Currently Watching

stranger-things-6

I love good tv. Trey and I like to decompress at night by catching up on our favorite shows we’ve missed. We hardly ever get to watch them when they actually come on – so instead, we stock pile and binge watch when we can. I always have my eye out for new shows and eagerly await trailers for new seasons of shows we watch and love. We have a rule when it comes to watching shows we’re mutually psyched on – no watching ahead without the other! It’s not really a rule, but fessing up to sneaking in an episode definitely feels like you’ve broken one. Most nights we fall asleep half way through, other nights we binge until our eyes cross. Here’s what’s been on lately:

1. Stranger Things
Stranger-things-banner (1)

strangerthingsthumb1jpg-6ab18a_1280w
stranger-things

There’s so much to love about this show. It’s like they took all the best elements from 80s sci-fi/horror movies and combined them into one nostalgic tv show. It’s very Steven Spielberg meets Stephen King. The kids riding their bikes through the streets reminds me a lot of E.T., and the pink dress/wig outfit the main character “Eleven” wears is very reminiscent of the twin girls from that hallway scene in The Shining. The jedi mind tricks, the Stand By Me-like group of boys, the list goes on. All of it…the music, the clothes, the characters, storyline…so so good! And Winona Ryder plays the mom. I’ve been a fan of hers since Heathers. Really lovin’ this show…and season 2 is already in the works! Woot!

2. Atlanta
maxresdefault
paperboy-song-atlanta-fx-childish-gambino
Atl_Pilot_1920x1080
There’s only been a few episodes of this show, but so far I’m loving it. The show was created by Donald Glover (Childish Gambino, Troy from Community), who also stars in it. It’s about two cousins who begin navigating the Atlanta rap scene after one of them starts making it big, leaving the other to take on the duty of being his Manager. The writing is great and the characters are fun – especially their odd friend who’s always stoned and imparts wisdom randomly. Come to think of it, those are usually my favorite characters.

3. Mr. Robot
Mr. Robot - Pilot

160826_PLUS_mr-robot-ep-8.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2
robot_s2_ep7_hackers

I’m still reeling from the crazy scene that happened the other night in this show. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it. Season 1 was amazing, and so far Season 2 has been pretty good too. The show follows Elliot, a cyber security programmer by day/leader of an anonymous group of vigilante hackers trying to take down a massive multinational conglomerate by night. They develop the characters so well in this show. Trey and I are big fans.

What are you watching? Any I should add to the list? I’m always looking for new ones!

A DIY Floating Clothing Rack

IMG_0102

We’re loving the house so far. Not only do we have more space, but now we can really work on all the projects we want without worrying that we’re disturbing the neighbors. We’re just renting for the time being while we feel out whether or not the Oakland Hills are the place for us, so that means some of the details of the house we’ll just have to live with. Luckily for us though, we’re no strangers to coming up with creative solutions for quirky Bay Area spaces (cough, beds and offices in closets, cough).

My favorite room in the house is the bedroom. It faces southwest and has lots of windows that bring tons of sunlight in the afternoons. We thought the bedroom in our last place was peaceful and bright….but this bedroom might take the cake. It overlooks the trees in the back yard, and also allows us to spy on the dogs whenever we want: “YO KEEPER STOP BARKING AT THAT BIRD/SQUIRREL/TREE BRANCH WITH NOTHING ON IT!“. I can’t wait to paint the walls white to really make it feel airy in there.

Over the weekend we went to Lowes to pick up some supplies for our first few projects. One quirk with this house is there is no closet space in the bedroom. The tenants before us left behind a large armoire, but it was bulky and traditional and not really our style, so we thought it would be neat to make a floating clothing rack to hang our t-shirts and jackets on instead.

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset
Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

Hardware stores are my jam. I can’t help but have this weird giddy energy every time I go in one. The possibilities are endless! Trey called me Tina “The Tool Woman” Taylor and I think I’m alright with it. Anyone remember JTT from Home Improvement? That hair. I mean, what a babe.

Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset

We grabbed a cart and rode around on it like a bunch of kids, perused the aisles for the items we needed. Steve (Lowes employee, what up Steve!) helped us when we asked where we could find “14 feet of strong wire and a machete”. You know, for the felony we were about to commit. Just kidding. The wire was for the floating clothing rack and the machete was to clear a path in the woods in the back yard. We grew up in the back woods of North Carolina…if you needed to clear a path you didn’t call lawn services, you just took the machete out there and murdered some weeds yourself (safely, of course).

Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
DERP
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset

Here’s a before and after:

Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
IMG_0102

I think it turned out pretty cool. I like how simple it is, and it’s sturdy. The hooks are firmly secured into a stud in the ceiling and the wire supports up to 120 lbs – so we’ll hang lots of clothes on it (once we unpack more). We’re keeping our eyes out for a cool vintage trunk to put underneath it to store jeans in – or we might bring in a small dresser that’s currently hanging out in the garage. When the walls are painted white it will stand out and vibe more with our style. But, one thing at a time. I’m more of a show-as-you-go kind of girl….to me, seeing all the different stages as it comes together is cooler than just revealing a finished product. More to come!

Here’s what we used to make it:
Wooden dowel rod – we used a 1′ 1/8″ diameter rod, 48″ L
Wire
Eyelet hooks – 1/4″ x 3″ (ours screwed into a wood stud luckily – if drywall, you’ll need to also buy heavy duty anchors to support the weight).
2 Ferrule and stop kits – 1/16″ (make sure they match same diameter of your wire).
Stud finder
Level (every iphone has one – just go to the compass app and swipe left).
Pencil
Tape measure
Wire cutters

Here’s how:
1. Use a stud finder to find out whether you’re working with studs or drywall. Ideally for this you’ll need to screw directly into studs in order to support the weight of your clothes on the rack.

2. Once you’ve found stud/studs, measure the distance you need between the eyelet hooks. This was about 40″ because you will want the dowel rod to overhang on the edges by a few inches.

3. Screw in eyelet hooks.

4. Determine the length you want your clothing rack to “float” from the ceiling and cut two pieces of wire using the wire cutters.

5. Loop wire through eyelet hook and secure ferrule and stop kit. Using the wire cutters, crimp down on the stopper to hold in place. Make sure wire is secure by pulling gently. Repeat on opposite end by securing ferrule and stop kit around the dowel rod. Trim excess wire.

6. Repeat on other end of dowel rod. Use a level to make sure the rod is even before securing the last ferrule and stopper on the final loop around dowel rod.

7. Hang clothes with hangers and do a happy dance.

Movin’ In

Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset

IMG_0070 Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset

We said goodbye to our apartment w/ shared yard in Berkeley (and the schnauzer who always had beef with Jack…his name was Chauncey and he was an asshole). We are really happy to be in a house with a nice big back yard of our own now.

Jack and Keeper have become well acquainted with the doggie door and are relishing their new found freedom. It’s funny to see them both try to squeeze through the door at the same time and get stuck. Mila figured it out too, so she’s been spending some time in the back yard pretending to be a dog with them. Yesterday we went to the hardware store and picked up lots of things for DIY projects. It’s good to be (in our new) home!

 

Turning the big 0-3.

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

My apartment smells like fresh linen right now. Not like the smell of actual fresh linen, but like the glade plug-in “fresh linen” smell. They had a sale on them at the gas station across the street and I needed them because my landlord is showing our place from 2-4 today and my cat likes to pee on the closet floor if any clothes are left out and we’re not supposed to even have a cat so I had to mask the smell of cloroxed cat piss floor with gas station “fresh linen” smell. It was half clutch decision, half “this’ll do” because like I’m a chill human and it’s whatever. So things are going good. I’m writing to you from the car, where I’m sitting in an empty gym parking lot with my cat on my lap. The dogs are in the back staring at the half-eaten turkey and cheese sandwich I left on the dashboard. My landlord probably wouldn’t even be pissed if he found out we had a cat, I mean…he already knows we have dogs. Maybe part of me just wants the thrill of a mid-Sunday afternoon covert cat-hiding operation.

Trey is out of town. He turned 30 so I bought him tickets to NYC to go ride with his bmx friends. I figured since I spent my 30th birthday on the back of a motorbike in the Philippines a couple months ago (I know, I need to post the pics), he should go on a bike-related adventure too. Whenever he’s out of town I go full-on Home Alone level wild, except the 30 year old version. I stayed up late, sang Hall and Oats in the bathtub, watched like fifty episodes of Catfish re-runs in my underwear, pinned everything I want for Christmas this year and didn’t brush my teeth once. For dinner last night I had one of those Amy’s microwavable macaroni and cheeses, a spoonful of maybe-expired leftover soup, oatmeal, and half an heirloom tomato. I legit felt like that rat in Charlotte’s Web that floats down the river on his schmorgesborg of food singing into the night sky.

Anyway, I’ve been gone from here for a little bit. I had to deal with adult life things and so I took some time to do that. How vague is that? Very vague. 10/10 vague. Wow I never noticed how much vague looks like it could just be the french slang word for vag. I’m 30 now so I can make vagina references with confidence.

There are lots of new stuffs happening. For one, we’re moving! To a house in the hills like 10 minutes away with a big back yard and a greenhouse. There’s a creek too, and other grown-up things like a drive way and a dishwasher. Having a house seems like an adulty maneuver. I just laughed out loud because while writing that I got a flashback of us in the backseat of an uber last week taking turns violently breathing in each other’s face to make sure our breath didn’t stink. Thirty. 3-0. I feel more like 0-3. I got Trey those big fancy number balloons so when he came home he REALLY knew how old he was. FYI balloons are about the worst thing you can buy if you’re an anxious human. “Balloon” is just a cute word for I’m going to stretch this weird rubber thing to it’s limit, tie a pretty ribbon on it and then take it for a walk outside in the world where EVERYTHING IS SHARP. It feels oddly similar to those parenting exercises in high school where they give you the pretend babies to see whether you’d kill it or not.

So, that’s my story for right now. Doing adulty things and turning into magical 0-3 year olds. Here’s a picture of Trey at his friend’s bike shop with his buddies this weekend (this photo is for you, future kids! look at your dad’s ponytail under his bucket hat!)!

IMG_0256

Luv,
nic

Summer Reads

Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset

Summer is such a great time for reading. I like all kinds of books, but off-beat fiction is what I really like to get lost in. I usually have a few going at a time – a book for the gym, one by the bath tub, another on my side of the bed – each with their pages dog-earred and stained with some ubiquitous liquid. Mila cat is my reading buddy. She usually finds me and cuddles up, snoring big fat snores into the crease of my elbow. I’m not sure there’s much better than a sweet kitty laying next to you in the late-evening summer sun with a book. Here are a few of the good ones I’ve read lately:

You’ll Grow Out Of It
Jesse Klein
After listening to Terri Gross’ interview with comic Jesse Klein about her book on NPR, I knew I had to read it. And boy did it deliver. Klein, who is currently the head writer/exec producer of “Inside Amy Schumer”, shares 24 humorous short stories from her life in this book…everything from growing up, to dating and “failing at” the rites of womanhood. She opens the book by introducing herself as a “tom man”, a term she coined for when a tomboy just never grows out of it. It’s been my favorite read so far this summer.

The Girls
Emma Cline
I couldn’t put this one down. The story takes place in the late 1960s and follows a young girl who encounters a group of free-spirited girls in the park and is drawn to them. Soon she is becoming a part of the group, which we later learn is a cult led by a charismatic leader. It reminded me of The Virgin Suicides during some parts, which I loved….mixed with a little psychological thrill.

Me, Earl, And The Dying Girl
Jesse Andrews
I am such a fan of the way Jesse Andrews writes. It’s so refreshingly honest and funny. This is his debut novel, although he’s been a screenwriter for years. He tells a coming of age story that follows a teenage guy as he navigates high school and adolescence, and how an unlikely relationship with a girl in his class with leukemia ends up being the closest thing he has to a friend. I loved how unconventional the story is and how it’s full of both light-hearted and deep moments. The film adaptation is really great too!

Modern Lovers
Emma Straub
I haven’t finished this one, but it’s been a good read so far. The story is about two couples who have been friends for a long time and live on the same block in Brooklyn with their teenage children. It’s the perfect book if you have ever wondered what happens to hipsters when they get older.

One Simple Trick

Processed with VSCO with a10 preset

Life with Dogs
Tip #11: Using a distinct whistle.

When I was a kid, my brother and I used to spend all summer outside. Just before it got dark every evening, my dad would stand on the edge of the porch and whistle for us to come in. That whistle would carry through the trees and across the pasture, down to the creek, and straight into our ears. Whenever we heard the whistle, we knew it was time to make our way back home.

I’ve found this not only works for two scraggly kids roaming through the woods (ha!), it also works with dogs. By choosing a sound and using it when you want their attention, over time it will become distinct and memorable to them. Most of us do it already without really noticing.

When I’m on trails in the woods, I like to give the dogs space to wander. It’s a trust we have with one another – they can roam freely as long as they come back when I whistle for them. I like letting them be dogs and giving them the freedom to sniff and investigate. The two of them stick together most of the time. Keep stays right at Jack’s heels, or vice versa. When they get too far from me, I whistle for them and they run back by my side. There are times, of course, when they forget or ignore me because they are too interested in what they are doing, and that’s ok. I just whistle a few more times and wait for them.

Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset

A good way to train your dog to come to your distinct whistle is to start in the house or at the dog park with a ball or toy. Throw the ball or toy and whistle for them to bring it back instead of saying anything. Over time, they will make the association that your whistle means to come back. This will also get them familiar with the sound of the whistle you’ve chosen.

My go-tos are: a high-pitched whistle or a sharp kiss-like sound I used to use with horses growing up. Both are effective, and I like that even in a crowd of dogs I can get their individual attention. Do you guys have a special whistle or call that gets your dog’s attention? I want to know!

A Magical Day

Nicole+Trey-073
Nicole+Trey-062 Nicole+Trey-059 Nicole+Trey-056 Nicole+Trey-064 Nicole+Trey-083 Nicole+Trey-089 Nicole+Trey-090 Nicole+Trey-106   Nicole+Trey-108 (1)
Nicole+Trey-002 Nicole+Trey-001   Nicole+Trey-085 Nicole+Trey-039 Nicole+Trey-024   Nicole+Trey-034 Nicole+Trey-046 Nicole+Trey-087 Nicole+Trey-074 Nicole+Trey-068 Nicole+Trey-067 Nicole+Trey-047 Nicole+Trey-048 (1) Nicole+Trey-094 Nicole+Trey-076

A few weekends ago our friend and wedding photographer Phil Chester was in town shooting a wedding not too far from us and stopped over to spend the day hanging with us. It was so much fun laughing and exploring parts of the coastline we hadn’t been to before with him.

We hung out at home for a little bit drinking bloody mary’s and chatting, then got some tacos and headed north up to Point Reyes. It was foggy and windy and everything a summery northern California day on the coast should be. We drove past cows and rolling hills and walked along the cliffs just above the water. Then, like clockwork Lola decided to break down and we played games until a tow truck came to bail us out. These photos are so special to us since we never got around to having engagement photos taken (hehe). It was so rad to hang out and have him capture us in our natural element. I can’t wait to get some printed to hang around our place!

 

Santa Cruz with Stanley

Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset Processed with VSCO with a10 preset Processed with VSCO with a10 preset Processed with VSCO with a10 preset Processed with VSCO with a10 preset Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset

This past weekend we went down to Santa Cruz to check out some skate/bmx spots. We stopped by Blue Bottle coffee first to fill up our Stanley vacuum mug with coffee. Then we headed south in search of an empty pool Trey found on Google Earth. Empty pools are a dream to ride if you’re into skating or bmx. Or just want a rad place to hang out.

We pulled off on this back road just off the highway, woods on both sides.  There’s never any signs or arrows leading to the good spots. They’re hidden like gems you really have to seek out. The pool has been there since the 1970s and is somewhat of an icon for the Santa Cruz skating scene. Technically it’s private property, but locals say it’s ok to use as long as the woods are kept clean. We finally found a trail that led up a hill and through the brush. After walking for a little bit, we came to a clearing to find a totally empty, abandoned pool to ourselves.

It was hot, really hot. I’m glad the dogs were at home staying cool. Especially Keeper, she gets so hot with all her fur. When we were packing up to leave for the day and she saw Trey’s bike being wheeled out, she howled because she wanted to come with so bad. Next time, girl. I love her so much. Anyway, we switched from coffee to ice water with the Stanley insulated growler. Trey rode around, grinding on the side of the pool and getting some air out of the deep end. I got a tan in the sun. It was awesome just to be out in nature with each other.

We’re always happy to bring Stanley products along with us on our adventures.  We have so many of their products around the house. Every morning Trey makes coffee and takes it with him in the vacuum mug on the train in the morning. He skates with it in his bag since it stays sealed. Every night we use the Stanley insulated pints for ice water. The growler is great too. We fill it up with ice water and keep it with us in the truck for the dogs, but you can also fill it up for beer and bring it camping too (which we’ll be doing soon). The options are endless. If you’re looking for a gift for Father’s Day, Stanley is a classic choice that’s perfect for outdoorsy guys. I can confirm that dog dads appreciate them too, ha!

 

This post was sponsored by Stanley. All views expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting those who support Wildlandia.

 

Around Here

Processed with VSCO with a10 preset Processed with VSCO with a4 preset Processed with VSCO with a10 preset Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset Processed with VSCO with a10 preset Processed with VSCO with 2 preset Processed with VSCO with s1 preset IMG_8537

This weekend was a lot of fun. We spent it hanging out with friends, watching the Warriors playoff games, then heading down to Santa Cruz to hang out at an empty/abandoned pool in the middle of the woods. The dogs have had to stay behind a lot lately since it’s been so hot out (80s and 90s!) and the air conditioner in Lola is on the fritz. Life has been go go go lately. Steph, Trey’s sister, is coming to San Francisco with her boyfriend to spend a couple weeks here and we are so excited! Then after that we’re heading to NYC to visit some friends and Wes (our best friend/brother…Trey’s next door neighbor growing up…yep…we all witnessed each other as snot faced teenagers. He’s kind of my favorite person ever). Then we’re hoping to squeeze in a few camping trips with friends and dogs soon too. Summer is always a busy time around here, but I love it. Here are a few photos from around here lately.

1./ My sweet boy, I love him so. His birthday is soon! / 2. Sun lover / 3. Browsing pretty things at Esqueleto / 4. Skating empty pools / 5. Keeper girl in the morning / 6. The sky from the Bay Bridge / 7. Forever on the hunt for vintage jeans / 8. This toy cracks me up and Keeper is obsessed (thanks Zippypaws!) / 9. Sunday morning hangs

Bad Intentions

1931381_574932603848_3991_n

There was a time in college when Trey and I had just started dating again when this guy in my environmental science class invited me to a party he was throwing at his house. “Nah, it’s not like that“, I told Jess, my best friend over coffee that morning. “He’s just a friend“. Later that night I rode my bike to Trey’s and found him sitting around with a bunch of his friends watching bmx videos. My friend had made me this dress from leftover fabric she found in the design hall at school. I paired it with awful chunky Doc Marten boots. “Want to come?”, I asked him. “Theme parties aren’t really my thing”, he told me with his eyes on the television. Trey’s always been like that, laid back. Doesn’t do anything he doesn’t want to do. He’s never been the type to follow my every move.

So I went and danced with a bunch of new people until we were all sweaty and feeling good. Around 4 in the morning when the kegs were up, I dug my bike out of the pile in the front yard and started to ride home. I looked down to see my tire was flat. “Hey! Where are you going?”, my new friends called from the deck. The guy from my class came over to me. “You could just stay here”, he said with eyes that said a lot more, his fingers lightly grazing my arm. I sat on the curb outside and texted Steven, Trey’s room mate and my good friend, figuring if anyone was up, it would be him. No answer. “F*ck it”, I thought, wheeling my bike down the street ready to walk it home. A few minutes later headlights came from behind me. The sound of his old volkswagen rattling up next to me. I knew it was him before looking. He hung his head out the car window, pulling up beside me. “You know, you really shouldn’t be walking in the dark at this time of night, someone with bad intentions might try to pick you up”. One of the guys from the house threw a rock at Trey’s car, angry that their friend’s mating conquests had been thwarted. They started to chase his car down. Trey got out to confront them. “Hey, get f*cked!”, he yelled. “Lets just go”, I told him. “Sorry…”, I said quietly from the passenger’s seat as we drove away. “Don’t be”, he said calmly.

What are you, my hero? Look I just had a flat”, I said oddly defensive after a few minutes, abruptly breaking the silence. I’ve never been that girl who needed some guy to ride up on a white stallion for her. We listened to The Smiths as he drove me home to the bottom floor apartment I shared with a girl who painted her room black and spelled her name with a K even though you knew it was a C on her birth certificate. “Hey…thanks. You really didn’t have to do that”, I told him, looking more like a train wreck than potential girlfriend material. He leaned in and kissed me. Then he was gone.