned purple walls that may have suit sixth-grade me, but 22-year-old me was beyond over it. So, with the repainting came rearranging and with rearranging came inspiration to decorate the space with bits and bobs that paid homage to my childhood memories while illustrating the type of person that I am now.

My inspiration for this extremely simple home decor craft began with the bowl. I recently moved out of my house in San Diego and came across this shell-shaped glass bowl that one of my roommates left behind. I am hoping that it was okay for me to take because if I remember correctly, anything that was left behind was free for the taking. SO SORRY IF I ISN’T ❤

Throughout my childhood, I collected rocks and sea shells from various camping trips, road trips and even everyday-California trips to the beach. I remember my mom designating a box to collect all these items because I would have random plastic bags full of rocks and shells scattered through out the house. Ever since then, the box remained in the same spot in the backyard and I would open it from time-to-time to place new additions to the box for safekeeping.

It was this summer that I decided to take the box from it’s hallowed place in the backyard and bring it into my newly re-vamped bedroom to finally utilize at least part of this childhood collection. It actually took me some time to coordinate the arrangement to the way it looks in the picture above. It probably goes unnoticed, as I expect it would, but it took me a while to coordinate everything to the angle I felt looked best. (OCD much? Yes, I know D:)

I knew that one day in the future I would be able to display this collection, I just didn’t know when. It was surprisingly fulfilling to create this simple piece 🙂

Making it mean something

Yes, this is just a plain-old bowl full of rocks and shells, but I think is the unique part of this craft is that it means something to me. It’s not just a cute desk accessory, but an ode to my childhood with a flair of my young-adulthood. HOWEVER, if you choose to take on this craft, your interpretation definitely does not need to be any kind of deep. Feel free to make it a plain-old bowl holding random, interesting pieces that suit your interests! So please, make it your own!

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Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this type of blog post because I plan on creating more Art & Craft with Mez‘s in the near future! Now that I have a new space in San Diego to decorate I’m sure there will be more inspiration 🙂 If you decide to re-create this craft, tweet me a picture! I definitely want to see what comes forth from your creative minds! (@mezthepez)

Peace, love and crafts,

Mez ❤