Friday, September 30, 2011

The Weekend is Here! (for some)

Usually, I'm a person who counts down the days until Friday.  As I've mentioned before, they are one of my favorite days of the week. However, today does not hold that same excitement for me as I'll be cooped up all weekend working on homework. The good news? My heavy loaded class ends Monday, so I'll be looking forward to next Friday!


What are your plans this weekend? Any concerts, movies, or friends to see? I'd love to hear!

(Photo courtesy of QuietLikeHorses)
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Love Letter: San Jose

Today's letter will be from me to my city.  Enjoy!

Dear San Jose, 

I can't help but love you.  You have given me culture, an education, friends, inspiration, and so much more. I love that you have embraced the food truck culture, local artists, and small businesses. I love that other professional hockey teams complain about the noise level we create within our arena. 


You are beautiful. I love your golden hills in the warm summer and your green hills in the wet winter. I love that I can always find something fun to do or something delicious to eat. I appreciate that you make an effort to reduce your impact on the environment. I love that your airport in the heart of the city makes travel easy. I love your perfect location: 45 minutes from the Pacific Ocean, 50 minutes from San Francisco, and 3 hours from snow. 


I love your people and I hope we continue to grow into a local lovin' community that promotes from within!

What is your favorite part of San Jose? What makes you love the city you are in? 

(Photos courtesy of Daniel Garcia Photography)
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Awkward Family Photos

Yesterday was a funky day at work. Some of my co-workers (myself included) seemed to be out of it. Toward the end of the day I decided to head over to Awkward Family Photos for a little pick me up, and boy did it work! Sharing a laugh and talking about our own awkward '80s looks before we hit the road was a great way to send off an otherwise serious day.

Here are a few of my favorites...

He was looking for a little more pizzaz

Just wait until he slips into something more comfortable

Every boy dreams of one day becoming a man and making the transition to sky blue

The holy trinity of awkwardness– denim, mustache, and mullets

Do you have any go-to pick me ups for a tough day?  If not, I hope these will help! Enjoy!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011



I am tired. I'm afraid my workload, school, and social life are catching up with my body. I feel like my body is looking for rest anywhere it can get it; I mean I accidentally fell asleep in my car yesterday! No, I wasn't driving, but it wasn't on purpose either.

The tricky part is that I don't want to slow down any areas of my life. I am really excited about all of my creative outlets, my mind is being challenged in new ways at school, and I am enjoying my job. My excitement and passion for the things I'm pursuing are motivating me to push myself to the limit. I know I am running the risk of burning out, but isn't doing what you love worth it?

The Arcade Fire's song Rebellion (Lies) rings so true to me in this time of life...

Sleeping is giving in,
no matter what the time is.
Sleeping is giving in,
so lift those heavy eyelids.

People say that you'll die
faster than without water.
But we know it's just a lie,
scare your son, scare your daughter.

What are your thoughts about pushing yourself to the brink?  How do you release pressure?

(Photo was taken at the Louvre in Paris)
Monday, September 26, 2011

Rainy Weather Food

Just last week I was talking about how Summer won't seem to leave, so I was delightfully surprised by a rainy day this weekend!  I love the rain, so as soon as I heard those familiar drops my mind starting racing toward all of my rainy day traditions: keep at least one window open so that I can hear all the drops, bundle up in something cozy, and eat something warm and delicious.  I ended up opening every window in my house, it was still a bit warm to pull out my comfy (the Brookstone version of a snuggie), and I was cooped up most of the weekend doing homework, leaving me unable to be adventurous in the kitchen.

Although I wasn't able to make it into the kitchen, that didn't stop my stomach from growling over what I did find.  Liz, over at A Whisk and a Prayer, created a drool-worthy version of Mac N Cheese in a slow cooker.  Look at how perfectly the melted cheese and crumbs work together.

(Don't you just want to dive right in?!)

And Deb, over at Smitten Kitchen, put a unique twist on grilled cheese and tomato soup combo.  Her recipe obviously displays thought and creativity.  It is a delicious combo I would never be brave enough to think of myself!

(Isn't mixing the two genius?!)

I was naturally drawn to each of these recipes by my love for cheese.  Both look simple enough for my amateur skill level (although roasting tomatoes seems a bit intimidating), so I'm excited to have the opportunity to try them.  I'll be sure to let you know how they turn out. You can find the Mac 'N Cheese recipe here and the grilled cheese/ tomato soup recipe here.  Enjoy!

What are your go-to rainy weather foods?  Do you have any advice for roasting tomatoes? I'm all ears!
Friday, September 23, 2011

Have a Fun Weekend!


I hope you all have something fun in store for this weekend.  I just found out that my best friend will be in town through Monday, and it is such a wonderful treat!  She'll be busy with family festivities, but she has carved out some time for a quality coffee date.

Oh, and we'll be going to a San Jose Sharks pre-season game!  Go Sharks!

What will you be up to this weekend?  Any last minute plans?

(Photo courtesy of Scoop)
Thursday, September 22, 2011

Content Kickstarter

As I mentioned last Thursday, I contribute to a San Jose based magazine called Content.  My favorite part about working with the magazine is that I am able to discover and display the innovative and creative culture my city has to offer.  In the last year, I have interviewed a man who left a career in order to follow a life-long passion, I've discovered an amazing tea shop founded by a 24-year-old woman, and I've experienced a home-grown, grassroots revival that has left me with a sense of pride as strong as a mother's.

Content has been discovering and displaying the great "gems" of our city, but now we need your help.  We have launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise enough money for a full print run in January.  Follow the link below, watch our video, and donate if you want to support Content's vision.  Every little penny helps, but if you don't have any to spare, word of mouth is just as good!

Kickstarter Link Here!

Fun fact: Robbie recorded the band whose music is playing in the background (their name is Fialta and they are amazing!).  Thank you everyone and happy "almost" Friday!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Love Letter: My dearest

This week's love letter comes from a father missing his daughter who has recently gone away to school.  The vulnerability he shares with his daughter is so sweet.  Enjoy!

My dearest Namratha,

I hope you find this letter in perfect health and happy mind. I suppose that you have already been settled in your new room and that your classes have begun. I just wanted to let you know that I miss you a lot. I know it seems very childish to get emotional at this age but even though it’s been just few days since you have gone, I am feeling completely lonely here. I miss your never ending stories and ever present arguments between us.

Though I am missing you lots and wish that you were here with me, I am really happy and proud of you that you managed to secure a seat in a top college. You have always given me a reason to feel proud and you are the sole reason for my existence after your mother left us. It is strange in a way to see you making your own decisions and going on with your life because you still are my little girl, my baby princess. I love you a lot and will always be there for you if you should need me.

Good luck for your new life and do write in regularly. It will give me the peace of mind that you are fine and doing good.

With lots of love,


Do you have a love letter you would like to share?  If so, email stacyernstblog at yahoo.

(Letter courtesy of Write Letters)
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall is Coming! I Think...


Rumor has it that Fall is upon us.  Unfortunately, this is not the case for California quite yet.  Temperatures hit the 80's yesterday and are trending upward the rest of the week.  It looks like summer is going to give us a final hooray before it says goodbye.

When Summer decides to finally hang it's hat and say goodbye for a couple of months, I'll be ready with my scarf, rain boots, and nice warm cup of hot chocolate!  Until then, my plan is to soak up what is left of the summer sun.

Do you have any tips to beat the end of season heat?  Do you feel like the weather keeps playing a joke on us?

(Photo courtesy of
Monday, September 19, 2011

Feelings of Flight


Hello friends!  The last couple of days have left me feeling as though I want to run away from my responsibilities.  I'm not sure if it's the first round of major grad school deadlines, or facing the harsh realities of adulthood, but I want to buy a one-way ticket and figure out the details after I land.

Yes, I have been known to get a serious case of wanderlust or two, but this bout has been creating severe writer's block in my studies.  All I can think about is dedicating my time and energy into my creative outlets.  Don't get me wrong, I very much enjoy being in a classroom, participating in discussion, and keeping my mind flexible.  However, I've been having a difficult time locating the motivation to get everything going.

I'm sure these feelings will pass, but in the meantime, it has left me pondering my decisions and the direction these decisions will take me.

How do you face feelings of flight?  Do you have a process for dealing with a resistance to responsibility?  Any insights are greatly appreciated...

(Photo courtesy of National Geographic)
Friday, September 16, 2011

Have a Lovely Weekend


I hope the weekend comes at just the right time for each of you.  I have been anxiously awaiting this weekend, so I'm thrilled it has finally arrived.  Robbie and I will be spending the weekend in Monterey with his parents, and we'll be staying at a place across the street from where we stayed on our anniversary.  His parents are such warm, generous, and loving people, so I'm looking forward to catching up with them.

What are your plans this weekend?  Anything out of the ordinary?  I'd love to hear...


(Photo courtesy of Peace, Love & Dogs)
Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hot Chocolate


I am lucky enough to be a Content Strategist and contributor for a San Jose magazine called Content.  Working with the magazine has given me the opportunity to discover the the innovative and creative culture of my city.  I love being about to display local artist, entrepreneurs, and business.

A few months ago I was sent out on a mission to find which coffee shop boasts the best hot chocolate.  Since I am a lover of hot chocolate, it was an exciting assignment for me.  Today, I've decided to share an excerpt of my article here.  I hope you enjoy!

Red Berry

Today is a perfect day for hot chocolate.

I was able to snag a sweet spot in the front window of the shop. Usually, this is the coveted spot in coffee shops, but I have to say that the view inward is more aesthetically pleasing than the view of our City Hall’s concrete walls.

Upon entering, I feel as though I have stumbled upon a go-to place in a trendy city. Beautifully dark wood lines the bottom half of the walls, while cream walls blend into the ceiling to contrast the wood’s richness. The simplicity of their menu board is appealing, and I LOVE the white tile covering the walls behind the counter. It feels very clean, focused, and intentional.

The beauty of Red Berry is in the details. Intricate details have not been lost on the front door, and one of the owners is delicately planting new flowers for the store front. The baristas make each patriant feel as though they are the first and these details make me feel as though time, energy, and effort have gone into my drink.

The hot chocolate is very chocolatey. It tastes as though they melted high quality chocolate and added creamy milk. The temperature is just right and the taste left lingering on my taste buds is not at all bitter. The top layer is a bit frothy (which I don’t always love), but once you break through, it is pure enjoyment. It continues to get better with each sip. 


To read the full article and see what Content is up to, click here or here.

(Photos courtesy of Content magazine)
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Love Letter: Lovey-Dove

Today's love letter comes from my friend, Sarah, writing to her 18 month old daughter, Gigi.  Enjoy!

My Little Lovey-Dove,

I have been filled with this insane desire to package up all of your cuteness so I can remember years (even days) from now just what you sound like, look like, feel like and smell like. You are a full-fledged toddler now—walking, running, jumping and talking (at least making noises) and trying to keep up with Jesse. You say words like “juice,” “no,” “mam-ma,” “e-i-o” for the “Old MacDonald” song, and a bunch of other sounds that I understand and will someday be words that others can understand as well. For now, I selfishly enjoy being able to decipher exactly what you are saying. I do pray that I will continue to understand you in a deep and meaningful way as we both grow older.

You sleep (usually) through the night, but you have made it a habit to wake quite early and finish off your sleeping in our bed. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I enjoy having my own space, but, for those 2 hours, I LOVE to wake up and see your little chest moving up and down with your breathing, your pursed lips, quiet and peaceful, and always with your hand touching some part of me.

I love you.


Do you have a letter you would like to share?  (Email me at stacyernstblog at yahoo)
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Travel Fantasy: St. Privat du Dragon

Check out the beautiful homes you can rent in the French countryside of Auvergne.  Two friends, Caitlin and Marianne, purchased a small collection of farm houses in the southern region of France, and converted the farmhouses into rental properties.  They boast simple amenities that allow visitors to be immersed in the local culture, rather than polished decorations.

Wouldn't you love sitting on the porch, smelling the sweet lavender, eating delicious cheese?  

(Photos courtesy of French Farmhouse Holidays)
Monday, September 12, 2011


(The Brooklyn - Chestnut)

(The Union Street - Black)

ONA is a New York based company who designs and creates fine camera bags and accessories.  They believe camera bags and accessories should be "discreet, stylish, and functional".  I love how each bag can pass for an everyday satchel or purse, and how simple and sophisticated each one looks.  I would love to get my hands on The Brooklyn!

Which color would you choose?  Do you have any photo accessories you cannot live without?
Friday, September 9, 2011

Have a Warm Weekend

It looks like it's going to be a warm weekend for us in the Bay Area.  Robbie and I will be going to a party on Saturday evening and I'll be celebrating my friend Sobrina at her birthday tea on Sunday.  I'm excited to spend time with friends this weekend and I plan on wearing a cool summer dress to each.

Aren't these end-of-summer dresses a great way to send off the season?


Have fun!

(Photo courtesy of
Thursday, September 8, 2011

Love Letter: Alison

Today's love letter comes from my friend, Alison, and it is written for her husband.  Enjoy!

My Love,

I'm sorry if it frustrates you that I haven't been able to clearly communicate my feelings lately.  I feel that we are in a big growth spurt, one that we've prayed for, and the challenges we face are due to the fact that without overcoming trials, our growth would be superficial. I appreciate and need your constant support and reminders that we will work this out, so thank you. You are right, we will. And my need for reminders doesn't come from doubt. Rather, it comes from a place of feeling as though my resources have been exhausted and I need strength to focus on the good of the fight. Thank you for always having an overflow and supplying me in times of need. You are an example of the kind of strength I hope to freely give when it is your supply that has run out. Thank you for continuing to pursue and confront problems, even when they are hidden deep inside of my insecurities and hesitations. Thank you for being open and vulnerable, and being sensitive to the times when I am able to do the same.

The two things I first noticed about you when we met are still the two things I see most in you. Your security and strength are found in God, and in all our trials, this is what keeps us afloat. Thank you for being open minded in all things involving our relationship, and giving me freedom and ease to do the same. You are undoubtedly, wholeheartedly my partner in this life.

I love you forever.

Your Alison
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Meet My Brother


My younger brother Cole is a fun-loving 24 year old with a great sense of humor.  He is technically number four, out of the four kids, but likes to think he is older than me.  We have always had a special relationship because we are only four months apart (for you mathematicians, we are technically step-siblings), and have gone through major life experiences together.  We prepared for proms together, shared a graduation party, and even served together at a restaurant.

When I think of my brother, images of warm summer nights, country concerts at Shoreline, and hanging out at the beach come to mind.  For example, whenever I hear the song below, I image Cole and his friends chasing girls and only making plans for tomorrow.


His laid-back attitude allows him to take situations as they come and be spontaneous.  He has taught me to laugh at situations I cannot control, humble myself to learn life's tough lessons, and to remain loyal to those closest to me.

Are there any songs that remind you of your siblings?  Can you describe your brother/ sister in one word?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Comfy Chair

Robbie and I have a corner in our room that is the perfect size for a reading chair.  Currently, we have a large leather recliner that we inherited from our parents.  It has definitely served it's purpose, but I have been slowly dropping hints to let Robbie know I am interested in giving that space a face lift.

I want something that is large, comfortable, cloth, and complimentary to the room.  Below are a few that make me want to curl up with a warm blanket, hot chocolate, and a good book.



(This one is a bit big, but so fun!)

Do you have a reading chair?  Do you have any recommendations on what to look for or where to go?

(Photos courtesy of, and
Friday, September 2, 2011

Enjoy the Long Weekend

Do you prefer to stay home, or go away on a long weekend? Robbie and I will be spending the weekend at a friend's cabin in the mountains. I plan to play in the water, hike in the woods, and take nice, long naps. I hope you all have something fun planned for the 3-day weekend!


(Photo taken at Mikumi National Park in Tanzania)
Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tea Party

My friend Sobrina's birthday is coming up, and to celebrate we will be having a tea party! I must admit that I was never much into tea parties when I was a little girl, but I'm very excited about this one. There is something about wearing summer dresses, sipping on different flavors of tea, and eating small sandwiches that makes me feel sophisticated.
By request of the guest of honor, we have been asked to bring a tea cup and saucer for a tea cup swap. Isn't it such a great idea? I'm so excited to see what everyone else will bring. My only concern is that I'll want to steal mine back! As I've been searching for the perfect cup, I've stumbled upon these beauties...

Have you ever participated in a tea cup swap? Do you have any recommendations on where to find the best cup?
(Photos courtesy of Octochick and
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