Packing For A Tropical Island


In a few weeks we’re heading to the Philippines for some sun, diving, and island hopping. I’m so stoked! Visions of fresh local seafood, fruity drinks with slivers of citrus, and limestone cliffs that fall into turquoise waters have been dancing in my head. I’m excited about the marine wildlife too, of course. Dolphins! Sea turtles! Sharks! Nudibranchs! Dugongs! Well, those are extremely rare where we’ll be from what I’ve heard – they are a relative of the manatee, which we swam with while living in Florida. But, who knows. Whale sharks are also around, which we free-dived with in Mexico. Anyway, Here are a few things that will be in my backpack/carry-on:

1. A few good tanks
2. Some polarized shades
3. A bandana for keeping my hair back
4. Coconut lip balm
5. A pair of old Levis jeans I made into shorts – “jorts!”
6. My trusty sandals
7. Reef-safe sunscreen for exploring coral reefs and leaving no finprint behind.

Other things I’ll take:
A gauzy dress I’ve had forever
A swimsuit
The backpack I always carry

Has anyone been to the Philippines and have recommendations? What do you usually pack when you go somewhere tropical? I’d love to hear about it!

On confidence.


I can remember exactly when it clicked for me that I was important. That’s what true confidence is anyway, realizing you’re important. That your thoughts are important, that what you feel is important, and that your ideas matter. It happens at different times, and in different ways for everyone – that moment in life when you reach a breaking point and say “f*ck it” to your insecurities and decide to be 100% yourself.

For me, it happened when I was 27 and sitting on the platform of a research boat off the gulf coast of Florida looking down at a female bottlenose dolphin we had brought onboard to examine. The boat was filled with aquatic vets who had come from various research institutions from around the country to accompany our research efforts. Everyone onboard was busy tending to their assigned tasks, moving about the platform to perform blood work, urine and fecal sampling, ultra sounds, etc. It was my job as resident biologist of the lab leading the research mission to monitor every dolphin we brought onboard. Whenever their oxygen level dropped too low, or there were signs of stress, I would call for a bucket of water so we could splash it over the blowhole to initiate breathing. While others took samples, it was my job (and the lab’s) to ensure she stayed alive.

Continue reading…

Life with Dogs / 09

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

Tip #9: How to make a harness on the fly.

You’ve likely fell victim to it at least once, if not all the time. Maybe it was a tree full of squirrels, an approaching dog, or a bicyclist ahead – but, the signs were clear: ears perked, body stiffened, eyes focused. You knew what was coming next: an assault on your arm. In situations like these where your dog might tend to pull on the leash and you find yourself needing more control, here is an easy way to make a harness quickly.

Step 1. Using the collar and leash you already have, hook the leash onto the collar as if you were getting ready to go outside.

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

Step 2. Wrap the leash underneath the body and around the chest, loosely.

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

Step 3. Cross the leash over the top of the body and put handle through the loop you’ve created

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

Step 4. Pull the handle of the leash towards the center and you’re ready to go!

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

For long distance hikes, or daily walks with a dog who tugs on the leash regularly, I recommend getting an actual harness. This tactic is great for those times when you just need a little extra control to get from point A to point B.

Leash and collar are from the nice folks at RESQCO.

Around Here

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with 2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a4 preset Processed with VSCOcam with 1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

1. / Mila cat in her bed jungle / 2. Diversity in coffee / 3. Hats hangin’ / 4. A new book I’m reading (it’s good) / 5. Bookstore kitty / 6. Morning coffee conversationalists (ok, it’s me who does all the talking) / 7. The city, above. / 8. A few new favorites / 9. The city, below. / 10. Those pots need somethin’…ideas welcome.



DIY Shoe Organizer

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset Come home, kick off shoes, hang jacket, put keys in the wood tray. That’s how it usually goes when we come into our place. Lately though, the pile of shoes/ human obstacle course we had created by the door was getting harder and harder to ignore. So, this past weekend I decided to sort out the beef I had with the current state of entryway and come up with a helpful solution. The result was a very simple, modern shoe organizer. 

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

Here’s what we used:

Two 1×8 ft boards
1.5″ nails
Measuring tape
Hand saw
Sand paper

Here’s how:

Measure the dimensions of your space using a tape measure. Cut boards to fit dimensions (essentially you are creating a rectangle – ours was made using two long pieces measuring 36 3/4” and two 10″ pieces). The next step will likely be a little different than ours because we took advantage of the molding along the bottom of the wall to use as a place to rest the bottom board. We then nailed the side pieces into the wall, and nailed the remaining long piece on top. If you are constructing this without the help of any molding/wall features, you could use wood glue and clamps to secure the pieces together in a rectangle shape, then nail them together. You could even add legs or wheels to add storage space underneath.

Have a rad weekend.


Dammnn Daniel

Have you been quoting it too?

It’s raining out. The combination of overcast weather and the faint headache I have from the cocktails I had with a girlfriend last night makes me want to curl up and take a nap rather than do much else. Good thing it’s Friday and the weekend is almost here. It’s supposed to rain clear until Monday, limiting what we can do outside (bummer). But, I’ve got a new book I can’t wait to dive into, and a growing list of projects to work on that will consume most of the next few days. I told Trey I’d challenge him to karaoke/lip syncing at some point. He’s pretty good at it, but so am I. Tonight we’re having our usual fall back Friday night plan: Indian take out and watching crime dramas in our sweats. Hope you guys have a rad weekend, here are something I came across this week:


A Mean Girls Musical is coming our way

Hey guys, you busy?” (from Reddit)

Oceanographers record sound from the deepest part of the ocean

To anyone who thinks they are falling behind

Surfer’s granola

Future Island’s side project drops a new album and it’s really good

Modern beach vibes

A Taste of Streep.
Photo above: the sunset on San Francisco bay from our window earlier this week.

Life with Dogs / 08

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

Tip # 08: An easy solution for dirty paws:  A paw pan.

Once while doing research in the Bahamas, I lived at this lab on the sandy island of Abaco for a month. Every day I would eat a tomato sandwich for lunch on the beach and every evening after work I would paddle out to watch the sunset while a labrador named Harold waited for me on shore. When it was time to come back into the lab, there was a wash pan filled with water just off the back deck that you were to step in to wash the sand off your bare feet before coming inside. This kept sand and dirt off the lab floor.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

At home here, the dogs track all kinds of things into our place – sand from the beach, dirt from hikes, and worst of all – mud from the dog park. This winter was rough on the California coast in terms of the rainfall we got from the El Nino this year. It seemed like every time the dogs would go out and play they would come back with mud-caked paws. I had been taking them straight to the bath tub to wash up, but after half a dozen baths, I remembered back to that wash pan on the deck of the lab in the Bahamas and thought hey — we need one of those.

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset    Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

So, I bought one. I call it the paw pan, though it’s useful for a variety of different things (hand washing delicate items, washing dishes when camping, a helmet for falling debris from an earthquake…you name it…DREAM BIG). Now when the dogs come in, I just fill it up half-way, dip their paws in, and towel them off. Not only does it save time, it also avoids the dreaded “Ah nuts” look Jack flashes me every time he hears the bath running. Have you seen his “Ah nuts” sad face? Good, you don’t want to. It’ll melt you into a pile of goop. Don’t be goop! Use a paw pan!

And, an aside:

Here’s Harold the Bahamas dog who followed me around. He was a wild one who roamed the beach. His collar read “Do not feed”, written in big block letters with a black sharpie marker. If you leaned in to pet him he would walk away, so we sat on the beach a lot together…always around 4 feet apart. One night me and two others were in the lab late and let Harold in. Later that night he defended us when we got robbed. We were all glad he was there to guard us (although they did make off with 2 boat engines). Dogs are the best.

72973_10100748678245148_900399452_n    555931_10100749762512268_638580377_n

(For some reason it isn’t letting me link to where I bought our “paw pan”…but, if you search on Amazon there are lots of options).

Tom Boy Style / 05

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset   Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

This weekend was really fun. We hung out with friends, got brunch at Le Note – this french spot that has the best eggs and beignets, went to yoga, took the dogs to play at the dog park, got all the supplies for a little home DIY coming up, booked tickets for an upcoming trip in March, then fell asleep watching the Oscars. I realized I hadn’t done a Tomboy Style post in a while, so I snapped a few photos of one of the outfits I wore this weekend and felt good in. Just a simple white tank, black jeans, a pair of boots, and a rad black leather jacket. I’ve been wearing this jacket so much lately I feel like it needs a name. Something like “Ray” or “Mick” or “Wolfgang”. It’s perfect for when you want to add a little bit of badassery to whatever you’re wearing. I capped it off with a punch of red lipstick, because why not?

Notes from Editor (Trey): “You and Keeper match”.


Leather Jacket: Topshop / White Tank: Free People / Black jeans: Madewell / Boots: h&m (similar) / Red lips: Iila.

Have a rad weekend.



JACK DOG for President 2016 (who’s with me?)

This week was a really chill one. How about yours? It’s been in the 70s all week which has been spectacular. This weekend we’ve got a few things planned…a friend’s birthday to celebrate, some spring cleaning to do, meeting a friend who’s in town from the east coast, etc. Should be fun. Hope you guys all have a great weekend. In parting, I thought I would share with you a funny story that happened this morning:

6:30am. Blarf…Blarf… BLARF that’s the sound of our dog heaving. “Push her off the bed!” I yell as if I’m the all-knowing captain of this sinking ship. She hits the ground with a thud. Blarf….Blarf…”get her off the rug!”… BLARRRRPGHHHHHFFFF, she throws up. “I’ll get it” Trey says, stumbling into the kitchen to get the paper towels and enzyme cleaner from under the sink. I check to make sure she’s ok. She’s ok, we close her out of the bedroom in order to sleep because once she’s up, she’s UP.

6:45am. She has better plans. Like whimpering because she has been shut out from our life, seemingly forever. “Just ignore it”, Trey whispers. The whimpers slowly die off. “Yesss” I think to myself.

7:30am. Howling ensues. We can’t ignore the howling because we have neighbors and it’s still early. I immediately regret teaching her how to howl. I open the door just a crack and whisper-yell expletives into the living room. The cat pushes through the crack of the door and runs in; Keeper follows in hot pursuit after her, attempting to corral her into the corner of the bedroom. Well, f*** it, we’re up.

8:17am. “I’ve got to make the 8:25 bus”, Trey says from the closet. “Are you sure you can make it?”, I ask while pulling one pant leg on. “Yeah I think I can…(looks around)…have you seen my belt?” We look around the closet for it. “Wait..did…did Keeper steal my belt?” he asks. We simultaneously glance into the living room to see his brown leather belt sitting in the middle of the floor. Keeper had dragged it out from the closet, likely paraded it around the living room, then abandoned it. Meanwhile Jack sits patiently by the door, ready to go outside. Trey leaves, and I follow shortly after.

8:27am. My phone buzzes, it’s a text from Trey. “I missed the bus”.

So, in short, border collie pup for sale. $50 OBO. Just kidding, have a rad weekend everybody! Here are a few things that caught my attention this week:

This dog is the coolest (I might be a little biased).

Style musings with the legendary Kim Gordon.

On new reactions.

In love with the feel of this home.

How to water an air plant.

Pretty, for spring.

I’ve been noticing everyone wearing these.

Coconut is the new quinoa.

Lena Dunham’s take on the Kesha trial.

Father John Misty’s reaction at the Grammy’s made me laugh.

Above photo found here.

Workspace Inspiration

ae04863d18e80ee4d3b6069c5ffa61ea stylish-scandinavian-home-office-designs-22 UO_meghann_005 IMG_9560 102

In a perfect world, I’d have a little studio to write in. In my current world, I have a small walk-in closet that we’ve converted into a workspace. If I’ve learned anything from the 7+ years of living in San Francisco/Bay Area, it’s how to craftily embrace every quirky nook of space you get. It reminds me of the years we lived at the corner of Haight and Ashbury (in Janis Joplin’s old building) in the city. Our bed was literally in the closet (surely I’ve told this story before by now). “Closet bed”, as it came to be known as. Here we are once again coming up with a creative solution to utilize a somewhat large (by SF standards), light-filled closet.

The space itself is only about 8 ft x 3 ft, so it will require a little bit of creativity to make it into a workspace. Another challenge will be it also has to have room for Trey’s bmx bike and our camera gear without feeling overly cramped. Right now we have a small desk and chair we got ages ago that we’ll keep in there, but we’ll need to add a few new things like: some storage, a rug, a few office supplies, and a plant or two.

These are a few inspiring workspaces I’ve been pinning over on Pinterest lately. I love how bright the spaces are. Luckily, this space does have a window that faces the bay and lets a lot of light in (and the colors from the amazing West coast sunsets we’ve been having lately). I’m excited to work on this space and others as part of a little spring cleaning coming up!