Summer Adventures: Berkeley edition

Don't hate me too bad for neglecting to update this baby for so long.
If you understood how wonderful my week has been, you would be totally understanding.
So trust me on this one.
Now, I will proceed to give you a teaser of my fabulous week.
aka....just the first few days :)

Remember, Aspen? and how much I love her?
I got to visit her this week!
She goes to UC Berkeley [aka Cal. aka really smart]
and it is quite the cuteclutter-hippie dream town if I say so myself.
Here are some things that you must do while you're there.
1. Go to La Med [hi, I have the Berkeley lingo down]

because the food looks like this.

and a restaurant is nearly always worth trying when it is this cute outside.

2. Go to Ici.

because who can pass up some strawberry-balsamic carmel swirl...?
Shoot, actually I can. I got malted vanilla. 
And it was dang good.
In the words of a local...
"you only go there for the cones anyways"
but really, their flavors are so cool
[don't judge me... it's just that when it comes to sweets, I like'm SWEET]

3. Go to cheeseboard
Preferably, you should get a very drunk lady and her girlfriend to pay for your whole pizza so they can cut you in line. At least, that's what we did....

4. But whatever you do, it will be a whole lot better if you take along a friend
and sit on a rooftop if at all possible.
because I love most everything about Coarsegold,
but there's something about city lights that's so enchanting.

And if you can, have late night giggles and chats until midnight.
and remember your childhood. 
and appreciate that friendship even more than you did before.
because it's good to be with people who know you. all the way. through and through. 
from beginning to end :)


Summer Adventure: Part 1

Last weekend my parents left for date night. 
and Zane was out of town. 
That left Brooke. 
And I.

Yes please. I love datenight with Brooke.
I was headed out on an adventure to get some sticks [for a project I will be judged for and consequently tell you about at a later date] at the ranch, and Brooke came along. 
It was a lovely night, and the sun was casting that perfect kind of late-evening glow on everything. 
That's where the magic is.

After our adventure took the long way home by the lake, which happens to be our favorite way.

I mean, it looks like this....can you blame us for loving it?
Or sticking our heads out the window to take pictures?

This particular trip, though, the enticement was more than we could bear. 
We left the country music blasting in the truck for a minute while we went down to the lake side.
Needless to say, the fun of it all....
baby frogs, pretty leaves, shimmering water...
drew us a little too close to the water. 
Then it turned in to accidental mud up to our ankles,
and lots of skid marks.

and very dirty shoes.

and muddy feet.

but lots of "I love yous"
and fun memories.

It was worth every moment and speck of mud.


goodnight, summer night.

The last twenty four hours have been good.
The really good, summer kind.

Last night I played with Brooke
and the night ended with us both in my bed like the good old senior in high school days.

And tonight I came home smelling like campfire
with smiley eyes from good conversation and lots of loud singing
and with sore arms and covered in baby drool from playing mom

it doesn't get too much better than that.
goodnight, I promise more later.


If I had a cute husband to take pictures of my outfits lately, I would. 
I've been pretty bold. And I'm kind of liking it. 

Too bad everyone I see during the day is over 45. 
Or Katy, whom I love. 
But she's a girl. 
and a newlywed.
Somehow it just doesn't seem to count as much.

Anyways, I saw this on pinterest this week.
Thought it was hilarious. 
Because it is. 
I think that describes my life lately. 
Wasting outfits on insignificant days. 
Just minus the fear part. I'm letting it happen.
Although daddy has thrown out a few compliments.
So maybe not completely wasted outfits. I mean you can't have daddy thinking you're a slob, right? 
He even suggested I wear one of my outfits to what he deems a very important upcoming event in my life.
That's a story for another time.....
but trust me, that means it was pretty decent.

On another note, I think I'm addicted to thrifting. 
That's not the worst thing that could happen, right?
but really.


Ok, so at work my little to-go packet of crystal light spilled in my bag.
Trivial, right? Why would I blog about that?
Mostly, it was just annoying, but after I emptied my things onto my desk an image popped into my mind.
You know how girls will do blog posts about the contents of their purses? Well, if not, please visit my sister's post on the matter and feel free to compare.

Mostly, they're always so darling. Mine?

Let's state the obvious.
-4 rubber bands (hey, don't judge. my hair may not fit in a ponytail, but I pull off a mean set of pigtails when I work out.)
-5 million identical nail files
-8 tubes of chapstick and/or lipstick
-1 piece of package-less gum
-a fortune from a fortune cookie
-an appointment reminder

Things we can learn about me from this (not that we all truly care, but bare with me here...):

I will freely admit that the majority of my time spent in this lifetime, I don't really pay as much attention as I should. [The 2 seemingly identical bottles of mascara] Sometimes I buy two of the same kinds of mascara because I accidentally bought waterproof the first time.

A clean-feeling mouth (preferably actually clean, as opposed to clean-feeling) is a must. It's like a breath of fresh air. Literally. [Note the mint lipgloss, gum, and toothpick] In fact I'm chomping away on some gum as we speak. Or as I write. Or whatever this is.

I'm scatterbrained. There are [three bottles of nailpolish] there. 2 of almost the exact same shade. So not only do I forget to paint my nails before I leave the house sometimes.... but also I obviously forget what's already in my purse. (aka..hello dear, there is red nailpolish in there from the last time you forgot)

The only thing missing? My [three books] that I had taken out earlier to set on my desk. Aka I'm trying to become smarter than I currently am. "Improve myself by a sense of reading" in the words of Mr. Darcy.


why we continue to love stargazing...

"We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us: and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence."

-Jane Eyre


Girls camp adventures

I'm alive I'm alive!
So last week was crazy. but fabulous. and by fabulous I mean really fabulous.
Tuesday and Wednesday: I got to head up to the mountains to be a "special guest" for my mothers workshop at girls camp [and, yes, I live in the mountains...but I'm talking like Yosemite Park type mountains]
Both days I had to head up in the early afternoon, so, because Fresno is the opposite direction, my loving father gave me the days off work. We brought up cute mismatched plates and cups for the girls and had cupcakes to go along with the set up [cupcakes make everything cuter. always.] Then I ended up staying a little longer than was probably necessary both days due to all kinds of letter-writing, good conversation, and general splendor. 

Part 2: Then Wednesday, after I'm sure I had nearly overstayed my welcome, I headed home. I stopped at the thrift store because Zane and I had premier tickets to HP7 and I still needed an outfit. 
Then I got the call that changed my life. 
Ok, maybe not my whole life, but it certainly changed my week. I got the call that a counselor had gotten sick. and had to leave. and they needed somebody to fill in.......soooo......... I, naturally, sprinted home to throw t-shirts and a sleeping bag in my car and headed for the hills! [and called that sweet-awesome boss of mine to ask for two more days off] I was a little nervous at first. I mean I was taking somebody's place, and that's never easy. And it was evident right away that the girls loved her. And I was majorly lacking in life experience and wisdom in comparison to my co-counselor [who has somewhere in the ballpark of 9 children, but not a mean bone in her body]. But then I came to the cabin with "u rok" written in playdough and little one clinging to my arm, and all was well.


I only was a counselor from Wednesday night to Friday morning, but we sure packed in a few things.
I got to experience yet another faith walk.

And watch sa-weeeeet skits like "socks with sandals" by Miss Melissa.

But my favorite part was spending time with my cute first years.
And helping them plan home evening lessons for their grandma. 
Or have six of them pile into my bed to tell boy stories. 
And telling them all about how there are good boys out there. 
And why waiting to date boys is good.
And doing what you know is right.

Things I learned:
Everything happens the way it should.
 HP7 was apparently epic, but my little first years will only have one 1st year of camp.
I learned that twelve year old girls LOVE taking pictures of you.
Just you.
All the time.
Even though you're at camp and looking kinda rough. 
But you love them enough that you don't really care.
I learned that my brother is a big hit with the ladies. apparently. He's still my "bub" all the same.
apparently [in a twelve year olds eyes] my biggest flaw is that I don't have a boyfriend.
[who ever knew that was a flaw?]
and according to a little darling from Mexico, my accent isn't too horrible for being a gringo.
[have I subsequently thought of making spanish my major? maybe.]
[is my life goal accomplished? Possibly]

Mostly, I remembered how much I love camp. 
And really, I was just another happy camper.

Be a happy camper this week, would ya?


So one time I went thrifting with my mom. 
It was fabulous, and someday I'll show you all the things we did with our take-home treasures.
But endurance is key in these endeavors. 
Because, you see, it was over 100 degrees that day. 
And the Disabled American Veterans thrift shop has no air conditioning. 
And also may be found in a sketch part of town where your nerves get a little nervous.
[if you know what I mean]
So, here I am. 
A hot mess.

But when you see things as darling as this matchbox, 
there's just not much to complain about.

 Aside from that, below you can see what takes up a large majority of my life.
And a to-read stacks of books.
Hope your night is swell.


cleaning out the closet.

So Jess and I have a track record.
We have collectively....
lived through 43 Valentine's Days.
been bridesmaids in 7 weddings.
were elected to homecoming court 6 times.
were named princess twice and queen twice.
and attended 20 different formal dances.
...at five different schools.

that made for a lot of roses.
 and hey, girls like roses. 
And who wants to throw roses in the trash when you're 16? 
That's right, nobody. 
So they have stayed...

 in drawers...

 and boxes...
 in vases...
 and baskets.
 in water basins
 and adorning

And in this big move that's happening right now, we thought it might be time to say goodbye.
Because, well, it's over. And also... 
how do you successfully transport huge bags of dry roses without making a complete and utter mess?
You don't.
So, [being the slight pyro that it is in my blood to be] 
I decided it was time to have a little bonfire. 
Plus, it's more dramatic. And thus, more fun.

Thanks for the good times, high school.


"That I longed for a power of vision which might overpass that limit; which might reach the busy world, towns, regions full of life I had heard of but never seen: that then I desired more of practical experience than I possessed; more of intercourse with my kind, of acquaintance with variety of character, than was here within my reach. I valued what was good in Mrs. Fairfax, and what was good in Adele; but I believed in the existence of other and more vivid kinds of goodness, and what I believed in I wished to behold. 

Who blames me? Many no doubt; and I shall be called discontented. I could not help it: the restlessness was in my nature; it agitated me to pain sometimes. Then my sole relief was to walk the corridor of the third story, backwards and forwards, safe in the silence and solitude of the spot, and allow my mind's eye to dwell on whatever bright vision rose before it- and certainly they were many and glowing; to let my heart be heaved by the exultant movement which, while swelled in it trouble, expanded it with life; and best of all, to open my inward ear to a tale that was never-ended- a tale my imagination created, and narrated continuously; quickened with all of incident, life, fire, feeling, that I desired and had not in my actual existence. 

It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot." 

-Jane, of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre


How to successfully survive....

a day at work (dare I say "enjoy"?)
so we had a conversation yesterday. me and dad.
we have lots of conversations these days [seeing that we spend nearly every waking hour within 10 yards of each other] but anyways, we were talking....and by we I mean I think I was doing most of the talking at this point....about how I love being busy. thank heavens I have a 9-5 job, because I think I would go crazy without it. so I thought I would share a few of the things that are essential in getting me through.
Step 1: Moisturize..
Or keep something on hand that you like I guess....
I, personally am obsessed with Bath and Body's Shea Cashmere Hand Cream and Rose Salve.
I'm also a huge anti-fan of dry skin and lips. Soooo...
you best believe these are constantly on hand.

Step 2: Hydration! 
When I'm sitting at a desk all day it's easy to keep water on hand and sip.
Sipping is better than snacking, no? 
Because they're equally as easy...
Step 3: Tunes.
If at all possible, I highly suggest it.
Step 4: Keep snacks on hand.
My guilt-free treat of choice is gum :)

Step 5: Look decent. 
Nobody can look great every day
[wait, don't I have a sister that accomplishes that feat?]
but for the majority of us... decent is totally great.

Ok, so some of you may be calling me a hypocrite right now for that last one. [I'm a large fan of sweats and I never blowdry my hair] but what I'm trying to say here is look presentable! When you feel cute outside, you feel better about yourself inside. Girls are emotionally connected all over the place...if you are a girl you understand what I mean. If you are a boy.... [are there many of you out there reading this...?] just trust me. Last summer I didn't quite have this one figured out. Mostly I didn't wear any makeup [not a bad thing... but it wasn't due to great skin and summer freedom. the culprit was laziness...] and didn't care what I wore. I figured I was seeing my dad's clients all day....and Donny too I suppose.... so why would I care what I looked like? That happened to me my senior year too. I think I went through at least a few months where I wore a large sweatshirt, jeans, and vans every. single. day. [aka do I not sound sooo frumpy? don't judge me]

Sooooo what changed? Well, my sister always has been really good at being cute. Like wears cute outfits all the time, portrait of perfection, etc etc. and I used to ask her sometimes why she got so cute when there wasn't always what I thought was a "reason". Then I read an article one time where somebody was talking about putting on mascara before she went to the gym....not because she was looking to impress anybody....but that was the one thing that made her feel presentable. So I figured out that everybody has something that makes them feel better about themselves inside. Some people don't need makeup. I happen to feel about a thousand times better if I have two things: mascara and lipstick. Some people need to do their hair to feel presentable: I don't care enough in that department. I feel fine with crazy hair. In fact, the crazier, the better. 

So take the extra five minutes. Maybe it only takes two. 
Whip out your cute shoes.
Blowdry your hair.
Paint your nails. 
Wear a headband.
Put on a dress.
Put that sparkly, shimmery something to good use [hey, can't every day be a special occasion?]

For me, I'll keep my mascara and lipstick close at hand.
Feel pretty today.
Because you are :)

[someday remind me to blog about confidence... I have had some major life discoveries in that category over the years...still learning.]


classic summer.

tri tip
soda in glass bottles
lawn chairs
dressing to theme
country music
windows down
minimal makeup
tall oats
&old friends.

this is what classic summer is meant to be.