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. :)