Monday, September 19, 2016

Free Babes Handmade Bows Giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Free Babes Handmade. We have a number of their bows that Avalon wears nearly every day. I love classic styles that are both durable and aesthetic, but that let her personality shine though, which is exactly how I feel the Free Babes bows function in her tiny wardrobe. 

Hillary, the owner of Free Babes Handmade, is here to share a bit about her small business, and is giving away $50 store credit too! ...

Free Babes Handmade bows are made from high quality Liberty of London prints and other cotton fabrics that compliment the colors found in nature all around us and are the perfect accessory to everyday adventure.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.” - Howard Thurman

This quote inspired me in my parenting and at Free Babes Handmade. I’m passionate about raising confident, curious and independent daughters, and I hope these bows can play a part in your little one’s childhood memories. 

It’s my dream to see Free Babes bows on your little free spirits around the globe. Thanks for supporting this small business of mine.

p.s. check out Hillary's other project I'm Like Brave to talk candidly about entrepreneurship and making dreams a reality. 
Enter the giveaway below!


**US Addresses Only**
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Home Tour (2.0)

Have you ever heard how it takes a year to paint the Golden Gate Bridge and when it's done the painters just go back to the beginning and start all over again because by then it's already fading? That's what I think it's like organizing and maintaining a home. You start cleaning out one closet, then another, then the bathroom drawers and the kitchen cabinets, updating the living room, and by the time you're done going through every last necklace and folding the throw blankets it's time to start over again because just the bridge, and like you, your home needs constant care. 

With all the clearing out and making room we've been doing lately, I figured it was time to update the tour of our house. As we always joke when people visit and ask for a tour, "It won't take long". This is a tiny house and I'm honestly really proud of that. I remember a revelation Danielle and I had one morning after Christmas that the house I had pinned on my "Dream Homes" board on Pinterest was in fact, the guest house to her dream home. I love a good tidy, tiny space. I always have. Our house is just a version of my childhood forts, 20 years later. I'm sure things about it will change. Soon enough, I'll go back to the beginning, re-painting this bridge of a home, but this is the state of our house right now. Three people, two bathrooms, one bedroom and another that used to be a one-car garage that is now home to a toddler who loves long naps and dismantling bookshelves. 

I'm not going to pretend that I know what I'm doing when it comes to design. One thing I did that really helped me identify what I wanted was to take note of patterns I noticed over and over again in the photos I pinned on Pinterest. I've been repeatedly attracted to natural fibers, neutral colors with pops of brighter ones, open white wall space, a few sentimental things over tchotchkes and keeping nature as present as possible. Photos I started taking of the house actually helped me notice what things were making a room look unbalanced or cluttered.  

You know how when you're on vacation and you feel kind of like you could drop everything and go almost anywhere since you have basically everything you need with you? That's the feeling I wanted at home. To be unburdened from the mental weight of my belongings. Did it happen? Not totally, this is the mind of a former "pack-rat", but that's the goal. 

Another thing that I think is important to note is that I really spent almost no money with this most recent update. I just got rid of stuff or moved things around. I like how Erin Boyle, author of Simple Matters, puts it "Brainstorm, don't buy. You probably don’t need new stuff. You just need a minute to think," which actually made re-designing our space more creative and fun. I also took her tip of "slow growth" to heart. I'm still in search of a kitchen table that will fit us all, but the right one hasn't found us yet. Lastly, it helped me to think that the things I was giving away were going to have a better life being used by someone who needed them more. Then I sent them off with a hug and a whispered thank you.

+Do you have any design tips? Home renovation projects of your own? 

{For details about past renovation projects... 
or feel free to ask about anything below!}

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Dirty Dishes, Flying Grasshopper

Tonight I left all the dirty dishes and thrown food on the counter and just went outside and skated the mini ramp. Rock-to-fakie, fakie-tailstall, backside slash, frontside slash, rock-and-roll. I also narrowly missed skating off the ramp into our dwarf palm tree. Then I laid in the grass and watched the clouds go by. I saw a grasshopper in one. He looked like he was made of chalkdust. If I hadn’t laid there I wouldn’t have known the clouds were moving or that there were little pockets of baby blue in between them. There’s something about your eyes being naked like that. No glasses, no lights, no wine, no company. I think it makes your mind clearer too. I did the dishes later with a glass of wine.

+My new favorite vegetarian taco recipe: tofu, spinach, corn, goat cheese tacos.
+Avalon's bows are from Free Babes Handmade. Giveaway coming Monday! 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Themes: Love, Tribes and Surfing

Sometimes life makes me feel so broken, but not always in a bad way; more like broken wide open ready to feel it all; wanting to miss my Nonny and her homemade spaghetti and the crappy linoleum floor she had in her 1960s kitchen with loose cabinet knobs that looked like the inside of an abalone shell; missing the way she loved me so much I felt like I could do anything. I know that love doesn’t really come from that slimey pumping organ off-centered in your chest, but sometimes I feel like my center, where it is, might actually burst when I see things like Avalon loving her dad and grandparents and swing-set and it feels so good to know that, that love has a place to go.

I love surfing and writing because they let me figure things out and then set them free. Sometimes when I’m surfing, I feel like I get to open my heart like a garage door and dump everything out and then shut it, keeping only the things I need behind. 

My relationships with some of the best people I know grew in the saltwater. Those people, Scott and his laugh and smile and his 'I''ll give you a wave nature', my Dad and his calm methodicalness, the way he expresses himself so freely on his board in the water, Roberta and her eagerness to learn and know, Alison and her graceful wisdom, Kevin and his determinedness and ever-stoke, Todd and his constant surf buzz, George and his kind eyes, Dave Dorosko and how all you ever know about him is that he will surprise the shit out of you and make you laugh, Hayden Ball and how he seems stoned even when he's sober and how he makes up his own phrases like "What a pull!" and "What an ice" and you can't stop saying them. Just like the waves, these people lift me up. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Summer Cruise: Surf and Skate Video

Happy Labor Day guys, friends, everyone, anyone! 
Here's a little edit of surf and skate clips from this summer. It's me learning what a "volcano" is as it applies to a skatepark and absolutely eating crap on it, surfing in front of Scott's camera while our baby sleeps; doing the same things we've always loved, but with less time, a new sidekick, a different perspective and more perhaps passion for all of it. Or something like that. 
RIP Go Pro. I hope whoever took you is having some fun making clips like we did when you were ours.

~Devon and Scott 
(but mostly Devon because Scott would probably write "Some clips from summer. enjoy!" without all the lamentation)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

To Danielle on Her Birthday

Dear Meesa, 

I'm a little intimidated to write this card because your cards are always the best, but I really want to make sure you know how loved you are; by Avalon and your friends and family and by Scott and me. We love you like crazy. You are an example to me daily of how to be self-less and dedicated and hard-working and stylish. I feel so blessed that Avalon has you to look up to and that I do too. Even if I didn't realize it right away as a kid, everything has always been better since you were by my side. I hope today is as special for you as it is for me. Happy birthday!

I love you forever,

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Critics and Artists

Yesterday was a crap-pile, scum-bag, or something like it. I’m trying to curse less, you see, there is a baby.

I lost my Go-Pro camera at the skatepark. How original. But I think the part that sucked most was that I was really trying to have a great day and I felt like the day was against me, or that God was, which I lamented later to my bewildered mother who was nearly late for a lunch date with a woman from her volunteer job who never felt like she deserved to celebrate her birthday, until my mom changed her mind. I told my nearly late, self-less mother “I hate God! He’s mean to me” and as I said it, I felt no relief, only immaturity, betrayal and total lack of self-control.

Like surfing, skateboarding gives me such an escape from it all. Except because I know so much less about it, the feelings of accomplishment come quicker. My rate of learning new things while surfing has slowed down after 20 odd years. I think about the new skate tricks I want to learn at night before I go to bed. I fall asleep running over the body positioning it takes to do a half-cab rock. How you must stay just over your board and then as you come back down the transition from the rock, you must lightly lift your front foot off to clear the coping and keep your balance while going backwards. This is how I have been falling asleep since I had a baby and my sister got cancer. This is how the anxiety slips away and in its place, productivity and imagination float. A good skate dream makes me wake up just right.

Yesterday I had nearly enough time after putting the baby down to go to the skatepark by my parent’s Orange County house before we visited my cousin. That skatepark is my favorite and I was extra psyched all the groms would be back in school. Specifically, I did a little dance for Maddie and my mom and said “All those little bi-otches will be behind desks!” You see, cutting out cussing goes in stages. And those skate camp punks had made fun of me before so I was thrilled I would only have adults and homeschoolers to deal with. Those kids don’t seem to have quite the tribe the others do.

I arrived mid parenting podcast to a locked gate and a closed concession stand, my heart pounding with disappointment and trapped adrenaline. Apparently the park operates based on school hours and holidays. There wasn’t even anyone to complain to. But Google said there was another park eight minutes away, so I carried my hope and hiding anger with me there. Can’t keep me down! 

I learned that half-cab rock in about twelve minutes using a small volcano obstacle and a mellow bank with short coping. I’d been practicing half-cabs for months. Like the ego-centric millennial I am, I also captured it with my GoPro for myself and the internet. I was stoked on the angles I was getting too—one shot from the volcano, one from a tree branch and a few others from the bank. Then I did a slash grind just before I left. Can’t keep me down! 

I skated off like a hyena who found a wildebeest pack. But, oh, that’s not how the story ends. When I got home there was no Go Pro. No brand new case we just bought. No footage. No proof that I can. And the anger stopped hiding. I always knew it was there anyways.

Later a conversation about What is the point of it all? Why are we here? emerged and no one really knows how to answer that. But I know this isn’t the end of the story either.

I’ve found plenty of entertainment criticizing people for leaving whiny remarks about small things all over the internet and sometimes to my face, and here I am saying yesterday with a healthy baby and a mostly healthy family sucked because I lost a miniature camera. The paradox is not lost on me. 
I try to remind myself of something I wrote in a journal months ago: being a critic is much easier than being an artist.

And Can’t keep me down!
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