A Few of my Favorite Things: Father’s Day Edition

Father’s Day is coming up on June 21st. I don’t know about you, but I find shopping for my dad to be incredibly difficult. My dad’s Father’s Day gift isn’t on this list, wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise, but here are some ideas for the dads in your life.


This card is so cute. I love the colors and the sentiment.


This mug would be great for chemistry lovers or fans of Breaking Bad.


My dad and I like to get together for an after work walk followed by a cocktail. I can see us chatting over drinks in these customized glasses.


I also love getting together with my dad and barbecuing in the summer months. These custom barbecue tools would be a perfect addition to a summer cookout.


My brother-in-law/nephew’s father is a huge Star Wars fan. I can see him loving this Darth Vader mug.


One of the things my dad and I share is a love for playing music. In fact, the first guitar I ever played was his. This guitar pick keychain would be perfect for other musical dads.


This desk organizer is a great gift for working dads. I love the natural wood, and I think any dad would love to have this on his desk as a reminder of how much his kids love him.


My dad is one of the biggest cat lovers I know. I think this card would make him smile.

I hope these ideas helped inspire your Father’s Day gift. Do you have any Father’s Day plans or traditions?


Sunday Sounds

Photo by Jason Devaun

I’ve been a bit under the weather lately, so there’s not a whole lot going on to talk about here. I think being sick in the summer is my absolute least favorite time of the year to get sick. So much is going on in the world, but I’m stuck in my apartment trying to get some rest. I have been listening to an awful lot of music, though, so I figured I’d share some of the songs that have been helping me throught it. I made a playlist on Spotify, you can check it out here. Also, here’s the tracklist in case you don’t have Spotify but still want to jam to my tunes.

  1. Jamiroquoi – Virtual Insanity
  2. Sia – You’ve Changed
  3. Solange – Losing You
  4. Paul Simon – 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
  5. Yuna – Hold On, We’re Going Home
  6. Feist – My Moon, My Man
  7. Michael Jackson – P.Y.T.
  8. NeYo – Let Me Get This Right
  9. Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)


Dog (sitting) Days

Does anyone know the meaning behind the term “dog days”? The phrase has become a lot more commonplace since the release of Florence and the Machine’s song “Dog Days Are Over” but obviously, this isn’t the first time someone’s used the phrase. When the title of this post popped into my mind, I had to find out. I have a bit of an obsession with knowing the origin of colloquial phrases.

Dog days are associated with the hot weather while the star Sirius is showing. Sirius is referred to as the “Dog Star” because it’s the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major. The dog days are generally considered to be July 24 through August 24, so we’re not quite there yet.

My parents were out of town this past weekend for a vacation. They normally bring their dogs with them on road trips, but this time they weren’t able to. When my mom asked if I would be available to help, my answer was a resounding yes! I love those two pups so much.



My parents adopted Gracie around 10 years ago, when I was a sophomore in high school. My mom and I had wanted a dog for so long, but could never find the right one. There was a long list of requirements for the dog we adopted; under 30 lbs, short haired, female. When my mom found Gracie in the shelter, she instantly fell in love, even though Gracie was way bigger than we had originally wanted. Gracie was found wandering the streets of Hollister. She had a previous owner and was even microchipped, but the contact info on the microchip was out of date. We lucked out with Gracie, for sure.

Miles was originally my dog. I adopted him in college, but when I moved back to the Bay Area, I realized that he would be a lot better off living with my parents. My work and commute schedule keep me out of the house about 11 hours everyday, so Miles’ life is much better with my parents.

Ever since I moved out of my parents’ house after college, I’ve really missed seeing the dogs every day. It was great spending time with both of them this weekend. I took advantage of the time with them and took them out back for a photo shoot. It’s really difficult to take cute pictures of dogs, but I got a few winners.

I also took advantage of my close proximity to the Willow Glen Farmer’s Market, and picked up some fresh berries, carrots and arugula. I was so tempted to buy all the fresh produce, but I’m only one person and I can only eat so much.

Fresh produce, long days, long walks and sunshine are my favorite parts of summer. Now that it’s here in full swing, I’m taking full advantage. What are you all doing to get your summer started?

April and Most of May: A Month in Moments

What a great couple of months I’ve been having! It’s been summer-y here in the Bay Area since February. I don’t know about you, but it feels like I overbook myself every summer. Maybe it’s the extra hours of daylight, maybe I just notice it more in the summer.

This April was great! I celebrated my birthday at the beginning of the month and got an awesome new camera. I’m still getting used to it, but I’m having a lot of fun. Most of the photos in this post were taken on the new camera.



My mom always gets special balloons for every birthday. This year, she got me this adorable elephant and this music note.



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My sister had a “backyard-warming” party of sorts on a beautiful sunny day in San Francisco. She has been working on this backyard for a while, and I think it turned out amazing. The space is so comfortable and practical, but also totally modern and bright. The babies were mostly just interested in all the cameras around, as you can see.



My mom also recently purchased the exact same camera I was gifted, so we took the opportunity to take them out for a spin on Memorial Day weekend. We took some photos of the charming houses in Willow Glen. Unfortunately, it was pretty bright out, so the photos didn’t turn out fantastic. Still not bad for a first try at all. Next time I’ll be sure to look for a more overcast day, or go out earlier in the day.



We finished our expedition with lunch and frozen yogurt. I have never been to the new Stumpy’s in Willow Glen, and they have gluten free hamburger buns, so we stopped there for some burgers, fries and tots.

All in all, the last couple of months have been great. I’m so excited to keep exploring my new camera. Are any of you guys new at photography? Any tips from some more seasoned pros?

Lately Listens

Do you guys ever feel like you listen to the same music over and over again? I know I’ll go through phases where I really only listen to 3 albums or so over the course of the month. Here are some of the artists I’ve had on heavy rotation lately:

Modest Mouse – Strangers to Ourselves


Ok, Modest Mouse is my favorite band. I’ve loved them since I was 14 years old and I think it’s safe to say I’ve heard all their songs at least once. It had been almost 8 years since they put out an album, so I was itching to hear this one. I was not at all disappointed by this album, and apparently they’re already in the studio recording their next album with Krist Novoselic from Nirvana. I can’t wait!

Favorite/least favorite – Sugar Boats/Pistol

Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear


I was surprised by how much I like this album as a whole. All the songs are all incredibly intimate. The first time I listened to the album I cried. Chandelier and Elastic Heart have become pretty popular singles, but there’s so much more to this album. I think Sia’s pretty visionary, the way she presents herself, the openness with her audience, it’s really hard to come by in a pop act.

Favorite/least favorite – Burn the Pages/Cellophane

Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism


Ok, this album is over 10 years old at this point, but it’s still one of my favorites. This album will always be one of my favorite albums, there’s so much nostalgia associated with it. Death Cab came out with a new album this year. I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but I think I’ll give it a go soon.

Favorite/least favorite – Expo ’86/Sorry, N/A

What have you guys been listening to lately? Any recommendations for me?

A Few of my Favorite Things: The Pizza Edition

Guys! Life is crazy! But I’m back now. Pizza is king. For this edition of my Etsy Round-Up I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite pizza related things.

Pizza phone case

This pizza phone case from TheSmallPrintCases is totally adorable and available for most iPhone and Galaxy models.

pizza temp tattoos

These temporary tattoos are so adorable! I really want to get them to use with my nephew.

pizza is power

This print is a perfect combination of two of my favorite things – Parks and Recreation and Pizza.

Pizza pillow

This handmade pizza pillow from ComfortFoodCreations is totally cute, and customizable! You can have it made with your favorite toppings.

pizza and beer cufflinks

Ok, so these cufflinks would make the cutest gift for the formal pizza lover.

stop crying pizza print

The advice here is super solid. Pizza makes everything better!

pizza amore print

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore! This instant download is the perfect addition to any gallery wall.

pizza necklace

This pizza necklace is totally adorable. I actually own this, and I get so many compliments on it. See, pizza makes everyone happy!

pizza embroidery

This embroidery is the perfect combo of sassy and sweet, with just the right amount of pizza.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday! I turn 26 today, and am feeling really good. It’s amazing how much I’ve changed in the last 10 years. Here’s a little mini trip down memory lane, hope you enjoy!


This is me at Sonoma Chicken Coop with blonde hair when I was 16/17 years old.


Here’s me on my 21st birthday with the first drink I ever legally purchased for myself.


Here’s me a week before my 26th birthday, blue hair and all.

I love seeing how my style and personality has changed, but also stayed true to myself. How have you changed over the years?

A Few of my Favorite Things, Etsy Round-up – #2

Here’s another round of my favorite things from Etsy. I’m loving the pink/mint/gold/white color theme, as you’ll see in my picks for this month.

Siamese Salt ShakerI collect quirky salt and pepper shakers. These little siamese kitty cuties would make a perfect addition to my collection.

Wooden BeadsI love the colors and polka dots on this cute painted wooden bead necklace. I keep wanting to try a DIY of this myself, but I don’t know if anything I make would be as cute as the ones I’ve seen on Etsy. Everything from the MODFRESH shop is so adorable, I want it all!

Elephant Tee

Elephants are my favorite animal. This elephant tee is so cute and cozy, I can totally see myself wearing this.

Brain Chart

This pull-down chart of the brain is so cool! I would love to have it near my desk to inspire some creativity.

Wooden Vases

Can you tell I really love wooden stuff? These vases are so adorable. I love the color palette so much.

Triangle Print

This triangle print download is so adorable. It would go great with some other prints I have my eye on at the moment. There may be a gallery wall in the works.

Cat Tote

I don’t know about you, but I have about a million tote bags. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but I do have quite a lot. This cute French cat tote bag would be an adorable addition to my collection.

Born to Do This

This Joan of Arc quote print is so inspiring and cute. This would be the perfect addition to my upcoming gallery wall.

Pie-less Pi Day

This year for Pi Day, my good friend Kristan came over. We made a delicious quinoa salad, drank some wine and watched a bunch of One Direction music videos. I’m currently obsessed with the song Night Changes, by the way.

Ok, now that swoon time is over, let’s talk about this salad. I found this recipe for a Brussels Sprouts, Cranberry and Quinoa Chopped Salad from Gimme Some Oven on Pinterest a few months ago and have been dying to try it.

This recipe is vegan, gluten free, delicious and super simple to make. If I had it to do over again, I’d probably buy pre-shaved brussels sprouts to cut down on the prep time. Also, I’m not a huge fan of completely raw brussels sprouts, so I added the final step of sauteing the sprouts and combining all the ingredients together in the warm pan. I think this helped the flavors come together faster too. Look how beautiful it is too.

Quinoa Chopped Salad

It was such a quick, healthy, easy meal, and I’ve got leftovers to eat for lunch. I’d call that a win-win situation.

Ojai Vacation Highlights

Two weekends ago I went on a family trip to Ojai to celebrate my stepdad’s birthday. You got to see a sneak peak of the beautiful view in my last post, but I thought I’d share a little bit more about my time there.

We rented a giant house in Ojai Valley with 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. My mom, stepdad, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law, nephew, aunt, uncle and all stayed in the house with 4 dogs.

Ojai House

My stepbrother and I drove down from the Bay Area together on Thursday night and arrived around midnight. The following day, the boys went out to do some kart racing while the ladies and Archer (my nephew) stayed around to prep for the party that night. My stepsister, Emilie, and I were in charge of inflating balloons. Archer helped a bit by choosing the balloon and ribbon colors. He really enjoyed them, as you can see.

Archer Balloons

We did our big birthday celebration of Friday evening. We were joined by my stepdad’s stepsister and brother-in-law (is my family confusing you yet?) I was in charge of making salad, which was a huge crowd-pleaser. I swapped out pomegranate seeds for dried cranberries and added avocado. Seriously, you’ve got to serve this salad next time you have a party. I would have eaten only that all night if need be.

My stepdad requested that everyone bring a slideshow of about 40 photos to share with everyone. It was really cool to see my family’s photos, hear their stories and see what memories they all cherished most. Our gift to my stepdad was a painting of his choice by Ventura artist Hilda Kilpatrick-Freyer. We went to Ventura for lunch on Saturday and got the chance to check out her amazing apartment/studio. Can you believe this view?

Ventura View

We all departed on Sunday. It was really only a 3 day weekend, but it was packed with so much, it went by too quickly. I was so exhausted afterwards and so ready to sleep in my own bed. Here are a few more memories from the weekend:

Ojai View 2
More views from our rental
Obligatory foot photo
Obligatory foot photo