air plant installation

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This air plant installation on our bedroom wall was one of those projects that we were supposed to complete a year and a half ago. I ordered these ceramic hanging cups on Amazon and they continued to sit in the box under the desk for way too long. We’ve recently made some changes to the layout of our bedroom (more on that later) and thought it was finally time to get this ish done! We went to the Oakland Flower Mart and bought an array of beautiful air plants and some fake moss. I thought the diamond-shaped design would make it look more like art and we really love how it turned out. Holly just gives them a quick spray with the water bottle once per week and they thrive.

election day 2016

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The Jackson’s got extra nasty this year – we rose early, we voted, we drank delicious coffee and ate our favorite hand-filled doughnuts. Emotions and anxieties are running high in our house today. A woman could be elected President of the United States. This sentiment isn’t wasted on us. This is major.  We’re a proud American family and we’re completely, totally, unabashedly with HER. Now c’mon Hills let’s win this thing! We’re counting on you!

 

Jess + Greg Wed [Austin, TX]

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I recently had the privilege of being M.O.H at my life-long friend Jessica’s wedding in Austin, TX. It was a whirlwind 4 day trip in one of my favorite (food) cities. My Ma was able to join us there and we stayed in the most charming Airbnb not far from downtown. The wedding was at a venue on Lake Travis – about 30 mins from Austin’s city center – and it was beautiful. And oh so FUN. Seriously, the most fun I’ve had at a wedding ever. Jess & Greg’s circle of friends were all young, hilarious and in great spirits. We had such a blast chatting with everyone and meeting the family. The wedding also served as a mini reunion for my family and Jessica’s family since we haven’t really seen each other in years. In the days and weeks leading up to the wedding I had such terrible nerves about giving my speech and how my dress would fit…but it all turned out okay. Better than okay, fantastic! I only had my iPhone to capture the memories though so here’s my best effort. The snaps above are from our Airbnb, the Bridal Brunch at Irene’s, the Rehearsal Dinner at Z’Tejas, the wedding itself and our evening putzing around South Congress. Whenever I leave Austin I always have the feeling that there’s so much more that we could’ve done. That town is so alive, and I feel alive when I’m in it. We flew back on Halloween (which is also my birthday!) but we were so wiped from our amazing time in Austin that we tucked in early that night. Sorry Judah, your first “real” Halloween will have to wait until next year, bud. Until next time, Austin.

In line with our new travel tradition we purchased an Austin refrigerator magnet and took a few shots of Jude with it. He’s 7.5 months here. My little adventure baby.

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cinched camel dress

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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?

a visit to the alameda pumpkin patch

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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.

multicolor caftan

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Muumuu, caftan, housedress. Call it what you want, friends. My wife hates ’em and I LOVE ’em. You probably know by now that I’m a fan of ease and comfort in my wardrobe so naturally I have a few of these in my closet. I stumbled upon an Etsy store, Maison Marrakech, that makes some very stylish and affordable caftans. I prefer to style mine in a boho-ey, vintage-y manner with some cool shades and chunky jewelry. If you too are a lover of ease, comfort and effortless style during the warmer months I would certainly recommend building up a caftan collection. Your spouse might hate it but hey girl, I got your back.

billz

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*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.

ma, brother, baby + me [colorado]

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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

new favorite product | alaffia

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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? 🙂

cutesy

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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!

I digress.

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!