There really is nothing better than finding a good pair of vintage jeans. I grew up wearing Levis, as I think a lot of people did. When it comes to my style nowadays, I’m still mostly a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl. Usually the clothes I like have the 3 Cs: Comfortable, Classic, and Clean. Which is something I just made up while typing this, actually. Most of the time I just wear whatever’s clean and hasn’t been laid on by Jack.
The other day I was walking around Berkeley and ducked into this basement shop because it started to rain. Inside there was a stack of vintage Levis 501 jeans in various washes, so I tried a few pairs on while I waited out the rain. I’ve been living in the pair I found every day since then. I love how worn-in they feel, the baggy legs, and how pretty much anything you pair them with looks effortlessly cool. Wearing a sweater or nice tee basically says “I give a damn” up top, while the worn-in jeans say “yeah man, it’s whatever” on the bottom, which is basically the perfect wardrobe dichotomy in my mind.
P.s – I tried to sneak a dog in these photos, but Trey (boyfriend, in-house editor) vetoed it. So, you’ll just have to imagine a border collie with an extremely long tongue hanging out just out of the frame.
I look over to see Trey quietly laughing to himself in the driver’s seat. “What?” I ask him, wanting to know what sorts of brain wanderings of his I’m missing out on.
“I just thought the most stoner/hippie thing in my head that sounded a lot like something Jeff Spicoli would say, but it’s true”, he told me. “Yeah?” I said, fishing for a response.
“In order to find yourself, you’ve got to lose yourself…mann“, he said with a half-smile.
I laughed, “Yeah that does sound very Spicoli“. Then I repeated what he had said in a British accent to make it sound philosophical. Trey cringed and shook his head. I have never quite understood his aversion to a British accent. Maybe it’s because Americans have come to associate a British accent with being more formal, or because he sees it as being snooty. Either way, he hates it. I think British accents are charming. David Attenborough talking about Antarctic penguins is basically an adult nursery rhyme for me.
The music’s on, we’re listening to Uncle Tupelo, Chris Stapleton, and Sturgill Simpson. I’m not the biggest country fan, but I’ve been listening to Sturgill Simpson a lot lately. The heater is trying it’s best on half-blast to warm the truck. The cold air seeping through the crack in the passenger’s side window where it doesn’t fully roll up isn’t helping. It’s raining a little. Big, fat drops on the windshield. The whole sky is one cloud for as far as I can see ahead. It’s definitely not your average “let’s go to the beach” day. But, I love gray days. In California you get a lot of sunny days, so when the sky decides to get moody it’s a good thing. A strong El Niño has been predicted for this winter, which will bring lots of wind and rain. I was interested in seeing the surf. So far we’ve already had a few strong storms with thunder, lightening and strong winds. Some containers fell off a cargo ship off the coast last week and it took them no time to wash ashore given the wind. Pretty neat.
On our way to Point Reyes, we stopped off at our favorite sandwich/grocery store, The Inverness Store. They’ve got this abandoned boat out back that I’ve been taking Jack’s photo in front of since he was little. It was muddy from the rain, so I carried Jack over my shoulder to the log to avoid him from getting muddy. “He’s so calm”, a woman who was there photographing the boat said to me as we walked past. Jack flashed a panty smile at her from over my shoulder. “He’s a good boy”, I said back proudly. Then we picked up a dozen Hog Island oysters for dinner and threw them in our old Coleman cooler in the back of the truck and continued on to Point Reyes.
Our favorite spot up here is North Beach. It’s the last beach before you get to the lighthouse. There’s cliffs, driftwood, dunes, and on a good day you can see the Farallon Islands offshore. It’s a good place to watch for gray whales and humpbacks migrating, and there’s a large elephant seal rookery just on the other side of the peninsula in Drakes Bay. Right now the whales are traveling down to the warm waters south of our latitude, avoiding the cold and readying to give birth to their calves. They won’t begin migrating back north again until early spring. Before long the male elephant seals will start arriving at the rookery near here to stake their claim of the beach, and by February the juveniles, females, and pups will follow. But for now, all is quiet and everyone is tucked in for winter, so to speak.
We got to the beach and the swell was huge. The waves swirled high and crashed with thunderous force. The tide was high too, taking up most of the beach. I told Trey we better keep the dogs close, else they’ll get dragged out into the surf and be goners. The riptides around here, combined with the cold water, are no joke. Trey climbed on a dune and flew the drone with the GoPro out over the beach. The dogs chased a tennis ball in the sand, then Trey made a makeshift bat out of a piece of driftwood and hit the ball far down the beach for them. Keeper is so fast. She’s my girl, so sweet and athletic.
The sun started setting and we made our way back down the beach to the truck. We toweled the dogs off, gave them some water, and then Trey snapped a photo of me and Jack in the front seat watching the sun set. Afterwards we drove home in the dark, Keeper had half her body out of the car, not wanting to miss a thing. It was the best day.
Christmas is coming (I said that like Jon Snow, god Nicole GET OVER IT). Perhaps you’re looking for ideas for that special someone on your list that’s outdoorsy, or likes well designed things, or both. Stanley is a built-to-last outdoor brand that offers a lot of good products that are great for that. I grew up with Stanley brand products. I still have an old lunch box that Trey and I use to this day to carry dog food in when we travel. I love how their products blend hip style and design with outdoor functionality. It’s great for those people on your list who appreciate products that last. There’s no going wrong with a good thermos to help them keep food and drinks warm, or a good flask to tuck into a jacket pocket during a hike through the woods. My new favorite is the cocktail shaker for making camp fire cocktails, and the vacuum growler to fill with your favorite craft beer and share with friends. Trey’s favorite is the vacuum pint – he fills it up with ice water every night, and it’s still icy water in the morning. You know, it’s the simple things in life.
For some good deals on Stanley products like the ones above, head right this way.
This post was sponsored by Stanley. Thank you for supporting brands who support Wildlandia.
This past weekend we went to the tree farm and cut down our Christmas tree. We returned to the same farm as last year to keep the tradition going. It’s fun to drive through the woods and walk through the rows of trees until you find the perfect one. The dogs ran around, darting through the trees like it was one big maze. Every now and then I’d hear a kid yell “doggie!” and look up to see Jack standing in front of a little kid wagging his tail. It’s fun to watch Jack interact with little humans. He’s so intrigued and wants to lick their faces off. I think it’s because he’s so smart, and they are about his size. After we found our tree, Trey cut it down, and we tied it to the top of Lola. Then it was time for some lunch. We stopped at Val’s diner for some burgers and french fries. It’s such a charming little spot. The older guy seating us told us to take “the fourth booth on the left…but walk slow cuz’ they’re still cleaning it”. Afterwards they give you little Andies chocolates. Then we drove home and strung lights on the tree and put up the stockings. I love this tradition we’ve got going. Just us, the dogs, and a 5 ft Douglas Fir poppin’ a squat in our living room. Tis’ the season!
Around this time in the 7th grade Trey and I first kissed. Since we’ve never had an exact date for an anniversary, we just randomly do sweet things for each other in November and December. The other night we were digging for christmas decorations in the closet and came across an old chalk board we used to write notes to each other on. It must have gotten buried the last time we moved. “Should we hang it?” Trey asked me, holding it against the wall above the dish rack in the kitchen. “Of course”, I told him. One morning last week I went to get a mug off the rack in the kitchen, still wiping sleep from my eyes, and saw he had written something on it… “I want to be your Jon Snow”. Then I noticed, wedged into one of the corners, was a note. “To: Nicole From: Trey”.
Would you believe that we first dated back in 1998?
NINETEEN NINETY EIGHT
…17 years ago!
Before cell phones, in a time when JNCO jeans were still cool, and Britney Spears still hadn’t hit the scene. We date back to the Pre-Spearsian Era.
Back in the days when I used to pass you letters like this one in the halls of middle school. Most of those letters beginning with something like “hey gurl, wuz up? N2MH” and somewhere mentioning how “fine” you looked that day. Always ending with a “love, Trey”.
12 year old me obviously didn’t quite know what love was yet, but I don’t think I was very far off the mark. To think that in the endless universe we live in, completely ruled by randomness and chance, that I found you…someone I loved before I knew what love was, who showed me what love was, and will be the person I love for the rest of my life makes me the luckiest person in this world. I love you so very much and will always love you Nicole.
Recently I caught up with awesome dog people Leah and Aaron, the couple behind the wildly popular Instagram Life with Leroy to answer a few questions. This trio is a really special one! So, without further ado…
Dog’s name/Age/Breed: Leroy, 3 years old, Terrier Mix
What made you decide to get a dog?
Growing up, my dad was very allergic to animals so I had a lot of gerbils, birds and reptiles instead. I craved the companionship of a dog from a very young age, so as soon as I moved out of the house, I knew I was destined to have my own dog.
Tell me about the first time you met Leroy. I was helping a friend do some shopping in the East Bay when we stopped to get ice cream. There was a local rescue group holding a mobile adoption event right next door. I saw someone holding this scruffy little guy named Rascal, and I immediately gravitated towards his happy go-lucky attitude. I was head over heels when I saw how friendly and easy going he was with anyone who approached him. I signed the papers and then snapped a quick photo to send to my husband (who was away for the weekend). He promptly told me that I better not be adopting that dog, but I know we’re all very glad that I didn’t listen to him that day!
What’s the last thing he did that made you laugh?
Leroy is such a ham. He is always trying to please. He loves to show off his toys to us as soon we we walk in the door, and he’s really taken to bringing us every toy he has to make sure we know how good he is. It’s really adorable. I just wish he’d put them all back when he was done!
What are your favorite characteristics about your dog?Leroy is very easy going. He comes with us pretty much everywhere we go. From plane rides, to motorcycle rides, he’s always in on the action. Because he’s always in new environments, he’s become really good at meeting new people and being in many different types of situations so we feel very lucky for that.
Does Leroy have a nickname? If so, how did he get it?
Leroy’s nickname changes all the time. For some reason the latest one has been ‘Peter’. It’s just so funny to imagine him with the name Peter. He doesn’t respond to it, but maybe if we keep it up long enough he will.
Where do you shop for your dog (online shops, stores, etc)?
We tend to shop local in our hometown of San Francisco. Our favorite shop right now is Pawtrero in Potrero Hill.
Are there any dog products you especially love/couldn’t live without?
We really couldn’t live without Leroy’s leash by Found My Animal. He’s always getting into muddy or sandy situations, so having a leash that can stand the wear and tear is absolutely necessary. Something about the rope material is sturdy enough, yet still lightweight, and easy to hold on to; all very important things for us!
What does being a “Dog Person” mean to you?
It means that we are always considering the things we do with Leroy in mind. If we want to grab a drink on a sunny day, we make sure we find a patio that allows dogs. If we want to take a trip somewhere up the coast, don’t forget the dog food! It never feels quite right if Leroy isn’t with us. He’s just such a member of our family that being a ‘Dog Person’ is less about ownership and more about lifestyle.
What’s one piece of advice you would tell someone looking to get a dog?
Meet a lot of dogs, and make sure you take a look at your lifestyle. Be honest with yourself about how willing you are to modify your life to accommodate a dog, then find a dog that can match your level of energy!
Thanks Leah and Aaron!
For more Life with Leroy, you can follow along on their awesome (over 91k fans!) Instagram, right here.
Our bedroom is one of the brightest spots in our home and is easily my favorite place to hang out. It’s high up and our neighbor’s tree is right outside the windows so it really makes you feel like you’re sleeping in a tree house. You can also see the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate bridge too (west coast sunsets are the best!). Since moving in over a year ago, we haven’t really done much to the space besides put sheets on the bed. For the longest time we’ve told ourselves it was just “minimal”, but really we just never tackled it. We were so excited to be sent a new mattress from eve, the UK’s much-loved mattress that’s now being sold in the US. It’s made of three different types of foam – including luxurious memory foam – and feels like we’re sleeping on a cloud. We’ve already talked about how when we move into a bigger place with a guest room, we’ll get another eve mattress. Their design is so hip and simple – eve is basically the hipster mattress of mattress companies. With a business model similar to that of Warby Parker, they take the awkward showroom experience out of buying to instead allow you to choose a size and purchase completely online. Then the mattress is shipped to you for free to try for 100 days and if you aren’t sold on it, you can return it hassle-free. We’ve slept on ours for a few nights now and it’s a winner! It’s just the right amount of soft and firm. The dogs seem pretty stoked on it too!
Along with our new bed, we got a new rug, a couple new indigo pillow cases, and mounted a large framed print I took from the back of a Washington ferry to go above our bed. In the corner, I put a tee pee with a little sheepskin rug in it for Mila cat, and hanged a plant since it’s a good spot with lot of sunlight. I also put up a dream catcher we brought back from Tulum, Mexico. I love how airy the room feels and how “us” it is -minimal, cozy, with wild elements. I’m glad we finally finished this space!
Eve is offering $100 off one of their mattresses by putting your email in here. This post was sponsored by eve. All content and opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you for supporting brands who support Wildlandia!
Welp, Lola’s in the shop until the middle of this week when the air pump can be replaced. It’s an easy fix, but we had to wait for the part to come in for it to be fixed. Can’t wait to have her back!
This weekend was fun and relaxed. On Saturday we got some coffee and did some early Christmas shopping. After that we took the dogs to the dog park near us to let them run around. It’s funny how you get to know all the dogs and their owner at the dog park. There’s Elsa, the giant Irish wolfhound that puts all her weight into you for scratches (she’s our fav), then there’s McCovey the Swiss mountain dog mix who’s a ball thief. There’s peanut the overweight beagle that loves chasing other dogs, and the two shelties that the new parents down the road bring to the park along with their two new twin (human) girls. Oh! And there’s Auggie, the new black lab puppy that comes now too since he’s had all his shots. I’ll definitely need to take some photos to show the diverse crowd of dogs/people we see every day. Anyway, then on Sunday we slept in and then went to Fort Funston to play with the dogs on the beach in San Francisco. We all got sandy/muddy. Jack’s ears still smells like salt water. This week ahead is a busy one. For the last three years we’ve gone to Tennessee to be with Trey’s family for Thanksgiving, but this year we decided to stick close to home and hang with some friends in town. Bring on the sweet potatoes!
Poop, pee, vomit, muddy paws, spills…these are all things that come with taking care of a dog. Sure there are ways you can prevent messes from occurring more often, but inevitably accidents are going to happen no matter what, it’s just part of having a dog. Sometimes Trey and I joke about how having Jack and Keeper are like having two smelly room mates. Unfortunately, dogs don’t have shoes they can kick off every time they get home from being outside, so that means all the bacteria and germs they picked up on their paws from the dog park, sidewalks, etc get transferred onto our rugs and other parts of our home. Vacuuming helps keep pet hair and dirt in check, but for stains, odors and bad bacteria, we up the ante. This is Jack’s up the ante face…
The kind folks at BISSELL asked us to try out their ProHeat 2x Revolution Pet Carpet Cleaner. It was serendipitous that this machine landed on our doorstep seeing as though just two weeks ago we rented a steam cleaner from the grocery store to clean our living room rug. I don’t know if you’ve seen the big red steam cleaners they rent out at the grocery store or not, but they’re mammoths. Like, ride-in-the-carpool-lane, we’ve-got-a-third-passenger kind of mammoth. So, we heaved it into the car, drove home and lugged it upstairs. It wasn’t easy to use either, which in turn resulted in us drenching the rug, which then had to live outside for a day while it dried out. After all that, the odors we were trying to get out were still there. So we cut our losses, chucked the rug, and bought a “new” one off Craigslist the next day.
I was excited to try out the BISSELL pet carpet cleaner on our new-to-us rug to clean off whatever residual funk was on it from the previous owner (we bought it from two photographers who used it in a shoot and no longer needed it). When the BISSELL first arrived, Jack and Keep gave it a warm welcome by biting it’s wheels (sigh, herders) just like they do the vacuum. Once the threat had been neutralized, we gave it a go. The first thing I noticed that was different with the BISSELL versus the grocery store clunker was how much easier it was to use, and how lightweight it is. Another good feature was the detachable hose/brushes to use for spot cleaning. The rug dried in about an hour too, which was great considering it took days when we did it with the other cleaner. We’ll definitely be using this again for future messes and routine cleanings.