what the schmidt.

my main squeeze turns 29 today. needless to say we’ve been shouting like schmidt all week. it sure seems like the only appropriate way to celebrate.

happy birthday my love. 29 looks good on you boyeee!



had the pleasure of watching beginners last night and it was perfect in every way.  with its compelling and realistic characters, lovely shots and interiors, and excellent storytelling i found myself completely engulfed in this film. (not to mention the cast: melanie laurent, ewan mcgregor, and christopher plummer)

it was witty and odd in all the right moments, yet so tragic and truthful. not sure how it took me two years to stumble upon this, but i’m glad i did. i highly recommend it.

anna’s character had a very simplistic (yet somehow worldly) style about her…maybe it was the accent, but i was completely enamored with her. not until today did i realize why she looked so damn familiar. she must have a thing for iconic red dresses. hal’s character wore these fantastic neck scarfs. so dapper. beyond being an exquisite film, it’s splendid inspiration for fall. i’m ready to watch it all over again quite honestly.

(it’s also given me some inspiration for a new series of posts)


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.)

sadie mae: nugget extraordinaire, age one.

our little sadie mae turned one this month, and yes of course, we threw her a party. as she’s no diva, we kept it low key – just a few pup friends, some pup cupcakes, and the humans were just along for the ride.

sadie ended up with some pretty swell new toys, in addition to two dog beds that she pretty much lives in now (who new at one year they start sleeping all the time?).

i can’t believe she’s a year already. i remember the day we picked up this sweet little pound pup:

her name was cindy brady then, but she knew she was meant for greater things…

jump forward to one successful year of being awesome.

she got her toys in the morning, when it was just family, and then patiently waited for her guests to arrive…

then frolicked, wrestled, and played bitey-face for the next few hours with truman, shelby, and oliver, while the parents drank, ate, and watched fantastic mr. fox.

by the day’s  end she was absolutely spent:

some things change, but those bat ears remain the same…


so by my calculations we’re about half way through summer, but due to our school-packed schedules, the hubs and i had yet to embark on anything summer-like. no swimsuits, no sublime songs on loop…all kidding aside, this weekend we decided to skip town and experience 48 hours of pure summery fun.

we drove out to the lake house and had a pretty brilliant rotation of sleeping, sunbathing, swimming, drinking & eating. i officially have tan lines (my unofficial sign of summer) and have yet again confirmed at the ripe age of 27, that my swimming abilities are a step above the doggy paddle (my ace in the hole).

we thought sadie would go nuts with the water, but turns out she avoided the dock to the best of her abilities. we threw her in a few times, after which she would swim for about 10 seconds, get out and deliver a death stare of puppy expletives.

in the locklear/hyslop lake house tradition we watched the original james bond (getchu some sean connery) and the three amigos, which wasn’t nearly as racist as i expected it to be. wish i would’ve taken more pictures than the forced smiles above (we had just pulled up to the house and were ready for the water. plus i had to pee) but sometimes relaxation trumps all else.

this is definitely something we need to do more often.