Thursday, April 25, 2013


i was going to start off this post by saying, "a few years ago, i went to italy with a great friend of mine"...and then i started counting the years and it was in 2006. how is that possible?? i think i constantly say that it was about 4 years ago, which means that i've been completely lying to myself & others for quite a while now.
anyhow, yes. 7 years ago, i went to glorious italy with my amazing traveling partner, amber.
i keep seeing post after post about italy and it is making me itch to go back there. but i'm one of those people who is a little bit snooty when it comes to traveling (yes, i will admit it), and instead of returning to a place that i've already been, i'd much rather be able to check off a new place...except when it comes to italy.
since i've been reminiscing and refuse to get over my need to return there, i wanted to share my photos from when i went "several" years ago. they are from rome, florence & venice.
(and please keep in mind they were taken with a very small, crappy $40 digital camera. so there's that.)

italy, i will return to you.
you and your wine-filled dinners, teeny tiny cute towns with black sand beaches & potato-topped pizzas, money stealing cab drivers and beautiful buildings.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

mini to-do list: summer version

last fall i created a fall to-do list and, surprise surprise, i actually checked everything off.
i'm going off of that momentum (from 6 months ago?) and will make sure i check everything off this summer to-do list. i haven't been this excited for summer in a long time since i have really lucked out and it seems as if there will be a good amount of travel time, out-of-town-friends time & family time all wtihin the next 4 months.
i'm ready for you, summer.
#1 host a summer party
i've been wanting to host a little party at the new house but since we still have some work to do before we're ready to have people over, i suppose i'll wait a month or two.

#2 go to hamilton pool
there's no excuse for the fact that we didn't go last year, so i'm forcing us to find time for it this summer...ideally during the week when it's not filled to the brim with kids (who will pee in the water, i just know it!)
#3 take a day off work during the week to enjoy austin
this may sound like an easy one, but i'm a big time hoarder when it comes to my time off. typically, my rule is that i won't take a day off work unless i'm leaving the city. but i'm making myself play hooky to do things that are otherwise way over-packed during the weekends.
#4 use my nikon more
this one is a little vague, i know...i'm not giving myself a certain number of pictures or a certain amount of time to dedicate to it because i don't want it to turn in to a chore. but since goal #12 on my 30before30 list is to master taking photos the way i picture them in my brain, i've got to start somewhere.
#5 check of goal 5 on my 30before30 list and finally bake sourdough bread!
i know this sounds like a weird one to put on a list like this, but when i check this one off, i'll explain a little bit more.

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do you have anything on your summer to-do list?
hosting parties, take a trip, grow some summer veggies?


Monday, April 22, 2013

weekends were made for...

this weekend was filled with the best weather ever, which i think was on purpose since today is earth day and all, & it's really easy to get in the mood to appreciate mother nature when she treats you so well.
we found my very first tomato in the new garden (see that little guy?). i've been told that he looks much larger in this picture than in person...he's actually only about 1 inch. but that doesn't take away from my excitement - i'm one miniature tomato closer to making salsa with ingredients from my own backyard!
the rest of the weekend was taken up by fancy meat + cheese plates with friends, visits from my sister in law and her husband (that's her with my husband in the last picture!) and making enough "mediterranean-style" quinoa to last us through the rest of the week.
and not pictured here is my obsession with frozen yogurt on sunday nights. i'm not sure what's happening lately but the thought of not having some on sunday after dinner kind of makes me weepy...i go as healthy as you can possibly go with froyo and get the delicious soy kind with no added sugar, but the m&m's i put in surely cancel out all the goodness. either way, i hope my new sunday tradition doesn't end any time soon & i hope you all enjoyed your weekend too - happy earth day!

Monday, April 15, 2013

weekends were made for...

the weekend was full of work from home days (which meant i cooked myself a healthy lunch + was able to meet up a friend for a neighborhood run! love those days), tending to plants & flowers (those two orchids were housewarming gifts from friends - still goin' strong), cooking this week's lunches for the husband & i (stuffed bell peppers), lots of competitive ladder ball games, finally adding champagne flutes to our wet bar (thanks to a crate & barrel gift card we've been holding on to) & gym time.

we also ordered some final things for the house & painted a few baskets and trinkets to match the new place...and i cannot wait to start putting together a house tour post. of course it won't quite look like jora's amazing california house tour, (if you haven't seen it, you'll want to. click here) but...i'm pretty sure that's impossible to duplicate.

i hope your weekend was just as good!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

goal #15 - visit spain

friends, goal #15 from my 30before30 list is underway.
well, i mean it's not underway in the sense that i'm currently achieving it have officially been booked.
the husband & i will be spending 13 days in europe at the end of september, and the last week will be spent in spain which i am thrilled about! yes, i do realize that september is like, eons away. but what can i say - we're planners.
i posted some images of spain a few months ago, but now that things are "official" and i can say things like, "i will be in spain in several months", i feel like the travel posts are more warranted, yes?

pssst. also travel related:
would you spend a day apart from your significant other while on a trip together? for those days when you want to go eat gelato and people-watch in the fancy part of town & he wants to, you know, do guy stuff? read more about that in this link.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

backyard goodness

it was almost exactly one year ago that the husband & i finished working on our backyard at our previous house and it's strange to think about the fact that we've moved on to fix up the backyard in our forever home. and by strange, i do of course mean wonderful.
we try to spend lots of time outside and love hosting parties so i'm itching to get started on creating an environment like we had before. except this time around, we have about 6 times the space to fill up - that can be good and bad.
we found our last backyard chandelier in warrenton last year but unfortunately had no luck finding one during this year's trip. so we've been watching craigslist for a spray paint-able gem & are dusting off our packed up lanterns and seat cushions.

these are some images that have been inspiring me to get some lights strung, a pergola built & some sangria in the backyard:

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Monday, April 1, 2013

weekends were made for...

this weekend, the husband & i went on our annual trip to warrenton, tx to walk miles & miles at their antique festival in hopes of finding one or two treasures. this time around, we found three! (more on those later)
we've gone to warrenton for the past three years (i think) with his parents, and every year we get a little bit better at searching for things. or, if you're my husband, you get better at becoming the fastest-ever antique shopper. he looks in a "shop" for approximately .23 seconds and decides it's time to move on, whereas i'm more the "i-need-to-touch-and-inspect-everything" type of shopper.

we calculated that we walked several miles that day, and got more than one awkward tan line (me) and sunburn (him) - but it was worth it! we came home absolutely exhausted and as much as we wanted to spend sunday relaxing and letting our feet rest on the couch with a beer, we opted for spending six (SIX) hours in the yard with my wonderful in-laws, and raking up fifty (FIFTY) bags of leaves instead.
we planted daisies, ferns, climbing ivy, hung some cute little flowers, raked up the entire back yard and cleared out a very messy, enormous flower bed.

we apparently don't believe in relaxing easter weekends around here, but that's just the way i like it.