All the Lovely Things: Giant Paper Flowers and Popsicles

Oh man, if I had the time to make this

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DIY Giant Paper Flowers

Note to self- purchase Popsicle molds

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Peach-Melba Popsicles

Have you ever wondered about the history of margarine? Nope, me neither. But it turns out it’s pretty interesting. More than what you’d expect at least, I mean there aren’t any flying cows or anything but it’s still pretty cool.

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Butter v. Margarine

How millenniums are changing travel. Beware, this may inspire wanderlust.

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How Millennials Are Changing Travel

Delicious Words

“when we broke the surface again the first thing I saw was the great bold strip of the Milky Way painted across the heavens, and it occurred to me that together the fish and the stars formed a complete system, coincident parts of some ancient and mysterious whole” – Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Summer Days

Being a southern Californian, it is near heresy to admit that I’m not super fond of summer.

I know, I know. I’m sorry.

That said, there are certain days when everything is just perfect. These days are so much more common when you’re at the beach.

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Last Sunday we packed Jackson, a picnic, and lots of sunscreen and headed to the shores. We got there fairly early, and despite being August in the middle of vacation central, the beaches weren’t that packed (trust me, this was amazing).

After quickly settling our spot, Jackson, his grandma and I headed down to the shoreline. This child LOVES the beach (especially eating the sand) . He also has zero fear, so we made sure to keep a close eye (and constant hand) on him as every  other minute he’d try to dart out into the waves.

It was so fun to watch him. He laughed as the water came over his feet. He splashed and grabbed at seaweed passing by. He watched intently as seashells tumbled along the sand as the tide pulled back in. Again and again, like there was nothing else to do except just be there.

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After a good hour of playing at the edge of the tide, we went back to the tent to have a little lunch and take a break from the heat. Grandma gave Jackson his bottle and they hung out in the shade as Glenn and I went out into the waves.

With the sun warming our backs, we gasped as the cold water hit us higher and higher and laughed as the waves knocked us over. I haven’t been in the ocean like that for years and, at the risk of sounding completely cheesy, it was honestly freeing in a way I haven’t felt in a while. I wasn’t thinking about what else I had to do that day, I was just feeling all the different sensations- the hot sun, the cold water, the taste of salt, the graininess of the sand. It pulled me out of my head and let me enjoy that moment.

That night all of us slept soundly; that deep sleep that only comes from a full day of having fun out in the sun.

That’s the beauty of summer that I have been missing.

Beauty in the Feast

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I’ve wanted to host a brunch for over two years now. No joke. While pregnant I created a Bucket List of things I wanted to do pre-baby. Some items listed were with friends (concert, spa day), some things with Glenn (kayaking, MS walk), and some things just for me (completing a paint by numbers, yoga).

I’m just going to cut to the chase and admit that I completed very few of these (I’m looking at you paint by numbers). Once heavily pregnant and especially after having a newborn, I was lucky to be getting 5 hours of sleep a night. Thereafter, drinking coffee while it was still hot and naps were the sole occupants of my bucket list.

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After a year of pregnancy and infanthood, my interest in hosting a brunch was once again peaked when I saw the breakfast board (cue heavenly choir and a soft spotlight). An amalgamation of my favorite things- morning and cheese plates essentially, with a little English continental breakfast thrown in. Oh yes, this was going to happen.

Yea, so that was in April.

Come late June, I figured the time was as good as ever. My birthday was coming up and if that wasn’t reason enough to make it happen, I don’t know what was. Glenn would be in charge of Jackson and I would finally have my ladies over for a relaxing morning brunch. It was finally going to happen!

Except, of course, my two best girl friends had travel plans that essentially put one or the other out of the state for the next month. Okay, so it wasn’t going to happen on or near my actual birthday- but the plan was tentatively set in place. It was going to happen… eventually!

Over the course of the month, I collected little treats here and there. Some wine my friend had brought me from Santa Barbara, chocolates another friend brought from Austria, the almond champagne Glenn had gotten me for my birthday. And with every new treat I garnered more and more excitement (It’s the little things apparently).

I bought blueberry vanilla goat cheese for Tootsie, a creamy brie for me, and crusty French bread rolls to slather it all on. The day of I piled it all on my largest chopping board, along with a smathering of grape tomatoes, strawberries, avocado, and blueberries. I added little pots of Nutella and jam to seal the deal. It was gorgeous.

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(Not shown was the random, much smaller, cutting board with butter and some salami)

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Seriously you guys, I felt like one of those food photographers.

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Last one, I promise

And then we ate it. And it was delicious.

With our bellies full of food (and a bit too much wine), we spent the rest of the day lounging around. Jeannette headed out five hours later (as she was the more adult of all of us and hadn’t imbibed so much), but Tootsie and I ordered in Chinese food for dinner and chatted until 8pm. For those counting, that was a 10 hour brunch.

Totally made the 2 year wait worth it.

Quiet Time: Introversion

Wow the past few days have flown by. Even though everything we’ve done since the weekend has been completely amazing, I am feeling so worn out and it’s only Tuesday. I am seriously craving some quiet time.

Over the past few years I’ve been seeing more coverage on introverts. Maybe it’s just because I finally put a term to my personality and being aware of that made me more aware in general, or perhaps it’s just a subject getting more press time. I first noticed it after reading the book Quiet, and have since seen references throughout the articles, blogs, and oddly enough- memes.

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A coworker sent this to me as a joke but only in the “nailed it” kinda of way

All in all it seems like there are two major courses that these media forms take on the subject. The first is the perpetuating of the stereotype “I really just want to be alone,” and the other is the rally cry “introverts are just as awesome as extroverts” (the latter of these is why I wasn’t a huge fan of Quiet). I get both- we really do like our quiet time. Also mainstream society, at least in the US, really does push the extrovert tendencies (and the bold personality). But introverts are pretty awesome- we’re not going to waste 2 hours of your day in some bull**** meeting. These are the facts and this is what we need to do. You’re welcome.

Of course, we’re not all one in the same. I love being around one or two people that I know well: less and I’m lonely, more and after a few hours I need a nap. I wear earplugs to do any kind of work that needs focus (side note: how can people concentrate when they have music on, especially with singing?! It boggles my mind). I have an incredibly hard time talking about a subject that doesn’t interest me or don’t feel like I can contribute to. I’m sure there have been dozens of times that I’ve come across as rude simply because I drew a complete blank when trying to make small talk with a stranger. Just white space and the hum of silence…

Sorry stranger- it’s not you, it’s definitely me.

So I’m glad that introverts are getting more press time- if they actually are that is. If not, carry on nonetheless.

Have you seen more coverage about introversion in the past few years? Do you identify at all with some of the introvert characteristics, or do you think it’s all kind of ridiculous since no one can be all or nothing? Do you like to hide in your office? Also- does not being able to listen to music while you work actually an introversion thing? I mostly just included it because it involves people singing and my brain can’t process both the information coming through my ears and that coming from my eyes.

…………..

Stepping aside from this rambling word slew, I still have two posts from this weekend that I’m still brewing on. They were particularly awesome events and I want to give it a worthy post, so I really don’t want to rush it just to get it out there, but they are coming. And I’m kind of proud of one in particular so you should definitely check back in a few days.