Tag Archives: Friends

You are my people.

mug“Your people are not my people,” she said after she pulled her favorite mug off the shelf, after I told her this favorite mug probably wouldn’t work for what I had in mind. Knowing the photograph would go on my blog, she spoke of my readers, tongue in cheek, shaking her head (though she is one). Your people are not my people. She returned the terracotta mug, shaped like a short, stout man, with strange features and an enormous belly. “If I had a blog, I would put him on it,” she insisted knowing that this little mug-man would not work with my aesthetic.

“Oh, are you taking photos for your blog?” her husband asked, drawing out the word.

These people, with their sarcasm and the mug-man they drink their coffee from, they are my people. They are supportive and irreverent. They love me like they love that ugly brown mug–just the way I am. And you, reading this. You are my people too. We pray for each other and we laugh at each other (or is it with? I can never decide).

We picked a different mug, one more pleasing to the eye, and I use that phrase irreverently because this blog business? It is kind of funny. I visited friends, had great brunch while feeding their baby at his high chair, and in between running around chasing him we took this photo. It’s serene, right? The morning wasn’t tranquil and I loved every moment, especially the baby giggles.mug1

If you saw my instagram, there was a picture of brunch. What you missed was her husband, cooking my omelet with the avocado inside and the cheese on top and my friend and I trying not to laugh because he did go to the trouble.

“Oh, are you going to instagram that for your blog?” he asked, speaking of the breakfast. Secretly, my friend and I think he wants to be featured here. We actually don’t think that but we say that to him so he rolls his eyes. I love people who roll their eyes. It means we will probably get along.

“No,” I told him, laughing.

When he left the room, I told my friend that I actually had to instagram it because someone had asked me what I was doing now (#widn). So I had to, you know? And my friend laughed and I laughed too. Because I also had to stand on the chair to get the perfectly imperfect photograph.

This thing some of us do–blogging? Sharing pieces of our life, sharing advice on how to be better at it, busting our butts with full time jobs or taking care of kids? It’s weird and I have to lean into the weirdness and admit it’s there because I am irreverent and laughing is as important as the occasional eye roll. You see parts of my life but not the whole.

You see a photograph of a mug that matches nail polish instead of my favorite mug. You don’t know, unless I tell you, that I actually don’t have a favorite mug because it chipped in the dishwasher the year after I graduated college. I spend hours writing down idea after idea, trying to be original and produce the best content so people want to keep on reading these words I write, and the pictures I take. And because I kind of love it too. I love being creative. So I laugh and roll my eyes because this is a place where I just get to be creative and that is…that is a gift.

You are my people.



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Count them.


(at the end of this post, there are some announcements…don’t skip them. Please and thank you 🙂 )

Have any of you read Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts? I did a long time ago and I loved it so much. Basically, for a year, she gave herself a joy dare to count her gifts daily–even the smallest of things, like light coming in through the window or brushing her children’s hair. There are so many things to quote (I may have underlined the whole book and her writing is stunning) so let’s just choose a simple quote: “Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.” She literally numbers His gifts. I have gone through phases and journals of doing this never consistently. She has an app and I might try that so when things happen, no matter where I am, I can document the gift. Anyway, all that to say, today I am counting some of the weekend’s gifts.


1 | This city that I get to live in. The big round castle like a battlement is Coit Tower and the steeple is the famous Monroe/DiMaggio church. They didn’t marry there, though it’s a common misconception because they took all their photographs there. It’s just that gorgeous. DiMaggio is San Francisco native, by the way. Nonetheless, this weekend the weather was perfect and city was glowing, alive with energy and possibility. Spring has sprung.

2 | Fresh flowers. I put together this bouquet of Ranunculus and Anemones. I had no idea how it would come together because these colors weren’t my first choice but now I love it. It screams joy to me.

3 | Good friends. Yes, it’s an atlas but really represents good friends who saved me so much money and time and oh, did I mention money? By letting me tag along as they ran errands I also needed to do. Without them, it would have taken me so much time and money (oh, did I mention money?) to do on my own. These are the kinds of friends where there is no keeping score (friendships should be this way). One of the friends was Alissa and she and I decided when we first met, my second week in San Francisco, that keeping score doesn’t get you anywhere. If you care about one another, it all comes out even in the end. Also thankful for the other friend who was with us who puts up with the antics of Nina and Alissa and how many earthquake questions I asked. (That’s like 29 things to be thankful for but alas…)



4 | Fresh and beautiful flowers at the Farmer’s Market. The deal was so good I ran out of vases. I painted that vintage diet coke bottle and I love it because it is very me. The silver bud vase comes from Rue La La. The wine bottle comes from Sonoma. I painted it with Chalkboard paint. Right now it reads: California is always a good idea. (Minus Earthquakes)

5 | These are Alissa’s hands. Please compliment her on them because when I took this picture she said, “My nails aren’t painted!” (I told you manicures are essential in SF; that’s why it’s cheaper do you own). Basically, I am thankful that the Farmer’s Market understands that some people, like me and Alissa, are Farmer’s Market losers who a) don’t bring cash b) or bring reusable bags. (The bag issue would be shameful at any farmer’s market but in San Francisco, where legally every business has to charge 10 cents per bag in an effort to encourage people to bring their own bags, not having a reusable bag at the Farmer’s Market is a HUGE failure.) We were able to go to a booth where they gladly took our credit cards and gave us these nice tokens in exchange. One to One. And then on impulse, Alissa just bought the both of us official Ferry Building Farmer’s Market bags! I didn’t even have time to blink. Generosity like that is something to be thankful for.

6 | These shoes are from the Gap and they are polka dots (love) and coral (love). I’ve been wanting more of a loafer so these make me happy as did their price. I swear I am not trying to put Alissa on a pedestal here but I asked her if she would go shopping with me because I need a specific outfit for a specific thing I will hopefully be able to talk about soon and needed her help and opinion. She was so gracious throughout the whole thing and incredibly helpful. We laughed at each other a lot. I mean, with each other. Right?

Even recounting these makes me all warm inside.

–| Announcements |–

-If you follow me on Instagram, you know I am now obsessed with my NutriBullet. I am doing a 30 day challenge with a friend and anyone that wants to join. Just go here. They provide support and tons of great recipes. Wouldn’t it be cool if we all did this together? (It starts on April 1st) You basically commit to one green smoothie a day (so doable) and they want you to eat regular meals. They give you shopping lists and everything. Who’s in?

-I finally bit the bullet and made a Facebook page. If you’re a reader, would you mind liking it here.

-Also, I always reply to comments but you guys never get them….I fixed this issue. I am so sorry if it seemed like I was ignoring you!

Coast to Coast: Resolutions Revisited  is going to happen NEXT Tuesday on April 1st.

So much love,


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It Takes a Village (and a giveaway winner)

When one of my friends was pregnant, she was overwhelmed by the generosity of her friends and family, so much so that she felt nearly guilty. I told her, “It takes a village, girl. We all need each other.”

(Sometimes I say things that are wise even though I don’t consider myself to be wise.)

Recently, an old friend rolled into town and it was so good to “hug her neck” (as the Southerners say) and gab and just be in each other’s company. You see, I am blessed in that God saw fit to have me go to a college I did not want to go to so that I would meet specific women who would teach me, mold me, mentor me, pray for me, bless me, laugh with me, and cry with me. I could not name them all here but there are three in particular–the kind of friends where after six months of no face to face contact, you can order lunch and talk as if you are picking up right there in the middle of a sentence and the waitress has to come back about six times because you haven’t even glanced at that menu. Looking back, these women taught me what it meant to be a big sister, each in their unique way, so that I would know how to sister little Ava someday.

I honestly don’t know who I would be without these women–the four of us so different–but perfectly matched too. (They also claim I am the nostalgic one.) One of the best feelings in the whole world is laughing together. But now we are all spread out, you see. Not just geographically (although that is certainly true) but when it comes to stages of life as well. And you know what? It doesn’t matter. We don’t tally who calls who or when the last time any snail mail was sent. We just love each other the best way we can, even if it’s a quick text. Of course, visits are always the best.SONY DSCThe fact that we are all in different seasons is a joy. I’ve stood up in two weddings where I bawled my eyes out. I road tripped to visit the one and opened a bag full of goodies announcing she was pregnant. I guessed that another one was going to have a baby and she covered her face and giggled at me because I was right. We’ve cried over break ups and we’ve laughed over how much life we have left to figure out. These three girls are those kind of forever friends; you can’t get rid of them if you tried. And I wouldn’t want to. It doesn’t mean we talk everyday or even every week. It doesn’t even mean we talk every three months. (We are not the most reliable group, self admittedly.) But I know they love me and I love them and that’s enough.

So for the link up, with all you ladies, I just wanted to say–it takes a village. We really do need each other. And every now and again, special friendships come around. Grab hold of them and be thankful.

***I also have so many other people in my life who have impacted me but I had that great pictures of Chelsea on the trolley and she told me not to write alllllll about her (I kind of did that in college once) but our time together, however brief, was special. And so are these girls. I’m sure I’ll be sharing more of “my people.”dock skintoskin

We have a practice called “Skin to Skin.” Some of you mommies might be aware of it. Basically, babies react positively to skin to skin contact. So do we, in fact.TuesdayTeaImage

Thank you to Khala, SamJenni, and Reneé for talking the Tea with me this Tuesday. AND IRONICALLY: Jenni won the mug giveaway.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 6.34.46 PM


Congrats, Girl. I know you had a birthday last week so Happy Birthday. I’ll be emailing you!

Sipping my tea,



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Paris is Always a Good Idea.

Speaking of birthdays…today, a certain number of years ago, a lovely babe named Chelsea was born in a small town in Illinois. Don’t worry; I won’t be doing birthday shout outs every day but I have been wanting to share another Chelsea + Nina Adventure and her birthday seemed like the perfect day.

in Paris

in Paris

I heart Chelsea for many reasons but for my purposes here,  I have to tell you that Chelsea is often my partner in adventures. These, typically, are not-on-purpose-adventures. Some might call them  accidental, mistakes, or even misadventures. For many years, Chelsea and I called them this, living in denial.

Oh yes, the time we were supposed to road trip and we thought we broke the car door…I think we both cried. No one understood how a thing like that could happen. But it did! It happened, guys! Can we focus here? And then we dissolved into crying again. But somewhere along the way, we accepted the fact that if Chelsea and I are in a car, supposed to be somewhere, we will get lost. Or run out of gas. Or have a flat tire. We don’t cry anymore. We shrug and accept that this is just how things are. This is the way the world works, like physics. Which for the record, Chelsea and I are really good at. (Not.)

Can you see Paris in a six hour window, starting at four o’clock in the afternoon? Some people would say no. No, you cannot. This is an impossible thing. But to those people Chelsea and I say: yes, you can. I think it can safely be said that some of our greatest mistakes-turned-adventures begin with Chelsea and I looking at one another, shrugging, and saying: we can totally do that.

Notre Dame...one of the few clear photographs my camera/I/Chelsea took

Notre Dame…one of the few clear photographs my camera/I/Chelsea took

Which results in bizarre craziness that no one believes really happened.

You can’t predict these things. You must shrug and accept them. You must accept and live in the chaos.

Background: a few years ago, Chels, was living abroad in a suburb of Paris. I visited her but because of scheduling we ended up with only a half day of sight seeing in Paris for me before we flew to my family in Rome. When I tell you we ran around the city, I am not lying to you. We literally ran. We did the things you aren’t supposed to do–like trying to track down this amazing french market that turns out is only closed on Tuesday afternoons, which if you are wondering is also a common theme for Chelsea and I.

Oh, that thing you planned on doing? It’s only unavailable when we show up. So for this market we definitely went off the beaten path, saw some unsavory characters, and went on a wild goose chase before we saw the standard sights.

Chelsea took me ice skating...bet you didn't think we had time for that, did ya? Booyah. Bet you didn't know I used to figure skate.

Chelsea took me ice skating…bet you didn’t think we had time for that, did ya? Booyah. Bet you didn’t know I used to figure skate either.

Grace with the photography, please. I had no idea what I was doing and something funky was happening with my camera which reinforces my point. Oh, Nina and Chelsea, you’re in Paris sight seeing? Boom, your camera is out of focus for some unknown reason.

See? Weird. And that was the best one.

See? Weird. And that was the best one.

But then you get stunning photos like this one?

But then you get stunning photos like this one?

Can you see why I explained my early picture taking as just completely accidental?

Can you see why I explained my early picture taking as just completely accidental?

l'arc de triumphe

l’arc de triumphe and le tour d’eiffel

Not gonna lie..We could have died taking these pictures. Parisian driving...? Here is the Champs-Élysées

Not gonna lie..We could have died taking these pictures. Parisian driving…? Here is the Champs-Élysées

The Holy Grail of Macaroons...

The Holy Grail of Macaroons…

But let me keep it real and tell you we ate them waiting for the metro, exhausted, damp, and happy. Exactly how one should be after an adventure.

But let me keep it real and tell you we ate them waiting for the metra, exhausted, damp, and happy. Exactly how one should be after an adventure.

We did other things but the pictures just did not turn out. We saw the Louvre. We ended up eating pizza even though we were flying to Rome the next day. This is another example of Chelsea + Nina Adventures. You think, well, that’s dumb. To which we say, when you’re flying around Paris and it’s raining and you’re on an adventure and you’re not très riche, you may end up eating pizza. And you’re happy.

To my co-adventurer…Happy Birthday!Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 3.51.38 PM

Love you so much,



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On the Last Day of 2013.

Still sick, I’m taking an abriged look at 2013.

In 2013, I learned



  • -to complain less than I did in 2012. Hopefully, I complain less in 2014 than I did in 2013.Screen shot 2013-11-03 at 6.18.36 PM
  • -I don’t need the approval or permission of people.
  • -even I have limits.
  • -I need and want to be organized.
  • -I would rather risk it all now and fail than have regrets
  • -I want to keep not settling. No matter what.
Print is from the Everygirl, an amazing online mag, and their new shop, which I am obsessed with

Print is from the Everygirl, an amazing online mag, and their new shop, which I am obsessed with

  • -family is important. I actually like my family.
  • mugs are more popular than I knew.



  • -I can’t put other things, even good things, ahead of my health.
  • -San Francisco is home for now


Here’s to 2014. 





And to get you in the mood…Auld Lang Syne which always puts a lump in my throat, particularly this version.

Here’s the best NYE scene; my aunt and I can reenact it; don’t even worry!

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