I love Kurt Vonnegut’s quote: “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
Well, right there, on the beach in Coronado, as the sun was dipping into the Pacific and the waves were crashing at my feet, I was thrilled to be exactly where I was. Twenty weeks pregnant, married to an amazing human being, and happy in that moment.
John and I are not a perfect couple. Far from it, actually. I could provide you with a laundry list of all of our flaws, both individual and collective, but really…who is perfect? We’ve been together long enough to know that we can handle life together. It’s hard and messy and full of surprises, but we can handle it. We’re about to embark on our biggest adventure thus far and it simultaneously thrills and terrifies us. We’ve tried many times to wrap our brains around what having a child will be like, but have come to the conclusion that we won’t be able to fully grasp the sheer magnitude of it until we’re knee deep in the throes of it. And that’s okay. We can read baby books, we can pick the brains of every mom we know, we can Google any and all questions that come to mind, but we won’t know what it’s really like until it’s here. No need to plan the unplannable.
So in the meantime, I intend to savor our lives as they are, this minute, this week, this month. Because if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.
When I saw this quote floating around on Pinterest, it immediately resonated with me. I love how simple and yet profound these three words are. So in the spirit of positivity, I made a desktop wallpaper for you to download and enjoy.
Here’s hoping this image of Manhattan Beach at sunset will fill you with good vibes only.
DOWNLOAD DESKTOP WALLPAPER HERE
These past few crazy weeks, I became completely fixated on getting myself to the ocean. I wasn’t overly concerned about which beach I ended up at or if I even put my toes in the sand. All I needed was to be in close proximity. I wanted to smell the air, feel the breeze, and soak in those negative ions.
So on Saturday, John and I decided to venture up north to Santa Barbara where we spent the first part of the day at the zoo (we both hadn’t been in years!) and then the second half wandering around State Street, stopping for some pho and major Anthro sales. It was perfect. Not only did it do wonders for my own mood but it helped to get our relationship back on the right track. Whenever we feel disconnected as a couple, we go on a day trip. Without fail, we always head back home feeling reconnected and happy to be in each other’s company.
Maybe one of these days, heading back home will mean heading back to our beach house. It can be in Santa Barbara or San Diego…I’m not picky! ;)
Yesterday was one of those days that reaffirmed I am meant for this unconventional freelance lifestyle.
My good friends Jaymee + Janelle joined me in the Arts District of downtown LA for an awesome photography workshop led by Jessie Webster (who lives in THIS amazing Silver Lake house!) and Kim Genevieve. It was a Q+A format session, which quite honestly, is my favorite kind of all. I know how cameras work…what I REALLY love learning about is how amazing photographers MAKE them work, you know? So inspiring.
Once the workshop wrapped up, Jaymee, Janelle, and I headed over to Poketo (heaven) and then had coffee+ flatbread at Eat Drink Americano. (I also may or may not have had a lovely conversation with a random passerby regarding the way he made iced coffee whilst in prison. No big.)
It was so nice to be able to go on a downtown adventure with my best gals on a random Monday afternoon. The three of us are pretty much spread out in opposite directions across Los Angeles, but when events like this pop up, no amount of rush hour traffic will keep us apart.
It has long since been a dream of mine to live in Pasadena.
I’ve always felt a certain kinship with that beautiful city that I just don’t feel with most LA towns. Sure, the summers are nearly 4 million degrees. And maybe they get hit with the same lovely Santa Ana winds that I grew up with in Simi (ugh). And maybe, just maybe, it’s a tad bit pricey to live there. SO WHAT! I am in love with Pasadena and I don’t care who knows it! (insert Elf reference here).
Since John works in one of the umm, finer? (g h e t t o) parts of Los Angeles, we knew our search for a place close (but not too close) to his office had to be on the outskirts of town. Imagine my sheer joy when after a quick Google mapping, I realized that his workplace is less than ten miles away from my DREAM CITY. Booyah! Instantly I was envisioning the way I would decorate our new home. I was fantasizing about Sunday morning walks to Colorado Blvd for brunch. I was torn between which local coffee shop I would get some work done at first. This is was happening! We were moving there ASAP, as far as I was concerned.
Needless to say, our search turned out to be tougher than we anticipated…and we’re not even in the market to buy! (How anyone can lock down – much less afford! – a house in California these days is a feat that I just cannot wrap my brain around). We viewed many properties and fell in love with nearly all of them. We applied as fast as we could and were always beaten out by other eager renters. We continued to get our hopes up over + over again. There may have even been a few tears involved (not of the John variety). We reluctantly extended our search beyond the Pasadena borders and I felt so bummed about it that I took a self-imposed Craigslist sabbatical.
But then, in a moment of weakness / genius, I decided to revisit the listings to see what was new and it turned out to be my best decision yet. I booked the first appointment available to see a beautiful apartment in person and in turn, landed us a Pasadena address. We get the keys six days before our wedding…! The timing could not be better or worse (depending on how you want to look at it), but just like the heat, the winds, and high costs, I am blissfully ignorant. Pasadena, here we come!
This past weekend my brother graduated from college with a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering, so we spent the better part of Saturday exploring the Cal Poly Pomona campus (beautiful!), taking tons of photos (740 to be exact…lord help my hard drive!), and celebrating Andy’s hard-earned accomplishment (heyyyy, brother). It was a reminder of the good things in my life: lots of walking under the California sunshine, big camera + empty SD card in hand, quality family time, an opportunity to wear a new dress + a giant hat, lots of laughter, exploring a new-to-me place, and a chocolate chip Pizookie for good measure.
Not only is my brother a whip smart, hilarious, human calculator, but he is also one of my best friends. Cheers to all your successes, Andy!
It’s really no secret by now that San Diego has a hold on me. It truly is my ultimate happy place and I can’t quite shake the feeling that it’s where I want to settle down. Eventually I’ll convince John that we need to move back down there, but until then, I’ll just keep visiting. A LOT.
One of my favorite spots in San Diego is Balboa Park. I’m absolutely in love with this place. Not only is the location (perched above the bay + downtown) ideal, but the sheer size of it is incredible! It’s home to a wide variety of museums, restaurants, and even the world famous zoo (all of which I highly recommend).
On Wednesday afternoon, I had time to kill between visiting Elise and trying to avoid rush hour traffic, so I spent a few hours wandering around the park and pausing to snap a photo every five feet. Even though I’ve been to Balboa Park countless times, I discover something new with each + every visit…the park is THAT big.
This trip, I finally found the walkway that crosses the insanely beautiful Cabrillo Bridge. It stands high above the 163 freeway and offers the most amazing bird’s eye views of the lush San Diego landscape (I may or may not have let out an embarrassingly audible gasp upon first glimpse).
I don’t know if it was the thrill of a new discovery or the cozy marine layer creeping in from the bay or just the fact that I took the late afternoon to myself, but I felt so happy standing there in Balboa Park. San Diego, you are my fave.
P.S. If you’re wondering if I ever wear anything other than that black + white dress, the answer is a resounding…NO. (ha!)
There’s really nothing in this world that I love more than a good treasure hunting excursion (obviously). I mean, what could possibly be more fun than digging through others’ discarded junk and giving it new life?! (Uh, just about EVERYTHING is more fun than that, my mom would say – ha!) Thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales – bring it on! So on the fourth Sunday of every month, I love to attend the Topanga Vintage Market in the San Fernando Valley. This market hosts a wide variety of vendors + vintage products in all different price ranges. Of course I’m always on the lookout for unique glass + tableware, but even if I don’t buy anything, it’s worth it for the visual inspiration alone! Here are a few of the awesome items I spotted the last time I attended:
One of these days, I want to purchase a giant sign like this and work it into a lush outdoor landscape. I love when urban + natural aesthetics collide, a la my beloved Grow.
The wooden crate! The orange tackle box! The yellow lawn chair! Everything about this photo makes me want to dig in.
If I had a few kids + a few hundred spare dollars, I would definitely snatch these chairs up and put them in a playroom or on a patio for outdoor dining. You could even use one as a place to stack books or blankets! Aren’t the colors just perfection?
These handcrafted glass beaded necklaces are amazing. Not only would they be great for wearing, but they would also look fantastic if they were tied into a loose knot and displayed on a dresser or coffee table. So many possibilities in so many beautiful colors!
P.S. If you make it to the market, be sure to stop by booth F-20 and say hello to my lovely future in-laws! (:
What are your favorite things to look for when you go treasure hunting?