Friday, November 29, 2013

thankfulness-4 things

Opportunities to see the world.  A sense of adventure.  And a community of people who encourage me to pursue it.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.  And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
November is quickly wrapping up.  In only a couple of days we will begin the last month of the year and the beginning of the holiday season.  Like most of 2013, the month has gone so quickly, but making a concerted effort to remember those things that I am grateful for in my life has made it feel purposeful.  The actual Thanksgiving holiday is now over, but I hope a habit of thankfulness will continue as we close this year.

Driving up to Oregon on Wednesday, R and I are now enjoying a few days off with dear friends and a season that feels pretty similar to a real winter.  Hiking on ice-covered path yesterday and Moz playing in the snow at Crater Lake is just what I needed to get myself in the mindset of the upcoming holidays and cold months ahead.

To wrap up November, a few final thoughts of thankfulness.

A healthy body and the ability to do what I love.
A true life partner.  One who makes me laugh and grow...and tolerates all sorts of craziness.
A God that guides and directs my life and a Son who is the living example of that love.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

oregon road trip

Photo via
And we're off...

R, Moz and I are headed up north on a road trip to Oregon.  Yes, this will be my 3rd time in 4 months.  I cannot help it.  The place keeps drawing me back.  Of course, it helps that my best friend and her husband live up there.

Normally, R and I would run this turkey trot, eat a random t-day dinner and then head down to Big Sur for this hike.  Instead, we are headed on an 8 hour journey through Northern California.  We have our bags packed, audio book downloaded and snacks for the road.  Please follow along on instagram for all the pics of Northern California and beyond the border, @teawithhummingbirds.

Monday, November 25, 2013

thankfulness: 4 things can be difficult and frustrating at times, but at the end of the day, I am thankful for the challenges it presents and opportunities for growth.
image via
Wow, I am really late in posting this.  I actually had to delete my original post to write everything in past tense...  It has been a bit of a whirlwind last few days prepping for R and I's second Friends-giving dinner party.  I may have slightly over-committed myself, but it turned out to be an amazing night, and I successfully prepared my 2nd turkey.  We're off to Oregon tomorrow night to spend actual Thanksgiving with my best friend.  So even though it is quite late, here are a few things I have been thankful for this week.  

Small reminders of my travels scattered throughout our apartment.
"Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude."

Good friends.  All of them.
photo via Nirav
Moments of silliness and reminders to not take life too seriously.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

california adventure: glamping at costanoa

I arrived just after dark.  Not a great start to my first glamping experience since I would have to find my tent in blackness, but I suppose watching the sunset over the ocean during the 1 hour drive south of SF was my constellation prize.  I visited Costanoa nearly 2 years before while exploring places nearby our wedding location for rehearsal dinner and places for people to stay.  For that purpose it wasn't exactly what we were looking for, but I had always wanted to return. 

This past weekend was the only one that was semi-free in the 2 upcoming months, so I took advantage for a chance to get away by myself.  It is not something that I would normally do, but over the past few months, I have been feeling a nudge for some time of solitude.

After I had checked in at the front desk, they gave me the key to #27 and sent me on my way. From previous camping experiences, I knew there were reasons why one should show up while there was still sunlight, as I drove by my cabin twice before finally figuring it out.  The night was chilly, as it often is this close to the coast, and I did wonder if I had brought warm enough clothes.  The little cabins truly are tents, made of thick canvas and you can feel the cold air running through it.  However, once inside, it is set up like a tiny, rustic hotel room.  Full size bed, electric lights and a tiny chair and mirror. The experience of "camping" without all the set-up.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse a few miles north
Food was the first thing on my mind, and because I did not pack anything, I headed straight over to the restaurant on the premises.  It was crowded with families staying in the bungalows and the lodge itself, so I sat at the bar chatting with the bartender and eating crab cake sliders {delish!}.  It was still early when I finished {though the darkness can be deceiving when you're camping} I visited the fireplace they have at the comfort station and read.  

Even though I had on multiple layers, the cold finally got to me, so I went back to the tent to read and keep warm under the electric blanket.    When I left SF, I had very grandiose visions of how productive I would be.  How inspired to read and write.  But to be really honest, I found myself very restless and distracted.  I kind of hate to admit this, but by 9:30, I was in bed with the lights out.  

Sunday was another day though, and after getting some coffee at the lodge, I took advantage of the adirondack chairs outside of each bungalow.  Drinking coffee, reading and watching the happenings of the campground.  Including a covey of California quail wandering to and from.

Final to-do on my list was to head out on a hike.  Fortunately, I could leave right from the lodge parking lot, across highway 1 and to a trail leading straight to the beach.  At that time in the morning, the beach was completely empty.  For a natural wanderer, it was the perfect opportunity to take in the views of the ocean and small cliffs along the edge.  An chance to wander and explore, contemplate life and be thankful for the amazing blessing of creation.

Friday, November 15, 2013

thankfulness: 4 things

Beautiful places.  Especially in this place where R and I, where during our hikes, got to know each other more deeply {and he later proposed}.
This weekend I am doing something I have not done in a very long while.  I'm going away by myself. Not for business, not to visit friends, but to spend some time with myself.  Just for the night, but I reserved a tent cabin here and will keep you all posted on the experience of "glamping".  

I am very much a people person.  I get energy from hanging out with friends or family.  But I have begun to notice over the past few months a gentle nudging for some time of solitude.  A chance to spend some time without the distractions of home to write and reflect.  And, let's be honest, I really want to see what this "glamping" experience is really all about.  So, for one night only, I am heading out into a luxe wilderness to fend for myself. 

“Dear old world', she murmured, 'you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.” 
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables

An abundance of fresh, delicious food!
A small, but treasured tradition of Saturday morning walks.
This crazy group + even more not pictured.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

weekend away: packing list

dress / tote / hat / jacket / necklace / jeans / button-down / sweater / suitcase / tights / boots 

Over the past few months I have been going on a lot of weekend trips.  There have been car trips to Tahoe, jaunts to Oregon and even a short business trip to Arizona.  With each of these trips, I often struggle how to pack efficiently and lightly.  Its only a couple of days, but I want to look stylish and comfortable of course.  With each of these trips, I have been creating a list of easy go-to for travel.  Outfits that will take you through sight-seeing to dinner with friends.  

Being deep into fall and the weather getting cooler everyday, you definitely want a couple of layering options.  I always start with my jeans.  My personal go-to are dark wash skinnies.  I can wear them with  flats or boots and the dark wash always looks polished.  Along with that, an easy white button-down and a neutral pull-on sweater, worn separately or together if the weather is cooler.  I also, nearly always pack a dress (and tights for winter).  A super easy knit dress is comfortable and an entire look in 1 garment.  It also gives you the ability to have an option for going out or a nice dinner.

-Easy jacket.  This one is lightweight, but great to layer over a sweater for extra wind protection when out and about.  
-Wide brim hat, sun protection and warmth!
-Statement necklace, which can help bring your white shirt or knit dress up to a whole new level.
-A leather tote (or easy carry bag).   A larger bag is the perfect additional carry-on for a flight and gives you ample room for souvenirs and camera.
-Comfortable shoes: for the fall/winter time, I always bring a pair of boots.  I recently got these, and am LOVING their versatility.
-Small carry-on suitcase.  I am loving the camo print as a way to stand out, but still neutral.

Now, where to go next?!

Monday, November 11, 2013

california adventure: grey whale cove

"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, bookis in the running brooks, sermons in stones and good in everything."
-William Shakespeare
It was an absolutely gorgeous weekend here in the Bay Area.  Having a very chilly, very foggy summer, it was so nice to enjoy the sunshine and leave home without a jacket.  As I have mentioned in a few other posts, I have been craving quiet time.  These last 2 days came as the perfect opportunity to recover from the previous months of traveling nonstop and preparing for the upcoming holiday craziness.

Friday, November 8, 2013

thankfulness: 4 things

Writing & all the forms that it takes as a source of rest and inspiration
“Rest and be thankful.” 
― William Wordsworth
Since it is now November, and the Thanksgiving holiday is only weeks away, I decided that as a sort of preparation for that time, I wanted to focus on thankfulness.  It has been quite a year; of opportunity, of joy, and of some very hard times.  I have been realizing more and more the importance of maintaining a grateful heart, not only in the big things in my life (though I am extremely thankful for those), but also in those little moments and joy that come each day.  There will be days of pain, of suffering, of sadness; which ultimately make those days of happiness that much more sweet.

I have decided to dedicate the Fridays of November to all those things that I am currently thankful for.  Happy weekend all!

A place of solitude in the middle of the busy city.

Mild weather and a chance to enjoy some time outside while commuting to work every day.

I was painfully reminded this week of how quickly our little loved ones can be taken from us.  Especially thankful of my little furbaby, even if he is a little crazy!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

journey to...portland

Two weeks ago, I took a girls weekend up to Portland, Oregon.  It was my second visit to the Beaver State, and honestly what I was most excited for was an opportunity to experience the true fall season.  Colored leaves and brisk air.  Portland did not disappoint.  We stayed at the Paramount Hotel in the middle of downtown and enjoyed being surrounded by brick buildings and leaf covered sidewalks.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

tea time: a quiet place

via ana carrera
"I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

Feeling a little scattered and unfocused has left me with a strong desire to hide out in a cabin.  A place that I can read, write and enjoy a quiet scenery.  Away for just a day or so from the constant stream of information and technology.  

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