The Second Day of Fall

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A lot of bloggers posted on the First Day of Fall (yesterday), but I wanted to be different. So I’m posting today, September 24th, on the Second Say of Fall. Or, I just happened to realize that it was the second day of Fall as I wrote this post. You decide.

Fall means a few things to me, of which I’ll share with you:

  • Dragon Fruit Season. Well these are ripe more like end-of-summer-beginning-of-fall. A friend gave me a few bags of these from her tree, and we’ve been eating them non-stop. Try freezing them for a few hours (no more) and then cutting them in half (see above) and eating with a spoon. Best “ice cream” substitute.
  • The Mindy Project. Fox was dumb enough to let go of The Mindy Project, which forced me to sign up for Hulu because there was no way I was missing the fourth season (the end of last season left us on such a cliff hanger!). That show is one of the few that literally makes me LAUGH OUT LOUD. I recently re-watched the pizza-box episode and almost peed my pants.
  • Shorter Days. Although not as short as winter days, Fall is the sad, slow transition into days becoming darker sooner and longer. Tears. The only upside to this is…ok I can’t think of any.
  • It’s Still Beach Weather. I live in SoCal, so no gorgeous leaves-changing-on-the-trees for me. Although I do enjoy seeing your pictures on insta, if you are lucky enough to live in such a place. I supplement my sadness for the lack of seasons by buying cute bathing suits on sale and lounging at the beach. September is like the hottest month anyway (100 degrees for like the past 3 weeks).
  • Gearing up for Holidays…and Weddings! I, like many, adore Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love visiting wintry retreats during this time, and then love coming back to jeans-and-sweatshirt weather where I don’t have to scrape snow off my car, or fear that the sleek, shiny stuff on the pavement (black ice) is going to be the death of me. I am also looking forward to my baby brother’s lightening-speed-engagement wedding in a few short months!

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Why do you love Fall?

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Have You Seen This?

I laughed pretty hard when I watched this, have you seen it? This comedian has Tourette Syndrome that causes him to twitch and blink a lot. What a great example of choosing to make lemonade with the lemons life gives you. My mom always said, and it is so true, you can either laugh or cry at your situation. You might as well laugh at it and have a good time!

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My Guide to Summer & Savory Eats in So-Cal

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Summer is slipping away, and I have this song on repeat (ohh uh oh those summer niiights).  We’ve had a lot going on these past few months, some good things, some sad. Saying farewell to loved ones, planning our future life (after grad school…does it ever end??), getting sick (really, does there need to be a summer flu? It’s going around…), and spending most weekends at the beach. And yes, I misspelled ‘summer’ in the sand. I just can’t spell without auto-correct anymore…

I’ve collected a few of my favorite eats from this summer (I take pics of all my food). These are all from my phone so bare with me…

CollagesFrom left to right, top to bottom:

  1. Hollywood Bowl has everything from rock concerts to classical ones. Fireworks too! Runs all summer long.
  2. Some bomb fried squid/calamari from Banana Bay
  3. Enjoying the Hollywood Bowl with my boy
  4. Happy face because I’m getting so full on healthy, sustainable, fresh food at True Foods Kitchen – and yeah, no post-food-coma guilt here!
  5. Newport Beach as seen from the Pier. We rode bikes all the way to the end of Balboa Island on our beach cruisers. Hot sun, cool breeze, swimsuits and sweating. Then we jumped into the ocean that was a cool 70 degrees. #dreamlife
  6. Ok, this one’s from our quick trip to the mormon motherland = Utah. This here is the Pork Salad from Cafe Rio, I get it every time I visit. But when I need my fix, they have Cafe Rio in So Cal too.
  7. Mmm Vegan spicy tuna dragon roll from Golden Mean in Santa Monica.
  8. Family home on the lake in Idaho.
  9. Trying on everything on the sale rack at Madewell in Old Town Pasadena. I always go shopping by myself, and when I don’t, I usually regret what I buy…isn’t that funny?
  10. Summer skies….how I love these long days.
  11. Okay, next time you go to Newport Beach or Balboa Island, you need to stop at this taco place. It’s like street tacos should always be: fresh and cheap. Try the shrimp tacos.
  12. I wanted to buy this Tommy Bahama – Bahama luggage set soooo badly. AKG was not as enthusiastic with the Bahama print as I was. It is still sitting at Nordstrom Rack, all alone, waiting for me to come back and buy it…

 

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Mini Stories: Shoes From Florence

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Once upon a time I spent a summer in Florence, Italy.

It was the summer between my Sophomore and Junior year in college. It was a blissful time in my life: no boyfriend, no decided major yet, no job, and a wide open summer schedule. I had considered moving to Hawaii to do a few semesters at BYU-Hawaii, but when my mother called to say she was moving to Italy for the summer (perks of being a teacher–summers off), it was an easy decision. I packed a suitcase, a few books for the train rides, walking shoes, and of course my camera. Back then I had a humble Cannon point-and-shoot with a full screen on back, and I loved that thing. This was when iPhones had come out but only a few friends had those. Most of us still had Razor’s, Sidekicks, or slider phones.

We rented an apartment near the heart of Florence, and made that our home base. We were then able to take several-days-long trips all over Italy. We had been to other countries in Europe before, and wanted to spend our summer really getting to know just one country. Every time we came back from Venice or Rome, Florence welcomed us with warm summer evenings and beautiful sunsets. We came to know those who lived on our street, our favorite bakeries, and singing at Marco Square.1929137_507470847369_5725_n

One evening we were walking from the train station to our apartment after a few days of traveling to the south. We were always too cheap to pay for a taxi ride so instead would walk several miles, passing through the square where many shops were located, back to our apartment. It was late at night and most everything was closed or closing. We were passing a small store that was wedged in between two buildings of flats (apartments) that had shoes and a few pieces of clothing. The owner was an old, mostly bald man, who was smoking a cigarette out front. I had walked past this shop several times before, but this time something caught my eye.

Those shoes.

They were the perfect height, just a few inches. I loved them because they resembled wood, and I loved the strap in the back. I was so tired, but am I ever too tired to shop? I tried them on. They were only about $5 US. They were perfect. I bought them.

For several years after returning, I wore them constantly. Each time I did, I would remember that little shop in Florence. When people would compliment me and ask where I got them I would tell them this short story and remember my summer in Italy.

They were not high quality slip-ons, but I was still surprised to find one Sunday at church that the sides were ripping from the sole. I was so sad. My little Italian shoes could not be worn anymore. A few years passed, and all they’ve done is sit on my shoe shelf. I’ve lugged them around between moves, and just haven’t been able to part with them.

I recently finished a life changing book (that I’ll post about soon) that has helped me say to the items in my life, “Thank you for coming into my life.” And then, fighting my inner pack-rat, let them go.

Thank you, Stella Land shoes, for being comfy, cute, and for lasting as long as you did. I will never forget all the streets I walked in your shoes.

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Chicago Trip: Part Two

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Our Chicago trip entailed a lot more cities than Chicago. Luckily my older brother lives there and was willing to chauffeur us around. We decided to take a day trip up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a city that has no shortage of cheese, churches, and breweries. And just FYI, I know it’s a lot of pics of just me, but hubby and brothers went along too. This is a public blog so I’m just respecting their privacy. Plus boys can be really picky about their photos…I thought only girls were like that?!IMG_8852IMG_8847IMG_8915

Click through for all the cheesy photos…like literally, there’s a lot of cheese in these photos…

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