Friday, June 29, 2012

I'm Ready

We leave for our trip on Monday and I could not be more thrilled. We've been spending months preparing, finding places to stay, researching the cities we'll be visiting, and thinking of the final details. There is still much to do before we take off (including finding the right shoe), but overall, I feel ready. I'm ready to sit in a street side cafe and watch people pass by. I'm ready to bite into a delicious pizza in Naples. I'm ready to discover the history of our world. I'm ready to explore.
Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tattooed Easter Eggs

This DIY idea is past its prime this year, but I thought it was too cute to pass up. Don't get me wrong, I loved dying eggs when I was a kid and I think the crazy dye colors are fun, but I also like the idea of being more stylized as an adult. You could actually use this for more than just an Easter egg hunt; these would look great at a bridal or baby shower, a birthday, or even a backyard get together welcoming the first blossoms of Spring!

Have you ever tattooed eggs? Any words of advice?
(Simply Sublime)
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Content Issue 4.2 Is Here!

Content magazine has struck again! This month we published the Vacation 4.2 issue. It's packed full of ways to enjoy your summer here in San Jose. We highlight restaurants with great outdoor seating (which I LOVE to do during summer), places to find outdoor music, and a few of the amazing innovators that are shaping San Jose's culture.

Want to be a part of the action and up to date on what's going on in this great city? Subscribe today. It's super easy and affordable (it breaks down to $3.50 a month; the same cost as a latte). An added bonus is that you're totally supporting a local business. Not ready to commit? Grab a copy at one of the following locations:
If you want to be updated on what we're up to, like us on Facebook, or send a quick email to:

p.s. Yes, I realize that this is a total pitch of a post, but we're a small business and need to get the word out. It really is an amazing publication and I am so proud to be a part of it. 
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wanderlust: Positano, Italy

With less than a week left before we leave, my mind is swirling with all of the small details that need to be taken care of. I need to make sure all loose ends at work are tied up, we need to make sure there will be enough medication for Zoey while we're gone, I need to make photocopies of our passports and itineraries; the list goes on and on and makes me feel a little crazy.

When I am starting to feel overwhelmed, I just need to take a deep breathe, think of some place beautiful, and remind myself that I will be there soon. Positano, Italy is the perfect place to mentally escape. It is a quiet hill town right along the water in Southern Italy. Just looking at the lit-up city brings a sense of comfort and relaxation.

Have your ever been to Positano? 
Monday, June 25, 2012

Only 7 Days Left!

With only a week left before we leave, my brain is having a hard time focusing on anything other than my trip. Over the weekend, we spent time preparing by studying up on our destinations. I was able to find my travel journal from our last trip to Europe in 2009, and it was so fun to look back on those memories. Here is an excerpt from our stay in Rome.

Day 3 - July 3, 2009
I've woken up early (5:30am local time!) to the sound of movement. There are cars and trucks alive and well in Rome this morning. The temperature is cool, but I can feel that it is going to get warm. We are going to see the Colosseum today and I am excited. I'll write more when we get back!

For dinner, we found a little restaurant in an alley, down a side street. It was so delicious! They gave us complimentary bruschetta, we ordered mozzarella & prosciutto on baked bread as our appetizer. For dinner, I had the gorgonzola gnocchi and Robbie had the salmon and spinach pasta. The food was great and the setting romantic. We were at a two-person table, eating by candlelight, on a cobblestone road. It was amazing and perfect all at the same time; or it was as though I was living in a movie. This is what I mean by this being surreal. I can hardly believe this is happening to me. I would have never imagined I would be doing this in my lifetime. 

Unfortunately, I placed large expectations on myself to write long, detailed descriptions of each place and ended up losing momentum half way through the trip. I remember trying to play catch and feeling overwhelmed, which is too bad. I'm going to do my best to write down images and memories I don't want to forget, but I don't want to stress myself out over it.

Do you keep a journal while you travel? Does it enhance your trip or way you down?
Friday, June 22, 2012

A Wedding Weekend

What are you up to this weekend, friends? Robbie and I will be attended a family friend's wedding on Saturday. I'm especially excited because lots of friends are sure to be there, and it's always fun to be at a wedding with lots of friends. Other than that, we plan on trying to take care of some details for our trip. I want to get a pair of inserts for my shoes and Robbie wants to grab a new pair of pants. We leave in just over a week and I am SO excited.

(Photo taken at a train station in Sevilla, Spain in 2009)
Thursday, June 21, 2012

Farm House Kitchens

I love farmhouse sinks in kitchens. I think they make a room look so inviting and warm, and I would love to have one in my kitchen! My kitchen was renovated right before we moved in (and it's absolutely beautiful), I just love the inspiration and feel.

(Photos: Lyla&Blue; Pinterest & Pinterest)
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sweet Sweets

I am a girl who loves her sweets. No matter how full I may be, I am never too full to eat a sweet treat. Here is a collection of treats I am currently craving, as well as those that are too good to pass up...

What is your food weakness? 
(Chocolate Chip Cookies / Layered Banana Cake / Brown Butter Raspberry Tart / Hot Chocolate / Chocolate Swirl Buns)
Monday, June 18, 2012

French Blue - St. Helena

I spent the weekend visiting a friend in Napa. It was such a fun weekend, it really felt like a vacation. I was able to stay up late, sleep in, and have a local tour guide take me to all the best places. The only drawback was that the temperature reached 110 degrees (yikes!) on Saturday. We were able to fix that dilemma by hanging out at the Calistoga Community Pool. It was so fun to bob around the water and dive off the diving board (I haven't done that in ages).

We felt it would be appropriate to take a break from all of our relaxation to eat. One of my favorite places Candice took me to was French Blue. French Blue is a neighborhood restaurant located in the heart of St. Helena. Their menu highlights seasonally inspired dishes and rustic, wood-fired cooking. We were able to make it in time for breakfast and it was absolutely delicious. I ordered the Blueberry Pancake Soufflé, served with rhubarb maple syrup. It was so good that I was almost finished before I realized I should have taken a picture.

The restaurant itself is light and refreshing. They have beautiful skylights that allow the sun to light the entire room, and a gorgeous patio perfect for enjoying a summer evening. You can tell that whoever was responsible for the design made sure that every last detail was accounted for. To make the whole place even better, the menu is more than reasonably priced. Chef Philip Wang wanted to develop a restaurant that would be affordable for locals to enjoy, and he succeeded!

Overall, it was a super great mini-vacation. I'm so thankful that my friend took on the responsibility as tour guide and shared some of her favorite places.

What are your recommendations for Napa Valley and/or surrounding areas?
(The first two photos are from the French Blue website and the last two photos were taken for Short Story Long)
Friday, June 15, 2012

Weekend Plans

I am super excited for this weekend. I will be having a slumber party / girls weekend with my good friend Candice. We met at work about a year ago and hit it off instantly. She lives in Napa, so it's going to feel like a real treat and mini-vacation. We plan on eating a TON of food, hiking, watching some reality television, swimming in the Calistoga natural springs, and laughing like idiots. In other words, it should be a fantastic weekend! On Sunday, I'll be headed home to spend some time with family. Don't forget, It is Father's Day this Sunday!

What are your plans this weekend? Will you be traveling to see family at all?
(Photo taken in Napa in 2010)
Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lake Retba

Lake Retba (or Lac Rose) is a lake in Senegal, in the Northwestern part of Africa. It's named for pink hues, which are caused by a bacteria in the water called cyanobacteria. The lake is also known for its high salt content (similar to the Dead Sea), allowing people to effortlessly float along the surface. Although the idea of floating in a pink lake is intriguing, I would definitely worry about the bacteria. I realize that there is bacteria in all bodies of water, however, this species is so dominant it changes that entire lake a different color! Geez!

Would you float around Lake Retba, even with all the cyanobacteria? 
(Photos: GretchenJones)
Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

In an effort to beat the heat, Robbie and I headed indoors this past weekend and saw the new Wes Anderson film, Moonrise Kingdom. I had no expectations going in other than watching a film in classic Wes Anderson style; I didn't know anything about the plot and I hadn't even seen any previews. I haven't always been to biggest Wes Anderson fan, but I was blown away by this film. Moonrise Kingdom is so beautifully executed, I even enjoyed watching the credits at the end. I highly recommend seeing this one, so be sure to visit the interactive website and check your local listings for movie times.

Have you seen Moonrise Kingdom? What did you think? Are you planning on catching it while its in theaters? 

p.s. I didn't include the trailer because I think it gives too much away :)
Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Juicing Chronicles

A couple months ago, I shared my desire to start juicing. Shortly after my initial post, I asked some friends on Facebook if anyone had a spare juicer that I would be able to borrow. Luckily, I have amazingly generous friends and I was able to get my hands on one (thanks Cindy!). I am so grateful she let me borrow hers so that I can see if I really should invest in one of my own.

As it turns out, I use the stinkin' juicer almost every single day! I've gotten into a habit of buying my fruits and vegetables from a local produce stand on Sundays and then juicing them throughout the week. I've begun substituting juice for breakfast rather than the sugary cereal I was eating at work, and I even made juice popsicles this past weekend. I'm a bonafide juicer!

I have noticed that I have a bit more energy when I start my day with juice, but more than that, I really like knowing what I'm drinking. There is something very freeing about consuming a meal that only contains 3 or 4 natural ingredients. It's completely guilt-free and totally rewarding. If you are interested in juicing yourself, here are some of my recommendations:
  • If you are unable to borrow a juicer, start with smoothies. All you need is a blender and you're ready to go! 
  • Spinach is one of my favorite vegetables to juice. It is packed full of nutrients, but not strong enough to be tasted in the juice (it's perfectly hidden). 
  • If you are going to use kale, put it in a smoothie. I've found kale to be super dry and difficult to juice. Instead, I like to add it to smoothies so that I can still get it's benefits without tasting it. 
  • Make sure you always include a fruit "sweetener". This is a fruit (i.e. carrots, apples, strawberries) that will sweeten up other tart fruits and vegetables (i.e. pears, kale, rhubarb). It helps to make sure nothing is too bitter or sour.
  • Pure orange juice (with a little spinach) is AMAZING. 
  • Start experimenting with different flavor combinations, you never know what you'll like best until you try it. 
Have you tried juicing fruits and vegetables? Do you have any recommendations or favorite recipes? 
Monday, June 11, 2012

The Count Down Has Begun!

Hello friends! Three weeks from today, Robbie and I will be on a plane headed for Malmo, Sweden.  We will be meeting friends once we arrive and I am so excited, I can hardly contain myself when we talk about it. There is lots to do before we leave (including booking places to stay), but I'm confident it will all come together (hopefully you won't see any stressed out posts as our trip gets closer :).

Have you ever been to Malmo? Any "must-see" places to see or eat? I'd love to hear!
Friday, June 8, 2012

The World Awaits

Now let's go and experience it. 
Thursday, June 7, 2012

Finding Balance

One thing that Robbie and I have been struggling with in our lives and relationship is balance. I'm sure you can tell from any one of my weekend posts (here or here, for example) that any free time we have fills up fast. We are finding ourselves busy almost every evening during the week and throughout the day on weekends. I'd like to think that it is all going to work itself out, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to be a bit more proactive than that.

We've talked about how we need to really prioritize our time and decide where we would like to dedicate our attention and focus. We've even given ourself homework and asked each other to identify what takes the most time and create goals around activities we would like to make more of a priority. Now it's time for the rubber to meet the road; no more talking, it's time for action! I've always said that we are doing good things and there is not really much I'd like to give up, but something is going to have to give.

So dear friends, I've asked before, but what do you do for balance? Andrew, you've said before that "life slows down when you make it slow down". How do you do that? Maybe I'm dense, but I'm not sure where or how to start. 
Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Branding 10,000 Lakes Prints

I've featured Nicole Meyer's branding project before and make it a point to visit her site to check out her recent deigns. I was stoked to find out that she's opened a store and is selling some of her logos as prints! I don't know if the prints would work well in our bedroom, but I think they would look great hanging in an office. 

Which ones would you choose? And where would you hang them?
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dear 18 Year Old Stacy

The last couple of weeks have been full of graduations here in the Bay Area. I'm proud to say that not only did my cousin graduate from high school, but so did one of my Farm Drive girls. As I attended one of the graduations, I was reminded of the joy, hope, and excitement that comes with finishing high school. A new chapter is about to unfold and being able to look back on that is exciting. As I watched all of the graduates interact with their friends and family, I realized that they have so much change coming their way. They'll grow closer to some friends, lose track of others, but identify who matters most.

This retrospection got me thinking, what would I tell my 18 year old self, if I could? Would I be super vague or would I give away all the details? Would I instruct myself to do things differently or would I let things play out the way they have. If I'm completely honest, there are definitely some surprises that I would want to warn my past self about. I have some regrets and have made some mistakes that I would like to take back. Otherwise, I like to think I would be vague in order for myself to grow through my experiences. Here is what I've decided on...
  • Be a better friend and visit Julie down in SLO at least once a semester.
  • Marry Robbie, it's the right choice.
  • Don't compare yourself, your life, your marriage, or your decisions to anyone else. 
  • Finish school, you won't regret it*.
  • Don't take the first option that comes your way, either make sure it's something you'll love or see what else is available.
What would you tell your former self? Would you drop any major bombs or let history repeat itself?
(Photos taken at my high school graduation in 2005)

*I did graduate with a BA, but I seriously considered leaving school in 2008.
Monday, June 4, 2012

Delicious Waffles

Cooking has never been one of my strong suits, but I do have a few tricks I have up my sleeve. One of the best things I can make are waffles! I know this may sound basic, but my friend Sarah gave me this amazing recipe the year I got married and my waffles have never been the same.

2 cups Bisquick
1 egg
1/2 cup oil
1 1/3 cup club soda

Prepare batter according to Bisquick box (except with ingredients listed above). Cook in your waffle iron as usual. Serve warm, with your favorite syrup and toppings!

The trick is in the club soda. It makes the insides light and fluffy, while ensuring the outside is nice and crispy. It's a fool-proof recipe that yields delicious results!

Have you tried club soda waffles? 
(Photos taken for my online food photography course)
Friday, June 1, 2012

Have an Exciting Weekend!

Do you have anything exciting planned for this weekend? Robbie and I have a loaded schedule (as usual), but we are looking forward to it all. Tonight we are hosting a retirement party for his mom, Kim.  She has dedicated her career to one of our local school districts and is ready to take on a new adventure. We have family, friends, colleagues and former students planning on swinging by throughout the evening. It will be an open house at our place and we are expecting close to 150 people! Yikes! Let's hope my house (and my sanity) can handle it!

On Saturday, we will be celebrating a friend's 21st birthday and I will be showering a bride-to-be! I'm hoping to catch up on some odds and ends (and hopefully some relaxation) on Sunday morning; who knows, maybe I'll be able to plan another one of our destinations!

(Photo taken at The Stinking Rose in SF on Mother's Day)
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