A Few Things

October 18, 2013

sea lions in san francisco

Image and text by Gabrielle.

Hello, Friends. I thought I would be waving to you from Palm Springs when I hit publish on this post. My friend, Caroline, visiting from France, was going to join me on a last minute trip to the amazing Camp Mighty. Alas, when we tried to catch our early flight this morning, we discovered BART (public transportation) was on strike, wreaking havoc on all transportation routes, and we missed our flight. Bummer. So instead, we’re making plans to visit Santa Cruz tomorrow. Not as fun as getting to see my dear friend Laura Mayes, but definitely a happy, beachy alternative!

How about you? What are you up to this weekend? While I try to figure out if we can see redwoods and Santa Cruz in the same day, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share with you:

- An app that helps you remember your dreams, and also determines the best time for you personally to wake up without feeling groggy.

- Hot air balloon!

- Childbirth made me love my wife’s body even more.

Skeleton Wall Hangings. Just the sort of thing I would love for Halloween decor!

- A memoir by Elizabeth Smart that looks really interesting.

- Nature is so cool! Mechanical Gears in Jumping Insects.

- House Rules, step-by-step.

- The number one thing Caroline’s kids want her to bring back? Uggs! They’re very popular in France this year, but the prices are higher there. Have you ever owned a pair?

- Halloween fun: charming cotton candy ghosts, and candy-free pom pom pop-ups.

- Another article that might convince you to get in the picture.

- How to draw monsters  — it’s all about the hair and horns. Who knew? Draw one and add it to your child’s lunch for a fun surprise. Thanks, Sara.

- Last week, we talked Kid Costumes. This week, let’s talk Costumes for Families and Couples.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend wherever you are (somewhere wintery? somewhere summery?). And I want to say thank you for all the good conversation this week. I always love reading your comments! I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


P.S. — I’ve had so much fun having some tourist time in San Francisco with Caroline. I’ve been instagramming like crazy — including the image of sea lions at top.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lila October 18, 2013 at 10:34 am

Of course you can do Santa Cruz and the redwoods! Go to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, it’s lovely and super easy to access, it’s about a 5 minute drive off Ocean st (the main drag to the Boardwalk for those coming into town). Have Fun!


2 Magpielovely October 18, 2013 at 10:40 am

Tip: the Half Moon Bay pumpkin fest is this weekend which will mean lots of traffic on Highway 1. Also a fun festival, a giant pumpkin, and parade at noon if you want to stop in on the way to Santa Cruz. Plus, the drive along the coast is so, so gorgeous.

I hate the way Uggs look, but they feel so good! I wear them all the time when my toes get cold, mostly as slippers but sometimes when I run errands. Check for an outlet store or Zappos.


3 Jennifer O. October 18, 2013 at 10:40 am

Also try Big Basin State Park. I think it’s in the general area, but it’s been a year since I visited.


4 Andrea P. October 18, 2013 at 10:48 am

Henry Cowell will easily let you see both beaches and redwoods. The Redwood Grove Trail next to the Nature Center is easy and spectacular! If you have kids with you, bring flashlights, because there is a tree with a small entrance and a hollow trunk. Also, you might want to consider the Capitola Esplanade and beach. The town is cute, and there is a sandy beach as well as tide pools.


5 Elaine October 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

Ditto on Henry Cowell State Park. Some locals recommended it when we were there in August and it was gorgeous and so easy to get to.


6 Nan October 18, 2013 at 11:32 am

Ditto on Ben Lomond just up the road from Santa Cruz. some redwoods up that way.


7 Kate October 18, 2013 at 11:35 am

I loved the link about ensuring you actually feature in family photographs; I realised after two years of avidly documenting my toddler and family life that I am entirely absent from almost everything! Seeing your beautiful family photo shoot from France this summer inspired me to get off my butt and I found a local photography grad student who came and spent a couple of hours racing around the garden after us all as we played – the result is a huge file of beautiful ‘moment in time’ photos that capture very naturally a typical day in the life for us; reading stories, making camp, having a tea party, having running races… priceless, and inexpensive at the same time. I’m planning on doing it again every year to make up for all the times I forget to position my self on the ‘right’ side of the camera once in a while….


8 gina October 19, 2013 at 2:58 am

Gabrielle – great article! i just wanted to reply here because I wanted to say: Kate what a great idea about hiring a college student. Our beautiful shots are predominantly of the children and my husband and truly the photos that I love of myself and kids are, too, when I’ve had a professional.

I always laugh that some day my great grandchildren will only think that “Grandma” just lived in towels wrapping her hair and facial masks ( I’ve spoken with many other mothers who’ve had the same — you, too? Do you know what I mean: My husband loves to take my photo anytime I’m giving myself a home facial…. we have so many of these! …but, steppin’ out with glamour, dressed up for a party? Nope!… he just doesn’t put the same love into those! I think it’s the “she’s so relaxed phenomenon at play!”… at least in our house. My husband prefers the dressed down, Saturday morning me then the away from home glamour , shiny me, moving out mood….

Regarding you the”right” side of camera… have you noticed what a relaxed, glowing expression appears on ones face when gazing at the kids (in photos). I heard one to take a good photo you should pretend like you’re eating a piece of chocolate — they kids have that same “chocolate” affect on me! Happy photographing!


9 Shannon { writer + editor } October 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I remember those sea lions! When my husband and I were first married, we visited San Francisco and spent an hour laughing at the sea lions’ antics. One would suddenly get up, waddle over to another sea lion, knock him (her?) into the water, and then take its place. Until another sea lion would get up and knock HIM in. I wonder if they still do that?

I own a pair of UGGs. Quite a splurge for me, although I bought mine at Macy’s and was able to use some coupons. I live in the frigid North Country, so I think they’re highly functional and worth the hype. They’re opening an UGG store at the Mall of America, so it’ll be fun to check it out.


10 Bambi October 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Looove the photo!

Have a wonderful weekend:



11 Brimful October 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm

I agree, it was a really great week on Design Mom this week…really enjoyed all the posts you featured :). And that is a LOT of sea lions…when they barked, it must have been quite a noise!


12 Val October 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Love the house rules! And the story behind it all is super awesome too. I’ve now started my own evernote file on our house rules :)


13 Nina Leung October 18, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Thank you for these “few things”. I’m so doing the cute pop up halloween project with my boys. They’ll love it! Especially my almost 2 year old. AND, thanks for the article on a husband loving his wife more after childbirth. I’m pregnant right now and just feel so not myself and not very attractive and it’s hard, so that really helped me feel better. Thank you!



14 Maria B October 18, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I went to Santa Cruz when I was 13 and I still remember it vividly. Loved it!

As for Uggs…I bought a pair from the base exchange in Germany and while they are comfy, they don’t keep your feet dry and after getting sick of walking around with wet, cold feet I finally broke down and bought a pair of BOGS. They were perfect. I love my Uggs for quick trips to the grocer or something, but my heart belongs to the Bogs.


15 lisa thomson October 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Thanks for sharing these various stories and ideas. I loved the family costumes! Very well done although I admit, I’m not really into Halloween of late. I guess that happens when your kids grow up. Have a lovely trip! I’m staying home in the West Coast fog.


16 Corina October 18, 2013 at 10:32 pm

My worldview on Uggs is a somewhat complicated one. Being Australian has quite a bit to do with that. I do own a pair of slippers gifted to me by my generous husband. For my kids however- sheepskin lined boots from Emu and Lands End and Bogs for out in the snow. Since we are in the Northeast- I look for a serious tread on any boot. To my mind Uggs are too expensive for growing feet but I get that sometimes this is the kind of gift that is preferable to another electronic gadget/toys.


17 gina October 19, 2013 at 3:03 am

Love the Sea Lion picture! One of my favorites and so glad I’ve finally joined Instagram! Also, label conscious Swedes, have long loved the Uggs, too! They’re big here. Can’t wait to read al other links which are so well perused, as usual. What a fun, fun weekend you have planned despite the change up! And…you are a fairy godmother! Thank you, dear you!!


18 Becky October 19, 2013 at 7:45 am

If it is the weekend of the pumpkin festival, traffic could require a bit of patience. Otherwise, if you do make it down to Santa Cruz, there is a state park, Natural Bridges, just as you pull into town where the monarch butterflies gather on their way south. It is truly magical. Depending on how the weather has been, I remember October being the month they roost there.


19 Jody October 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Great links! My 8 yo daughter has been drawing monsters for over an hour now! :) Have a great weekend!


20 Lynn October 20, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Is there an email where I can contact you directly? Thanks!


21 J October 20, 2013 at 4:52 pm

I have fushia pink, chocolate, and beige Uggs. My family has been wearing them 4 over 20 years since we are into skiing. They are not for recreating in to keep warm, I have a pair of Sorels for that. They are for keeping warm and cozy, but they’re not waterproof. I would buy Emu if I could justify another pair. I’m not impressed with Uggs footbed. My daughter has EMU and they have a tennis shoe like footbed. However, Uggs is the trendy (for the past decade) brand.


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