Friday, September 20, 2013

Welcome Autumn....

Song for Autumn

In the deep fall
    don't you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
    the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
    freshets of wind? And don't you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
    warm caves, begin to think

of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
    inside their bodies? And don't you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
    the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
    vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
    its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
    the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.

~Mary Oliver 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

Howdy strangers!  This ole' blog sure has been quiet lately.  I have been feeling the need to just sit with myself lately and have some silence.  A lot of internal feelings going on over here.  I always seem to get this way when the seasons change, a bit of a hiatus from the hustle and bustle.  Especially this time of year.  Fall is my favorite time, it holds such a special magic.  I want to embrace every aspect of it, and truly marinate in its goodness.  I think I tend to get quieter this time of year too, because I know that craziness of the holidays are right around the corner.  The past few weeks have been busy, but I have been trying to carve out some quiet time whenever I can.    There have been lots of movies being watched.  Among the ones I have really loved: AdoreYour Sister's SisterAnna Karenina.  The not so great ones: Spring BreakersNow You See Me.  We also have started watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix from the beginning, and I love it.  I may be slightly in love with Ron Swanson.  It is such a funny show, and I am glad we didn't watch any of it until now.   So damn funny!  If you haven't watched it, you have to check it out.

The foggy, cool mornings have started to return around here.  It is such a welcome sight after the opressive heat we had here over the last few weeks.  Seriously, it was ridiculous.  It would still stay near 90 degrees overnight, there was little sleep had around these parts.  The weather is improving everyday, and  you can start to feel the seasons change.  

There have been a lot of beach days this Summer.  I feel guilty sometimes that the ocean is only 15-20 minutes away, and I definitely tend to take that for granted.  I especially love it this time of year, because the crowds have died down, and most of the tourists have headed home.  September in San Diego is awesome.  

This right here is why I will have a hard time ever leaving Southern California.  I mean really, would you?

There have also been lots of pool days too.  Our family has an awesome pad out in a little town called Fallbrook.  We had a going away party there for one of my little cousins, who is off to Switzerland for a couple of semesters to study.  It was a beautiful day filled with swimming, yummy food, and our crazy family.

My crazy "little" brother.  Who still tortures me in the pool just like he did when we were kids.  The love for your siblings is such a crazy love.  I want to murder him almost as much as I love him.  Just kidding, Ian!

This girl right here is my awesome sister in law.  We were friends long before her and my brother got married.  It is pretty cool when your bro marries one of your best girls.  Brings the meaning of friends who are family to a whole new level.  They are getting close to bringing our second nephew into the world.  Only a couple of more weeks, until baby Kaleb joins our clan.

We threw her a little baby shower a couple of weeks ago.  It was small and sweet and a nice day.  I got to be in charge of flowers, which gets no arguments from me. 


Cousin love.  I guess it is safe to say we are all related.  Geez do you ever notice in pictures how much you look like the people in your family, when you really don't notice it regularly?  So crazy.  

There has also been A LOT of GF cooking experiments around here.  We have definitely found our groove when it comes to eating GF.  It truly feels like second nature now, and I really don't even think about it twice anymore. It just is.  My eczema is still doing awesome, not one flare up since I started my GF diet.  I have also lost 12 pounds, which I wasn't expecting.  It is definitely a nice side effect, except that I think I have lost almost all that weight just in my boob area.  It really sucks when none of your bras fit anymore.  

Finally nailed a GF pizza dough that is awesome.  We bought the mix from Pamela's.  It is definitely the best one yet that we have tried.  It takes a little time and effort, but the end result is worth it. 

Pumpkin spice bread.  This came out awesome, and not to toot my own horn, but toot-toot!  Not the healthiest thing, but it hit the spot, and definitely worked for my pumpkin cravings.  So good. 

We have also started making our own "Larabars"  I love the regular bars, but they are really expensive, and was cutting into a big chunk of our grocery budget.  I used this page for a bunch of different recipes.  All the ones I have used have turned out awesome.   I basically just double the recipe and it fills a 9x13 baking dish.  It costs so much less too.  A win-win in my book. 

We have also been enjoying that last of our summer garden.  I am hoping to get in the fall seeds this weekend, and get the next seasons bounty started.  We didn't have much room left this year for flowers, but we did manage to plant some baby sunflowers and have been putting them all over the house.  I will miss these guys when they are all gone. 

I hope you all have been enjoying the last of summer, and soaking up the sun! xo

Friday, September 6, 2013

This moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. A tradition started by Soulemama.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Oregon, you have a piece of my heart.

Oh, Oregon.  Every time we visit there I try to convince myself that we can move there.  The green, the laid back vibe, no sales tax!  So many good things.  But then I think about leaving our family behind, and I am back to reality.  I don't think I could move that far away from my family, it would just be to hard.  

We had such a good visit though, so relaxing.  We got to spend so much time with some of the people we love the most in the world.  Even though when we leave, it makes me miss them that much more.  It is hard when one of your best friends lives in another state.  

I love road trips, like a lot.   I am sure my husband was over me telling him to pull over every few exits to take pics of something.  There is just so much magic everywhere!

All the corn fields along the way were the most beautiful golden color.  They had all been harvested already, but the contrast of the blue against the golden corn, gets me every time. 

We drove from here in San Diego, and made it the 10ish hours to Sacramento, and stayed the night.  In the morning we found their local Whole Foods Market, and stocked up on healthy road treats, and stuff for a picnic lunch along the way.  It is kind of our tradition to stop in Lake Shasta and eat, and stretch.  The lake was so low, I couldn't get any pics of the water, but it is so beautiful there.  Pine was in the air, even though it was HOT!

We made it to Oregon!  Be still my heart, I am so enamored with it there.  We always pull over at the same spot and take a pic here.  

When we made it to our friends house, we were instantly loving and playing with their kids.  As much as we miss our friends, we miss their kids terribly too.  It is really hard to not be close to all of them.  Even looking at these pics makes me teary.  They are such great kiddos, hilarious, smart, and sweet.  

This is baby Cooper, their newest addition.  This was our first time meeting him in person, and we are in love.  Sweet little man.

Vacation means lots of eating, which I am totally ok with.  I love how many places in OR are open and nice about working with dietary restrictions.  This mexican food place was so awesome, and everything on my plate was 100% GF.  So yummy too.  

Henry and Maggie approve too!

Oh, Dutch Bros. Coffee. Let me tell you, I don't regularly drink coffee, but theirs is so good.  I think we went five times in the four days we were there.  I really wish they would come to Southern California.  Actually maybe I don't, I really don't think I would be that good at practicing restraint.  If you ever have a chance, give their coco mocha a try, so much rip roaring caffeine goodness!

This is Lithia Park in Ashland.  This place is pure magic.  Also has a pretty cool history, check it out here.   Every time we come to visit, we have to go to Ashland.  It is the coolest little town with such a laid back hippie vibe.  This park is so beautiful.  So much open space, with a beautiful creek and reservoir you can swim in, and awesome playgrounds for the kids.  I would have to say this place is definitely one of my happy places. 

Minnow catching success!  She named him speedy, and then we sent him back to the streams.  

There are berries growing everywhere in Oregon.  These were growing creekside, so I was munching while swimming.

Graced by these beautiful babies.  They were so calm and sweet.

I left one of the stones in a beautiful spot in the park from Megan's awesome Project Then When.  I am hoping the right soul found it. 

Oh, Oregon sunsets.  Magic.

We headed out to Applegate Lake for our last full day, this place is beautiful, and the water was delicious! We pretty much had the whole lake to ourselves too. 

Giving all my GF cider options a shot.  This one is delicious.  

Cutest buns on the planet.  

Floating and relaxing with my favorite five year old.  The stories she was telling me were awesome.  Maggie is one special kiddo. 

Our last morning in OR, we woke up to thunderstorms.  So of course we had to head outside to do a little rain dance before we headed out of town.  

On the drive home, we stopped at Crow's Landing for magic hour.  Rolling hills, and the California aqueduct in the background.  The golden light was pure bliss. 

A little dumpster Kerouac. You never know where you are going to find magic.  It was an awesome trip, and much needed break for the hubby and I.  Until next summer, Oregon....