Friday, March 30, 2012

Have a Colorful Weekend

Are you doing anything daring this weekend? I'll be (bridal) showering a friend with some love on Saturday, but other than that, not much. You won't find me complaining about a low key weekend, especially because this last week has been a bit hectic. I feel like I say that a lot, but it's true! Repetition won't actually make it anymore true, but isn't it comforting to verbalize how you feel sometimes?

Whatever you're up to, I hope you enjoy yourself!
(Photo: Cubits via QuietLikeHorses)
Thursday, March 29, 2012

Alexis Russell Design

Yesterday, Joanna from A Cup of Jo was hosting a giveaway in which one lucky reader would win a pair of Alexis Russell Design rough diamond stud earrings. Of course I entered the giveaway, but also poked around Alexis' website. I love the beauty of her designs. The jewelry is unique, feminine, and raw; I especially love the hand hammered bands on so many of the rings. Here are a few of my favorites...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt is a small village in upper Austria with a population of less than 1,000. Nestled between a lake and a mountain range, visitors are guaranteed breathtaking, panoramic views. Hallstatt is known for the production of salt, and even boasts the world's first salt mine. This salt production helped create a strong economy that has continued to this day. Until recently (i.e. last century) it was only possible to reach Hallstatt via boat or narrow path, and even then the landscape made it difficult to visit Hallstatt regularly. No matter how difficult the logistics of visiting may be, people make it a point to visit throughout the year. The beauty of its landscape is powerful and awe-inspiring. So awe-inspiring, in fact, that a Chinese real-estate firm intends on building a replica of the entire village!

Have you ever visited Hallstatt? Any specific recommendations?
(Photo: Beautiful Places to Visit)
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Julie!

Julie, Mom, & Me
Today is my sister's birthday. She is an amazingly sweet woman who loves her husband and son dearly. She loves to laugh and I admire her ability to "go with the flow". Happy Birthday Julie, I hope today has been as wonderful as you!

Boot Camp

Just last week, my company began offering a weekly boot camp for employees. It is cost-free for participants and takes place during lunch. I expected the whole experience to be totally lame and extremely embarrassing, but I'm happy to say I was wrong. I mean, it was a little embarrassing running around our parking lot, trying to complete as many burpees as possible without looking completely foolish, but overall I really enjoyed myself.

This week was our second session and I was a LOT less motivated than last week. I pushed through my hesitation and I'm glad I did. I completed more push ups than I thought I would, I lasted through more crunches than I have in a while, and I was able to stretch a little further than I normally can. Even if it was just a little bit, I improved from last week. Heck, I'm even looking forward to feeling the "good" sore tomorrow.

Do you work out regularly? Do you have any tips for staying motivated?
(Photo: Shape)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Have a Restful Weekend

I'm headed out of town for a girls weekend. We'll be nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains and the forecast shows rain on Sunday. I'm excited to spend time with friends and hopefully catch up on some much needed rest (this week was exceptionally busy and took me by surprise).

What are your plans this weekend?
(Photo: Here)
Thursday, March 22, 2012

Currently Inspired By...

These dancers.
Their grace and beauty is astounding.

(Photos: one, two, three, four. All via this Pinterst account)
Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Location, Location, Location.

Do you ever wonder where television shows are filmed? Are all shows taped on a set in LA? Which shows are shot on location? I did a little digging on some of my favorite shows and here is what I found:

Friday Night Lights (a.k.a. the BEST show ever created)

Setting: Dillion, Texas (fictional)
Filmed: On location
Where: Austin and Pflugerville, Texas


Setting: Berkeley, CA and San Francisco Bay Area
Filmed: On set
Where: Southern California


Setting: New York, NY
Filmed: On set
Where: Los Angeles, CA

Freaks and Geeks

Setting: Chippewa, Michigan (fictional)
Filmed: On set
Where: Los Angeles, CA

House Hunters International

Setting: All over the world
Filmed: All over the world
Where: All over the world!

Do you know where your favorite shows are filmed? Isn't it surprising how realistic certain sets can look?
Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Today marks the first day of Spring! Spring is not my favorite season, but it does have some undeniably great qualities. I love fresh blossoming trees, longer days, and how quickly life starts to stir. Since Spring follows a dark, cold, and barren season (one of my favorites though!), people start to come out of their homes at the first sign of sun. Farmer's markets get fuller, bike rides become more common, and fun summer trips begin to be planned. One activity I hope to take part in at least once this Spring/Summer is camping. I love being in nature, sitting around a campfire, and smelling the fresh air around me. For some, camping is not a relaxing vacation, but I am thrilled when I get to sleep in a sleeping bag and tent. It reminds me of my childhood and makes me feel adventurous!

Do you enjoy camping? Are you starting to plan any summer trips?
(Photo: via AWellTraveled Woman)
Monday, March 19, 2012

Paradiso's Italian Delicatessen

Saturday afternoon some friends asked us to join them for lunch at a "small Italian deli" close to downtown. We were more than happy to go along because we were hungry and thought it would be a good opportunity to spend some time with some great friends. Here are some pictures from our visit...

Once you walk in, it looks like you've been transported to 1969; the walls are covered with dated posters and wood paneling, giving it a laid-back, family feel, reinforced by the casual the staff. You can order sandwiches (hot or cold), or you can order hot food (i.e. homemade raviolis, lasagna, eggplant, etc.). The original owner and a kind, older woman (who I assume is his wife) manage the food and cash register. Once you order and pay, you settle into the back room with outdated decor and stovetops from the 1950's era, or the front patio if the weather is nice.

One of the first things I noticed was the stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of a daily routine. If you are in a rush, and need the quickness of a drive through, you may want to skip Paradiso's. The owner was prompt, but he seemed to be working on a singular speed. Saying that, if there was no one in line ahead of us, we probably would have gotten through much quicker. Plus, it's nice to slow down and enjoy the environment every once in a while.

The food was absolutely delicious and everyone was happy with what they ordered. Pricing was more than fair, and is adjustable based on how much food you want to get (i.e. adding sides vs. ordering a la carte). If you're looking for quality, homemade Italian food, I highly recommend checking out Paradiso's.

Paradiso's Italian Delicatessen
791 Auzerais Ave
San Jose, CA 95126

Have you ever eaten at Paradiso's? Do you have a Mom 'N Pop shop eatery you just love? 
(All photos taken for Short Story Long)
Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Weekend!

He is patiently waiting for his owner, as I have (im)patiently waited for the weekend!

I am so thrilled that the weekend is here, it makes me want to celebrate! The week has flown by, while at the same time, feeling like today could not get here fast enough. This weekend, I'll be spending time with family and friends as we celebrate a few birthdays. I'm also hoping to catch up on sleep and send love notes to people I have been thinking of this week.

Do you enjoy the weekend? Do you have any fun plans? 
(Photo: here)
Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Hope

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

My hope is that we can realize our passions and enjoy them to their fullest. Let's not feel pressured by what other's think is best, rather let's find what is right for us and pursue it wholeheartedly. 

(Photo via AWellTraveledWoman)
Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Ace Hotel

The first time I heard about an Ace Hotel was from Robbie's cousin, Natasha. We were planning our trip to Portland and the Ace was her top recommendation. Unfortunately, we didn't have the opportunity to stay at the Ace during that trip, but I have been dying to stay in one since. 

The hotels were founded in 1999 in Portland, OR and New York, NY. They have since expanded to Palm Springs and Seattle.  Each location aims to bring new life to "challenged" historical properties in emerging locations. In other words, they restore old, beautiful buildings in up and coming neighborhoods. One of my favorite features of the hotel is that each room has a unique design and pricing structure. They have various size and view options so that you can customize your experience (based on availability, of course). My only concern would be that I wouldn't actually want to leave my room!

Have you stayed at an Ace Hotel? If so, what was the design of the room you stayed in?
(Photos: All photos from Ace Hotel)
Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Airport Playlist

Waiting for a flight at an airport can be stressful. Tension can be caused by a number of different factors, including the anxiety of making sure you don't miss your flight, a discomfort of actually being in the air, or worrying about being unavailable for several hours at a time. Whatever the reason may be, airports can be a stressful place for many. Whether I'm traveling for vacation or visiting friends, I find myself in airports a few times a year. Luckily, I'm married to a man that has a knack for making playlists that fit a mood perfectly. Recently, I asked Robbie to create a calm playlist that can help me relax as I'm waiting to head to my next adventure. He has nailed it again. Here is my new airport playlist:

Death Cab for Cutie: Brothers On a Hotel Bed
Kanye West: Street Lights
Gregory Alan Isakov: Big Black Car..
The National: Start a War
Cat Power: The Greatest
Sufjan Stevens: Casmir Pulaski Day
Antony and the Johnsons: Another World
David Bazan: Won't Let Go
Fleetwood Mac: Songbird
Jimmy Eat World: For Me This Is Heaven
Page France: Jesus
Bon Iver: Beth/Rest

What are your songs or albums while traveling?
All songs and albums can be found at your local record store. 
(Photo: weheartit)
Monday, March 12, 2012

Shaver Lake Winter Trip

A couple of weeks ago, Robbie and I spent the weekend with friends in Shaver, CA. Shaver is a tiny mountain town with small shops, friendly people, and beautiful scenery. Our friend Alison's parents have a house in the area, and are generous enough to let us stay there. We have gone a few times before and have had a great experience each time. Since it was a short weekend, we wanted to squeeze as much in as possible, including naps and relaxation, of course!

The weather was unseasonably warm and the sun was out. Fortunately, there was some snow on the ground so we were able to embrace wintery fun. After breakfast on Saturday morning, we walked to a nearby pond where the top layer was frozen. Caught up in the spirit (or boys just being boys) some of our friends decided to walk out onto the frozen pond. I was a bit apprehensive at first, but was surprisingly relaxed about their decision. I figured they would be extra careful, the pond is actual quite small, and there were enough "outdoorsy" types amongst us that they would know what to do in case someone fell in.

Then there was Brandon and Kevin...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Have a Peaceful Weekend

This week started off a bit rocky for me. I very much struggled with Monday and was not looking forward to the rest of the week. Luckily, I was able to shake off the "Mundays" pretty quickly and focus my attention on the people around me. I had several deep, meaningful conversations with various friends throughout the week, and these conversations helped turn my mood around. Being able to share in the lives of the people I care about is so important to me. These moments of sharing help me realize that the world is much bigger than myself, and it gives me peace that I am not alone. 

What are your plans this weekend? Will you be staying home and taking it easy? Will you be running around like a crazy person. Whatever it is, I hope you enjoy yourself!
(Photo: Lake Tahoe, CA, 2012)
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Graphic City Posters

Check out these posters that were created by designer, Blanca Gomez of Cosas Minimas. I love the simple elements and the subtle use of color. Wouldn't they be fun in an office or guest bedroom?

Be sure to stop by her website and check out her shop!
(Design by Blanca Gomez via Grain Edit)
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What to Where - Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and resides amongst the Scottish Lowlands. According to internet folklore (a.k.a. Wikipedia), the highest recorded temperature in Edinburgh's history was 88.5 degrees (the highest!). The average temperature this time of year is 37-49 degrees. With temps that low, you'll want to make sure you're bundling up as you search for the perfect lunch spot, or while you wait in line for a tour of St. Andrews. Wear this blue coat, hat, and gloves to stay warm while you walk through Edinburgh's streets experiencing its people and culture.

Have you ever been to Edinburgh? Any recommendations?
Monday, March 5, 2012

What Do You Use to Decompress?

Do you listen to talk radio? I love it, but I've realized that recently I've been listening to everything except my local public radio station. I attribute the decrease in my listening to my drive home. I find that I use my commute time to completely zone out and decompress from the day. That is what I originally intended it to be, an opportunity to decompress. What it has become instead, is a time for me to daydream about random thoughts that distract me from my actual goals.

In an effort to focus more on living in the present and focusing energy on how to get to where I want (rather than just daydreaming about it), I've decided to cut back on listening to mindless music. I am either using quiet time to process my day, my goals, and next steps, or I am listening to NPR. So far, I have found this to be extremely affective. It's nice to feel as though I have my thought process back, or to be updated on national and global news. There are times when my brain is just too exhausted and all I can listen to is music. At these times, I'm happy to let my mind wander into the story of a song.

How do you decompress? Do you have a listening routine while you are in the car? 
Friday, March 2, 2012

Have a Great Weekend

Robbie and I have a fun friend weekend ahead. One of Robbie's best friends, Brent (Sarah's husband) will be visiting from Chicago this weekend, my old salon (Los Gatos Nailworks) is having a client appreciation party, our roommate Kevin is playing a show on Saturday evening, and then I'll be going to my friend's baby shower (she's having twins!) on Sunday. I'll be exhausted by Sunday evening, but it'll be a jam packed weekend full of fun (who needs sleep anyway?!).

What are your plans this weekend?
(Photo: via Joanna Goddard)

P.S. Have you thought about subscribing to Content magazine? If you'd like sign-up, click here. :)
Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dream Interpretations

How often do you dream? I'm not talking about becoming an astronaut or a movie star, but the kind that happens with your head firmly planted on your pillow. I don't dream as often as I used to, and to be honest, I miss it. Who knows, maybe I am having nights full of dreams and I just don't remember them. When I do remember my dreams, it's so fun to pick out certain aspects of what I remember and identify which part of my life they came from.

Last week, my roommate Sarah had a dream that she was slaying zombies who were trying to attack her. She said she was slaying them with a sword and woke up in a cold sweat, feeling anxious. Just a couple of days ago, Robbie woke up and told me he had a dream about baseball. He was trying out somewhere (similar to Spring Training) and just wasn't any good. He said he was so frustrated in his dream because he couldn't get the hang of it. He woke up with the desire to go practice playing baseball (a sport he has never really played).

I'm sure there are reasonable explanations as to why Sarah and Robbie had their dreams. Sarah was probably dreaming about zombies because she had watched two episodes of The Walking Dead before she went to bed (bad move), and Robbie was probably dreaming about baseball because the season has almost started and he has been making sure to stay up to date on player news from his favorite teams. Although those may be the logical explanations, I thought it would be fun to look up interpretations of what their dreams meant. Here is what Dream Moods says about Sarah and Robbie's dreams:

Self-Defense (a.k.a. killing zombies trying to eat you):
To dream that you are taking self defense indicates that you are on the defensive about some issue in your waking life. You feel that you are being picked on or criticized.

Sports Dream (i.e. playing baseball):
To dream that you are playing a sport signifies the learning of rules, recognition of your talents, and the achieving of your goals. It also highlights the importance of cooperation, harmony, and teamwork. Perhaps the dream is a pun on how you need to be more of a "sport". To play or watch extreme sports in your dream suggests that you may be pushing yourself too hard. You need to consider the risks involved and if it is still worth it to pursue further.

Have you ever had your dreams interpreted? Did you find it to be accurate?
(Photo: Youth Novels)
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