weekly letters.

dear mr. a, you plan last minute bonfire dinners for the family on random thursday nights.  between this and surfing at sunset, my heart can't help but pitter-patter.  thanks for keeping even the most normal days spectacular.  dear saturday, you keep me grateful for mellow mornings at home & afternoon tea with new friends.  i cherish you.  dear birdhouse, even though we regularly wish for garages & backyards, your walls encapsulate so much love everyday.  we love coming home to you more than we'll ever admit.  dear 50%-off-easter-candy, damn you & your amazing prices.  my will power loses every. single. time.

hope you're having a great weekend friends!


pottery class.

last christmas, i wanted to get my mom something different.  after spending sometime online, i found a one-day pottery throwing class for her and i to attend.  i figured what could be more fun than getting our hands dirty & hopefully make something in the process.  in my excitement booking this class, i didn't pay attention to where it actually was & ended up booking through a studio in st. louis.  classic jess moment.  lucky for me, they were really cool about refunding us for such a silly mistake.
after committing to this idea, i now had to find something locally, and fast.  i found a pottery throwing class offered through a san diego winery that was surprisingly reasonable.  i called, and they not only had availability, but were starting the class that same evening.  after calling my mom to confirm that she could be available for a 6 week throwing class, we showed up and started to learn about the pottery wheel.
while frustrating at times, there's something so grounding about playing with clay.  the slippery texture of the wet clay, the grit as it spins against the palm of your hand, and the muddy splash of clay that coats everything in it's path, made this class addicting.  we both fell in love.
i really enjoyed learning to throw pottery and also found myself getting exciting to trim and glaze all the pieces i made.  in my opinion, that's where the magic is made or not made, in some cases.  that's the thing about glazing, you really don't know what's going to happen in the kiln.  for example, i wanted to make a mug with an organic feel.  i found a glaze that best represented the look i was going for and dipped my mug.  the final product, despite having that earthy feel, wasn't what i was expecting- but that's okay, because apparently, that's glazing.
time & again, many of my tall pieces collapsed on the wheel and to salvage them, i ended up making some shallow dishes/cups out of the remaining remnants.  once glazed however, they turned out so much cooler than i thought they would.  all said and done, i walked away with 4 finished pieces & still have 2 or 3 more bowls that i need to glaze sometime after work.
this class was so worth while & if i had the time to commit to it for another six weeks, i would have signed up immediately.  i found 6 weeks was just enough time for me to start getting it so i'd recommend an 8 or 10 week class for anyone looking to learn.  if 4 or 6 week classes are the only options, definitely sign up.  it's so much fun & so worth while.  plus, there's nothing cooler than drinking out of a mug that your created.


photo walk // spring.

photowalking: the act of walking with a camera for the main purpose of taking pictures of things that the photographer may find interesting.
getting outside is by-far one of my favorite things to do.  there's nothing quite as cleansing as being in nature.  & at times, when i'm out walking, running, or biking i'm blown away by the beauty that nature delivers.  recently, while walking radley & inspired by the gorgeous spring blooms, i decided to take photos of some of the sights along the way.  
this was a fun exercise.  and while researching the idea of a photo walk, i found that there are meetups and annual events focused around the concept of a photowalking.  very cool & very inspiring.  i look forward to doing one of these again and quite possibly with a local meetup. 
please note, all photos were taken with my iphone.



currently our garden is growing & i'm still in awe of our little broccoli.
currently spring cleaning and re-decorating.  there's something about a fresh space that makes us feel alive.
currently i'm trying my hand at watercolor.  i'm super proud of how this experiment turned out & can't wait to share the final project in a couple weeks.
currently crafting is the name of the game.  from watercolor to quilting, i'm feeling ridiculously inspired.
currently we're still enjoying the benefits of birthday flowers.
currently loving a rearranged bedroom and morning light through sheer drapes.
currently finding new restaurants in san diego to enjoy.  sometime a killer sandwich is the answer to all problems.
currently loving this quote.  it makes my heart happy & soul wild.
currently i'm still happiest by the sea.  add surfing, family & bonfires and an ordinary weeknight becomes extraordinary.


our hawaii photo book.

many years ago, my parents took my sisters & i on a trip to hawaii over thanksgiving.  it was the coolest way to spend the holiday.  we went to a luau, snorkeled, danced in rain, and found some awesome local adventures.  of course, we loved it and ever since then have wanted to make another trip back to paradise.
then this past november, the scheduling gods finally aligned and after many years of wishing and hoping, we got the entire family to celebrate another thanksgiving in maui.
we were there for a week or sand, sun & fun.  many new memories were made and many photos taken.  when we arrived home, i didn't know what to do with the photos.  i had already added a few of my favorites into my project life spread and didn't think an entire mini book was necessary.  then i remembered about artifact uprising.  a friend of mine posted a sneak peak of her book on instagram & i was intrigued.
it was one of the best decisions i've made.  i chose the softcover 5.5x5.5 book and just dragged & dropped the photos from our trip into my preferred layouts.  the entire book building process took me about 45 minutes- or in my case, an episode of scandal.  90% of the photos used were from my instagram feed so to be honest, i was nervous about the quality of the images since i didn't change the resolution.
but any worry was in vain.  the book turned out beautifully and the quality fantastic.  i love the recycled paper & matte images and in about 20 pages, i packed in over 100 photos memories.   let's just say i couldn't be happier.  this is the perfect memoir for our once-in-a-blue-moon family vacation.
please note: artifact uprising did not ask me to write this post.  the views are that of a very satisfied customer and are all my own.


weekly letters.

dear radster, every morning you make me feel like the most loved pup-mama ever.  i'll cherish this snuggle time always.  lazy saturday mornings, sometimes despite your gorgeous sunshine and perfect temperatures, all i want to do is paint.  thanks for being consistent so we can play later in the day.  dear mr. adventuruss, things have been challenging for you lately but your get-it-done gusto & plan making is so inspiring and uplifting.  i'm grateful for a love like yours.  dearest sculpin ipa, i miss you already.  i'm counting down the days until i can enjoy your fizzy hops.


31 adventures// a flight to catalina island.

i'm starting this challenge with one of the most grandiose adventures, i know.  however, one of the best perks of being a pilot's wife is every once and awhile, i get to go on some really cool flights around san diego.  last week, andrew needed to get an endorsement (pilots have to get different endorsements to qualify in various airplanes) & in order to do so, he needed to go on a cross-country plane ride.  that being said, we flew in a six-seater plane with one of andrew's instructors and his family from a small san diego airport to the one and only airport on catalina island.
flying in a small plane is so different than a regional jet.  first, it takes much longer to get places which, i found surprising and in some cases, it's actually quicker to drive.  then, there's the issue of noise.  the airplane is really loud and you have to wear specialized headsets to not only protect your ear drums, but also communicate with one another.  as i discovered on this flight, if your headset doesn't work you really miss out on the entire conversation!
finally, you have this amazingly intimate view from above.  on this particular flight we had spectacular weather.  the ocean and skies were the brightest blue, the city sparkled under the sunlight and seeing southern california from above just blew my mind.
once we arrived to catalina, we had a quick lunch at the airport, scoped out the conservatory, and a couple hours later, headed back home.  it was a quick trip- much faster than our day trip last fall.
i feel so fortunate to have opportunities like this.  andrew loves to fly; it's definitely his passion.  i on the other hand, love to travel- and flying is a means to get where i'm going.  but watching him fly is so much fun & makes me appreciate the craft that much more.  flight is an amazing thing & no matter where you're headed, it's most definitely an adventure.


springtime faves.

around these parts, spring is my favorite.  the weather is perfect, flowers are blooming, food gets lighter, and i'm always inspired to make pretty things.  here are a few of my faves right now.  what are you favorite things this spring?

fitbit// julie's kitchen// kitchen aid citrus attachment// martha stewart's encyclopedia of sewing and fabric crafts// essie sheer bliss nail polish// gold leaf vases// studio calico project life kits// swiss cheese philodendron


project life 2014 // january & february.

last year was my first attempt at project life.  i didn't know much about this project when i began- only that it seemed like a cool way to document our life over the course of the year.  so i dove in head first, bought everything i needed on amazon, & began the 52 week process.
and very briefly, here's what i learned: i really enjoy project life.  the simple, turn-key process took the fun (but sometimes daunting) task of scrapbooking & turned it on it's head.  & i love that.  however, this was also a much bigger commitment than i was prepared for.  52 weeks of documenting is hard work.  i won't lie, my motivation definitely wained & by september i almost thought i would give up.  but then, i flipped to the front of the book, strolled through the rhythm of our life and knew that a project like this was too cool not to complete.
fast forward to today.  as i wrapped up my 2013 book (i didn't share any of the books progress online- mostly because i fell behind on blogging all together, not because i didn't want to) i knew i wanted to keep project-life'ing'.  i also knew i didn't have the enthusiasm or bandwidth to commit to another 52-week project.  and i was okay with that.  i have other things i'm passionate about and chose to spend some time exploring those avenues instead.  that said, i still love capturing the everyday small stuff (that ends up being the big stuff) in our lives and decided to complete another project life album this year as well- only on a monthly basis.
it's so refreshing and i'm having a lot of fun with this format.  i'm finding time to be more creative, play with paper and paint and embellishments.  i spend more time looking for inspiration and don't worry about documenting everything.  while i'm sure it will seem a bit more abridged compared to our 2013 album, it still tells the story of us, vibrantly, honestly and with lots of love.
this time around i'm sticking with a format that's more me.  i'm not a fan of 12x12 spreads.  personally, i think the binders are too big (they actually don't fit on any of our bookcases) & it takes a lot for me to find inspiration without a lot of embellishments.  so i opted for an 8.5x11 binder and since there aren't too many pocket options for this size book available for project life, i chose to use the ever-classic baseball card sleeves.  the only downside to this format is that you have to cut everything since the precut project life cards don't fit into the sleeves.

right now my intention is to keep using these pages throughout the year- maybe with a few modifications, of course- and share each layout the following month.  i'm finding inspiration through some of my favorite project life designers all who have embraced their style and made this project work for them.  i love the diversity of project life; it's a keeper.