I look through my Bloglovin feed every morning in bed. It's not as productive as coffee with a side of the morning paper, but it's what I do. Anyway, How Sweet It Is posted a summer bucket list about two weeks ago and it got me thinking of what I'd include on my SBL.

I'm no newb to the world of list making. In fact, I make lists pretty impulsively...and I'm trying to curb the amount of lists I post on the blog. Lists are cool but they're not that cool.

Without further ado, here are the things I'd like to do this summer.


The travel bug is strong with this one me. I'd really like to go to Yosemite or Half Moon Bay. Or Santa Cruz. I have an unexplained obsession with the Boardwalk during summer. I think it stems from those commercials I grew up watching. Plus I've never had a bad experience at the Boardwalk. And really, day trips are basically mini road trips, which are just an excuse to do this:



It's been too long since I've enjoyed a summer concert.  Getting to hang out on the lawn with a concert blanket (and perhaps a spiked drink) sounds so appealing. The Killers will be playing in Golden Gate Park this summer for some festival. I'm pretty sure tickets are sold out by now, so maybe I'll have to figure out another way to hear them play live. Either way, it's an excuse to go into SF.


A's, Giants, I don't care. Just take me out to the a ballgame. I'm dying to eat a hot dog.



The AC is fixed in our apartment and the new apartment also has AC, but I'm still on this kick. I'll make coffee ice cream for sure. Maybe I'll convince Brandon to help by also making cookies and cream (his favorite). Sorbet seems like homemade ice cream's much easier cousin, so I might start with that.


Zach Braff wrote and directed and stars in another movie that looks equally as wonderful as Garden State. GS is one of my top five movies and I think I've already spotted an allusion to it in the new trailer. Either that or I'm totally fangirling and reading way too much into it. But if I'm right, then I'll be so proud. 



I recognize this is a bit strange. But my whole life my dad, aunts and uncles would reminisce about their summers growing up in El Salvador. They'd go camping on the beach and sleep in tents made of driftwood and bed sheets. During the day they'd would row out to islands covered in wild fruit trees. And they'd pick and eat as many mangoes and papayas and whatever else they could get their hands on all day. Then for dinner they'd have fresh seafood soup and hang out around the fire. I'm not exaggerating. This is my dad's go-to story about summertime. Naturally, this epic story makes me want to eat fruit all day and seafood all night. But since I don't have an unpopulated island and this isn't the 60's, this little task will have to do. I think it would work best on a Saturday or Sunday, but my goal is to buy a ton of local fruit and then eat.it.all.day (while tanning, because I have basic tendencies) before whipping up a refreshing seafood feast for dinner. #thedream


Hashtag sooo basic. But whatevs, bring on the avocado and honey and yogurt and mayo and sugar and get it on my face/body/hair. I'm super interested to see what works and what just stinks. In my dream world, I wouldn't do this alone. But so we're clear, the lack of girls who are willing to rub mayonnaise on their face or hair will not stop me from doing it on my own. I've done olive oil "treatments" in my hair before and might have to bring that back. My hair has been brittle and fried-feeling ever since I spent the day at the lake.


Obviously, the likelihood of me actually doing these things is slim thanks to my full time job. But whatever, a girl can dream. That's what the weekend's for, right?

How I feel about working during summer.
♥ A


Miserable, Magical Monday

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Today was more of a magical than miserable Monday thanks to having a third day off. However, I spent most of my day morning packing since Brandon and I have spent the last four days merely talking about when we'll pack instead of actually packing. It's very typical of us.

1. I spent Saturday hanging out with my family at the lake. I can't tell you how relaxing and enjoyable it was. I mean, I guess that's the point of mentioning it here, so I should probably try. I legit spent all day napping and tanning and snacking and drinking water. It was glorious. I actually feel rested and refreshed from a weekend. I can't remember the last time I relaxed that much. Gosh, that sounds so basic. Which leads me to...

2. When Barbara was visiting, she and I indulged in a couple of buzzfeed quizzes and articles. One of the quizzes was to see whether or not we were this new form of female called the "basic bitch." Now I had heard of thirsty and extra before thanks to the Bad Girls Club, but basic was so not in my slang vernacular. Barbara and I took it together so I think the answers were a bit skewed, but in the end she and I decided that while we have basic tendencies (like her loving Grey's Anatomy, me owning a pair of Uggs and both of us having a usual drink at Starbucks), we are not actual basic bitches.


3. I felt particularly motivated this week about life and my overall well being. You know that if you read this post. But I was also under a lot of stress at work, so obviously I coped by literally stuffing my face with chocolate and pretzels. No joke, I'd take a small bite of a dark chocolate egg then proceed to chomp down on like 3 pretzel sticks. Another bite of chocolate, another 3 pretzel sticks in my mouth. I'm shocked no one saw me in this state, but also really glad. I mean, I was a little disgusted with myself. Usually that kind of behavior is isolated to when I'm pmsing and alone at home watching Drake and Josh or Bad Girls Club reruns. But there I was, at work, in the front office, stuffing myself numb with salt and sugar. Thank goodness the FedEx lady and UPS guy had already stopped by. They wouldn't have understood.


4. Because of the surge of motivation plus the many pretzels and chocolate eggs I consumed during the week, I randomly decided to attempt a Jillian Michaels workout I found on YouTube. Rookie mistake. First of all, I haven't done true cardio in over a year. No running, no jogging, no jumping, not even dancing. Nada. I don't know what possessed me to believe I could complete a 55 minute circuit workout with one of the toughest trainers ever. Of the three circuit routines (??) in the video, I completed two. And my legs were jello by the end of it. Getting down the stairs on the way to the car Friday morning was brutal, and I bet all of my napping on the hard sand Saturday didn't help. I even took Tylenol yesterday morning to ease my pain. Pathetic.


5. After discovering we had basic tendencies, Barbara and I (I'm sensing a three topic theme to this MMM) kept exploring Buzzfeed articles and found one of those "cheer up" community posts. In it was THE FUNNIEST vine I've ever seen. She and I cracked up so hard watching it to the point that I cried. I can't remember the last time I cried from laughing. Here it is for your enjoyment. 

6. Brandon and I finally visited the new Boudin Bakery restaurant with some friends today. I ate a yummy pesto hickey sandwich and some delicious clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Ugh, it was divine. I love clam chowder and I stuffed my face with so much bread. Mmm. Then we watched The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which I've gotta say is an excellent sequel. This movie focuses a lot on story/plot development and it's executed well. I don't like to talk movies up to a point where my friends are then disappointed when they watch it, but like I said, this is a solid sequel. They manage to keep the multiple villains organized which I think is super important. If you haven't seen it, I'd recommend it. X Men: Days of Future Past is next on the list of summer movies to watch.

7. Talking about fantasy universes with Brandon is always super interesting. I was aware of his knowledge of the Marvel universe and that he enjoys fantasy stories that involve magic before we got married. But living together has truly brought out our individual weirdness. We can spend hours talking about the Harry Potter universe and how it differs from the Aragon book series (he hates the film...hates it). It's super nerdy but I love the fact that we don't just watch or read these stories. Like today, he looked up Spider-Man's top 25 villains and we discussed which ones we thought would be included in the franchise and why. Then we got sidetracked with the possibility of an X Men movie that had Apocolypse as the villain. We're still on that subject, in case you were wondering.


Sorry to write your eyes off (sorry, that's the closest I could get to talk your ear off) with superhero talk, I've picked up some interesting knowledge living with a boy and I love to share the wealth. I hope you had a pleasant magical Monday. I know I'll be using this weekend as a coping mechanism when I'm at the office tomorrow.

♥ A


On Caffeine

My dear friend James has this saying "Guys, I'm on caffeine." What he means is he's had more coffee than usual and is feeling the rush. Barbara always replied,  "James, you say that like it's a thing. It isn't a thing." And I always found it funny, so I try to use the phrase as much as possible.

Because I'm a lightweight when it comes to everything, I've experienced "being on caffeine" before. But it's always been in the context of writing a paper or studying for finals. Wednesday was a tad different. I had my usual morning cup of coffee PLUS the coffee I'd brewed Tuesday during lunch and had completely forgotten at home before going back to work. It was also something like 87 degrees on Wednesday so iced coffee (or at the very least, cold coffee) felt like a necessity. So I pulled out my jar o' coffee and sipped while I took lunch in the trunk of my Outback. You may have seen it on instagram...

Suddenly I felt it. My heart started pumping a little faster, my eyes felt wider, my mind clearer. I was on caffeine.
Quick tangent: During an academic counseling session back in college, my professor asked me what my post-grad plans were. At this point I wasn't engaged and only nebulously thinking about marriage, but grad school was already on the radar. So I told him I was interested in studying environmental policy more in depth. Being a good mentor, he prodded further, asking what exactly I wanted to study. I couldn't quite answer. He didn't let up, "Okay, well, who are your favorite environmental policy authors?" I was stumped.
I couldn't answer because at that point, I hadn't realized that grad school is 100% different from undergrad. And I hadn't actually put any thought into what I'd submit as a research proposal.

Flash forward to Wednesday when the caffeine high rush hits. I've been lugging around this feeling of purposelessness for about eight months and haven't been able to shake it or think of a way to improve my life. All of a sudden I knew what I needed to do with my life! I started writing in that hipster journal I told you all about. It was a frenzy. I couldn't get my words down fast enough. I ended up just making a list of broad areas I want to work on/broad goals I have. Among the goals is finding an answer to Rosco's question from two years ago. I can't simply dream about going back to school and romanticize the process. It will be work, hard work. I'll need to have a specific idea of what I want to research and focus on, and I'm never going to get there if I stay ignorant.

So I took to Google and Amazon in search of some books because I love lists (obvi). Here are the titles of some--yes, there are more--of the environmental policy books that stuck out to me (keep in mind while still high on caffeine).

  • The Environmental Case: Translating Values Into Policy
  • Ecosystem-Based Management for the Oceans
  • The National Wildlife Refuges: Coordinating a Conservation System Through Law
  • The Environmental Policy Paradox
  • The Shaping of Environmental Policy in France

Ahh, sounds thrilling and fulfilling. As in: my heart is currently swelling with granola joy just thinking about reading these books.

Luckily, I have a starting off point with The Environmental Case thanks to my public policy class last year. Unfortunately, the bookcase was the first (and is the only) thing we've packed up in preparation for our move, so I'll have to wait about two weeks before I can crack out the book.

Not only did I have an epiphany about grad school, I also had a surge of motivation to get my act together. I want to build stronger habits like making my bed every morning, getting back into my yoga practice and setting aside time throughout my day to read and write. I spend so much time in front of a screen (honestly, who doesn't these days?) at work and then my breaks on my phone and then watching TV when I get home. But I'm 24, slowly but surely creeping my way to 25, and I feel like this is my prime and I need to take advantage of it. I have anywhere from five to seven years before I want to have kids, and I want to push every last crazy minute to it's full potential. That first means organizing my life in some capacity.
Since I'm a lister, I'll also give you the titles of other books on my Amazon wishlist.
  • A Year of Biblical Womanhood
  • Reclaiming Eve: The Identity and Calling of Women in the Kingdom of God
  • Restless: Because You Were Made For More
  • Heartburn
  • Don't Worry, It's Gets Worse: One Twentysomething's (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood
  • Historical Capitalism and Capitalist Civilization
  • Someday, Someday, Maybe
Now, I have to remind you, this is a recap of the thoughts that fired off in my brain within a 45 minute time period. FORTY FIVE MINUTES of intense thinking and processing, all thanks to an extra cup of coffee.

Until Monday,
♥ A


Miserable, Magical Monday

Hi friends! Barbara visited me this weekend (magical), but she's now back in San Diego (miserable). The AC in my apartment was malfunctioning (miserable) but it only took 5 minutes to fix last Thursday (magical)!!

Also...just because...
1. I mentioned last week that I'd been sifting through my Spotify music. Well, I finally finished. And I was thrilled when I turned on my shuffle at work last Wednesday. Oh man. You know those days when your Pandora or iPod is just so en pointe you feel like you're witnessing a mini miracle? That's what everyday feels like now. Music detox might be my favorite kind of detox (given the disaster that bath was). My taste really has changed a lot in the three years since I began using Spotify. But don't worry, there's always plenty of room for bad pop standards like Ke$ha and that almost-awful Owl City featuring Carly Rae Jepsen song in my music library.

2. The weather is burning up out here. We jumped from a lovely mid-70s high to mid-90s in the span of a weekend! Anyway, this jump in weather has left me totally unprepared to dress for work. First, I think I have seasonal memory loss. By that I mean I have major trouble transitioning between seasons. It works like this: when spring rolls around, I have the hardest time putting away my sweaters. Because in my brain, I've just gotten used to the winter weather. I've figured out my winter "look." I'm feeling that way now. I'd finally figured out how I wanted to wear my spring clothes and BAM! now it's summer weather. And I have nothing to wear to work. Seriously! I've been walking the fine line of business casual and I'm afraid I'll show up to the office in shorts one of these days! I just can't keep up with you, nature.

3. This brings me to a topic I haven't had to ponder in a while: office dress code. The office I work in is incredibly hard to read. The guys are easy, like always. They usually wear jeans, sometimes slacks, and a company polo or dress shirt. The women are an entirely different story. Capri twill pants seem to be a favorite, as are platform, wedge heeled flip flops and other open-toed shoes. But jeans are almost never seen on the women, except me. Frankly, if the men can wear jeans, then I can too. I also want a company polo, because that would honestly make my life easier on mornings I don't feel like a fashionista. Everything I read online assumes there's a specified code for what to wear to work...I have no such luxury. I still want to invest in some awesome blazers to up the professional look of, say, my favorite maxi dress. For the mean time, I'll just dress up a little nicer than I would on my day off (and stay away from the shorts).

4. The busted AC in my apartment paired with the diminishing chances of spring weather returning had me looking for other ways to stay cool. Brandon, the practical one, called maintenance and had them take a look at our thermostat. Me? I hunted for cold desserts on Pinterest. I love ice cream (because I'm five), but don't have a machine to make it, so I've researched methods for old school ice cream making. Maybe you saw my pins on coffee ice cream and mango sorbet? I might take the method for mango sorbet and use my frozen blueberries instead. I'm also pretty excited about making coffee ice cream. It's a marriage of my two favorite things!
5. I have a terrible habit of sipping my coffee too slowly. Well, it's terrible for the winter when all I need is something to warm me up/wake me up. I literally go back to the microwave an average of four times to heat up my coffee. However, the temperature hit 90-something on Wednesday and I was in no mood for hot coffee. Enter the official start of ice coffee season!

6. I mentioned Barbara came to stay with me this weekend. Side note: I always feel Jane Austen-esque when people come stay with me (by people I mean my sister and Barbara). I can't tell you why, but it feels platonically romantic. Is that even a thing? Anyway, it was an extremely chill weekend filled with three different trips to a coffee shop, one of which was Mishka's Cafe in downtown Davis. I'd been there once before when I was going through my post-grad depression. This time I had a deliciously smooth mint latte. Pretty sure that sucker was made with whole milk, too. Mmm! It was so rich and frothy and yummy. Definitely I place I'll go back to once we move. We also took a walk at Peña Adobe on Saturday. I always knew this park existed, but I'd never taken the initiative to actually go out there and see it. It's gorgeous. Of course I don't have photos of either of these activities because I was too busy talking.
7. Brandon and I are finishing the Harry Potter movie marathon (a what?) tonight. I don't know if I'm prepared for all the the feelings I'm going to have to deal with. This is the first time I've made it a point to watch the movies in a limited amount of time. Usually I just watch whichever ABC Family is airing. It's been really, really interesting to apply all of my nerdy knowledge that I've acquired since reading the series. Also, Brandon never finished reading the books but loves discussing fantasy universes, so we've totally spent our pre-sleeping talks discussing how magic works here compared to other universes, how Voldemort's soul is probably not split into even pieces but halves of halves, what each character's special talent is, you get the picture. In short, we're so nerding out together. And I love it. Kind of like I love this.
♥ A


Six Months Out: 12 Things Update

It's officially past the halfway point to my 25th birthday (no lie I forgot how old I was for three whole seconds). Here's how I'm doing on my 12 Things

1. Perfect the tiramisu cupcake

2. Read 6 5 books
I finished Mindy Kaling's book last week and am working my way through Nora Ephron's I Fell Bad About My Neck as well as Antoine Saint-Exupery's Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince). So we're making some progress!

3. Explore a part of SF I've spent little time in
I can't remember the last time I was in the city.

4. Finish organizing and uploading my Project 365
Seriously slacking here.

5. Practice French everyday for one month
June. I will come back to this in June.

6. Make coffee art
Oh gosh. I don't even know why I added this to the list. I was hugely unaware of the equipment necessary to make coffee art. Plus, I need to find a proper method of brewing a shot (or two) of espresso at home. My keurig isn't the same as Starbucks' at home system. I'll still attempt this, but I'm telling you it won't be pretty.

7. Bake a cake/cupcakes from scratch.
Nothing yet. Brandon and I are doing everything we can to not buy groceries until after the move. I think we can make it.

8. Watch 10 8 classic movies I've never seen before
I've watched Some Like It Hot, The Usual Suspects (an excellent movie)...and...that's it. Annie Hall is for sure on my list of movies I need to watch. I think Brandon tried to get me to watch it years ago but I fell asleep. And if anyone has Casablanca, you should let me borrow it.

9. Complete 5 1 of my pins from Learn/Make/Do
I can't believe I've made the most progress with this one! Only one more pin to complete. It's the magnets. I'm decisively saying it'll be the magnets.

10. Hand letter something. Turn that something into art.
It's just written in chalk pen right now but I hope to still print out my other design and frame it in this frame.
It's not Pinterest or Etsy-worthy, but it's home.
The words are lyrics from me and Brandon's first dance. Technically, the song is from our first kiss. Anyway, I wrote the lyric on this frame very soon after getting married and moving in, the only main difference being the frame's orientation. I was feeling semi-inspired on Sunday morning and decided to flip it and change things up a bit, including adding our anniversary date. The bottles with greenery are usually empty, but I had a bunch of bouquet fillers left over from the Mother's day arrangements I made the day before, so I thought I'd try that hipster look of branches in vases. I kind of really like it. And that flask looking bottle filled with layers of semi-combined sand is perhaps my favorite souvenir from studying abroad. It's sand from all but one beach I visited in my three months over there.

11. Volunteer at Coastal Cleanup Day
It shall be done in September.

12. Decorate our apartment
We move in three weeks!! Oh gosh, we move in three weeks! As you can imagine, I'm nowhere on schedule for a move. It'll get done. Brandon and I consistently talk about this apartment being a fresh start for us. It's not that we need a fresh start from anything, but more that we're looking forward to a new city with new opportunities. In a way, to get out of the suburb rut. I have so many ideas for the apartment, but I also know that you're supposed to slowly curate your aesthetic. I'm sort of looking forward to having to slow myself down back to reality.

There we have it. Only one Thing is fully completed but I'm on my way to another two! I have confidence I'll see this through.
You didn't think I'd leave you without a single gif, did you?

♥ A


Miserable, Magical Monday

Alright, alright. I know. I missed a Monday already! But to be fair, I had really bad writer's block last Monday (#blamethesadness).

The that the writer's block is gone and I'm excited to bring you all another Miserable, Magical Monday!

1. I have found the most delicious yogurt in all of California. And it's made in Antioch. I bought it at Safeway last week because I wanted yogurt and it was on sale and OH MY GOSH it's delectable. I ate it with some Kashi granola (we all know Kashi stuff is good for us but really bland) and some frozen blueberries and I have not stopped trying to get Brandon to try it since. I don't even know if he likes yogurt all that much. I just know it's SO GOOD.

2. Brandon and I have switched out The Office for House of Cards with some Parks and Rec splashed in. House of Cards is insane. It's nuts. When I watch it, I feel sort of how I felt when I watched that one season of 24 in college. I tense up, I'm trying to figure out the next step before it happens, even though I know the writers are setting us up for a huge twist. If you enjoy political dramas, I recommend it. And even if you don't (like Brandon, who couldn't care less about politics), I still recommend it because the story is woven really well. Plus there are fantastic moments where Spacey breaks the fourth wall.


3. I finished another craft off of my Learn/Make/Do list for 12 Things! It's based off of this pin. I didn't have any maps to work with and the girl I was making the notebook for wouldn't have appreciated the hipster-ness of a woven map notebook, so I bought two pieces of card stock from Michael's in her favorite colors: line green and teal. I'm not crafty. I can envision what I want something to look like, but executing it? It takes me for-freaking-ever. Anyway, I hope my friend liked it.

4. I'm not sure if I'm off-base with this idea, but I feel like people who work with children experience a minuscule amount of fame. I know I do. All the kids rush in to talk to you and everyone wants to know how old you are and they all measure themselves against me (quite literally, they all can't wait to proclaim that they're taller than me). And they give you stuff! I get drawings, tiny foam fish, post it notes left on my desk at work (by my boss' daughter who is a treasure), cookies for Valentine's day. There's one boy that copied my every move during a lesson. As in he changed the way he was sitting when I shifted my position. I know he was copying me for a fact because I moved on purpose to see if he'd copy me and he did.


5. What's the deal with coconut oil? Is it worth buying? Literally everywhere I look in the blogging world someone is talking about coconut oil. Where are we getting all the coconuts from? Are they harvested in a safe, ecological sound manner? (Probably not.) Why aren't the clean living people asking these questions? I'm a dirty eater and all of my make up probably has chemicals in it. I can't be the only one wondering this.

6. I've been looking into detoxes recently because I have too much free time and decided that since I'm putting off buying groceries for the month of May (a sense a habit forming), a juice or smoothie cleanse is not possible right now. Besides, if I'm honest with myself I probably don't have the wherewithal to complete a smoothie cleanse. Anyway, I opted for a half hour hot bath instead. I did some research to see what non-essential oil stuff I should mix into my bath. Each website had a different list, so I chose to mix 'em all up and see what happened. I dumped a hefty amount of baking soda, a splash of apple cider vinegar, a teensy bit of EVOO and an assortment of green and mint tea bags and filled my tub up. Then I turned on my Sightseeing in Paris playlist on Spotify and tried to relax. I have to tell you, it was not relaxing. It was hot, my heart was beating faster than normal and I couldn't relax my leg muscles because they just float to the top. Anyway, about 20 minutes into this bath, I decide that there's no way in heck I'm gonna make it a full 40 minutes. I made a deal with myself where I could get out of the tub after four songs played.

"I'm on a cleanse."

Now, I'd read that I might feel lightheaded after the soak and that I should move very slowly. Homegirls were not joking around! I felt way more than lightheaded. I inched out of the tub, felt a little woozy, but decided to press on to get myself some water. It's not a far walk from my tub to my fridge, but halfway through my journey my ears started ringing and my vision was blurry and I felt sick. My body was shutting down on me. It's not the first time it's tried to do this, but I have a weird talent for not giving in to the faint. It was miracle that there was a glass of water from the night before chilling in the fridge because at that point there was no way I could have poured. I literally grabbed the top of the butter dish in my blurry blindness thinking it was one of my stackable mugs. I also dropped it quite dramatically when I couldn't stand anymore. After the water I stumbled to the couch like a drunkie and lay down.

Like this.
I also gobbled up a couple pieces of Dove dark chocolate because of chocolate's healing properties as presented in Harry Potter. After downing water and cooling off, I crawled over to the sliding door and opened it. I then set out to crawl to the kitchen where I slowly stood up and started to make mac and cheese. Which I added too much milk to. But I dumped the extra liquid and ate it anyway. I called it "retoxing."

7. I listened to Lorde's album again this week and was reminded of just how excellent it is. I've been gong through my Spotify's starred playlist since the update to sift through the music I want to like so I can end up with just music I like. Anyway, it's meant that I've listened to some good artists and songs, but also that I haven't had a chance to let the bass and vocal layers from Lorde's album wash over my ears. I don't know why I find that album so cathartic. And to think she's 17. Unfair.

I hope you're enjoying the new look of the blog as much as I am. I'm trying to dust off my old Myspace layout HTML editing skillz. They've been in storage for a while.

♥ A


Happy 7th

I'm very intentional about not being what I call a "we" couple. For me, maintaining a sense of individuality within my romantic relationship is really important. I love Brandon so freakin much, but my world doesn't have to revolve around him or vice versa. It's one thing I really cherish about my relationship with him. We have completely separate interests, yet somehow we've been lucky enough not to run out of things to talk about over the last 7 years.

That's what brings me to what I'm about to post. I'm almost nervous to share something that's so personal to me and B because I don't want anyone to think I'm a part of a "we" couple or that I'm being weirdly pushy about my marital status.

Also, I'm not pregnant. I hope you weren't hoping I was.

But enough stalling.

Ever since we were teenagers with raging hormones (as my sister so dully noted in her Maid of Honor speech/song), Brandon and I have avoided saying "happy anniversary" to each other. Instead, we say "happy seventh," because we officially started dating on September 7th, 2006.

Seven years later, we got married. That was eight months ago today. It blows my mind to think I've been with this guy since I was 16. Anyway, I'm in a particularly sharing mood, so I thought I'd post some photos of us through the years. Is that okay? I hope so. You have every right to not read on if you can't handle the romantic indulgence I'm about to embark on.
WE WERE CHILDREN. Homecoming c. 2007/8
2009-ish. On our way to a date at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Hanging out in PB on Brandon's surprise visit to Loma in 2010.
Ocean Beach, San Francisco, September 20
Better together, 2012
Newly engaged.at the movies. December 2012
Proper engagement photos, March 2013 (Thanks, Ryan Doyle)
Graduated and unphotogenic, May 2013
Married and kissing because little kids find wedding bells super amusing.
September 2013. (Thank you, Ryan Doyle)
Thanks for powering through that. 10 points to whatever house you've been sorted into!

♥ A


Personal Day

To say I had a long day on Sunday would be the understatement of my year. I've been tired, I've been hungover, and I've even judged a five-day debate tournament in 2014 and I haven't had as long a day as May 4, 2014. By the end of Sunday, I couldn't remember if I was confusing that morning's shower with one from Saturday.

Sunday, May 4th, marked one year since I walked across the stage in The Greek as my name was mispronounced to my parent's dismay. One year since the journalism prof whose class I had to drop when I changed my major remembered my name as he and his helper placed a hood on me (funny, I was "hooded" twice in 2013). One year since I've seen the professors who challenged me academically and personally to find what I care about and to never quit pursuing it. One year since I've set foot in San Diego. 

I was feeling so depressed before church started. And watching a sideshow from a San Diego mission trip didn't help. Especially the photo of the Old Town location of Miguel's (a restaurant), where two years ago my friends and I celebrated a roommate's birthday. To everyone else in the congregation, that photo was just a picture of a restaurant. To me (granted in the already super nostalgic mood I was in), it was a picture of a memory and a stark feeling that this city that was so pivotal to my life meant next to nothing to the people I was surrounded by. No joke, I started crying. As in all my attempts to breathe it out and push down the tears failed. It was embarrassing to say the least.

Flash forward through a long conversation I was in no emotional state to handle to Sunday afternoon. Our friends Seth and Julie invited me and Brandon over to watch a WWE program and treated us to a scrumptious spaghetti dinner. We hung out there basically all day and were lucky enough to catch Game of Thrones before the actual air time! It was just the distraction I needed.
Monty the cat sleeping like a cutie.
But come Monday, something was still off. The funk was so strong that all I wanted to do was write, but I stalled every time I tried to. Anyway, my best friend and husband independently suggested I take a day off work to forget my worries and focus on the things I hadn't found time to do in the past couple of weeks. I figured if the two people who know me best in the world thought I needed a day to process my thoughts/feelings, then maybe I should listen. I should mention that the Monday night young adults small group was also a refreshing, much needed dose of community and love. I'm thankful I was there.

That brings us to me on my personal day at home, in my leggings and 2012 Homecoming tee shirt and you, wherever you are. I realize this is a bit of a long-winded post, but I'm a relatively long-winded storyteller. Anyway, I bet by this point you just want me to tell you what the heck I've done all day, right? Well, I hope so, because I'm about to show you.

First, I woke up around 7:30am sans an alarm. That's perfectly ok in my book! Brandon hadn't left for work quite yet so I grabbed Mindy Kaling's book and cuddled up next to him while he played some video game where you're kidnapped in the jungle and trying to escape/find your friends. I don't know much about it, except apparently there's a hefty use of Alice in Wonderland quotes. Once Brandon left for work I made myself a small list (because lists are still important on PDs). It wasn't meant to include everything, just to touch on some main things I wanted to do.

As you can see, I've been quite busy.
As a side note: I'm super excited about starting this new journal. My old one was a gorgeous brown one Brandon gave me for a birthday. But I have a thing for collecting journals, so I bought this one at Barnes and Noble not too long after because I thought it was beautiful. It's made of recycled sari silk and the paper is handmade in Nepal. OH MY GOSH that sounds so pretentious! I fully invite judgement after that sentence.

Are we done judging me? Are we still friends despite my hipster-ish tendencies? Cool. After this I've got my journal with the Eiffel Tower on it (normal lined paper from Target) and my Tom Riddle diary that my sis brought me from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter last Christmas.

After the list, I took the pillows from the couch and made myself a comfy reading nook on my bed. I usually prefer to read on the couch but my living room is so dark it's not even worth it. I (finally) finished the book and then poured my thoughts into my new hipster journal as I sipped my coffee. Since reading Ephron's  I Remember Nothing,  Fey's Bossypants and Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), I've decided I need to read more comedienne memoirs. It night just be tied with distopias as my favorite genre.

The background here is the top of the gorgeous journal.
After a quick lunch I headed out on my balcony to paint my nails. Let me just say that removing pedicure polish is a million times harder than it should be. After consulting the girls (actual people, not a euphemism), I settled on mint toes and blue nails. I read Lauren Conrad's blog every day and it always makes me happy when "Team LC" points out things that are "on trend" that I bought before they were in. Case in point: light blue nail polish. I've spent some time trying to think of why I like this shade of blue so much. I knew it had to do with my childhood. I thought maybe it was the Robin's Egg Blue crayon, but then I noticed that the color reminds me of Aurora's cake in Sleeping Beauty!

Random, I know.

I snuck in some wonderful yoga with a Yoga With Adriene video in between toes and hands. And that's all I've done so far (not including this post).

I've still got a crafty project to work on that will let me check off another Thing from my 12 Things list. And come to think of it, I can mark that I've completed 1 out of the 6 books I want to read before November! Yesss.

Alright, this post is long enough. I really appreciate you few who read my thoughts and rambles. You guys rock. Don't ever change.

These kids knew what was up.
♥ A