Category Archives: life

Word of the Year

Last year was a big year for me. While I won’t say it was a great year – way too much loss and confusion – it was still a year where I learned a lot.

In hindsight, my theme for last year was “letting go”.  I believe I recognized it and owned it early on.

receiveThis year, I’d like to continue releasing and letting go of what no longer serves me…but I’d also like to allow myself to receive…with ease.

After all, what good is letting go if you don’t allow to receive something new and better, right?

What’s your word or theme for 2015?

Write While the Heat is In You

“Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.”
~Henry David Thoreau

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I haven’t written anything of worth in months now.

I can’t say I’m proud of this. But I can admit that it’s the truth.

Which of course isn’t easy to admit. Even if we’ve be told for however long, that admitting there’s a problem is half the battle. Though I wouldn’t actually say that not having much of a desire to write is actually a “problem”.

But I digress…

You see,  for years, I blogged 3-7 times a week. I had my personal blog (here) and my business blog (there). I was constantly in creation mode. My mind was always spinning.

I was making lists of ideas to write about. Lists of ideas to shoot videos about. Lists of ideas to speak about, to train on. Et cetera. I was always creating in my mind.

And then one day, that stopped.

I felt overwhelmed.

I felt like I no longer had anything to say.

I felt like I didn’t have anything original or inspirational or even motivational to share.

And when you make a good part of your living helping others to identify and clarify their passion, to find their voices and to get out there and share that with the world…well, not having anything to say, that just becomes embarrassing.

So I went into hiding. I disappeared from so many places that I once felt so comfortable.

I dimmed my light so that only the nearest and dearest to me could see it. And even then, I think they’d be hard-pressed to tell you that they saw me at all.

You can shine even in the darknessBut now I’m feeling that desire again. Thoughts and ideas are starting to flow.

The curiosity is back.

The desire to work with women is back. Heck, the desire to network and expand…is back!!!

I can’t make any promises that I’ll be posting here, at this particular website all that much. But you’re more than welcome to join me over at my other site…where I have some big plans….that I still need to wrap my head around.

Read Any Good Books Lately?

16005232549_6890385e34_mA friend was asking for book recommendations on Facebook the other day.  And I realized that I’m often sharing my favorite books, over and over again.

Figured it might be easier just to create a list and share them all in one place. And please forgive my lack of descriptors and reviews. There’s a reason I read the books and don’t write them. 😉

These are in no particular order…

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel

I think this is one of the best reads I’ve read in a while. It’s a big of a historical fiction as it flashes back to the time of the Japanese Internment Camps during WWII. I loved the back and forth between the past and the present. And seeing how the main character’s well, character developed from those that were important in his life.

The Offer

This is a light, easy-to-read, read-it-in-one-day kind of book (even though I do believe I took two days to enjoy it). I think I personally would have liked a bit more raunch, but it worked for me. It has a sweet storyline. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for light and enjoyable.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

I really loved this book. It was a book club selection and not something I would have grabbed to read on my own. But really, it was oh, so good. It’s got touches of magic and fantasy, engineering and typography, love story, and technology all mixed in. It really is a smart read. And one you won’t be able to put down.


The Girl on the Train: A Novel

This is being touted as the next Gone Girl. Which I can totally see. But at the same time, it’s not. But like Gone Girl, be sure give it a good 30% read through knowing that it’s going to get real interesting any page now.

Gone Girl: A Novel

By now, I’m sure you’ve either seen the movie, or heard the twists and turns.  But trust me, read it. While the movie was a great adaptation – and the new ending was perfect for it – the book really freaks you and and leaves you thinking. Long after you’ve put the book down, you’re still in that “what the fuck?!?!” frame of mind. It’s that good. And that different from the movie.

 The All Souls Trilogy

I received The Discovery of Witches in a holiday, white elephant, book swap. It has everything I love in a book…romance, intrigue, magic, a splash of sex with a good amount of raunch (what can I say?), time travel, vampires…you get it, right?  And it was well written. I immediately fell in love. And since I was on winter break, I devoured it (notice a pattern here yet?). I immediately went out and picked up the second book, and even pre-ordered the third…which I then, again, immediately devoured. Some folks said they couldn’t get into the third book, but I think she did a great job bringing it all together.

The Red Tent: A Novel

I think it’s one of my all time, top 5 books of all time. Well, counting series (like The Wrinkle in Time as one, that is). I’ll admit, it had a slow start. I mean a really slow start. And at the time we read it (it was one of our first book club reads – back when I read everything we picked), I hadn’t met anyone else that read it. So I powered through. But when it turned and got interesting, it got really, really good. I couldn’t put it down.

Big Little Lies

I totally stumble upon this one by accident. I think at the time I read it, no one I knew had yet to read it. Next thing I know, they’re making it into a movie. I liked it. It was a light enough read, with a bit of a mystery. And the characters were complex. I think it will make a good movie.

His Wicked Games

I’ve devoured everything Ember’s written over the past couple months. But I will say, the Wicked Games series is awesome. Just the right mix of engaging story and great smut. Tell me how many times you reread the scene where she tries to figure out his favorite work of art. And no, that’s not a euphemism. Oh and the pool scene in The Secret to Seduction (The Fontaines)? Yep, I think you’ll love that one also. You can also follower her on Facebook to stay in the loop of up and coming books.

Jade Calhoun Series

I’m also slowly working my way through Deanna Chase’s stuff. She writes mostly more of the supernatural type of romances, so I’m taking a little longer to read everything (I can only take in smaller doses as that’s not my fave genre). But, her Jade Calhoun series I really, really like. And all of her stuff is quite easy to enjoy – and devour in a day.


Again, these are in no particular order. And I realized I write some crappy reviews. But if you’re looking for a good book to read, here’s a great place to start. Hope it helped.

I’d love to hear about your favorite books or suggestions for what to read next. I have a slew of things waiting for me on my Kindle. I’ll no doubt have more than enough to get me through summer break.

Imperfect 365: How I See the World

If you’ve followed me (here on this blog, or elsewhere in the social world) for any amount of time, you know that I love taking pictures. Mind you, not enough to actually pick up my husband’s Nikon Dwhatever and actually learn how to use it. But my iPhone has been keeping me quite happy.

This year, I decided to participate in an Imperfect 365, photo-a-day challenge. So far, I’ve really enjoyed it. I think I’ve missed only two days in the 6 months we’ve been doing it. Though not that the school year is nearly over, I’m not certain how easy it will be get my daily shots in. I mean, I might actually have to leave my apartment (egads!!)

I wanted to share a couple of my favorites that I’ve taken this year. And if you want to follow along on Instagram or check me out on Flickr, you’re more than welcome to.

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

KPCC Launches New iPad App

I love Public Radio.  I didn’t always.  But then I met my husband, and well, I kinda got a little hooked.  Granted, I tend to like the more fun, less newsy kind of programing.  But all in all, I’m a fan.

KPCC iPad Launch PartyLast night I was lucky enough to attend our local NPR station, KPCC’s launch party for their new iPad app.  And yeah, I know, that sounds totally Californian….a launch party for an app.  But they had every reason to be throwing that party.

They’re doing something that hasn’t been done before…not on public radio and not with news radio.  They’re aware of how people listen to their programming and they’re making it available for their listeners whenever they want.  And they’re making the new visually stunning (the photos and videos look great) and easy to read.

They’ve got this cool “short list” with bite-sized blurbs for the quick and dirty top news items (twice a day – morning and evening) that can easily be expanded to longer, more detailed pieces.  And they’re culling the web for stories they know they’re interested in – even if it’s a non-NPR news source – that relates to us, the local audience.

They also recently started offering up some great panel discussions at their on-site, Crawford Family Forum.  And on the app, you’ll be able to pull up previous events, watch the live events (I watched a great one from Geek Girls Dinners not all too long ago on Women in Tech via the website), and RSVP to future events (you know I’ll be at the upcoming Tech in the Classroom event).

Being totally honest, (and the wife of a web developer who’s always looking at pages and apps) I was impressed with what they’ve created.  It looks good.  And it behaves great – talk about having a good user interface.  They put a lot into it, and it shows.

Way to go KPCC!  I can’t wait for the new iPhone app upgrade that’s coming, as well.

Click here to find your app (the iPad launch is currently pending Apple approval).

Free Carl’s Jr Sausage Biscuit Day across Los Angeles!

Hey L.A., Why Not Make Friday the 13th Your Lucky Day?

SausageBiscuit_051412What: Friday the 13th is going to be a lucky day in L.A., for anyone who wants a free breakfast. That’s because Friday, Sept. 13, is Free Sausage Biscuit Day at Carl’s Jr. restaurants across the greater Los Angeles area. From 6 to 10:30 a.m. that day, everyone is invited to visit any participating Carl’s Jr. and get a free Sausage Biscuit.

Here’s how it works: Walk in or drive thru, ask for your free biscuit and get a Sausage Biscuit, free. Boom! That easy.

The Free Sausage Biscuit Day offer is good during breakfast hours only. No purchase is necessary; one per guest, who must be present, while supplies last.

When: 6 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.

Where: All participating Carl’s Jr. restaurants in the Los Angeles area.

Sadly, these made from scratch biscuits came out AFTER I discovered that I have a pretty severe sensitivity to gluten, so I’ve never tasted them (but boy howdy do I miss biscuits – especially since I’ve left Georgia).  Far be it from me to hold anyone else back from enjoying a free sausage biscuit though.  Enjoy!

Have You Been to an Outdoor Movie Viewing Yet?

Would you believe me if I told you that I’ve lived in Los Angeles now and this summer was my first ever outdoor movie? I know, it blows my mind too.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve done plenty of the SoCal summer outdoorsy stuff.  I’ve done Shakespeare in the Park down in San Pedro, nearly every summer.  We’ve been to many an outdoor concert – downtown, at the Santa Monica Pier, Pasadena, you name it.

But this was my first outdoor movie.  And not a bad choice….Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in Pasadena.  It was part of the Eat | See | Hear traveling show.  Each Saturday, it’s a different movie at a different location.  You bring a chair, pillow or blankets, check out the live music, enjoy the collection of food trucks.  You can even bring your dog with you. And then when the sun goes down, the movie starts.

I had photos to share, but for some reason, they’re all coming up wonky and pixelated.  No bother, I can still talk about things without photos, right?

This week, Eat | See | Hear is showing Boogie Nights – you know that classic LA love story – at LA Trade Tech.  And the coolest part, they’re making it a drive in!!  But you need to get your tickets in advance.  You can get all the scoop and their summer schedule here.

If you’re looking for other summer night movie options, be sure to check out the LAist with their complete list. And who knows, I just might see you there…or at Shakespeare by the Sea…or Downtown at one of the music events.


ZenaMoon: Candles With Intention

I know it’s been a while….a long, long while, since I’ve written anything here.  To be honest, not all that much has been going on.

Yes, I’ve been traveling.  Yes, I’ve been seeing tons of concerts and shows (including traveling to concerts and shows).  Yes, I’ve been lucky enough to attend some cool events. And yes, I have recently gone gluten free and have been learning my ins and out around that.  But nothing big enough, or exciting enough has gone down that I felt compelled enough to open this puppy up and get writing again.

Until today.  Yep, today I finally felt like it was time to pick things up again.

What’s that magic THING you ask?

Why it’s ZenaMoon and Carla’s amazing candles, of course.  And talk about magical…each candle is handmade with love and intention with a special blend of scents and gemstones.

Now I wouldn’t say these candles are something you buy because it matches your decor or your favorite scent.  No, these candles have a purpose. For my upcoming summer of focus and producivity (after what feels like one of my most wasted and unproductive years in quite some time), I opted for the a candle for writing and coming out of hiding.  And Carla included a fun little giftie self-nurture candle (which I’m burning as I write this).

The orange and cranberry swirled a candle for writing candle is scented with mango and orange and has carnelian gemstone mixed in.  Carnelian is said to protect from bad vibrations, guard against poverty, strengthen courage, vitality, confidence and action. And according to one source, “in ancient times it was used in battle to impart courage to warriors and in public speaking to bestow the gift of eloquence.”  The gift of eloquence will certainly be helpful when writing, no?

The beautiful, purpley-green swirly coming out of hiding candle is scented with freesia and mint (yum!).  And has aventurine which is said to have properties to increase perception and creative insight.  And bring on the luck.  Works for me.

I can’t wait to light them up and get busy!!

You can find out more about Carla and ZenaMoon by visiting her website.

On Being Creative For the Sake of Being Creative

Lately, I’ve noticed two things…1) I’ve barely been taking the time to write here, in this blog.  And 2) that I’ve been really focusing a lot of time and energy around being creative. You know, doing art for the sake of art.

Funny how when you think about it, both are so closely related.  I mean, writing is clearly a form of expressing ones self creatively. Yet for some reason, while I’ve managed to write a weekly newsletter and weekly blog posts over on my business side of things, as well as create two books over the summer break, I’ve not carved out time to write over here.

I blame part of it on Facebook.  Before we had social media, the main way that bloggers shared our thoughts with the world was to blog about them.  And well, that took some time to do…you had to write it out, find photos (because they kept telling us that we need photos or our posts won’t ever get read), format it, pretty it up, and post it.  Then you had to wait for folks to find it and fingers-crossed, read it and leave a comment.

Then we had Facebook (which I’ll admit, I was way slow in getting into), where we could share whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted with our friends and we had instantaneous feedback in the form of comments or likes (or back in the good ol’ days, even dislikes).  And on Twitter, we had an even bigger audience to share anything and everything (as long as it was 140 characters) with the entire world.  Much like with our blogs, anyone could follow along.  Things went by so quickly on Twitter that it really didn’t matter if folks commented or retweeted or whatever, as long as you had those followers, you were golden.

Which is really just my way of saying that I kind of left the more personal side of blogging, for my social networks.  In particular, for Facebook.  You know where I could share any photo, story, article, or random thought.*  It’s so easy. Oh, how I love me some Facebook *sigh*

As for that “creativity” thing…this is something that I’ve actually been leaning into for the past couple years. I’ve read books. I’ve taken a couple classes.  I’ve picked up art supplies to play with.  I’ve taken my camera everywhere (and now I’m rarely without one thanks to my iPhone). I’ve written, drawn, stamped, colored, painted, taped, glued, and sparkled.

Yet, I still find that I struggle with this concept a bit.

Lately, I’ve gotten more comfortable with the fact that while I might never call myself an artist (let along an artiste!), as an entrepreneur and a writer, I AM creative.  When you think about it, one can’t create a business if they’re not creative.  The mere process of running your business, setting up the systems, creating the products and services…that’s all a creative, artistic process.

I don’t think I really understood that fully until I read Tara Gentile’s The Art of Earning.  She goes into a lot of explanation how the very process of earning income, is an artistic process.  Essentially going on to say that when you get down to it, living life is a creative process.

And this makes sense to me.

As a teacher, I think it’s really important to get our children comfortable with creativity.  Not just art and music.  But the outside of the box thinking that is necessary to succeed in life and business.  The sports, the dance, the story telling, the critical thinking.  All of it. It’s all part of embracing your creativity.

If you’d like to dig a little deeper and learn more about your creative side, I’d recommend you pick up Tara’s book (it’s only $3 for the digital copy – less than a latte at Starbucks).  I think it might get you looking at your daily experiences a little differently.


* if you’d like to follow along my FB journey of randomness, feel free. I don’t friends folks I don’t know, but you’re more than welcome to “subscribe” (and I do share things regularly that my subscribers can access).

Don’t Cover it Up

Back when I was in grad school, I did my final project on domestic violence.  At the time, I had recently worked as an intern at a local facility for court appointed, domestic violence offenders (the abusers) doing intake.

It was a difficult job.  You’d meet these men (during my time, there was only one woman), that we charming and funny and sometimes even good looking, and you’d hear their stories.  During all my intakes, I never got the bitter guy that said “she deserved it”.  No, I always got the charming ones.

So of course, there was also this teeny, tiny part of me that kinda believed that it was an accident.  I mean, the logical part of the brain knew that they were just telling a story.  But the naive, young woman in me sometimes thought that maybe this one was telling the truth.

Which, I must say, make it difficult for this single gal to trust the men she was dating…Were they telling me the truth? were they making up stories? Were they lying through their teeth?

That is, until the day my former boss came in for his intake.

Just to clear the air, he wasn’t my direct boss, but he was the owner of the salon I was working for.  So when I answered the phone, so I recognized his name.  I scheduled his intake and told my boss that I knew him so someone else would need to take the meeting.

When he showed up, he said that he was fine with my doing the interview (clue one he’s convinced he did nothing wrong).  During the whole interview, he went on and on about how it was an accident.  How his wife called the police but it was just to “get back at him” during an argument.  Et cetera, et cetera.

Thing is, I knew him.  Personally.  I was there, both inside his salon as an employee and outside his salon when I worked across the way.  I’d seen the short tempers.  I’d heard the yelling.  I’d seen the rampages.

I didn’t believe a word he said.  I knew better.

That day I decided that I could no longer work with this population of individuals (or substance abusers – domestic violence and substance abuse tend to go hand in hand) and quit.

My heart goes out to anyone that has suffered any sort of abuse…physical, sexual, financial or emotional.  I know they must feel trapped and they don’t realize that there is a way out.  And just as importantly, that they’re not alone and there is support out there.

Which is why when a friend shared this video from YouTube sensation, make-up artist, Lauren Luke I had to share it.  I later realized that it’s a fictionalized account, but it looks so real (especially the fear in her eyes at the end).

It’s a short one (under two minutes)…watch it.

And if it moves you, do whatever you feel you can do to help the cause and support other women in similar situations.  And if you need help, please, know you’re not alone and help is only a phone call away (800-799-SAFE).

This particular campaign is with – if you’re in the US and need help you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-SAFE)