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Northern California + Calderón + Happy Links


 "Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises."  // Pedro Calderón de la Barca

Happy Links:

  • Adina at The Gluten Free Travelette shared a recent hike in Washington that had me craving somequality mountain time. I immediately added the hike to my "I Want To Go To There" Pinterest board.
  • My favorite resource for clean cosmetics, No More Dirty Looks, is hiring an assistant! If you're interested and have the time, you should definitely think about reaching out.
  • These prosthetic limbs are incredible. Who knew artificial limbs could be so artfully done?! I'm not sure if you all know this (I suppose I don't write about it much), but I was born with just half of my right arm and I wear a prosthesis everyday. These beauties have me wishing for an upgrade!

Wrap it Up:

  • On Monday, I professed my love for Skillshare. I'm taking the "How to Write a Killer Magazine Article Pitch" class... which reminds me: I need to start my project!
  • I welcomed a new series to the blog this week that focuses on the careers of creative entrepreneurs. Be sure to stop in and check it out!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend. I'll be spending it at a garage sale I'm co-hosting with my mom in an effort to get rid of excess. If you're in the Sacramento area and want the details, let me know!

Let's hang out: Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bloglovin



Change is Good


As the new year approaches, I can't help but reflect.

Over the last several years, and even more so in the last several days, our world has become so...loud. The constant stream of opinions, judgements, facts, misinformation, deeply personal stories and meaningless drivel I've opted in to (and, yes, participated in) has become overwhelming.

I find myself less interested in turning on this big, beautiful hunk of an iMac to write due to the noise I find just one browser tab over.

So, I'm opting out of certain things. I won't cut all ties, but those of you interested in following this blog on Facebook after the new year will be out of luck. I'll be deleting my account completely in the coming weeks.

While Facebook is an amazing tool for some businesses, I'm finding it less and less effective for sharing blog content. Sure, I can post a link, but very few people actually see it in their news feeds. Pictures generally elicit a response, but garnering "likes" on a photo stored within the Facebook platform has done very little to grow readership on this blog.

If you follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook, you may have seen my (and a TON of others, I'm sure) early concern regarding the new Instagram Terms of Service. While they've attempted to quiet the masses, I'm still not sure it's the right platform for me anymore. I know they have to monetize their business and have always figured that advertising would be part of that. My personal preference is usually to pay for a service, rather than have my content sold against without recognition or compensation. So, I'll wait to see what Instagram has to say about their "confusing" language (which, let's face it, was actually quite clear) and decide whether or not to move on. The good news is that we have choices. We always have choices (thank you, tireless app developers). I'm checking out the newly updated Flickr app and EyeEm. Feel free to join me here and here, respectively.

That said, I'll still be sharing blog goodness and other fun stuff over on Twitter, Pinterest and Everplaces. As always, you can follow this blog and get new posts sent directly to your email like so:


You can also subscribe to my RSS Feed.

As far as content is concerned, I'm excited about the possibilities.

I purposefully titled this blog People + Places + Things so that I could cover a variety of topics. Admittedly, I've been really focused on the places as of late. The bottom line is this: I've had the unique opportunity to travel more over the last year and I took full advantage of that. Thus, the blog reflected my trips and adventures more than it did the people who inspire me. That will definitely change in 2013. As for the things... well... we'll just have to see how I address that part of the blog in the new year. I wouldn't expect an abundance of gift guides and the apocalypse will surely come before you'll see a "what I wore" post. There are bloggers who do that well (exhibits a, b and c). I am not one of them.

I look forward to the changes in store. I also look forward to having much more peace and at least a bit more quiet in the months to come.

I'll catch you on the flip side, friends.

Happy Holidays.



Let There Be Light!

To be fair, we were never really without light. We just had incredibly ugly light fixtures. See? {Cute, handy husband...not so cute light fixture.}


As you may remember from my posts here and here, we've been working on some fixes to bring our kitchen into the year 2012. We DIYed painting our cabinets, which was a ton of work. When it came to electrical work, we decided to go with the pros. After asking for recommendations from Facebook friends and Twitter followers, we ended up going with Shields Electric.

They were amazing. I met briefly with owner Jeff Shields and he worked up a really fair quote. He also offered lighting design advice. We got four quotes and none of the other guys really did that. They asked me what I wanted and didn't go much further to offer suggestions.

I'm not a lighting designer, so I really appreciated when Jeff offered up a solution based on the size of our kitchen, the natural light we have streaming into the space and the fact that under-counter task lighting just isn't in the cards right now. He also went over product options. He recommended recessed LED can lights, which will save energy, money and waste in the long run. Can't beat that.

So, the morning of the lighting installation, Jeff and his crew came out and got to work. They removed the outdated box light (yippee!) and loaded it in the truck to be donated.


Then they measured twice, cut once and installed the can lights. I'm not kidding you, it took a few hours and they were done.

Once the lights were installed, Steve from Steve's Drywall Service came in and filled the holes in the ceiling. He matched the texture really well too. We could have probably patched it ourselves, but I've actually tried to match texture before. Let's just say it didn't quite turn out.

Thanks to Steve, you can barely tell we had patch work done!


We had to wait for about 24 hours before we painted the ceiling, but that was okay. We had paint in the garage left by the previous owners, so that part wouldn't take any time at all. Easy peasy.

Or so I thought.

Turns out we didn't have left over ceiling paint. And I didn't think to ask Jeff and crew to save us a bit of ceiling they had cut out for the recessed can lights. Ugh.

Have you ever tried to match paint? What about white paint? Yeah. There are about a million different shades of white paint available at the hardware store.

After a lot of trial and error, (and some serious help from the color specialist at Lowe's) I finally found a match. Whew!

When it came time to choose and install our pendant light over the sink, we went with this option from Lofings Lighting here in Sacramento. When we got it home and opened the box, we noticed that the wires were silver (not black, white and ground like the wiring Jeff and crew had installed):


Sadly, the directions were not in the box as the sticker promised. So, after a few google searches and a quick email to Jeff, we were ready to go.

And go, we did. Just look at this hot piece of glass:


The best part? It's centered over the sink. We still need curtains and that wreath may be moved, but hey...I've achieved symmetry in my kitchen, so I'm all smiles.

Can we do a little before and after action? Let's take it way back to October of last year:


And now:


Needless to say we are thrilled with how it all turned out. We got in some solid DIY action, but happily called in the professionals when we didn't feel 100% comfortable doing certain things on our own.

For my Sacramento friends: 

If you're looking for a quote on electrical work, reach out to Shields Electric here, here or here. You'll be glad you did.

If you're looking for someone to do drywall or patch work, I'd recommend Steve Harris from Steve's Drywall service to anyone. You can call him at (916) 369-7168.


Anyone else working on home projects this summer? Be sure to share! Just link up in the comment section.



Follow Friday: Everplaces

I came across this article yesterday, which labeled Everplaces as "a new app that essentially functions as a Pinterest for the real world." Of course I had to check it out. So far, I'm pretty impressed. My first thought was that this could replace all check-in apps, review apps, my Pinterest travel board, etc., but I don't think Everplaces is quite there. YET.



Pinterest: What? I've Made Stuff.

I'm just going to say it: there is a TON of Pinterest activity taking place these days. Anyone else notice that they've opened the flood gates and all of a sudden everyone is pinning their little hearts out? Not to mention you can just check a box and connect with Facebook now, so every. single. pin. is out there on your timeline. Yikes.I'm not big on sharing every single pin on Facebook...because...well... I know people who've never pinned a day in their lives (though that list is shrinking...hi, mom!) and they don't care if I'm cutting the sleeves off thrifted sweaters to make leg warmers this weekend. Nope. They don't care at all. And good on them for standing their ground. Someone has to put an end to all this craftiness, right?

I'm kidding, obviously.

I love Pinterest (minus the over-share option). See:


It's a great place to create wish lists, save recipes, make travel bucket lists and, yes, even find crafty DIY projects to tackle in my spare time. I decided the other day to take inventory and see what pins I've actually executed/made. Because what's the point if you're not going to make, buy, see and/or do any of your pins, right?

Well...turns out I've almost exclusively made food. Double yikes. I did pin Boston and Yosemite ideas on my Travel board, but that was more for planning purposes. I've also put together some fun outfits thanks to my handy Wearables board, but I'm not sure that counts. I did make this photo booth background from my Event Inspiration board for my dear friend April's bridal shower....


...which was really fun.

ps. You can follow April on Pinterest riiiight here.

pps. You can find this backdrop post over on Eden's Sugar and Charm blog. I went to school with Eden's sister and YES, although I haven't seen her in quite some time, she is really that sweet and charming in real life.

Now, back to the food. Here are the recipes I've made and loved so far:

Summer Vegetable Casserole - From Food and Wine


Spinach Lasagna Rolls - From The Girl Who Ate Everything


Comeback Sauce - From Syrup & Biscuits


Cream Cheese Pound Cake - From Elizabeth's Edible Experience


Crockpot Leg of Lamb - From Crockpot 365


Classic Baked Chicken - From Simply Recipes


Roasted Cabbage Wedges - From Martha Stewart


Nutella Sugar Cookies - From Kirbie's Cravings


Yes, my friends...I said Nutella Sugar Cookies. I've made these twice so far and if you take note, I only pinned this bad boy two weeks ago. So...yeah.

Luckily, I was able to unload a dozen or so on my friends over at the Downtown Sacramento Partnership today. This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies (the recipe says 3 dozen, but I counted...and it's wrong), so I do recommend having a plan in place to give some away.

Because, let's face it, no one really minds that kind of over-sharing.