Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Introducing Audrey

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Our little Audrey is five weeks old today. These have been both the longest and the shortest five weeks of my life. These photos were taken when she was three weeks, and I can't believe how much she has already changed! I feel like she has crossed over from being a newborn to being a baby, and I already find myself asking her to stay little, to not try to grow up to fast. But, I also tell her that she needs to eat and sleep well so that she can grow big and strong...

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I tried to exercise restraint in selecting photos to share--our photographers did an amazing job and got so many sweet shots of our little miss. That being said, I will share more photos tomorrow (or the next day or at least sometime this week)!

All photos in this post were taken by Gipe Photography (who also took our family photos a couple of years ago).

Thursday, February 6, 2014

february calendar

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Here we are, nearly a week into February, with an entire month of 2014 already finished! How did that happen? I haven't even posted my goals for 2014 on here yet!

I promised to post these calendars each month, so here is February! I am going to try to just get the whole year done and post it at once since a yearly calendar seems more useful than a monthly one for planning purposes. Just click on the image above to download the calendar.

Happy February!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

hello, 2014

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Oh, hello there! It's been awhile. I have photos from our vacation to Chicago in September that I haven't shared yet...

In keeping with tradition, my first post of the new year is going to be my resolutions. New Year's is my favorite because I love making lists and setting goals. I love the process of evaluating the past year--what was good and what could go. 2013 was a good year in the Angevine house. I did a lot of doing this year (despite the lack of evidence on my blog). We made a lot of major adult purchases (car, couch, tv, etc.). We made a lot of progress on our house, even though I find myself wishing that we had done more. 

As I was writing out our Christmas cards this year, I realized how many people we had seen over the year that we don't usually see, and it was good. A lot of that had to do with my brother graduating from high school (yay Matt!) and our trip to Michigan to visit my mom's side of the family.

So, here are my resolutions, the same from last year with some updates and at least one addition. Later this week I will also share a list of more specific goals that I have for 2014!

  1. Stop whining. I am a self-professed whiner. A couple of weeks ago, I had this great revelation: people who complain a lot get on my nerves! My rule has always been that I can't complain about something unless I will take some action to change it. I want to focus on the positive and work to change the things that I would like to complain about.
  2. Be a good steward. This is always on my mind. I want to be a good steward of all that we have: our finances, our home, our vehicles, my body, my mind, my time, my relationships, my talents, my possessions. Instead of wanting more, I want to take good care of what I have.
  3. Push myself. I want to push myself creatively, intellectually, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Learn new skills. I am not satisfied with the status quo in my life--I want to push myself to be all that I can be in every area of my life. I want to be constantly learning and growing and challenging myself. 
  4. Be a woman of action. Just Do It. Make things happen. Get things done. 
  5. Spend with meaning. Quality over quantity.
  6. Be more gracious. This is something that I struggle with, and I am sure that I will continue to work on this for the rest of my life. Each year and life experience certainly brings some improvement, though. I try to always remember to "Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." (Ian Maclaren)
  7. Be more giving. I am going to give myself a pat on the back for this one in 2013. In the Fall, I started volunteering with an organization called Fristers that has had a huge impact on my life. I am so thankful that God put me in this ministry at this time, and I am excited to see how He uses me here.
  8. Streamline and declutter. My life, my home, and my body. I want to get rid of the things in my schedule that don't really matter to me  so that I have time for the things that do matter. I want to have only things that we "know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful" (William Morris). Basically, this resolution is all about simplifying and prioritizing.
  9. Be a better friend. My mom and I were talking about this the other day. We are bad friends (so, it's genetic!). I am the kind of person who has only a few close friends instead of a huge circle of friends. I do best in one-on-one quality time situations with my friends. I truly value the friends that I have right now, and I want them to know that!
  10. Become a better listener. I re-read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People last year and this really struck me: "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." (Stephen Covey) This is me! I realized that while I'm "listening" to people, I am already formulating my own response. How terrible, right? I want to stop myself from formulating those premature responses and really just listen to people. What I have to say is not that important. 
  11. Live greener. Use less energy, create less waste. We still ended up throwing a lot of food away last year which is so painful to me. I want to continue to improve on this one of those ways is through meal planning. We have decided to simplify our dinners this year by preparing beautiful and balanced meals consisting of lean proteins, vegetables and whole grains. I created a little calendar to assist me in meal planning for January, and I will post a new one each month. Click on the image below to download a PDF that you can use for your own purposes--meal planning or otherwise:
January 2014 calendar

Sunday, September 15, 2013

week fifteen: the front door

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As promised, here is an updated photo of our living room with the front door painted a glossy black! I am really loving the way this looks in our home. It helps to pull together some of the different elements in our open living area and makes everything seem a little more polished.

After painting the door, I realized that I am not loving the silver door hardware, but I don't think replacing it with something that I love is not really an option right now due to our HOA. I'm going to look into it, but I'm not sure that it's possible to have one style of door knob/lock on the outside and another on the inside... I did do some research, though, and found this tutorial for spray painting door hardware. I'm going to give it a try, and you can be sure that I will let you know how it goes!

Friday, August 30, 2013

week fourteen: painting living room trim

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A couple of weeks ago I finally got around to painting the trim in our living room. It seems like such a little thing, and it really only took me about 20 minutes to paint all of the trim in the entire room, but freshly painted trim makes a room feel so much newer, brighter and cleaner. Before I painted all of the trim, I replaced that little piece of trim that had been removed during the kitchen remodel (yes...that was 3 years ago...). I don't even know whether anyone else ever noticed that it was missing, and I'm sure that no one will notice that it's fixed, but it makes a really big difference to me! 

 I am ready to get cracking on getting the rest of the house painted--walls, trim and all! I can't wait to share our next project with you--we painted the back of the front door black, and I am loving what a difference it makes in our home!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

ramos house cafe

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An old friend of mine from high school was in town a couple of months ago, and she introduced me to this sweet little spot in San Juan Capistrano. The Ramos House Cafe has easily become my favorite spot in Orange County for brunch--the perfect spot to say, take your oldest girlfriend for her birthday brunch! Which is exactly what happened this past weekend. Mind you, I'm not really that good of a friend as her birthday was in April...

Located in Old San Juan, this place has it all--a great traditional restaurant concept where "the wines are kept in the cellar, the herbs are grown in the garden and the is turned out back," an ever-changing seasonal menu, and last but certainly not least: great patio seating. While kind of a pricey brunch, it really is worth it. We enjoyed the apple cinnamon beignets, small basil cured salmon lox, organic heirloom summer squash hash with fried poached eggs, and the smoked bacon scramble with wilted rocket and apple fried potatoes. Everything was lovely. I highly recommend the heirloom summer squash hash with the fried poached eggs. It was perfect, so perfect that I am going to try to figure out how to make it at home.

If you're not hungry after all of that, I just don't know what to do with you.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

in season: tomato bruschetta

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Lately each one of our CSA boxes has contained lovely summer tomatoes. Since Justin doesn't care for tomatoes, I've been enjoying a lot of Caprese Salads, Greek salads and bruschetta in the process of using all of these beautiful tomatoes. I think I finally got my bruschetta recipe just right, so I thought I would share it! 

Tomato Bruschetta 
Makes 2-3 servings depending on the size of your tomato 

1 tomato, diced 
1-2 clove garlic, minced (depending on your mood and any date plans later in the day)
1.2 t. extra virgin olive oil + extra for grilling bread
1 t. balsamic vinegar
2 basil leaves, chopped or torn into small pieces
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
small baguette (I get the Organic Baby Baguettes from Trader Joe's)

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Heat grill to low heat. Brush baby baguette with olive oil and place face down on the grill. Grill a few minutes until just golden. Scoop your bruschetta onto your baguette and enjoy (preferably with a glass of wine and a sweet spot sitting outdoors). 

Do you have any favorite recipes for summer tomatoes?

Monday, July 29, 2013

week thirteen: patio lights

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I cannot believe how far behind I am on posting my home project a week for this year! I should be posting week 30 on Friday...Since that is obviously not going to happen, I promise that I have been doing projects, I just haven't been getting around to posting them. I will work on getting caught up as soon as possible because I have some fun things to share. 

I put these string lights up on our patio several weeks ago (they are just these lights from Target), and we have really been enjoying the soft light for dinners or just sitting and talking and/or enjoying the peaceful quiet that is typical for our little street. I have long been a lover of "twinkle lights" which I am sure stems from my mother's tendencies toward all things sparkly. String lights take an outdoor space from nice to ambient. They add some beautiful romance to everyday life.

And they just make me happy. No further justification needed, right? 

P.S. What do you think of our summer wreath? It was the easiest wreath I've ever put together, but I think it might be my favorite so far. Although this Christmas wreath would rank a very close second!

P.S.S. Do these pictures feel like Fall to anyone else?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

my baby brother's high school graduation

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A couple of weeks ago we piled into the car and drove up to Carson City for my brother's high school graduation. I am so proud of my little brother for finishing his senior year strong and making some good plans for his summer and school in the fall!

There seems to be some negativity out there in the world regarding the significance of graduating from high school, but what an exciting time of life! Graduating from childhood into adulthood. So many hopes and ambitions and dreams yet to be tainted by the world. My hope for my brother is that he dreams great dreams and imagines amazing things that he can accomplish in his life. I hope that he pursues those dreams without allowing himself to become jaded by the world. 

My brother is 10 years younger than me, so his graduation has led to a great deal of reflection as it has forced me to realize that I was in his position 10 years ago. I wish that my newly graduated self would have written a letter to my 10 years later self. At that time, my goal was to become a Pulitzer prize winning journalist, covering stories in war zones related dangerous beats. I was even looking into learning Farsi because the war had just started in the Middle East, and covering that was my dream job. I don't really remember thinking about whether I'd be married with children at this point in my life. I just remembered that I wanted adventure. I wanted to make a difference in the world. Life has taken some interesting and unpredictable turns over the last 10 years to get me to where I am at this moment. I'm looking forward to seeing where the next 10 years take me.

Sometimes I feel like I've spent a lot of time spinning my wheels. What am I doing with my life? I mean, I love my life right now, but am I making any sort of difference in the world? How timely that my Bible study group just started going through a book called She Did What She Could. Maybe my part in changing the world will be smaller than I imagined it would be ten years ago, but I can still make a difference.

I think I'll sit down and write a letter to my 10 years from now self...

_______________________________________________________________________________________________
 "Establishing goals is all right if you don't let them deprive you of interesting detours." (Doug Larson) 

 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

week twelve: coffee table

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Last week my dad had a conference for work in San Diego, so I decided to take a couple of days off of work *gasp* and drive down south for some quality time with my parents. They then rode back up to Orange County with me to stay with us for a couple of days. 

While I was down in San Diego, my mom and I decided to do some thrift shopping with the goal of finding a coffee table for our little house. I had a very specific sort of coffee table in mind--a midcentury slat bench. Don't ask me how I got this idea into my head but it wouldn't leave and J had no problem with it, so I could settle for nothing else. We just happened to find two such benches on our excursion. The first one was the right price, but there was just something about it that was not quite right. Enter Vestige. We walked into the shop and we immediately knew that there was something special. I browsed casually, keeping my eyes peeled for anything slat bench-y. The owner asked me if I was looking for anything in particular to which I replied, "Why, actually, yes," and he led to me to the back room where the one sat in the middle of the room. 

The only problem was that I drove my little Honda Accord down to San Diego, and I had to fill it up with two more adults plus luggage for hour and a half drive home. So, we entered into a deal called If You Can Fit it in My Car, I Will Buy It. And would you believe it? He got my coffee table to fit into my car! And that is the story of your adoption, little coffee table.

This is such a cool piece because it expands to about twice it's size! And it still looks pretty while expanded. It is also a bench so you can sit on it. Talk about versatile. And in a small space, versatile furniture is a major plus. I just love this bench/coffee table. It just looks like it belongs in our living room. Now, I need to find some amazing coffee table books (I really want to find one on California!). I also feel like this table needs a small cactus garden. What do you think?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

week eleven: entry mirror

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Remember this mirror? I don't blame you--I had kind of forgotten about it myself. I had planned to hang it above our bed after I found or made a headboard (which obviously has not happened yet). But, then I started reading some feng shui article and learned about how bad it is to have two mirrors facing each other (we have a very large mirror attached to our dresser which is directly across from the wall where I intended to hang this mirror). Also, we are kind of thinking about hanging the painting that used to be in our living room above the bed.

I had purchased this mirror to hang next to our front door, but when I got it home and started to hang it, I just hated it. This gold mirror has literally been sitting around my house for nearly 2 years (eek!), so I decided to just hang it up, and I love it here. It is perfect. Every front door should have a mirror next to it, right?

Looking at these photos, I am realizing how desperately our front door needs to be painted. We bought some glossy black paint for this door, so we'll see how that turns out--I'll try to get that done this weekend! I also need some new curtains for that slider door. Feel free to send me some fabric or curtain options! I am struggling with finding just the right thing (I kind of like this concept, but I'm not sure about the color ways available).

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

week ten: living room art

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I have been dying to get these pieces up on the wall for a few weeks now, but wanted to wait until we had been painted so that we could really enjoy them with that clean white background. I found both pieces at the same flea market in Irvine (months apart). 

I love a sort of gritty local color genre of American literature, and these paintings evoke that same sentiment in me. They tell stories and they make me want to know what the artist was feeling and thinking when they were working on these. Did/do they have a sentimental attachment to that place or those people? Did they imagine these things? Did they copy a photograph? I tried to search for information on both of the artists, but couldn't find anything. It makes me wonder whether they have any other works out there, and what path these pieces took to find themselves hanging on the wall in some little condo in Southern California next to each other...