Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Up Series






Have you seen The Up Series? I have been wanting to watch it FOREVER, and only this past week realized that they were all on Netflix. I couldn't start them fast enough and can honestly say it is probably the best documentary series I've ever seen. Here is the premise: In 1964, the filmmakers selected 14 British children from all difference backgrounds (students in the best prep schools to children in the countryside who walk four miles to school each day to children in government run homes). The first film is when they are seven, and they are asked a variety of questions about the home life, what they want to be when they grow up, religion, politics, race, the opposite sex, etc. The same group of children are then interviewed every seven years (the last one they did the 'kids' were 56! I have only watched 7, 14, 21 and am halfway through 28. It is absolutely fascinating, I have been so shocked by how so many of the views of the seven year olds have been the same opinions they hold at 14, 21 and 28. It has made me think so much about how important those first several years when raising a child - the way they are being shaped when they are a mere seven years old is very much indicative of how they are going to be as an adult! I can't wait to finish the series and highly recommend it to any documentary lover. Also, can we talk about how absolutely precious little Bruce is?! Watch it and let me know what you think! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

South of France and Spain











I realized that I never shared the rest of our photos from our Europe trip earlier this year. You can see some of our Paris ones here, but above are a few of my favorites from Nice, Villefranche, Antibes, Monaco and Barcelona. It was amazing!! While I am by no means an expert, here are a few of my tips when planning a trip and visiting Europe...

Have a mix of busy days and relaxing days. Preston and I have found that our sweet spot for vacation is having busy exploring days (I don't say busy lightly - we jam packed five museums into one day while in Paris! I want to see it all!) followed by relaxing, go-with-the-flow, pass-the-sangria kind of days. We will purposefully schedule big cities followed by small villages and beach towns, I think it helps to get a more authentic experience while preserving your sanity. Win win!

Take screenshot photos of your Google map directions on your phone before you leave your coffee shop/ hotel/ restaurant with wifi. I think maybe everybody already knows this but it is completely how we got around everywhere!

Pack in a carry on! Last year when we went to Italy for two weeks, we used backpacks. While it was convenient to not have to pull luggage over cobblestone streets, those sucks are HEAVY and it was not the most ideal of situations to run through Rome with an extra 40 lbs on your back. This year we opted for small, roller carry on luggage and it was amazing. We did one each and it was more than enough room - in fact, I think I will probably try to pack lighter next time around!

Comfy shoes. Comfy shoes. Comfy shoes. I brought Sketchers walking shoes which officially makes me an 80 year-old woman but we walked over 90 miles this past trip and my feet didn't hurt even a tiny bit! Worth it.

Get a public transit pass for however long you will be in the area. This is way quicker and easier than buying individual bus/ train rides each time you want to ride. And if you accidentally get off on the wrong stop/ take the wrong train it's no big deal, you can hop right back on again!

Don't be an a-hole.  Before we went to France, we were a bit weary of the whole 'French hate Americans' stereotype. Ya'll, they were so gracious and kind and amazing. The first night we were there and had to ask for directions, the woman we asked didn't just point us or tell us where to go, she walked us around the neighborhood to find the flat we were staying at. We stayed here in Nice and Albert couldn't have been a sweeter host! He had a suggested itinerary for us each morning that he shared while he cooked us delicious French crepes, took us on a walking city of the tour and was over the top incredible. We went to a restaurant one night, the wonderful host started putting blankets around my shoulders the second the sun went down to make sure I wasn't cold. All of this to say, the rude people that we did encounter were all Americans! There was a group of students traveling abroad on a beach we were at who were so loud and inappropriate, it definitely made it clear why Americans get a bad rep!

Something is going to go wrong. I think going into traveling realizing that it is going to be a little bit crazy is the best mindset. You will get lost, you will accidentally lose something, you will accidentally take the keys from your flat after checking out and wander across town, etc. It happens! Nothing a delicious glass of wine can't cure.

Take advantage of your plane flight over to get on your new sleep schedule! Here is where I am going to be honest: this is the only time I ever take a sleeping pill. And then I wash it down with a big ol' glass of red wine to make sure I fall straight to sleep. I wake up refreshed and ready to go!

Bring a tooth brush, chapstick and powder/ mascara in your purse on the plane. Right before you land, run to the bathroom and brush your teeth and touch up your mascara and lips. This instantly puts me in the mood to go explore. Also, bring thick, comfy socks to slip into on the plane!

Call you bank before you leave so they don't place a hold on your account! Also, get a credit card with a chip so you can use it abroad - it makes life so much easier! And hello, credit card points. (We use this one and love it!)

....And I think that is about it! What are your favorite tips/ tricks? Please do share! (Also, New Zealand and SE Asia are the next places on our travel wish list so please send over your advice for there!!)


Anniversary Weekend









We had the BEST anniversary weekend celebrating at Lost Pines resort. We opted for a staycation has we have several trips planned throughout the rest of the year and I am so happy we did. It was so nice to do a quick 45 minute drive into the hill country and get the relaxation immediately started! We spent the first day with cocktails floating through the lazy river, before heading to live music and onto dinner followed by smores around the campfire. AMAZING. The second day was not too much different, with the addition of bike rides (and a slight hangover in the morning if I am being honest!)

We quickly decided it was going to be a new tradition to head to Lost Pines annually (Preston says monthly which I wish was the case)! If you are in Austin and get the chance to go, you will love it!

Also, yes, this is an anniversary weekend with absolutely no photos of Preston and I! Terrible I know, but I left my phone in the room for most of the weekend so I could just relax and enjoy! Thank goodness Preston brought his and snapped a few pictures. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Some favorites for a Tuesday


Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens Brown paper packages tied up with strings These are a few of my favorite things...

This song. And this one too.

Motherhood around the world. (My favorite blog series, well, ever. Preston told me yesterday, "I think you read more mom stuff than most moms." So what if I do?! ;)

Hope Runs by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Samuel Ikua Gachagua. Preston got this for me for my birthday (from a very specific Amazon link I sent him - smart man) and I LOVED it. I'd love to hear your recommendations for favorite summer books.

100 Things to Read. THANK. YOU. JESUS. It felt a little bit like Christmas stumbling upon this, is there anything better than reading?!

Salty Sow. If you live in Austin, please, please go here. We went last night for our anniversary dinner and loved it, easily hopped to my top 5 Austin restaurants. Highly recommend: OMG THE BRUSSEL SPROUTS, Honey Rosemary Dipped Chicken, the beignets for dessert and a Garden Fresh Collins (or three) to wash it all down.

This kitchen tool. You guys - it is changing my kitchen life. Zucchini pasta and cucumber spiral salad are a few of my new favorites.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Two (TWO!) Year Anniversary




I honestly can't even tell you how often I watch our wedding video. ALL THE TIME. And if I can't share it on our anniversary than I have no idea when you can. ;)

I truly feel like I have blinked and two years have passed. They have been the most incredible two years - we've gone on lots of trips, moved from Seattle to Austin, bought our first house, discovered a ton about ourselves, each other and our relationship. I am so thankful to do life with my sweet Preston, even on days where everything goes wrong and I am cranky and he is fuming and Sebastian rolls in poop (literally) - life is still good. I read something this morning that I want to try to remember whenever I feel like getting upset about something silly:

"Live in light of eternity. That’ll shake a lot of stuff down for you and separate the things that are a waste of time, and the things that are worth investing in. You want to look back on life and say a lot of“I’m glad I did that’s.” 

I don't know if anniversary goals are a thing, but I am making this mine. Live in light of eternity. STOP worrying about the small things and getting upset when thing's don't go my way. Feel free to hold me accountable for this one. :) 


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Twenty five!


Somehow I blinked and it is July 31st and I am TWENTY FIVE. How did that happen?! I feel like just yesterday I was turning 20 years old in college - throwing a party that had my apartment carpet floors blacker than black. Looking back on the last 25 years, I couldn't be more thankful for the truly incredible people I have in my life and the experiences I've had with them. Here are twenty five things I've learned from my twenty five sweet little years of life...

1. I've learned how little I actually know. I distinctly remember being 15 and knowing IT ALL. I had it all figured out. As I get older, the more I realize I know so little about everything. It is completely humbling and makes me so

2. Plans shouldn't be concrete. Ever. That is the adventure! God has a plan that is bigger and better than the measly ones I make in my head and write on my calendar. So when things go a little crazy (like last Sunday morning when Sebastian decided to take a poop bath 10 minutes before we were going to leave for church) I should just breathe and go with it. (For the record, I freaked out like a mad woman after the poop bath. Still learning here!)

3. I am realizing just how many people love me in spite of myself. There are times where I have been so careless, selfish, forgetful and unkind and I have so many people who have loved me in spite of those things.

4. Don't take it personally. Seriously, self, don't.

5.  It is okay to be a little insecure - EVERYBODY is. For some reason, this last year I struggled with insecurity more than I ever had in my life. I think some of it was over thinking, but a lot of it was comparison. At the end of the day, though, it is

6. Comparison is the thief of joy.

7. Religion should be more of a love affair and less of a theory. I read this on She Reads Truth (please follow their Instagram if you don't already) a few weeks ago and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

8. Be kinder.

9. Life is better with more spontaneity. I am a planner by nature, but more and more I'm realizing the importance of not planning everything.

10. Pamper yourself. For some reason the last few years I have had it in my mind that it is selfish to take good care of myself. But the last few months, I've realized that is not the case. It is important to take care of yourself!

11. People are important. Not clothes, not cars, not being right, not a pretty home. People.

12. Budget. Now I am by no means a perfect example, I don't think there is one month that Preston and I have ever stayed 100% on budget. But one thing we make sure to do is have our savings taken out of our check before it is deposited into our account - out of site, out of mind!

13. Sleep is important. Somewhere around 22-23, I lost all ability to function on less than 6 hours of sleep a night. The days of being a college freshman and drinking all night and then waking up at 7 for a sunrise hike feeling completely seem so far in the past - I would give my right arm to be able to do that these days!

14. Travel! Little trips, big trips, staycations, weekends away - the past few years my very favorite memories have been from time traveling with my sweet husband. I would take a trip over new clothes any day of the week.

15. Don't judge!!! If this is one thing I want to focus on the next  year (or next 25!) it would be this. I am the last person that should ever judge anybody and when I catch myself doing it (often) I try to gently remind myself of this fact.

16. Jesus is the best role model. Unfailing love, unending grace.

17. Just say it. Stop holding it in. I will always have thoughts in my head of things I'd like to say and stop myself, because, is that weird? Should I tell that random stranger at Trader Joe's who is so patient and tender with her three kids that she is such a great example?! I've been trying to get out of my comfort zone lately and say these things and always feel SO much better when I do!

18. Grudges are so not worth it, ever! When I was younger, I remember holding onto things that hurt me so closely. I would try to remember the hurtful things done and said to me so I could hold those people at bay, not ever letting myself get close to them. That is the worst idea ever. Letting go of things is one of the most freeing things possible.

19. Listen more than you talk. Especially in groups, I've found how much nicer it is to sit and listen to what people are saying and to hear their stories, and their feelings, than being concerned with getting my own two cents in.

20. Reading is the best. Absolutely nothing can soothe my soul the way reading a good book can. I've also learned that libraries and book stores are my happy places.

21. Take walks. Lots of them. The talks that Preston and I have on our walks are our best. It's where we plan, goal set, dream up future trips and have fun!

22. Life should not be taken all that seriously.

23. Friends are SO important. Those relationships with girlfriends should be absolutely cherished.

24. Cooking is one of the best ways to show love to people.

25. Never feeling bad about eating good ice cream. Or drinking a delicious glass of red wine.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Paris











Last month Preston and I spent two glorious weeks in France and Spain. I would give anything to be back right this second! My work brain hasn't completely functioned back out of vacation mode (we just got back a week and a half ago) so while I am busy procrastinating I thought I would share a few photos. We started off our trip in Paris and I fell in love. Every street was just so ridiculously charming. We did get a little rain, or 'Seattle weather' as Preston put it, which was to be expected. I honestly didn't mind because most of the time because we were too busy running from one place to the next on the rainy days!

We got some amazing recommendations from friends (thank you so much!) and ventured out to try plenty of cute places we strolled by. We covered A TON of ground in four days: Catacombs Tour, Eiffel Tour, Sacre Coeur, Lourve, Notre-Dame, d'Orsay and Versailles (which was the highlight of our trip and probably one of my favorite days of my life, biking through Versailles with an ice cream cone in hand is heaven on earth). We ate SO. MUCH. GREAT. FOOD. But the winner was definitely Le Potager. We were staying in Montmarte so it was approximately two minutes from our door step but it is worth the trek if you are staying someplace else. The outside is nothing special but the inside is warm, intimate and the food is fantastic. After you go to dinner there, head here for a mojito that will rock your socks.

NOW TAKE ME BACK RIGHT THIS SECOND...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Remembering









Last weekend we had the most incredible time celebrating one of my favorite people in the world, my sweet friend, Molly. We laid by the pool, danced, talked and had such an awesome time celebrating one of the most genuine, selfless, hard working, kind, positive, person in the world. On Monday, Molly had learned that her precious momma had passed away. She had battled cancer for 17 months and had gone home to be with Jesus. Hearing the news seemed surreal, Molly and I had just been together? I had seen photos of Susie on her birthday the weekend before? No matter how sick somebody is, I don't think you ever actually expect or prepare to hear the news that someone has passed. Especially the mom of a dear friend that you have known for 10 years. 

As I've gotten older and heard stories of other people's parents and generally become more aware of the world, I've learned to appreciate my mom in a whole new way. Not all moms put their children's welfare about their own. Not all of them take a vested interest in their kid's lives. But Susie did. I remember her always making sure Molly had her favorite cookie cake on her birthday, and going out of her way to make events incredible (remember the limo ride to Alki and bonfire for your 18th birthday Mol)? I remember going over to a girls night at her house a couple of years ago with my mom and their work friends and Susie having everything perfect - her amazing chicken pizza, wine for everybody, patio table set - just to celebrate a random Friday girls night! 

To have a mom that you are close with, that has such love and pride for you, that would go into a burning building for you, is such an incredible thing. I can't even imagine the amount of pride Susie has for her two daughters. They are incredible, and I truly can't think of a more amazing legacy for anybody to leave on earth. Two beautiful, selfless, loving, educated, brilliant, kind people to bring good to the world. I love you Mols. It was a sad, sad week on earth but I can only imagine the celebrating going on in heaven. 

"For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s." Romans 14:8

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy May!








Happy May!! I have been so excited for this month since January. I think during the entire month of May I will be in the office for a week and half total? The rest of the time I will be enjoying the sun in California, Las Vegas, Austin, Istanbul, France and Spain. YES PLEASE. The above photos are from Southern California where I got to see my sweetheart momma and love on her for a few days. I am still here until tomorrow, but working by the beach is a lot different than playing by the beach with your mom. :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kitchen Plans





Now that I put up the horrible pictures of what our kitchen looks like currently, I wanted to share some pretty inspiration pictures about the direction we are headed. I have a pretty clear image in my mind of what I want which is: white subway tile with dark grout backsplash, white quartz counter top (pending our budget), grey cabinets, brass sink (and cabinet hardware potentially) and a farmhouse sink! I am so excited about some of these changes and can't wait to see everything start to come together. What kind of kitchens do you love?