On one of Holly’s days off we tried the new Oaxacan restaurant in Uptown Oakland called Agave. We’d had quite the busy day before-hand so this dinner held the purpose of relaxation and enjoyment for the family. The food was quite good and so was my cocktail. Needing to be comfortable yet stylish, I wore this camel colored sweater dress that I thrifted. Originally from The Limited, the material is super cozy, almost cashmere-like, and the length and cinched waist make it flattering on my work-in-progress physique. What’s not to love?
Today my little family headed to the pumpkin patch in Alameda, a neighboring town. The patch was set up on an old naval base that has a spectacular view of the San Francisco skyline. It was a warm, sunny day and the place was somewhat empty. I mean, it is Monday. I didn’t mind it though, we got what we went for. We roamed around in the hay (and baby boy tried to eat it!), checked out the pumpkins, went down the slide and fed the animals at the petting zoo. Jude even got his hand licked by a goat! TBH I think we had more fun there than JJ did. He’ll grow and he’ll learn to love and appreciate these fun, seasonal types of things. Eventually. Now we’ve got our pumpkins [hurray!] and tomorrow night we decorate! Happy Fall, y’all.
*grunts* Maaaannnn. Being a grown-up sucks sometimes. Why does it cost so much to live?! I can deal with responsibilities, aging, parenthood, stretch marks, monogamy – all of it. Easy. Give it to me! But stressing over how much being alive costs is just the WORST. And I hate that I feel guilty saying that. My mother’s words echo in my skull whenever I complain about things in life…”Well at least you have a home!” and “Some kids don’t have parents!” or “You don’t even realize how fortunate you are!” My Ma grew up eating government cheese and wearing shoes that were consistently too small, so of course. And yet, I still feel bogged down by our cost of living and I’m prone to bellyaching about it from time to time. My wife has kicked butt since we moved to the Bay Area and has increased her earnings substantially over the past few years. BUT, we live in one of the most obscenely expensive cities in the country. What we pay for our 1 bedroom apartment would get us a 4 bedroom home on 10 acres elsewhere. There are school loans [ <—- kinda sorta a huge waste!], a few credit cards, ever-increasing rent and these god forsaken medical bills; they just keep coming. The medical bills are the real killers. That’s a very long conversation for another day, though. For now, I’ll stay positive and grateful for all that we have. I just have to shake the complaints out every once in a while. We do have our health, a beautiful apartment, relative safety and a little fun every once in a while. I’ll be honest here for a minute and tell you that no matter how broke we are at times, there’s ALWAYS room for wine in the budget. So cheers to that.
A while ago Jude and I went to visit my family in Colorado. On one of the days we were there we took a walk as a family, during golden hour, and I brought my camera along. This field with yellow wildflowers was the perfect setting and it wasn’t far from my Ma’s house. Colorado can be beautiful in that way – not only do you have stunning peaks in the background at all times but when the seasons call for it there are wildflowers everywhere. In the fields, along the freeways. A lot of them grow naturally which I think is just amazing. Of course, we tried a few jumping pictures much to my Mom’s dread. She played along though and had fun with it. On the rare occasion that I do get to spend quality time with my younger brother he always seems to be a natural with the camera. He was also sweet enough to play along and I think he had fun, too. He turned into such a handsome and tall young man, didn’t he? It’s not often that we get pictures together and I’m hoping to gradually change that. These right here are keepers. <3
Don’t you just love to discover new bath + body products…even more so when they’re on SALE?! I do! We stumbled upon these Alaffia products at Whole Foods – the Everyday Shea Vanilla Mint body wash and the Everyday Coconut conditioner. There was a whole kiosk of these goodies on display and they were marked down significantly so I thought I’d give them a try. I’ve been looking to expand our baby product arsenal to include other healthy and eco-conscious brands. We’ve been all Honest Co. and Babyganics until recently. Alas! Alaffia fits the bill! The conditioner made my hair feel amazingly soft and hydrated and the body wash works for all different skin types. It’s mild and cleansing with a refreshing scent. It’s just a huge bonus that the Alaffia line is fair trade, handcrafted, non-synthetic, paraben free, biodegradable and all of that other crunchy stuff. I feel good when I use it, and NO I’m not being paid to say so. I just really want you to try it, okay? 🙂
This ensemble – the hair, heels, everything – is about as “cutesy” as I get. I’ve never been the type of girl that wears sweaters with hearts or kittens on them nor do I usually approach anything with ruffles or puffy sleeves. There’s also not a whole lotta pink happening around here. My wife and I joke about having a baby girl one day and completely banning the color pink in our household until she’s old enough to know the difference and choose it for herself. Have you walked into the little girl’s section at Target lately? Jesus Christ. I can’t do it. Besides, y’all know that purple is just sooooo much better anyway!
When I got dressed on this particular morning I felt rather feminine and my outfit had to reflect that. I got this romper from Old Navy and the shoes from some cheapy website [although they’re amazingly comfortable!]. Layering the flowy knit vest on top of the romper made it more seasonally-appropriate and a bit more modest. And of course, my holy grail of style is a coordinating set of sunnies + handbag + shoes to bring it all together. Mom style. Cutesy flair. Rocked it!
Oprah and I have at least one thing in common: I too LOVE BREAD. I’ve always desired to make it from scratch but never enough to actually purchase a bread maker. And then, by the grace of the Pinterest gods, I discovered this recipe for no-knead bread that doesn’t require anything other than the ingredients, an oven and a stand mixer. Check, check and check! Let me just tell you that this bread came out exquisitely. And it was super easy! The original recipe calls for rosemary but I only had fresh thyme in the fridge…so that’s what I used. I ate it fresh from the oven. Warm, sliced thick and slathered with butter and sea salt. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I’ll bet they serve this at every meal in gluten heaven. Give it a try and see for yourself!
When I was growing up my family didn’t do a whole lotta celebrating. Yes there were the usual birthday cakes, Easter baskets and Christmas gifts but nothing ever above and beyond the baseline. As we got older the celebrating waned substantially and a lot of major moments passed by unrecognized. I’m not saying this to blame or to come off as ungrateful but my past has shaped the person I strive to be today. Who is that person? Simply put – a mom and a wife that celebrates the big things and the little things; who won’t let the worthwhile moments pass her by without mention or credit. Family Tradition Keeper here, at your service! *salute*
Now that JJ’s in the picture, I feel myself looking forward to the holidays way more than before. Holiday decorations around the home must happen. Adorable coordinating Halloween Costumes must happen. Trips to the pumpkin patch and xmas tree farm must happen. Christmas cards must happen. The list goes on and on. It equally excites me and stresses me the fuck out. When we look back though, I know it’ll all be worth it. We’ll remember these times because we’ll have the photographs and the stories to go with them. Now if you’ll excuse me I have mini pumpkins and gourds to unpack.
Bring on the holidays & every little triumph in between.
The weather has been legit-summer-hot for the past few days. If you don’t already know, it gets down to the 40’s here in July and our warmer weather usually starts in the fall. The high’s have been in the 90’s for two days but it never does last for too long, sadly. Nobody has AC here though so it can get slightly uncomfortable if you don’t put effort forth to keep your home and yourself cool. I enjoy the heat, I really do, but warm evenings + nights are my favorite. Tonight was one of those nights. I took this pic just after I washed Jude up and got him ready for bed. He drinks his bottle and afterwards he’ll usually roll around and chat and play until he conks himself out. While he was winding down I opened the curtains to view the beautiful sunset. We layed in bed together and played with the flashlight on the ceiling – one of our favorite bedtime games. There was a cool breeze coming through the opened window. The cats were wrestling with each other quietly beside the bed. I felt relaxed and happy. All seemed okay. My little family is healthy and in good spirits. What more could I have asked for in that moment? Not a damn thing. I had serenity.
This month we’re celebrating two years of marriage. Two years already! Time sure flies when you’re having fun and popping out babies. I’m not gonna front, marriage takes work! The transition from married couple to family of 3 has been bumpy. We’re often exhausted, stressed about this or that and trying hard to figure out our groove as parents. Ya know, grown folk’s growing pains. Despite it all, our family unit feels strong and we’re so fortunate to live the life we do. My dreams have come true thanks to my wife.
I love you, babe. Thank you for all that you do! xo