Thursday, July 26, 2012

Inspiring Lists

I came across these lists recently and found them inspiring:

25 New Things to Do Today 

I especially like the tip, "if you can't get out of it, get into it" from the first list, and I love the idea of being a yes-woman for a day from the second list.

Do you find any of these tips or ideas especially inspiring? I would love to know!

Monday, July 23, 2012

One Year Ago Today

Photo by Christina Richards

One year ago today Dietrich and I were married.  My how time flies! To celebrate we will be glamping in a tent bungalow at Costanoa tonight.

I love you Dietrich!

P.S. A slide show of our wedding prepared by Christina, more wedding photos and our wedding album.

Friday, July 13, 2012

On Finances...Grocery Shopping

Image via

Last week I mentioned my desire to start a feature regarding all things budget related.  What better place to start than one of the largest expense categories for most: food.  This is also the area that I would say Dietrich's frugal nature has influenced me most.  I used to be capable of spending upwards of $1,000 on groceries in a month, and that was when I lived alone!  

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Before and After - Our Living Room


As I looked through iPhoto looking for inspiration for a blog post I came across some older pictures of our house that we used for an ad on  Dietrich and I had been dating about 6 months when we impulsively planned a 5 week trek around Europe.  We toyed with the idea of doing a home exchange, a la one of my favorite movies, The Holiday.  While a home exchange never came to fruition for us, we now have photos of the house as it were, untouched by yours truly (this was before I moved in).  


We have slowly made changes - swapping out older furniture, rearranging, building bookcases and closets, working on the yard etc.  At times, my patience gets the best of me and I feel like we have barely made a dent in all that we hope to do.  Just maintaining our home is a challenge in itself. 

I was reminded of  how much the living room has evolved when I came across the before photo at top. I really admire both looks despite the difference. Before, it had a zen and masculine feel to it, and now it's a bit more neutral and cozy.  Looking at these two photos I'm almost wondering if we have too much furniture packed in as it is now!  Part of the challenge of decorating is finding the right balance between aesthetics and functionality.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

An Afternoon at Sea

My sister graduated from UC Santa Cruz a few weeks ago, and to celebrate we chartered an all girls afternoon sailing trip from Pacific Yachting at the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor.  My sister is quite the maritime enthusiast, and sailing runs in our blood.  My grandmother was a yacht broker and avid sailor, and my mom also raced sailboats.  It was a lovely peaceful time at sea and I enjoyed the opportunity to take some photos (even though I did get a wee bit queasy - I must not have inherited the gene).  Here are some of more of my favorites from the day!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The One Block Feast

Image of One Block Feast Contest winners via Sunset Magazine

We were out to dinner with a couple of friends the other night, and they told us about the DIY food kick that they have been on lately.  The list had me salivating.  They have made their own butter, nutella, and a huge bottle of pure vanilla extract.  They promised to have us over soon to sample their latest delectables (I can barely wait).  Their DIY food project reminded me of an inspiring story I read in Sunset Magazine a few months back called The One Block Feast. 

From the website:

"We’re longtime fans of the local eating movement, which champions getting food grown as close as possible to where you live. About a year ago, we took this to its logical conclusion: Instead of a 100-mile or 50-mile diet, how about a one-block diet? We’d raise everything at Sunset, in a backyard-size plot, for a late-summer feast (and a lot of cooking beyond)."

They tried to raise everything they would need for 4 seasonal menus including their cooking fat (olive oil), sweetener (honey) and beverage of choice (wine).  They wrote a book about it, and also challenged their readers to a one-block-feast contest.  A neighborhood in Morro Bay, CA won and their one-block feast was featured in an issue of Sunset Magazine.  You can read more about the project here.  I would love to try this!

Friday, July 6, 2012

On Finances

Image by Nick Cannon via A CUP OF JO

Since Dietrich and I both have backgrounds in finance we tend to be pretty geeky about our budgeting, saving and spending.  While I have always been one to track my spending, I would say that I definitely tend towards the indulgent side.  Dietrich is the opposite.  If he didn't have to eat or put a roof over his head he could go months without spending a dime. I think we have been a nice balance for each other in that regard.  He's influenced me to be a more savvy spender, and I have influenced him to splurge when it matters. 

With this in mind I am considering starting a new feature on my blog about all things related to money. Stay tuned!  (But don't hold your breath, because let's be honest - I am suddenly horrible about posting regularly and finances aren't exactly the most engaging subject.)

On that note, more soon!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Creative Cord Covers

One of the projects I tackled in my cleaning frenzy was Dietrich's desk.  We just got one of those adjustable desks that can go from a sitting configuration to a standing configuration with the touch of a button.  It's a neat, ergonomic idea, but not very pleasing to the eye - especially with the open back that shows a plethora of haphazard cords dangling akimbo. 

So I went to work with zip ties.  Now I have all the cords dangling together in one strand, but it's still not that pretty of a picture.  I'm considering sewing a neutral fabric skirt for the desk. 

Here are some other great ideas for covering up ugly electronics and cords:

A fancy zip tie.

Leaf Tie via Apartment Therapy

A wireless router disguised as a book.

Via Apartment Therapy

My sister's creative approach to cord beautification: