home + life
It’s officially fall! The days are crisp, the skies wonderfully clear, and I love the aroma of pumpkin around every corner. E and I are traveling up to the family cabin this month, and I’m looking forward to some welcoming R&R. The last few weeks have been a tough bunch; friends and family going through some scary medical situations, increased busyness in our workplaces, tossing around some big decisions for this next year and facilitating a Rooted group with our church have proven this to be a very busy, but blessed season. In some of our down time, we’ve enjoyed roaming through the local farmer’s market and soaking up the toasty SoCal sun – can’t complain about this beautiful autumn weather!
With life crazy busy, I am missing the blogosphere terribly and hope to post more frequently in the coming months (so bear with me)!
How have you been? What has been on your mind these days? Have a great weekend!
Hey all! First things first – it’s. been. ages. It’s been about 8 weeks since I started my new job at the video agency, and I’ve been loving this crazy season of learning, growing and development. God has really shown me how to trust Him as He leads me through new challenges every day. And though life at the new office had been a little nuts, He’s also displaying his rich blessings. About 3 weeks into the position, I was promoted into my supervisor’s role and now operate as Project Manager. Balancing deadlines with downtime has been a little tricky, but I’m enjoying this path and can’t wait to see the future!
With blogging taking the backseat for awhile, I’m recharged and hope to steadily pick up the pace again. Summer is here (record temps in parts of CA this weekend) and I’ve been sprucing up the house here and there. Some of my recent projects and finds:
This glass “oil can” soap dispenser (Threshold, Target, $9.99)
Newly-replanted succulents – the perfect solution for all those little babies! – in their mini garden
And perhaps the biggest project in the last couple weeks (after scheduling and rescheduling a few times) …..we finally made a pallet headboard! (So Pinterest of us, ya)? 3 1/2 hours, a small box of 1.5 inch course drywall screws, an electric drill and one metal saw later – this beauty was born! Surprisingly not as intimidating as you would think (it also helps to have friends who get pallet wood for free and break it down for you) Big thanks to C for guiding our way through Headboard Making 101 with an A++
Some other tasks on my to-do list for this summer: give our patio furniture a facelift (a fresh sanding and a coat of varnish, or maybe changing the look completely with dark brown paint… haven’t decided yet), score a new cream-colored patio umbrella and up-the-ante in the planter arena (9:00pm gardening sessions are not unusual in this house).
Alongside decor whims, I’ve had the chance to enjoy some really nice time away from the office. A long weekend trip to Napa with good friends, date night picnics overlooking the jetty, late nights out and beautiful afternoons with our family (this whole “having the weekends off” thing, is kinda awesome by the way).
How have you been? Any fun plans for the upcoming Fourth (can you believe it’s JULY already)?! I feel like I need to watch The Sandlot and eat a hot dog. Mmmm. Summer.
See you soon!
Hi all! How’s the weather where you are? Even with the rolling marine layer, it’s been really toasty here – perfect for popsicles! If you’re looking for a more grown-up version to celebrate the coming summer months, I have a great recipe from food personality and author, Candice Kumai, using Robert Mondavi’s Woodbridge Moscato (that’s right…wine in a popsicle)!
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
4 sprigs of fresh mint
1/2 honeydew melon, peeled and cubed
3/4 cup Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Moscato
In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar and mint to create an infused syrup. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Cool and reserve.
In a food processor, blend together the honeydew melon and wine. Add the infused syrup and pulse to combine.
Pour mixture into individual molds; add sticks and freeze until solid, approximately 6 hours.
We have a saying in Hawaii, ‘Aloha Friday, No work ’til Monday’. A mantra that spreads throughout the islands come 5 o’clock EVERY Friday afternoon. People shed their slacks and aloha shirts for boardies and bikinis in preparation for two full days of sunshine. Although I (Jillian) may have left the islands, the celebration of Aloha Friday has never left my mind. With a free weekend approaching and apparent lack of warmth in the California air, I started searching for some relief.
After a series of phone calls, seven girls (myself included) gathered around a soccer mom’s mini van in the middle of an Orange County driveway. With bikinis packed, we conquered a seemingly unbeatable game of longboard Jenga. Using one set of soft racks and a pair of tie down straps we stacked 5, 9-foot boards in two side-by-side tiers and shook them to ensure their safety. These boards were heading south of the boarder and the 3 hour drive to Baja Mexico spared no time for freeway flyways.
Sitting between distorted traffic lines, ransacked liquor stores, and a fuchsia lit sky is where we entered a Laguna-like compound 45 minutes past the United States/Mexico boarder. The track of villas was desirable far beyond its surrounding counterparts. Every house was topped in burgundy ceramic shingles and lined in mosaic tiles; colors which perfectly mimicked the elements. We knew the use of a 3/2 neoprene wetsuit would be necessary in the water, but the heat reflecting off the topaz tile made a tw0-piece promising land attire.
Our awaiting surf was to measure 3-5 feet tall, fair, and approaching from the west. Locals and gringos alike call the break Las Gaviotas, a harbored right-handed wave which soars on and off the privacy of a pristine white beach.
We woke the first morning to the slow moving sun, and as we took our coffee to the lanai we were instantly motivated by the jealously that Gaviotas had one, single surfer. We aborted our brew and stuttered into our wetsuits, racing one another to be second at the waters edge. Seven surfers entering the ocean at once can be far beyond a crowd, but when you share each wave with a seamate, it is the perfect number of guests.
Afternoon surf sessions were lost in the direction of the wind, giving us time to indulge in the rays of a midday sun. We carried cold Pacificos and hand shaken beer-ritas to a warm jacuzzi which sat cliffs above the breaking sets. Every one of us thirsted for the return of sun-stricken skin and relished at the chance to shed the layers of clothes we arrived in. Post spa, the seven of us strolled through imperfectly lain paths and in front of labored houses taking in the excitement of color - every focus of our eyes revealed wanderlust.
The wind slowed down just as the night began to fall. Surfing by brail was a common practice, for Las Gaviotas was a weekend warrior, allowing maximum time as the light expressed its last goodbyes. A mixture of all shades created a sunset in the water. Each of our strokes uncovering hues of scarlet, emerald and sepia. Black wetsuits reflected the clouds to become brilliant magenta sea skins. As we looked around to catch our final moments with Las Gaviotas it was clear we were no longer surfing at sunset, we were surfing through it, completely immersed in each fading color.
As we bid the waves a goodnight, I looked up to recognize a 75-foot Jesus Christo figure stretching his arms toward the Pacific. Speaking a quiet gratitude to the one looking over us, it became apparent that we were now bound together through the time we spent in the sea. Translated in English as “The Gulls”, Las Gaviotas soars through the air just as simply as her animal counterpart snatching up adventurous souls in need of the perfect Aloha Friday weekend.
Read more of Jillian’s posts here.
I realize the title of this post is quite ironic since I have never actually surfed (sad), but nonetheless, it perfectly describes the ebb-and-flow of this next season of life that I am entering into.
While it may come as a surprise to some, I’ve been actively searching for a new occupation for the last 10 months - something that I love dedicating my time to, work which I can be absolutely passionate about and a place where I can use my background and skills to be an integral part of a team. After countless interviews (literally), three offers and a whole lot of God’s timing, I ran with an opportunity that is just too amazing to pass up. Beginning next week, I will start life as a Production Coordinator for a creative video agency - I can’t wait to dive in.
While the new job will definitely absorb a lot of my time, I have no plans to stop blogging. It may not be every day, but I will be here in some capacity. Now that I’m officially settled and we know what options we have in terms of living location, I’m sure I’ll have some fun decor updates for the summer (liiiiiike, finally finishing up the paint in the living room after 6 months).
Thanks for your personal support, encouragement and leads! You all are truly incredible.
Hope you have a fab Monday!