Friday Favourites **


Hello friends!

It’s a gorgeous afternoon here in Santa Barbara, breezy and warm with sunshine flooding the skies overhead. This being Friday, I thought I’d round up a few favourites from the past week.

Ever dreamed of becoming a speed reader? This App can get you to read up to 1,000 words per minute! While I’m not sure how practical this is in terms of leisurely reading enjoyment, I can see the applications of it being very useful for students and those needing to get through great tomes of technical writing. Tell me: would you try it?

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day and these bold books inspire some kickass Girl Power.

Go-to fashion “it girl” and last week’s Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o on the essence of black beauty.

This has been going around like wildfire on social media. Definitely worth a listen!

Today is the start of SXSW (music/film/interactive) in Austin, TX. Tonight’s opening film is Chef directed by and starring Jon Favreau. Wish we were there!

If you live in a country that uses Daylight Savings Time, don’t forget to spring forward this Sunday, March 9th! We might lose an hour of sleep but gain bright sunshine streaming through the windows in the early morning hours, which means spring (for those of you with a four-season climate) is just around the corner.

Last but not least, for the past few weeks, we’ve been back to homeschooling Finnlagh (a bit of a long story there), which means that during the day, I get to spend a lot of extra time with our boys while Alina’s at school. Budding photographer Finnlagh surprised me with these photos he took on my iPhone the other morning, explaining that I was “daydreaming” and “enjoying a morning break with the new baby.” Ah, he knows me so well!

photo (3) photo (4)

For more favourites and ideas, follow me on Pinterest.

Happy week-end!




Favourite posts of 2013

RedGourdWe are January

R+F_Jan10:2013.2Six months hence


Reed_6Feb2013.5Littlest Lad

MarathonTX.3Travel Blog: Marathon, TX

Loic_Mar2013Moving on

Reed_8mos.bw5Eight Months

A_pricklypearLandscape as life

Alina_Apr19:2013Love loving you

Reed_newhouse.49 months in, 9 months out

SeeMysteryLightsTravel blog: Postcards from Marfa


A+F_May1:2013.1May Day

Reed_10mos.510 months

20130505-235846.jpgMonday’s Moment

20130504-001636.jpgFirst steps


A+F_fave tree wonderlandMonday’s Moment

A+F+R_b+w11 months

20130611-014331.jpgMonday’s Moment

Reed_7Jul2013_sleepy bday hatBirthday eve baby…

Reed's 1bday ps.3*12 months*

Reed's 1st bday cake.2Parties + prezzies

Reed+Grant_1Jul2013Monday’s Moment

SpanBanksYVR_Aug2013I know where the summer goes…

Reed_13mos.213 months…

Cover page finalIntroducing…AGAVE MAGAZINE

SoCalGolden state of mind

Alina_7BdayEve.7Little lady’s birthday eve

Reed_09.18.13.314 months…

LWK_livingroomBon Voyage!

20131004-001914.jpgEndless summer

20131026-210848.jpgCity of Angels

Reed_15mos.115 months

20131112-130923.jpg16 months

TutuDuMonde.1Feature Fashion: Tutu du Monde photo shoot

Finn_5thBday.36And then: FIVE

Reed_17mos17 months

Here’s to a fantastic, chock-filled 2013 that brought us more rich experiences and discoveries than we ever thought possible. Looking forward to ringing in 2014! Be happy and safe, wherever you are…Thank-you, as always, for following along and allowing us to share our moments with you…



Bon Voyage!

LWK_livingroomWe’re readying ourselves to bid adieu to our apartment in less than a week’s time…and the process is being met with a mixture of anxiety and relief. Today, the stress well and truly kicked in, and suffice it to say, a long walk and a stop for ice cream were not only welcome on this hot, humid day — they were utter necessities.  We’ve lived in eight different abodes in the past nine years (not even counting the places we’ve lived for 1-2 months at a time). The process of getting from Point A to Point B, especially with three young kids in tow, can feel quite overwhelming. As we organise our departure and daydream about deep relaxation on the beach, I thought I would share with you a little bit of what has made our house a home here in Austin.





LWK_LR windows







LWK_Reading Nook

LWK_play nook



LWK_piano trinkets



*12 Months…*

Reed's 1bday ps.3

Reed's 1bday ps.1

Reed's 1bday ps.9

Reed's 1bday ps.4// Reed Anders at {ONE} year – July 8, 2013

Our birthday boy is cool-as-a-cucumber and serene as can be. He chortles with that toothy grin of his whenever he finds something amusing (which is often!) and is most certainly his own little person. As much as we already miss those teeny, tiny, muslin-swaddled newborn days, getting to discover his own unique personality with each passing day has been a glorious process for us all. He warms our hearts with those melty hazel eyes of his and those still-chunky thighs…  Reed is so full of love and wonderment, and that curiosity sure means that he gets into everything. From the cat’s water dish (a daily hourly favourite), to rescuing glass bottles from the recycling bin and snuggling with his loved ones, our littlest guy has a keen sense of his surroundings and all of the people in it. He’s a big fan of waving ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ – to family and to new acquaintances, to pretty girls in cafes…our mini man is a charmer and a scene-stealer, rolled into ONE!



P.S.: The past year has been immensely gratifying as a family of 5. We have grown even closer together, not only in our love for baby Reed, but also in experiencing growing pains and changing dynamics as we’ve stretched into a bigger family. All in all, we have found our rhythm together, and our home is a rewarding and loving place to live life and just BE.  I’m so proud and thankful for all of our darling loved ones in my life – for my husband and our children, for doting parents/grandparents and great-grandparents, kind aunts and uncles, supportive cousins and extra-thoughtful friends…we are blessed to have all of you in our lives. Thank-you for helping make Reed’s first year truly spectacular. 

Reed's 1bday ps.6

Reed's 1bday ps.21

Reed's 1bday ps.12

Reed's 1bday ps.10

Reed's 1bday ps.13

Reed's 1bday ps.5

Reed's 1bday ps.18

Reed's 1bday ps.7

Reed's 1bday ps.20

Reed's 1bday ps.11

Reed's 1bday ps.19

Reed's 1bday ps.16

Monday’s Moment

A single moment captured in a photograph. Candid and fleeting, this will always be a special moment in time…

Reed+Grant_1Jul2013// Reed + Papa

Happy Canada Day, friends! Just us hanging out with our littlest guy today, with only a week to go until we celebrate his first birthday. We had been looking forward to some time off together and a respite from the heat and humidity that has been making the past week so very uncomfortable. An afternoon of long, meandering walks in our neighbourhood…trips to the handmade toy shop for early birthday presents, relaxing patio lunches and civilised coffee breaks at our favourite local haunt. Not even a gust of dry, desert-infused heat could stand in the way between us and that classic Spanish macchiato-cappuccino infusion – the cortado. Rich, bright-noted espresso cut with gently warmed milk, served up in a 4 oz glass and topped with micro-foam, crema and a flourish of latte art: it always strikes the perfect balance between coffee snobbery chic and relaxed Havana style.

Ps: As you are most likely aware, Google Reader is no longer. We don’t want to lose you, so remember to update your choice of reader and keep following N&N! You can subscribe via email or click on the link to Bloglovin’ here or provided on the right side of your screen (if you are viewing full site version) or at the bottom of the blog (mobile version). For those of you who still want to connect using Google, I’ve heard some positive feedback about Feedly.





// Hibiscus blossoms

These are the dog days of summer – the blistering, lambent morning hours as the sun rises from its slumber, waking up the dawn. Each morning is punctuated with the sounds of the city – first the car horns, then the sirens, and finally the whoosh of traffic as it plods through hazy bits of daylight. Slowly then the creak of a mattress, the pitter-patter of humid feet across wooden floors seeking the chill of porcelain tile underfoot. There is the clinking of ice cubes as cold brew coffee sloshes into glasses, ready to be swirled around with just the slightest splash of milk.

We make the best of these mornings, a great plume of sunscreen and brimmed hats as we set off to meet the day, before the afternoon is too sun-soaked and sweltering to confront. There are trips to the market and to the playground, swims in the pool and frequent stops to smell tropical blossoms or to tweet to the birds. Then… home again to find a temporary retreat, to let in the sunshine and filter out the heat, until later on when the sun eventually lowers itself in the sky. We step out into the dimming light, enveloped by the music and the din of the crowds, and think: let’s do it all again…














Triple digits


Piano music is just starting to filter through our doorways, and the city is hanging heavy, surrounded in dark violet twilight as the mercury hovers at a steady 102F. The past couple of days have been rather historic here in the United States, and paying careful attention to the politics on the news and through social media has been both awe-inspiring and exhausting. Last night, Texas Senator Wendy Davis (D) filibustered her way to democratic celebrity as she spent nearly 13 hours non-stop, in order to oppose one of the most contentious abortion bills that Texas, if not the US, has ever seen. Just blocks from our home here in Austin, cheers of jubilation erupted from the gallery at the Capitol building as hundreds of protestors joined in with a mighty ruckus, standing in solidarity with the Texas Senator. Time had expired and the bill was dead in the water.

Then came today’s landmark decision from the SCOTUS: the Defense of Marriage Act struck down as unconstitutional. Within minutes, media and internet seemed to ignite, and the words that kept resounding over and over: love and support for one another as citizens of this world.

As we hid inside from the heat this afternoon, I watched closely as the children played, negotiated, strategised and collaborated. They hummed tunes from their favourite television shows and there was one in particular that caught my ear. It says, “You can be, who you want to be…follow me and be, anyone you wanna be…” So much of our job as parents is governing, to help fashion (in a way) our children into moral and ethical critical thinkers and free spirits. While you do not have to be a devotee of Robert Frost to acknowledge that life is about choices, and how the path you choose can make “all the difference,” we do need to remember that it’s not just the path itself but the protection of one’s right to even choose one that matters. As catchy and commercial as that tune is, I do really want my children to believe that those words are true, and deep down, to know that they are. Alina likes to ask what she should be when she grows up, and do you know what she says? “Mama. It’s so hard to choose. There are so many possibilities, I just can’t decide.” You don’t have to decide today, Alina. In fact, you have every day of an entire lifetime to make that choice.

{Last but not least, wishing my father many happy and healthy returns of the day! Happy Birthday, Daddy. You sure raised some strong-willed daughters, and I know you wouldn’t have had it any other way. We love you!}