Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A No-Pressure Way to Make New Year's Resolutions

new years resolutions
new year's resolutions
Are you making any New Year’s resolutions? I used to write mine down on a post-it note that I’d carry around with me in my wallet. But as I’ve gotten older, I realized: who am I kidding? New Year’s resolutions never last for long. So instead of writing it down somewhere semi-permanent, why not write it where it’ll last for exactly as long as I resolve to stick to it? Like on a cookie! Cookies don’t set unrealistic expectations, and they don’t make you feel bad when you forget about your resolution by the second week of January. Plus, they’re delicious.

My resolution this year is to sleep more (and eat more fiber—but that wouldn’t fit on a cookie) (also, are these really my resolutions?! I hope 80-year old me isn’t terribly disappointed I didn’t have bigger plans when she looks back on this post)).

In more exciting news, my sister Sophie’s resolution is to make it rain! (aka getting a sweet job after graduation this spring—woohoo!)

Whatever you're resolving, I hope you have a happy and safe holiday! See you back here in 2015. :)

frosted sugar cookies
snow globe cookies

Sunday, December 28, 2014

What I Talk About When I Talk About Cancer

bovine bakery in point reyes station
One of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami, once wrote a book about running called What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. He explained it as "... a book in which I've gathered my thoughts about what running has meant to me as a person. Just a book in which I ponder various things and think out loud."

Since Alan's cancer came back, I haven't talked much about it here, focusing instead on the sweeter, simpler moments of life. Having this outlet--this little space of words and pictures--has definitely helped keep me sane and positive. But now that it's been two years, I'm ready to talk about it. Not all the time or anything. Just now and again--whenever I need to share a moment or a feeling, when I need to "ponder various things and think out loud." So, here goes. This is what I talk about when I talk about cancer.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Plaid Blanket Scarf

plaid and stripes
I always forget about the scarves hanging in the back of my closet, but this plaid blanket scarf has quickly become a favorite. It's big and soft, and the camel color makes it great for throwing on with a navy blazer and boyfriend jeans or contrasting with stripes. I've never received so many compliments on a scarf as I have whenever I wear this one, so I'd highly recommend it if you're looking for a new statement piece!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

May Your Days Be Married and Bright

wedding thank you cards wording
Merry Christmas! What are your plans this year? We still have to give out all our Christmas cards/wedding thank you cards -- the picture with our flower girls and ring bearers is one of my favorites :) Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a warm and relaxing holiday with lots of good cheer.

(cards by Minted)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Easy Christmas Crafts: Mason Jar Snow Globes

diy christmas gifts
Crafts are a fun way to get in the holiday spirit, especially if they're easy to put together. My friends at Going Lovely hosted an afternoon of crafting and showed us how to make these snow globes in just five steps. They'd be a fun activity to do with friends and family this week if you're feeling crafty. (I can't believe Christmas is this Thursday!) Here's how to make them...

Friday, December 19, 2014

I'm Wearing A Cape!

fall fashion trends
cute fall outfits 2014
I got a cape. When I told Alan, I thought he might give me a funny look (like when I got these), but he was the most excited I've ever seen him be about one of my wardrobe decisions. And here's why: Wearing a cape is fun. Even just saying you're wearing one is fun. It's like you're Batman. (Which is, apparently, our shared secret aspiration.) They're also cozy and voluminous and look so good contrasted with a slim bottom silhouette. This one is also cute. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Mini Living Room Makeover: New Pillows

room decorating ideas
ikea cushion
We've been using our old throw pillows for what feels like years, even though they're sad and lumpy, and I always stuff them in a closet when people come over. So, as part of our living room face lift, I was excited to get a few new ones. One reason why it took so long to replace them is because I'm picky (like, weirdly picky) about pillow patterns and fabrics. Then I saw these velvet pillow covers at Ikea in the greatest pale pink and pool blue. I worried they'd feel too nursery-like together, but I couldn't decide between them so I just got both and ended up liking how they look. I'd also been eyeing the white velvet pillow from Anthropologie, and it finally went on sale (woohoo!) And, in an officially unofficial study conducted by me this past weekend, results revealed that sitting on a couch with rainbow tassels boosts happiness. :) 

(Also from our mini living room makeover: our new rug and houseplant).

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mini Living Room Makeover

terrarium ideas
unique home ideas
small living room
Recently I took a look around and decided our living room could use a mini makeover. We spend a lot of time hanging out at home, so it should feel as cozy as possible, right? The living room's still a work in progress but so far, we got...

A rug. All I can say is, why didn't we get a rug sooner?! It's the best. I've always hated our carpet, but the rug brightens things up and makes the room look bigger. It just makes the space look like a space. If you're on the fence about getting one, get one! Please. You won't regret it. Ours is this Moroccan rug from Overstock (similar ones here and here).

A house plant. It's nice to have something alive and green indoors, even if it's small and as low maintenance as possible. I couldn't resist this Meg A. Myers terrarium (especially since I got a deal on it at the Renegade Craft Fair -- it has a tiny crack in one of the panes) and added a succulent and cactus. My goal is to keep them alive for at least three months, ha!

More floor space. We got rid of our coffee table, and I love the extra room we have now. After sitting at a desk all day, it feels so good to come home and stretch out at night.

Next up... throw pillows!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Three Tomboy-Inspired Fall Outfits

cute outfit ideas
I have a hard time getting dressed when it's cold out. I'm always torn between looking nice and feeling cozy. So I started keeping notes in the notes app on my phone whenever something inspires me -- a surprising color combination that works well together or the unique way the bread lady at the farmer's market wears her layers -- and created a list of outfit ideas based on what I have in my closet. It's been really handy, especially in the mornings when it feels like I have exactly three minutes to get dressed. Here are a few of the outfits I've been wearing lately that feel sensible with a feminine twist!

fall outfit ideas

cute outfit ideas

fall fashion
Similar buffalo check shirt, J.Crew pants, sandals

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fun Baby Shower Idea

baby shower ideas
Baby shower games can get a little old (word scramble, anyone?) so my friend Grace had the brilliant idea to turn our friend Ali's pinspiration into craft kits for her shower. Guests hung out and crafted, and Ali got new baby toys and decor to keep. It's a win-win! Here's how Grace did it:

1) Pick projects on Pinterest. These days, everyone has a Pinterest board for everything which makes it easy to discover what your friends are inspired by. Grace found Ali's Pinterest board with her nursery decor ideas and picked a few pins that would make simple craft projects.

2) Shop for supplies. Get supplies for each project at your local craft store.

3) Bag it all up. Print out each pin, tape them to the outside of handle bags and fill each bag with the supplies for the specific project.

And voila! Custom craft kits :) 

If you need a few ideas, here are the ones Grace put together which were really fun. 

Felt Ball Mobile (inspired by this pin)

You'll need:
Two wooden dowels
Felting wool in assorted colors
String or yarn 

Cross dowels and tie together in an X-shape. Make felt balls by bunching up felt and poking with the felt needle until it forms a ball. Thread felt balls onto a long piece of string and attach it to the dowels. (Or you can follow this tutorial.) 

Stacking House Blocks (inspired by this pin)

You'll need:
Wooden blocks 
Paint in various colors

Paint blocks, let dry and stack! 

Colored Bulb Lights (inspired by this pin)

You'll need:
String of bulb lights
Paint in various colors

Paint each bulb a different color and let dry.

What do you think? I thought it was such a great idea.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Best Lego Costumes Ever

homemade costumes
diy lego costumes
I know Halloween's long gone by now and everyone's focused on turkey and stuffing, but I have to share my team's Lego costumes. My friend Amanda made 11 full outfits, and even with help from a few others, the project took over 300 hours. Halloween at is no joke! People couldn't get enough of their costumes, and they won first place in the costume contest. Below, Amanda shares how she built the costumes and which one was her favorite.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Do You Wear a Wedding Band?

cool rings
Lately I've been wearing my engagement ring and this raindrop-shaped ring on my left hand with my wedding band over on my right. They look so dainty when worn separately. Like a whisper. I can tell it confuses people though, but I don't really mind. If you're married, do you wear both rings together? Or do you wear one more than the other? 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Home Tour: One-Bedroom Apartment for a Family of (Soon-to-Be) Four

boys room ideas
ikea kids
Three years ago, my friend Ali took us on an apartment tour of her colorful, vintage-inspired home. Her family has since grown beyond her and her husband Elijah to include one sweet toddler and one baby on the way. I always feel so inspired after visiting her, so I thought it'd be fun to do an update. Here's how she's changing up her one-bedroom apartment to make room for a family of four...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What's the Grossest Thing You've Ever Found in Your Food?

parasites in sushi
Warning: This post is not for the faint of heart. Do not read if you are easily grossed out. Or if you're about to eat lunch.

I've found lots of hair in my meals over the years, but my friend Kristin's story takes the cake for grossest thing ever found in food. Interestingly, it wasn't something she found right away.

"The other night I felt something weird in my throat," Kristin says. "It felt like a piece of cheese was stuck and when I put my chin to my chest it felt like it was coming up more."

Monday, October 27, 2014

Gallery Wall

hand-painted signs
For our wedding, our friend Andrew painted this awesome "For the Love of Pies" sign to welcome guests. I love that it feels like a piece of custom art. I was thinking of adding more artwork around it to make a gallery wall, but buying art has always intimidated me. How do you make it look like a collection of things that belong together vs. a random mix? And where do you buy affordable art that's not from a big-box store? Well, I just discovered that Minted, the online shop, offers so much more than cards for the holidays. They have a ton of budget-friendly art from independent artists, and their well-curated selection made it easy to find my favorites.

Here are my top picks for an airy and bright gallery wall with hints of coral...
gallery wall ideas

From left to right:
Abstract dots
For the love of pies
Keys wallet phone
Ferris wheel

If you'd like to make your own gallery wall, here are a few pointers I picked up:

Place your biggest piece off-center. 
This keeps the gallery from looking too symmetrical and makes it visually appealing.

Balance colors and art types. 
I picked a few pieces that fit within the coral color palette--including blush, pink and soft brown--and was drawn to prints that had lots of white space (to counterbalance the huge dose of color in my anchor piece). To add a little edge, I included a few black and white prints and made sure not to clump like-colored pieces together. I'm also a big fan of mixing photographs with abstracts and typography prints.

Mix sizes.
You want some art pieces to be big, others to be medium and a few to be small (teeny even!) Also, choose a mix of vertically- and horizontally-oriented prints.

Mix frames.
All your frames don't have to match. I included a mix of white frames and light brown ones. One convenient thing about Minted is that they offer art framing and have lots of pretty frames to choose from. I also really like these simple white picture frames that come in a bunch of different sizes.

What do you think? Do you have art up on your walls?

(This post is sponsored by Minted, a brand whose art and paper goods I adore. Thank you for supporting Quiet Like Horses' sponsors!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Colorful + Stormy Spring Wedding

spring wedding ideas
wedding pictures
wedding themes
My friend Whitney got married this past spring, and her wedding was full of color and personality. From the flowers to the decor to the wedding dress she designed herself (!), Whitney planned the entire day with the help of her fiancĂ©, friends and family. She says, "We were blessed to have many people lend a hand, and I loved the environment of community it created." Here's her wedding story and more pictures of her dreamy day...

Monday, October 20, 2014

October Adventures

alan and sobrina
Alan and I dedicated the month of October to having adventures. When we first decided on it, we thought we'd plan everything out in advance, but, as it turns out, we haven't made many plans at all. It's been glorious. First, we practiced our selfie-game

baby in a pumpkin patch
We picked pumpkins with this little baby who is equal parts torso and legs. Baby proportions are the cutest. 

uesugi farms hayride
I went on my first hayride!

uesugi farms flowers
We sat on straw bales in the back of a truck, bouncing through pumpkin patches and a sunflower field. It did not disappoint. 

flour bakery banana bread recipe
I continued my search for the best banana bread recipe and had high hopes for this one. It was okay (maybe it was me? It was probably me.) If you have a good recipe, I'd love to try it!

monterey bay aquarium
Alan and I recreated one of our first dates at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was 90 degrees! Eating hot clam chowder in the sweltering heat made me laugh.

I kept asking Alan which one he would pick if I had to be an octopus or a jelly fish. He picked jellyfish, which I found quite amenable.

caboose train
Sometimes he knows exactly what crazy question I'm going to ask before I ask it and asks me first. This is one of our favorite pastimes. 

san jose ramen festivalhide chan ramen
A ramen festival came to town with most vendors billed from Japan. This tonkotsu ramen from Hakata Hide Chan supposedly hails from Fukuoka. (I say supposedly because there's also a Hide Chan in New York, and I can't figure out if they're the same.) But it was delicious, nonetheless. So creamy, milky and porky.

persimmon cookies
Persimmons are in season (bless you, fall), so I made a double batch of Grandma Andi's persimmon cookies. The best cookies in all the land.

skull vase
I put out my skull vase to officially get in the Halloween spirit and also picked up these adorable lady apples. They're so teeny!
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