Friday, August 30, 2013

Thankful Things


     This week I'm thankful for simple moments. I guess I'm always thankful for them, but I really tried to pay attention when they came my way lately since I've been struggling a bit with the non-stop action of summer. People might be sick of me saying that, I think I'm actually sick of saying it, but it's just the truth right now. 

     Scott's sisters came to visit on what felt like the hottest day of the year so far. No one was down on the beach though. It was weird. With the small waves, it was so quiet down there; it felt like someone froze time and didn't tell us. I've still been surfing those small waves. I know a lot of people have been frustrated by August's lack of swell, or rather the Southern Hemisphere's lack of storms, but whatever, more (small) waves for me. Even at that, I can't wait for some real swell to come our way and I've allowed myself a few small fall fantasies. I try not to wish summer away with them and make efforts to keep thoughts of the upcoming season out of my mind, but lately, as it approaches, I've been getting excited about potential trips up north to the central coast and morning dawn patrols with offshore winds. I won't let my mind stay on these thoughts for long, though. I'm still trying so hard to understand how to be present and what that looks and feels like for me. Focusing on simple moments this week really helped me feel like I am at least getting a better grasp on it. 

     Today, I was washing my hands at the place where I got my haircut and I actually caught myself noticing the cool temperature of the water, what it looked like pouring out of the faucet and how right then, it was summer and my life was happy (even with the inevitable setbacks). On Saturday I noticed the steps I was taking as I walked through our neighborhood. And on our way home from Daphne's on Monday we took a detour and decided to watch the sunset on one of the last deserted dirt roads around. I was unusually aware of this moment, the musty smell of the dirt, the animals eating dinner, and even though I took a bunch of pictures, I didn't miss the sunset (I've done that before...just the other week...). Progress? I hope. I'm beginning to realize this whole being present thing probably has more to do with mindset than actually having tons of free time to absorb everything. 

How was your week? Any favorite moments (simple or otherwise)?

p.s. we're off to Chicago for a wedding. I feel like I must tell you this since you are my friends (at least I think of you that way). Happy Labor Day weekend!
p.p.s. last year at this time 
p.p.p.s (is that a thing?) more thoughts on the present

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Matsumoto Studio Giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from a lovely shop called Matsumoto studio. Sisters Jen and Jes were born and raised on the island of Maui (how sweet!). Although they live on opposite sides of the island as adults, they team up to make unique items like the notebook and card you see above as well as announcements, invitations, stationary and more.

I've always liked this shop, not just because Jes is really nice and easy to work with, but because the designs she creates along with her sister are so simple and intricate at the same time. I love the white backgrounds with the cool designs in light colors on these pieces above. It looks so pretty. Enter below and visit their shop and blog to get to know Jen and Jes better.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hair!... Specifically Scott's

     ...And all of this leads us to the question what's next? With the school year approaching and a few weddings on the horizon, Scott's in need of a trim (although I don't think he'd call it that). Got any men's hairstyle suggestions? What's your craziest hairstyle been? 

p.s. don't some of the styles bring back memories of the 90s? Spikey hair was all the rage in junior high (curly, frizzy hair really wasn't, as I recall...)  

Friday, August 23, 2013

Home Tour: Before and After

Welcome to our beach bungalow. Bungalow sounds better than shack. We recently had an appraiser come over and his remark on the 1 bedroom 2 bathroom setup was "weird". Whatever. It's ours and we love it. 

Turning this small house into our home has been quite the project, which we actually appreciate since HGTV is our favorite channel (House Hunters is where it's at, am I right?). If we had a kid it would probably have to sleep in the garage, though. The only reason I even mention having kids while living in this house is because if we had it our way, we would never move. 

I used to have a home tour up about half a year ago, but we changed so much that I ended up taking it down. But honestly, we're likely to continue to change this space (specifically kitchen cabinets turned to white...see if you agree...) and that's kind of how it goes; you grow and change and your house comes a long with you. 

You will find all the before pictures at the bottom. 

{living room and sitting area}
prior to 2015
2015 updates

You can see most of our house standing in this one corner of the kitchen. There's the  bedroom and the 2 bathrooms down that little hallway you can barely see on the right. I will get to that. I think that little hutch is my favorite piece of furniture in our whole house. The reason is that Scott made it all by hand. I showed Scott pictures of distressed china cabinets on Pinterest and we discussed sizing and colors and what would go in it. He made many sketches. He cut many pieces of wood and used many nails. We bought the wrong blue at first (too blue) and then decided to use it as a kind of a base coat. We wanted it to look weathered and old anyways, so we let some of the base coat show through subtly. To give it the distressed look, I painted it kind of patchy and crappy, leaving the wood exposed on some of the edges and so on until it looked like something that might have floated in from the ocean or found in an old abandoned lighthouse (that would be cool).


This makeover was pretty huge (see below), but really I want to give it a makeover again. We think the cabinets would go with the house better if they were white and had different handles. Scott thinks he can do it himself, which will help cut down the cost a lot. Stayed tuned. Once I get something in my head there's no turning back! 
Done as of November 22nd, 2013. The night before we had 20 people over. We did some of the remodeling ourselves. Read more about it here, if you're interested.

{living room}

We finally got some of our wedding pictures printed two years later. My favorite one is at the center, surrounded by some of our other favorite moments from the past few years together. I wouldn't dare hammer a nail in to the wainscoting covering the wall behind the couch, so those frames are up with the Command damage free hooks. I really hope the pictures don't fall on our heads when we're watching tv. 

That cabinet pictured is really a buffet (from Ikea), but it was exactly what we needed to hide our TV gear and display our belongings. We love to fill our house with things we find that bring back good memories from our trips and journeys. Don't look too closely, those wooden sand piper figures don't have noses. I've knocked both of them over many times by accident and broke them pretty much beyond repair. Oh well.

Did you know you can get used books like these for pennies at your local library or a used book store? I didn't, my mom told me. I tried to get titles that were beachy when possible.

The next picture with the book is of our coffee table, handed down from my parents, like most of our furniture. The coasters pictured were the inspiration for the whole house, believe it or not. I kept them with me at all times as we searched for this and that. The picture of the shelves is a new addition. Scott and I painted some pictures and decided to make literal book shelves modeled after something I saw on Pinterest to display them.

{guest bathroom}


We put in new windows, painted an accent wall and scattered our things around. We were lucky to get many of the items seen here as wedding gifts from our registry. The cushions on the bench at the end of the bed used to be gray, but I decided to sew cloth napkins we got as wedding gifts onto them so they would match the pillow on the bed, but if I were to flip them over, you'd see some pretty shoddy sewing (you can actually see the blue stitches if you look closely.. beige thread would have been better...). The dresser and two of the night stands used to be dark wood, but we pained them white this past spring to lighten up the room and make it feel more spacious. The shell on the window sill is my Michelle Shell. I found it the day I found out my cousin had cancer. I like having it with me so I can think about her and how unique and beautiful and resilient she is.

 {master bathroom}

Lots of work done in here too. "We" basically rebuilt the shower and replaced the whole sink area. It used to be an extra closet and made this room really dark (and weird). The seahorse handles guard our washer and dryer and Scott made that mirror out of driftwood we found at Rincon beach in Santa Barbara.  

The cabinet above the toilet is from Bed Bath and Beyond, but we changed out the handles to make it more unique. Some of our cabinet handles in this room are borderline "too beachy" (I'm really not too into "themey" stuff, although our house might be themey and I don't even know it), but a.) we got them for free because my parent's didn't want them and b.) I love animals and they're pretty cute. 
The floor is made out of this coral/shell stuff we love. It is kinda hard to clean, so I just don't clean it (joking. mostly.)
2015 updates
More on our backyard makeover can be found here and our backyard expansion project can be found here.


{living room}



Well, that's all for now. Hope you found this interesting, helpful, or something. 

Do you have any house projects in your life? 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Just Remember, it Ends with Deja Vu

     I'm looking over the cuts I gained from this trip as Catalina fades into the fog and the trail of our boat wake, once a liquid line connecting us to her, begins to dissolve. There's one on my right index finger from bashing it into the metal weight on our stern line when I was climbing it down into the ocean to see how far I could go with both my breath and my bravery. The other is from nicking my left pinkie on the railing as I was pulling the dinghy up to the big boat. I used to be much more skittish about driving that dinghy, but I think I have found my confidence in it for now. At least you don't have any blind spots. 
     There are fortunately no other injuries (besides my broken finger from about five weeks ago). Especially not the emotional kind. The reason for this isn't because there wasn't any pain or arguing on this trip. There was. You see, my sister and I got in a fight on day two; right in the morning, right after breakfast when I still had raspberries on my plate I was gonna eat. Which sister it was isn't really important because I have fought with each of them about different things throughout our lives together. Over beanie babies and bitty babies and attention and copycating and differences of opinion. One time Danielle and I even fought over a cowboy at wilderness camp. He wasn't into either of us. He was 23, she was 14 and I was a 17 year old wearing Osh Kosh overalls...

None of this really matters either. 

     I learned something about fighting on this trip, something I might have always known, but not in a real confident kind of way. And not what you might think: that it isn't healthy or it isn't appropriate (which is maybe what I've thought at times). But that I fight with the people who are worth it to me. I fight with them because they matter and we mutually want our relationship to grow. It's not often and it's not ongoing, which is good, because if that was the case I might think we need therapy. But when they come, those fights that at first feel like heartburn, being caught in the rain and getting yelled at on your birthday eventually bring us closer. I am fighting with my sister so we can be better friends. I am fighting internally with myself to be a better version. 

     Something about admitting you argue with people feels embarrassing, like there is something wrong with you, but it's impossible to get along all the time and there is something wrong with everybody. I think we should all probably just get over feeling ashamed of it. It's important to fight for what matters: people, relationships, love, growth. 

     Maybe this epiphany I seem to have finally had, or at least finally written down, isn't really all that groundbreaking. I'm pretty sure that's the case, but it feels like a pretty big deal in my mind. Like that time I realized I wasn't a weird person just because I was an introvert.

     It's freeing to admit that I argue with the people I love because I am fighting for them. 

   My sister and I hugged when we were finally back to understanding one another again and joined the group playing Scattergories in the salon. While I was sitting there with my tiny pencil in my hand, I had this intense feeling that I had already experienced this moment. Like one of those flashback scenes from a movie. Scott always tells me that deja vu means you're on the right path.

What are your thoughts on arguing? Do you do it, avoid it, embrace it, feel bad...?