small touches

small touches01

small touches02

small touches03

small touches04

small touches05

Our friends Rachel & Amy hosted us for Christmas dinner. The food, the decor, the beverages, the entertainment – down to the detail, it was such a warm and jolly celebration. I thought I’d post a few snaps of the table and appetizer spread before the main event. Many, many more to come. xo


xmas morning in OAK

An Oakland Xmas Morning | the original mb

An Oakland Xmas Morning  skyping the family| the original mb

An Oakland Xmas Morning skyping the family | the original mb

An Oakland Xmas Morning funny gifts | the original mb

An Oakland Xmas Morning opening gifts | the original mb

Christmas morning was a bit unglamorous this year. We stayed up late partying on Christmas Eve so when the 9 am alarm sounded it was bittersweet. Jackson traditions are strong though, and it was time to open gifts while skyping with the fam bam. Our gifts were all so thoughtful and cute [see the Dr. Bronner’s gag gift above fr/ my mother-in-law!]. No pinterest-perfect shots here but it was a nice morning. Immediately after, of course, we went back to bed and slept ’til 3 o’clock. Because we can! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas morning! More pics of our xmas evening to come…

tree chop 2014

half moon bay tree farm - chop your own tree | the original mb c/o Rachel Hall

half moon bay tree farm - saw naw | the original mb c/o Rachel Hall

half moon bay tree farm - injured Rachel | the original mb c/o Rachel Hall

half moon bay tree farm - chop your own tree | the original mb c/o Rachel Hall

half moon bay tree farm - chop your own tree | the original mb c/o Rachel Hall

half moon bay tree farm - chop your own tree | the original mb c/o Rachel Hall

half moon bay tree farm - chop your own tree | the original mb c/o Rachel Hall

half moon bay tree farm - chop your own tree | the original mb c/o Rachel Hall

half moon bay tree farm - chop your own tree | the original mb c/o Rachel Hall

half moon bay tree farm - chop your own tree | the original mb c/o Rachel Hall

half moon bay tree farm - chop your own tree | the original mb c/o Rachel Hall

A couple of weeks ago a few of us drove to Half Moon Bay to Santa’s Tree Farm & Village. We were seeking that Christmas-y vibe that you tend to miss when the weather is a consistent 64 and sunny. Also, we wanted to chop down our own tree! New tradition? Me thinks YES.

Rachel was sweet enough to push through the pain of a injured foot and snaps some shots of us. She’s a good friend, y’all. The farm was huge and their selection was pretty impressive. Fresh, crisp air and the scent of pine trees is enough to put anyone in a great mood. Towards the back of the farm there was a lot at the base of the hill that held two species of trees that I’ve never seen before – REDWOOD christmas trees! Made me wonder if these types of beauties were a strictly-cali type of offering? They took my breath away and we knew immediately that we wanted one! We found our perfect little guy and got to choppin’. It took some elbow grease but like many things in life it was much easier to accomplish with 2 people sawing away together. We lugged it over to the rugged men working the farm and they fed the tree into this machine that spins it around and binds it in a matter of seconds. Pretty cool! After loading our darling tree up we drove back to the City and feasted on deep friend dungeness crab. This was such a fun little trip. Damn near-perfect day. We’ll be back next year!

*THANK YOU to Rachel Hall for the pics. Check her out at

wifey. pizza. shoes.

holly custom pizza vans

holly's custom pizza vans

There’s a definitive list of things that my wife worships. Somewhere in the Top 5 sits pepperoni pizza and Vans Slip-Ons. For her birthday this year I decided to enlist an Etsy artist to combine the two things. This was the result and they. fucking. rock. I wish I’d gotten more close-up shots of these babies. So much incredible detail – down to the little specks of oregano! Of course, these were a hit with H and she’s (we’re!) looking forward to building up a collection of these specially-made kicks. Tommy of Bear Gallery made the whole process so much fun and his enthusiasm for this project was a huge plus. I’m thinkin’ for the next pair I’d like to combine some of my favorites: Converse sneakers and pho! Oh the possibilities!

self – help

mya and books | the original mb

mya and books | the original mb

mya and books | the original mb

Not since Twilight, years ago, have I really picked up a book for recreational reading. I’m not sure why but fiction has never really been my thing. I did read the Sookie Stackhouse novels after our last move; we didn’t have TV or internet so it was a natural choice. But when it comes to literature I’ve always preferred the kind that will teach me something about the world, about myself, about money. Suze Orman’s taught me some things and I love her for it. I like to feel smarter after I finish a book – an old sage in the making. Lately, it’s been all about mind and body. How can I prepare myself and my body for pregnancy? How can I continue to improve upon my relationship with my wife while boosting my own wellbeing? How can I improve my people skills at work? Evolution occurs when my brain has food to chew on. I’m a conscientious gal. [read: serious, sometimes un-fun] As much as I appreciate a good love story, I’d much rather learn how to increase my credit score thankyouverymuch!



Curls for the girls

CURLS FOR THE GIRLS | the original mb 01

We always want what we don’t have. I’ve found that this is especially true when it comes to hair. Those of us with curly hair want straight hair, those with straight hair want more body and curl. Yada, yada, yada. It’s like some weird universal law that all women must want whatever it is that they don’t already have. I’ve been to approximately 50+ salons in my lifetime and the conversations had with each hairdresser always start out the same: I’m always there to have my hair straightened – they always say “your curls are beautiful” – then I follow it up with “we always want what we don’t have” –  they nod in agreement. Every. Flippin’. Time. Personally, I’ve always felt that I look better with straightened hair. I feel more sophisticated. It thins out my face and complements my features. The extra time and money have always been worth it to me. Everyone else in my life, however, has preferred my hair big, wild and curly…so when I do wear it like it appears in the photo above it gives me a sense of pride. Not because it’s how I feel most comfortable or attractive, but because I recognize how much others view it as such. A weird thing, for sure. Is there anybody out there who loves/has always loved the hair that they were born with?



I learned a new word today: ASSUAGE. Pronounced ‘ass-wage.’ It means to soothe; relieve. I found this word when I searched my thesaurus for synonyms to these words – placate, pacify, appease, mitigate. I’ve been in situations recently and in the past where the focus quickly turns to pacifying the victim/innocent party instead of turning our eyes to the crime itself and those who have committed it. Has this ever happened to you? Come sit next to me. *pats chair* Mama needs to get deep for a moment.

Allow me to give you two examples:

I was at a gathering once where those in the group were close-knit co-workers and friends. It was a somber occasion that brought us together but I was there to support and hang out. There was a point in the evening when the host answered the door to greet the pizza delivery guy. I’m not sure what the exchange was but when he came back into the kitchen he unabashedly exclaimed something about blah-blah-blah dumb n_ _ _ _er blah-blah-blah. This was in Chicago, IL. There was a collective breath in and I could feel the heat rising from my neck up to my ears. I blurted out “don’t mind me, I’m just the one with the black mother in the room” or something along those lines. Although everyone else was equally appalled something had to come out of my mouth. After I made my statement I remember everyone immediately turning their attention on me to forgive, dismiss, “oh he didn’t mean it”, etc. Not one person turned to him and said “WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM YOU RACIST PRICK?” It seemed as if the goal there was to make me utter the words “it’s okay” which I absolutely did not. Would not. Never will. It was uncomf to the 3000th degree.

The second example is more recent. With all of this hubbub surrounding our apt. being burglarized I’ve found myself in quite a few conversations where my anger is seen as something that I need to keep in control. I shouldn’t let it ruin my day. What’s done is done. Unfortunately these things happen. There’s nothing that we can do. etc,etc,etc Well you know what? I already know all of that…but I’m completely within bounds to feel irate as fuck. There are people out there that steal and lie and cheat their way through life. Taking what they didn’t earn. And so often our response is to tamp down our own anger even when it’s completely justified and serves a purpose. The message I’m receiving is: something was done to you + those people are bad + it doesn’t matter though because they’ll get away with it + accept that + don’t waste your anger = don’t be angry. It doesn’t compute. I’m furious. I feel helpless. Helplessness is further compounded by receiving the same message from everyone – NOTHING WILL BE DONE ABOUT THIS.

So yes, I’m angry. I’m bitter. But yes, I accept that this is so. When the feeling strikes I won’t ignore myself. I won’t talk myself down. Blogging helps and sometimes it takes an aggressive vent-sesh with a good friend to help you see clearly again. (Thank you, Urs <3) Okay, I’m done. I feel better already. Thank you for permitting this literary explosion.

Our Wedding | Blueberry Photography

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING signing the papers 02 | the original mb

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING waiting in the hall  01 | the original mb

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING reviewing vows before ceremony 03 | the original mb

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING ceremony with the judge 04 | the original mb

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING  wide angle view of city hall 09 | the original mb

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING  the brides 08 | the original mb

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING bride nuzzle and laugh 07 | the original mb

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING wide interior shot with brides 10 | the original mb

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING  brides in the hall 11 | the original mb

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING  kiss and a hug 06 | the original mb

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING  intricate glass window 12 | the original mb

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING intricate glass window 13 | the original mb

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING brides exiting city hall 14 | the original mb

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING brides wearing shades 15 | the original mb

JACKSON CITY HALL WEDDING ring close up 16 | the original mb

These photos speak for themselves. We’re over-the-moon thrilled with them!  A thousand THANK YOU’s to Amanda from Blueberry Photography.  We’ll cherish these for the rest of our days. xo


bad news, bummer, bullshit

dr bronner red eye | the original mb

Well, folks. As the title says…a few bad news, bummer, bullshit things have occurred in the last two weeks. Not to be too much of a Debbie Downer but I keep asking myself what I’ve done for the universe to punish me. Completely irrational and overly dramatic, I know. My ever-positive wifey says that our lives are so great that we were probably due for some bad. She may be right on this one. So what happened you ask? For starters our apartment got broken into. Still not sure how or why but the thief got away with our Macbook, my brand new GoPro Hero4 and worst of all my Nikon DSLR. What’s that sound? Anguish and heartbreak. Not only did they take our valuables but they’ve taken our peace of mind. It’s sad to say that it’s somewhat “normal” for this to happen where we live but that doesn’t make it any easier to digest. On top of it all, I realize now how naive I was to assume that anybody else would care or act. By anybody else I mean our property management and the Oakland PD. I was expecting them to bust in and start fingerprinting! But no. They’ve yet to even acknowledge that this has happened. Our locks have been changed but it doesn’t give us much relief. The second thing that happened was kind of silly and a complete fuck up on my part. I got soap in my eye. Sounds so incredible uneventful but it had me down for a good 24 hours – a full 48 to heal. Not just any soap though, Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile soap. If you’ve ever used the stuff you should be cringing right about now. On other parts of the body it gives an invigorating, fresh feeling. In the eyeball it feels like blue-flamed fire. The sensation literally took my breath away. I’m laughing as I type this because it really sounds like some Three Stooges shit but it only compounded the already crappy week I was having. Not having  a camera or a laptop has put a major crick in my blog game. I hope to get some newer, fresher gear in the next month. Until then, I have some wedding photos to post (yay!) and a few other things I’ve been meaning to throw up on this here blog. Send us your $$ and some good vibes. I’m kidding! We’re all stocked up on good vibes.


Weekend Pants

Weekend Pants full body snaps | the original mb 01

I call these my “weekend pants” because they’re the comfiest, easiest choice for a lazy day. Stylish but non-restrictive. I wore them yesterday when we walked over to Stag’s Lunchette for some lunch and coffee. There’s something about this style of pant, though. I bought ‘em for $10 at Forever 21 but they flatter my curves perfectly. Holly loves it when I wear them because they show off my feminine sway (to put it mildly). It’s a win-win!

Currently listening to: All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor