Thursday, March 31, 2011

sneaky sebastian.

For weeks I have been thinking that I was a crazy person. A serious loony toon. Because, like I mentioned here, everyday for several days in a row I left the gate open for Sebastian to escape and roam about the neighborhood. The strange part is I remember double (even triple!) checking both gates every time this happened.

Two nights ago I let Sebastian out to play on the deck while I went to pick fresh flowers from our side yard.  When I was rounding the corner back into the yard I saw it. Sebastian had figured out how to strategically jump at just the right angle to manuever his nose into the latch in order to open the locked gate all by himself. That dog is pure genius. And I, for the record, am not crazy.

Getting tons of snuggles even though he's the sneakiest pup ever

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

etsy goodness

Today I am swooning over 945 Etsy finds that I want right now...


Mrs. Jones Soapbox - find her products here

I would get these bad boys in a second - if only we had our own laundry room to display cutesy cleaning and laundry supplies. Right now we share with the house below us, which works out great, except for times like right now when I would kill to decorate a laundry room. 

I am in love with this little pillow guy - find him here

SAY YES, Typographic Fine Art Print, handwritten words on Handmade Watercolor Paper 8x12 inches, Wedding gift, 

How cute would these look framed next to each other?! Print via

25 Brown Polka Dot Baking Cups/Nut Cups   Dainty Pinwheels for Cupcakes or decorations (12) 

  Gray and White Paper Straws and Sprinkles   50 Yellow Barber Striped Cupcake Liners

Stripes & polka dots - heaven! Find 'em here and here

Monday, March 28, 2011

case of the mondays

This morning was completely one of those I-want-to-lay-in-bed-all-day-long kind of days. A serious case of the Mondays. I am going to attribute it to the fact that we had an absolutely fabulous weekend and I didn't want it to end! It started last Thursday night when we drove to Vegas for a quick daycation. We love, love, LOVED getting to see our special people - our friends, Preston's family, my brother's family and even my dad who was in town for a few days! It was fabulous - if only we could steal all of them and bring them back to San Diego.

We came back late Friday night so Preston could make his early morning meeting with his new work team. We spring cleaned all day and then did a little car shopping (I'm in the market!) followed by an evening at Preston's new restaurant which was seriously delicious. The next morning we enjoyed brunch at our new favorite brunch spot - yum!

Holy deliciousness

This restaurant is also located right next to tons of great shopping, which we obviously had to check out after.

Preston looks great in his new outfit!

And just for fun here are a few pictures from last weekend at Disneyland...

Yes that's us in the matching sweatshirts...

His favorite - Disney turkey legs

I'm going to blame my crazy face & hair on the crazy rain!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

kitchen makeover

I was looking at our p+m home tour pictures and realized that I never included pictures of our kitchen! Half of the reason is because I am a space cadet and forgot - the other half is because it is a work in progress and I haven't exactly decided what to do next.

Here is the before...

Ok seriously - black laminate cabinets? original (1960!) oven?

Here is another angle - in case you missed the TV-in-the-cupboard detail.

Clearly there was room for some changes. Luckily, we love a good project! Even more lucky, we have the world's greatest landlords who agreed to let us deduct whatever we spent on a new oven from our rent. Somehow this generous offer and Preston's mad Craigslist skills allowed us to get a beautiful, brand new stainless steel oven and microwave for nothing at all. We also had Home Depot gift cards from my sweet sister which we were able to use for our paint and supplies - free again! Preston's super-handy and oh-so-nice step dad, Dave, was in town and the credit for most of this transformation goes to him. While I was out of town, him and P primed and painted and turned our retro black kitchen into this...

Please excuse our messy counters - I clearly haven't done my weekly cleaning.

It is by no means perfect and is still very much a work in progress but it is SUCH an improvement from what was going on in there before. I still need to decide what in the world is going on above the cabinets. I am also contemplating doing something fun (wallpaper?)  above the cabinet or maybe just on the awkward wood strip. I've dabbled with the idea of painting a couple of the cupboards with chalkboard paint, too. So many options! Luckily, I have been getting lots of inspiration from here and here and P and I have an IKEA trip planned this weekend! I will be sure to post pictures as we continue to make changes.

scratch & sniff

If this picture really did smell, you'd be gagging.

As sweet of a dog as Sebastian is, he has the world's. worst. gas. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I spoon feed him frozen yogurt... or sneak him bites of pulled chicken....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

busy bees

Happy Tuesday! This weekend we were busy bees and got the chance to see some of our sweet friends and family who were visiting, so fun! We spent lots of time at Disneyland and ate more than I wish to remember. Seriously... why must Disney have the world's best theme park food?!

Last night we decided to get a little adventurous and Preston made gluten-free pizza from coconut flour. The first attempt was a big fail...  it was my fault, I told him he could use wax paper instead of parchment paper. Oops. The second attempt, however, was scrumptious and our bbq chicken pizza with pineapple and corn was pure heaven. If you want to try this cheesy goodness, get the recipe here.

Because I am a huge goof and didn't take any pictures this weekend, here is my nephew Remy who had his first T-ball game this weekend!

Remy and Riley - T-ball superstars

Friday, March 18, 2011

bow chicka wow wow

Sometimes I say that when I get really excited. And today I am really excited. For those of you who did not see my over-the-top-I'm-a-crazy-person-because-I-get-so-happy Facebook status yesterday, Preston got a fabulous job offer!

It is a general management position overseeing two restaurants; one of which he will get to open. They are delicious family owned pizzerias -- and both restaurants are a 15 minute drive from our home. Now, my selfish reason for being crazy excited - we will get to have a day off together! We haven't been able to do this since I started working full time, I have the weekend off and P has Tues/Wed off. But now we will get Sundays together. I can't wait for all of the church-going, fun-having, adventure-finding Sundays in our future!

Congratulations, Preston! You rock my world. Not only because you are climbing the career ladder - but for about 7,453 other reasons. For those of you unaware of how fab P Simon is, here are (some of) my top reasons:

*He ALWAYS gets the right milk. This may not be a big deal to some, but I am a milk freak. As in I refuse to drink anything but organic, skim milk (Horizon or Trader Joe's brand). I never remind him or even request that he gets this kind, but he gets the right kind every. single. time.

*When we watch the Green Mile and I request that Preston show me his thug walk, he not only shows it to me, but sags his pants and puts on a huge hoodie and hat to get to get into character.

*P doesn't get mad when I kind-of, sorta accidentally rip down the surround sound speaker and then yank the cord from underneath the carpet and hide it in the corner in an attempt to cover up my mess-up.

*He also doesn't get mad when I leave the backyard gate open everyday for a week straight and he gets to chase Sebastian through the neighborhood... oops!

*He brings me home fresh flowers from the hut down the street every week (I love this-- even if he is only doing it in exchange for marketing plans)

*He looks at me and smiles when I say seriously strange wine-induced things... like that I feel like a cauliflower.

*He cracks my back every night... even when I forget to ask him to until we're under the warm covers and he's half asleep

*He is ridiculously good looking

Congratulations again, I am so proud of you!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

p+m 50

I mentioned yesterday that I went to the AMA Cause Conference. At one point, a panel moderator stood up and told a story about how when you're young you have big ideas about changing the world and as you grow older and wiser, eventually you realize that the best thing to change is yourself. I loved this and took the idea home to Preston, saying I wanted to do more good - wanted to make myself a better person. I don't need to change the world, I just want to make a difference in someone else's life. We decided we were going to do 50 acts of kindness - simple things that improve the lives of others. We decided our wedding (Aug 11, 2012 :)) was a perfect deadline.

So today marks #1! I had the privilege of hearing the  Director of Development of Kiva, Bennett Grassano speak yesterday. Kiva is the first (to my knowledge) NPO that allows donors to microlend to individuals all over the world. They explain it best, saying "we [have a] mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, [we] let individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world." The best part, in my opinion, is that it allows you to see the people who you are helping and how they will be using the loan for their business. Oh! And, because they are loans, they repay you once they have utilized the loan to grow their business and you are able to lend to others to continue to help people - amazing!

p+m random act of kindness 1 - give a microloan of $25 to Janixia Los Santos Castellon of Leon, Nicaragua for her transportation business

Another thing I like about Kiva (I think that's the 945th thing!) is they give you the option to add a $3.75 onto your donation to help with their operating costs. Genius! If you make a donation with Kiva, absolutely do this!! I think people often forget that NPOs are businesses, they have operating expenses too. I appreciate their transparency in letting you know exactly where your money is going.

I am excited to hear how Janixia and her business continue to grow, and I am excited to brainstorm the next 49 acts of kindness with P. Suggestions welcome!

And how could I forget, Happy St. Patricks day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

philanthropy & beer

Most of the time we eat healthy. I'm talking greek yogurt and mangoes every morning, lots of veggies with dinner every night. But the last two evenings we have taken full advantage of the delicious Carlsbad restaurants and got our grub on. Tonight it was Pizza Port, where we feasted on Cheeseburger pizza, (told you we grubbed!) wings, cheese sticks (Wing Wed - only 35 cents a piece!) and treated ourselves to some Carlsbad Cream Ale. In our defense, we walked to dinner and opted for the gluten free pizza crust (which was seriously delish).

Seriously, I want to know the secret to their gf crust - heaven

Last night we enjoyed Taco Tuesday at Senor Grubby's and I tasted my first shrimp taco ever. Yum. They do some sort of cheese, white sauce goodness and fresh cabbage slaw -- no description I give is going to do it justice. Try it people. P had al pastor tacos and they rocked his world. Again, we walked there which was a good thing, because feasting on chips and guac, Tecate and tacos meant we needed a little work out. But man was it worth it!

Preston is precious and got us all the salsas from the salsa bar - then ordered them mild to spicy, my fav was 2nd spiciest!

Today I got the opportunity to attend San Diego American Marketing Association's Cause Marketing Conference. Being surrounded by such charitable companies and diligent nonprofits was incredible! I left feeling completely inspired. More info on these INCREDIBLE people/ companies to come.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

p+m home tour

As promised, here are a few pictures our home. I am madly in love with it, even more so after a great carpet cleaning. Yesterday I made a purchase that changed my life... table lamps for our night stands. I know how goofy this sounds, but I never bothered to have them and now I am completely in love... and it's only been one night! (AND they were purchased from Target for less than $20 a piece!)

Our bed (often known as Sebastian's bed)

Our reading nook/ window area that is going through identity crisis...

Our little computer desk area (that desk is one my fav antique market finds!)

Our living room area

Bar stool transformation -- after paint & reupholstering, I absolutely adore them!

Tea cart transformation -- perfect for the space next to our fridge!

Update: View pictures of our kitchen here

Monday, March 14, 2011

project-filled weekend

It was a fabulous (ok, semi fabulous) weekend for crafting and our home is coming along wonderfully. My goal for Sunday was to finish the window treatments. Unfortunately, World Market, Bed, Bath & Beyond AND Anthropologie had other plans for me....sigh. I found a panel that I loved at each store and when I searched for it's mate, I was told that there was only one. stinking. panel. left. It felt a little bit like my heart was being stomped on. (It's a good thing I'm not dramatic...)

However, I compromised and purchased the 84' panels instead of the 95' ones for our room and they look good. But not great. I haven't made up my mind on if they are keepers yet. I also spray painted everything I could get my hands on and reupholstered our kitchen stools. As soon as I put our apt back together (we had the carpets cleaned this morning) I will post pictures. :)

In other news, Preston got transferred to the Sammy's location right next to our house...Woohoo!! We are both fans of the 6 min commute vs the 36 min one! And Sebastian has decided he is terrified of the two 3 lb dogs that live downstairs. He shakes and won't leave my side when they try to play with him, I'm not sure if that is typical of a St. Bernard....

And, because our home is chaos, he is some picture goodness from somebody who actually has their home in order:


This little chair/ table combo is inspiration for our bedroom, via

Friday, March 11, 2011

my heart hurts...

...for all of those affected by today's earthquakes, tsunamis and mud slide. Here is the link to the American Red Cross, who have already launched a global effort to collect disaster relief funds for Japan and the Pacific Tsunami.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

work & happiness

Great quote I found while blog browsing this morning...
'take care to remind yourself how lucky you are and be as eager for monday mornings as you are for friday afternoons' - gretchen rubin. While I love what I do, I always find myself so looking forward to Friday evenings (more particularly, the start of the weekend), when instead I should be grateful for every little second.

Also... just in case you were wondering what the most precious family in the world looks like... (no I am not at all bias ;))

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

picture of the day

Cutesy pie Arianna in her bath robe *melt

overthrow judgement. liberate love.

The one downside (besides missing the wonderful people!) of moving from Las Vegas to San Diego is that we are no longer able to go to Central Christian. And if we were still attending services, I am sure we would have found out about this new program (idea, movement?) way sooner.

Its called People of the Second Chance, and does exactly that; motivates people to give others a second chance. They point out that, well, nobody is perfect and we could all use a second chance. So simple, yet completely powerful!

I love this movement and thought I would share; because, when I write things, it seems to help me actually follow through with them. So here is to a little more grace and a lot more love.

Monday, March 7, 2011

at it again...

Staying true to my cheesy nature, I entered P and I in a contest. It's for Crate and Barrel's Ultimate Wedding Contest, and the price is $100,000 towards your wedding, how could we not enter?!

So, point of this little post, we'd love for you to mosey on over to here and sign in to vote for us. Thanks, we love you. A whole lot.

Friday, March 4, 2011

cheers to you

Today marks the 32nd birthday of my big sister, best friend, role model, Hannah.

She’s the big sister who let me open all of her birthday presents growing up. Who let me blow out all of her candles. She’s the big sister who never got mad when I ruined every. single. surprise. birthday. party. ever.

Cheers to being loving, generous, thoughtful, funny and radiant. Because that’s what you are. I love you Hannah, 32 never looked better!

Hannah and me, was it 1990?!

I think this is the perfect picture to sum up exactly who you are

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

it's sebastian's world

And Preston and I just live in it. I am sure this is his mindset. He uses his striking good looks to somehow get anything and everything he wants...

Like last night, when Sebastian got 5/6 of our King size bed. Seriously, is half of this huge bed not enough for you dog?! Preston had the smallest sliver and me? Oh I slept on top of Preston with my feet dangling off the side of the bed. Seriously.

Or there is the fact that every evening, when I get home from work, Sebastian has me trained to open the sliding patio door exactly a foot so that he can have his head rest on the deck, while the rest of his body is inside on the tile, so he can watch the sunset and catch the breeze in his fur.

Or there was yesterday. I got new throw pillows (that I luurrvee) this week, so when Sebastian looked as if he wanted a space on the couch, I gathered them, put them on the corner of the couch and left him with lots of open space to choose a seat. But nope, he liked the idea of extra comfort, so he went to the corner and sat right on top. of. my. pillows.

Want the truth? Whenever he does any of these things, P and I laugh and then give him 10,000 kisses and tell him he is the cutest dog in the whole world. Seriously though, how could you ever get mad at a face like this...

Sweet, sweet Sebastian boy!

Such a stud muffin

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Seattle. I don't know if it is the gray San Diego sky today or the fact that my sister's birthday is this week and I am not there to celebrate... whatever it is I am a little homesick. So, naturally, I have been looking at pictures of P and I in Seattle from last year...

Christmas 2009 - Walking to the Pink Door downtown Seattle

My two favorite monkeys at Pike's Place Market

I miss loving on my Ari girl, who has gone from a baby to a...

A big, beautiful toddler!! How did that happen so fast?!

I miss the beautiful Seattle skyline...

and family vacations along the Washington Coast,

and throwing parties with my favorite girls...

and of course playing in the Seattle snow

While I am on my whiny vent session, I also miss our family in Texas...

Us with Preston's sweet momma in Texas, 2009

In Texas with my Uncle Paul, Cousins Chris & Lee and their sweet girl Anna

Alright, I'm down complaining! I guess it is a good thing when you have such a wonderful family that you miss them this much!

....And oh, Happy March!