Friday Roundup

Well, if you're from Seattle, it's a big weekend. I'm looking forward to watching the Superbowl with friends...I'll be cheering for my home team, although, I have to say, I'm usually one of those people who are more into the commercials :) I hope you have a lovely weekend wherever you are!

This 90 year old Kenyan woman is pursuing her elementary school education along side her great great grandchildren. Beautiful story.

NPR's favorite songs of the moment

If it weren't for a blizzard, we might still be wearing petticoats! 

"Replacement Suns"

This bag

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who can still sing the theme song from Full House!

I've been listening to this podcast all week.

Crazy tip to keep your guacamole green overnight.

Photo by Jason at the NFC Championship. He ended up in the middle of things at the end of the game :)  Here's what he was shooting. 

Week #2: Answers!

It's our second week of asking and answering questions.  Incase you missed it, you can read Teresa's answers to her questions this week here.  And below, are my answers to the same questions!

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Reading Teresa's answers to her own questions this week made me laugh, and realize, this is probably in part why we are such good friends! Her answer for the first question could have been written by me!  Energy and musical talent are always my response to this question. Unless, it can include magical powers in which case I would choose the ability to travel in time.

But to add my own original answer, I'd say that I wish I didn't care as much what people think about me. I hate it when ANYONE is even slightly unhappy with me in any way. When someone has a even a small criticism of my work, I have the hardest time not taking it personally. Basically, I need a thicker skin.

What do you value most in a friendship?

Again, I totally agree with Teresa's answer on loyalty! So important.

But for me, in the last few years I've really come to value low maintenance relationships. As my life has been more and more unpredictable, I value the friends who I can go for months without seeing when I'm out of town, yet when we get together again, were able to pick right back up where we left off.

We'd love to hear your answers to the questions in the comments! OR let us know if you have a questions for us to ask next week.

Photo above, Teresa and I a few years back with some of our former college roommates and lifelong friends.

Staying Warm at Winter Weddings

If you're planning a winter wedding, I'd suggest having a wrap on hand and there are SO many different options for what would work, depending on your style. I made a board of a variety of styles here...everything from fur to quilts! 

More photos from Jessi & Logan's wedding here. 

Mary Kate and Ashley's Photo Secret

So apparently Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen have a little photo secret that is called "The Prune." Yes, you read that right, THE PRUNE. Before they go into a photo shoot or a place where their photo will be taken they turn to each other and say the word "Prune." This relaxes their facial muscles and give them that little pouty face that you always see them making.  I'm really terrible at non-smiling pictures so I'm going to have to give this a try. I tried to "Smize" when that was a thing but it was pretty much a fail. Are you good at taking pictures without teeth-smiling??


Seven Airplane Essentials

Never fail, these seven things are always in my carry on for long trips.

1. Face wipes Not only are they great to wash your face, but in a pinch, you can use them on the rest of your body too. I wish I had them that time I got onto a plane covered in salt water. I've found that Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes work best for my sensitive skin.

2. Headphones that are comfortable... I used to just use earbuds, but they would hurt after too long. So I finally broke down and bought nicer headphones and I only wish I had gotten them sooner! The ones I have aren't super bulky so they are lighter and are soft enough that I can wear them and fall asleep comfortably with them on, it's almost like a ear pillow. 

3. Giant Scarf This is a great multipurpose item. While running through the airport, wear it as a scarf so it doesn't even take space in your carryon. Then on the plane, you can bundle it up as a pillow, use it as a blanket, or cover your head with it to hide from talkative seat mates. This one from Aritzia would do the trick. I have a great one (which is actually meant to be a towel!) from Ethiopia that I take most places.

Here's me and my trusty scarf boarding a way to early in the morning flight...

4. Socks Especially in traveling to warmer climates, I'll find myself wearing sandals or shoes without socks, so I alway makes sure to have a warm pair of socks for the plane, because even if the cabin is warm, the floor is usually freezing, especially if your by the window.

5. Solid Perfume Yes, this is a little frivolous, but after hours or days of travel, it's just not possible to look amazing on arrival, but at least you can smell nice. Perfume solids are great for travel because they can't spill and don't have to come out of your bag to get through TSA.  I love Lush's Karma, it's a great pick me up, and I recently got Tea Olive from Hove Perfumeur in New Orleans. Next, I want to try to make my own! (To respect those stuck in an enclosed space with you, stick with something that's made with essential oils and isn't too strong)

6. Books/Movies/Music/Podcasts* I've learned to never rely on inflight entertainment. It's always a fun surprise when there's multiple movies I want to see, but backup options are necessary. Seasons of The Office and Modern Family have kept me entertained for countless hours this past year. I also like to have an audio book or podcasts and and a couple of books on my phone as well. A friend introduced me to this app, which has white noise and calming music and sounds, it's perfect for trying to fall asleep when you have noisy people around you.

This would be my "oh goody I get to sit by talkative strangers so I've shoved chocolate in my mouth so I don't have to respond to them" face...

7. Snacks I try and always have something that'll make me happy to pull out of my bag in the middle of the flight. Whether it's a chocolate bar or some almonds. Just a little something to crunch on. Especially helpful if the meal on your flight is some sort of octopus and anchovy concoction...which has been the case a few times on Asian airlines, not terrible, but not my top choice for airplane food.

*Don't forget to bring your charger in your carryon! I pretty much always travel with a laptop as well, but I rarely use it on flights. I have learned to always have it charged and use it to recharge my iPhone battery when I'm on a flight that doesn't have any sort of outlets.

Week 2: Questions!

Time for the second round of our questions! Here are last weeks questions from Jenny and my answers if you are interested. I'm borrowing mine this week from that awesome Modern Love column I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. (ps. did you see the hilarious follow up in the New Yorker?)

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

I wish I had more energy. I’ve always been a fairly low-energy person who needs tons of sleep and gets sick easily if I get overly busy. I wish I was one of those people who actually gain energy by doing more and more. I have a lot of ideas and aspirations but just getting through my daily routine is an accomplishment.

Also, I’d love to be musical in some way, I can’t sing or play any instruments.

What do you value most in a friendship?

Confidentiality. I want to know that when I tell somebody something they aren’t going to go blab it all over the place. Despite the fact that my main hobby is blogging, I’m actually a fairly private person and it takes a lot for me to open up to someone. A friend that can keep a secret is priceless and rare.

These days I also value someone that actually finds what I say interesting. My life is currently a series of mundane details about child rearing, a desk/office job, and watching a lot of TV. It’s fun to find a friend who has some of these things in common and actually finds it INTERESTING to listen to these details of my life (which would not make a good book or TV show!). 

Monday Motivation

This rings very true to me today. We have a lot going on this year and it all keeps spinning around in my head. Sometimes it's best to just take a deep breath and see where the wind takes you. 

Easier said than done though. 

Friday Roundup

Happy Friday! I caught that miserable cold that is going around so I'm hunkered down with my box of Kleenex letting Mylo watch TV feeling like the best mom ever. Hope your weekend is off to a better start than mine -- if you have any good Netflix recommendations let me know!

Apparently pineapples help with a sore throat.

Made me laugh, issues with Goodnight Moon.

If you're sick like me, Amazon is streaming their hit new show Transparent for FREE all day tomorrow. It's worth binge-watching, one of my new favorites.

8 questions to ask yourself to declutter.

Funfetti buttermilk birthday cake. Need I say more?

This movie that comes out on Valentine's Day looks pretty good.

The new fast food.

Incredible Austin boat dock.

Beautiful tattooed brides.

What babies can teach us.

This made me chuckle, travel tips from celebrities.


Question Responses

Here are my responses to Jenny's questions!

What is your ideal date night? 

Gosh we have never been very creative when it comes to date nights. We both LOVE going to the movie theater so our go-to date night is dropping in a pub for a quick snack and then heading to see a movie. These days we don’t get to do this often so we are particular about what type of movie we’ll see—pretty much only something that HAS to be seen on the big screen (our favorite movies are spy/action like the Bourne series) since we watch most of our movies at home on the couch. I usually sneak some cans of champagne in my purse. 

If we are feeling fancy we might go to a concert or see a Broadway show.

What are some of your first memories of me in college? 

Man Jenny had a good response for this one! As she knows all too well, I have a TERRIBLE memory. Seriously it’s notoriously bad. We hung out last night and that’s about the only thing I remember from the past 12 years. J

Well let’s see… I never really learned to cook until after college because Jenny pretty much cooked everything for me for four years. We “shared” groceries and I’m fairly confident I owe her a few thousand dollars still. We would always be “workout” partners at the gym and mostly just sit on the mats and stretch for an hour chatting. On a regular basis we would walk the mile or so all the way down to class and then decide to go get coffee instead. Jenny is probably the fastest reader I've ever known, I was always so jealous at how quickly she could get through our required reading in college!

This is fun! I’m on deck for next week!

An AMAZING French Home Renovation

Have you seen this incredible blog chronicling an Australian couples renovation of an 18th century chateau in France? Wow, just wow. MessyNessyChic gives a great overview of the project here. What a huge and overwhelming undertaking to renovate and restore a 94 room mansion in a different country. Hats off to them for giving their dream a shot, can't wait to see how it unfolds.

Love this quote from their blog:

"The Chateau won’t be a pretentious museum piece, but rather, a place to visit, reconnect with the earth and people, and restore the senses, just like she herself has been restored. It won’t be about overcrowding the walls with paintings or overflowing the floors with furnishings, but will be relatively minimalistic - a place to simply rest, breathe and enjoy the calm. "


So, we're starting a new thing!

Did I get your attention with this wonderful old photo of T and I?  This was taken our freshman year of college, right before a formal. We'd only met a few months before. Crazy to think that was 2002!

Anyway, this new thing we're starting...

We've had a list of great questions from a reader that we've been meaning to get to for awhile (sorry Callie!) and have been trying to figure out the best way to answer them. And we realize that there are so many things from our lives that get left out of the blog. So we decided that answering some questions every week, from readers, or ones we come up with ourselves, would be a great way to share a bit more about our lives, both past and present.

This is how it'll work. Each week we will take turns asking each other questions. We'd also LOVE to have you all respond to the questions in the comments, OR feel free to ask one too!  Here's our first comes from Callie!

What is your ideal date night? 

I'm curious to hear Teresa's answer too! Jason and I have been in a bit of a rut when it comes to doing things together.

And question #2:

What are some of your first memories of me in college? 

I'm interested to hear what stuck out to Teresa from when we first met. Like I said above, we met when we moved into the same house together as freshman at the University of Washington.

For me, a few of my first memories of Teresa were her dislike for leftovers-when I had just moved in and had yet to go grocery shopping, she eagerly gave me her tandoori chicken from the night before, basically cementing a lifelong friendship. I also remember her watching Regis & Kelly every morning before class and that she had multiple pairs of the exact same Lucky jeans, and she loved Yankee Candles and The Strokes.

OK! Those are the questions I pick! We'll hear Teresa's answers later this week.

Monday Motivation

Friday Roundup

Hello! How are those New Years Resolutions coming? Are you getting things done or just cuddling up to get through these cold days?

I feel like we have too many things happening at once right now. A handful of work projects are being juggled, and then there's our basement, in complete disarray as we redo the bathroom, which seems to have created a chain reaction leading to an entire reorganization of our house.

But I can't complain, I'm getting things done as per my resolution. And even though being in the middle of this is more chaotic than even I am used to, the end is in sight and it involves fluffy towels and organized storage.

Jason's birthday was this week,  and then the rest of my time was spent on Houzz looking at thousands of photos of bathrooms.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

I didn't catch the Golden Globes, but still enjoyed these fun photos. 

Simple tips for beating the winter blues.

Boyhood Meets World! 

Finland, I want to go to you.

High school, 1969

Where to stream this years Oscar nominated documentaries.

Here's how to boost your confidence...

I'm looking forward to the release of this new album.


Can a person make themselves fall in love?

Did you see this fascinating "Modern Love" column in the New York Times on Monday? It's about the research of Dr. Arthur Aron who claims that by sitting two strangers down together and having them ask each other these 36 questions and then stair at each other for four minutes almost anyone can learn to fall in love. The author of the article tried it out herself -- the article is well worth reading to find out the result.

I LOVE this idea! I can definitely see how why this works -- emotional intimacy can be so hard to build, in any type of relationship, and the idea of really diving in with someone seems like a great way to get past the BS really fast. Would you ever try this?


Santa Pictures - better late than never!

These are late but I had to share! Mylo and his cousins Kenedee and Jae posing for pictures with Santa. Mylo isn't so sure about him but Kenedee is pretty excited! 

The Mini Road Trip

When we went to Jackson in December to shoot a wedding, we purposely planned an extra couple of days and turned it into a mini road trip.  We flew into New Orleans and were joined by our friends Kaitlin & Andrew for a little fun before driving up to Jackson, an easy 3 hours north. It was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday. I don't know why we all look so terrified in the picture above, I promise, I'm a good driver :)

We were in New Orleans for less than 24 hours, so we really wanted to make sure it counted. We stayed at LaFitte Guest House on the quiet end of Bourbon Street. It was full of quirky French Quarter charm,  our room featured a giant four poster bed and an AMAZING balcony (see view above). We had a lovely dinner at Muriel's, peeking into all of it's spooky nooks and crannies, including the meal they set out nightly for their resident ghost. Then we wandered around to jazz bars. The next morning, enjoyed coffee on our balcony in the sun, as captured in the photo here. 

But the best part of road trips are always the unexpected gems you find along the way. The things you wouldn't necessarily go out of your way to visit, but since you're there, you might as well stop and take a peek. For us, that was Kentwood, Louisiana, hometown of Britney Spears.  In the years since high school,  I've forgotten how to do any sort of complex math,  but I have retained the knowledge of Britney Spear's origins. 

Thankfully I was in a car with three other people who were equally as excited check out Kentwood. The economy has recked havoc on this small town, the brick building ruins in the photo of Kaitlin & Andrew above is what half the town looks like now. But fret not, the tiny Kentwood Museum is filled with Britney paraphernalia and the friendly woman who runs it will tell you her memories of Britney as a child. That's me posing with Britney's wings from her Femme Fatale tour and check out Jason and I in the mirror of Britney's bedroom, which had been moved from her childhood home. 

We stopped for lunch at Nyla's Burger Basket just across the border in Mississippi, the woman at the museum told us it was Britney's favorite spot. 

After a couple days in Jackson, we hopped back in the car and made the trip in reverse, this time really enjoying the scenery you go from woods, to swamps and open waters as you cruise down the raised roads and back into New Orleans. 

All in all, it was a great trip, and one that has me inspired to looking into other mini-road trip detours I can take in future travels. 

Monday Motivation

Friday Roundup

Happy Friday! I'm in resolution-mode still and hoping to attempt to get my house organized this weekend. Also, GO HAWKS! What are you up to?

Love these old photos of mothers, just beautiful.

Don't usually post these but this list of clothing tips is on point.

What a fun idea -- Dad illustrates his daughters funny phrases.

Ripe or fresh? When is the best time to eat a banana?

You can play Oregon Trail for free online now!

ICYMI - my favorite link of the week, ohhh Jimmy.

10 healthy recipes for the New Year.

Fascinating-- what happens to a woman's brain when she becomes a mother.

This video on an airplane made me laugh out loud.

January Resolutions

Hello! It's been a while. Happy 2015 from my little family! How were your holidays? Ours were VERY busy but we made a lot of fun memories with family and friends. I will get my act together this weekend and do a couple of posts next week with fun photos of things like Rafa wearing a santa hat and Mylo ripping open presents. :)

Now that the holidays are officially over I feel like it's time to get into a winter routine. I don't know about you but January and February are my least favorite months of the year. It's dark. It's rainy. I watch a lot of TV. I'm having a hard time coming up with resolutions for the whole year (it seems like a very long time to resolve to do something!) but I do have some goals for the winter. I am kicking off January with a sort of health cleanse and trying to get into some good habits. We are about six weeks away from our trip to Argentina (eeeeee!) so I figured that was a good amount of time to try for healthy living instead of giving into the winter blues.

My cleanse started with giving up refined sugar, which I'm 100% addicted to and is always brutal for a few days. I basically only let myself get any sugar from fruit, which is a huge change from eating peppermint bark and pumpkin pie for breakfast.  I also decided to start up with oil pulling in the morning again and I'm liking it A LOT more than the first time, my teeth are getting very white :) Now that my sugar detox is almost complete I'm going to cut back on carbs/alcohol until our trip.

The hardest part about this "healthy living" is pushing through my work day and trying to think of a reward for myself when I get home that isn't sweets or alcohol! It's crazy how much of my daily motivation in these winter months comes from food. On my way home yesterday I was trying to think of other things to look forward to in the evening: a hot bath, snuggling with Mylo, a back rub, etc. I seriously can't wait until it's light out again in the evening and we can resume our evening routine of walking around the neighborhood after work. March 8th is daylight savings time change this year and I'm counting down the days.

Do you have any goals or resolutions? Patrick, my sister, dad, and MIL are all doing the Advocare 24 day challenge, it's inspiring!

Wedding Wednesday: A Pop of Color

Just before Christmas, we shot our good friends' wedding in Jackson, Mississippi. 

One of the potential downsides to winter weddings, is lack of color for photos. No leaves, flowers, lack of sun, etc. And the couple of days before the wedding, it had been pretty gray and monotone in Jackson. So in scouting out our photo locations the day before, I was looking for color in particular. And sometimes, when you can't find it, you have to make your own. 

Thankfully my friend Rosanna, had told me to check out Thimblepress, an shop in Jackson that sells her cards and she had mentioned the amazing push-pop confetti Thimblepress makes. A quick trip into their adorable shop, and we had a fun pop (pun intended) of color for Bryan & Mallory's photos. 

If you'd like to see more of their wedding, here you go!



Happy New Year!

Just consider the above photo a Christmas card from Jason and me. As much as I love getting mail, I'm not very good at sending it. But alas, that was last year. This is a new year and this year, I'm getting things done. 

In the life of Jenny, 2015 will henceforth be known as "The Year of Getting Shit Done".

Sorry if you're offended by my choice of words, but that's exactly what randomly popped into my head while I was sitting in traffic and pondering life last week. It's my mantra for the year.

And after that, I'm afraid it gets pretty boring, the "shit" you see, that I have to get done, is all of the terribly boring things I've been putting off FOREVER, like picking a new health insurance plan and well, I probably already lost you.

But really, I'm dedicating this year to DOING things, rather than just putting them on a list and stressing out about them for months. And I've definitely started the year off with a bang. Here are a few of the slightly more interesting things I've already dove into:

-I've committed to working out daily for the month. Trying out Beachbody, I'll let you know how it goes...
-Home reorganization! While discovering mold in our basement bathroom sort of forced us into a bathroom overhaul, I'm choosing to make the best of it and turning it into a reason to reorganize our entire house. No room will be the same when I'm done!

Overall, the purpose of DOING things is to be done with them. So this year is really about a change in my mind more than a change in towel racks. I want to get through the shit instead of stressing out about it and ultimately have more time to ENJOY life. Because really, that should always be the goal. Enjoying what matters. In the last few weeks, I've been reminded that life is short, and people and things can be taken away pretty quickly. So hug someone you love and be thankful for everything that you have.

What are your goals for 2015?

PS. Incase you're curious, here were my goals for 2014. I'd say I did well on 50% of them, the list was too long, which is why I changed it up for this year. Also, I still hate flossing.

Happy 2015!