Friday Favorites vol 1

Friday Favorites | vol 1 | |

Happy Friday everyone! We all made it!

One thing we weren’t anticipating this week was Greyson’s bout of, what we thought was, pink eye. At the beginning of the week we awoke to his left eye crusted shut and my heart sank; as a teacher and seeing my fair share of bacterial pink eye I knew the crusties weren’t a good sign. Throughout the day his eye was a little inflamed and red, but no other signs. Hallelujah! Then the following night he began developing a yellowish discharge from his eye and it made me feel even worse – especially since we were looking forward to traveling to Colorado this week for my husband’s business trip. All night it seemed to be getting worse and his eyes more red by the hour. We used a little bit of saline eye wash to keep his eyes clean and made a doctor’s appointment for the next morning.

Thankfully the wash seems to be working really well and is keeping the discharge at bay. Having seen his doctor it turns out his pink eye isn’t contagious, but due to allergies. The one downside to living on the coast here are the Santa Anna winds that blow from the mountains down – so we get all the dust and dirt (mixed with the natural blooming and pollen). I am doing a happy dance that we don’t have to completely disinfect the house and his things, but more so just keep up with his eye drops and keep the house free of allergens.

Despite all that, and not being able to accompany the husband on his trip to Colorado, there were a few great things that happened this week. So here are a few of my favorite moments!

Spring has sprung in Ventura.



I am a lover of colder weather and some rain isn’t so bad – especially since I get to enjoy it from the comfort of home. However, there’s no other feeling than spring making it’s grand return with the sun shining, the crisp air, and just an overall sense of renewal. Since much of California has been hit with a drought for the last number of years, this year especially we were blessed with a lot of rain and thankfully, for the first time in forever, we’re officially partially out of the drought in many places. With that being said, what used to be dirt and dried up plants and rivers has done a 180 degree turn and even the mountains that are the backdrop to Ventura are nice and green!

A happy 29th birthday to me!

Turning 29 was kind of a big moment for me. I mean, I know next year will be a big moment too, but turning 29 makes you realize that you’re within your last year of your twenties! So, in celebration I created a few goals for the year and spent my evening celebrating with my husband and Greyson. I even put on fake eyelashes and did my makeup for the occasion (there’s seriously a special place in heaven for women who can apply fake lashes flawlessly – I’m a work in progress) which is a big deal for me. The husband got me a very cute bouquet of flowers, I fit into a pre-pregnancy dress I hadn’t been able to in months, and was treated to one of my favorite Italian restaurants. So, all-in-all I had a pretty great day!

Thank you to everyone on Facebook for the birthday love as well as friends and family who texted, called, or sent cards!

The Painted Cabernet

I have always heard of sip and paint nights where you can enjoy some wine as you are lead through how to recreate a piece of artwork and The Painted Cabernet is exactly that. A couple of girlfriends of mine treated me this past Sunday to a little girls day in celebration of my upcoming birthday and I had such a great time! I had always wanted to do something like this and I’m so glad we did!

Have you ever done something like this?

Hulu w/ no commercials + RHOP



Gizelle is kind of my favorite.

Andy Cohen is probably a genius simply because of The Real Housewives franchise and what he’s made of it since the days with the ladies from the O.C. The newest Housewives show are women who hail from Potomac, Maryland, which is just right outside of D.C. and where I grew up in Northern Virginia. Knowing the D.C. season of The Real Housewives didn’t garner and real kind of audience I was interested to see how Potomac would stack up. Thanks to Hulu I was able to catch up on the entire first season and I have to say that I’m diggin’ the new women. I thought their first season had plenty of drama, which one comes to expect from this franchise, and the dynamic of the ladies is interesting. Each Housewives city offers a different perspective on everyday life and I love it. I’m curious about what season two will bring and even heard that one cast member isn’t returning and a new one is being introduced. Hmmm….

What else do I love? Hulu with no commercials! Yes, it’s an additional $4.99 to upgrade, but considering how much I would pay in cable, it’s worth it’s weight. I’ve found that the hubs and I both enjoy watching our favorite shows without interruption. Yes, it’s bearable to sit through 3-4 of the same commercials during one episode (we’ve done that for years – I also remember back when Hulu only had one commercial!) but it’s not enjoyable. That extra $5 has made such a difference and I couldn’t recommend it more, especially if you’re a Hulu lover like me!

Loving my new Nest Cam for Greyson

Have you all heard of Nest Cam? I’ve known of their cameras and smart thermostats, but with the price tag of $200 I never really considered purchasing one. Plus, living in a one bedroom with Greyson’s crib right outside our door we never really needed a baby monitor. However, now that we are within just a month or so of moving into our new two-bedroom apartment I began my research into the best camera for Greyson’s new room. I knew I wanted it to be high quality video, stream onto my phone or other device, and be equipped with night vision. A lot of the leading baby monitors can do most of those things, but somehow I always came back to the Nest Cam.

We’ve had a few theft issues in our apartment complex recently (thankfully not our apartment) and home security and safety has been a top priority for me these days. I know my complex is secure, but I feel that one can never have too many home measures in place – especially during periods of travel or being a SAHM like me. In my quest for the perfect camera, the Nest Cam was rated amongst the top for security and was mentioned most often in the various articles and blog posts I read related to security measures for apartment dwellers.

Thankfully I won a giveaway on a blog for a $50 e-gift card to and perusing through their inventory I saw the Nest Cam again. was having a sale of free shipping over $35 orders as well as a new customer discount. Using both of those deals, and my $50 e-gift card, I paid a fraction of what it retails for! The best part is that it arrived the very next day!

Linking up with…Erika, Katieand Amy.

 photo signature.001.jpeg

30 Before 30 | A Bucket List

30 Before 30 | A Bucket List || Turning 30 doesn’t have to be scary! Just create thirty things you would like to accomplish before your next birthday and live life to the fullest!

Happy Birthday to me! Guys, I am officially within the last year of my twenties and I’m not quite sure how to feel about that. There’s a strong part of me that looks back and is quite proud of the woman I’ve become, knowing there’s always improvements to be made. Then there’s another part of me that still finds the big 3-0 to be a little scary. I suppose it’s the uncertainty of what turning thirty will bring. However, it’s coming regardless of how prepared I am for it and something I do that helps me keep focused are making little goals to achieve before my next birthday.

A couple of years ago I wrote something called 28 Before 28, which was a list of 28 goals that I would like to have accomplished before turning 29. Unfortunately I could only cross off a few things and found, upon closer inspection, that my goals were a touch too broad. I also got pregnant that year so the whole hot air balloon ride thing and traveling didn’t really happen. I knew I had to reevaluate the goals I originally set and adapt them to be more realistic and manageable – especially now with a one year old in tow.

So, in celebration of turning 29 today I thought to take a look back on my old list and be more specific with my new goals as I head towards thirty. This time I reflected on where my life is in this moment and where I would like to be next year. A lot of my goals have a lot to do with travel (we just updated my passport and got Greyson his first one!), creating memorable experiences, and a sprinkle of a few personal little goals in between.

Here are my 30 goals before turning 30!

  1. Live more minimally by ridding of material things once a month for a year.
  2. Take Greyson to an aquarium.
  3. Create more photo books of our travels and milestones.
  4. Travel somewhere outside of the U.S.
  5. Visit/discover Northern California.
  6. Visit/discover San Diego.
  7. Volunteer at least once a month at church.
  8. Join a small group at church.
  9. Create and run a successful linkup on the blog.
  10. Keep up with vegan meals during the week.
  11. Finish the Harry Potter series before the 1st day of Summer (June 21st)
  12. Invest in and use an editorial calendar for both blogs!
  13. Take more photos of Greyson and us as a family.
  14. Print and display photos of us and our travels in our home.
  15. Send more happy mail or letters to friends and family.
  16. Take a picture every day for a whole year.
  17. Have a ‘movie on the lawn’ night once this summer.
  18. Enjoy sip & paint nights often.
  19. Actively put into savings.
  20. Learn to trust my intuition & God when He speaks to me.
  21. Keep weekends as sacred time – unplug and enjoy.
  22. Participate in a local 5k.
  23. Visit/hike The Channel Islands.
  24. Purchase bikes and go riding at least once a week.
  25. Begin a personal journal this year.
  26. Get my nails done and #treatyoself this year.
  27. Watch Casablanca from beginning to end.
  28. Spend less on toys for Greyson and more on family experiences.
  29. Do something spontaneous!
  30. Live each day with meaning and purpose.

After drafting up this list I’m actually pretty excited to see what I’ll be able to accomplish. I know I want to do a lot this year and gain more experience in this life I have. I am grateful that I get to spend it with my wonderfully amazing husband and beautiful baby boy, which makes checking off these things that much more enjoyable. So, thank you for being on this wild ride with me and fingers crossed I can get to all 30!

If you could create a bucket list for yourself (whether it be for a birthday or just overall in life) what would be in your top 5? Share with me in the comments!

Linking up with Whitney.

 photo signature.001.jpeg

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 9

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 9 | |

Once again a weekend has come and gone and here we are already at the end of March about to head right into April. This is also my birthday week and this year I’m celebrating the last of my twenties. Over the weekend I got to celebrate a little early with friends of mine and I look forward to spending some quality family time for my actual birthday tomorrow. Twenty-nine is going to be a wonderful year, I just know it!

But here is a little bit of life that kept me busy this past weekend.


When I saw that it was National Puppy Day I couldn’t help but share this photo of our Murphy who was only 8 weeks old at the time. The hubs and I both walked away from our jobs and only had moved into our studio apartment for a few days before this little guy showed up. Murphy was born three days before our wedding and when we were looking around for a puppy together we knew this guy was the one. I can’t believe he’ll be turning three this year!

Someone is learning to feed himself

Greyson is just continuing to grow like a wildflower and these moments are getting more and more surreal that he’s become this little person. Just this weekend did I try my second attempt at letting him begin feeding himself and to my surprise he did really well! He’s starting to understand how to bring the spoon to his mouth and dip in the bow to get more food. It’s messy, yes, but a lot of fun to watch him learn to be a little bit more independent!

Brunch with my babes

There’s a fun new restaurant in town called Wicked’s Brew and we only just discovered it a couple of weeks ago. Everything on their menu from coffee to food is locally sourced and artisan made, which makes me happy because we love supporting local businesses and farmers. I have yet to find another place that brews a latte as good as this one and I know I am guaranteed a beautiful cup every time we go. They’re in the process of getting their liquor license so enjoying a glass of wine is in my future here and soon they’ll be open for dinner. I know we’re in for a treat considering how delicious their breakfast/lunch menu is!

A Painted Cabernet Birthday

I love this idea of getting girlfriends together and relax by doing something fun like painting. In our area we have a little place called The Painted Cabernet where you pick a painting when you register for your class and an instructor leads you through recreating that picture. Best yet they provide a complimentary glass of wine, Bellinis, or champagne and you get to sip while you paint! I had such a great time and can definitely foresee me doing this many more times.

The painting we chose to do is a sunset of Anacapa Island, which is one island out of eight and make up the Channel Islands. We have the luxury of seeing a couple of these islands right off the Ventura coastline so it was nice to paint something close to home.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! What were some of the things that kept you busy? Anything fun going on?

 photo signature.001.jpeg

The Martian | A Book Review

The Martian | A Book Review | |

This book was provided by Blogging For Books, but my review and opinions expressed are 100% my own.

You may have heard of this little title if not for the film starring Matt Damon but perhaps the novel written by Andy Weir. I read this book in preparation for the film (of which I was also a huge fan of) and was amazed at how well the director was able to capture the feeling of isolation and a desperate need for survival that I personally felt while reading. From beginning to end I was completely engaged with the story, rooting for Mark, meanwhile learning a little more about space in the process.

For those not familiar with the plot, Mark Watney is an astronaut that is part of a research team to Mars. During one of their EVAs (Extra-Vehicular Activity, which is pretty much any excursion on the surface of Mars) the team is caught in a strong dust storm which forces their evacuation. During the chaos of trying to evacuate during this storm, Mark is picked up and thrown and his crew, thinking him dead, evacuates without him; leaving him stranded on Mars’ surface alone and with limited resources. OMG, right?! The Martian chronicles his inventive attempts at survival and it’s in his humor that both the reader and the character finds strength to keep going.

I don’t know about you, but space is something that is equally fascinating yet terrifying at the same time. To know how deep, dark, and desolate space is, but yet here I sit in awe and wonder about it’s beauty and creation. Something so vast is still so terrifying and I feel as though Andy Weir captured that for me as a reader. And yes this book is filled with quite a bit of NASA/engineering jargon, but what made it digestible for me was Andy Weir’s choice to make this story a first person narrative. I really enjoyed the aspect of experiencing and thinking everything Mark was as things were happening to him during his mission to Mars. The best kind of storytelling, in my opinion, is one to which I feel transplanted right in the middle of the action and The Martian did that for me. Plus the humor Mark found in many of his harrowing circumstances kept him down-to-earth (no pun intended) and highly relatable.

“If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don’t care, but they’re massively outnumbered by the people who do. And because of that, I had billions of people on my side” (pg. 369).

Reading this story is also a reminder of the tremendous work people do every day to help those in need – even if it is a fictional story. Here was a guy who, drifting between literal life and death situations, found many nations, space organizations, as well as the public around the world, working together in an effort to bring this man back to Earth. I would like to believe these efforts occur all the time; and in a climate like today I personally wouldn’t mind if a little fiction became reality.

 photo signature.001.jpeg