Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Shabby Apple Giveaway!

     Hey everyone, before I announce something really awesome, I just want to thank you all for your sweet comments and words of encouragement on Monday's post. Getting rejected is never fun, but if you did well at everything, life wouldn't seem as rewarding, just like having Christmas everyday would take away from its significance.
    Now, onto something great. You can't have Christmas everyday, nor would you want to (right?), but one lucky winner of a $75 gift card will get to feel like it's Christmas in March and the rest of you get to feel rejected like me...haha. No, no, I'm kidding, the rest of you will get 10% off your purchase all month and you will want to use it! Have you seen their new Ferris Wheel line? It makes me want to go to the fair right now! These are some of the looks I like (and Scott helped me pick them, so they're things a guy likes too).
Neap Tide // The Red Queen // Lemon Drop Skirt

What are your favorites?
10% off code: themermaidchronicles10off 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 25, 2013

On Rejection

A lot of times I write about the things that work out for me as I follow my dream to be a writer and surfer: becoming a new ambassador for Daphne's restaurant, getting Roxy clothes in the mail, being published in magazines. But following my dream isn't always comprised of these feel good moments born from success. Sometimes my work gets left out of magazines it was supposed to be in or I enter a contest to win a surf trip and ask everyone I know on the Internet to vote for me only to get left out of the second round. Other times, this time to be specific, I work on a film for almost two years and then submit it to a surf film festival I participated in last year only to be told it wasn't selected. 

This recent rejection led me to create a label for it on my blog to categorize all the posts I've written on the subject. This label is useful, not just to document the inevitable "downs" that go along with the pursuit of this dream, but because this will happen again. It's bound to, because I am destined to put myself out there again. It's part of who I am and this practice always comes with the appropriate amount of disappointment. 

And when it happens, I cry (I always cry). And then these setbacks stay in the front of my mind for weeks. Sometimes I'm mad when I think about them, sometimes I'm confused, and other times I feel like an outright failure. My mom told me after this most recent rejection that "The only real failure isn't trying". And when she told me that, I said, "That's just what losers say" with real sincerity, even though I know she's right. 

After this brooding phase passes, the defeat moves to the back of my mind where it remains for a year or two or more until I'm done using it as fuel to propel me. Fuel, because I certainly don't keep it there so I can dwell on disappointment or feel sorry for myself (only occasionally). I know life isn't long enough for that kind of melancholia. This is the path I've chosen and I have to be strong enough to deal with the inevitable obstacles it leads me to.

I use these setbacks to help provoke my next move, whatever that may be; another article, better and more refined than the last, a different movie, with a more imaginative plot than before. Because what else do you do? Give up? I'm not going to do that. Nothing, in pursuit of this dream, could be more depressing than giving up.

What are your experiences with defeat? How do you deal with it? How do you move on?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thankful Things

     I've been thinking a lot about Monday's post, the paths we all choose and how we know if we're on the right one. Do you feel you are? I'll be back with more thoughts on this subject next week. Until then, all I can say is if you're a big bird in a small cage, sing your song, but then break free and fly away...
my new path and the people who made it possible for me to find it
beach games
my sister in law Kree
cuz she's my friend
Sunset sessions. always. ~"Red sky at morning, surfers take warning. Red sky at night, surfer's delight."
a job I truly enjoy (that allows me to play with Legos!)
for handwritten notes and these lovely cards from Jes at Matsumoto Studio
for homemade games and tv-free time together
for the freedom that came after quitting my job and following my heart
What are you thankful for this week? I hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Citrus Slaw Salad

I mentioned Monday that I hate the word slaw, but that doesn't mean I don't love eating it. This is the recipe that my mom made for dinner on Friday. It's a Rachel Ray recipe with a few modifications (Hello! Soy sauce! My favorite!). It was so delicious, I had to share it here. We ate it with brown rice with jalapeño almonds and barbecued tofu marinated with lime, honey, cilantro, cumin, soy sauce and olive oil (see this chicken marinade for exact measurements). With snow surrounding many of you, I'm hoping this recipe will be the perfect bite of summer to warm you up. 

Servings: 4


1 head of cabbage, chopped/shredded 
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 carrot, grated
4 scallions, chopped (greens and whites)
1/2 cup of cilantro
roasted sesame seeds to taste

2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons of honey (or agave)
3 tablespoons (a couple of glugs) olive oil
1 tablespoon of soy sauce

Combine vegetables in a bowl. In another small bowl, whisk lime juice and honey, and drizzle in oil to combine dressing. Pour dressing over slaw and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Make it! I know you're gonna love it!

p.s. this guide to barbecuing tofu

Monday, February 18, 2013

As It Is

brown rice with jalapeño-lime almonds, citrus-sesame slaw and barbecued tofu (which you can't quite see)
     Isn't it weird how we're all born in different places and then raised, in a sense, and shaped by them? What if I hadn't been born by the sea? Would I feel some inexplicable yearning for it? For its saltiness and the way it humbles me? For the way it cradles me and teaches me about life? Or would I find something else that would satisfy the same desires? "Maybe rock climbing", I think on this cool Sunday evening (although, I'm not convinced). 

     Scott sits about five feet from me on the couch reading Treasure Island and the back door is slightly cracked, allowing the quickly cooling afternoon breeze to sneak into our house and blow the linen curtains in a way that makes them seem alive. 

      I'm sitting adjacent to him in our big green arm chair writing in my journal and wondering about life. We limited our TV watching for Lent and my mind feels freed from that habit I am realizing now is rather constricting. 

     Scott had a four day weekend and seeing as I work from home on Fridays, I decided to give myself the day off. We surfed and swam in the ocean for what felt like the last two days. 

     I surfed my favorite spot with my dad and Kevin who nearly never paddle out there even though it's only 100 yards from their usual spot. Scott bodysurfed since his back has been bothering him. He also snapped a few pictures of us as we rode past. It felt very relaxing to be out there. Being swayed by the sea feels more natural to me sometimes than walking on land. 

     Writing about the ocean makes me feel like a fool sometimes, though, so I won't go on and on. I still do it (obviously), but I often convince myself that it is one of those things that is so incomprehensible that you should just leave it to speak for itself and give up trying to label it. But I do have to say that, that big blue salty thing makes me feel the joys and sorrows in life all at once; how beautiful it is to be married and how devastating it is that my cousin has cancer. The ocean makes me intensely aware of life. I know Scott feels the same way even though he doesn't feel the need to gush about it as regularly as I do. 

     Sitting in our living room now, I think back on those sessions we had with friends and family and the meals we shared together the past few days. On Friday night, my mom made a delicious slaw. The word slaw doesn't seem to do it justice because that word reminds me of pig food, but trust me, it was good! My dad and Scott barbecued chicken for everyone else and tofu for me. Sometimes imagining myself as high-maintenance makes me laugh and sometimes it makes me cringe, but my family loves me and they barbecue my tofu without a fuss. Kevin even convinced my dad to try a piece of tofu, and for once he didn't wince. Progress, I conclude. 

     I try to cement these memories in my mind, even though these days are simple and recurring, because they seem to be the ones that teach me most about who I am. I look forward to the day when my younger sisters return home from the east coast and Scott's family comes to town so we can all make these memories together. 

     I'm writing this down in my journal as Scott gets up to go change before we head over to dinner at "Uncle" Kevin's house. "Ten minutes until 5" he says as he walks past and squeezes my shoulder. 

    All I can think to write down now is that we're meant to encounter the things we do. We are born to certain people, in certain places for a reason. We can't know what's coming or exactly why things happen, but we have to make our way and find love. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

How to Prepare for a Winter Surf

1    patch your winter reef wounds
2    stand in front of the heater in your underwear
3    drink something hot
4    stand in front of the heater some more, this time in your wetsuit
5    warm your hands
6    run, don't walk 
7    surf, don't sit

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I Almost Ran This Guy Over

     I almost ran this guy over. His feet, at least. Are you amused or horrified? I kinda laughed when I saw the pictures, but I could because I knew he was fine and it was just a close call. Honestly, I think most guys see a girl surfer out in the lineup and don't expect much. I'm just teaching them to hustle a little more when I'm coming, ya know? 

Do you ever feel like you need to prove yourself? 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sea Shells

     I try not to keep too many sea shells. I think they belong to the sea. But every so often on a warm day in the winter when the tide is low, I find a few that have been left behind for me and bring them home for a while. They sit on window sills and dressers in our house until they cry for the sea again. Then I return them to their rightful home. This weekend while my sisters were building snowmen on the East Coast (or rather, beer pong tables out of snow drifts), the sun was hanging out over on the West Coast. I'm not bragging. Honestly, I kind of wanted to be building a snowman (or a snow beer pong table) this weekend, but it wasn't in the cards, so I went searching for sea shells instead (I know you feel so bad for me). Scott came too and shot some of these pictures of me wearing this dress from Lulus. The thing I like most about the dress is how it has unexpected bright colors intertwined with earth tones; that's what I like about sea shells too. 

Dress c/o Lulu' 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Little Things: at Home


 So, I've decided to make "Little Things" a series along with Thankful Things. Hope you don't mind. It won't be weekly, but after doing this once in Hawaii I realized how much I enjoyed documenting all of the little things that make me smile. Hope you enjoy them too.