I just spent a string of days at a rented beach house on the Sonoma Coast with a small group of strong, independent, honest, whip-smart women. You can read more about our weekend on my friend's blog by clicking here. What I took away from the weekend was the effortless, natural ability we had to share. Like, share what we loved - whether it was food, books, podcasts, art supplies, or favorite movies. I'm going to link to a few of the things below that we shared and hope you find some inspiration in them, too.
PEN + PAPER
So, let's start the sharing. We doodled and drew over the course of the weekend and this is my favorite size micron pen for drawing, hands-down. For business cards, I love the quality, design & easy personalization of this company. Angi created a very cool set of calling cards over the weekend and I can't wait to see how they turned out. And, after sharing mine, the Chatbooks Instagram book series were ordered by everyone! Use the code LUVMOM when checking out and get your first book free. We also passed around this gorgeous little book and referred to the untranslatable words in our art and Instagram feeds over the weekend.
Elke brought all of us the new Mamalode magazine with the theme Better Together. Perfect timing. Jumping off the pages were the words of Instagram friends, Jess and Maggie, as well as images from the super talented Sara Parsons. Grab a copy of this magazine in print or online here. Angi introduced all of us to the Waterlogue app (which is genius!) and she modeled how to get shit done while being present in our conversations (i.e. - writing, checking in with work & being virtually present for her son's junior prom). She has a black-belt in multi-tasking. I introduced the group to The Beyoncélogues and we simultaneously laughed and admired Beyoncé's fierce lyrics (and moves). Have you watched? You should. Elizabeth Gilbert's recent karaoke rendition of Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart had us cheering her on from the cozy breakfast nook. We also spent part of an afternoon watching the 1983 classic, Flashdance, and couldn't get Irene Cara's iconic anthem out of our minds. Oh! And one of us hurt her neck while busting a move to Michael Sembello's Maniac, but I'm not gonna name names. Just know that we had a good ab workout due to all of our laughing and cavorting on the seagrass-covered makeshift dance floor. What a feeling, indeed.
The group also tried to teach me how to use emojis, but my iOS system is too old (or maybe I am?), as well as how to take a screen shot with my phone. Yes, I'm that lame. Emojis 0 - Screen Shots 1.
FOOD & DRINK
Half of our girl equation didn't drink, so we mixed-up plenty of Trader Joe's coconut water with aloe vera & garnished it with fresh, California Meyer lemons. The other half enjoyed the Jules Melange red table wine by winemaker Julianna Corley. The bottle's back label described a Melange as a distinctive and delightful blend of seemingly inharmonious elements. I guess that could sum up our little girl gathering, too, but I'd also add that know how to dance really well, enjoy afternoon siestas and leaves no lingering PTSD after a long weekend together. I had made reservations for a sunset dinner at my friend's restaurant River's End (seven miles north of Bodega Bay). Unfortunately, we were cloaked in fog up and down the coast and we missed an imagined epic sunset, but the fine dining delivered and we ended the meal with the most delicious chocolate ganache creme brûlée. We were the last patrons to leave the warm glow of the dining room; sated from the food, wine and meandering table talk.
On the way out to the coast, I introduced two of the gals to my favorite thrift shop for clothing (aka - home of the $2 sweater). Elke left with four sweaters and Angi scored a vintage rhinestone bracelet. Oddly enough, I left empty-handed. We also picked up four necklaces with compass pendants that seemed a fitting talisman for the weekend gathering.
Michelle showed us all how to capture the beauty of a sunset with her double-fisted camera antics, as well as the architecture of our rental home. She modeled calmness and shared her recent personal experience with a Los Angeles-based psychic medium. That was the icing on the sharing-cake, for sure.
Gathered round a large table, we also shared space and many truths. Somehow it felt safer to share deep dark secrets with these ladies; some so sacred that we'd barely admitted them to ourselves. While our hands were kept busy with drawing and painting, unedited stories spilled from us without worry or judgment. I can easily say that this modern, angular rental home nestled alongside Highway One was a safe haven, of sorts, and we felt cocooned within its walls.
All four of us met last year at a writing retreat on the picturesque Orcas Island and shared a cabin called Cypress. Coincidentally, just outside our rental this weekend was a beautiful, wind-shaped Cypress tree. A symbol of strength and adaptability, with its wind-blown branches and rugged stance.
The list-making has already begun for next year's Cypress reunion - we must remember to pack house slippers, buy way more popcorn and watch Say Anything & Flashdance, again.
Hopefully, no one will get hurt.