a lake break

this is the first spring break in a long time where we actually got to take a few days off and relax and it was much needed. this semester has been so crazy that between work, school, teaching, coaching, and everything that needs to happen in between austin and i barely had any time together. seriously, we haven’t had a free weekend in 3 months. so we sought refuge at the lakehouse for a few days of r&r.


it usually takes about three hours to get there, but the drive itself can be a nice way to unwind. plus it’s been rare that we get that much undivided time to just enjoy each other.



each day started with a cup of coffee out on the porch and ended with a glass of wine under the stars (which were bright & fantastic). in between all of that there were gigantic breakfasts, lots of music, pool rallies, dominoes, micheladas, sunbathing, james bond movies and of course fishing. it’s pretty amazing to go three days without internet, cable and wearing shoes. i could get used to it.


lawn time


nug & pop




having a few days off with loved ones means so much to us. and gosh it’s nice to leave all of the distractions behind and just focus on simple fact that i am completely and totally in love with my husband and beyond smitten with my pup. spring break 2013 totally rocked.



i felt like this lamp.lamped

a little bit tangled and worn down. a few days into january and i was feeling less than inspired, less than energized, and less than well…exquisite. i’ve gotten past the days of putting new years eve on a pedestal of epic party-going and champagne toasts, but there is still a part of me that hopes each new year will be entered with a childlike wondering of ‘what’s next?’ instead, kicked off 2013 exhausted, annoyed by to-do’s that weren’t accomplished over the holiday, and my shoulders were tight with the impending stress of night classes looming in the coming weeks. if we’re being honest, i’ve used the phrase ‘pull yourself together’ way too many times this month.

after being off of work for so long, i realized i had little to nothing to look forward to upon returning to my beige desk equipped with two computer screens and a phone that rings incessantly. (did i mention my office is in a metal box building with no windows?) i find that i ping pong between the notion that ‘work is supposed to be this fulfilling and enriching atmosphere of creativity and connecting’ and ‘suck it up you baby, the economy tanked, and jobs are hard to find.’ and i was deep in the former and wishing for something more. however when i step back from the emotion of it all, i see that my job serves a purpose. it is keeping me out of heaps of school debt and i am very thankful for that.

in the midst of my pity parties i am seeking solace in a few new interests, and if there is i make time, i hope to find myself somewhere balanced in all of the pingponging. last semester i started reading up on mindfulness and lucky me, it’s a focus of one of my classes this spring. i’m almost done with mindsight (i love it), and just started mindfulness and psychotherapy (a little more textbooky, but still good). if you’re curious, spend some time hearing what dr. dan siegel has to say – i promise it will be fascinating and it could do ya some good too. after reading this article i’ve decided to put words to how i can improve my everyday by becoming more intentional with how and what my time and mind are focused on (i’m looking at you people.com). sabbath manifesto’s ten principles are a good starting point i think, but i hope to create my own principles.

grounded lamp

i’m already feeling a bit more grounded.


mish mash

from the ol’ phone…

delightful macarons from pearl cup // first homemade latte // about to add more to our wedding wall // a curious bedfellow // frank brunch // miller family monopoly // hotel robes are the best // christmas day cocktails // hill country view // impromptu hookah night // date night with mr. handsome // a sweet treat on a stressful day // a colorful breakfast spot // the coziest socks in town

cold snaps and tattoos

two things that are fantastic right now:

[one] we have been graced with cold weather and that is exciting.

[two (and more importantly)] austin had his first of many tattoo sessions, which is rad.

he’s been planning this sleeve for awhile now, and this was just the first of three sessions. (it’s his birthday & christmas gift this year) even without the shading i think it’s beautiful already.

i can’t stop looking at his arm, which is probably pretty annoying, but who can blame me?

the entire inspiration came from the book ‘goodnight moon’ which holds a lot of meaning for him so we’re thrilled it turned out so well. the rooster is my favorite part.

life as a house


sometimes life is just good inspiration for… well life.

in this case it’s beyonce’s life, but how cool that she understands that is marfa, tx may in fact be the best place on earth.

(p.s. my most cherished friend just bought her first house, so you can expect more posts like this one. you’re welcome sahar. )


the good stuff

occasionally i have those days where i feel completely bogged down by the state of the world (thanks npr). that was my friday. work was frustrating, colleges were getting bomb threats (don’t worry, my coworker and i made a game plan just in case), and parts of the world seemed to be on the brink of explosion. it may sound dramatic, but there are times where i am blindsided and completely affected by a story or event and it just eats away at me.  i don’t know these people, and my only window into their world is my morning commute to work, but their stories stuck with me all day. it brought on much larger concerns, that i won’t get into here, but i found myself questioning the stability of it all. by the time 5 o’clock rolled around i was done. ready to hole up in our house and never come out. i got home and crawled into bed. after about a hour of venting to an incredibly present husband and a delightfully frolicky pup, the tension seemed to dissipate and i realized that these two are my happy place and sometimes sort of restore my faith in everything. it doesn’t solve any of the problems that got me down in the first place, but it gives me the hope for something better, and the resolve not to ignore the tough stuff going on in the world. forgive the ‘dear diary’ tone of this, but i just gotta give props where props are due to the good stuff in life that keeps me centered.


so at midnight i will be twenty eight years old. pretty neat huh? i know everyone is always dreading the impending age of 30, but why? we’re still babies if you ask me. i know i’ve got a lot of living and learning left to do and i’m actually thrilled about getting older. each year of life offers me countless opportunities to get to know myself better. for me at least, with age comes self-awareness, self-love, and a better ability to care for myself and be in the world without feeling the need to be anything other than little ol’ dani. so looking back at twenty-seven, i can say i learned a lot. here’s the year in review:

-i started grad school. crap, my courses are more about figuring my own mess out than anything else and i love that. this program has given me limitless lenses to see the world through and all in all i’d say it’s making me a better human. (and i got a’s this summer. yippee!)

-my dad beat cancer. let me repeat that, my dad is now going on a year of remission. what a feat. i have a new level of appreciation for my family, and through this experience i’ve seen many different sides of my papa, all of them beautiful and revealing about the standard of man that he is. i love him so much.

-we adopted sadie. the phrase ‘best decision of my life’ comes to mind but that even feels like an understatement. this pup means the world to us and we are delighted to call her our own each and every day. i still can’t believe we get the privilege to have her in our family.

-we bought a house. nuts. at times i can’t believe i’m a homeowner. we’ve only lived in this house for about 3 months now, but it feels so perfectly like home. i love it a little more each and every day and i think this home will be good to us.

so twenty seven, thanks for good times, and twenty eight, brace yourself, this spring chicken is a comin’ for ya.

playing dress up

our good pal mackenzie is about to launch a duo wedding photography company and needed some ‘models’ to get the ball rolling. she asked us and all i could hear was ‘you get to wear your wedding dress again’ so naturally i said yes.

the best part of this shoot was that it was in our house. i am the queen of awkward faces – if someone says ‘look sexy’ or ‘give me a little smile’ it usually results in a vacant stare or all out laughter. so doing the shoot at home made me so much more comfortable. plus kenz was the photographer at our wedding, so we know she’s good people and she can tolerate my less than graceful demeanor.

(the photos are lovely, but i cannot publicly share them yet. however as soon as she’s published them, i’ll share the link.)