My summer break flew by and it’ll be over in a few days. Can’t believe it. Besides working on the store, and lesson-planning for school, I’ve been carving out time for personal projects. I’m not pleased with most of it, but it’s felt great to test things out and begin routines—to return to the habit of creating. Ideally, the creative misses will eventually lead to hits.
I also took my first dance class, in modern dance, at the Houston Metropolitan Dance center. Although I was nervous, my love for SYTYCD carried me through. Who knew pointing your toes could be so hard?!
Summer has also given BJ and I time to explore more of Houston—many for the first time. Last week, we stopped by the Central Library, got our cards, and checked out as many books as we could carry. We finally walked to the Sicardi Gallery literally around the corner from us. We enjoyed the shrimp egg rolls and lobster with our family at Tay Do restaurant. But we also stopped by old stand-bys: the Menil, where I got a little teary to see the same guard who was on duty in 2009 at the Twombly Gallery when BJ proposed; beating the lines with an early dinner at Tiger Den, where we tried the pandan custard donuts; and pizza and my favorite fries at Kenneally’s Pub.
I haven’t been back to San Antonio in probably more than 10+ years, but during my Spring Break, we decided on a whim to take an overnight trip. San Antonio made for the perfect destination: it was only a little over 3 hours away, the crowds were either at SXSW, Galveston, or the Houston Rodeo, and BJ has never been even though he’s lived in Texas for more than 5 years now.
We booked a room at the Hotel Havana, and it was the perfect place for a mini escape! It had beautiful natural light with skylights above the bed, Turkish rugs, boldly patterned bathroom tiles, and pops of pink, turquoise, and warm yellow in all the right places. As much as I love minimal white spaces, color will always win me over. I left inspired to find ways to make our space more relaxing, which can sometimes be an uphill battle with our limited amount of light and ever growing clutter. But I’m determined.
Below are some photos I took with my phone. Last set of pictures are from our BBQ stop in Luling on a way back home.
Our weekends are now even more treasured since BJ went from freelancing full time to working at his new job. Neither of us are morning people, but we try to wake up early, put in some time at the store, and do as much as we can together (without feeling guilty if we don’t. I’m the worst). Our hours during the weekdays are so different, and one of the perks I miss from BJ’s previous looser schedule was we could sometimes meet up for lunch or just catch up for a bit in the middle of the day.
Lately, we’ve been organizing the house, loading up on plants, trying new restaurants, and taking walks to the Menil when the weathers nice. We took Igby and my sister’s new dog Missy there last weekend, and they were finally tolerating each other. All of us were so excited. We thought it would take a least a year given Igby’s diva reputation in our family. This weekend was extra special. Our friend and one of BJ’s best friends, Ben, came down for a visit. We haven’t seen each other in almost 4 years, and its sometimes sad to think about how spread out all your friends are post college. I am the worst at keeping in touch, but hopefully, this year, I can make it out to see my old friends.
We usually end our night by watching a movie or putting one on in the background while we work (Trader Joe’s popcorn tastes just like the movie theater’s. I already bought two bags in less than 1 week!). A few nights ago, we saw Enough Said again, which has to be one of my favorite movies of 2013 along with Short Term 12. As much as my night owl habits are ingrained in my DNA, I’m going to try waking up a little earlier during the week too. I really need that quiet time to focus and settle down, and if I remember, maybe add lemon water into my morning routine. Anyways, I hope everyone has a great week.
+ Igby dog watching at the Menil
+ Good Dog Houston. One of our favorite trucks has a brick and mortar now.
+ Cleaning and adding plants. Loving my gifted silk trout sachet.
Happy New Year! We felt a little worn from traveling and family holiday functions, so we rang in the 2014 watching Frances Ha and eating pizza in bed. It was perfect. San Francisco had gorgeous weather during our trip. It was clear and sunny each day, and we were constantly soaking in the views – from our rooms, car -even pulling over to catch the sunset, walking, etc. We booked a hotel downtown and rented a car at the last minute, and it gave us a chance to explore more of the city. Some highlights:
Eat & Drink: Tartine (Still dreamin’ of their morning buns), Happy Moose Juice, Taylor Street’s Cafe, Katana-Ya, The Codmother Fish and Chips, Lers Ros Thai
Shop: Little Paper Planes & Owl Cave Books, Dog Eared Bookstore, Gravel & Gold, Mill Mercantile, Daiso ($1.50 Japanese store)
See: Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, Mission District, Japantown
Happy Early Christmas & Holidays. I am so ready to rest and spend time with my family. This first semester at my new school has been humbling – I often felt like a first year teacher adjusting to the cultural shift, expectations, and new curriculum. Luckily I get to edit and beef up my lessons during the next two weeks since my classes are only a semester long. A new start fitting for the New Year. Although it’s been hard at times, I’m happy made the change, and I look forward to creating new memories here. Some things I’m planning to do this winter break:
+ Visiting San Francisco for Christmas. I went when I was one or two years old so it’s kind of like my first time. Any favorites?
+ Working on more block prints. I’ve started testing them out on linen napkins.
+ Taking photos not for products!
+ Listening to 500 Miles on repeat. I love Carey Mulligan’s voice.
+ Slow mornings and sitting down to eat breakfast.
+ Eating more of this soup. BJ made it a few weeks ago. So good.
+ Watching movies and shows in bed. So far we’ve seen Midnight in Paris, SNL’s Christmas show, and Top Chef.
+ Catching a showing of Her
Pausing for a bit and trying to slow things down.
Favorite breakfast right now: yogurt, berries, chia seeds, and Milk & Honey granola
Ceramics: (above) Angel Oloshove (below) Bari Ziperstein, my glazed planter, fruit bowl from Gravel and Gold
June has flown by and I’m already halfway through my summer break. A lot has happened: I finished up the school year and completed my 5th year of teaching; we went to New York with my sisters for work/play, we saw Eggleston at the Met, celebrated my 28th birthday with friends, rode the ferry over to Brooklyn, had a lovely lunch with the Dobbin Mews ladies, came back to Houston; and then… I got a new teaching job. As I was looking forward to a summer of “nothing,” things changed quickly. But this change was good. I had a tearful goodbye (all on my end, of course, because I cry about everything) with my former school, and now I’m preparing materials for my new courses. My commute will cut out almost 1.5 hours of driving every day, and most importantly I think this position will enable me to havea much more balanced life. Here’s to a new beginning!
My spring break is drawing to an end, and, like I do with most weekends, I’m left wishing I’d done more before it ended, and probably dwelling a little too much on it all. But it’s been a pretty great week so far. I got to wake up late and it wasn’t pitch dark, eat multiple lunches with BJ, organize the house, hang out with my siblings, enjoy the spring weather, tackle loads of laundry, and work on fall orders for the store. We’ve also been watching The Americans. I’ll always be a Keri Russell fan (Felicity forever!), and although it was a little slow to start for me, I’m pretty hooked. The 80’s look good on her too.
While cleaning the house, I took some pictures of some of the things I’ve been collecting or using frequently. From the top: new comfy Anniel shoes from Leap and hat from Creatures of Comfort, Mujji restock from our last trip to NY, bits of fabric and packaging remnants from Julia and Shara + pretty business card I found in NY, and some of the art supplies I’ve using these days. Still obsessed with stamps!
Yesterday, we took BJ’s mom, who’s in town for the week, and some of my family to the MFAH. I took phone shots of a few of my favorites from the museum’s collection while our moms and my aunt walked through the War Photography exhibit.
2012 was definitely a trying year for the both of us—apart from the opening of a store, we had a lot of change going on. Looking back, I definitely got burned out, and I often didn’t handle the stress in the best way. But I feel very hopeful and determined to have a healthier and restorative year. Moving into our current place (smaller and in a more walkable neighborhood) was a step in the right direction. This year we’re resolving to take time to visit our city’s museums. They’re only a short walk or drive away. We’ve already had two museums visits so far—not bad for the first month. Here are a few other goals. I tried to keep it simple:
+ Decompress each night by reading or drawing in bed. Close the screens, put down the phones.
+ Call, write, text my friends in other states at least a couple of times a month.
+ Drink water & eat breakfast.
+ Collaborate, create, and continue to practice my craft.
+ Watch movies with BJ.
+ Be a more patient and better teacher, wife, sister, daughter, friend, etc.