Happy Fourth

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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

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amazing tea-infused beer and cocktails…

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some of my favorite people all in one room…

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…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.

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

Bath Time

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A few weeks ago my dear sister-in-love was looking to redecorate their upstairs bathroom, which she wants to pull double duty for both guests and kids (when their little one is old enough to use it). When she asked me for decorating ideas I was thrilled, because who would pass up any reason to browse Pinterest and anthropologie.com for dreamy decor? Certainly not this girl.

I suggested that rather than going for the typical full-blown kids bathroom, they could keep it as a neutral space that everyone (even guests) would enjoy, but still include special childlike elements, like sweet baby animal prints and zinc letters, to keep it feeling playful. Here are a few ideas I shared with her:

1. Baby animal prints // Sweet little friends her kids will love to share bath time with.
2. Glass jar  // To hold treasures.
3. Zinc letters // Hung on the wall or set up on the counter as a backdrop to bathroom essentials.
4. Cloud bath mat // To dry off little feet.

I think I’ll save these ideas for when our little ones come! ;) Have a wonderful weekend! xo

Smoothie Series: Java Chocolate Peanut Butter

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I love mornings. And while I don’t love pulling myself out of bed, once I’m up, I relish my daily ritual of pouring a cup of freshly ground coffee, making a piece of toast and sitting quietly on the back porch, reading and enjoying the stillness of the morning.

I love this part of my day so much that other morning rituals (like getting dressed and ready for work and making breakfast) usually take a back seat. Enter: the smoothie. It has been one of my breakfast staples for years, and since the Mr’s schedule keeps us from enjoying breakfast together during the week, I like to keep things simple and easy.

This smoothie is a decadent, protein-rich breakfast that will keep your engine running all morning long. It’s an inexact recipe for sure – remove/add any ingredients you like, and don’t worry about exact measurements – just wing it until you love it.

Java Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

In a blender, combine until smooth:

6-8 ice cubes

1 banana

1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

2 Tbs natural peanut or almond butter

1/2 cup leftover morning coffee

1/2 cup almond milk

1-2 Tbs cocoa powder

1-2 scoops vanilla protein powder

1 Tbs honey (or sweetener of choice)

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my favorite smoothie recipes with you. I hope they make your mornings easier (and tastier)!

Do you have smoothie recipes you love? Share them with me!

Hello Wednesday

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This week seems to be flying by (thank goodness, since the Mr will only be spending weekends at home for the next month). Here’s a peek at what’s been up lately, if you’d like to see!

(Above: a little hummingbird that stopped by while I was having coffee on the back porch yesterday morning.)

A slightly stalkerish photo I snapped of a sweet couple grabbing sushi on the way to prom next door to my office (can you see her head-to-toe sequins?).

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A new buddy in our office named Cliff.

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A whole wheat pasta version of this recipe (another dish for one that’s easy to whip up with what’s on hand).

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Mumford and Sons in concert. Absolutely epic. (The pre-game tailgate BBQ wasn’t bad either!)

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Editing one of my best friend’s wedding video (four years later!). Doesn’t she look stunning?

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I hope your week is full of happy moments. Thanks for taking a peek! xo