Texas Forever

Ok, so I've never been to Texas but I love Friday Night Lights. I love the show for the thoughtful, heartfelt and smart writing, the unforgettable characters and the simple plots. Small town, college football with the occasional unexpected dramatic moment doesn't seem like it would make a good show, but the documentary camera style feels like you're a part of the Taylor family and the Panthers team. It's vulnerable, honest, witty and inspirational. A funny thing- I hate hate football, but I love Coach Taylor and Team Panthers. And Tami Taylor’s hair and all her y’alls. Here's some FNL inspired art for you

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts banner by Banter Banner

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts banner by Banter Banner

Clear Eyes Print by Speak Easy Digital Art

Clear Eyes Print by Speak Easy Digital Art

Buddy Garrity framed print by brianmietz

Buddy Garrity framed print by brianmietz

FNL quote by Graceymay

FNL quote by Graceymay

No Regrets card by EtherealDesign

No Regrets card by EtherealDesign

Gold Foil print by Honey and Fitz

Gold Foil print by Honey and Fitz

The Landing Strip shirt by Red Bubble 

The Landing Strip shirt by Red Bubble 

These aren't FNL related but how awesome would a FNL quote be on these custom wooden signs from Kaelahbee? 

These aren't FNL related but how awesome would a FNL quote be on these custom wooden signs from Kaelahbee

It's one of those TV shows that I'm sad I never watched while it was on, but I think it'll be one of the few shows that I will watch over and over. Texas forever!  

 

Lobster Nachos, Hidden Mickey's, and Sequins

Over the weekend we went to The Cove Bar in Disney's California Adventure. We've heard great things about the lobster nachos and the drinks. We went on a Friday at opening and it's not as crowded and you have first dips on the tables with the great views. Scott and I split the lobster nachos and I ordered the coconut elixir. I'm so hungry as I'm writing this and it was a bad idea to blog about delicious food. 

It was the first weekend of summer and with SPF 70, I still got sunburnt. I used to have this awful weird sensitive disorder where if I went in the sun at all, my skin would flare and get bumpy and bubbly. It was so gross but after pregnancy, it went away. Thank you, hormones. I look forward to spending my summer days comfortably outside. I also picked up a new set of Mickey ears. Pink, polka dots and sequins. It was a cherry on top of my sweet weekend. 

Friday Darlings

Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling. 

I cut our photo booth pics from the Ace Hotel. I put a few of them in an acrylic frame, and Scott put the other in his phone case. It's the little things, you know? 

I cut our photo booth pics from the Ace Hotel. I put a few of them in an acrylic frame, and Scott put the other in his phone case. It's the little things, you know? 

+ Can I just say how much I love love Ainsely (@mylittleartichoke?) She sends me a ton of pink inspired photos on Instagram by tagging me. Some are homes, some are pipes (!!) and some are just beautiful. Thank you, Ainsley! 

+ A friendly reminder- I'm taking summer sponsors this week. Last day will be June 23rd and I'm not taking any new partnerships until Fall 2014. Email me and let's talk. 

+ I've been snapchat'ing. I felt too old at first but now I'm getting the hang of it. Find me under "ourcitylights"

+ Do you want to join a gym for the summer but can't afford it? Try your local YMCA

+ I am in love with Dipbrow. After a few hours at Disneyland, my eyebrows were the only thing in tact. 

+ I want to play along

+ Friday night pizza night.

+ Add more books to your summer reading list. 

+ Check out the new cleaning green products. 

+ Who needs a fussy dress when you can just wear this to a party

+ I tested this recipe out and it's amazing. Put a little on Indian naan bread, so yummy.

+ Enjoy your summer solstice! 

Friday Darlings

Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling. 

I love my shirt from Jawbreaking. However, when I wore this it was Wednesday, ha! 

I love my shirt from Jawbreaking. However, when I wore this it was Wednesday, ha! 

+ Ada strikes again

+ I love this Instagram account

+ I joined the Birkenstock trend and I have no regrets! They are so comfortable and my back and sciatica pain has calmed down so much since I began wearing them. Trendy or not, they are some serious orthopedic shoes.

+ This is the last week to order Wes Anderson shirts from American Laundromat records, get it today while you can. 

+ Smocking Birds, a baby shop in OC Mart, had their grand re-opening. I purchased Max's first "outfit" there with a few more pieces. I would love to visit again to check out the new place! 

+ Seeking Your Authentic Self is Like Looking for a Unicorn 

+ I'm selling my shoes that no longer fit on Instagram. One of the ones I'm letting go are these wonderful By Paige shoes for under $40, barely worn. The bids end Sunday, get your bid on here if you're a size 7! I'll be purging more as I find more! 

+ Love love the ABM ladies photo diaries of their last vacation here and here

+ The Palm Springs vacation photos from Danielle makes me want to go back!

+ Friday night pizza night (not clean eating approved but gluttony approved). There is a quinoa mac and cheese with some vegan cheese, maybe it may work? I'll get back to you on this. 

+ If you make the real thing- try this to detox with it. 

+ I don't know the original source, but all the heart eyes for this 

+ Happy Friday! 

Taco Tuesday at El Jefe

I love tacos. I don't need a Tuesday to tell me to have tacos, but I will happily take advantage of the happy hour on Taco Tuesdays. When we were in Palm Springs, we loved El Jefe, located inside The Saguaro. I ordered the hibiscus tea and the fish tacos and we split the nachos. The tacos had traditional Mexican ingredients, but with the pickled cabbage and fresh fish, it didn't taste like the regular taco. I'm not a food blogger and I'm having a hard time describing this and all that comes to mind is the sophisticated word- YUM. 

El Jefe in Palm Springs

1800 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264

The Anger of Grief

I didn’t want to write about Max because I didn’t know how to write with grace and love when I was stuck in anger and hate. I write this now from a different perspective of my grief than when I first wrote about Max.I don’t want to come off like I needed attention, or have this victimhood. My baby died but the world doesn’t owe me anything. Terrible things happen and while it changed my life, I still wanted to write good things about Max but I was so angry, I was stuck in my grief phase of “anger”. It was anger I felt towards people. No, I’m not angry at God. I’ve always believed God was in control, so why in the world would I be angry that he finally did take control. 

What I was so angry about was the people- how the nurses put me in the maternity ward to deliver a stillborn when I could hear newborns crying and they sent me home with a “Congrats New Mom!” tote full of diapers. I was angry at the people who I thought would be there the most were the ones who ran away the farthest. I was angry at the comments I was getting from people who have never had a baby and were giving me “advice” to get over it.  I was trying so hard to write about this beautiful baby but I was stuck. I was stuck on the criticism I’ve opened myself up to. I will always be a grieving mom and while I used to have thick skin, it’s hard to get it back. I get emails and comments from both extremes- “how dare you be happy when you just lost your son” to “you are a terrible person for feeling the way you do”. I had to stop writing about Max on here because Max’s story is a love story, his story is a gift and I thought some didn’t deserve to hear it. Even though he’s not alive, like a parent, there’s still a sense of protection of his little legacy, because that’s all I have of him to protect.

Something beautiful happened recently- I wasn’t angry anymore. I know it sounds crazy but after being angry for long enough, I was miserable being angry. I didn’t want Max’s memory to be associated with anger. It’s normal, it’s okay, but I was miserable. I wanted to be free of it. I would rather accept the sadness than lose my life in the anger. I understood there isn't a normal for infant death and while people say stupid things, I found grace and love in them. It didn’t just happen overnight, it happened over months time, with surrounding myself with people that love me- anger and all-, it took hours of therapy, hours of multiple baby loss groups, hours of vulnerability. I wouldn’t change the anger for anything else because if that’s what it took to get me to the emotional freedom I’m at today, I would do it all over again. And again. And again. Thank God for grace. 

Opening Day at Anaheim Packing District

I went to the opening day at the Anaheim Packing House. I remember 2 years ago talking to a historical volunteer, standing in a city building, looking down on the balcony at an empty lot. He said they wanted to restore the packing house and hopefully in a year or two it would be full of shops and people. I had no idea two years later he would be right. Not only is there a restored historical building, but good food, a brewery, to name a couple things.

We tried Orange Tei, a ramen and sushi restaurant and the name "Orange" is a throwback to the packing house. The ramen has hints of citrus and so far, it's my favorite place to eat in the packing house.

We also picked up a popsicle from Pop Bar. Normally I wouldn't recommend a popsicle that costs $5 but this isn't just a regular watered down sugary treat. These are handmade with yogurt and gelato and they offer vegan options. I picked up the chocolate and it tastes like a crisp brownie on a stick- amazing! I would recommend this place and standing in line for a few minutes was worth it. 

My personal favorite place was Studio La Fleur. It's based out of Costa Mesa and they set up their own shop at the packing house. So far, I've been twice and loved it every time (see here and here). I tell them what my budget is and I tell them I want flowers that will last me the week. They not only get creative, but they've lasted me longer than a week the first time. It costs more than Trader Joe's but I get a one of a kind bouquet made and I'm supporting local. 

Anaheim Packing House

440 S Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92805

Friday Darlings

Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling. 

My friends had a Photo Booth and I loved how fun it was. We were awkward, funny, and you really get to know someone when they pick up a prop. This is my friend's aunt, how adorable and cool is she in those Minnie ears??

My friends had a Photo Booth and I loved how fun it was. We were awkward, funny, and you really get to know someone when they pick up a prop. This is my friend's aunt, how adorable and cool is she in those Minnie ears??

I missed out on a whole month of links, and while these are a few weeks old, they're archaic in blog time but I still want to share! Never doing that again! 

+ Candelles has a new summer collection. The scents are always unexpected but work perfectly well combined. 

+ Brandy once again, shares what's on her mind and nails it. 

+ Now I want to visit London even more

+ My book list is getting longer and longer and it's one to-do list I hope that never ends. Danielle recommends more books for the season. 

+ I always talk about how Pure Barre changed my life, and if you're curious and local, Groupon has a half off deal right now. 

+ On the topic of local, the Anaheim Packing House was two years in the making and it was worth it.  

+ Friday night pizza night

+ Secrets of the Stacks

+ Last month was Weezer's 20 (yes, TWENTY!) year anniversary of the blue album, one of my favorites, yep, even 20 years later *insert old lady emoji*

+ I recently ordered a print from Sarah Hunt and I'm looking for more space around my walls to see what else I can add from her collection. 

+ Local or not, this is my new favorite. I see my city in a different view now. I love seeing the mundane in another creative perspective.

+ I don't know which photo I'll be uploading, but I would love to get this

+ I've been wearing this nail set all week. It's perfect for summer and I love how easy the glitter comes off. 

Enjoy your weekend! 

Getaway; Ace Hotel DTLA

We stayed at the Ace in DTLA for our friend's wedding. Unlike the Palm Springs hotel that has a mid-century casual desert vibe, this is more a boutique-style with Spanish Gothic architecture. My favorite part of the hotel was the restaurant, L.A. Chapter. The breakfast was the best I've had in a long time but then again, I can't say I've had terrible granola bowl or pancakes. Even if you're not able to stay the night at the hotel, stop by the restaurant. 

May 2014 Favorites

Let's take a look back at favorites for May 2014


Favorite Instagram Feed this month is @njinla. She’s a food blogger with a love for California. She makes a plate of tacos look so polished. It’s full of her weekly CSA deliveries, culture, and beautiful plates of food not only styled but that’s good for you too. 

Favorite Purchase would be traveling. Buying experiences over things wins, always. I’ll never remember the silk shirt I purchased but I’ll always have the memory of the small road trip I took instead. 

Favorite Moment would be when friends Aline and Mark getting married. I’ve known them for years and there are so many cheesy things I can say about their wedding but it was a perfect way to celebrate their love and I’m so honored to be a part of it. I also met so many great people that are a part of their lives. 

Favorite Music is You Blew It! This record isn’t for everyone. Unless you miss the 90’s emo music revival, You Blew It! was made for you. I don’t listen to it for the nostalgia of it, I love this type of music and this is the perfect band for what I love right now. Listen to them for free on Spotify and Rdio


King's Highway Diner

Ace Hotel in Palm Springs has a restaurant on location, King's Highway. It's a retro-ish dive but with good food and good service. We went to the Monday Night Bingo and I loved it. The hotel lot is small enough to walk over and order to go and take back to your hotel room, watch the desert sunset, the mountains, the palm trees, all the stuff made of romance while stuffing your face with Crushed Almond Joy- a chocolate flourless cake with almonds, coconut pudding, and and salted caramel. It was one thing I had to stop for before we left home! 

King's Highway and their menu

701 E Palm Canyon Dr
Palm SpringsCA 92264

Getaway; The Saguaro in Palm Springs

I've been wanting to stay at this hotel for years since I saw it on Rubyellen's blog. Overall I liked it. It's a novelty but it also had good customer service. We explored the hotel and each day we did we found something new. Across the street is Native Foods, an OC vegan friendly favorite! There's also a grocery store down the street and the room provides an empty fridge. We were able to eat healthier with those options. 

This is what I pulled up to- even the exterior was magical.

The lobby and interior were inviting and look at the pink air conditioner!

Our room was orange and yellow theme. I would have loved the pink room but I can't discriminate against anything colorful and bright. It even featured a purple carpet. It was a Laker's fan come true- yellow and purple

There was also the pool with the views of the vibrant hotels. I know there's so many photos of this scene but I can't help it!! You're probably thinking ok, enough with the color. we get it. you love it. STOP. NEVER!!!!!

Just a quick note- I'll be closing down comments for now. I haven't had a chance to blog much let alone reply and visit other commenter's blog. It doesn't seem fair and I noticed most of the community build is either Twitter or Instagram. It's one less thing to worry about in this hectic time. Thanks for understanding! 

The Doors of Palm Springs

We drove to Palm Springs and our Prius took us to places we would normally pass up if we weren't driving. One of them was the neighborhoods of Palm Springs. We saw beautiful modern architecture and I fell in love with the desert inspired doors most homes had. Below are images of Elvi's honeymoon vacation home, Marilyn Monroe's estate, the famous pink door house, and Liberace's Palm Springs getaway along with just homes I really loved.

New (Makeshift) Treadmill Desk

It felt good taking almost a month off from blogging, I really missed it! It wasn't intentional- I got sick for a couple weeks, then I left a week for Palm Springs. Then I came home and my stepdad had a massive heart attack. He's fine, thankfully, and he's getting surgery. Please send good thoughts for a healthy recovery! Between taking care of my family, being away from home and prepping for weddings, and trying to take care of myself, something had to go and that was blogging.

I'm back now! And I'm blogging from my treadmill. Yep, a treadmill. I read this article it's been on my mind for some time. I've read hundreds of articles and endless info graphics on the dangers of sitting too much. Instead of buying an actual treadmill desk, I just went to Home Depot after I measured the size I needed, asked for a finished piece of wood. It's not secure, but since I'm not using it for sprinting or anything, it's secure enough to not fall over. I plan on using for running still and I want the option to take out the wood. Plus I don't want to drill anything in the treadmill. I'm sure I can tie something around it and drill holes in the wood, but I think it works great now. 

Also- I'm short. This size works for me. I think a regular sized treadmill desk would actually be too tall for me but this is perfect. I also got the Polar Watch with training data on it and I'll be updating how it's going. 

This is the perfect time to start walking and working, along with Pure Barre classes. When you watch one of your parents almost die from their poor eating habits, it makes me strive to be a better example to my family. 

Friday Darlings

Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling. 

I'm a little embarrassed to post this but I got so many compliments on my nails when I wore these, I thought they'd be worth sharing. They're actually press-on nails! Yes! Normally I would think they're tacky, but I didn't have time to do my nails and I grabbed these last minute at Target. I'm sure if I spent more time being careful with application, they'd look more "real".  You can check out the website here for more designs! 

I'm a little embarrassed to post this but I got so many compliments on my nails when I wore these, I thought they'd be worth sharing. They're actually press-on nails! Yes! Normally I would think they're tacky, but I didn't have time to do my nails and I grabbed these last minute at Target. I'm sure if I spent more time being careful with application, they'd look more "real".  You can check out the website here for more designs! 

+ Things No One Tells You About Blogging (free e-book). I can't wait to read this! 

+ Let's Talk About the Sad Parts. I loved reading this. There is help out there. 

+ The real reason why an editor isn't responding to your pitch.

+ The Blessing of a Stillbirth. Scott, my husband and a published writer, wrote something a few months ago and finally went forward with it.

+ Paige Baker wrote an article on fighting withe diabetes. It's hopeful, beautiful, heartbreaking and it makes me love her more. The Subtext of Disease

+ Want to know if your Instagram photo is going to be popular before you post it? 

+ Want to be more creative? Take a walk

+ Emerging Thoughts is having a sale. 25% off with the code "love". Ends today! 

+ If you think the blog is dying, read reasons why you should keep blogging. 

+ Friday night pizza night! 

Enjoy your weekend! 


Loly In The Sky

Yep, this is a sponsored giveaway but don't worry, it's a brand I 100% support, love and recommend!

I am so excited for the new Loly in the Sky line! I saw them all over Instagram last year and I loved their designs. I purchased a couple pairs last year because I was impressed with their pricing, their designs, and their quality. They were my favorite pair for the summer and they still look great after so many wears. Loly is popular with flats, but they’ve introduced wedges, heels and sandals.

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I was so happy when they wanted to work with me. After I received my complimentary pair to review from Loly for the new season, I was even more impressed. On top of all the new cute designs, they’ve re-designed their shoe for ultimate comfort. They’ve added a removable cushion padded foot bed for the shoe. I tested them out before I wrote this post, I wanted to make sure this is something I’d recommend to readers. After I wore them for a few days, a sweaty day to Disneyland (gross, sorry) and standing on my feet in them, they still kept their cushion, and I’ll be the first to point out- I am not a lightweight. The padding still stood well and I had the option to wash them (again, gross, but if you wear flats often in the summer, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about). Loly took the extra step to make the foot beds anti bacterial. 

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Not only are the new designs even more comfortable than last season but they adorable and also more sophisticated. The shoe is handmade and designed in Mexico, where in Loly in the Sky is located and began. It provides job for their area, which I love and support. Every now and I then I see someone wearing a pair, I can spot the familiar “L” brooch on the side of the shoe. 

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Loly has also added a dust bag with the new shoes. Something I never thought of having for my flats, but considering they’re going to last a while, it’s a great detail they’ve thought of. The shoe I purchased is called the “Coco”. I should point out the sizing- even last year they sizing was different than women’s US sizing chart. When I purchased both shoes last year, I had to get two different sizes. My biggest advice would be to follow their own size advice! Every shoe is different and if you need help with sizing, the site has a great chatting feature. I’m a 7.5 to 8 but I was sent the 8.5, and they fit perfectly. 

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I love these shoes. Just like I bought two pairs last year, and I got a complimentary pair this year, I plan on buying another pair. I have my eye on the Juliet. Yes, this company does want to sell shoes but they also are a brand I love to support. I love what they stand for, who they are, who's behind it and what they're about. You can get your own pair here

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April 2014 Favorites

Let's take a look back at favorites for April 2014

Favorite Instagram feed is sophlog. Her feed is a California dream. Her view of California is the most colorful and amusing I've seen yet. I've seen hundreds of photos of In n Out but I never imagined a shot of a burger and fries look so dreamy. 

Favorite purchase would be scribd. I feel a little guilty getting this because I'm such huge supporter of libraries and libraries now offer Overdrive, a FREE library of digital books. I wanted scribd because not all the books I want on digital are on Overdrive, just like not all the physical books I want to read are readily available at my library. It's like netflix, but for books! 

Favorite moment was a mix of beautiful memories I have now. I met Kate Gabrielle, Cassie, Ashlee and her family, childhood friends visited from Florida (hi, Janelle!) and I celebrated Aline becoming a bride soon! I've had tough moments, heard sad news, seen friends struggle, but through it all, it seems the year becomes more and more hopeful. It has to go up once it's gone down, right? 

Favorite music has been anything from The Rocket Summer. I feel like I'm in college all over again. The best way to describe Bryce Avary's music? Imagine every motivational and hopeful Pinterest poster quote in one album. You can listen to The Rocket Summer on rdio or spotify. 

Here's to May 2014!