Sunday, August 28, 2011

just weekending y'all

Joe and I have been basking in a couple of open weekends recently. We've been intentional about trying NOT to make plans and well, it's made our weekends feel a little bit more vacationy which is nice. We hve also been feeling like our weekends are so long lately because Joe no longer has all day classes in Berkeley on Saturday. What a difference it makes to have real weekends back. Here's a little bit of what we were up to this weekend...

We started the weekend marveling at these Monster Sunflowers at Hidden Villa gardens.

And soaking up the golden morning sunlight as we moseyed around the grounds.

I love sunshine streaming through trees!

Joe found these hops which made him crave a good home brew session.

I found these old salvaged windows which made me dream of having one of these somewhere in my home in the future.

oooh and I also found this sweet baby goat.

And we both found this sign - good to know, eh?

We spent the afternoon doing some projects around the house - Joe put a "ribbon rack" on the craft rack...

Check out his craftsmanship!

Saturday night we picked up a few heirloom tomatoes and grabbed some basil from our backyard and ....

...grilled this beauty. Joe was the master at figuring out how to control the temperature on the charcoal grill - he's such a stud :).

Couldn't quite use our tomatoes yet, but we will in just a couple weeks - look at those baby tomatoes and all those blossoms!

We topped off the pie with some parm and Bon Apetit!

We concluded the weekend with a pickle making sesh - starting to build our xmas gift giving stash :).

Hope you all had a great weekend! Is it Friday yet?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Song of the day

Lovin' this one...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our babies are growing...

Our baby tomatoes that is :). I don't have kids to obsess about and I don't have a dog to obsess about either, so that means you get pictures of the next best thing - our tomatoes! Look at these sweet things just a month ago when we first brought them home from the Farmer's Market.

Baby Tomatoes.

Adolescent tomatoes.

Nearly full grown tomato jungle!

I get so excited checking out all the budding tomatoes. I was late to work this morning because I just couldn't stop looking at these guys - they are popping out everywhere! And they're absolutely gorgeous to me. My mind is blown and they're just tomatoes, I can't even imagine what I'm going to be like when I have kids :).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Colorful furniture is just more fun!

On our recent trip to Santa Fe, we happened to be in town for part of an incredible arts and crafts fair called the Spanish Market. My heart skipped a beat when we walked by this stall...

COLORFUL furniture in all sorts of shapes and hues! Cue heart melting ;).
Ever since, Joe and I have been itching to slather up some of our old, boring and just plain ugly pieces of furniture with a little color to give 'em some new life. So, this weekend we made our way out the door on Saturday morning (with Philz in hand, of course) and picked up some paint at the Home Depot to do this..

We added a little sass to this night stand with a fresh coat of red. AND, what's even cooler - you see that bottom shelf? Well, Joe used some scrap wood we had and built that - not too shabby - I think I'll keep that guy around for a while. Now we have double the "storage" space, you know, for important things, like Joe's gameboy.

This former hunk of junk got spruced up with some turquoise - still have some touch ups to do so don't look too close, but I am too impatient to wait until it's finished to post.

And this folks, this is a project that I have Pinterest (and my super cute handyman Joe) to thank for - I have been antsy about getting some of my craft supplies organized so that they're not cluttering up shelf space in our "junk" room which I hope to turn shortly into a "craft" room. This is what it looks like right now...

It's still a work in progress, but I'm already over the moon for my new space to store paints :). I'm hoping to get that dowel on the dresser up for ribbon storage soon and I'll be scheming about how to create space for some stationery, knick-knacks etc. Stay tuned for updates :).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

the beauty and healing of silence and stillness...

I had my last Mindfulness class last Tuesday and boy oh boy oh boy did I fall in love with this class. I'm about ready to sign up to take it again in the fall. If it weren't for my impending coaching duties, I just might - I'm already thinking of signing up after basketball season to reclaim some of the calm that I'm sure I'll lose as I dive into the craziness of another season. But anyways, I digress....

It's not the first time that I've written about how crazy last year was and whew, by June I was feeling physically and emotionally run down. If I'm honest, I admit that I was not always graceful at coping with the stress and had my fair share of minor and major breakdowns. I felt as though my usual resilience had been depleted. The challenges that I would usually be able to take in stride were harder for me to face, overcome and then recover from. And ultimately, I was feeling so tired that it was harder for me to do something that I usually pride myself on, and that is being open to the beauty that I do believe is all around us.

Enter this Mindfulness class - what lovely timing! The class helped me to reclaim my ability to tap into and appreciate the beauty all around me. And more than that, I think that the reason I was so moved by this experience was that it showed me that not only is beauty all around us, so is healing.

For me, one of the big takeaways was that we are each our own greatest healers. A big part of the class revolved around developing a meditation practice and call it hippy-ish, soft or whatever you want, the first time that I laid down to do the 45 minute guided body-scan meditation, I felt like my body had found exactly what it had been craving -- stillness and deep, deep, deep breaths. Now you all know that I love my fair share of go, go, going - there is just too much in life to do to be too still, but Sweet Georgia Brown, this stillness thing has spoken straight to my heart.

And it's funny right, because even after doing just one week of this stuff, something in my body and brain began to crave the feeling of calm and rejuvenation and non-judgement that I now realized I was able to get from just being still and conscious of myself and my breath. I'll admit that I haven't been super disciplined about keeping up with my meditation practice, although I still aspire to, but since taking this class I find myself turning to the tools of meditation multiple times in my daily life. I feel more conscious of my breath throughout the day, more aware of when I am beginning to feel stressed or anxious and as a result I feel better able to respond to these things instead of reacting to them. Overall, I just feel a little more present and it feels wonderful. To be doing something, whether it is cooking dinner with Joe or going for a run, experiencing something joyful or even painful and to feel like I am actually there to experience it, appreciate it and learn from it, well, it just feels good. I'm still far, far, far from enlightenment of any sort, but it's so empowering to have these tools at my fingertips.

One (of the many) of my favorite things about the meditations that we went through in these classes was the way that our teacher would end each session, he would say...

"May you know peace.
May you be free of suffering.
May all beings know peace and be free of suffering."

I could go on and on and on about all the wonderful pearls of wisdom our teacher shared, but for now, I'll hope that these bits and pieces rise up and find their way out in future posts.

Peace to each of you and all your loved ones too!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Visit from an F4lie and her H4lie

One of my F4lies Niki, and her H4L Ryan came to the bay this weekend for a visit. (F4l - for those of you who need a reminder is the oh so super cool acronym that stands for Friends 4 Life that my high school girlfriends and I gave each other our senior year. 3 years ago when Whit, Niki, Christina and Maria got hitched, we started the H4L - which obviously stands for Husbands 4 Life - we are self proclaimed dorks :)). Niki and Ryan have been married for about 3 years now and they shared over the weekend that they are even more in love today than they were 3 years ago! So stinkin' sweet.

Before they arrived, I kept telling Joe how it kind of felt like family was coming to visit - Niki and I go back - all the way to the eighth grade when we were little 13 year old pipsqueaks. Those were the days when I curled my bangs and Niki and I and the rest of our bball clan would go to Open Gyms every night at the local middle school to get our game on! We were so flippin' crazy about basketball it makes me laugh looking back. Anyways, we were friends all through high school and managed to stay close even after I left San Diego for college, I was a bridesmaid in Niki and Ryan's wedding and well, sheesh now we are quickly approaching our 30s!!! It would be impossible to count the number of Friday nights in our lives that we have spent watching Dirty Dancing and the bond that we originally forged in our shared experience on the basketball court is something that is so special to me.

We started the weekend exchanging some home made goods - Joe and I gave them a jar of our strawberry jam and Niki and Ryan brought up a bottle of their home made wine and their home brew! We spent the weekend eating amazing food and drinking their homemade wine and beer AND lots of Philz coffee. Niki and Ryan are food and drink lover/appreciators like Joe and I and we love being able to appreciate these things with people who are equally enthusiastic! They are also new home-owners and have been having a blast doing tons of home improvement projects -their latest patio project inspired us! And I think Ryan and Joe shared a moment when they were talking about all the cool power tools in the world. Ryan is a pretty awesome guitar player which made Joe happy - he busted out his guitars and the boys had a jam session on Saturday night. During the jam session, Joe unveiled an "OG" which is apparently guitar player code for an original song. Joe's was titled - Old Mount Hoody's Top - the Ballad of Mt. Hood - Nov. 2009 (he made me write the full title) and he was just so darn cute singing it - I was swooning and it wasn't even a love song ;).

Here are a few pics of our weekend...

Drinks at the Cavallo Lodge Farley Bar.

Coffee stop at the beloved Philz.

Can never help myself on these jump photos.

oooooh and one for you lovers!

P.S. - Joe and I saw Adele in concert last night - the woman is absolutely beautiful and her voice moves me to tears. I heart sharing an evening of beautiful music wrapped up in Joe's arms.

Happy week to you!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

my parents came to visit - it only happens once every three years

Ha - love to give my parents a hard time about never coming to visit me :). It was so nice to have them up the bay this week and show 'em around my life a little bit :). I just love and am so thankful for both of them! They came up for memorial services for my Great Aunt and then we got to spend a couple days together with my Grandma, Grandpa and Great Uncle. AND, they even got to meet Kat, Erik and Lindsey and the tomato plants that Joe and I are so proud of! My parents are so important to me and my bay area friends are so important to me and it just made my heart sing to have these people meet!

Here we are with our tomatoes!!