November 16, 2016

Who I am

I’m a Christian in a beer industry. A woman in a man’s business. I’m a female Christian facing the 2016 election. I’m a naturalized citizen in a divided America.

Talk about a whirlwind.

To clear the air, nobody forced me to work in the alcohol industry. It was a choice I made, and one I am thoroughly enjoying loving. And there are plenty of females in the hospitality industry. That’s not what I mean. But between owners, distributors and wholesalers – the meeting room is always packed with males. Males who know a lot about beer and whose job it is to sell beer. And I’m a female Christian managing a brewery brand.

As for the election, that was a double whammy as it was a hard enough choice for a female Christian, but even more so for a former lobbyist. Anyone who couldn’t see flaws in both candidates needs to get their head examined. Really. The presidential election was a decision based on the lesser of two evils. Personally, I’m a fiscal conservative who believes in small government, but as a Christian I couldn’t vote for Trump. I’m a strong woman who trusts a female will be president one day, but I couldn’t vote for Clinton. I’m a former lobbyist who is in awe of how we got to these two choices in the first place.

Yet through all the conflicts & challenges & differences, these things remain;
who I am, how I treat others, my faith and my convictions, and appreciation for this country.

Do I think Christians can’t sell beer? No.

If I am truly aiming to live like Christ, I will not stay in a comfortable bubble with only like-minded people. I can love others, listen, and pray. I don’t hide my faith but I also won’t bible thump. I am not the one to judge. I work for a company that is honest, authentic, community oriented and philanthropic, and makes quality beer. Choices I have to make every day for my job are made a lot easier because I know who I am through Christ.

Do I think males run the world? No.

I don’t care if you’re male, female, black, white, purple or homosexual – you can set yourself up for success in whatever you want to do. Believe in yourself. Don’t stop when someone challenges you, questions you, turns you down or stalls you. Continue to treat them as you would want to be treated. Give yourself the necessary tools, education, experience, and patience to get there. You run your own world, every day. Women have strengths and men have strengths; we all have strengths. They are all needed, warranted and valuable. I’ve had a lot of support, wisdom, and help from others to get where I am, but I first had to believe in myself.

Do I think America is doomed? No. be-sure-you-put-your-feet-in-the-right-place

Wake up, America. The fact that you’re allowed a peaceful protest because you don’t like the legitimate vote of a majority of your fellow Americans should be enough to make you grateful. I didn’t vote for the guy either, but I understand that he is now president-elect and made so by people whose voices matter just as much as mine does. Besides, the presidential office is one of MANY positions I was able to vote for. My daily life is much more impacted by local and state elected officials. My daily life is even more impacted by how I decide to treat and love others. My America is not doomed because I won’t contribute to its fall; I won’t subject myself to what divides us but rather what embraces us.

‘Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.’ – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Many of you will disagree with a lot of this post, which is certainly allowed. I hope you remember this is simply just one opinion of many fellow humans.

That, and remember to just, love life.


*Views are of mine alone

October 3, 2016

practicing peace

How do you know when something is the right thing to do? I’m not talking morally right; I mean that gut feeling, faith stepping, this is the right move for you even if it’s hard kind of right. When you have to make a decision but no one around you; not even your closest & truest friends or most loving family could tell you what to do. The kind of decision that has to come from you and it has to sit well in your heart. I believe we can teach ourselves to how to make these right decisions. It’s something I realized how to do a few years ago and have been practicing to improve ever since.

It starts with inner acknowledgement. It’s typically the hardest step of the process but without a doubt the most important. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but that doesn’t apply when you are unhappy or blindly content. Are you self-aware? Are you happy? Are you being the best version of yourself possible? If you are; take note and give thanks. If you’re not; dig a step further and identify exactly what is keeping you from happiness.

Second comes 3D understanding. Take the time to really think, pray and evaluate your situation from different angles and a 360 degree view. Remember that your choices impact others. Remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Remember that giving up and needing a change are two different things. Remember that you aren’t fully able to love others until you love yourself. Remember that sometimes a decision could mean temporary pain for permanent peace.

That brings me to my favorite step and one that took me the longest to identify; recognizing peace. If starting something new, letting something go, or holding on to something tight is the right thing for you; you’ll know because you will feel inner peace. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Deliberate peace starts in your heart, then travels to your head, and takes over your soul. Peace feels calm. Recognize the feeling of stability, steadfastness, gratitude, and grace. While you may still have some pain, the right thing for you should bring you a heart full of hope. If it doesn’t bring you peace, it’s probably not for you.

img_1893 As a Christian, I believe in the power of prayer and in the significance of asking God to guide us. I can’t stress this enough. It might not be your jam, but still hear this: you’ll know when something is right for you if it does no harm to others, if it is Good, and if it brings you peace.

In the last few years, I’ve made some big decisions on this basis. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and certainly have a lot more to learn – but I truly believe my BIG life changing moments in the last three years have come to be because of yearning for inner peace & to become the best me that I can be.

All it takes is some patience, some practice, and some prayer.

Oh … and to always remember to just, love life.


June 17, 2016

Do Not Help Out evil.

I am a pretty brave person. I’m not a frantic germaphobe, one to think the world is coming to an end or that everything causes cancer. Do I get stressed? Yes. Do I typically worry? No.

But recently I haven’t been able to shake the feeling of distress and disgust with this world, its horrific events, and the even more despicable response from humanity.

Please hear this and truly understand it:

Evil wins when our response is fear. Evil wins when our response is blame. Evil wins when our response is criticism.

I don’t care what your stance is on guns, gun control, gun types, or gun definitions. It really doesn’t matter what your opinion is on parenting and zoos or Disney World beaches. It makes zero difference if you’re white, red, black, purple, gay, tall, short, a pop star, a politician, a student, blind or a genius. We are all humans.

Evil wants us to point fingers, categorize people, be afraid to travel, or feel like there isn’t a way to stop bad events. It wants friction, anxiety, and selfishness. Do not help out evil by creating any more differences between us, do not spread angst, your opinion on how you could have done it better, or blame anything but evil for the terrible happenings in our world. The only way to make things better is to respond ONLY with love. Even if you disagree with your neighbor or Facebook friend about their desire to ban guns.


Without responding with love, truly love, we will fail. Do not claim ‘one love’, equality and peace but then turn around and condemn others. Please rather respond with uplifting posts, donating blood or money, kind words, but MOSTLY with prayers. Prayers for victims, prayers for healing, prayers for less judgement and for more love.

Recognize when you are actually spreading evil in these small ways. Actions speak louder than words, EXCEPT FOR PRAYERS. Please help me in choosing to ONLY spread kind words, love, and to pray. And as always, please remember to just, love life.


May 31, 2016

Dear Chianne-Francisco,

Remember when I promised myself that I would still write every day, publish every other week, explore all the time and travel every month?  I never wanted the dreamer in me to die and I always saw myself wanting new adventures every chance I got. It turns out I was wrong. But please don’t be so hard on me.

It’s strange to believe that already two years and eight months have gone by since my move back to Arizona. In that time, some big things have changed in my life: I’ve continued my career to new heights, bought a house and a puppy and I have fallen in love. These are all pretty big things. Pretty really great things.

This past weekend I went back to San Francisco to visit my old stomping grounds and to remember the feeling of being alive, inspired and open minded. Within minutIMG_3253[1]es of being in the city, the excitement and love for places sparked. As I walked, memories would abrupt from every street. Certain coffee shops that used to start or end my day were still there. I passed parks, restaurants, rooftops and stadiums that once took up hours upon hours of my time and accounted for so much of my happiness with friends. The bench at the Palace of Fine Arts, the Golden Gate Bridge, AT&T Park, Marina Green, the Presidio, Ferry Building, Black Heart Tattoo, Epic Church, Yerba Buena, and City Hall are places forever etched on my heart.

The truth is, my current day to day in Arizona is not near as theatrical, jaw dropping, or even exciting. Places and people are more spread out. Weekends are made for fun, not necessarily for during the week. Bedtimes come faster and relaxing is key. I thought I would write every day, but I now know not writing every day doesn’t mean I’m not inspired daily. It certainly doesn’t mean I’m any less happy. I thought I would travel every month but that was before I realized how much I loved my life at home. I thought moving back might mean mundane, but I now know that anything in life can be mundane unless you value it.

San Francisco taught me how to be inspired, appreciate, explore, dream, and love people. My time there brought me closer to God and taught me how to better face challenges. Living in that city was a season in my life that I will always cherish but the main thing I hope to never forget; is the person I can be now no matter where I live, how much I write, how many places I travel, or how many new adventures I take.

I love my new journey filled with new places, hikes, restaurants, spring training, garden and house upgrades, puppy training, boyfriend and family time, pools and sunshine.

Life is nothing but a series of seasons. This letter to me is to remind myself to always appreciate the new seasons. The part of you from previous chapters is always here, and future you can’t wait for you to catch up. The old you turned the now you into a person today who appreciates and longs for different types of happiness. How special is that.

You’re right where you’re supposed to be. Just remember to just, love life.


April 1, 2016

Top Ten Reasons why AZ’s Spring Training is the Best Time of Year

If you know me well, or at least well enough to be social media friends, then you know that I love spring training. Aside from being a SF Giants fan (#WeAreGiant), living within two miles from Scottsdale Stadium, running into Hunter Pence on his way into Herb Box, and loving that the bars in Old Town transform into orange-and-black mania … I really do love all of spring training and believe that even NON-Giants fans should too.

Here are the TOP TEN reasons why Arizona’s Spring Training is the BEST TIME OF YEAR:

10. The unique and intimate stadiums. Each stadium has such a distinctive look and feel, and it is a great way for each city to highlight their culture.

9. The weather. Spring in Arizona is amazing. No explanation needed. Come all ‘yee snowbirds!

8. The fact that it’s low key. Each game really feels like you’re watching a good ‘ole blast of America’s past time.

7.  The fans. Everyone is in a good mood, happy, laughing, drinking (!) and enjoying themselves. Families, Tinder dates, Bachelorette parties, die-hards, or just your normal group of friends – we all make for great people watching.

6. The grass and the sun. Let’s just admit it: sitting in the lawn is where it’s at. Just put your butt down on that green grass, soak up some sun, watch kids (or adults) roll down the hill, or walk around the stadium for entertainment.

5. The excuse to take a day off work. Plenty of folks use spring training as a week-long or month-long (!) time away from real life. Bring your clients, co-workers or just straight up play hooky.

4.  The teams. Everyone comes dressed sporting in their favorite team’s gear, no matter which teams are actually playing that day. I particularly love that Scottsdale overnight turns into the replica of San Francisco in October of 2010, 2012, 2014, and soon to be 2016 (!).

3. The fact that you can see, smell, and touch (!) the players. Grab some autographs, take a selfie, or smell the bullpen when you walk to grab a beer. It’s magical.

2. The game. Baseball is good for the soul.

1. The harmony. Spring training is something we can ALL love. March Madness brings out the worst in people (in my humble opinion) and while football season is amazing for its own reasons, it’s isolating. Spring Training brings people together from around the country, it’s really not a big deal if your team doesn’t win that day, and it is all about relaxing and having fun.

So as I sadly say goodbye to this year’s spring training season and look forward to regular season baseball, I ask that you join me in a big thank you to the Cactus League for another amazing ST, and always: remember to just, love life.




December 31, 2015

Time Doesn’t Have to Fly By

The last day of the year … then the next thing we know it will be twenty-sixteen. Most people talk about how time always flies by. People can never believe that it’s already a brand new year. For me, when I think about the past 365 days, I’m exhausted with all the fun, adventures, accomplishments, and highs and lows of the year. It’s not that I don’t agree that life goes by quickly, its just that I don’t think of time flying by because I aim to be truly invested in every moment. To me, things that I did six months ago seem like they happened two years ago. I suppose one can argue that perhaps I’m losing my memory, but I really don’t think that’s the only reason. Here are a few hints to help keep your time from flying by:

Practice Presence
When you feel – and I mean really – feel a moment, you can stop time. After years of praying, journaling, reading, and thinking, I’ve managed to notice a difference in myself when I’m really embracing a moment. The good stuff and the bad stuff. Your body feels different, and your mind certainly processes the situation differently. You’re much less scatter-brain and much more observant. It’s like taking a minute long vacation, but that moment stays with you forever. It takes practice, and it takes patience.

Do What You Set Out To Do
Checking things off my bucket list is one of my favorite things to do. There isn’t much left, so I keep adding things as I go. I am constantly making new goals. Everyone makes a brand new list of goals in a brand new year, but those who actually set out to accomplish what they want are those who value their own time.

Remind Yourself to Reset
Be realistic that your new goal to work out every day means you’ll probably miss a day or two when you just don’t feel like going. And that is okay. Just, reset the button when you fall off track. One of the main reasons time flies by, is because we hold ourselves to a standard near impossible to sustain. In order to be present in a moment, you have to also have the energy to do so. Rejuvenate, reflect, and reset often.

Fill Your Time with Experiences
I truly believe that my life feels so rich to me, because of my experiences, not my things. Relationships are also so critical to your happiness, so invest in them. Your memory and joy of a moment is something that no one could ever take away from you. No matter how fast the clock is ticking, it cannot detract from your life.


For me, I couldn’t be ending this year on a better note. A year’s worth of memories could never be summed in one little picture collage, but trust me when I say it was one of the best years of my life. Cheers to celebrating the end of a chapter, and for having a blank page to start the next.

I honestly hope next year you won’t so easily say your time flew by, and as always, remember to just, love life.



October 19, 2015

Dear Anonymous,

This morning I found your note on my windshield that was wet and dirty from last night’s storm, and I want to tell you what it did.  I don’t know who you are – or at least I don’t think – because I’m not sure who left the note. So you wouldn’t have known that this week is likely to be a taxing one for me. That I’m in the middle of buying a house that supposedly is closing this week and I’ve been stressed about it. That I left for work early this morning to get many deadlines done before spending the rest of the week out of town for a work conference. You wouldn’t have known that I’ve been fighting getting sick and was dealing with a migraine over the weekend.

You won’t know what the note meant to me, so I’m writing it here.

I walked out of my apartment this morning with my purse and gym bag over each shoulder, and a bag with lunch, work binders, keys and coffee in my hands. I was still grumpy and tired and not ready for Monday to begin, yet I already wanted this week to be over because I knew how tiring it would be. But then I saw your note. anonymous

I appreciate your words more than you’ll know, because to me it is a true act of kindness. You didn’t leave your name, so I can’t give you credit. You didn’t leave a number, so I know you’re not trying to get anything out of it. You left a simple note with simple words, that most strangers would have a very difficult time telling another stranger.

It reminded me of pure thoughtfulness and the need for humanity to be nicer to each other. Amidst a scary world with bad actors, sad news reports, and the enemy being extremely good at its game, the world needs more anonymous notes. It needs more opening of doors, smiling, saying hello, paying for or helping out a stranger. You never know how your actions will impact another soul. And imagine if we all always paid it forward. What a beautiful world that would be.

So I thank you, anonymous, from the bottom of my heart. You changed my outlook on my week and you certainly changed how I’ve treated everyone in my path so far today. I hope you have an amazing week too, and remember to just, love life.


August 13, 2015

Which are you?

I recently met someone who said something extremely interesting to me; something I truly believe and have said in my own way before – but I liked his version much better. He had just got done telling me his life story in detail, and when finished I said to him, “Are you one of those people that everything you touch turns to gold?”

I loved his response.

He told me that everyone has three ways to tell their life story;

-in a blah, average or boring way

-by only focusing on the hardships and difficulties

-showing off the best parts of your life and telling your obstacles and how they became your reasons to smile

No one has a perfect life. It’s true that social media, feeds, pictures, and whatever else we consume ourselves with can feel like a happiness competition instead of an update. I’ve been accused of that, actually. I was once told that my social media posts were overly positive, even though that friend knew I was having a terrible day or not having a great time at that event. This friend went on to perceive me as trying to make it look like I had an amazing life. Now, I can go down an entirely different rabbit hole on the opposite; people who use social media as their dear-diary, but I’ll leave that for another time.

The thing is, that my life IS amazing. And it’s extremely far from perfect. I’m in love with my life because I haven’t received every single thing I’ve asked for, from my parents, my boss, or from God. Those that know me, know the things I struggle with. But my hope is that they also know how blessed and happy I feel that I get to live my life.

I’m an adventure seeker, traveler, type A, persistent goal achiever, and straight shooter who has trouble keeping my mouth shut when I have an opinion. These qualities have taken me very far in life, and I am so very grateful for the many things I’ve been able to check off my bucket list. But that doesn’t, and shouldn’t, make me any ounce happier than the next person who has entirely different reasons to exist and ways to feel happy.

My devotional this morning (She Reads Truth) talked about the body being made from many different parts. The body cannot be entirely one ear, or one leg, or one heart – it needs a lot of parts to be a whole body. While the reading had somewhat of a different meaning, it reminded me to stop comparing myself to any human on this planet. We are all made unique and different from one another – by design. If human goals, interests, passions and personalities were all exactly the same, this world would never function. Or be any fun. SRT-TITG_instagram11

The way you tell and interpret your own story to yourself, is perhaps even a little more important than how you tell your story to others. Especially on social media. There are three different ways you can tell your story. Three different outlooks. Which one of the three is yours?

Take time today to list or remember what you love about your life. Put something on that list that money can’t buy or is a memory no one can take away from you. And, think about the absolute, terrible and worst thing that’s ever happened – for just one second- but then find a way to tell just one good, little thing that came from its occurrence.

And as always, remember to just, love life.

|| In loving memory of our beloved Megs ||


July 2, 2015

Travel solo, so that …

I’m two months shy of turning twenty-seven, I don’t have a boyfriend, or kids for that matter, my insanely busy season at work just ended, plus I have an addiction to traveling the world. So yes, I understand that my situation may seem somewhat unrelateable to yours, but I’m urging you to see the brilliance of why you should take the time to travel solo.

My recent trip to Europe was mostly spent with friends; I attended a wedding, and in some cities stayed with good friends. But I also wanted to take some time and travel alone just so I could relax away an extremely busy first six months of the year. I spent four days and three nights in a country I didn’t know anyone; simply laying at the beach, running, shopping, eating, praying, and writing. It was magical.

The interesting part is I’ve done quite a bit of traveling alone for work. My previous job had me on the road every other week, so I know what it’s like to be in a new city or stay at a hotel alone. But this was different. I didn’t have the excuse of saying to the server, “Oh I’m just in town for work” as to why I was eating alone in a restaurant. I was alone because I wanted to be.

To say I’m glad I did it does not do justice. I’ve had multiple people, including my boss, tell me that I seemed much different when I got back from my trip. Rejuvenated, recharged, and realigned.

So maybe it isn’t realistic for you to buy a plane ticket to France tomorrow, but I’m urging you to make time for yourself – to get to know yourself. Not just one hour at the gym to release stress (which is still needed in our weekly routines), but an actual long period of time away from home – focused on you, focusing on yourself. It might sound crazy, but I’m telling you it is life changing.

Here are my top six reasons that you should travel solo, so that;

Travel solo so that you suit yourself.
Even the most amazing lazy day at the beach with friends, changes your outlook on how to spend the minutes within that day. It’s part of human nature and makes sense that even a day without plans would be different if you were all by yourself. When you’re alone, you won’t think to wait until someone else is hungry too before going to get food.  Once you get hungry enough, you’re just going to go find food. Traveling alone allows you to really and truly do whatever you want to do that day, because no one else’s plans will be changed based on it. It’s really quite freeing.

Travel solo so that you can hear yourself think.
When we are constantly surrounded by other people, even those we love to be around, there are a lot of distractions and excuses to avoid thinking.  Time alone is spent hearing yourself and recognizing your thoughts about what is happening around you. You won’t have other people’s opinions to pull or push you away from your own thoughts.

Travel solo so that you learn to trust yourself.
You have to rely on yourself to use a map, ask a stranger a question, or decide what the next activity will be. It builds confidence and it also brings out awareness of your gut feeling. You’re responsible for your choices and you will learn to trust yourself in decision making.

Travel solo so that you can feel uncomfortable.
I won’t lie – it at times is awkward to be alone. I had wondered what other people were thinking about me. One day I was at the beach for eight hours, watching big groups of friends or families enjoying each other’s company. I was enjoying myself too, just as much as they were, but I had to get used to it. Being uncomfortable in certain situations will only make you stronger and more adaptable for future situations. Feel comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Travel solo so that you can refresh yourself.
This one may seem like the no brainer, but it honestly is true.  Our every day, hectic schedules that are busy with work, kids, and everything that comes along with it is amazing – but draining. True relaxation and letting go is easier when you are alone. There’s no one to impress or be there for. Just you.

Travel solo so that you’re better for others.
You will only be able to fully love other people, once you love yourself (especially the voluntary or romantic relationships). When you’re alone for three days, you do start to realize what you love about yourself. Perhaps even dig out what you don’t love, and then you can work to fix it. Take the time to put yourself in a better, more confident, independent and appreciative emotional place so that you can be better for the people in your life that you love.

Enjoy some photos from my solo travel portion, and remember to just, love life.


June 1, 2015

From Here to There

It is extremely difficult to imagine yourself getting through something really, really big. Something that would take an enormous amount of effort to accomplish can seem basically impossible. It’s frightening. When you’re standing in front of the beginning, your mind very easily tricks itself into thinking there is no way you’ll get to the end. Here seems brutal, and there seems impossible.

How do we get from here, to there?

The answer is: you just do. You start where you are and you do whatever it is you have to do, to get to tomorrow. And then the next day, and the day after that. Situations that require mental, emotional, and physical strength to overcome will only happen if you take one step at a time. You can’t always focus on the there. You wake up today, face your reality, push yourself, and then go to sleep.

Your ‘thing’ may be something that is meant for good; like finishing a degree, or race you have to run. It might even be life’s simply-annoying tasks like cleaning out your closet or getting through eight loads of laundry. And of course, it may be finding healing from a breakup, losing a loved one, or feeling lost on your journey here on Earth.

When your mind tricks you into thinking you can’t get to there, trick itself right back. Train your brain to remind itself that you have everything you need to get through the next step. When there seems so scary, remember that it’s only a destination you can get to if you get past here.here_there_signs

Imagine yourself getting there, and you will. The abolished obstacles are what make the accomplishment of something worthy. The roadblocks of healing are real, but they are not permanent. Your here is not permanent. One day you will be there.

Trust that you have what it takes. Start with day one, and just keep going. Have the faith that when you get there, it will all be worth it. And whatever it takes, do not be your own worst enemy in not allowing yourself to get out of here, try to rush things, or beat yourself up that putting your shoes on today was extremely exhausting. There will be better.

And while you’re getting from here to there, please remember to just, love life.