Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Decisions, Decisions

In the words of Varys - 'hello my old friend. It's been a long time.'

Indeed it has. Though this has been slightly unplanned. For what has now been about 500 years (in realistic speak, since April), I have been struggling again to balance my time commitment to this blog outside of work and life. And then when I have sat down to devote my energy, I'm at a loss of what to say.  The juices haven't been flowing. And because life just propels forward at an incredible rate these days, what turned into a week or two off, is now about two months and some change. And nowwwwww, as I was reenergizing myself (and perhaps opening the blog specific Instagram account that I made a ways back), I have to figure out what I want to do with my photo display on here since the terms of service have changed. This is why my blog now looks like a sh*tty clickbait site that starts with "YOU'LL NEVER GUESS WHAT [INSERT NAME OF CHILDHOOD CELEB] LOOKS LIKE to reveal!" and then your computer gets cancer.

Ugh. Sigh. What to do? Do I have the energy? Do I want to revamp? No vamp? Pay for the photo upgrade or move my photos to a better server since I wasn't happy with them anyway? How much gosh dang time will that all take? Hmmmm. WWJD in this sitch (and by that I mean Jennifer Aniston)? Hayyylp.

So as my brain explodes, I'm going to actually take some time to figure that out. I'm thinking I'll know my answer in 2-3 weeks. What do I want from this space and how do I want to use it? I'm a big girl now and I'm sure I can figure it out in a capacity that makes sense for my life. I started this blog in 2009, when I was just starting in my career and had loads more free time to meander blog land at the office. That made my love for it so much more accessible. That just isn't the case anymore with where I am in my career. While I certainly don't want that to be a game killer, I do want to know how I can make this work and what that looks like for me.

So be back in a bit either way. Thanks for checking-in and asking me how I am. Looking forward to figuring this out over the next few weeks or so. 


PS- I used the picture of me walking on the beach to show how pensive I am about figuring this out. I'm sure that was readily apparent. #sodeep
Monday, April 3, 2017

Little Things Lately ...

Jubilant// That one amazing morning before work, the stars aligned and I had a breakfast worthy of a bougie television show. Complete with coffee. And sitting at my kitchen table. Crunching on avocado toast. While reading a magazine. It lasted about 12 minutes, but oh was it glorious. I have no idea what drove me to be up at 5 am and fit in a full workout, dog walk and leisure time all south of 7AM but I will take it.

Really enjoyed // The documentary "Twinsters" that I watched on Netflix this weekend. It's about two South Korean identical twins who were split apart at birth and found each other in their twenties. One girl had been born and raised in California, the other in France. It was touching, fascinating and really well done. Definitely worth a watch. Basically "The Parent Trap" live action reel.

Sundaying// on my bike more and more. On this day (when I dressed like Alex Mack), we left our house and I followed Jay and Chandler on one of their many runs on my bike. The wind was blowing but the skies were blue and the views were astronomical.

Listening to // The Weeknd. I've known who he was forever now but I've never actually taken the time to listen to him. That changed two weekends ago and it's been a lot of soulful crooning in my house ever since. Typing his name is a complete and utter nightmare with auto-correct, but I'm willing to embark on that quest. He's that good.

Relaxing// At a massage appointment in my neighborhood. Well, relaxing in theory. My back is always so pent-up with stress (that I don't realize until they start working it), that massages kind of are a little bit of a beating. Lil' painful on the table, lotta' relief thereafter.

Teary-Eyed // whenever I look at the Wall Street "Fearless Girl" statue. That thing legit makes my eyes well-up with pride. So much love for all that she stands for.

Experimenting// with new recipes. This one was a whole chicken baked in a bundt cake with potatoes, carrots, rosemary & bell peppers beneath. It was realllllly good and the clean-up was easy-peasy.

Totally over // Junk mail. Like really - how are they allowed to continue to send so much garbage? I swear that every time I open my mailbox, it just vomits out 700 leaflets containing coupons for stores that aren't even nearby or fliers that don't even have coupons. Just 8,745 pages of what is available in the store with no added relevancy from these mailings. Thanks for informing me on what a grocery store contains. #PleaseStop

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Napa, Napa, Napa

^Cheers to the freakin' weekend
^My family
^give me a sunny day + a smiling husband and I'm a happy girl
^Metallics & wools & wines
^While I mourn the loss of my youthful glow, my husband has started to age like a fine wine. It's complete b*llsh*t.
^What a snobby puppy
^Great capture of our sommelier
^Views heading home via my iPhone

It's pretty much the oldest freakin' news that Napa is pretty awesome. Nothing I can say about it or write about it does it any justice or offers even remotely new information into why this place rocks. You know it does. I know it does. Let's leave it at that. Especially because all my images above are just snaps from my iPhone so I don't have any special beauty to share. But I'm not gonna lie, living 30 minutes from these palatial wineries is something that doesn't get old. Not only are the vineyards full of grandeur and the wine tasting experience a joy, but the travel there itself is satiating. You begin with illustrious views of the bay as you glide over Gigi and as the SF skyline grows smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror, it is replaced with rich green trees, fields as far as the eye can see and fruit stands about every ten feet. Even someone who is highly partial to urban living (me!) finds themselves grasping at straws trying to remember why I love living in such a clustered environment so much. This, this open living, is the way to go. Add my dog and my husband into that scenario and you can color me a happy girl. 

Less Mondays. More Napa.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Let's Picnic!

Do you want to hear the dumbest thing that you've ever heard?

When I was a kid, I often proclaimed that having your birthday party at a park was a subpar choice. Or really any celebration for that matter.
^My view from a Saturday picnic at Baker Beach back in 2015

Ask my sister - whenever we would pass a city park and witness streamers flowing in the air, a princess piƱata dancing in the wind and a picnic table full of decadent goodies, I would make a joke about how lame that was. I mean - parks were free. Aren't birthdays supposed to note that you actually put forth some effort to do something for someone? Something that wasn't totally free? Man, I made a comment every single time I saw it.

I'm fairly certain that I was trying to be funny but I do believe that what lingered below those ridiculous comments was my complete lack of understanding of the value of the dollar (let alone the value in what is important). What my kid brain perceived as "less than" also stemmed from someone who had no bills, no income, no worries and a healthy dose of just starting to figure out what "rich" and "poor" may have meant.  So I understand that you knew not what you were saying but little Caitlin - kindly take a big, 'ol seat on the time-out bench and come back when you're not such an idiot.

Because parks provide the best of the best. And I would be happy to have any celebration there until the end of time. Heck, I would even PAY to do so. But the beauty of it is that you generally don't have to. What a fabulous gift to give the members of any community. And guess what 11-year-old me? I know you are inundated with the cool kids in North Face jackets, post tropical vacation braided hair and Jack Purcells right now, but saving money actually is pretty cool. Imagine that? I'm telling you, it's the future.

Jay and I are at parks all the time, especially during the warmer months. During the hot Portland summers, we would often pack up our dinners in foil and tupperware and walk to the Fields Park to enjoy an al fresco dinner on a whim. We'd generally begin the venture with some fetch and some bare toes in the grass as we unpacked turkey burgers from their foil encasing and get caught up on our day. But it wouldn't be long before we immersed ourselves in books and quietly enjoyed the evening while the chatter of playing kids and tongue-baring dogs roamed about. Here in San Francisco, we are not starved for the same experience. On any given weekend day, you can find us noshing away at Crissy Field, Baker Beach, the Palace of Fine Arts or Golden Gate Park. Parks, and the picnics you haul to them, are simply the best way to pass the time. And here's a glance of things we generally have in tow:
Picnic essentials: Basket packed full of goodies and flatware ✮ fresh fruit ✮ plated yummies such as hummus platters, cheese, crackers & berries or vibrant salads ✮ napkins (with a kitschy design on top preferably) ✮ bottle opener ✮ a hat for sun protection ✮ an ice bucket to house your drink of choice - whether that's for pellegrino, vino, a spirit or cold beer ✮ a packable blanket ✮ sunglasses ✮ a good book ✮ your camera ✮ easy on and off shoes ✮ and most importantly, a game of some sort. Be it a baseball and mitts, a frisbee, a football - take advantage of your outdoor advantage and move around a little bit. That's always one of the highlights of my picnic time. You can even construct a happy hour game before you dive into your main course 

Do you take advantage of your parks?
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Monday, March 13, 2017

A Girl And Her Dog

^Chandler & me 3.12.17 - basking in the sun

When we first had a chance of getting Chandler, the shelter coordinated a phone interview with the foster mom and me. I remember exactly what was happening when that call took place. It was a Friday night and my [soon to be] in-laws were in town. We had taken them out for drinks and appetizers at a downtown Portland spot and as much as I wanted to be totally engaged in their never failing, hilarious, raw banter - my eyes were glued to my phone, waiting for that scheduled call to come in at 7 PM. I had rehearsed and rehearsed in my head what I was going to say. How could I prove to this dog-loving, Chandler invested [he was actually "Max" at the time] foster mom that I would be the loving caretaker she was looking for? I hadn't owned my own dog yet,  I worked full time and was away from home for 40 hours a week and I lived in a small downtown apartment with no yard. Good shelters always do the legwork in the hope that they are adopting this animal out to someone who will have it for life. Not for a season. Not for a few years. For life.

I had always envisioned myself being that type of owner but I wasn't sure how I could convey that to someone I've never met over a cell phone for a quick call.

As soon as I saw my screen light up, I manhandled my phone as Jay and his family gave me "you got this!!" smiles and nods. And there, out in the dark but vibrant park blocks, I made my case for my ability to take care of this dog for life. 

She asked me about my work schedule. 
Sure, I work full time but my office is only 2 miles from my downtown home. I can come home at lunch most days to see him!

Have I ever owned a dog before? 
Well, does being a kid with a family dog count? I did that! I loved them as my own siblings and am anxious to graduate to have a canine who would be considered my kid and not my sister.

What would I do if I got a new job? A new life? A new situation? 
Please trust me that I have dreamt of owning my own dog since I was a tiny girl. I promise that this dog will be my dog for all its days. Cross my heart. I believe in pets forever, not for now.

After about twenty minutes of pacing, hand motions and dramatic presentation - we said our farewells and I went back into the restaurant to share with everyone my positive gut feeling about how the call went. I felt that I had said everything I could in that short window. And now, I just had to wait for her to talk to the Oregon Humane Society and hopefully approve my adoption. Since that wiry-haired dog is now 3 years old and in the picture accompanying this post, I think you know how that story ended. :)

I think about that conversation often. And it makes me laugh. Not just because I remember every detail in my so-excited-oh-em-gee stupor, but because I wonder what the foster mom would think if she reflected back on it herself.

Cause, y'all* - I'm so in love with my dog.

Like forget me "being his owner for life!" or the fact that this little terrier has full health insurance, full preventative care coverage and basically is drowned in kisses 700 times a day. And just focus on the fact that I'm so obsessed with my dog it's almost maybe not healthy for him. I love him. I love being with him. I love talking to him. Walking with him. Playing with him. Cuddling with him. Blow-drying him. I just love him so much. And when he was scooting around Napa with us this weekend, chewing his tennis ball in the paramount estates of these palatial wineries, all I could think was that this dog could not get away from me if he tried.

And I wonder, maybe, just maybe, if in retrospect she would say - "holy h*ll lady, you overshot the runway. I get that you like him but give the poor dog some breathing room!" 

Who knows? But what I do know is that I'm a woman of my word and there's no way in heck that Chandler and I won't be best buddies until the end of days. 
No way.

*Not from the south, no right saying "y'all" but still gonna.
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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Dress The Walls

Back in October, I did a quick lil' post about our current living room. As the photos show, I still hadn't found any art to place above the couch. Since that has now changed, I figured it was time for an update:
I wanted a modern feel mixed with some of my mainstays such as the "frontier" vibe I like. After lots of scouring at Society6, I came up with these three to fill the blank space.

I really liked the overall look of the "UGH" sign - the light grey, the faint pink and the neon sign vibes. However, the more I looked at it, I felt like it was a statement on life. How often do I say some version of "ugh" about a misfortune in life? Quite a bit. I'm tired every Monday morning, ugh. I don't have as much free time as I'd like, ugh. It's raining and I can't find my umbrella, ugh. Life is full of little "ughs". Instead of basking in that vibe, lighten up your ugh. It's really not as bad as you think it is. 

The pink sunset reminded me of the views in Oregon when driving out in the wilderness early in the morning or late at night, when the sky is decadent against the tree-lined peaks. And my little bison is just the most beautiful dude that I ever did see. I thought the pink in the UGH meshed well with the pink in the sunset picture. And the sunset picture worked well with the bison image for their outdoor vibe. So that's how I tie all three together.

Overall, I'm really happy with the way it looks. What I like in my house kind of ebbs and flows year over year but for now - these will suit me just fine.
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