hello december

Monday, December 10, 2012

finally.  a cold December day.  we had to have the heater on instead of the a/c.  Noah's second day out for a walk after house arrest for two weeks.  he absolutely adores this cold weather and practically was dragging me the entire time.  been itching to take more polaroids lately.
this was the second attempt on a second trip around the park after the first shot was totally over exposed.  since the wind was blowing, I had a hard time keeping the polaroid covered from light to prevent over exposure.  I think it's about time to purchase the newest film that has sun protection so I don't have to worry about shielding the photo for four minutes and risk wasting expensive film.


Christmas shopping + sipping on homemade hot cocoa.  I didn't realize just how easy homemade hot cocoa was - no need to by an expensive container at the store... and I haven't done Swiss Miss since college.  All you need is 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Dagoba Organic Chocolate) and 1 cup sugar for the powder.  I make a mix of it and put it in a recycled jam container for more than one use.  All you have to do to the mix is heat up your milk, add the mix once the milk is warm, and then add about a teaspoon of vanilla.  And VOILA!  easy hot cocoa when you are craving something warm and yummy.  well, better get back to shopping!  xoxo

Sunset at the Dog Park

little bits

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Taco Deli Portobello fundido taco.  wandering downtown Austin.  the farmer's market.  a man dressed up complete with festive stilts and a santa hat.  $5 sunglasses from Progress Coffee.  dining out with the husband.  last day of house arrest for Noah.  sweating in December and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the cold front. 
I've missed documenting little bits of my life.  There was just a discussion last night among friends about how easily we forget the little things in our life.  So every now and then, I'm making the effort to take note.  Every little moment means something to me, and each time I go back to those moments.
Whether it makes me laugh or cry.  I'll have something to reflect on and a collection of moments to remember and embrace.  xoxo
Joni's Lucky Saturday Out in Downtown Austin

Noah spies on the neighbors...

Two Down, Thirty Eight To Go

Monday, September 10, 2012

Woohoo!  Day 2 of my 40 day yoga challenge was a sweaty success!  Yoga by candlelight in a heated room  is the great way to end a Monday.  It was definitely a harder class tonight, I can already tell I'll be sore in the morning.  I'm not sure if I'll post every day on the ole' blog or change it up and just put a blurb on facebook.  SO I'm just providing my disclaimer for all those keeping me in check.

 I wore a sweater with thumb holes today while on my morning walk with Noah - Yup, it's definitely the little things that keep me happy.

A look back to last year, around this time - sunlight captured on experimental b/w polaroid film.

Something New

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I'm challenging myself to 40 days of yoga.  There is a studio that actually has this challenge starting next week - but I figured I should just start one of my own, just for me.  I've been hesitant to post anything on this matter, but I decided if I want to hold myself accountable, I have to put it in writing.  Honestly, I suck at sticking to these type of challenges... anyone remember my photo a day projects... yup, plural for I tried three times and failed each time to finish.  My reasons for this challenge are fairly simple really.  I feel better after I attend a yoga class - I need the outlet - I hope to deepen my practice - for the past two weeks I've been working on getting back into my work out routine so this will help keep me going - it really does help with stress - and well, I'd like my butt to look better in my stretchy pants.

Day 1 of my Yoga Challenge was a success.  I met at Black Swan Yoga Studio with Kara, after a movie and Amy's Ice Cream with Lisa - who declined the offer of sweaty yoga.  (if you work out after ice cream it cancels out the calories...)  I have thus determined that working out right after ice cream isn't the best idea... but damn chocolate and reese's pb cups were calling my name today.  

So Day 1 complete.  Yay!  hehe

On a different note, fall is in the air!  We were greeted with a cool, low 60s this morning and low humidity - so refreshing.

I leave you with two recent photos of some sunshine, a messy bed, and a sneak peek of slipper season!!  

Three Seven Four Six

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

how do you say goodbye to a home?
a place where the majority of your memories live.

my grandparents first purchased 3746 Highcliff in 1966.
it was the model home - purchase price, $18,000.

recently on the market for one day and now under contract for $140,000.
scheduled to close - September 24, 2012.

so how do you say goodbye?
we played basketball in this driveway - shot "three pointers" from back behind that huge tree - while listening to my boom box set out on the porch.
my grandparents lived here forever it seems.
I remember after school cartoons and snacks set out waiting.
when my grandparents moved to Corpus Christi - we moved in.
rented out our house just a block over...
because this house had the pool.
we lived here at least seven years before my grandparents moved back in.
and painted over the murals my mom painted in the hallway and dining room.

Papa built the back house by himself.
at one point I thought I could live out there...  but with no a/c... yeah, that didn't happen.
we were always warned to be careful with the mesquite trees all around the pool - thorns and barefeet don't mix well. 
that never stopped us from running barefoot in the grass.
racoons would come visit from the creek below and would scamper around the pool waiting for dinner scraps.
I remember a coyote came up to the back fence once - and just stared towards the house - still scares me to this day.
a turkey vulture met his untimely demise on a power line while we were in the pool once... snap, crackle, pop and feathers... it was amusing.

the old door that I wish I could take with me from the house that Papa built.
we had pool parties on this porch.
my cat, Suki, had four little kittens in here.

Papa always made sure my grandma had fresh roses in the house.

I don't think I ever got a chance to eat a fig from this tree.
the birds always got to them first.
but the fragrance of those leaves - I need to get a fig tree.

so many of my memories revolve around this pool.
the countless parties.
the floating turtle.
the "cheese board" that we put the kittens on and set them out to sea...
Papa bringing out a year's worth of soda cans so my cousin and I can fill them all and line them around the edge of the pool - I'll have to find a photo to share.
my sister tipping over in her floatie when she was little - legs in the air - and my grandma diving in to the rescue - clothes and all.
standing on my dad's shoulders while he walked to the deep end and back.
our dog, Callie, barking every time we splashed.
basketball in the pool.
my grandma and her countless video recordings - if only we could find them and watch them again - she would always try to get us on film while we were in the pool.
the sound of the pool motor and cicadas.
hoping a turkey vulture wouldn't swoop down and eat me.
the smell of chlorine.
spending so much time in the pool your toes go raw - and not even caring.
so I don't know how to say goodbye to 3746 Highcliff.
because when I say goodbye
this home becomes a memory as well.
no longer a place to go home to.

so long summer romance

Thursday, August 9, 2012

i fell asleep under an old oak tree, swaying in the breeze on a wooden swing.  a down pillow to cradle my head, soft rustle of leaves and chimes of nearby laughter to help me drift away.  rays of sunshine and fantastic blue skies peeked through branches.  a little dizzy - drunk off of the mindless ecstasy of complete relaxation.

it has become a tradition to visit mason, a small country town on the llano river at the beginning of each august.  a farewell to summer and a vacation - the true essence of the word - no worries, no cares - good food and company.  

unfortunately i only took one snapshot this year - i just wasn't feeling well (still recovering from a cold).  but the time spent out there will always be a retreat to look back upon and to look forward to each year.

Wandering through an antique store in Mason.

vacation on my mind

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

enjoying a bit of sunshine after a series of grey days.  the countdown has officially begun for me - early friday morning i'll be leaving on a jet (blue) plane to NYC.  first trip to the east coast.  i can tell my vacation attitude has definitely started to sink in - concentration on anything is lacking.  case in point - i made specific plans to meet up with a friend to let her borrow a dress - well i got halfway to our meet up and realized i forgot the dress...  also, i can't even begin to count the times today i walked into a room with a purpose and walked out shaking my head not knowing what that purpose was.  i'm hoping to spend lots of time just strolling around central park, eating, shopping, eating, visiting one of the impossible project polaroid galleries and oh did i mention eating?.  i'm sure all the walking we plan on doing should offset the eating...  looking forward to getting some fun polo shots of a different view for a change.  i can't wait to share when i return!  

don't bright colored polos + sunshine make you smile?!  sending some brightness your way!

dark & stormy

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

my dentist sends out an insane amount of reminders for your next appointment.  i guess it makes sense because you schedule it six months out, but really - we get a fridge magnet, at least two paper reminder cards, and countless email reminders as the time gets closer.  well - i forgot to go this morning.  i got a phone call 10 minutes after asking where I was and when i wanted to reschedule... yeah - i felt like an idiot.  still do.  i don't know where my brain is these days, but i think it went on vacation without me.  on a different note.  i got caught in the rainstorm of the summer last night while on my way to meet up with friends for dinner.  i could barely see through the windshield the rain was coming down so hard - and of course i don't carry my umbrella around.  so when i finally did arrive at the restaurant, well, i got another shower...  i was soaked... a drowned rat... hey at least i was in all black - could have been quite the show in a lighter ensemble.  a margarita, queso and good company helped warm my spirits.  well enough random ramblings.  i part on a polaroid - taken in extremely low light just before the storm - obviously bad camera shake - but i like the tones - moody, blurred & not quite there - just like i feel these days.

hello summer

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ahhh summer.  cicadas sing their summer tunes.  flip flops in all colors.  the lake is always crowded.  ice cream and lemonade.  and heat waves.  you know, the ones that you see radiating off your car as you burn your fingers on the door.  the ones that melt a smoothie cup after sitting in your car for two hours.  the ones that have our thermometers announcing 108 degrees outside.  let's go back to the summer breeze.  relaxing in a hammock.  and sipping on ice cold summer brewed tea.  this year, i'm celebrating summer polo style - below is a sneak peak into new polaroid series i've been working on and plan to showcase next month at cherrywood coffeehouse - i'll have details soon - enjoy and stay cool!

this, that, peaches & a movie

Friday, June 22, 2012

yesterday we celebrated our ninth anniversary  - as my husband so lovingly calls it, "the longest day of the year" - because of the summer solstice... that's the only reason.  hehe  we are pretty low key when it comes to celebrating our own events - he doesn't prefer gifts - and although i adore giving gifts, i oblige and just buy myself a gift!  we decided to go to a little restaurant nearby that was recommended by friends and we had such a lovely time.  you bring your own wine, which we brought one of our pinots from anderson valley in california, purchased on one of our trips about four years ago or so.  the restaurant, Texas French Bread, values the farm to table concept and supports as many local farmers as possible and also gives them credit on their always changing menu.  we enjoyed everything, from the frites w/ aioli to the fig, prosciutto, arugula & parmesan salad to the hanger steak with grilled green tomato, arugula and purple hull peas and of course the super indulgent key lime pie with coconut flakes adorning the top.  my mouth is watering just thinking about it all again.  drinks from Vino Vino finished off the perfect, relaxing evening.

i believe though, i started at the happy ending of the story.  the beginning is not nearly as fantastic - actually it started as a horror story.  i was walking down the dark hall way of our home - it was midnight, and i was groggy with sleep - i flicked on the light to my bathroom (insert screeching horror music here) and there was a huge roach, happily feasting on our toothbrushes and toothpaste.  ugh.  i squirm just to think of the mental image again.  i stood there for what seemed like forever trying to devise a plan on how to kill the wretched creature but nothing came to mind - the problem was i would have to shut the door to actually get a good swat at the thing and well, there is no way i was going to be trapped in a tiny bathroom if the roach decided to fly my way when i began my death blows.  SO i sat on the edge of our bed and just sighed - loudly - purposely loud enough to wake josh up - and thankfully he did wake up rather quickly - and came to my rescue.  he bravely trapped himself in the bathroom with the beast, i heard lots of noise, a few choice curse words, but he came out victorious.  he got back in bed and as i congratulated and thanked him on his victory, he mumbled, "happy anniversary."

that was the beginning of the day... i proceeded to then get "hit on" by a utility man while walking noah - he literally was driving down the block, slowed down, rolled his window down and asked me if i was married...

THEN while still on the walk, i stop to sit on a tree stump to send a text to a friend explaining my crazy morning already when noah decides that is the PERFECT tree stump to PEE on - thank goodness i saw it coming and i came out dry...

ohhh and has anyone seen the preview for "seeking a friend for the end of the world" ?  it looks cute and i plan to see it this weekend.

well if you've stuck with me this long, thank you - hopefully you got some humor out of the ordeal.  i leave you with some sunshine and peaches.  i love the way the sun streams in through the kitchen window.  happy weekend!!

in that moment - i'll smile

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

there are moments.  a glance up into the sky.  the way a certain person walks.  a memory.  just driving.  these moments just happen.  and the tears.  they fall.  all i can really say is i get it now.  i've never dealt with loss this close before.  and i understand.  life definitely goes on.  and you carry a part of those you've lost with you every day.  whether you realize it at that moment or not.  they are forever with you.  and right now it is all still so new.  so fresh.  raw.  when i have those moments my heart still aches.  my tears still fall.  but i've noticed.  that i will also smile sometimes too.  because although i miss my papa and my aunt more than my words will ever be able to express.  they make me smile.  even though i can't hold their hand or give them a hug.  i can give them a smile - and i know they are smiling too.
More smiles from some of my favorite friends.    The little rain cloud says "crap" underneath it.

softly, slowly

Monday, June 18, 2012

my eyes are still puffy with sleep.  early morning light is filtering in.  and the bed keeps calling my name.
Some days, really - is it so bad to want to just lounge here and watch the day go by?

a cup of tea

Thursday, June 14, 2012

listening to the whir of a nearby leaf blower, do those things ever really do much besides send your clippings into the neighbor's yard?  debating on a walk - almost 8:30 AM & the air is thick with humidity - a/c just kicked on, again.  haven't had breakfast yet...  my inner "chef" has been hiding lately, as well as my inner "domestic diva."  that feeling of just wanting to curl up in a ball & sleep still sounds so appealing.  i'm not sure where this post is going today, gone with my mind i guess...  i practiced with different exposure settings in low light conditions with my polaroid.  the subject:  a cup of tea.  i like the saying on yogi tea bags, each one always has a little blurb, this particular one says, "sing from your heart."  of course you can only see it in the photo with the darkest exposure...  well, time to brave that sweaty, i mean, sparkly, walk.
Darkest exposure - the angle works the best in this one for me.

I love the tones in this one the best, but you can't read the little tea quote.

I turned on the kitchen light, but it was too harsh - too yellow for my tastes.

This is what happens when you don't mean to take a photo - oops.

rosy outlook

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." ~ Leonardo da Vinci
Looking up at a rose from Papa's garden.

hello half weekend

Friday, June 8, 2012

a "half weekend" is a weekend that consists of one day off work and one day working.  in this case, i'll be working sunday - plans are a whirlwind of a trip to houston beginning this evening and ending sunday morning. half weekends are not necessarily desired because they normally result in a feeling of being rushed, but i'm going to give it my best shot of just enjoying each delightful moment.  on a different note, passed my fourth real estate exam - just three more to go and three weeks left!  it took every ounce of concentration i had to finish the exam last night - after a long workday & long week in general, i'm super proud i even took the exam.  normally i'll reward myself with stretchy work out gear when i pass an exam, but this time i may buy more polaroid film...  happy whole weekend to those so fortunate!!  i leave you with two polos of "local wildlife" in my grandma's backyard.  i can't decide which i like better.  i love how you can see the cat and his eyes in the close up, but i almost like the mood better in the one taken from further away.  if you feel so inclined, i'd love to hear which one you fancy.

hushed tears

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

it is so hard to catch my breath these days.  life keeps speeding by and i keep grasping at moments.  a long work day today & another trip tomorrow to another funeral has me spinning.  focus and breath.  i've just started reading "this i know:  notes on unraveling the heart" and it has helped me realize it is ok to feel not ok.  to not be "over it" - because i'm not.  i'm hurting right now.  and those little hushed moments are the only thing helping me breathe.  focus.  breathe. and for now, still cry.

at least i look good

Monday, June 4, 2012

my peach cupcakes magically morphed into cornbread muffins.  not sure where I went wrong, but the brown sugar frosting waiting to adorn soft, fluffy peach cupcakes is going to have to find another suitor.  the only redeeming quality of these muffins (because they are NOT cupcakes) is the photo factor.  because really, i think it is impossible to not enjoy a cupcake photo - they always look like they taste fabulous.  so let's just pretend they do when you see them.  

sunday before sunrise

Sunday, June 3, 2012

we visited town lake before the sun came up this morning.  i love how quiet it is when you are out so early.  just watching the morning clouds burn off and feeling the damp breezes over the lake.  i've been so out of sorts lately - these moments of calm are a welcome retreat.  afterward, i made my grandma's special pancakes accompanied with breakfast sausage, then we both took a quick morning siesta.  sigh.  now this is what sundays should be all about.
Town Lake before Sunrise - SX-70 Polaroid

peach cupcakes & a drunk polaroid

Thursday, May 31, 2012

thursday.  10:15 AM.  80 degrees.  the walk this morning wasn't early enough - sweating at 8:30 when just taking a leisurely stroll is pretty ridiculous.  will try for an earlier walk tomorrow...  peach cupcakes on the menu this weekend.  the recipe calls for small chunks of peaches, but I'm almost thinking I'll just use the juice... the word chunk just never sounds very appealing to me... unless it is a chocolate chunk.
Here's the link for the cupcake recipe:  Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting

josh's whiskey of choice - i just like how the glass reflected on the table.