My camera hasn’t been doing much else besides gathering dust in the book shelf as of late. On Saturday morning, we ventured to Mavericks, the world-renowned (in)famous surf spot in Half Moon Bay, CA. Only one day prior to these pictures being taken, the El Nino-spurred waves had reached a height of 50-60 feet. Titans of Mavericks, an invite-only surfing competition held at Mavericks each year, was put on hold when a world class surfer had a particularly gnarly wipeout that left him in the hospital undergoing emergency surgery. I hoped to catch on camera the ocean’s fury, but it had clearly been tempered by the time I arrived the next morning at sunrise.

Mavericks 11
Pelicans at sunrise
The surf at first light

Mavericks 3

Mavericks 9
Admiring the texture of the feathers on the pelican’s head

Mavericks 4-2

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One brave stand-up paddle boarder fought the world famous mavericks
Mavericks 7
Even some of the best surfers have fallen here…

Mavericks 6

Mavericks 5

Mavericks 2
Pelican in Flight
Mavericks 1
These rocks stand at the mouth of the beach.
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Does anyone know what this is? There were a bunch washed up on the beach. On the under-belly there were what looked like little feelers. There were no holes on the sides for crab legs, and it wasn’t very squishy like a jelly fish.

Brother + Beach

Mattias came to visit this past weekend, so we headed out to the beach in Pacifica for the day to visit old family friends and enjoy the beautiful weather we are currently experiencing. A couple of these pictures are from Friday at the train station after work, however.













Arbonnize Your Life


There is no underlying theme for today’s post. Well, that’s a lie. I take it back. The theme is excitement! I always feel such a renewed sense of health and wellness when my new Arbonne order comes in. Today’s includes the Arbonne FC5 shower set, (Nourishing shampoo and conditioner, and body wash) and the chocolate protein shake mix.

I have already used and love these products- so here is why I consider them staples.

FC5 Shower Set:

The nourishing shampoo (and conditioner too) is formulated without parabens, which are chemicals used as preservatives in many cosmetics and personal care products. The reason why Arbonne prides itself in avoiding the use of parabens in its products is because of the harmful interactions parabens have in the human body.  A few years ago, many companies started widely advertising that they don’t use parabens, and like with many trends, people became obsessed with parabens, and came to regard it as the devil in chemical form. I don’t like to go with the court of public opinion alone, so I did my research on what parabens do to the human body. What I found was that parabens have the potential “to act like hormones in the body, in particular like estrogens, the female sex hormone” ( Um, yikes. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve got enough hormones flying around in here that I don’t want my shampoo or under-eye concealer to add to the mix. In addition to parabens, the list of things that didn’t cut it into the shower products includes phthalates (used to increase the flexibility of vinyls or plastics), propylene glycol (acts essentially as antifreeze in many health/cosmetic products- prevents them from freezing in cold weather or melting in the heat), mineral oil (basically crude petroleum- you’d be surprised how many products contain it), paraffin (a derivative of petroleum, coal or oil shale), and any animal-derived ingredients. But let’s talk about how it feels. Do you know that feeling when you wash your hair with super cheap shampoo and it’s almost squeaky after you’ve rinsed it out? It feels stripped of moisture and can be very staticky upon drying. This shampoo does not feel like it. While it has a very thin base (clear liquid as opposed to creamy), hair feels moisturized after using. It has a very light scent, which is reminiscent of citrus and mint. During the summer, nothing feels better after a day out in the sun sweating by the pool or lake than to wash off with the FC5 body cleanser. It’s extremely refreshing! Ultimately, I just love this set. It makes me want to go shower right this instant!

Chocolate Protein Shake Mix

Being an off-and-on athlete in my life (high school softball, college crew team), I have had several phases where I am extremely focused on improving my body and its ability to perform. I have tried every pre-workout, protein powder, protein bar, meal-replacement shake, and thermo-booster under the sun. The protein powders have always left something lacking for me. The Arbonne Chocolate Protein shake mix is not overly sweet or chalky like many have a tendency of being. It isn’t too grainy, so I can mix it in with a scoop of greek yogurt, mix with a spoon, and enjoy a creamy protein-boosted snack before or after a workout. With just 3.5 grams of fat in a serving, it boasts a 6:1 protein/fat ratio. Sure, there are protein powders out there that have more protein in a serving, but their fat and sugar content are typically far higher as well. The great thing about this powder is how many other vitamins you get in addition to the protein. It has between 8-20% of your daily recommended daily servings of Vitamins A, C, D, E, and B12, in addition to Biotin (great for skin, nails and hair), Magnesium, calcium, and Potassium. I love that for the fact that I’m not great about remembering to take pills, so if I can get my vitamins just by adding a couple scoops of this bad boy to my morning smoothie, which is my established breakfast habit, then that’s music to my ears. As someone who is medically prohibited from eating wheat products, I am so grateful for this product to be certified gluten free. Diabetics are limited in their protein product selection, and Arbonne’s is safe for them as well, as it is fructose-free, with a low glycemic index to ensure no effect on blood sugar levels.

I hope this is helpful for anyone who is thinking about making steps toward a more healthy life- not just by what you eat or by exercising, but also by being mindful of what we are putting into our bodies directly through our skin and hair.

More to come next order!

Let Me Tell You a Story

Once upon a time, a young man saw a woman in a bar, whom he swore he recognized from high school.
Little did he know, the girl, despite her open demeanor, was a bit of a cynic about love and relationships.
Without a plan, he boldly made his way up to her, shook her hand, and said “hi!”
The girl, at first put off by the fact that he could not remember her from high school.
then saw past his goofiness and realized that a) he was quite adorable and b) he was wearing a Giants hat, so he couldn’t be that bad.
Outside the bar, while waiting for a cab to get back to the girl’s friend’s house, it began to rain. A few drops fell on the girl’s face, and ever-so gently, the boy wiped them away for her.
​The boy and girl fell madly in love. Months flew by, and the two fell deeper and deeper in love. There were many airport reunions, long weekends together, baseball games, meeting each other’s parents, and learning more and more about what it is to love someone who makes you want to be a better person.
At the end of their weekends together, they were both always sad to say goodbye.
But then a day arrived when the girl decided that enough was enough, and she wanted to be with the boy every day.
So, she packed up her bags and moved to beautiful San Francisco, to live with the boy!
The boy and the girl, despite having extremely busy lives and schedules that didn’t always allow to have much time together, were happier than they had ever been before.
And the two lived happily ever after!
…until kids came along!

Laurelwood Park Hike

Near our apartment is a hill that seems like the highest point for miles. Nathaniel and I have tried to find the base of it to hike up in the past, but could never quite find it just by following our map. He googled around, though, and figured out that it’s a public park. Today we spent the afternoon hiking in the park. My heart rate was bumpin as I struggled to climb up the steep hill- but the view from the top was worth all the struggle!







While atop the hill, we noticed a low-flying Red-tailed Hawk. If you zoom in and look carefully, you can see that he was eyeing us as he loomed overhead.





On our way down, Nathaniel almost stepped on this guy, who was newborn and very much alive!