Evening at the Carmel Mission


Monday, July 21, 2014

Last night, we got ice cream and walked around the beautiful Carmel Mission. The Spanish architecture, lemon trees, bougainvillea, climbing grape vines, olive trees, garden roses, figs, fruit trees and other mediterranean flowers and colors everywhere make it such a lovely place to explore.

Growing up, we took school field trips to tide pools, touch tanks, whale watching and many of the missions throughout California, probably not realizing just how unique and special that is! The missions were established by Franciscan priests in the late 1700's, and with Catholicism, they also brought a strong Spanish influence through fruits, trees, ranching and architecture.

His kisses lately have been reserved for Daddy only, but I finally got a big smooch!

Everyday Balsamic Vinaigrette


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Making a really good, simple salad and vinaigrette may just be one of my love languages. This is the quickest and most delicious vinaigrette that I whip up, and we like it so much that we have been having it with dinner multiple times a week in one form or another since we were married.  It's wonderful on a salad with seasonal fruit and gorgonzola, with chicken, a steak salad with creamy cheese, grilled portabello mushrooms or even used as a marinade, drizzled over a pizza or dipped with a caprese sandwich or just warm focaccia bread.

Everyday Balsamic Vinaigrette
{serves 8}

1 C Balsamic Vinegar
1-2 tsp raw sugar or honey {taste and add more as you please}
pinch of fine sea salt
2 tsp minced garlic

Shake all of the ingredients in a lidded mason jar; taste and add more sugar or honey to your liking. This stores best for up to a week. Enjoy!

John Shea at 10 Months


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Our John Shea baby doll is already ten months old! He is the most joyous, friendly, beautiful, lover of a little person. He is all about Daddy right now -- following him everywhere, wanting to help Daddy by playing with tools while he works on projects around the house, laughs hard with him, only gives Daddy kisses (what the heck), and thinks he is the funniest person around. Though, when he's tired or his gums hurt from teething, all he wants is to snuggle with me, so atleast I've got that ;) I said this in his 9 month post, but 8-10 months has been our favorite age so far. He is still not a stellar sleeper, but he is such a joy and his personality, though all boy, is incredibly sweet and tender. He still smiles at everyone he sees, flirts with every female that crosses his path, gets the cutest bashful smile when he watches Cam and I kiss, and understands humor. He also enjoys being read to (hooray!!) and playing alone with his toys. No words just yet, but lots of "da da da da da," which we of course think is absolutely adorable and amazing. We love you so much, buddy!

Quick Trip to Santa Barbara


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My big brother, Matty!

Three years is a really long time to be away, but that time in Japan flew by for us, and since being back in the States, with every single person we've gotten to see, it's felt like no time has gone by at all. I think that must be a testament to the quality of people and relationships the Lord has graciously put in our life. There's still a lot of family and friends we haven't seen yet, but this past weekend we got to reunite with my big brothers, sister-in-law, their kids, and Ahn and her whole fam (thank you so much for having us, Dan and Jules!!) and the Jacks. It honestly felt like only a couple of months had passed since we'd last been together, though in reality it was three whole years and many babies later. Do you all know Ahn and I have been best friends since the fourth grade?! I love seeing her now as a mother of two. I had hoped to make some stops at other homes for surprise hellos, but there just wasn't enough time this quick trip. We loved the quality time we got though with the Waynes and Michealsens, and John Shea had so much fun with the nine other kids at the house that he did not want to sleep. As in, at all. Womp womp. He also adored his Uncle Matt and we ended our very quick trip by having breakfast on the beach with him and a beach walk, and then a visit by his cousins and Uncle Jay and Aunt Mel back at our house in Monterey. He's currently sleeping off his missed naps and his social butterfly ways. I have no idea where he gets that from!? ;)

I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend!

Start Somewhere {Simple Coffee Table Vignette}


Thursday, July 3, 2014

When it comes to the whirlwind of unpacking boxes with stuff literally everywhere, you just have to start somewhere. I started with our coffee table, or atleast half of it. I put it in its spot, even though our couch and rug aren't here yet, and the books for the other side of it are still in a box. But even just that one little spot being finished made me breath a happy sigh of relief.

We've been collecting coasters from all over the world since our honeymoon, the vase was a $5 find in Okinawa, the candle was on sale at Anthro and I found the gold tray at Home Goods last week.

This pretty bench was my $12.99 steal from Target!

Happy Independence Day weekend! We are thrilled to be in our country to celebrate it this year.

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