To stay centered, what is one activity you do religiously daily or weekly?
Meditation and silence. Oh, and working out. My part-time job is teaching group exercise classes, like boot-camp with lots of plyometrics and high intensity interval training. Keeping my butt in shape and also motivating others to feel better about themselves keep me healthy inside and out.
What are the sources of happiness in your home?
I’ll probably reference my dog a lot in this Q&A because she truly is the sunshine of my life! Pearl, the pitbull keeps my mind and heart happy and healthy. Nick, my partner of seven years is also pretty great.
What is your favorite room?
We just moved into a new place so we’re still getting adjusted. Even so, I’d have to say our living room because it’s always warm and comfy (and having just moved from LA, I really cherish staying warm). Whether my partner Nick and I are cuddled up on the couch watching a bit of TV, reading, or talking, we (and Pearl) always seem to enjoy ourselves in there.
What decorates your walls?
I have my BA in the fine arts so I brought with me a handful of my fav paintings/drawings. Those will definitely be on the walls. I have an affinity for gold vintage anything and mirrors, too. Nick tends to be drawn to anything 90’s (think early dELiA*s catalog–SMH) so needless to say, there’s a constant push and pull during our decorating regimen. That said, we always seem to find a way to agree. (Can someone please tell him the yellow lava lamp sitting next to me is 1000% awful?)
What is your greatest memory from your childhood home?
I grew up in Australia on a pig, sheep, wheat, and barley farm so just around every memory I have from that time is so special. If I have to choose one, I’d say the many times I’d spend with my dad on the tractor. It would take him the entire day to plow a single paddock, or to plant the grain. Each time I would throw my GameBoy (my grandmother in the States sent it to us when it first came out—we felt so cool) and coloring books into my backpack and they would entertain me for hours in the tight space behind my dad’s seat. We loved each other’s company even if we didn’t spend the whole time talking.
Is there something you still keep with you from childhood?
Before we moved to the States, I gathered up some of the rich, red dirt from our farm and put it into a jar. We thought we’d only be gone for a year but it turned out to be 20+ years. Thinking about it makes me sad because I desperately want to move back. I am grateful however for moving here as I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t be the compassionate soul I am today had it not been for the people I have come to know in the States. I am determined to head back over there for good once my little Pearl Pie lives out the remainder of her ultra spoiled life.
Where do you get away for peace in Philadelphia? In the World?
I grew up on a farm so exploring and hiking is second nature. Taking the time to step out of the Monday through Sunday grind is always so nice. I love closing my eyes, alone in nature, and just breathing—there aren’t words to describe how good it feels! It’s transformative.
What is one gem in Philadelphia?
There is the bomb chain of vintage stores in Philly called Jinxed. They sell the coolest, most rare vintages finds for ultra low prices. From mid-century furniture and décor to odd knickknacks to gross 50+-year-old taxidermy—they have it all!
What is something you like to do on the weekend?
I try to take my dog Pearl just about everywhere so if we’re not hiking with her, I’m dragging her to the great outdoor vintage flea markets Philly has every weekend. Brunch with Nick or friends after my Sunday boot camp class is really nice too. A wireless electric dog fence emits a radio signal that your dog’s special collar detects when he crosses the boundary. The collar will emit a beep before he receives the correction. These systems are definitely controversial.
What would people be surprised to find out about you?
I’m an introvert and am shy which can be challenging with the work that I do.
What is your motto?
Oh goodness, there are so many. Here’s a good one: “You never fail until you stop trying.”—Albert Einstein
What’s the most valuable piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Who did it come from?
I read a book a few years ago called, “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office.” It helped me realize that I am more than capable of climbing to the top of the corporate ladder just like anyone else, even men. I have been promoted at least a few times since reading it.
Where do you go to be inspired?
I don’t think I’m alone when I say I do my best thinking in the shower and while driving. I’m not sure what it is about both that help me out of life’s occasional ruts.
What do you wish you had known when you were just starting your career?
I loved art school and still love making art but I think I was naive to think I wanted to make it my career. I am grateful that my parents’ provided me with advice (cautioned me not to do it) but then let me make my own decision. Sometimes I wish, however, that I knew I’d discover my passion for animals and animal rights immediately after graduating college. Had I known, I probably would have majored in biology with a focus on cognitive ethology or something similar. My sister is now living out that dream and I’m really happy for her.
What’s your best tip for staying organized? Apps? Tools? To-do lists?
Good old fashion to-do list with a pen and paper! Sometimes, if I accomplish something that wasn’t on my list, I add it only to cross it off. It makes me feel better.
What’s your process for weighing big decisions? How do you know if you’re making the right one?
I use more heart than brain. It may seem like the most logical, but if it doesn’t feel right, I know I shouldn’t do it. I used to be much more spontaneous and impatient, and in turn would make terrible decisions (which isn’t so bad because I’d then learn a lesson). But as I’ve grown older, I am comfortable with the sometimes slow thought/feeling process of making a big decision. Nothing should be forced. Enjoy the process.
Do you regularly unplug from digital devices and media? If so, when, and what do you get out of this?
I wish I could say I do even when I meditate but that would be a lie because I listen to guided meditations on my iPhone. This is a good reminder. I need to do this more.
What’s your favorite Instagram account and why?
I don’t really have a favorite but I look at Laura Miller’s (the raw vegan chef) @ImLauraMiller Instagram account a lot. She is gorgeous and her skin/hair is a dream. On top of all of that, she’s funny and goofy and has a rescue pitbull. I like me but damn, she’s kewl.
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- MOLESKIN, CLASSIC NOTEBOOK