1. Been Around the World and I, I, I…
When I was 20 years old, (a decade before the phenomenon of "Eat, Pray, Love"), I ate, prayed and loved for three months on a solo around-the-world adventure to Thailand, Nepal, India, France and Monaco. This escapade ignited my already flickering love of world travel and set me on a path towards total planetary exploration.
2. Sweet Soul
I have a deep love for old school soul music and Sprinkles cupcakes. These two loves converged when I saw soulful crooner, prolific songwriter and Motown mainstay, Smokey Robinson, sitting in his car outside of Sprinkles-Beverly Hills. Fully aware of the opportunity to bring two of my loves together, I enthusiastically treated Mr. Robinson to his first Sprinkles cupcakes. I like to believe the deliciousness of that experience revolutionized his entire life forever.
3. My Mother = In-House FCC Regulation
Growing up, my mother did not believe television was appropriate entertainment for children. Instead, we played outside, read books and talked to each other. (Imagine that!) I could only watch TV for 30 minutes during the week and that was The Cosby Show (it was extended to 60 minutes when its spin-off A Different World was created). When we finally got cable, she blocked MTV calling it, "The Boob Tube". While I totally honor and respect her wise choices around television, I can't help but think that those years of deprivation have something to do with my mild, yet insatiable, appetite for reality TV.
4. Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
During my last year of high school, my then-boyfriend and I wrote and published a photo-essay book about 22 African-American men making a difference in Seattle. We were on the news, the front page of the Seattle Times, hosted at several of the prominent bookstores and The Seattle Public Library system acquired copies for circulation. Having a great platform to do good, spotlight others and share my voice was one of the most fabulous experiences of my first 18 years.
5. Immortalized 80s & 90s
I could never fully articulate how much I LOVE all genres of 80s and 90s music. Seattle's grunge + Luther Vandross soul + Salt 'n Pepa's hip-hop + George Michael's sexy pop = the absolute dream soundtrack of my life.
6. Get Us Out From Under, Wonder Woman!
I have a life-long obsession with Wonder Woman. This includes childhood birthday cakes, underoos, stationary sets, glasswear, address books, Barbie Dolls, Halloween costumes and the ringtone currently on my cell phone. Who can resist Linda Carter in that get up?! Not to mention, the invisible airplane, Lasso of Truth and bullet deflecting bracelets. Undetected travel + unavoidable authenticity + unchallenged self-defense = the best superheroine embellishments ever.
7. Bacon –The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Meat
After growing up in a red meat and pork free household and 8 years being a passionate pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan and raw foodist, I have developed a mild obsession with bacon. Go ahead, judge me. It's meat candy and frikken delicious.
8. Divine Sacred
I LOVE making ancient spiritual practices part of my daily, contemporary lifestyle. I am a Forrest Yoga teacher, reiki practitioner, tarot card student, ashram meditator and sweatlodge devotee. I hug trees, call in the four directions, take herbs before Aspirin, facilitate sacred ceremonies, pay homage to my ancestors and trust the circle of life. I believe the Divine is everywhere and in everything and I am intentional to see and celebrate it ubiquitously.
9. Adventures in Global Travel
I've had adventures in 22 countries including surviving an avalanche while trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas, sleeping on the Great Wall of China, working at the American Embassy in Togo, and hiking the Aztec ruins in Guatemala and Belize. Just call me the modern day Carmen Sandiego.
10. Elder Love
I have a ginormous place in my heart for people over 70 years old. The wisdom. The knowledge. The life experiences. The lessons learned. Don't be surprised if you find me making friends with unassuming elders at bus stops, in grocery stores or in the park on an afternoon stroll.