a list of reminders

Happily Every After button from our anniversary date at the happiest place on Earth

Yesterday marked ten years with my love, and even though we have a new anniversary to celebrate, I feel like we’ve hit a huge milestone. We’ve now spent a decade as each other’s partner and confidante, growing up and growing older together for more than a third of our lives. Whoa.

As cliche as it sounds, it hasn’t always been easy but being together has always felt right and I’m reminded of this every day. Here’s a list of times when I know for sure.

  • When he brings home [mochi ice cream, Koala Yummies, White Castle Burgers, insert whatever food I’m currently craving here] without me asking
  • When he writes an apology post-it note for a stupid fight we had
  • When he steps back to let me go ahead of him in line for communion at church (it’s something my dad always does for my mom and when I realized early in our relationship that Tom did it too, it was one of those moments where I could see myself marrying him)
  • When he fills my car with gas because he knows I hate doing it myself
  • When I see him playing with our nieces even though he claims he doesn’t like kids
  • When I randomly start singing “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and he jumps in with the drum noises
  • When he saves me the end of the ice cream cone because he knows it’s my favorite part
  • When we see something funny or weird, look at each other, and both burst out laughing because we know we’re both saying the same thing
  • When I have a bad day and he pets my head the same way he used to pet his dogs’ heads
  • Every single time he makes me laugh
  • When he remembers something obscure I said or did a long time ago that I barely even remember

I’m forever grateful for this type love. (oldie, but always a goodie)


things I want to learn how to do (an abbreviated version)

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford

I’m planning to be young forever.

  • Speak Italian
  • Build a robot
  • Code
  • Surf
  • Make a macrame wall hanging
  • Knit
  • Windsurf
  • Ride a unicycle
  • Play the ukulele (well)
  • Bake French macarons
  • Use a DSLR camera
  • Calligraphy
  • Do a standing back tuck
  • Magic
  • Skateboard
  • Paint
  • Rock climb (well)
  • Juggle
  • Embroidery
  • Build furniture

…and an infinite amount of things I can’t think of or haven’t thought of yet.

things you’ll find on this blog

Hitting reset for the ump-teenth time.

Here’s what you’ll find on my little corner of the internet:

  • lists. Because they’re short, sweet, easy to read, and I’ve spent my whole life writing them. Why change what I know best.
  • things that work for me that might work for you. Blogs that tell you what to do are one of my biggest pet peeves (you know, all those “10 things you should try…” or “Stop doing this one thing” articles…blech). I want to share what works for me and you can decide for yourself whether to try it or not.
  • (very) amateur photography. I’m a work in progress, but I’m always learning.
  • budget friendly travel posts. Thanks to my frugal husband, we’ve become masters at affordable vacations.
  • words of wisdom. Because they really do help.
  • me trying new things…and probably failing a lot.
  • my many loves: beautiful spaces and my attempts to create them. banners and other crafts that i pore over. books that make me think. music that moves me. sporting events i get way too into. hikes and travel and clothes and everything.

And go.

a day in San Francisco

Saturday was the most perfect 80 degree, sunny day so we took advantage by exploring the city. We’ve lived in the Bay area for over a year now, but there’s still plenty of SF bucket list items to cross off my list. Here’s what we did in one beautiful day:

1. Grabbed a delicious Filipino fusion lunch from Senor Sisig… (because everything is better in a burrito)

2. …And ate it among the crowds in Union Square (after a pit stop to browse the lovely Cuyana store)

3. Picked up a couple of cherry doughnuts from Mr. Holmes Bakehouse (obligatory)

4. Admired the colorful walls of Clarion Alley (after another pit stop at the Everlane store…this itinerary was very obviously planned by me)

5. Got a cold brew from Craftsman and Wolves (because…coffee)

6. And a green smoothie from Project Juice (am I a real Californian yet?)

7. People watched at Dolores Park (the best.)

8. Channeled our inner children at the Seward Street Slides (deceptively fast. Video is on my Instagram)

9. Took in the gorgeous view from Twin Peaks (a new must-see anytime we have visitors)

10. Acted like tourists at the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps (impossible to get a picture without people in it, but they sure are pretty)

11. And ended the day in Pacifica at the best Taco Bell (the perfect way to end the perfect day)



podcasts to binge

Back in the days when I had a painful commute down 90 in Chicago and sat in agony in bumper to bumper traffic on a daily basis, podcasts may have saved my life. Here are some worth listening to from beginning to end:

1. Serial – Season 1
Like many others, this is how I entered the world of podcasts. I heard good things so I gave it a try and it was worth it. For those who still don’t know, it’s a murder investigation based on a case of young girl murdered more than 15 years ago.

2. Missing Richard Simmons
I just finished this one and Richard Simmons is so so so fascinating to me now. He’s on my list of people/places/things to Google incessantly until I have an unhealthy amount of knowledge on the subject. I’m a fan.

3. S-Town
So I gave in to this new podcast simply because they were very obviously marketing towards fans of Serial. I’ll admit I fell asleep through a portion of it — partly because I was trying to listen on a red eye flight and a little because I couldn’t seem to get totally into it. Overall though, it’s a beautifully told yet devastating story about a very interesting person.

4. Millenial – Season 1
This podcast was just so darn relatable when I first heard it that I couldn’t stop listening. It’s basically reading the mind of every 20-something out there trying to figure their life out.

the why

I thought about deleting all of my old posts (or at least making them private) and starting fresh again, but I couldn’t get myself to do it. Every single post was at some point in my life something I was feeling or needed to share, and deleting any part of that just didn’t feel right to me. So this will have to be my “fresh start”, years into this blog.

Here’s why I’m blogging — the “why” behind “with a why”, if you will:

  • Because I like to write. This is as simple as it sounds. This is my millionth attempt at blogging and definitely not my last. I enjoy writing and I’m trying to do more of what I enjoy.
  • For my sanity. I’ve noticed that a lot of times I start writing again, it’s because I don’t know what else to do. This time is no exception.
  • To remember thingsThere are so many moments I’ve wanted to capture and so many ways I’ve tried to capture them. I’m adding this to the list of ways because there can never be enough.
  • Because sharing is caring. I’d by lying if I said this blog wasn’t first and foremost for myself, but if someone somewhere gets something positive out of it then it is definitely worth it.
  • To create something real. In a world of posing for Instagram likes and styling pictures of breakfast foods, I needed to create something that was messy and honest and imperfect. Here it is.

This should be fun.