Currently: June

Hello, friends! Inspired once again by Tracy, we’re going to shift gears a little bit and talk about a some things we’re loving lately. What’s inspiring us? What are we thinking about? What can’t we get enough of right now? Let’s talk about it!

Inspired by…

  • Shutterbean: Well, I already mentioned Tracy’s blog, Shutterbean. Her posts are just so refreshing and her eye for photography and art are simply stunning. Honestly, she’s a lot of the inspiration for what I’m doing here with my own blog. So thanks, Tracy!

Listening to…

  • Music…

    • Acoustic Covers: Acoustic versions of favorite songs make for easy listening in the office when I just need some background noise. Acoustic Billy Jean? Yes, please.
    • Sugar Ray: The sweet, laid-back beats of Sugar Ray are my go-to summer soundtrack. My summer playlist also includes the Beastie Boys, Outkast, and Nelly Furtado. It always makes me want to grab an ice-cold lemonade, roll the windows down, turn the radio up, and go for a long, slow drive beside the ocean.
    • Redneck Jams: Having grown up in Idaho in a family of former cattle ranchers and rodeo queens, country music is in my blood. And while it’s not always something that I listen to on the regular anymore, every once in a while it just feels good to throw on some hard-driving Waylon Jennings or Johnny Cash and remember my roots. I’ve been feeling extra nostalgic this month, so I’ve been listening to my “redneck girl” playlists a lot.
    • Feel free to find and follow me on Spotify to check out all of my playlists!
  • Podcasts…

    • With an hour commute each way, I spend a lot of time listening to things in the car. Podcasts and audiobooks tend to keep me awake better than music sometimes.
    • The Daily: This is the short, daily podcast put out by the New York Times. I love that it gives me the opportunity to delve a little deeper into some of the relevant topics of the day without being too much of a time commitment (only about 20 minutes, usually). Most days I listen to it during the first part of my commute as a way to start the day off informed.
    • Invisibilia: Another podcast I subscribe to – the Sorta Awesome Show – turned me on to Invisibilia. I really love anything that analyzes the human experience, and this podcast does it beautifully. They offer some alternative yet very credible views about everything from the physiology of human emotion to our very perception of reality. It just gets my brain going in all the right ways, and really helps make the evening commute a lot easier.
    • Why Mommy Drinks: I’ve followed mommy blogs and podcasts for a long time, and I’ll be the first to admit that even the best ones can get a little too Stepford for my tastes. Why Mommy Drinks is the hilarious, foul-mouthed answer to that. Instead of talking about how Pinterest-perfect their lives with kids are, these amazing ladies talk about their weekly shit shows and find ways to laugh at them. Sometimes this is just what I need to not feel so alone in the craziness of my life. This is usually in my earbuds on the weekends.

Watching…

  • Outlander: After hearing really great things about this series I decided to finally check it out. It’s one of those shows that I actually want to pay attention to, so I’ve been taking it slow and am only like 4 episodes in, but damn, it is right up my alley! If you’re into loosely historical drama with a side of romance, you should check it out, too!
  • American Gods: As a longtime fan of Neil Gaiman, I was really looking forward to the television adaptation of his book. I have to say, though, I have mixed feelings about it. The good: the cinematography and attention to visual detail are phenomenal. The bad: I’m not impressed with the way they fundamentally changed the story. I know, I know… that’s everyone’s complaint about a book that’s been put to screen. But those of you who’ve read the book will likely agree. However, one thing I can definitely recommend is the Audible recording of the book, featuring a full cast. It’s been, by far, my favorite medium for consuming this story.
  • Genius: This is the NatGeo miniseries about Albert Einstein. It’s been fascinating to learn things about him as a person and not just the physics he’s famous for. Plus, it’s a really well-produced show.
  • Big Little Lies: I know I am probably the last person on Earth to jump on the Big Little Lies bandwagon, but HOLY HELL this was an amazing miniseries. We recently resubscribed to HBO, and I spent a good portion of one weekend this month binge-watching this. Crazy good. Kinda sad there won’t be a season two.

Reading…

  • I’ll admit, I don’t read nearly as much as I should. I could make time for it, but I just have other priorities. However…
  • At Home in the World: This is the latest book out by Tsh Oxenreider, who has been a favorite blogger and podcaster of mine for many years now. It’s a sweet, inspiring memoir about her months-long, around-the-world trip with her husband and young children. I have been slowly taking this one in, in chapters here and there, and it has been a pure delight.
  • Audible: Born to Run: Does it count as reading if I listen to someone else read it? I’m gonna vote that it does. Memoir is one of my favorite genres… I love hearing real stories told by real people. Bonus if the audiobook is read by the author, because then you really get the inflection they were going for when they wrote it! I’ve never been a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen’s music, but his memoir is fascinating. And hearing it read in his iconic, burned-out voice is just icing on the cake.

Thinking about…

  • Creative Endeavors: Now that I’ve finally found my footing after the birth of Jack, I feel a serious urge to be creative again. I need something fun and stimulating to do, as a break from all of my ever-growing responsibilities. Some things on brain lately have been…
    • Blog Goals: What do I want from this blog? The weekly In Real Life photo series has been really fun, but are there other things I feel inspired to do? I think this type of post (Currently) is one I could feasibly do every month. Plus, it’s fun to reflect on the month and what I was into. Perhaps commit to sharing one or two recipes per month? Maybe. I want to be careful not to get too ambitious and stress myself out with too many plans.
    • Recipes: I find myself wanting to cook and bake again. Things on the short list are ice cream, summer berry pie, banana bread, and more fresh things on the grill.
    • Photography Class? I’ve been tossing around the idea of taking a photography class to finally learn how to actually use my nice DSLR camera. I love the idea, but I don’t know how often I’d actually put that info to use… the DSLR is so big, and my iPhone takes good enough pictures for what I like to do most of the time. So I dunno. We’ll see.
    • Skillshare Classes? Have you heard of Skillshare? I hadn’t either until recently. It’s apparently a website you can subscribe to and take all kinds of online seminars for a huge range of topics. I have always been a studious one, and the idea of taking a class at my own pace on a topic of my own choosing wherever I want sounds super appealing. Coffee shop + laptop + notebook? Sign me up.
  • Idaho Trip! I’ve got a short trip to Idaho planned in July to go home and visit my family, and I am super excited! My brain is starting to swirl with lists of people I want to see, things I want to do, things I’ll need to pack… sometimes anticipation is half the fun.
  • Tattoo: Getting a tattoo has been on my mind for a long time, but Robbie is really encouraging me to to pursue it. I think I have a pretty good idea for what I want to get, now I just need to do the work of finding a good artist and book an appointment.

Eating & Drinking

  • Mojitos! Ok, maybe what I make is not actually a mojito so much as just limeaid with mint, white rum, and a splash of lime Perrier. But whatever. I’ve officially declared it my summer drink.
  • Thinking about going low-carb again. It’s so hard to maintain with a busy lifestyle, though! Maybe I can at least commit to the 80/20 rule?
  • I can’t stop thinking about those Totchos we had at 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco. Definitely not low-carb. Definitely don’t care.
  • Cold brew coffee has been in my regular rotation lately. It’s super easy to make at home, especially if you have a French press. Just put your grounds in the bottom, fill with water, and refrigerate for 24 hours or so. Voila! I’ve been mostly drinking mine with a splash of milk and one packet of Stevia… mmm.

What inspired you this month? I’d love to hear!

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In Real Life: Week 25

Here’s a look at our 2017 week 25…

Baby boy!

Getting to soak my feet in cold water whenever I want is about the only thing keeping me from stabbing people in this heat.

Our monthly board game Sunday! We got a pretty awesome haunt this time, too.

Getting her baby fix.

I stubbed my toe on a big heavy crate we have. I thought it was broken by how much it hurt and how purple it turned, but, thankfully, it seems to be healing quickly.

Trying to make better food choices.

There’s something pretty and nostalgic about a stamped tin ceiling.

Mama and baby dressed to match in our Giants shirts.

Truth.

Why are tater tots so effing delicious?

Everything is beautiful if you choose to look at it that way.

He’s sitting so well by himself lately.

And standing with less help, too!

Fill in the blank ____.

A perfect fresh, summery dinner.

Enjoying dinner in his new high chair!

Playing with mama.

Thanks, Lola.

What a flirt!

#RTLife

Mama’s boy.

Fried rice Friday is kinda of turning into a regular thing.

I was feeling motivated this week, so I got out and did couch to 5K Day One. Again. Because falling off the bandwagon doesn’t mean there’s no point in getting back on.

It was a foggy morning at the park.

But I got to wind through the dreamy neighborhood beside it…

…and dream about having a yard of my own again one day.

Congrats, Fiks!

This boy loves his daddy.

Little hamburglar.

Getting ready to go into banana bread.

Can you believe the year is already half over? I’m pretty proud, too, that I’ve been doing this blog post weekly for six whole months! I’m excited to keep it going!

What are you up to this week? Whatever it is, have a great one!

In Real Life: Week 24

Happy week 24, everyone!

We kicked off our week with a trip to San Francisco!

We met Pato at a neat little brewery for lunch.

Lovin’ on Uncle Red Beard.

The Hell or High Watermelon. Tasty! And reminded me a lot of Blue Moon.

Since they don’t want you walking out the front door with booze.

Jack Jack, get out of my Totchos!

Baseball time!

We had AMAZING seats.

And we got Jack his first baseball cap!

He was such a good boy for the whole game. And our neighbors were in love with him.

My boy Hunter Pence! And here comes the pitch…

This one was good for a double!

Before they blew it and gave up 3 more runs.

It was a near-perfect day with my little American boy.

Sometimes I love our morning summer marine layer.

More flowers from our awesome nanny.

And farm fresh eggs, too!

This is how we feel about teething.

That’s better. 🙂

Roses from my awesome hubby when I wasn’t feeling well.

Winding down for sleeps.

This little succulent leaf wasn’t ready to be done with life just yet.

My handsome boy!

Miss Judge-y Pants.

Tummy time!

The pool is the best place to spend Friday.

Followed by ice cream, of course.

But don’t trust that your “SPF 20” daily face lotion will be enough sunscreen for a day at the pool. Whoops.

And then the best way to spend Saturday is by the ocean.

“Natural bridges.”

Welcome to Surf City, USA!

It’s a rule that if there is a truck selling fresh fish tacos beside the ocean you have to get some. You must.

Low tide is magical.

One time while I was walking along West Cliff last summer there was a man standing on this exact cliff ledge playing the Rocky theme on a trumpet. I wonder if this little memorial is for him.

I love how lush the California coast line is.

Those two have the best view. Obviously.

The last few days have been SO HOT. And since nobody believes in air conditioning here, I’ve decided that we are going to be spending a lot of time in our new little kiddie pool this summer.

We were supposed to go see Wonder Woman last night, but our babysitter fell through. So we took Jack with us and went out for dinner and drinks instead.

Irish nachos at Rosie McCann’s.

Pato says that if you go to Ireland and ask for an Irish Car Bomb they will look at you funny. Apparently he knows from experience.

Happy Father’s Day to all you awesome dads out there! What’s everybody up to this week?

Stay cool!

In Real Life: Week 23

We had a pretty awesome week 23. Here’s how it looked…

Comfy kitty.

Recharging at The Verve.

Sunday introvert comforts.

I had no idea that it was Pride until I stumbled upon the parade.

Downtown got way into it.

There were little hints of rainbow magic everywhere.

Some were subtle.

Some not so much.

Pride aside, it was also just a really nice day to be downtown.

Classic…

…urban…

…and weird.

That’s Santa Cruz for you.

I unfortunately came home with a MAJOR headache.

It was nothing some ibuprofen and a cold compress couldn’t help.

Grilled.

Jack loves to have his blankie up by his face. It makes me super nervous, but every time I move it he pulls it back.

Our nanny brought us fresh flowers from her garden. She’s just the best.

“Do you take pictures of EVERYTHING?”

“Yep. Even you, smarty pants.” *snap*

I love the lobby ceiling at work.

I want to be a lazy house cat in my next life.

My boys! *heart eyes emoji x3*

A little off the wall on the wall.

Why yes, I did go to The Verve twice in one week.

Starting Jack’s hipster training early.

Who you callin’ chicken?

Actual footage of me waiting for James to finish telling a story.

This is Chopper. Yes, she is judging you.

I’m going to get into so much trouble when I can finally start buying real shoes for Jack.

Flirty baby!

Did y’all watch results roll in for the British election? I’ve decided that I’m going to become English so I can choose between voting for the Black Knight or Elmo.

Apparently the dude dressed up like the Black Knight goes by the name Lord Buckethead, and he’s been running for office since 1987.

BRITISH PEOPLE ARE AWESOME.

Livin’ that taco life.

I see myself drinking many, many mojitos this summer.

We’re kicking off week 24 with a trip to San Francisco… what are you guys up to? Whatever it is, have a great week! Cheers!

In Real Life: Week 22

Happy Sunday, friends! Here’s what our week 22 looked like…

I splurged for a design this month. It was worth every penny.

More board games! This time we played Seven Wonders… I felt pretty good about my third-out-of-five finish.

We also played another round of Betrayal at House on the Hill. I wound up being the bad guy this time, and got my ass swiftly beaten.

Babies holding babies!

My table may be perpetually cluttered, but at least I have roses on it.

Rock on, baby boy!

Ain’t nothin’ more American than grilling hotdogs on Memorial Day.

James spent the week home with strep. Poor kid was really down for the count for the first few days. But after a couple of days of antibiotics he was back to his usual playful self.

He also made a little book at school, which he chose to do on airsoft. I love that he wanted to tell everyone that my gun is named The Baby Eater. I can’t imagine what his teacher must have thought, though…

Robbie at it with the bomb tuna melts again.

PASSED OUT.

Loving his new toy!

Pancakes for the sick boy.

Baby’s first piggy back ride!

This week was fueled by a lot of coffee.

And after a real shitty day at work on Friday, I had no regrets about inhaling a giant burrito for dinner. I had a definite food baby afterward.

Saturday almost made up for Friday, though.

The boys and I spent most of the afternoon at the park.

Relay for Life had set up in the park, which meant that nobody was playing on the playground. James was pretty sad until he realized that they would let him play in their bouncy house instead.

He jumped for almost two hours while Jack and I played in the shade.

He was so mesmerized by the leaves on the tree! And he finally figured out how to roll over this week. Finally. I was starting to get worried.

Ice cream was just what the doctor ordered after a day at the park.

My handsome big kid agreed.

This is James’ last week of school, and then it’s officially SUMMER!

Have a great week 23, everyone!