Baby Espinoza | Arriving July 2014!
(We’re so excited!)
Lately, most of my time and energy has been needed back at home with my family. While this hasn’t exactly been ideal, it’s made me appreciate how wonderful it is when I have a little extra time to enjoy my own place. My favorite time of day is the morning when the sun floods the living + dining space. It’s so good, in fact, that it actually makes my non-morning person self WANT to launch out of bed and soak up those rays (no small feat!). I open the windows, I write in my journal, and I enjoy my coffee. Heaven.
As of late:
Being reminded daily of how precious life is.
Late night marathons of Sex & The City and bad (read: good) Bravo reality shows.
Long chats with my parents.
A wonderful Christmas spent with my two families.
Sharing my daily rituals on My SoCal’d Life (thank you, Archana!).
Extra time at home to soak up every minute of the season.
Saving my pennies after a crazy month of unexpected car, computer, and Christmas expenses! #tistheseason
Enjoying post-holiday calm.
Listening to Gabby Bernstein on audiobooks as I go about my day.
Knitting another blanket.
Deciding that the word “magic” will be my driving force behind 2014.
KILLER Southern California weather. As in, 75 degrees in the middle of winter kind of killer.
Feeling all kinds of inspired by Emma Robertson’s book, Knitting by Design.
Sneaking in some much needed gym time (I hadn’t worked out since Thanksgiving…who am I??).
Loving the slower pace of work + blogging and the way it’s given me a renewed sense of clarity.
Absolutely certain that 2014 will be a year of growth, joy, and surprises every step of the way.
Happy New Year! It’s gonna be a good one. I just know it.
listening: to all sorts of podcasts as I go about my day. I just came across a handful of new shows that I am really enjoying, including Tara Brach and The Dinner Party Download. Of course, all my old faves (Joy the Baker, Simple Mom, After the Jump) are in heavy rotation as always.
thrifting: baskets, bowls, and any other fun containers to house plants in. I am so happy that my new favorite thrift store is literally right around the corner and I can walk there!
writing: wedding thank you notes. Martha says I have a month from our honeymoon to get them out, but for once, I want to get something in early. Plus, it gives me an opportunity to put my new address stamp to use!
loving: my new coffee maker from Anthro! Given our shortage of counter space, I was on the lookout for something along the lines of a French press and this totally fit the bill. All I have to do is fill it with coffee + water (no filter required!) and heat it up on the stove like a tea kettle.
grateful: to be living in a very walkable town. Running all my errands on foot and never once having to get in the car? Dream come true.
looking: for a good local gym with awesome group classes. I was far too spoiled by my last gym.
hoping: to have everything in it’s place by the weekend. I’ve been working on a few repurposing projects that only need a little more time before they’re ready to rock.
inspired: by a few new-to-me blogs! Thanks to Aileen from At Home In Love (which is one of my daily must-reads), I discovered Almost Makes Perfect, 1000 Threads, and Clementine Daily. Which blogs are you loving these days?
surprised: by how quickly the holidays are approaching! Normally I am dying for them to start, but right now all I can think about is setting up my everyday decor before any giant trees are brought into the mix!
laughing: at The Goldbergs! So many of the story lines in that show remind me of my own quirky family, which makes it extra funny for both John and me.
savoring: slow mornings. Daily thrift trips. Staying on top of my workload.
26 has been one of the most eventful years of my life and I am so grateful for all that it taught me. Here are 27 of my favorite moments from the past fifty-two weeks:
1. An anniversary trip to Yosemite for snow, scenic views, and a sparkly ring.
2. Sunshine cocktails at Tasty N Sons in Portland.
3. Having a new place to make a home.
4. Thrifting. I may have gotten a little out of hand…
5. Photographing brides, babies, and a million stylized desk shots.
6. Dancing to “I Want You Back” with all of my friends at my wedding.
7. Living in Pasadena! Gosh, I love this town.
8. Forming a fun little family unit with the Jubrans.
9. Bachelorette weekend in Lake Arrowhead. An adorable cabin? My BFF’s? Moscow mules? YES.
10. Zumba! I know, I’m annoyingly obsessed with it, but like rollerblading + Tae Bo before, this is one workout I won’t quit until I kill it.
11. A handful of trips to San Diego.
12. Realizing just how lucky I am to have such a solid group of girlfriends, year after year. We’re in it to win it!
13. Taking Wally for walks. That little guy makes me SO HAPPY.
14. Shrimp tacos. That’s all I ever want to eat!
15. Seeing Fleetwood Mac at the Hollywood Bowl with my mom.
16. Spending time with Sarah at her beautiful home in Utah.
17. Bruno Mars’ “Treasure.” My most played song this year, hands down.
18. Seeing years of hard work pay off at my brother’s college graduation.
19. Taking calligraphy, interior styling, paper flower making, and bunch of other amazing Skillshare classes.
20. Picking up my dream painting for three dollars…!
21. Spending extra quality time with my parents this past summer.
22. Reading Danielle LaPorte’s The Fire Starter Sessions. That book spoke to me.
23. Attending some awesome events, including a handful of Urbanic parties, The Cream, Crafts + Cocktails, Arrested Development’s World Tour, and Eva Black’s Madewell soiree, just to name a few.
24. Honeymooning in the Pacific Northwest and feeling right at home. John and I are PNW’ers at heart.
25. Wedding crafting, wedding crafting, and more wedding crafting!
26. Having another full year of freelancing under my belt.
27. Marrying my best friend. The big day took months + months of planning and it was over in a flash. I love the person I got to marry, the people I got to celebrate with, and the memories I get to take with me.
I’m so excited to see what 27 has in store!
Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography
WOW. What an amazing past couple of weeks I’ve had. All I can say is that in spite of the wide range of emotions the wedding process conjures up, the end result makes it all worth it. I am loving my new life with my husband (what?!) as we settle into our place in Pasadena and revel in this surreal post-wedding bliss.
And just in case you haven’t officially had way more than your fill of wedding posts and ‘grams (ha! sorry guys!), I have so much to share in the very near future! xo
photo by @thestyleeater
Lately I’ve been feeling pretty confident about balancing wedding planning, moving, working, and squeezing in a little unscheduled time for working out + all that good stuff. But tonight…oh man. The stress is palpable. I just realized I only have TWO WEEKS left and all I can think is, “let’s push the date back another month! Or five!” (Ha!)
In other news, thanks to an unexpected urge to get rid of everything I own, I spent all of today ruthlessly cleaning out my craft + office supplies. There’s nothing quite like an impending move to strip away any sort of emotional attachment to my possessions! I have to say that the whole process was completely energizing. I feel so good about the things I am keeping and the things I am parting with. Tomorrow (Friday) I’ll be listing a bunch of flat-rate boxes stuffed with AWESOME craft supplies in my shop. I’ll keep you posted!
P.S. Thank you SO MUCH for all of your wonderful PNW recommendations! I can’t wait to plan our trip around your thoughtful suggestions! Keep ‘em coming! xo
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!
Working from home has a way of turning me into a bit of a hermit. With the exception of daily gym classes and errands punctuating my work day, it’s just me, my pups, and my computer all day long. Which – to be honest – is nothing short of heaven for this introvert. But these past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of leaving the house and chatting with some amazing creative freelancers who have given me invaluable insight and reassurance about this unconventional way of life.
I have enjoyed many great conversations while working alongside Amy at her kitchen table. I talked taxes, yoga, and Photoshop tricks with Katie over coffee. I exchange daily marathon texts about biz matters and time management with my good friend Jaymee. And just yesterday, I spent several hours at Urth Caffe with my wedding photographer (whom I found on Pinterest, of all places!) and now friend, Katie, chatting about marriage, wedding blogs, and not quite fitting the art school mold. Even though our career paths may overlap slightly, I am THRILLED that we can have an open, honest dialogue about what it’s really like to be your own boss (the consensus: it’s the best). There really needs to be more of this, don’t you think?
SoCal creatives, we should totally meet up for coffee. I want to hear about your life.