Looking Forward To Fall.

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I was excited last weekend, when I woke up in the middle of the night to the beautiful soothing sound of rain. On Monday, I even showed up to work in knee high fringe boots, ready for Fall to really begin.  But, as the week progressed, it just got warmer and warmer. Ugh! I’m so tired of the heat. I guess I’m just really looking forward to feeling like It’s my favorite time of year, and cooler weather is a big part of what makes Fall so enjoyable for me. Despite the heat though, there really is so much to look forward to. So, let me stop my complaining for just a little while, so I can let myself be excited for what lies ahead this season.

-A trip to Dallas, this week, to visit our best friends!

-Celebrating the holidays for the first time in San Diego

-My 31st birthday in November

-Cold morning walks with Phineas

-Baking everything I can think of—a perfect excuse to keep the house warm

What are you looking forward to this Fall season? I’d love to know! 

x, Carina

Housewarming Gift Ideas.


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A few of our closest friends have recently become homeowners and we couldn’t be happier for them! It’s such an exciting time in their lives and one way to celebrate their fabulous accomplishment is with a fabulous gift.  If you’re like me and have a special loved one whose recently become a homeowner, here are a few gift ideas they are sure to love.

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  1. the most elegant Scrabble board (restorationhardware.com)
  2. minimalist canisters for baking essentials (westelm.com)
  3. a luxurious scented candle (nordstrom.com)
  4. travel inspiration to hang on the wall ( society6.com)
  5. a metallic hanging planter to add a little life in any room  (urbanoutfitters.com)

*title image via

Happy Thanksgiving.

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I’m thankful each and every day for this family- filled with big personalities, loud voices, amazing cooks, but best of all, the greatest source of love. I live for this group of crazy individuals that I’m so lucky to call my family, and I love them all so much.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Hope your bellies are stuffed with turkey and your hearts are filled with love.

x, Carina

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10 Best Holiday Movies.

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Growing up, my mom and I watched a lot of movies. In fact, one of my favorite things to do on a Friday night was veg out with my mom, order take out or pizza, and cozy up to her while we watched a movie. (Very Gilmore Girls, I know!) The holidays were no different. Whenever I got to pick the movie, it was  usually The Sound of Music most of the time, but there are still some classic movies that I’d alternate between to add a little variety to our movie marathons.

This year I plan on cuddling up with my husband on some nights and my mom on others. In addition to The Sound of Music, here are 10 movies the holidays just wouldn’t be the same without (in no particular order):

313392963 (1)The Birdcage | Elf | Home Alone | Serendipity | Forest Gump

313406720While You Were Sleeping | The Santa Clause | A Charlie Brown Christmas | Les Miserable | The Holiday

What are your favorite holiday movies? I’d love to know!

x, Carina

Family Traditions.

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 One of my favorite traditions was spending Thanksgiving in Sacramento with family. My mom, dad, brother and I would hit the road at 5AM in our mini van packed with dufflebags, pillows, blankets, cd’s  and snacks! I can still remember my brother and I fighting over who’s turn it was to pick a cd, eating mom’s  ham and cheese sandwiches she’d thoughtfully made for breakfast, and rotating shifts to stretch out in the back seat for a nice hour-long nap.

After 6 or 7 hours on the road, eventually we’d arrive at our aunt and uncle’s home, greeted by the rest of our family (most of whom also made the drive up north), excited to be together. We’d settle in and bro and I would play with our younger cousins as they piled on top of us screaming and laughing. I loved every minute. We’d freshen up, get ready for dinner and have the feast of all feasts, every year bigger and better than the one before. And with bellies full of delicious homemade EVERYTHING, the uncles and dads would take naps, aunts and moms would chat and the kids prepped the games. We’d all gather in the living room decked out in our pjs and cozy sweaters, for a night filled with laughs over who looks more ridiculous acting out their Charades. I never wanted those nights to end.

The next day, we’d make the drive to our favorite apple farm, spending a few hours taking photos, soaking in the beauty of it all, drinking fresh cider and go fishing at the man-made lake. We couldn’t leave until everyone caught a fish and took a photo as proof. We’d head back home and the cousins would all go out to watch the latest installment of the Harry Potter series, loading up on popcorn, soda and candy.

On our last night together, my family always remembered to celebrate my birthday with cake and decorations. I remember, when I turned 18, they made it really special by writing reasons they loved me on note cards and had me read them out loud.

I loved those Thanksgiving weekends with my family filled with lots of laughter, fun, food and best of all– love.  

Those were simple and happy times; some of the happiest memories I’ve ever had.  And even though it’s been years since our last Thanksgiving in Sacramento, I’m thankful for those years of happy memories. Of course, my family still gets together, but time passes and change is inevitable. It may not be an entire weekend with 15 people sharing 2 bathrooms, and all the cousins cozying up on the living room floor to sleep at Tita Cora’s and Tito Karl’s house, but it’s still filled with lots of laughter, homemade everything, and most important of all… Love.

As time moves forward and our family grows, I look forward to new traditions and happy memories. I am so lucky and so blessed to have the special family tradition of Thanksgivings in Sacramento to look back on.

What are your favorite holiday traditions? 

x, Carina

Happy Birthday, Jake!

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I consider myself to be a lucky girl, all due to the simple fact that my family is so amazing. My nephew Jacob (he prefer’s Jake, now that he’s in 4th grade) is a big part of what makes my life so blessed. Today is his 9th birthday, and in all nine years of life, he has managed to always put a smile on my face whenever he walks into the room. I absolutely adore his tenacity, his love for any game (especially monopoly), how great he is with his little sister (despite her annoying lil sis tendancies), and his really awesome dance moves!

Happiest Birthday to my favorite Jacob in the whole world. There’s no one I’d rather share birthday month with!

Love, Auntie Nina