backyard photoshoot

One thing I often think about is that Tyler and I rarely get photos together. Except for the occasional selfie, it’s usually photos of each other … or the kids haha. We had some really lovely Airbnb guests stay at our property last month for the eclipse and we were thrilled when they asked if we wanted to take some photos in our backyard. 

All photos are by Lauren Driscoll and you can find more from her on Instagram or her website !

We are obsessed with how the photos turned out!! I am a notorious eye closer in photos but if someone can capture that in a really stunning way, you know they’re good. We are so grateful to have these photos and will cherish them forever. 


our 7 year anniversary

This Labor Day was our 7 year wedding anniversary! Because our anniversary fell on the actual holiday this year we decided to take a quick day trip on the Saturday before and then spend Monday together at home to avoid any crowds. Saturday we had a quick breakfast at home then packed up the dogs and drove to Chattanooga.

The weather was absolutely perfect, a little windy for my liking but still a great day. We parked on Main St. and walked up and down looking at shops while we decided on a place for lunch. We ended up at The Bitter Alibi which was really awesome… and affordable. We were shocked at how inexpensive our lunch was. The drinks were good, food was good and service was good. We’ll definitely go again next time we visit. (Please ignore the lipstick on my burrito. It’s a problem, I know.) Going for the day was a perfect sample of Chattanooga but we would love to go back for a weekend next time to explore more and do some hiking. The town is gorgeous and full of old buildings and structures, one of our favorite things to ooh and aah over.

Sunday was spent like any other Sunday. 8am date at Trader Joe’s, unloading groceries, cleaning up the house, working on projects, finishing with dinner with friends at our favorite – Dino’s. The morning of our anniversary we had a special breakfast, brioche french toast with bacon, figs, and bananas with eggs on the side. After cleaning up breakfast, it was already time to prep dinner – smoked ribs. Tyler is Master BBQer and I love when he makes us dinner. The ribs took about 5 hours, one hour of marinating and then four smoking. During the day we listened to music, played games, drank tequila juleps and margaritas, danced around the house, played cards out back, and reminisced on our wedding day (which does not seem like it was 7 years ago). Finally it was time for RIBS! We served them with butternut squash mac n cheese & roasted veggies.

Dinner was so delicious and the way Tyler set our table up reminded me of our wedding table which was so sweet. It was the perfect day, spent exactly how we wanted.

(my outfit details: BDG Culotte Pant , Anthem Crop Cami , Metal Tipped Belt , Wide Leg Jumpsuit )

summer peach pie 

What would summer be with without at least one good peach pie ammmiright?? Well this isn’t just any ol’ peach pie either, it’s got bourbon and brown sugar and pecans and isn’t overly sweet so it goes really well with overly sweet ice cream, which is how Tyler likes it. I wish I’d had the brains to make this with Peach Truck peaches but their season sadly ended weeks ago and I just had the urge to make a pie. Ah, life. Anyway, I’ve had this recipe saved for a long time and I’m so glad I tried it today.  You can find it here! 

Some things to note – 

1. I used frozen dough from Trader Joe’s. I used to make my own dough but TJ’s is the best frozen stuff I’ve ever used and it has totally replaced my homemade dough/allows me to be a lazy baker. If you want to make dough I’m 100% confident the recipe tagged above will turn out amazing. 

2. I was going to lattice the crust and didn’t. Obviously. It is still delicious. And maybe almost just as pretty. It didn’t effect baking time or results of the innards…. Just a heads up… in case you’re a lazy baker like me.

3. I added a handful or two of rough chopped salted pecans because I love pecans. 

4. I added a tablespoon of whiskey to the egg wash also for extra flavor.

5. We enjoyed this with maple vanilla bean ice cream and a whiskey cocktail. Highly recommended. 

charleston photo diary

This spring we took a quick weekend trip to visit our close friends in Charleston. When we moved to Tennessee, one of the first things we thought of was – We can visit the Hubbard’s so easy now (!!!!) Micah, Shannon and their amazing daughter Pearl are one of those families that we have a special connection with. Years can pass between seeing each other and it feels like it’s been no more than a few weeks. Friends like that are the best.

It’s only an 8 hour drive from here to Charleston, so the trip was a breeze. Plus the scenery is gorgeous going through the smokies. A big draw in moving to Nashville for us was how central it is to everything, which means quick drives (so we can bring Trae) and even quicker flights.

Once we got there, we spent our time hanging at their new (adorable) home, eating Shannon’s amazing cooking, going out for lots of BBQ, cruising the historic streets downtown, cooling off in their pool, getting snow cones (Trae got a peanut butter one!) and of course hitting the beach. Since moving from California, Tyler has really missed surfing and was so happy there were surfable waves during our trip. Trae even caught a couple ;-)

If you’re thinking about going to Charleston I highly recommend it. Whether you’re looking for history, the beach, delicious food, colorful architecture, or just an awesome place to visit – there is a little bit of something for everyone.

(What fun would road trips be without a little car trouble right?) 

simple no-knead-no-fuss bread 

Here is one of my favorite bread recipes, it’s simple to make and though I wouldn’t call it “quick” because it needs an hour and a half to rise, the hands on time of making the bread is really quick. It also doubles and halves really well. So make some for your friends or make half a batch for yourself… Though I’m sure you’d be able to eat a whole loaf, it’s so delicious.

Simple no-knead-no-fuss bread – Adapted from here

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)

2 cups warm water

1/2 tbs salt

4 cups flour + more for your hands and if the dough looks too wet

Olive oil

Fresh or dried herbs – rosemary is a great choice, but I also love chives or thyme. You could also make this a sweet bread with cinnamon sugar + nuts + raisins

In a large bowl whisk together yeast and water. Whisk in one cup of flour + salt. Add in the rest of the flour one cup at a time, switching to a wooden spoon once the dough gets too thick. Add more flour if needed. Here you can mix in fun stuff too like nuts and spices.

Cover your bowl and let rise for 1 hour. Once the dough is done rising, lightly oil the bottom of a 10″ cast iron skillet. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough (do not punch it down like traditional bread recipes) and flour your hands. Pull out the dough, it’ll be sticky, and shape it to fit your skillet. Plop it in the skillet, cover again and let sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400°F.

After 30 minutes, lightly oil the top of the dough and put some slashes in it. Add your spices of choice and bake for 30-40 minutes, until bread is cooked through and golden brown on top.

This morning we used the bread to make egg toast, but it works for any sort of bready needs – sandwiches, dipping into soups or cheese dips, toast, French toast if you go the sweet route, chicken pot pie tartines, or just eat it all on its own because it’s that good.

i’m baaaaaack

Hey friends! It’s been just over 3 years since my last post. A lot has happened. Obviously, how could a lot not happen in three years? Here are the bare minimum highlights to get you quickly updated.

Update number 1: We have moved from Southern California to Nashville Tennessee. We’ve been here for two years, bought our first home (sight unseen) and have been getting settled ever since. Two years seems like a long time to still be “getting settled” and sometimes that frustrates me, but then I remember we lived our whole lives in California. Every time we moved to a new home there it took a couple weeks to be settled and then life kept going as usual. There was hardly an adjustment period or settling time there, so setting up a whole new life in two years I guess isn’t too bad. 

Update numbers 2&3: Right before moving we adopted a kitten and named him Bruce W. Driving across country with three cats and a dog in the middle of summer in an old truck was really fun and I strongly suggest everyone tries it. No… but… seriously it wasn’t too bad, we all survived ;-). And about a month ago we increased our numbers again by adopting a Blue Merl Pomeranian. She was 7 weeks old and we’ve named her Ida Red. She has endless energy, is wicked smart and the cutest little fluff ball. She’s about 12 weeks now and weighs 3.5 pounds. 

If you’ve known me for a long time you know that I always dip in and out of blogging. Trying to find the balance has been difficult for me but I’m throwing myself back in it. Let’s see how it goes! 

home & an update

Happy Friday! Just a few pictures from our home to share…

In other news, we bought a car this week. If you followed my other blog, you might be familiar with our car situation. Basically we have been carpooling and sharing our Toyota for a long time while working on our other (non running) car. Now we are the proud and very happy owners of a 1984 Volvo 240 wagon. We went on a fun adventure to get it too!

Can you tell we have a thing for wagons?

birthday camping 2014

 camping ll

On Friday, my handsome husband turned 31. Last year for his birthday we went camping at San Clemente state beach. We decided to make birthday camping a tradition. This year we went to Palomar Mountain. It was a total gamble for us. We have been to Palomar once together, but only for the day and we didn’t venture onto the camp ground. For blindly picking a spot, I think we picked the best one. The weekend was full of delicious camp food, friends, family and exploring.

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Before we knew it, it was time to pack up and go home. We had the best time and would recommend Palomar Mountain camping to everyone.

apple berry buckle

Today is Tyler’s birthday. Right now he is surfing, so I thought I’d post a quick recipe before we head out to go camping all weekend. This is the dessert I made for Tyler’s birthday dinner with my family last night. My mom found this recipe a few years ago for my birthday and it is so so sooo delicious. And easy. The combination of the tart/sweet berries with the sweet/crunchy oat topping is incredible.

apple berry buckle – adapted from here


4 cups thinly sliced apples (I used piñata apples)

2 tbs lemon juice

2 cups fresh blackberries

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup regular sugar or coconut sugar

3 tbs almond meal




1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup almond meal

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup butter, slightly softened

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a baking dish (I used an 8×8 and it was perfect).

2. Toss apples with lemon juice until evenly coated. Gently mix in black berries.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining filling ingredients. Add to the fruit mixture and gently toss to coat. Pour into prepared dish.

4. Mix together the dry topping ingredients. Cube the butter and mix into the dry ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over the apple mixture.

5. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until apples are tender and top is golden brown.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, or a dollop of greek yogurt.  Enjoy!

coconut macaroons

I don’t typically like shredded coconut, even desserts featuring it. But my sister in law makes coconut macaroons that are my one exception, they are just too good to pass up. Lucky for you, she shared her favorite recipe with me.

Coconut Macaroons – adapted from here

7 ounces shredded coconut

2/3 cup sugar (if you are using sweetened coconut, use less sugar) (you could also use coconut sugar  or honey to make these Paleo)

1/3 cup almond meal/flour

1/4 tsp salt

3 egg whites

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

cinnamon, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325F, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or lightly oil it.

2. In a mixing bowl combine coconut, sugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon. Then add egg whites and vanilla. I found using my hands worked nicely for all of the mixing.

3. Using your hands again, form little balls and place them on the cookie sheet. Don’t pack the mixture too tightly when making your cookie balls.

4. Bake for 15-25 minutes, or until lightly golden on the edges.

Let them cool, then devour.

Or, if you’re feeling extra decadent, melt some chocolate with coconut milk and dip the bottoms of your macaroons.