Happy Fourth

happy-fourth

I am so grateful for all those who have served to protect the freedom we have.

I’m looking forward to a lovely long weekend spent with family and friends, eating good food, lounging on a boat, and ooing and ahhing over fireworks.

Happy Fourth!

Morning Rituals

morning-coffee

I mentioned recently that I love my mornings.

There is such a calming joy of having nothing to do when that alarm goes off, except get up and pour a cup of precious coffee. Sit down on the porch. Wake up. Be still. Pray. Read.

Birds come alive and the sun begins to peek through the marine layer. In the stillness of this time, I become rooted in who I am and what I was made for… truths that, with the everydayness of life, I inevitably forget.

Some mornings, other things may creep their way in: a hot yoga class (the only thing that relieves my computer hunchback syndrome). Or extra sleep, or work. But there is always resistance, a hesitation in my heart, because the morning quiet has become more and more precious to me.

This stillness has not come easy. Years of busyness and connectedness (thanks to my iPhone) have taken their toll, and have rewired my brain for constant activity. There is an unspoken dismissal of stillness around us, everyday. And even though I’ve been enjoying my morning ritual for over a year now, there are still days that my mind runs a mile a minute with the to-dos and musts of the day, unable to let my heart settle down and focus.

But the longer I’ve taken the time to find this stillness every day, the more natural the stillness becomes. And I’ve come to find I cannot do without it.

I believe in finding stillness and quiet mornings. Or afternoons. Or evenings, if that’s your style. Do you have daily rituals or a special time of day that restore you?

Summer Romance: Picnic

DSC_0018

Over the last month, the Mr has been training away from home during the week, making our weekends extra precious. It makes us appreciate the time we have together, and we’re much more intentional about planning special memory-making outings.

DSC_0021

I couldn’t think of anything better to kick off a summer weekend than a picnic dinner. So last Friday, to help him unwind after a long week, I packed up a basket: roasted chicken sandwiches with avocado and arugula, chips, salami and cheeses, strawberries, and my go-to chocolate chip cookies (and a couple fouta towels to lay in the grass). When he came home that evening, we rode our bikes a few blocks down to a nearby park, with a view of downtown San Diego and the flight path.

summer-picnic

We popped a bottle from our wine club collection (a sweet gift he gave me a few months ago, with the idea that each bottle would only be enjoyed together, on special occasions – and a romantic summer picnic certainly qualified). It was so dreamy.

summer-picnic

I so enjoyed planning it out, and looked forward to it all week. It was the perfect start to a restorative, romantic, summery weekend… So go on and take your love outside! Be intentional. Pop a bottle of something special.

Are you planning any romantic outings this summer? I’d love more ideas!

Comfy Summer Style

casual summer style

Now that summer is here (and we’ve had the best weather since I’ve lived here), we’ve really been taking advantage of the weekends because of the Mr’s training schedule (he’s gone during the week) – baseball games, picnics, beach days, concerts in the park…

All this summer fun calls for simple, comfy pieces that can be mixed and matched easily. Here are a few things I’m wearing / hoping to wear this summer.

From left:

Linen pocket tank // Cropped matchstick jean

Straw fedora // Denim vest // Lace skirt

Gold watch // Gold leather sandals

Linen racerback tank // Striped maxi skirt

I’m really looking forward to a relaxing, summery weekend! Happy happy Friday.

(ps – I’m still on the hunt for a pleated maxi skirt, so let me know if you have any suggestions! xo)

Sound Check: Johnnyswim

johnnyswim

I just discovered Johnnyswim this week, a fantastic husband-and-wife duo (Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano) and had to share them with you. This is some of the most wonderful music I have encountered in a long time, and it was tough to settle on which one of their gems to share. “Adelina” is just achingly good, a gorgeous mix of strings and soul and heartbreaking harmonies.

What makes their music that much sweeter is their romance:

S: Then we started hanging out and at one point, I was like, do you want to write together? So we started writing and singing together.
 
R: And I took her request to sing and write together to mean we were taking the relationship further. So she asked me how much time I had, and I figured the rest of my life would suffice.

Isn’t that darling?

Hit up their site, listen to their delicious tracks, and have a fabulous Wednesday! xo

Java Tea Launch

java-tea

This past weekend, we were invited to celebrate the launch of Java Tea, a brilliant tea company a few dear friends have been working tirelessly on for years. We were so honored to be invited to the launch party, which was almost single-handedly pulled off by my one of my besties, and filled to the brim with good friends, food, and fun. Here’s a peek!

IMG_1505

Highlights: a to-die-for table of cheeses…

java-tea

amazing tea-infused beer and cocktails…

java-tea

some of my favorite people all in one room…

IMG_1507

…and of course, a crazy-fun photo booth (c/o amigobooth).amigo-booth

We even got to take a bag of tea tins to enjoy at home.

IMG_1504

Thank you for the good times Java Tea peeps! Be sure to check them out and buy some tea.

Sound Check: One Works Better

clare-bowen-and-sam-palladio

Have you ever watched the series Nashville? It has become one of my favorites, and not only because it stars Connie Britton (you Friday Night Lights fans know exactly what I’m talking about), but also because the music is absolutely AMAZING. And it’s all brilliantly performed by the actors themselves.

“One Works Better” is a gem, sung by the charming duo Clare Bowen (aka, Scarlett) and Sam Palladio (Gunnar). You would never guess that she is from Australia and he from Britain, given their syrupy sweet southern accents on the show (and being from the South, I must say they do a fine job). :) The season finale aired a few weeks ago, so alas, I will have to be patient for the next season.

In happier news, the Mr comes home today after being away for training a whole month! I am over the moon. I intend to have a very happy weekend, and wish the same for you. ;)

Photo by Patrick Fraser.

Dating

William And Audrey

The other night when the Mr and I were out to dinner, we started talking about some of the quirks we’ve observed about each other, that maybe we didn’t know about ourselves.

He told me something I was completely unaware of. Apparently, when I’m in a large group in friendly conversation and am trying to make a point among a lot of competing voices, I raise my voice suddenly (and my eyebrows). Since I am mostly a soft-spoken person, this often catches him off-guard, and when he demonstrated his reaction (a funny expression of shock) it made me laugh out loud.

I love those moments when you get a glimpse beyond the everyday familiarity and see each other in a new way. It brings back a little of the new-ness and the mystery from when we were dating and getting to know each other.

Other questions we’ve asked each other on dates: What were you like when you were little? Where did you go on “dates” in high school? What was your favorite music in college?

I’d love more date night question ideas! Do you have any?

(Also, another list of funny questions to ask your date.)

Photo credit

Anniversary Getaway

Rancho-Valencia-courtyard

Last weekend, the Mr and I were gifted a one-night stay here, to celebrate our four-year anniversary. Here are a few pics of our mini getaway just a short drive from home, if you’d like to see!

Rancho-Valencia-poolside

The weather could not have been more perfect. We sat by the pool for hours and read books (his + mine).

Rancho-Valencia-villa

Rancho-Valencia-fireside

We enjoyed a lovely dinner and cocktails, and cozied up by the fireplace every chance we got.

Rancho-Valencia-OJJPG

The next morning, fresh orange juice was delivered with a morning paper (isn’t that such a great idea?). We ordered room service for breakfast, and enjoyed coffee by the fire.

It was such a lovely time of reminiscing about all our sweet memories of falling in love, traveling, figuring each other out, and just enjoying life together. It was hard to come back from such a beautiful and brief trip, but we both came home so relaxed and recharged.

Thanks for taking a peek! xo

Simple Pleasures

evening-walk

Ever since the Mr got home from training, we’ve really been enjoying a few simple pleasures together. Even though we would never choose separation, it does have a way of making the smaller and seemingly mundane bits of life that much sweeter when we are together. Coffee together in the mornings, a quiet dinner at the table, an evening walk with our two pups Rambo (whose giant head is pictured above) and Remi.

I’ve felt compelled to savor these moments, to write them down, to cherish them.

Are there small moments with your significant other you’ve been savoring lately?