Five Senses Monday

It was one of those weekends where I fell back onto my bed with its just-washed linens and scrolled through my phone’s camera roll to inventory of the week’s moments caught on digital film — it’s my weekend ritual. This week, though, seemed to be illustrated with random shots from whatever was being tossed together in the kitchen and screenshots of memes and motivational quotes from Instagram (apparently I needed to laugh at — and save, mind you — really stupid someecards and read feminist mantras).

But I found a few for you. And I’m really happy with them actually because each of these tiny little moments take me back to a simple week filled with friends and hugs and really real moments. It doesn’t get much better than that.

But before that, here is Five Senses Monday, where I reflect on the last few days through the five senses.

Stuffed bell peppers, one of my favorite things to do with those leftover summer bells. Only this time, I cut the peppers into small squares and layered them like a casserole so it’s easier to pack for lunch and eat with a plastic fork.

Right now, the hum of both the ceiling fan and AC (it’s 100+ degrees here this week) and First Aid Kit on Spotify, because I really like First Aid Kit and I haven’t taken the time to learn how to find anything else on Spotify (Maggie: help).

My friend’s beautiful belly as she waits for that little baby boy to come any day now.

The richness of balsamic vinegar in my tomato salad. Oh, yes.

Absolute love for my four dogs, who are sleeping all across my bedroom floor as I type this right this second.

And now, here are a few photo, friends. Enjoy.

I silently screamed a lot this day4-1I ran into a coworker and her pups at the lake. They are loves. 4-2 Just the three of us.4-1aExploring the local wine scene with a sweet friend on a beautifully calm afternoon.4-2a
I was housesitting and needed to throw something together with the last of my groceries in the house. I came up with this mushroom tart. Pretty good. 4-3 4-4 4-5 My friend visited the south and brought home a craving for fried greenish tomatoes. This is our Calif0rnia-style twist.4-9
Late-night hankering for stuffed bell peppers.4-7
Drink wine how you like it, even if it means adding mango juice.4-6

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Shopping day in Palo Alto

palo_1   palo_2Some days, you just have to get out of your element for a couple of hours. Am I right?

My sister, niece and I decided to do just that a couple of weekends ago when we ended up in Palo Alto at the Stanford Shopping Center. I eyed the Free People store and immediately thought, “gimme gimme gimme!” And yep, those blue circle sunnies went home with me. I also filled my purse with a sprays and creams from L’Occitane, because, well, I never, ever buy myself good body goo, and I just felt like I should. So far, my skin is thanking me.

The other stores didn’t really do it for me. It’s fun to browse the designer racks, but give me a thrift store or at least an Urban Outfitters (which we did find, too). What did do it for me, though, was the hummus in the Nordstrom’s restaurant and the French fries I snuck off Emmelia’s plate. Sharing is caring. ; )

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Five Senses Monday

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Five Senses Monday

A yummy Caprese tart, so fresh and summery. Creamsicles, the orange ones. My favorite burger, the one with the Ortega chili slices hanging over the bun. More and more summer cucumbers. Homemade chili, because I had a craving.

My first partial marathon of “Real Housewives.” I shamefully confessed this a bunch of people and they all responded with, “Oh, I record them all!” A photo my mom found: Me wearing blue sunglasses, not unlike ones I’ve been wearing lately. Also, the beautiful pages of my new favorite home interior book, “The New Bohemians.”

My sister; bits and pieces of her phone conversation with her dad, my stepdad, distraught and sobbing as she tried to get out the words that her best friend died. The gasp, and the shock, in the frozen moments after those words spread in our house.

Remembering what it felt like in the weeks after I lost my own soul sister to sickness. At a loss for words to comfort my sister or to be able to explain why everything has to come falling down at once.

Strong diner coffee at breakfast this morning, after waking up to my niece and sister snuggled in bed with me.

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58611_1455529586103_7265429_nMy niece Sophia, sister Elissa and the very rare Tiffani.
Thank you, Tiff, for always being a sweetheart to our family and 
a lifelong sister to my sister. You will never be forgotten.

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Let’s all sleep in tents | Camping on the Yuba River


I’m always awake before everyone else. And there’s no other time I enjoy those early hours more than when I’m camping. I wake to watch streams of dew race down the nylon walls of my tent. And I’ll stay there forever, listening to the chitter-chatter of birds outside, squirrels knocking nuts and pine leaves off the trees, my friends shifting in their sleeping bags nextdoor. I like to explore, alone, in my pajamas and heavy socks, usually with the dog leash in one hand and a camera of some sort in the other.

But then, I like when everyone wakes up, when everyone is quiet and smiling and hugging and taking in big deep breaths of fresh mountain air. Mornings in the outdoors, I think, hold a little bit of significance for everyone. How can they not? I like when the self-proclaimed pyros light a morning fire and we all gather sleepily to make coffee in percolators and French presses and we hover around the picnic table waiting for boiling water to turn just the right shade of “ready” before pouring in the cream and gripping mugs that warm our cool fingers.

Mmmm … thinking about this is making me wish I was back on that mountain, on this camping trip with friends in the early summer. On a Friday night, we headed out of town for the Yuba River and stayed just until Sunday. It was short, but it was sweet and pleasant and full of just enough rest, exploring, noshing campfire stories.

It went a little like this:

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Simpleness in the summer


Dear Summer,

Congratulations on finally getting me in the spirit, even if it is just with the tiniest morsels of color and sunshine and cool blue waters.

This summer, unlike others, isn’t coated with airline miles or weeks off work or planning long, long weekends away. It’s not that I don’t want to sleep in a Tahitian hut, because I SO do, but it’s a summer after a busy year of a travel and first half of 2015 that brought a lot of healing and loss and and processing – on so many fronts for so many people. This summer, in its strange but welcomed way, is subtly highlighted with tiny moments of sunshine and laughter that beg to be grasped in the moment they show up. I’m sort of enjoying it. Enjoying the ease. And the surprise.

My favorite times so far have been evenings spent sipping Pinot Grigio in warm pools with close friends. Impromptu sleepovers that end with coffee on the patio before you run off to work. Leaving work early to do nothing planned but enjoy a heatwave. Going to the farmers markets by yourself because you know you’ll find friends and stay until the sun has gone down. Leaving a basket of clothes, from swimsuits to pjs, in your car because you don’t know what will happen next. Dinners that consist of nothing more than eating chunks of gourmet cheese and fresh cucumber slices straight off the cutting board. They are small things. But this is my summer.

Thank you, summer.

And here are a few of those things:

I’ve been obsessed with cucumbers and tomatoes. My biggest fear is that I’ll run out before the next farmers market. lately_4aOne of the first summery nights included sunnies, golden light and Cabernet.lately_4While my amazing friend Andrea made the crazy hike up Mt. Whitney, I watched her cat. Translation: I sat on her couch, watched reruns of “Sex & the City” on her projector and drank my favorite wine while also eating a Creamsicle and pinning boho homes on Pinterest.lately_3If I must write on a Saturday, I figure it must be done outside by the pool.lately_5Post-spin-class soak with protein-coffee (aka a mix of cold-brew coffee, vanilla protein (Premier Protein cartons from Costco) and a little half and half). lately_6I’m all about the markets and farmers markets and gardens this summer. lately_6aPlucked off the tree and eaten while it was still warm from an afternoon under the sun.lately_19 lately_7A selfie while waiting to set up a booth at the farmer’s market on a 102-degree day. Because why not?lately_11Green tea. Book. Free People sunnies. After work at the lake.lately_9Fridays are best when you take a half day at work so you can celebrate one of your closest gal pal’s birthdays with wine slushies, sangria and fancy cheese. lately_8My friend’s having a baby! I’m so excited. I celebrated her little bean one afternoon with her close family, and it was gorgeous.lately_10I’ve recently discovered just how much I love hammocks. And so have my sister and niece. lately_12Can’t. Get. Up.lately_20 lately_12aCan you say “infused water.” It was a party hit.lately_14Dinners look a lot like this lately. Simple and fresh. lately_16A weekend drive with my pup. Happy.lately_18Eat your protein.       lately_21Poolside reading. lately_24All about the iced coffee in glass jars. lately_23Outside, simply.lately_22

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Gratitude jars for a girl’s weekend

capitola_6952Just in case you’re not sick of reading about my weekend in Capitola, I have another post about Capitola! Well, it’s more about a craft – a little reflective craft. The gurls and I popped open bottles of paints one night in our little beach home and painted mason jars in all sorts of ways. I explained that we were painting our gratitude jars, and all throughout the months, we would have to write down little nuggets of love and happiness and gratitude. At the end of the year, we could dump out our little pearls of paper and see all the wonderful things we experienced. I’m still working on my habit of remembering to write those things down. Isn’t that the hard part – the reflection and the taking the time to be grateful? It’s awesome, though.

So here is our little evening. I was pretty entranced with my gold puffy paint design, and I sort of want to cover everything with it. capitola_6835 capitola_6883capitola_6882 capitola_6885 capitola_6886 capitola_6888 capitola_6889 capitola_6890capitola_6904capitola_6905capitola_6909capitola_6956capitola_6955capitola_6961

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Beach Livin’ in Capitola

capitola_01 capitola_1capitola_2 capitola_3 capitola_4 capitola_5 capitola_6 capitola_7 capitola_8 capitola_9 capitola_10 capitola_11 capitola_12capitola_1 capitola_2 capitola_3 capitola_4 capitola_5 capitola_6 capitola_7 capitola_8 capitola_9 capitola_10 capitola_11 capitola_12 capitola_13 capitola_14 capitola_15 capitola_16 capitola_17 capitola_25 capitola_26 capitola_27 capitola_6874 capitola_6878This is just a little continuation of that Capitola weekend. As the valley heats up (to 102 last night … eek), I’m feeling the pull of the coast again. Where are you escaping to this summer?

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