Road Trip Home ATG FINAL{California, through a car window.}

It occurred to me just as I sat down to write this, that though I’ve had the pleasure of technically being on vacation for just over a week now, it feels as if it officially starts right this moment. Christmas has come and gone, along with all the craze (but fun!) that comes with it; the road trip to and from Santa Cruz is behind me; my gifts are safely stored in their new homes; my laundry is done; my fridge is stocked; a new book is on my Kindle ready to be devoured; I just put on a pot of coconut vanilla tea (my current obsession); and my mind is slowing. In other words, I can physically feel myself relaxing some – finally!

I suspect that while I adore the time spent looking out a car window at the many facets of California for 6 straight hours, spending time with my boyfriend’s family for Christmas, then taking a day trip into San Francisco, it’s hard to truly decompress when you’re not in your own surroundings. At least, it is for me. Though I always love travel, a change of scenery, a hiatus from the day-to-day, I always seem to miss home. I’m happy to be back in La-La-Land!

I smile often as I look back over this first week of my vacation and Christmas Day. “Santa” was extremely kind this year and I’m happy to have gotten to spend some time getting to know my boyfriend’s family more. Yet, I’m reminded about why one must be careful over the holidays. It’s easy to get caught up in the “stuff” and forget that all the build-up, while delightful, can often lead to a sense of….what’s the right word? Disappointment? Sadness? People spend weeks and weeks gearing up for one day. I’ve often heard that once the gifts are opened, you’ve gained a few pounds thanks to the amount of food readily available, and your loved ones head home and back to their lives, there’s a bit of a deflation in spirit the day after, which is understandable.

Perhaps it’s because I knew I was coming home to 2 more weeks of restfulness, doing nothing, tackling little projects around the house, thinking about my goals for 2015, and spending time with friends and family in-between, I wasn’t completely deflated in spirit, but looking forward to why I took an extended holiday this year: a chance to recharge after an exhausting 2014. And that’s exactly what I intend to do…

…but not before sharing the highlights of life lately! x

Packed for XMAS Vacation ATG FINAL

{road trip ready.}

Blogging in Hotel ATG FINAL

{A little Christmas Eve blogging from our hotel room.}

Ipod Nano Xmas 2014 ATG FINAL

{You guys – Santa gave me the gift of music this year! I’ve been DYING without my old nano since it broke up with me last summer and this made me SO happy! Those CDs that have been collecting in my car for half the year have met their match…once again.}

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream ATG FINAL

{A day in SF found me back at The Marketplace Ferry Building enjoying Humphry Slocombe’s Malted Milk Chocolate ice cream w/ hot fudge.}

{p.s. It was as good as it looks!}

Scarlet Mare Earrings ATG FINAL

{The gift of bling from Scarlet Mare Studio won’t go to waste.}

Blog Signature Official_FINAL

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Happy Halloween my pretties! Halloween has finally arrived. While I didn’t get to everything on my project list exactly, I got plenty accomplished that put me in the right spirit for the festivities!

1. Bake a gluten-free pumpkin pie. DONE!
Interestingly, this was one of the first things to be crossed off. A simple pre-made gluten-free crust from Whole Foods and Libby’s Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix was all it took. I added a dash more nutmeg and cinnamon to ensure true sweetness to the mix though it doesn’t call for it. Add a little Cool Whip and you’re ready to pumpkin pie it out!

2. Carve a pumpkin. DONE!
This year we headed out to Los Rios Rancho in Glen Oak, CA to pick our pumpkins (and some apples). Blog post to come on what turned out to be a very memorable day trip, but here’s a quick collage to capture our pumpkin carving adventure:

3. Decorate my apartment.DONE!
I decked out my place with simple pumpkin lights I got a few years ago at Target, so admittedly, it wasn’t anything too drastic. They offered the perfect ambiance while watching scary movies all month long, and using my orange pumpkin scented candle created a great final touch and smell for the Halloween season.

4. A scary night out with the girls. – SEMI-FAIL!
The girls and I had a change of plans, while we thought about a night out at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, this never seemed to come together (timing was a huge culprit). We did get together last night for an awesome scary movie girl’s night in complete with pizza, treats, and lots of laughs.

5. Scary movie night at least once a week with a big bowl of popcorn and all the lights turned out.DONE!
This was the one goal that went without a hitch (though popcorn was only present during one flick, there was ALWAYS a sweet treat nearby). I managed to see a lot of scary/suspense films throughout the month. My top 3 likes and 2 hates to not even waste your time on:
1) When a Stranger Calls (1979)
2) What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
3) Sinister (2012)
1) The Hunger (1983)
2) The Last House on the Left (1972)

6. Read Midnight, by Dean Koontz. – FAIL!
Didn’t finish. I’ve been picking this book up and putting it down all month. Unfortunately, I never found the time to get into it before I moved on when my book club announced the November selection; which has been pretty creepy ironically so I been delving into “Room”, by Emma Donoghue.