Northeast Trip: Evelyn’s Family Photos in Maine


Watching our family grow is really just the sweetest feeling! Just two years ago my cousin Katie got married and now this year we got to meet their sweet baby girl Evelyn.

While in Maine we got to steal a few mornings for photos with their little growing family… all of these were taken in the “backyard” of the house we were all renting in Northport, Maine.

Gotta love those baby blues and “toothy” grin! 🙂

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Northeast Trip: A Week in Maine


First off, my first reaction to Maine was “look at all the green!” And I looooove green. Second reaction, “boy is this place damp!” Coming from southern California where humidity is practically next to zero, the dampness was a big change. Everything always felt a little wet, like when you’re at the beach.


The main occasion of our whole trip was for a family reunion… the family on my dad’s side gets together every other year, last time being in Colorado.

House Rental

This year we all stayed together in one giant farmhouse built in the 1800s. It had been added on to quite a few times so sometimes finding our bedroom or even the bathroom was an accomplishment! There was so much character though… including a wraparound porch and a huge barn where are all the kids called home. Here’s a link if you’re thinking of heading that way. There are quite a few acres of land to explore as well, so of course we had to take advantage with a family photo shoot or two!



Acadia National Park

Our first day in Maine was spent driving through Acadia National Park… we made plenty of stops to check out the various lakes and hikes. And as you’ll see, I definitely gave up on taming my hair. 🙂





Big Sail Boat

The entire family (minus 1 sadly) spent a couple hours out in midst of the Atlantic on a biiig sail boat. It was great—we had the whole boat to ourselves. And the youngest member of the family even got to drive (steer?) for a bit!

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Lobster, Lobster, Lobster

And finally, how can you go to Maine without a lobster meal, or two, or five. 🙂

This was one of my favorite nights… just after we returned from boating. Don’t let the Chardonnay box fool ya, that thing’s full of lobsta’ (that’s how us locals say it)! And they’re like $6 each! Many thanks to my cousin Tom on boiling those up for us… don’t mind my mom’s dramatics. 🙂

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And if the photos didn’t do it for you, here’s a video with even more fun times included!

There’s much more to come from Boston to New York PLUS a mini family photo shoot from Maine.

Northeast Trip: There and Back Again


You would think a two week trip would be plenty of time for a vacation but you travel like we do, in 13 days we adventured around 4 states including lunch in a 5th! Over these next couple weeks I hope to share with you more in depth details on the trip, not only sharing from my over a thousand photos but also some tips and itineraries if you also happen to attempt this feat (like how to get the most out of 2 days in New York City or just one day in Philadelphia).

Below are just a few Instagrammed photos… I guess I have a tendency to be drawn to blue cloudy sky photos… but I mean, who doesn’t?


Baby Evelyn and Family at the San Diego Botanic Garden


While I’m away here in Maine, I still wanted to make sure I kept my usual post schedule. So while I get to be with this little cutie and her family in person this week, I wanted to share some photos of our time we spent back on the west coast at the San Diego Botanic Garden!



I mean look at those thighs! 🙂



How adorable is their little family of 3!


And I know I’ll get some *loving* feedback but I just had to post these photos of my parents loving on their new great (or is it grand?) niece.



Oh and hey, Andy and I even got a photo together too! Now that is a rare occassion!


And then the trip wouldn’t be complete without a walk along the Pacific coast.


Looking forward to posting even more photos of this adorable family once I get back from being here on the east coast! 🙂

Travel, Change, Interest, Excitement!

source: Year of Lettering

Tonight is one of my best friend’s weddings, and then tonight we leave for our two week trip on the east coast.

I could not be more excited for this break!

I love love love my work, and even my new found friends through my Etsy shop, but I am definitely feeling that overworked drag. The creative juices are drying up and this break away from the computer is going to be so good for me.

When I saw the above post on the Year of Lettering, I just knew I had to share it. It was just too appropriate and exactly how I am feeling!

Right when we get back, the bridal shower I have been planning for the last 7 months is just going to be a mere week away and then we are wrapping up the wedding invites, getting the wedding DIY crafts done (I seriously love this kind of stuff!), and then just spending as much time together as possible before the best friend becomes a missus.

And amongst all that, there are some big work projects wrapping up and some personal branding for myself that I want to get on… getting my Etsy shop cleaned up and adding new products!

There’s just so much going on, but as of now while it makes me feel tired, I am excited to get rejuvenated in Maine and come back with new ideas and a refreshed outlook with “the whole world before [me]!”

While I am gone, I have some long awaited photos from our family trip to San Diego last month, print work for church from many months ago, and also a couple Friday guest posts from Amie with some DIYs planned for the wedding and Jessica from J. Rose Photography is posting about her 5 Would Not, Could Not Live Without Baby Items for all you mommies out there! So keep checking back!

Hope your next few weeks are as fabulous as mine plan to be! 🙂

Upcoming Trip: Maine, Boston, New York, and Philly


In just a few weeks time, my hubby and family will be flying to the east coast to enjoy two full weeks along lobster feasts, clam choweder, pizza slices, and philly cheesesteaks. Yes I am most looking forward to the food. How did you know?

We will spend half our trip in Maine and I am quite looking forward to our bi-annual reunion beachside. We plan to go on a whale watching tour, eat loads of lobster, and just relax, enjoying one another company’s.

Next up, we will drive down to Boston to spend a couple days, and then New York for a few more, and just a train ride into Philly for a day.

I have yet to ever visit Maine or Massachusetts, and have only spent a lone afternoon in New York City and a night’s drive through PA.

So all that to say, what are your tips and suggestions for visiting such places?! Please, all input is wanted and welcome!


The two above photos are from a quick weekend trip Andy and I took to New York in 2005 to visit my best friend living in upstate New York (and it was our first plane ride together!)!

Allens Head North: Spooner Farms (Corn Maze), Washington

Our last day up in the PNW (Pacific Northwest for those not in the know), was spent with my husband’s wonderful cousin and her growing family. They were just the best hosts and found a beyond amazing corn maze to get lost in. Let me tell you, no corn maze in Southern California can ever ever compete with this gigantic field. The photo to the left shows just how massive this truly can be (from 2011). Not only do they have the corn maze but you can also get your Halloween pumpkin (30 cents a pound) or choose from dozens of various squashes and other pumpkins. But our first event of the day  was getting in on the pumpkin throwing contest. If you hit the target you win a prize! Jason came close but no gong.

I just adore Ethan’s face in this next photo, mischief was about to ensue I am sure!

On to the corn maze we go, if you’re scared of clowns, not sure you would make it passed the entrance.

Everyone was given a map which was actually quite accurate to the maze itself. One “cheater map” was given that showed various landmarks throughout to orientate you. Randomly placed throughout the maze were mailboxes with hole punchers to mark your map. Once you got each punch, you were allowed to participate at the end in a word game, prize being a bag of cotton candy. We quickly formed two groups and ran off in two different directions, the competition was fierce!

Besides the mailbox check points they also had circus themed pumpkin “photo opp” spots along with tunnels and even bridges. The next photo is taken toward the middle of the adventure from one of the bridges, it truly grasps just how immersive this maze was! That line of flags is just another bridge, so yes all that you can see to the trees is corn corn corn.

After 2 hours, yes 2 hours (!!!), we made it to the end, celebrating ensued with cotton candy, caramel apples, and of course some roasted corn on the cob!

Thanks again to my cousin-in-laws for a wonderful trip to Washington! We love you all so very much and hope to see you all soon!

P.S. For more info on the corn maze, check out Spooner Farms in Puyallup.

Allens Head North: Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park is another really unique aspect to Seattle. Until the mid 50s, it was a gasification plant but since its closing, it has been opened as a public park.

Andy’s favorite part is walking up the “Great Mound” to see the view of Seattle across Lake Union. (Watch the bird poo!)

While I love the view, and those clouds (!!), I was quite excited to take pictures of the remaining gas structures. Thank you Andy for patiently following me about!

This park is great for dogs, picnics, and flying kites! There’s even a sheltered area for kids to play on. At the time we went, the kids area was housing some bums though. 🙁

Obviously I love the weather and the natural beauty in the northwest, just look at these amazing red autumn leaves taken in one of the most beautiful parking lots!

Oh how I love thee!

Tomorrow, Spooner Farms’ corn maze!

Allens Head North: Pike’s Place, Seattle

If you were to ask me what my favorite part of our Washington trip was, I would have to say that I just loved spending time with my husband. Sadly, time together has become a rare occasion this year. Our trip allowed us to reconnect because it was simply just the two of us traveling around, in one of our favorite places, during our favorite time of the year.

Another great thing about our trip was that while staying in the city of Seattle, our hotel was a mere block up from Pike’s Place, the public [farmer’s] market. Andy and I lost count how many times we actually made our way down there whether it was for breakfast (best donuts ever!), lunch (sandwiches from the Italian deli!!), or dinner (tamales from the Mexican grocer!!!). Oh and for fruit (mmmm best honeycrisp apples everrrrr!)!!! And of course, just visiting the various shops. We were able to just take our time and meander through the whole market, which I had never done since there’s usually never time for it.

Pike’s Place is quite the tourist center, but all the shops are built by the locals so there’s a great combination of cultures, i.e. great people watching time!!

Alright alright, now onto the photos. 🙂

We bought the black and white print for our stairwell gallery wall back home!

Oh, these donuts. How I love thee…. I don’t usually like the cake type donuts but these are my only exception to that rule. May I recommend the maple frosted one… with bacon. 🙂

And finally, more photographic proof that we were together (for Jess)!

Next updates: Gas Works Park and Spooner Farms’ corn maze!

Allens Head North: Cartlandia, Portland, Oregon

Does a post about our Tuesday night dinner really merit its own post? Why yes it does when the food is that good!

As I was driving the last leg to Portland, Andy was looking on Yelp on a good place to eat—our original plan was to go to Big A** Sandwiches but they closed at 6 and we weren’t going to make it. 🙁 Anyway, we love food trucks so when he found a place called “Cartlandia,” we knew he found the hidden gem to this trip.

So Cartlandia is pretty much one big closed in parking lot where food trucks set up and stay permanently for any given amount of time. Many were closed on that evening, some for the winter and then some just weren’t open as much during the week.

We walked around all of them to see what would be our dinner. Andy settled on Cheesesteak Nirvana while I got my first Thai food in the PNW.

Seriously you guys, the food was AMAZING! The very very best philly cheese steak and pad thai I have ever ever had! So so good.

After devouring our food we then went on to the dessert round. The Sugar Shop had so many goodies, all for $2-4 each. We each got to pick one (me: a Nutella cheesecake and Andy a brownie with a whiskey carmel sauce). Then she gave me samples of a homemade salted caramel plus a honey mousse (super similar to a honey ice cream.) Oh so good.

And to close, here I am loaded up with all our desserts, ready to head to the hotel and eat up! 🙂

For more info on Cartlandia, visit their website here.