what & wear : austin

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Kyle and I are taking our first multi-day no kids allowed trip together next month. It’s been soooooo long since we’ve gone somewhere new and almost three full years since we’ve spent more then one night kidless together. To say we are excited is an understatement.

When we started dreaming up a little long weekend trip, we had a few boxes to tick before deciding on a location. First, we wanted it to be generally warm. Second, a bucket list destination. And lastly, not so far away that travel would occupy all our time.

Check. Check. Check. Austin here we come.

Anyway, I always love travel recommendations so I wanted to see if anyone had some ideas for the what’s and wear’s of Austin.

WHAT should we do? Eating? Must See’s? Shopping? Coffee? Send it ALL to me!

And, obviously, I need to know what to WEAR? I’m thinking lots of walking so comfy shoes? Dresses? Joggers?

HELP!

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from her view

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We have been dealing with a plague in our house. That might be a little dramatic but honestly, there is a virus making it’s way around that lasts for weeks. M got it two and a half weeks ago and just kicked it. I got it about a week ago and it’s still rollin’. Just c’mon…all I’m asking is to be able to breathe. To breathe so I can sleep.

This pesky bug is just hanging on and we are taking baby steps to getting back into our regular routine.

In an effort to do just that but avoid infecting any fortunate healthy people we might encounter, I took my crew the dog park a few days ago. I let M take over the photo taking and it was pretty hilarious. She wasn’t so much into action shots and expected every dog she crossed paths with to stand and pose for her. Not happening girl. Instead, we came out with just one friendly dog photo and many more of my dirty dog park shoes.

Enjoy!

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the others

It’s probably been way too long since I mentioned our other children around here. Did you even know we had dogs? Poor guys seem to be stuck behind the scenes these days. But as the days get warmer, we’ve gotten to enjoy more time with them outside and I was able to get a few pictures of our furry kids for some introductions…..

jackson1Jackson is our 80 lb goldendoodle. Yes, goldendoodle. Everyone always gets caught up on that. He had a golden retriever for a mom and black standard poodle for a dad. My friend Bree says that Jackson is a person in a dog suit and that’s pretty much all you need to know about him. He’s THE BEST.

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And then there’s this one. I joke that Sadie is my step-dog. When I met a six foot five handsome guy named Kyle in college, I was a littler perplexed about his tiny eight pound dog. Then I saw him walking her and girls basically running towards him to pet his tiny companion. Mystery solved.  Anyway, she barks A LOT and is a mix of about every small dog under the sun but she loves us so much and is just pint sized enough for M to run after all day.

So that’s that.

home deco

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This past week has been dedicated to making my living room a more livable space. When we first moved in, furniture was on the back burner and structure was at the forefront. Five months later, structure is pretty well laid out and it’s time to focus on what the place looks like. From the beginning, I have kept a Pinterest board for inspiration. It ended up very white (bye bye old brown house), open and with lots of natural accents. Not every detail of my board has come to life (because hellooo it’s Pinterest) but some things are starting to take shape. More on the house later but I wanted to share some of what I’m thinking about as I have been working on the living space this week.

Thoughts on these?

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click on photos for sources

pictures of the market

market1On Saturday, I hosted my book club for brunch. We chatted about Big Little Lies but mostly, we marveled over the yogurt my good friend Laura showed up with. Words just can’t explain how amazing this stuff is. So good that Lacie and I schemed up a Sunday outing for our families at Pikes Place. We were pretty amazing tourists checking out the gum wall, fish throwing and doing all the things that would have made it a legitimate outing but mostly, we were there for the yogurt.

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Actually, the gum wall was really a highlight for the girls. All of us adults crammed some gross Big League Chew in our mouths and handed it over for M & G to add to the masterpiece (parent things.).

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We thought about buying vegetables but took the really logical path and bought bouquets instead.

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I forgot how exciting and iconic Pikes Place feels. Out of curiosity, I looked it up when I got I got home and learned that it opened in 1907. Say Whhhaaaa??? Learning things about my own city. Gotta’ love that!

chocolate overnight oats

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Breakfast has been a broken record of eggs, vegi sausage, toaster waffles and yogurt lately. In a desperate attempt to derail that boring cycle, I went searching Pinterest for some easy recipes and landed on overnight oats. I used this recipe as a starting point then improvised with what I had in my kitchen. We’ve been enjoying these cups all week and I feel like they are a total triumph over our boring breakfast standards.

What You Need || 

1 cup gluten free rolled oats

1 cup coconut milk

3 large strawberries, chopped

1 tbsp cocoa powder

sprinkle of chai seeds

sprinkle of flax seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp maple syrup

blueberries

1 chopped banana

coconut shavings

What You Do ||

1. Combine oats, coconut milk, strawberries, blueberries, chai seeds, flax seeds, vanilla extract, maple syrup and blueberries in a large bowl. Stir until completely mixed.

2. Half fill a few pint sized mason jars with mixture (mine filled three jars)

3. Chill overnight

4. Stir and add banana and coconut as a toppings

in my neighborhood || London Plane

FullSizeRenderWhen you see a place enough on your Insta feed, your expectations are high.high.high. London Plane has been showing up all over Seattle social media lately and the tall white walls, flowers for purchase plus unique food scream ‘photograph me’ so yep’, I get it. We finally found time to brunch there this weekend and I was blown away. I have to admit that I’ve never been into the whole avocado toast thing but I was totally in love with LP’s version.  But, my favorite thing was the cold brew coffee. They brew it in house with bunch of unexpected spices. Kind of makes it a coffee/tea combo.

It was really fun to have a date with Kyle where we could actually enjoy a few daylight hours together. We could see a life sized chess match going on across the street and a bus of tourists dropped off right in front of our window while we ate.  And, on a really random note, the staff wore these amazing chambray aprons. I think I might just need one…..

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online lately

IMG_3672I bought this online….found these great internet services…..things I do on the computer….I don’t know. Whatever you want to call it, I’ve been turning to the internet lately for so many things that I previously would have ventured to a store for. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised (it’s the way of the world right?) but these services have totally blown me away so I thought I would share.

Let’s start with Serial. I think I’m a little late to the podcast party but O.M.G (I HATE omg but it’s just so appropriate here. Read it with a teenage squeal if you must) was I glued to this. I had to have my younger (and much cooler) cousin show me where to even find these ‘podcast things’ on my phone but once I was there, I was stuck. I finished the Serial series yesterday and am truly sad it’s over. I’m still milling over what I think of Adnon’s guilt or possible innocence. If you haven’t listed yet, it’s like listening to a real life law and order and the hosts voice somehow captures you. I listed on my phone, in my car, every nap time and basically as much as I could until I finished. Then, this morning, about 12 hours after finishing Serial, I started Invisibilia. Hooked again.

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Another online service I would have never dreamed I would love is Warby Parker. I’m not a glasses wearer but Kyle is and he hates picking out a pair on his own. So, rather than drag the whole fam to the store, we ordered five pairs to try for five days from Warby Parker. Kyle modeled them all for me and we eliminated three immediately. A few days later, while over for brunch, his family helped him narrow it down to one awesome pair. We sent in his prescription, mailed back the trial pairs and his new glasses arrived a few weeks later. SO EASY!

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I’ve made a lame attempt on keeping a baby book for M. I’ve written a few things here and there, mostly when she was first born and I hadn’t included any photos. I finally decided I better get on top of it before I totally lost the project to the years so I ordered some prints of my Instagram photos from Print Studio not really knowing what to expect. I was blown away when they arrived. The quality of the photos is amazing and the square shape just kills me. I think I’ll try to Prinstagram my photos every six months or so just to make sure M has some hard photos to look back on.

I know there are a million other online services waiting for me to find. If you have any you love, send em’ my way!

this old house

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errr or not really old at all. We purchased our first home five days before our wedding. At the time, it was a patch of dirt in what would eventually be a 100ish home neighborhood. As first time home buyers, we had the perfect opportunity with this gem. We didn’t build from scratch ourselves but instead had our hand held buy the builder and picked all the finishes, floor plan and wall colors from a few options. We lived in this space for five years, made two job changes, brought a dog baby home to it and later our real baby made a home there.

And then, it was time to go.

It took a while but once I finally accepted that I was doing the adult thing by moving (the Seattle area market was crazy this summer) and the for-sale sign went up, it was suddenly easy to let go. I would return home after a potential buyer showing and my house would smell like someone else. Like when you step into an elevator after an exceptionally potent man has just left.  People had been poking around, viewing all my belongings and judging my decorating choices (I’ve seen enough home shows to know they ALWAYS comment on the paint color. amIright?). I was disconnected almost immediately. As we packed, I happily watched furniture walk out the door to new homes and car fulls of stuff go to GoodWill.

It wasn’t until we had everything out and I was deep cleaning that my emotions finally took me down. Actually, it was M’s room that got me. And stupidly enough, it was a tiny coffee stain that literally brought me to my knees. On the shelf next to her changing table, there was a tiny ring from my coffee cup practically burt into the wood. Instantly, the routine I had for almost two years flooded over me. Wake, Shower, Coffee, Get Baby, Place Coffee on Shelf, Change Baby. I just laid on the floor and finally let myself feel the change.

The thing is, it was like pulling off a bandaid. We have taken our new place from house to home in a matter of four months and are still charging ahead. I haven’t looked back once or really even thought about the house we sold. I am certain that the same powerful feelings will imbed themselves in these new walls, that there will be coffee rings to cry over when we leave this place and that I never NEVER want to see that brown shag carpet again (WHAT was I thinking?).

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Side note: I know people move ALL the time and I’ve talked about this a few too many times already. Last one. Promise.

Builder: Pulte Homes

Design Direction: Laurie Schwartz

when spring comes to january

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When the headlines are full of blizzards, juno and the word feet mixed with the word snow, I almost hate to talk about the weather. But, the weather. We pay our dues in the Northwest with enough gloom to make us notorious for it so when the sun shines in January, you talk about it. It’s been 60 here the last few days. 60 in January is some sort of miracle. And we did what any good Pacific Northwest dwellers do when the big ball of light shines. We got outside.

I’ve “hiked” (you can hardly call what we did hiking. it was glorified mountain walking) Evans Creek Preserve a few times in the summer but it was almost better in the winter. Very Twighlight-esc with moss stretching across every surface and tiny traces of wildlife at your feet. It was really a January morning at it’s finest.

**Remind me to look back at this when I’m complaining about the spring that hasn’t yet arrived in April.

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