Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Solstice

Happy Solstice, the days are only getting longer from here on out; which means it is practically spring right? Here is a wee little update from December.
We went to Leavenworth and crashed Mike's parents little getaway for a few days. I had never been before and it was great to see this little faux German village at Christmas time. Mike and I want to come back in the summer to hike and in the fall for Oktoberfest. 
German Christmas heaven in the Cascades :)
I went hiking with some lovely ladies. I love having friends that love the outdoors and will go adventuring at a moments notice. 
Washingtonians are pretty lucky to have so many year round hiking trails.
Due to being in between jobs, my mornings (okay... my days!) have been slow and easy
We finally got around to decorating our tree! I love all of Mike's childhood ornaments!
But I don't love the clown.... at all.

Now to get ready for Christmas! We're having my family stay in our tiny house for 6 days.... eep!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Winter Pinspiration

I've been going to town on my winter pinterest board. I've been feeling all kinds of inspired lately, which is saying something because winter is my least favorite season. Sure right now everyone loves it because, yay! Christmas. But come January things changes, and we turn our backs on winter, shut our eyes and wait for spring (or at least I do.) Over the past few years (okay since I moved to the NW because California doesn't have a winter...) I've been trying to undo the habit of ignoring winter and living under a blanket for four months. Mike and I are thinking of getting each other snow shoes for Christmas so we can get outside, explore, and stay healthier during the cold months. I've been trying to celebrate winter flavors in our meals, like citrus, cranberries, cardamom, dark leafy greens, garlic, and root vegetables. I've also been into holiday decor that can last all winter, sticking with winter whites, greens, browns, with just a hint of red and a few citrusy colors here and there. I love looking outside and seeing what's growing and then incorporating those colors into our indoor space. All in all, here is some winter pinspiration to keep us bright and healthy till March.
(1) Evergreen Garland (2) Foraged Goods (3) Colors: White, wood, and green (4) Boxwood Wreath
 (1) It is crocheting/knitting season (2) Mini trees from branches
(1) Tapered candles and a hint of gold (2) Tea and a hint of gold
(1) This picture is inspiring me to get outside this winter, snowshoes here we come! (2) Pretty logs (3) Bean Boots by a fire please (4) Sure, I'll cozy up in this cabin!
A good quote  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Beginnings

 Just a quick warning: this post has a lot of pictures of evergreens :).
Here is a little update of our transition into winter and the beginning of the holiday season!
 We had a lovely thanksgiving at our brother and sisters house. We also stopped by cousins friendsgiving to see him and his parents as well. We ate ourselves into a coma and stayed up till 2:00am hanging with family, we partied hard. I made two pies: pumpkin with a gingerbread cookie crust and a cranberry/pear pie in which i forgot to put flour in the fruit filling and then it turned into pie soup (the crust turned out great though!!). 
On the saturday after Thanksgiving we woke up to a fresh blanket of snow outside. The snow stayed around for five whole days!!! It made decorating for Christmas even more magical. Sadly, it was all washed away today by the rain.
Mike, staring out at the snow. It was so relaxing to have four days off with this hunk. Also celebrating the holidays as newlyweds is pretty wonderful.
Saturday afternoon we drove out to the peninsula and got our first tree as a married couple! It was freeeeeeeezing out so we picked our tree quite quickly.

 Mike's parents truck loaded up with some family trees!
Just couldn't pass up a bean boots picture... its a problem... I know.
Sunday we spent some time decorating the house for Christmas. I was feeling a under the weather so we didn't end up decorating the tree yet.
We did hang some lights and we put garland along the stairs! 
Monday was the start to a strange week... I went into work monday morning not feeling well, left at noon, by 2:00 got an email saying I didn't have a job anymore, at 3:00 got on an email for an interview for a new job, and 48 hours later I was hired for said job. It was weird, God is weird. And yet all of this is so good, so good that I can't even put it into words. God is so strange in the way he takes care of us sometimes. Theres a lot more to the story than this but this is the gist of it. Anyway, my new job doesn't start till January so I have month of frolicking around and being a temporary housewife. And that is just fine with me. So naturally I went foraging yesterday for some greenery, cause that's what housewives do right?
 A final product from my foraging. 
I hope you are all having a joyous start to the Christmas/Advent season! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Clarity and California

I traveled to California a few weeks ago to see my parents and my best friend, and oh my this trip was incredible. It woke me up and made me realize so much. Well for one, I realized how much I missed warmth and a good avocado and I realized that I need tank tops and sandals and will need to strategically plan a few trips to CA during the winter months. On a more serious note...I realized how much I missed my mother and father and sister from another mister. I realized I need to be outdoors more, that I need more silliness, that I need to explore who I am more. A few things have been flipped upside down since this trip, some tangible, some not so much. All in all, it was a beautiful mini-vacation that gave me so much clarity. 

First stop was visiting Emily in the redwoods where she lives and works. She works as a naturalist for a science camp, pretty awesome right?? This is her in her garden!
Big Red
Emily's little naturalist cabin in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Waking up here was a dream. I went straight from cubicle life on Friday, to a plane, to California at midnight, and woke up in the morning to rain in the redwoods; it was pretty soul cleansing. 
Next we headed up the coast to San Francisco. Here are some beautiful shots from the General Store in the Sunset District. I have this thing for the Sunset District. It is quiet and reminds me of a small beach town, even though it is nestled into San Francisco and it is also one of the few neighborhoods where finding parking isn't ridiculous. It makes me want to drink smoothies and attempt to learn how to surf and grow my hair long again.  Plus there are succulents everywhere!! If I were ever to move to here, the sunset is where I'd go. 
 Full House anyone? I have been to San Francisco countless times but have never been to this famous spot. It was fun to play tourist.
We headed to City Light Books in the evening. I bought some beat poetry. It seemed appropriate.
Flaky heaven at Tartine in the Mission District. This place... oh my.
Some bright and sunny shots throughout the city
Amoeba Music in Haight-Ashbury
We headed back to the Sunset District on our last day specifically for Outerlands, the best breakfast you could ever have. The atmosphere of this place is so amazing and the design is gorgeous!
We had the cornbread benedict, levain flatbread, and their coconut almond scone. It was all divine.
We finished off the weekend hiking in Lands End. This hike felt like jumping into a cool lake after a long, hot summer's hike; so refreshing and so rejuvenating. On this hike I talked with Emily and my mama about how lost I have been feeling and how I feel as if this year has been a year of figuring out what I don't want as opposed to what I do. I've been feeling like a failure lately, like I am the girl who can't keep a job for more than three months and constantly changes her mind about everything. They reminded me that I'm 23. (Good gracious Julie, you are 23!) I think being married has been part of the pressure I'm feeling, like "I'm married now so I better know what I want career wise or else!" My goodness Jules, just give yourself a break.
All in all, this hike made me realize how old/young I am and how my career is not my life. How I choose to love those around me and serve others and find beauty and wonder in the everyday is my life. How I choose to love God and other people is my life. Not where I go from 9-5 everyday.  The values I have will effect where I choose to go from 9-5 and how I choose to do that work, but I don't have to have that all figured out right now.

It was beautiful trip, full of so much goodness. While I was there, I texted Mike and said "We're moving, I'm literally defrosting!!" But then I cam back to Seattle and felt the season of fall again and had a wonderful thanksgiving with my in-laws. California is becoming more and more mystical each time I visit, like it is this state of solace and rejuvenation. It is my homeland, but not where I call home at this time, and maybe not again for a long time, or perhaps ever again; who knows! Plus home is really about where the people you love are, and I cannot wait to see my family again at Christmas and my best friend in February!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Slow and Steady

Lately things have been steady, but this is for the first time in years. It's interesting because for so long this was all I wanted. A little home, to be married, and a work predictable job. Right now I have all those things and no, this isn't going to be the part where I say I was wrong all along and that this isn't actually what I want, because I am very content with all the steadiness and predictabilities that this season is bringing us. I'm so grateful for this time where Mike and I can slow down and look at each other and sit and dream. No we don't have any crazy plans for our first year of marriage. Just to work and save and pay off debt and sink into this new life.  I decided to put the grad school process on hold until next year because this needs to be our year to just slow the heck down. So here are some snippets of our slow lifestyle as of late. It has been lovely.
Weekends in the cottage have been dreamy. Candles, reading, music, pizza, movies, friends, baking, and sleeping in (if 8am is considered sleeping in...). 
It has almost been three months since our wedding day and I am so in love with this little turd. 

 The Northwest is starting to get coooooold. Like, "I need to go buy some mittens and a wear socks for the next 4 months" kind of cold. 
 Seattle has been Seattle. Beautiful, randomly sunny at times, a bit stormy, and grey on more grey. Mike and I went to a Sounders game a few weeks ago (the one where we won the championship! It was super fun). We also showed some friends around the city and took them to Kerry Park and Discovery. It was good stuff.
Fall has been ridiculous. It is this season that makes me not miss California at all. Even if people are at the beach right now while I am huddled inside with tea and warm socks. 
 We changed our clocks last week ( a sad day in my book ) At least it is lighter in the mornings on my way too work, but sadly not for long.

"These are the days that must happen to you" - Walt Whitman