Minimalism / Lead A Quiet Life

10/20/2014 — 12 Comments

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I am, and have always been a very quiet person except around those I’m very close to. To most who know me, it’s very clear that I’m an introvert. Since I’ve been doing more with the blog I’ve had to be more social, and it’s something I have to work hard at. Our house is usually quiet aside from obvious noise, or the occasional music. In day-to-day conversation I strive to listen more than I speak, especially when it comes to Aiden. Volume aside, I do prefer to lead a quiet life as well.

As a photographer, I’m a natural observer. I search for little clues that tell me more about my subject, and I find that it often spreads to other areas of my life. It helps me to be more intuitive when meeting people, having conversations, or even when dealing with my own children. You would be amazed at the amount of information people give away without saying a single word.

Keep a quiet home. It’s very rare that I am drawn to bright colors or flashy things. While I do enjoy a nice print from time to time, I feel more relaxed and at home in a neutral color palette. I prefer texture over color. Most of our furnishings have clean lines, and I try to keep spaces clutter-free (haha!). I generally follow the same rules with my closet as well, but I’ll save that for a later post this week.

I notice that so many people rush in life. We’re guilty of getting caught up in the hustle and bustle too, but try not to. Except for our travels during school breaks, our schedules are flexible. We don’t enroll the kids in many seasonal activities and try not to attempt more than one task per day. We make it a point to eat dinner together every night. Most of the work I do on this blog are at night when the kids are asleep. While some of these things I feel like we need to work on, we really do enjoy our down time and ability to decide what to do.

I find that we are all more happy when we are intentional with our time and sincere in our conversation with others.

Do you do anything to live a more slow or quiet life? Do you have any tips or advice to add?

From our trip to Seacliff Beach in Aptos, California.

52 Weeks / Week 41, Changing Spaces

10/16/2014 — 23 Comments

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This last week has been a complete blur of time and space, literally. I’m mixing days up and we are playing musical rooms in our house. Aiden will turn 11 soon and has been having a hard time getting time to himself. Søren loves Aiden so much and lives to be in his shadow. It’s the most beautiful thing to see them bond and to watch Søren look up to Aiden as a role model and big brother. At the same time they are 8.5 years apart and it’s not allowing Aiden his own personal space to grow up. For his birthday we are giving him his own room, which will also function as the guest room when we have visitors (Hi Mom!).

We are about halfway through this transition:
The boy’s shared room becomes our master bedroom again. 
Our current bedroom becomes Aiden and Søren’s room.
The current office moves to the master bedroom closet to become the closet office, or cloffice.
We will share closets with the boys or utilize the hall closet better.
The old office space becomes Søren’s room.
Aiden’s room becomes his own.

Got it? I’m hoping this will be a better use of space for us, something I’m always evaluating in our not-so-large space.

Did you share a room with your sibling(s) growing up? Do your kids share? How did/does it work out for your family?

Carmel, Reviews / Hyatt Carmel Highlands

10/15/2014 — 34 Comments

Hyatt Carmel Highlands Review Hyatt Carmel Highlands Review

I know that I’ve talked about our wedding before, but I didn’t mention much about our accommodations for our wedding night. We stayed at the same place we got married, Hyatt Carmel Highlands. I feel like I shouldn’t have slacked so much because they were nothing short of amazing.

Hyatt Carmel Highlands Review
Hyatt Carmel Highlands Review

Room
I don’t know if I was just in a post-wedding haze, but the room we stayed in was absolutely dreamy. I made sure to fully enjoy a relaxing bath and then cozy up by the fireplace. We were greeted with chocolate covered strawberries and champagne (a must for the first night of your honeymoon, right?) and it set the perfect tone for the rest of our getaway.

Hyatt Carmel Highlands Review Hyatt Carmel Highlands Review

Amenities
My favorite thing about this hotel is that it boasts a lot of the same amenities as a larger hotel in a more private-boutique package. It includes all of the standard amenities you would expect, with the added bonus of complimentary mountain bikes. I would very highly recommend visiting the Pacific’s Edge Restaurant for dinner one night, it was the best food I’ve ever had, hands down.

Hyatt Carmel Highlands Review Hyatt Carmel Highlands Review

Overall I would give this hotel a 10/10, and not just because it’s where we got married. We returned again for our babymoon in 2012 and experienced the same warm and wonderful service.

Carmel, California China Cove, Point Lobos State Park in Carmel, California
For more information about the Hyatt Carmel Highlands please visit their website. Photos for this post were taken by Steve Doll and Tom Vo Photography.

Do you have a certain place that you would be happy to visit often?

Watsonville / Apple Picking at Clearview Orchards

10/14/2014 — 39 Comments

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Even though the weather is still warm, we wanted to continue the tradition of picking apples in the fall. We headed down to Clearview Organic Orchards in Watsonville, California. I think everyone had the same idea we did, because it was pretty crowded. Luckily the orchards are on a hill, so they didn’t feel that busy. Once we weighed and paid for our apples we enjoyed a delicious apple turnover at the barn.

Have you gone to pick apples before? Do you have any great apple recipes to share?