If there is one thing I concretely know, it is myself.

As I turn twenty seven (seeing the numerical equivalent makes me cringe!), I have come to the realization that my life is nowhere where that I expected it to be by this age, but I suppose I should mention that I am coming to terms with this and that it’s ok. Well, at the very least I’ve come to realize just that: IT’S OK! Here are a few more realizations I’ve come to accept at the ripe age of 27:

I’ve realized every person brought into my life is for a specific reason and purpose. Whether good, bad or indifferent, the exchanges you have with people change the way you view the world. Friends and even strangers are brought into your life to make you grow and become a better individual, and even have the ability to relinquish a smile or kind word in return. The world is a fascinating place and we should never stop growing or learning from one another.

I’ve realized the importance of keeping good company around me, because it is beneficial to my health and happiness. Good friendships enrich your life; they make you smile and laugh, increase your sense of belonging, help you cope when problems or tough situations arise, as well as encourage you to be your best self. Lastly, good friends bring you joy and memories that will in turn bring a lasting sense of comfort. “What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” ―Aristotle

I’ve realized how much my liver can handle. This past year I had an ever-so-eye-opening experience that changed my life. I am no stranger to the bottle, or glass or whatever other container you can serve alcohol in, but recently realized my own limits–more-less have had to make some serious changes. I can’t tell you that I remember my first sip of alcohol, but I can tell tell you that I was 15 years old when I experienced my first blackout. This was still not my first encounter with drinking, and by no means certainly not my last. Needless to say, I have harshly learned the difference between what my body can handle, and what my mind simply craves.

I’ve realized the importance of a good skincare regime. I change my pillowcase every other day (if not nightly) because it has done wonders for my skin — keeping excess oils from my hair off my face and also, because Lei (my cat) loves sleeping inside the bed, and that includes on my pillow, so I’ve learned that I need to routinely keep fresh, clean sheets and pillowcases to avoid any unwanted breakouts from forming on my skin. On that note — I’ve also realized just how vital it is to establish a good skin care routine. I used to wash my face with water, nothing else, until my esthetician/friend almost slapped me. From then on, I:  cleanse, tone & moisturize daily using a combination of tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. Loving Alba‘s skincare line lately. On that note…

I’ve realized that I should make the extra effort to put my makeup on. I have olive skin tone (side note: I really think they should come up with a better name for this, cause seriously, who wants their skin to look like an olive or have a greenish tinge? ew. no thanks. not me, i’m naturally tan, k?) Anyways, because the coloring of my skin and partially because of my ethnicity (i’m Italian), I tend to develop dark circles under my eyes, which makes it seem like i’m naturally exhausted, or stoned, which I may very well be, but I don’t need my skin calling me out. Therefore, with an under eye concealer and a little mascara, my eyes and their raccoon problem disappear.  Add on some simple lip/cheek stain and i’m good to go. Oh, and definitely brows. Always put your brows on girls! — it makes a world of a difference :)

I’ve realized it is more important to pursue passion, rather than profession. I need to re-evaluate my life’s ambition. I currently have a full-time profession in insurance, and have an amazing schedule and freedom to pursue other interests as I desire. Why don’t I? I have been falling into the same trap for awhile now, and need to break my bad habits…all of them, but this one in particular I struggle with most. I feel as if I am hostage in my job, and fear starting over from scratch at this point in my life. Cliche, but sadly true. I was talking to someone the other day about what I could see myself doing in life if it weren’t insurance. Easy: be a mom whose cooking is always delicious, whose home is always kept, and whose heart is always happy. Buuuut sadly, I I am nowhere near financially secure enough for any of the aforementioned. If we’re getting technical, the happy part i’m always working on, and I know the rest will come. ‘In time’, they say. So, here I am, waiting, and working on happy. Pursuing passion rather than profession is something I am manifesting for this coming year. I will find a working role that I feel passionate about. I will follow my heart, not my head. I will work with my hands, be creative and have a heart full of happiness. I will get married, have babies, create a family and build a home. I will, in due time. For now, pursuing my personal interests and hobbies will allow me the peace of mind I need in order to lay a great foundation to build the life I envision with the people I love the most.

I’ve realized my cat, Leila, is my soul-mate. (And Jameson.) Truth. Leila is everything I could ever want in a friend and/or companion. Unconditional love is all I have for her and ever will. She makes every day brighter, every disappointment less shitty, every poor judgement/mistake I ever make less humiliating, and every cuddle sweeter. I literally feel her tiny heart beating next to mine in the middle of the night, and have realized that I have never, and maybe never will, feel this pure of love for anything or anyone else. Purely magical– the bond we share–no other way to say it, except fate brought me to her, and now my soul is fulfilled in ways it would never would have been, if not for Leila. Jameson is my rock, my best friend, my lover, and my soul’s other half. He is my future, and she holds my past. Our relationship’s soul houses the love we both share for Lei. Needless to say, these two have a firm grasp (and claw) on my heart.

I’ve realized that there are no days to waste on negative shit. Be humble. Be thankful. Appreciate life. Be gracious, kind, and polite. Think happy thoughts, and let your fears float on. Good vibes only. With that said, have a lovely day :)


Jenuinely, Jennie

Manifesting: New Year, New View, New You

As fresh as the lemon I just picked for my morning tea, the new year has begun and is already permeating it’s fresh scent throughout my life. I reset my internal soul’s clock, and have vowed to give it the appropriate attention it so deserves, and spend the majority of this coming year carefully examining how to be a happier and healthier individual. 2014 was a rough year for me both personally and professionally.  2014 taught me that in order to be happy, I need to practice and work hard at being happy everyday. Struggling internally with personal issues this past year has opened my eyes to the need of asking other people for help. I pride myself so much on my independence, and have always found it difficult to recognize when I need assistance. I have so much hope, inspiration and determination going into this year’s journey. Here are some (of the many) resolutions I have going into 2015:

  • Manifest More. I believe that manifesting your dreams and desires to the heavenly universe is key in achieving pure happiness. Believe in what you want, cherish your dream, and manifest on it until it becomes your reality. Practice positive affirmations, and actively choose to be happy. Grab your life by the you know what — take what you want out of your own life or else it will keep moving forward without you, leaving you alone and living in the dark. I want to start doing more of what I love, and less of what I don’t. More time to pray, smile and clean out the clutter fogging my mind. More me time to read, make art, reflect and meditate. More “Zen Jen“.
  • Worry less, meditate more. I recently stumbled upon this quote: “Worrying is like praying for something you don’t want.” My mom always warned me that worrying causes wrinkles, but it wasn’t until a few years back that I learned to take heed of worrisome habits. I started practicing yoga more often, but still had anxiety lingering in my life. I chalked this up to work and/or relationship and/or money stresses, but soon quickly realized that it was due to fact I let my worries permeate inside my body for way too long. I tend to hold-fast my emotions inside until I explode or drown in solitude, at which point I would turn to unhealthy vices. Going into 2015, mediating and keeping my mind clear of negativity and worry is a top priority!
  • Chef up! I LOVE to cook, albeit slaving away in the kitchen after a long day at work sometimes makes me question my passion for food. However, over the past year, I have clipped hundreds of recipes and food related articles from magazines such as Bon Appetit, as well as many other recipes from TV shows and online resources. I gathered them all up and organized them in a *Recipe Binder that now sits in my kitchen. My goal is to cook more meals from scratch, and test out the new recipes I have accumulated, sharing my own cooking advice and tips along the way. I am in the process of transitioning my current dietary restrictions into a more holistic and wholefoods based diet, with emphasis on using only the freshest and most natural, if not organic, ingredients. *Let me know if you would like me to share my Recipe Binder that I store in my kitchen at home!!
  • Date Night – or Days! I’d like to bring back our 1-on-1 date days. On our anniversary a year or 2 ago, I gave J a gift of 12 pre-planned dates (1 date per month) – all carefully chosen and planned according to our tastes as a couple. The idea was simple, the gift was loved, however, our busy schedules took over and our dates fizzled out of the regime intended. Neither at fault, but this year I want to bring back those dates and make them a priority in our schedule, not just a tentative idea. Bonding is crucial in relationships, and we both agree that simply because we live together and spend the majority of our days together, does not mean we should stop dating as a couple. In fact, the opposite is true, we should be dating more!
  • Transition home into a sanctuary. We try to keep the peace between the sheets, but sometimes TV takes over. With cool blue and natural beach tones, our bedroom (whole home really) is relaxing in general, but could use a fresh pick-me-up. We do have a TV in the bedroom, but luckily, we are not that dependent on watching it while in bed unless we are sick or needing space. This year I want to make our home more of a sacred place of serenity, and less of a electronically draining hole. I try and stay off my phone first thing when I wake up in the morning, as well as when I get home from work, but J has a harder time letting go of his phone even if it is just for 5 minutes.  This is a problem in my eyes, so I would like for us to better engage with each other and be present and mindful of one another’ time and presence when we are both home together. More eye contact, less iPhone. When I think of being at home, I think of being comfortably relaxed. I want my home space to have a luxe, vacay feel, but also, a warm and inviting feel for any visitors we may have. Therefore, I always try and have a candle lit, blankets folded, and as much natural light as the time of day will allow.
  • Be charitable. I love helping others and giving back to the universe, especially when it involves animals. If you don’t already know, I’m borderline obsessed with black cats, well, mostly just my own black cat, Leila, but at my work, there is a black-cat-Leila-lookalike that meanders around my office parking lot near the creek looking for his next meal. I noticed him a while back, and wondered how I could help. After some pondering, I came up with a solution. When Leila’s food gets low and needs refilling, I save a little of the leftover cat food and bring it to work for the wild panther. Now, when I see him outside, I go and fetch his food and let him eat until he is satisfied. He always relaxes for a moment in the sunshine, before roaming off to find his next meal. Maybe it’s just me, but this new little routine has become the highlight of my work-week. So, this year I have made it my goal to volunteer at my local ASPCA, in the kitten nursery to be exact.

Welcome to 2015!

Photo Diary: A Jenuine 2014

Welcoming in this new year felt completely bittersweet on one hand, and exhilarating on the other.

2014 was a hard year – (as was 2012 & 2013) – Robin Williams departed this world too soon, I lost someone dear to my heart, Sons of Anarchy came to an ever-so-depressing end, and I landed myself in the ER for my very first encounter with an IV.

And a ginormous ER bill to wash it all down.

But it also had it’s highs – pun intended.

.: January :.


Happy times with people that make me happy  nesta




Jameson’s band NESTA at Titans of Mavericks Surf Festival

.: February :.


I turned 26 on 2-6-14

bday love

Featured winner on Bon Appetit’s First Annual Food Pun Contest

food pun

Received the most beautiful bouquet of my favorite flowers


.: March :.


Alamere Falls

.: April :.


Lauren Graduated Nursing School

(absolutely abhor this photo of me–yay hormones-but I couldn’t be any prouder of my amazing & beautiful friend!!)

.: May :.


Blogger for California Roots Music and Art Festival




Cousin Drea’s painting party




.: June :.


Jamie’s Birthday

“Keep calm. Be crazy. Laugh, love, and live it up, because this is the oldest you’ve been the youngest you’ll ever be again. With all my love, happiest of birthdays to you, Mr. 32!”


Got OPIE!! (2015 Subaru Forrester)car1

.: July :.


nesta longboard

.: August :.


Traveled to Big Sur



.: September :.


Traveled to Tahoe




.: October :.


Traveled to Costa Rica





World Series – S.F. Giants 3rd World Series Win in 5years!!



Halloween: Reggae Shark & Jellyfish Witch



.: November :.


Thanksgiving sunset filled with gratitude


Black Cat Friday Everydaylei


.: December :.


Cousin Mike’s 30th

So, with that said,  I am hopeful and optimistic for 2015.

Happy New Year!! May your 2015 be filled with peace, love & happiness!!


Jenuinely, Jennie

Demon Days

Demon Days. We all have them. Demons, that is. Now and then they come out of their hollow dwellings and unleash their wrath all over you and whatever shit you got going on. Waking up to a demon is the worst. I call those days: demon days. They are days when not a shred or even an ounce of joy slips through those demons’ death grip; mo matter the situation, rhyme or reason. My demons decide to strike hot (as most demons do). They pierce through my heart – my soul’s heart – wrenching every molecule of passion or happy thought left inside along the way, as if it had been deprived for months, and has had private lessons with gluttony itself. Once the feeding frenzy has ceased, I am left bone dry of emotion, and desperately yearning for the slightest realm of happiness to warm my soul.

Drastic? Maybe. Truthful? Most definitely.

For most people, happiness is easy to come by, but not everyone awakens to a new day with this mentality. In fact, I don’t. Not in the least bit. Every morning I force my eyes to peer open and my heart to be gracious that I am alive, safe and healthy. Right there – not everyone has the same privilege as I do. Some people wake up in hospital beds with less than ideal conditions praying that their bodies and souls can survive just one more day. Some people wake up in prison beds amongst rapists, serial killers, and numerous other murderers and criminals. Some people wake up with no bed at all, on the street, freezing cold and barely breathing. Some people do not wake up at all.

Most people (and every child) knows to check for monsters before going to sleep, but what about checking ourselves for demons before getting up to start our day? Making sure we are good to go about making the most of the day before us, ensuring we have positive mentalities, open minds, and gracious hearts.  I’ve found that kindness has a way of keeping demons enclosed in their coffins.

Seem weird? Odd? Different? Good. It’s supposed to be.

For me, waking up is a daily struggle. On any given day, my mood can shift anywhere from seriously wanting to gnaw my boyfriend’s head off, to wanting us both to gnaw on some lobster tails. I can go from throwing a wine bottle through the front window, to drinking a bottle of wine…or two by myself. But in all sincerity, mood swings are no joke, and in my head I really do struggle to find a balance between: “depressed and grateful to be alive”. From emotion to emotion, without reason or warning to my brain, my emotions control the best of me. Mood swings happen to most, but what about when a mood swing disguises itself as a depressive episode? Would you be able to tell the difference? Truth is, it’s hard. I myself still have difficulty distinguishing between the two, but as I become more aware of these internal changes, I am in turn training myself to become more aware of how to handle them when they do rear their bitchy, nasty asses.

For example, most people enjoy starting their days with a combination of one or more of the following: coffee/tea/lemon water, yoga/workout, meditation/prayer, breakfast/green juice/bacon, shit/shower/shave, etc….ya feel me? Try finding your typical morning routine. On days when I wake up feeling sluggish, I opt for yoga and coffee afterwards. Days when I need extra TLC? Hot shower, hot lemon water, and meditation it is. As for days when I’m feeling a bit more energized, I take the extra time to make a smoothie and get a quick cardio workout in. The important thing I try and remind myself everyday is that “any effort is better than zero effort”, and this principle rings true for many things in life. The important thing to remember is to live each day in the present. I know, this can be really hard to do at times, especially on demon days, but this could not be anymore true. Usually, my alarm goes off, I thank the Lord I am alive, practice graciousness, then check my emails, get-up to brush my teeth and wash my face, put my hair in a messy topknot (self-proclaimed queen of topknots from circa 1998 up until present day!), and head out the front door to start my day. When I miss sleep through my alarm, instead of shrugging it off as a missed day of opportunities, I make sure to go on a walk during my lunch break, and try and stretch when I get home from work. If I happen to be feeling particularly bitchy (i.e. any given Monday) I make sure to check my emotions at the door, both at work and at home, before pouring myself a cup of coffee and reading the Daily Mail sans interruptions.

However, on demon days, the routine gets muddled, or so it seems. The plethora of options I had yesterday of my so-called “morning routine” seem to be non-existent. The only thoughts in my mind are the opposite of positive. Negativity begins breeding inside my brain, without permission or warning, and the demons are at it again.

But why? What changed? My perception? Did I lose sight of my happiness, my sunshine?

Sadness is all; all that I feel, all that I am, and all that I dream…or so it seems. More often than not, after being visited by my demons, I am left with nothing more than swollen eyes and an unfulfilled hope that they have disinherited my soul. Time and time again, it is in these mornings that I am disappointed and shackled once again to devil’s door; all before I’d begun my day’s work, they’d finished theirs, leaving me with a hole for everyone to poke their noses through.

Here some days, gone most tomorrows, happiness and love no longer reside in my soul. At least not the way I want them to. They have been blinded by the demonic inhabitants of my mind. Happiness seems to fleet away as quickly as steam evaporating into thin air. Vanishing before it can make a lasting impression, and before I am able to find answers to my questions. I am yearning, desperately longing at times, for my happiness to return to my soul’s possession permanently; no vacation or sick days. Permanent residency. Permanently happy.

* * *

As of late, I have been getting up an extra hour earlier. Instead of reaching and relying on my phone as an alarm, I allow the natural sunlight to wake me up.  I put my phone to the side as I put on a pot of water to boil and chop up my lemons. Once my hot lemon water has been poured, I silently practice Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall Pose) while clearing my mind of negative emotions that may have arisen overnight (hello, demons remember?) After about ten minutes of reflection and gratitude, I drink my HLW (hot lemon water) and practice my morning meditation for another ten minutes, focusing particularly on my breaths. I find that by specifically focusing my attention on my breathing, it allows my mind to gently be centered in a much more peaceful manner. If I only focus on mediating in the general sense, I tend to get distracted more easily and have a harder time focusing on my end goal, which is a peaceful mindset.

Do not feel alone. I repeat, d o – n o t – f e e l – a l o n e ! Demons come and demons go. Let your  ability to stay positive and focused shine light on becoming a better version of who you were yesterday. Always choose happiness and always choose to put yourself first, because let’s be honest, the relationship you have with yourself is the most important one. After all, we only have 1 life to live, so make sure you are your own number 1 priority.

“So, if life hands you a demon, make it wished it’d stayed in Eden.”


Jenuinely, Jennie

Photo Diary: Pura Vida in Costa Rica 2014



{ the ever-so-rare face-time photo that you take when your boyfriend leaves for vacation without you }



{ iPad reading on my solo flight to Costa Rica }

(p.s. if you have yet to read this book, please oh please read it, it’s justthat good…

…and especially BEFORE you see the film starring Mr. Affleck!!)



{ room with a view }


{ Tamarindo Beach // Tamarindo, Costa Rica }


{ 1st surf of the trip! }


{ our very own local guide: Jaco }


{ Jungle Jen }


{ boiling mud pits and hot springs in Rincón de la Vieja }


{ jungle lovin’ }


{ viper spotting }


{ chasing waterfalls }


{ h a p p y }c5

{ uggggh. totally wish we had a better picture of this sunset, but unfortunately, this group of middle-aged single ladies were having a friggin photoshoot next to us, and it wasn’t until I politely asked them to ‘share the sun’ so we all could enjoy the view did they not only sit down, sipping on their cocktails staring at their phones in complete silence.  psh. #1: don’t hog the sky. #2: talk to each other, your on vacation are you not?!? talk about rude. sorry, just had to vent cause I really wanted this photo to come out…well, better than this }


{ on a boat, blissfully, “in search of the perfect wave”… }


{ Witch’s Rock // Costa Rica }


Robert August, legendary surfboard shaper and star of one the most influential surf movies of all time: “The Endless Summer”, helped put Costa Rica on the global surf map back in the early 90’s when he and Bruce Brown filmed Witch’s Rock, Ollie’s Point, and Tamarindo for their sequel movie, “The Endless Summer II”. At that time, Robert built a house in Tamarindo and has been a regular surfer in Costa Rica for 20 years. In 2011, he moved to Costa Rica full-time with his daughter, and became a key member of the Witch’s Rock Family. Witch’s Rock Surf Camp now offers awesome surf lessons (which we took full advantage of!!) and holds surfboard shaping seminars on the beach. After our stay, we heard from the locals that Robert has since (just earlier this year) moved back to California to be with and help send his daughter off to college. So awesome right?! Annd a tad creepy that we found all that out ;)



{ Ollie’s Point // Costa Rica }



{ my rock & I @ Witch’s Rock }


{ dreaming up }



Jenuinely, Jennie

Bitterly Broken

“Bitterly Broken” by Jennie Murray


Bound together by lustful dreams;

Intertwined; woven together by hell and hope.

Together, appearing to have an adamantine luster;

Together, contravening one another’s commitment.

Exuding peaceful, solicitous intentions, yet,

Releasing waves of toxicity and demolition.

Loathing, waiting patiently and silently unattended;

Yearning for an understanding to the enigma of love.


Beforehand, befriended and beloved.

Relinquishing our desires, allowing them to flee from our two souls.

Orbiting each other’s universe, particle by particle.

Keenly aware, staying close to our intimately connected galaxies.

Enticing our love, gleamingly from above.

Never again, never again — for this, this is the end.


Jenuinely, Jennie

%d bloggers like this: