Where to find me

I almost hate to leave this blog on a sad note, but I guess that's how it's happening.

You can now find me at tintedgreenblog.com I'll be posting there from now on!

One more gif, for the road.


♥ Alex



I've spent over a week convincing myself not to write about Lady, one of my childhood dogs who I had to put down a week and a half ago. I felt like it was a silly thing to share with the internet and honestly, I’ve been paralyzed by the thought of people I know (who probably don’t even read this blog) judging me for being sad about my domesticated animal of choice dying. I mean, I get it. Maybe I don’t deserve much sympathy. Maybe she was just a dog and it shouldn’t affect me so much since humans die every day from conflict and disease and famine. But damn it just does. The reality nags at me as I drive past the clinic where she died on my way to and from work. The finality hits me every time I go over my parents’ house and am not greeted by high pitched barks of excitement and an instant drop-and-roll that’s code for pleeeeeease rub my belly. The memory of her curly fur rushes back to me as I pet any other dog.

I’m getting dramatic. I should have made a disclaimer about this earlier. It’ll probably happen again. #notevensorryaboutnotbeingsorry

I’ll backtrack a bit. Lady had a weird episode while we were camping over Memorial Day weekend. She was asleep on my youngest sister’s lap when all of a sudden she went limp and lost control of her bladder. None of us had any idea what had happened. She had walked a decent distance in warm weather, so we figured she was experiencing dehydration or heat exhaustion or the effects of a spider bite. She lay down for a long while, but by the end of the night she made her way back into our laps and had even found some of her appetite. She spent a lot of the next two days sleeping, but that wasn’t out-of-the-ordinary behavior for her, especially while camping. She always burrowed under a chair and slept the whole day, maybe once venturing down to the lake to lap up some water or to beg for some human food.

So we were all shocked when she got worse two days after returning from the trip. At that point we knew we’d been wrong; she wasn’t tired or hot or thirsty, something else was going on. The vet at the clinic told us she had developed diabetes a while ago and that it had gotten to a point where her body couldn’t keep up anymore. She either needed immediate, intensive treatment and hospitalization or she probably wouldn’t make it through the end of the week.

I’m gonna pause right here to tell you that our dogs didn’t see the vet when they slept longer than usual or when they decided to randomly hide under a bed for a few hours. These were the first pets we’d had since puppyhood, so we naively dismissed some behaviors as personality quirks. They weren’t anything to worry about, and the vet (in our teenage heads) was there to address things we were worried about.

The pup's first night with us. Photo taken on my EnV. Remember those? 
My parents brought Lady back home Wednesday evening and I took Thursday morning off to say goodbye. I originally didn’t plan on being at the clinic for the euthanization, but I couldn’t imagine leaving that burden to my younger siblings. That and I couldn’t help but feel like I had a responsibility to my dog to be there. I was there when we picked her from the litter and it felt only right that I be there when she left us. We always joked she loved me best, and I really did have a special connection to her. She was unofficially mine.

None -- and I really mean none of us siblings have had to face a death this close to our hearts before. We dealt with it in different ways: my sister Andrea by cracking jokes to Lady and me by crying, a very true depiction of how we deal with basically any issue in our lives. We carried Lady in on a pillow like the queen she always wanted to be and thankfully had to wait for a room to open up.

A room opened up sooner than any of us wanted it to, but we handed her off to the vet to prep her for the procedure. They brought her swaddled in a fluffy pink blanket and gave us another last chance to hang out with her. The veterinarian explained what would happen before he put my sweet girl at peace.

Obviously, we cried…a lot. All four of our hearts broke simultaneously that Thursday. I know we did the right thing and honestly, one of the worst parts of the whole thing was seeing her get so frail so quickly. She went from yapping to immobile within a week, it was shocking. The silver lining is I have so many more memories of her as herself than as Sick Lady.

I wish I knew when I’ll be able to think about Lady without having to pretend like it doesn’t bother me that she’s gone. Or when I’ll be able to hear Skinny Love without tearing up as I flash to how thin she was that last week of her life. Until then, I’ll keep these photos on my phone and go through them whenever I miss Lady my baby.


Camping, Not Glamping

I spent my Memorial Day weekend camping at Folsom Lake with my family. We've been camping there for over a decade now, but I hadn't been able to make it to a trip for a few years. I was exceptionally happy to enjoy the holiday weekend with my family.

I took Friday off so my sister Andrea and I could get more time basking in nature. We arrived before anyone else did and expressed our excitement by instantly performing a bit about being alone in the woods. It was silly since there wasn't an audience, but totally fun.

Andrea and I felt that Friday's weather wasn't swim-worthy, so we hung out on the shore after camp was set up.

Soon enough it was dinner time and then SUNSET.

My favorite time of day, if you couldn't tell.

I wanted a simple picture of my silhouette in the sunset, so I handed Andrea my phone...and then this photo happened.

It was/is so cool, I'm still not over it.

Our underbit pup.

After sunset we gathered around the fire for some s'mores! Andrea was a marshmallow roasting queen this weekend. I'm not a big fan of marshmallows, but I'm sort of regretting not having at least one.

It's hard to tell in the photo, but this is a marshmallow smushed between two Oreos...

Or as Andrea called it, her S'moreo.

We spent all of Saturday napping in the sun and swimming. Like for real alllll day.

Even the pups were into it!

Sun napping is matched only by hammock relaxation.

Then once again, it was time for sunset!

Sunday was our last day at the lake and we enjoyed it in the same way we enjoyed the previous day.

Isn't that what vacationing is about? Doing something seemingly boring (like tanning or napping or swimming), but getting to do it in a beautiful place that isn't your couch or complex pool?

Before we left I knew I needed to try to capture a photo I'd had in my head since we arrived. I didn't intentionally wait for sunset, but in the end it worked out, because this is how the photos turned out:

I couldn't be happier.

Andrea said they sort of reminded her of the scene where Belle is singing her reprise in Beauty and the Beast (except she didn't actually use the word reprise).


I'll take it! Maybe it reminded my subconscious of Beauty and the Beast, too, and maybe that's why I went to take the photos in the first place. And maybe this movie is the true source of all of my favorite things: travel, having little pieces of hair that frame my face, sunset, running through wide open fields, France, public group singing, reading while walking, you get the picture.

We had to head out too soon for our liking. If it was up to us, we would have stayed another night, but the post-grad life comes with responsibilities, so we drove home and only slowed down once for me to take this farewell photo of our favorite lake.

See you (maybe) for the Fourth of July, Folsom!

♥  Alex


Hiking in the Park with Two Names

About a month ago Brandon and I decided we wanted to take a low key hike in the late afternoon. We decided on heading to Peña Adobe (less commonly referred to as Lagoon Valley) Park in Vacaville. Both of us grew up near the park, but I hadn't spent very much time there, so luckily it's kept its novelty.

We originally planned to climb to the highest hill and watch the sunset, but we totally overestimated how long it would take us to get up there, so we chose to take our time, enjoy our little hike and not put too much pressure on our fun.

We stopped to take a water break and soak in some of the views.

I enjoyed my view...

...while Brandon enjoyed his!

I saw this enormous oak tree and had a need to see it up close, so we ventured off the main path for a bit.

The tree and I quickly became best friends.

Brandon got in on the fun, too!

My very fancy hiking equipment.

A cool almost optical illusion photo for kicks

And a couple selfie with personality.

We walked until we didn't feel like it anymore. Then we turned around to head back home. But being me, I tried to make another friend on the way down.

I tried crouching down to get a better angle of her but she freaked out and ran away. Either she thought I was a mountain lion or she sensed my friendship with the tree. Regardless, my friendship with the cow worked out just as well as Cady Heron's first crush...which is to say it didn't (10 points if you got my obscure Mean Girls reference).

Spending the afternoon outside with my favorite person in the world was wonderful. It gave me wiiiiiings!

♥  A



I've never done one of these before, but Rachel does them every once in a while and I always enjoy them. Ready? Here we go!

DOING: acting out the choreography to I Have Confidence from The Sound of Music. I used to watch that movie with my mom all.the.time as a kid. That and Mary Poppins are the beginning and end of my love for Julie Andrews, but boy is that appreciation deep.

READINGHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I picked the book up again earlier last month to read while on my lunch break at work. I've read the series all the way through once, so I'm really enjoying picking up on little details that might mean something -- or that I might just be assigning meaning to -- now that I know the whole story.

PLANNING: a DIY to fix my TOMS. I wore them holes-and-all to the produce store (not grocery...I picked my words correctly) and realized how unused the shoes actually are. The insides still feel new! I love how comfy TOMS are but I also think it'd be wasteful to buy a brand new pair because my current ones need patching. So I'm gonna get crafty, which is not something I do often. Here's how I plan to do it.

THINKING ABOUT: how much time I spend sitting during the day. From my commute to my desk job to eating dinner to watching Veep or Friends once I get home. It's one of the reasons I semi-regularly practice yoga. I guess I'm also thinking about how I'm not practicing yoga regularly which is nuts because I legit feel better when I do. Ugh, first world adult problems, right?

LOOKING FORWARD TO: camping over Memorial Day weekend! I haven't gone camping in two or three years and I miss it! Even though Memorial Day is notoriously too cold for swimming, I'm hoping the skies will clear out and let me get an even tan. I'll be camping without my partner in crime but I'm absolutely looking forward to sharing a tent and hanging out with my sister just like the old days. I'm also excited about the new tent my parents keep talking up. Apparently it's tall enough to stand in! (it doesn't take much to get Pinedas excited)

LOVING: besides the obvious (I'm looking at you, raspberries), I'm loving my brush pens! Sacramento must be immune to calligraphy workshops because it's impossible to find one out here despite the hipsters. Either way, I'm too chicken to teach myself dip-your-oblique-thing-into-ink calligraphy, so I thought brush pens would be a fun place to start. I'm nowhere near Etsy level, but I'm learning to embrace my own writing.

-- A


Miserable Magical Monday || Music Edition

I have this tendency to listen to the same songs over and over again. They're not necessarily new songs or pop songs. In fact, they're usually songs I've found by listening to a random Spotify playlist containing the word acoustic in the title. Anyway, if you haven't heard these songs yet, you should. They're great. Especially if you dig acoustic/band based pop music as much as I do.


This video is a live performance (because I prefer acoustic live versions, just ask Brandon), but the studio version of this song is just as lovely. Lucius' vocal layering just gets me. It makes me wish I could harmonize like them...and write music...and rock a retro look. Also I say their name the way Voldemort says Lucius Malfoy's in part one of the Deathly Hallows movie. I realize that's an incredibly obscure reference, and apparently most of my references are that subtle, but if you understood what I meant, you get 75 house points. 

Just to emphasize how infatuated I am with this song, you should know I'm literally listening to it as I type this and put the final touches on this post. The obsession is really real.


This song makes me feel like I'm driving along the coast on a gorgeous spring day, perfectly content. I first heard it on one of the many Spotify generated playlists. Even though I don't know the words very well, I still love it. To clarify, yes, I've been listening to this song -- sometimes on repeat -- for months and still haven't learned the lyrics. 


I think this song is what set me on my folksy kick that only Lana del Rey and Lorde have been able to draw me out of (okay fine,Taylor's 1989 also lured me away from it). This song is from the compilation album of songs inspired by the first Hunger Games movie, and it's my go-to song when I'm having a wallowing-in-my-overwhelming-feelings moment.


In an effort to diversify the music I'm sharing, I'll also go ahead and give a shout out to the relatively new Echosmith. Remember that Cool Kids song? This is the band behind it. I'm pretty sure Bright is their latest single, but it's a perfectly good pop song. Before I type this next snobby sentence, I have to tell you that I mean this as earnestly as possible: my favorite part of the song is the personification of the planets in the lyrics. Are you gagging from how annoyingly specific that was? I almost did. But I mean it, I like picturing Jupiter as having the ability to conspire. To be fair, I also enjoyed when Lorde referred to the moon as someone she loves like a brother in Team. Who knew I was so into space imagery?

I hope you listen and find something you like! Are there any songs I should be listening to but have missed?

- Alex