Sunday, November 8, 2015

Portland in fall

After months of planning (and postponing) and impatiently waiting, at the end of October we - me, Tim, Tumbles - finally took a road trip up to Portland for a week. This was a combination of vacation and "do we want to live here?" research - I worked remotely and Tim took time off work for the first time in ages.

The timing ended up being perfect. It was intensely autumn while we were there, and aside from being ill-prepared jacket-wise and both having to buy coats, Tim and I adored the cool, rainy weather. Such a nice contrast to SF's endless warm, dry weather this past year or two (it gets old).

I really loved it there in a lot of ways, especially the glorious fall leaves and gloomy weather. I get so many feelings looking back at this! That said, we also came to the conclusion that we probably don't want to move there. While the bustle of SF exhausts me sometimes, I think Portland swings a bit too far in the other direction for our tastes, and I'm hoping we can find a happy medium elsewhere. No rush, since a move doesn't seem to be in the cards for at least another year! (To my dismay..)

This was also Tumbles's first ever road trip, and it was a doozy - 10 hours driving each direction, with an extra hour of combined stops along the way. The ride up was rough, with a very stressed corgi for the first several hours, but she was perfect for the entire trip back a week later! I also realized how much I rely on daycare and the dog park we live near for tiring her out at home - without those, she was a very bored pup during our week there. Fortunately she got to play with her new pals Kiwi the aussie and Buttesr the corgi a few times, but boy do I take for granted how very much exercise she gets every day when we're in SF.

the drive is gorgeous, if a bit long

fall look

we found a dog park! really pretty but damp and muddy

a few of Tim's favorite things....


me n my girl

leaves & layers <3

corgi love (with new friend Butters)

friends and beer and a fire pit - the coziest way to spend a fall evening

saying goodbye to Portland, but not without caffeine and pre-holiday festivity

Also - I've decided to relearn how to use my DLSR and move away from the phone pics sometimes. I haven't gotten as far as editing yet (maybe someday!) but here are some raw shots from my actual camera.

I also instagrammed with a dedicated hashtag - lots of overlap with these photos but some differences (and more Tumbles over there!).

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

a new look!

About 4 years ago I did a cute little photoshoot with cupcakes and sprinkly nail polish, and it made a perfect blog banner for what I was going for at the time.

A lot has changed in those 4 years and I feel like a totally different person in some ways. Definitely time for a change here, too.

I wanted something fun and personal but less visually busy, so as part of this, I learned how to go from a pen and paper drawing to a stark vectorized image! It involved free trials of Illustrator and Photoshop, as well as this post and this video. I'm excited to have picked up a new skill that's pretty different from anything I've done before!

I also got to play around with a bit of CSS, which isn't a part of my normal programming job, but I find it super fun on occasion!

I consider this a work in progress, and there are tons of things I may fix up someday, but it seems kind of silly right now as I'm not sure if anyone actually reads this (which is fine, tbh).

Here are some before and after shots, so I can forever remember the oh-so-intense banner I had up here for several years. And hey, if you do read this, why not leave a comment and let me know!

RIP cupcake banner, 2011-2015


This birthday feels big. The last year of my 20s. In some ways I'm ready - the 20s are a year of growth and change and making mistakes, and it seems like many people go into their 30s in a much more solid place. It's just a number, but somehow it feels symbolic - I want to be generally content with where my life is when I get there, ready for the next stage.

The last year and a half have been really good for me. I've found exercise I love and feel really strong and healthy, got Tumbles and have settled into a routine with her, and I've learned to stop letting anxiety sabotage me at work and finally feel like I am building the career I've wanted for some time. Now that a bunch of stressors have settled down, I'm finding more time to do hobbies outside of just baking. I've even started being able to keep plants alive! This is all very new. I went into 28 just getting started on a lot of things - I'd recently gotten super into ballet, I had just (finally) shown myself that I could accomplish things at work, and Tumbles was still a pup and took a lot of work (in fact, my birthday was one of my most stressful, sleepless, and all around emotional days last year). I feel like I'm on much more solid ground now.

Things are good.

But I still feel restless lately, although I appreciate that this restlessness comes in large part from a place of comfort in my life. I've been in the bay area for six years, and it's wearing on me. I moved here for work and because I knew a few people (hi, Tim), but I never saw myself staying long term. I've always missed seasons, particularly the crisp air and bright leaves of fall and the cold of winter. San Francisco has been changing, before and since I moved here. Rents have climbed almost as fast as my cushy tech income, people not in tech can barely live here anymore, and the city itself just feels exhausting lately for an introvert like me. I've enjoyed most of my time here, but I'm ready for something quieter, where I can buy a house and have my own backyard for Tumbles and settle into a less hectic lifestyle.

I'm hoping the next year will bring some of these changes, but it's out of my control in large part - the downside of settling down with another person - so time will tell! Either way, I hope I can continue to enjoy what I have and focus on the many, many good things in my life right now.

Here's to 29.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

End of summer

This summer seemed to drag on and on, but it wasn't all bad - just a bit too long. Here are some pics from August and September. Summer was full of dogs, yoga, houseplants, lots of sewing, sunsets, and a work trip to NYC + rural Massachusetts.

So, so ready for fall and hoping the weather cooperates <3