Tag Archives: lifestyle

Life Lately

It’s spring, guys! I’m so grateful for the longer days, blooming plants, and all the cute dresses hitting the stores. This one came home with me last weekend, and this little number will join it as soon as it goes on sale. (Ann Taylor and LOFT have so many online sales that I refuse to pay full-price for anything there.) Anyway, enough about dresses: here’s some springy stuff we’ve been up to lately:

We’ve finally started Operation: Deck Beautification, thanks to these deck rail planters from Lowe’s. They’re only $12 each, and having a bit of color out there makes SUCH a difference:

Deck Flowers

On Friday night, we celebrated the arrival of spring at Scott River Ranch’s May Day Festival:

Maypole

Sadly, I did not drink enough beer to show off my sweet maypole dance moves.

They served a fantastic dinner of their grass-fed beef, a just-picked-from-the-ground salad, and warm potato salad. This ranch is so cool – their cattle live in green, wide-open pastures, they don’t brand or rope their animals, and they make the slaughter experience as decent as possible (read more here, if you want.) I may have had a few beers and then decided to purchase a $40 tri tip.

Note to city dwellers: this is REAL farm-to-table dining.

Enjoying a tasty steak dinner in a barn overlooking a pasture full of cattle. #sorrynotsorry

On Saturday, we headed over to a cool little brewery called the Drunken Goat for a tasting event. This might be my favorite local event ever: You pay $12 for a pint glass, and then they give you all the beer you want. So it wasn’t so much as a “tasting” as it was a mid-day bacchanal that left me with the world’s worst hangover. But still, it was worth it because $12 ALL YOU CAN DRINK BEER.

Drunken Goat

I very much resembled that goat by night’s end.

After the beer tasting, we went to our friends Rob and Jenn’s house to watch the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Rob didn’t make us his famous grilled cheeses, but I’m going to forgive him because it was his birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROB! Now make me a grilled cheese.

I leave this afternoon for a work trip in Reno, and then the day after I get back I’m heading down to Redding to watch my brother compete in his first bodybuilding competition. My main goal from that event (besides cheering for my bro, obviously) is to get a picture of my grandma posing with some mostly-naked juiceheads. WISH ME LUCK.

Advertisements

Holidays in Photos

Frost on fence

Happy first day of 2015! Mine is off to a fabulous, albeit freezing, start. I’m trying not to complain too much because we’ve had a relatively mild winter until last week, but still: starting your work mornings off by shivering in your 55-degree living room while trying to build a fire in your bath towel is just about as pleasant as it sounds. As I was braving frostbite to take that photo up there on the way to work one morning last week, I got a text from a friend complaining about how “cold” it was in Los Angeles – 37 degrees. I told her to suck it.

Anyway. I had a lot of fun celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Eve with family and friends, and since I’m still recovering from my annual post-holiday-eating stomach ache, I’m going to take the easy way out and just post some photos from the last week or so. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, if you celebrate. I’m not one for resolutions, but I will say that I am looking forward to devoting a little more attention to this space in the coming year!

Stockings on Mantle

{Christmas Eve mantle}

Christmas Pajamas

{Matching Christmas pajamas}

Cascade Theater

{Ceiling detail inside Redding’s Cascade Theater}

Christmas Tree

{Can you spot the toddler?}

Baby cheeks

{Baby cheeks}

Happy 2015

{No NYE celebration is complete without fireworks}

P.S. – Sorry for the grainy shots – perhaps I should break my resolution boycott and vow to use my DSLR more often in 2015!

Bambi Got Lucky

So, I almost hit a deer yesterday morning on my way to work. FUN RURAL LIVING FACT: it’s usually better to hit the stupid deer than to swerve, so I closed my eyes (much smart! very safety!), braked as much as I could without locking up, and managed to stop mere inches from its derpy little deer face looking at me like, “What is even happening right now?”

It was not unlike this.

It was not unlike this.

As I careened toward the little guy, the only thought going through my head was, “NOOOO NOT MY PRETTY NEW CAR!” I’m sure there are a number of more appropriate thoughts I could have been having. Like maybe, “Please don’t let it come through the windshield and break my face,” or, “I really don’t want to kill a cute furry animal today.”

Whatever, I’m shallow.

I’m pretty lucky that I’ve lived in the country for seven years now and haven’t hit any large animals, although plenty of squirrels, birds, skunks, raccoons, and even a rogue hedgehog have all made the fatal mistake of running in front of my tires. One time, I was doing about 80 mph on the freeway when a bird hit my roof rack, ricocheted off at lightning speed, and cracked the windshield of the car behind me. Apparently I am a monster, because instead of feeling bad for the little dude I was like, “Hey! Real-life Angry Birds!”

In other news, I’ve managed to wrap all of my gifts except for one, which is slowly making its way over from Poland. If it doesn’t get here before the 24th as promised, I’m going to have to look up some nasty Polish words to leave on a certain Etsy shop’s comment section.

Also, if you receive a gift from me that looks like it was wrapped by Edward Scissorhands, this is why:

Are you done wrapping your gifts yet?

My Top Five Christmas Albums

Confession: I’m currently watching Love Actually for the second time this week. The thing is, viewing Christmas movies outside of the holiday season totally depresses me, so I have to get my fill of all my favorites during the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A third viewing of Christmas Vacation will probably happen this weekend, and I’m not ashamed.
tumblr_mdggyrYyNF1r2y03wo1_400
Anyway, I was watching Rick Grimes profess his secret love to Keira Knightley when I realized I totally promised a post about my favorite Christmas albums and I still haven’t written it. So here it is guys: My 5 favorite Christmas albums:

5. Sufjan Stevens, Songs for Christmas

Sufjan Stevens Songs for Christmas

Warning: This is super hipstery. Like, you’ll probably feel like you should be listening to it on a vintage 8-track tape deck while knitting organic Alpaca hair PBR coozies for your Etsy shop. But, just like your friendly neighborhood hipster, it’s quirky and different and that can be refreshing after hearing 19 different pop versions of Jingle Bells at the grocery store.

Fave Song: Come On! Let’s Boogie to the Elf Dance!

4. Amy Grant, A Christmas Album

Amy Grant
I don’t know anybody my age who didn’t grow up with this album, and the song “Emmanuel” will forever remind me of helping my mom and grandma make my great-grandma’s sugar cookie recipe the day before Christmas Eve. And by “helping,” I mean, “writing angry poetry about the injustice of not being Taylor Hanson’s girlfriend and sneaking bites of dough while their backs were turned.”

Fave Song: Emmanuel. Duh.

3. The Carpenters, Christmas Portrait

Carpenters+Christmas+Portrait+1978
The nostalgia factor is also high with this one. One time my sister and I popped it into the CD player of her Geo Storm on our way home for Christmas break during college, and it got stuck so we had to listen to it for the entire 8-hour car ride. The fact that we did not drive off a cliff after the sixth repeat is a testament to Karen Carpenter’s soothing alto voice.

Fave Song: It’s Christmas Time

2. She & Him, A Very She & Him Christmas

She & Him

Again, HIPSTER CENTRAL, but HER VOICE.

Fave Song: Silver Bells

1. Home Alone Soundtrack

homealone

LOVE. Although whenever I listen to it, I get the sudden urge to hit somebody in the balls with a crowbar.

Fave Song: The Drifters, White Christmas

Now tell me about your favorite Christmas albums in the comments.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

So I blogged exactly three times during NaBloPoMo. That’s a pretty spectacular fail, even for me.

At least I tried, I guess?

At least I tried?

What was I doing all month instead of blogging? Working, mostly. My new job is amazing, if not a little bit intimidating (like all new jobs tend to be, really). I was also putting up a crapton of Christmas decorations, much to the chagrin of Dave, who will most likely bury my debit card like a dog in the back yard if I bring home another lighted garland. But in my defense, look how pretty!

Garland

Yes, that’s exposed drywall behind the sink. Yes, our beautiful glass mosaic backsplash tiles have been in the garage waiting to be installed for over two months. Yes, I know that I’m the worst.

Do you know who DOES appreciate my Christmas decoration addiction? Whiskers. Every night when I get home from work he sits under the tree and stares at me with his beady little cat eyes until I turn on the tree lights.

Whiskers tree

So noble, for a creature that spends half his life licking his own butthole.

And then I spend the rest of the night yelling at him for trying to chew the sequins off of my tree skirt. If you visit our house between now and Dec. 25, prepare to hear a lot of early 90s Amy Grant Christmas music interspersed with the occasional, “KNOCK IT OFF OR I’LL KILL YOU” aimed at the cat. It’s super magical.

And speaking of early 90s Amy Grant Christmas music, I’m working on a Top 10 list of my favorite Christmas albums ever. With any luck, I’ll actually get it written before next Christmas rolls around.

 

Plumora: Connect On Your Terms

I mentioned a few days ago that I’ve been working with a wearables company that’s developing a smart bracelet for women. Today is a very exciting day for us, and I figured it would be the perfect time to explain how and why I got involved.

Back in 2006 when I was a senior in college (SIDE NOTE: OH MY GOD, I’M OLD), I wrote a blog chronicling my life. And by “my life,” I mean all the really dumb stuff that my friends and I did, like getting bored in World Market and using wooden cork guns to re-enact a certain former vice president shooting his hunting buddy in the ass. Anyway. Despite my clearly questionable grasp on what constitutes quality blog content, an Australian blogger named Aakanksha started commenting on my posts. I started reading her blog, and then we started emailing each other, and before I knew it I had made my first blogging friend.

Fast forward eight years to last February: I got an email from Aakanksha informing me that she had founded a wearables company in Melbourne. (Seriously, how bad ass is that?) Her team was designing a smart bracelet for women that would alert them to smart phone notifications. Only unlike other wearables on the market, this bracelet would be a beautiful piece of jewelry, something that women could wear into the board room, or to a wedding, or to brunch with friends without looking like they were wearing a gadget on their wrist. Something delicate, made out of beautiful gold instead of clunky rubber or plastic.

Plumora Bracelet

The idea really resonated with me, as I HATE feeling like I’m constantly tied to my phone. Yet on the other hand, I also hate missing important calls, texts, and notifications because my phone is stashed in my purse or I’m stuck in a meeting. I also loved the idea that we would be doing more than creating a beautiful wearable device – we were allowing busy women in all walks of life the opportunity to break free from their phones. To stop stressing about missing important calls from loved ones, and spend more time engaging in the world around them without distraction.

I joined the team as a digital marketing advisor, and the last eight months have been a fantastic whirlwind of designing and building and branding and planning. I’m so proud to announce that this morning we officially launched our website at www.Plumora.com. If you have a second, I’d love for you to check it out. And if you like the idea, consider following us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Plumora BraceletThis project is very dear to me, and I’ll likely check in every once in a while with updates as we prepare to launch our crowdfunding campaign. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and I appreciate your support!

Hello From The Other Side

After that last totally depressing post, I figured I should probably check in and let you know that I survived turning 30. And it actually didn’t suck.

Probably because I did a lot of this.

Perhaps because I did a lot of this.

On the morning of my birthday Dave made me breakfast in bed, which I ate while watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. If that doesn’t say, “I’m ready to be a responsible adult,” then WHAT DOES?

Breakfast

That’s a maple sausage/egg/cheese/potato breakfast burrito. Wrapped in an Ancient Grains tortilla because HEALTH.

He also surprised me with the best gift ever – he blew up two photos he took of a butterfly on a flower on our front lawn and had them printed on canvas:

Photos

They’re still sitting on these bookcases, almost a week later. I was going to hang them in the hallway, but I accidentally watched three seasons of “Disappeared” on Netflix instead.

I got a lot of other neat stuff, too. My parents bought me this watch, which I love so much that I’m posting a picture of my veiny hand to show it to you:

Watch

How do fashion bloggers take close-ups of their hands without them looking like alien claws? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS.

Dave’s cousin got me adult onset diabetes 30 Milky Way Midnights, which was hilarious and also the reason that you will find a surprise candy bar in your purse when you get home if you visit my house in the next year.

All that to say: My birthday was super fun, and I’m done freaking out about my 30s. For now.

We leave for a trip to the Southern Oregon coast tomorrow morning, which I’m really excited about because it’s been over 100 degrees every day for the past week here. I plan to do nothing but eat, drink, and marvel at the fact I don’t have sweat dripping down my back and into my underwear. It’s going to be great.