my summer list



welp, summer has arrived. the solstice is in the rear view mirror… which can only mean one thing: the longest day is done! a major wahoo for those of us living on the surface of the sun. it’s all downhill from here. a quick slide into Christmas, right??? the next big holiday is the fourth of july. bbq season is in full swing. the monsoons are rolling in. and if you have been reading here in the past month or so, you KNOW that the rosé is flowing like summer water. in spite of the hideous heat here in the valley of the sun, i am really trying to embrace the summer in all it’s blazing glory. and for me, that starts with music.

currently, i have the spotify mood booster playlist rocking and some fabulous fresh release records spinning (i’m talking about you, radiohead and kaleo). justin timberlake has a head-bopping new single (that is getting some major morning run airtime, by the by). and if only dave matthews band would drop a new album, my eardrums would be gloriously inundated by summatime tunes. so what’s on my current playlist, you might ask? here are a few of my favorite artists to jam out to or chill out to this season: radiohead, timberlake, hozier, coldplay, chainsmokers, beck, chris cornell, clapton, mayer, jack white, jay z, DMB, KOL, mark ronson, one republic, our lady peace, kaleo, the chest – baker and faker, the rays – charles and lamontagne, michael jackson.

with summertime in my ears, it has gotten into my brain. and that has gotten me thinking about some things that i want to do or try or accomplish in the next few months, which lead to some list-making. and i figured i would share it here with you all. in no random order (and not necessarily limited to tasks) here is my SUMMERTIME LIST. a compilation of few things that i am crushing on right now + some of my summertime essentials + some random things that scream summer + fave links from around the interwebs. enjoy!

  1. plan some upcoming trips: seattle? norcal? marfa, tx? palm springs? NYC?
  2. head to sedona for a few days
  3. diffuse more of this yumminess
  4. snag a pray4trax necklace while they are still available
  5. add to the FP mocc stash (oh, and if you want to start or add to your stash, i might be able to help with that… stay tuned)
  6. binge watch the night manager
  7. do a city-wide coffee crawl
  8. smell like ocean mist
  9. watch the olympics
  10. do fun things with the kids while not getting wrapped up in all this happiness business
  11. enjoy more pool days
  12. make time for more sewing
  13. do more of this
  14. make and eat this
  15. keep fighting against the white wall esthetic 
  16. keep juggling. some balls are rubber and some are glass. i try to keep the glass ones in the air and let the less important things bounce. i have a few, precious glass balls in my life that i can’t afford to let drop and shatter. and i have about a million rubber ones. the trick is keeping that straight and not mistaking rubber for glass (or vice versa) and then integrating the bouncy ones into the flow.
  17. hook ben up with this
  18. monthly brunch dates
  19. more taco nights
  20. monthly date nights
  21. buy ALL THESE THINGS wink wink
  22. add to our crimean art collection
  23. become a U.S. citizen (yup, still canadian)
  24. date night for ben’s next tattoo + fresh hair styles with my girl brandi
  25. read more booooooooks. any recs?
and i would love to hear what your summer essentials are…and what’s on your fun list!
happy friday! xo, R

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celebrating ten years


commemorating the aluminum anniversary with an aluminum champagne bucket, a fancy-schmany new buffet to house our china and to display said bucket, AND grand plans for paris! i can’t wait to stamp those passports with FRANCE, as a couple. and i am hoping that by the time we go in the spring, i will be able to travel with my new US passport. big things, people. this trip has been in our minds and dreams for the past few years. if you know us at all, you know that this is our trip. strolling the streets of the city and savoring wine country too. and maybe even a jaunt to nice. this is the perfect way to celebrate TEN YEARS. à bientôt, la france!


oh my goodness. ten years of marriage. it has been the most rewarding and challenging and uplifting and tough and revealing and incredible years of my life. the honeymoon period. the newlywed bliss. the firsts. the moves. the career changes. the personal revelations. the hair styles. the highs and lows. the ebb and flow. death. life. trials and woes. tears of pain and happiness. date nights. travels. adventures. the new roles. the daily joys. we have been though so much already. and God uses it all for His glory and our good. there have been times that felt like magic, pure bliss. and there have been seasons of brokenness and hurt and pressure and turmoil. there have been easy times and difficult times. times when we have been at our very ugliest and times when we have been at our very best. and just when we think e’ve got it figured out or under control, life shifts. and we are learning new lessons and on our knees with new prayers.

praise God for the beauty of marriage. what a remarkable thing. and i pray that God uses our union to sharpen each other and encourage those around us. i don’t know what the next ten years (and ten plus ten plus ten plus ten, et cetera) hold but i pray that no matter what, we continue to grow closer to God and to each other. that we pursue Him first and let everything else flow from that. i pray that we love sacrificially and immensely. that we strive to put each other’s needs before our own. and that we can continue to find the magic in the mundane. that we laugh heartily and often. that we experience growing pains together and allow change to make us stronger. i hope that we always look for the good stuff. the simple pleasures. the exquisite moments of grace. that’s the stuff. and there’s always something for which to be grateful. God is good. always.

okay, okay, i will resist the urge to continue to gush and wax romantic. instead, i will share a bunch of pictures from an evening spent at our oasis – the site where we said I DO a decade ago and where we return for pretty much every major celebration, royal palms. collective sigh…



















oh, and don’t you love our FANTASTIC matching hawaiian ensembles? those are our super cool souvenirs that we snagged on our honeymoon in kauai. we looked like quite the pair… but i must say that it was fun to “dress up” and act like goofballs. here’s to many more decades of shenanigans together.

and speaking of shenanigans, i did some snapchatting on our anniversary and posted the full story here, for those of you who aren’t on snap and missed the behind the scenes action. enjoy!

a few links for your friday (wait, it’s thursday? well, shoot.)


no joke, you guys. i totally thought today was friday. like, really truly. so, that’s kind of a bummer. but now that i have accepted the thursdayness of it all, i am trying to make the most of it. i suppose it’s like i have a bonus day! soooooo, that’s good. AND it is cinco de mayo so we will be diving into some jackfruit tacos tonight. a little THURSDAY (thursday, rachel, thursday) night fiesta to jump into friYAY and the weekend with some salsa in our step.

so, here are a few links for you to enjoy on this glorious THURSDAY!


this bathing suit is a tad too cutesy for my personal style but it sure makes me want to sing let’s go fly a kite!

an essay on how the danes reframe. i love this concept. it is all about being a realistic optimist, which is actually what i consider myself to be. “they don’t negate negative information like overly optimistic people with rose-colored glasses. they tend to be brutally realistic about life, but they are also incredibly gifted at finding angles of reality that aren’t so dark, upsetting, or negative – it is a bit like what happens in an art gallery.”

this essay on what your personality type means for your career. in case you are interested, i am an ENTJ (“the commander”). have you taken the test…what are you?

apparently, there are 12 kinds of kindness.

mother’s day is this weekend! xoxo to all the wonderful women in my life. and here’s a list of 20 fabulous brunch recipes if you need some inspiration.

also, radiohead is working on a new album.

ordering myself one of these.

the best workout gear. 

did you know that quinn snacks now has PRETZELS? oh yes. they do.

majorly digging these shades right now.

i have been trying to find that perfect, oversized abstract art piece for above my desk and i am thinking i might just do this.

love love love. and love some more.

at long lash, beautycounter launched a safer mascara!

art + flowers + food + sunshine


saturday afternoon was spent at the GORGEOUS berridge nursery in phoenix for their 18th annual art in the garden show. this year, my mother-in-law was one of the featured artists so attendance was a no brainer.

fortunately, it was a lovely afternoon. around here, you never know what you are going to get in the way of weather. it could be a total scorcher or a hail storm. april in arizona is strange like that. but saturday was perfect. i got my morning miles in and then we had some breakfast together before attending a birthday party at the park for one of elinor’s friends. the morning was cloudy and cool. there was a delicate breeze. and even though it started to warm up come noon, it was still well within the range of acceptable temperatures for outdoor activities (in case you care: i happen to think that anywhere in the 60-85 degree range is optimal if you are looking for an enjoyable time in the great outdoors. anything cooler can leave you chilled and anything hotter is a tad too sweaty. and of course, sun and clouds and general ambiance factor into this, but there isn’t time to hash that out…).

so, with the sun playing peekaboo from behind wispy clouds and the temps hovering at about 78, we made our way to the nursery for some art and flowers and food and fun.






the sun was definitely out come 2pm but the clouds would give us the occasional reprieve AND the nursery had a lovely canopy protecting the plants so that made it a few degrees cooler and took the edge off. and aaaaahhhhh, the breeze. that was so nice. ben and elinor and i ended up with some pink on our foreheads and noses and shoulders… but not too much. just a little springtime kiss of color (which ridley avoided? hmmm…maybe he will have an awesome darker complexion). the sun does that to me once a year before i get my arizona act together and apply sunscreen liberally before extended time outdoors. and i just received a new beautycounter spf from my friend lauren so i have ZERO excuses now.

we strolled about the grounds. elinor took off her shoes and found a spot on a bench by mom-mom’s display so that she could dangle her feet and drink the remains of my coffee (which was pretty much 99% melted ice and 1% coffee, at that point). ridley was passed around until he landed on my lap and then, on the ground so he could walk around and flirt with the people passing by. he just wants to go-go-go when we are out and about.






i admired the botanicals and resisted the urge to buy more plants because, well, i am not the best with those. but we did hit up a few of the local foodie booths for some goods because i definitely know what i am doing there. we went home with two loaves of noble bread and a bottle of iconic cocktail co. tonic. after a bit more browsing and sampling and strolling and sitting and chatting, we packed up to take the crew home for belated (and much-deserved) afternoon naps.



what a great time. and the late afternoon and evening was spent resting, watching burn notice (warm weather guilty pleasure netflix), enjoying some AC, applying coconut oil and aloe and lavender to our pink spots, and nibbling bread. we listened to music and sipped rosé and played and colored and giggled and let the day slip slowly into night. gosh, it felt good.

la vie est belle


this ice cream was screeeeaaaaaming at me from the freezer case. mcconnell’s eureka lemon & marionberries. we love their pints but i hadn’t seen this flavor yet, and i liked the sound of it.

and i really liked the look of it.

and as it turned out, i really really liked the taste of it.

this stuff will be on heavy rotation this season. so if you happen to come to one of our dinner parties, you might be eating this for dessert because i don’t think it gets much better…


there’s a reason they call rosé “summer water. we have been drinking it like H2O. so refreshing and pretty. it almost makes me happy about the warmer weather… almost.


during the weekly grind, we grind up a lot of coffee. we bounce around between matador and cartel and peixoto. that’s the coffee rockstar trifecta for us. what fun to have such a solid coffee scene. i feel like phoenix has come a long way in the last five years. and we dig it. just because we have all this sunshine, it doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate some solid coffee. it isn’t just for overcast spots, after all. 

anywho. on the weekends, we like to grab a donut or pastry or somethingorother to enjoy with our coffee. so, saturday morning family coffee dates have been happening on the regular. and with this lovely weather sweetening the deal? you gotta.

sometimes we go for more of a drive and hit up some of our favorite early-in-day haunts (desoto central market and ocotillo, i am talking about you) but usually, we stick to our own backyard: peixoto for lattes and nitro and pastries (because tracy dempsey does them and we all know how we feel about her… see: every citizen public house post on here, ever.) or maybe the gilbert market for some mama’s cold brew or bergies to pair with our food truck food.


and then there was that saturday afternoon when i got to talk business over burgers and fries. not too shabby. i am doing everything i can to be outdoors right now because the end of glorious weather is nigh. and a few short months (ha, who am i kidding?) weeks from now, i will be seeking refuge in the AC and not wanting to be outside at all never ever ever ever ever again. i do have a summertime date with my chess board + study materials + sewing machine. so, at least my indoor “leisure time” will be productive. there’s that.


i must look like such a tourist all the time, taking palm tree shots and whatnot. but i can’t help myself. it is easy for me to wish i lived elsewhere, especially when the 100+ degree temps set in. but seeing and stopping to capture the gorgeous desert surroundings helps to put things in perspective. palm trees and sunrise/sunsets and blooming cacti remind me that my life is pretty grand. they help me fall in love with arizona day in and day out. i get to live in vacation-resort-land all the time! so many people long for palm lined streets and cotton candy skies, and i just have to look out my window or walk down the street or go out for dinner. heck, even the worst rush hour highway drive has a majestic mountain backdrop. i can’t complain.

but there’s nothing wrong with some kind of west coast beach house or wine country home or upstate escape or london flat or parisian pied-à-terre. right, monsieur hubs? wink wink. 


oh man, give me all the citrus. we have been eating so much of this thanks to having a sweet family hook-up plus a fabulous little lemon tree that could (it is still cranking out fruit and fragrant blossoms after over two years of being under my care. boom!).

we have been snacking and peeling and juicing like mad for the last month. elinor likes to peel-and-pop the oranges. i am all about the grapefruit (broiled is my current breakfast obsession). and ben is mr. lemon. he has made limoncello. he always adorns his sparkling water with a fresh slice. he made frozen lemon juice cubes so we will always have some on hand. he has been whipping up springtime pastas and pestos. and he has been playing mixologist with the juice and peel…although, not much beats a classic vesper martini. good times.

gratitude, currently

IMG_1969 IMG_1968 IMG_1971 IMG_1972

amazing grace and daily mercies
ben’s bread to dip in soup
green grass and baby lemons on our tree
chocolate covered sea salt cashews
bible reading with a side of coffee
furry blankets
warm slippers
elinor’s random acts of kindness
elinor’s sense of humor
ridley’s demeanor and giggles and “hi”sounds
open windows
morning runs
God’s great provision
pretty pieces of family silver and china
the sounds of the violin(s) in our home
rich hand lotion
sparkling water
our church family and community
whole foods market
michael bublé christmas music
evening walks
my savior, who is christ the lord
family gatherings
secret santa
my dedicated husband
pre-bedtime dance parties
hope for the future
a big table to fill with food and surround with loved ones