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. 

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 like 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,