ending the blogging silence.

Remember when I used to blog? 
Yeah, I cant either.

Instead of listing out excuses as to why Ive been on a bit of a "blogging hiatus" Ive decided to just jump right in where I left off... because, actions speak louder than words, right?  

 

 

We officially relocated back to Los Angeles on January 30th and have been going full-speed-ahead ever since. Aaron's been busy working on TV shows and I have been busy starting a new career in Real Estate... all while attempting to see old friends, dine at our favorite restaurants, try out new restaurants that popped up while we were gone, and jumping head-first back into life in Southern California. 

 

 

After being gone for 2.5 years, I was a little nervous about how we would feel being back in Los Angeles... especially after being SO READY to leave it back in August 2013.

We enjoyed our time away, it was full of adventure, seeing new things, meeting new people, eating some amazing food (Chicago, Atlanta AND Austin all have pretty fantastic food scenes) and most importantly, it was a good break from Los Angeles. After living in LA for so many years we were both growing weary of it and were in need of a change and I am eternally grateful that we were given the opportunity to venture out to other places for a bit; but I have to say....

I am SO glad to be back in California. 

 

 

We are happy, things are good, we are thriving...
and there are a lot of very exciting things to come. 

 

 

new year, new hobby, new blog.

 

It's January of a new year, which always seems to encourage change as well as new and exciting things for just about everyone. Whether it's making (and attempting to keep) your New Year's resolutions, or using this time of year as a general reset, or maybe even starting something brand new.

This January is full of a few exciting things happening for our household.... 

  • Aaron's current TV show's lead actress won both a Golden Globe and a Critics Choice Award!
  • Im attending the AltWinter Blogging Conference (which starts later today)!
  • In less than 2 weeks, Aaron, Ziggy and I will officially be living in the same state again! In our own place (for more information on that, see this post)! 
  • Im starting a new hobby: photography! 
  • AND.......... Aaron and I very excited to finally launch our brand, new joint project: a new blog! 

 

The new photography hobby..... was a long time coming. Ever since starting this ol' blog back in 2010, I have been the girl who uses her smart phone's camera for just about every photo I upload. Unless, of course, I snag a much better photo that Aaron took with his fancy-pants Canon camera. Not the most ideal situation for photographs for a blog, but its what was working for me.

I picked up Aaron's camera on rare occasion, but just didn't like it. He kept wanting to teach me all that neat things it could do, but I really had zero desire to learn. Every time I held that camera I felt confused and frustrated; both because I didnt know the first thing about DSLR cameras, but also because I just didnt. like. the. camera. I could tell he was getting annoyed with me but I really couldn't explain why I was so against using (or learning about) it.

Since staying with my parents a lot over the past 6 months, I decided to start playing around with theirs and my brother's Canon cameras. And I had the same feelings about them as I did Aaron's: nice, great cameras; but I just didnt like them. 

I did lllloooottttssss of research online about various cameras. I read countless reviews and forums about Canons, Nikons, mirrorless cameras, point-and-shoots, fixed lens, and some super amazing cameras that were well out of my "beginners" budget. I narrowed it down to a couple I was interested in and my dad and I headed to Pictureline here in SLC so that I could see them in person and actually hold them in my hand. 

I fell in love with the Nikon D5300 immediately. I couldnt put it down! Its hard to explain, but Nikon's interface just... made sense to me. Unlike the Canon. The best way I can explain it is, it's similar to an Mac computer vs. a PC. When I switched from PC to Apple nearly 10 years ago I was surprised at how much better I understood the Mac; the same with the Nikon. It just clicked (no pun intended). I told the guy helping us at Pictureline my analogy and he laughed. Apparently there is a girl that works with him that feels the exact same way. Even though he's an avid Canon user, it didn't surprise him at all that I preferred the Nikon. 

So, with my shiny new camera by my side, Im embarking on the long journey of learning more about photography and how to take better photographs. Im still very much a beginner, so bear with me over the next few months :)

*please note: I am not bashing Canon cameras. Canon makes a fantastic camera, but my brain and personality preferred Nikon. 

 



The new blog...... is a project Aaron and I are very excited about. He has been wanting to get back into writing regularly and I wanted to start focusing on a slightly different perspective regarding our food & travel adventures than I do here.

So, we decided a joint blog would be the perfect way to incorporate both of those things. 

Allow me to introduce: BOURBON & BUBBLY

BOURBON & BUBBLY is a food & travel blog that will focus more heavily on the food & travel aspects our adventures. Instead of travelogues, like I do here, it will be more logistics based. Where to go, what to do, what to see, what worked for us, etc. 

coffee wine & yoga will continue to be a lifestyle blog that will focus on recipes, more lengthy recaps of our travels and eats, and a virtual journal of our little family and what we're up too. 


Be sure to follow us over at BOURBON & BUBBLY as we grow into a brand new blog & website! But please, keep in mind that we are just starting out with this new project and have a long way to go before its a fine-tuned machine. Thanks in advance for joining us! 

Website/Blog: www.bourbonandbubbly.com
Instagram: bourbonandbubbly_
Facebook: Bourbon & Bubbly
Pinterest: bourbonbubbly
Twitter: @bourbonbubbly

back to California.

After 6 months of splitting our time between Los Angeles & Salt Lake City (correction: after 6 months of me splitting my time between LA & SLC and traveling back and forth every 3 weeks to see Aaron because he's been there this whole time working) we have finally decided to fully relocate back to Los Angeles


We put in an offer on a house, but in true Los Angeles real estate fashion- we did not get it. 
So, instead of attempting to house hunt without actually living in LA; we decided to rent a place for the time being. We are actually super excited about our new rental because its a little Mid Century Modern bungalow; and Aaron and I are both big lovers of Mid Century Modern architecture, design, and furniture. 

 

 

So, for the next two weeks I'll be going through each and every one of our boxes that we have in storage (and by "storage" I mean my parents finished basement here in SLC) to whittle down our belongings to the bare minimum; something we did a good job of before packing up our stuff in Atlanta, but when your stuff sits untouched in storage for 6 months, its amazing what you discover you don't really miss or need. We are loving the whole transition into being "minimalists" and nothing is giving me greater joy lately than getting RID of things.


But, because we still want to have a fully functioning house and with a guest room and the space to host dinner parties, I have also been spending a good amount of time online shopping for new items, things like a dining room table, dining chairs, bedroom furniture, etc. So far we have a mattress ordered for the guest room, a chair on its way for the living room, and a few pieces that Ive picked up here in SLC. I cant wait to get to LA and finish the last bit of furniture and housewares shopping at some of my favorite places like Heath Ceramics, West Elm, Alessi, and Modernica


We are looking forward to being back in LA full time and cant wait to start planning dinner parties in our new place with our dear friends.
 

See you soon Los Angeles!  

less is more: Minimalistic Holiday Gift Guide

I mentioned last week that I was going to focus on a more of a "minimalistic approach" to gift-giving this holiday season. In fact, our family (Aaron and myself,  along with my brother and parents) are doing the "something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read" thing for gifts this year; which has proven to be fun and slightly challenging (in a good way). 



So, here are some gift ideas that work well with the "minimalistic" approach to gift-giving:




Nudo Adopt is a company out of Italy that offers olive tree adoptions in your gift recipient's name. The tree adoption also comes with shipments of olive oil from their tree!
This is perfect for the foodie in your life. 
 

MyYogaWorks allows you to give the gift of yoga in the form of an online membership they can use anytime, anywhere, on just about any of their electronic devices.
AND, MyYogaWorks is offering 50% off their gift memberships (for a limited time)!
 

REI has just about anything an outdoorsy person could want (classes, trips, equipment they might need); so between a gift card to the store or the gift of their lifetime membership; its an easy choice. 
 

A gift card to their favorite spa would make for the perfect gift for anyone; who doesn't love to be pampered?
 

For the coffee lover, a bag of coffee from your favorite coffee shop is always a great gift idea. Are they a coffee lover that loves to give back? Then TOMS is a great choice because their "one-for-one" motto includes their bags of coffee as well. 
 

A gift card to their favorite specialty food market or wine shop is always a great gift; plus it allows them to pick out an item of their choosing instead of having to guess what bottle of wine or specialty food selection they might enjoy best.  
 

A Kindle Paperwhite is a great way to help them minimize "stuff" while also having their entire library at their fingertips. Books or a magazine subscription for their Kindle (or even a Kindle unlimited membership) would pair nicely. You can find some book ideas here, and here, and here. And some magazine ideas here, and here
 

A National Park Pass is a great minimalist holiday gift. While it takes up virtually zero space in their home (or wallet); it gives them the gift of travel, camping, hiking, and adventure. 
 

A journal or a planner can be an extremely thoughtful gift.
 

A reusable water bottle can come in very handy and is something that will get incredible use out of. Not to mention they will [hopefully] think of you each time they use it. I use my Swell bottle every single day and I absolutely love it. 


You can gift the gift of memories by personalizing a photo book of their most recent trip, a personalized iPhone case, a calendar, or even a puzzle from Shutterfly.


A deck of cards is always a great gift; its small, doesnt cause a lot of clutter; yet can bring hours of fun.We always have a deck of cards on-hand for a good game of gin. 


Books that focus on whatever they love to do, their hobby or their passion is also great gift option; even some minimalists prefer actual, tangible books on occasion (I know Aaron and I fall into that category). Find a couple ideas are here and here and here


And on that note, its hard to go wrong with a coffee table book that highlights something they care deeply for; for example, a few of Aaron and my favorite coffee table books are here and here and here

 

Happy Holidays and Happy [thoughtful] Gift Giving! 

 

If you happen to be wondering "whats the deal with minimalism and people aspiring to lead a more minimalistic life?" then this video is some great food-for-thought: