“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happened better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.” // Mary Oliver

what we loved about Venice // our trip to LA


WE LOVED LA! We arrived in the city for the tail end of our trip out west, which was the best way to do it for so many reasons. Mostly, because it was the place I was most excited to see. My first ever visit! And hopefully not my last. The first two nights in Los Angeles we stayed in Venice. I had done a lot of blog reading and Pinterest searching and for us, this seemed like a really fun part of the city to stay. And it was! Venice is amazing…


The first thing we did after checking into our Airbnb was head to the beach to catch the sunset. We made it just in time and the night was perfect. We strolled the beach, watched the sun set over the water, and took in the sights and sounds of everything around us. Venice Beach is home to many skateboarders — which was one of the most interesting things to watch while we were there. Zan remembered right away that Venice is where the movie Lords of Dogtown is based on — about the surf and skateboarding trends that originated in Venice in the 1970s — and now I really want to see it!

After our beach walk we headed over to Gjelina for dinner, which came highly recommended and was completely fun and delicious. For pretty much all of this trip we went off recommendations from blogs and instagram friends and we loved every place we ate at so much. There were so many things we wanted to try we ended up eating a lot! First breakfast, check. Second breakfast, CHECK. Every day pretty much went like that and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We had to try it all!


This was our little backyard Airbnb, which ended up working out perfectly. We stayed on Superba Ave in Venice and it was a great location with easy access to everything we wanted to do. Here is the link for anyone looking for a place to stay! It was small (and without a kitchen), but the bed was comfortable and they had bikes available for use so it was a win win for me! We most often always stay in an Airbnb when we visit a new place. We have had great luck with the hosts and it’s such a great way to feel like you’re part of the neighborhood, which is my favorite thing.


The first spot we visited on our first full morning in town was Intelligenista Coffee on Abbott Kinney. An awesome interior where they brew your cup right before your eyes. It’s all very scientific in there and I loved it. We got two drinks and a pastry and sat for awhile enjoying the space and bustle of the morning.

After we were all fueled up it was time for our canal walk! I had heard about the Venice Canals so many times and it was the perfect day to experience them for ourselves. Blue skies and warm air. I was in heaven coming straight from our East Coast winter — HEAVEN! Here are some photos from our morning walking the canals…


I loved all the blooms and getting to peek in on all the gardens and patios. I loved this pink house above and would gladly live in it myself! :) Since our trip Zan and I have talked about visiting Venice again someday soon and we would love to stay in a house on the canal next time. It would be so fun!

After we strolled the canals for a good while we stopped into Superba Food + Bread which was wonderful (and also steps away from our Airbnb!). We were just popping in for a second coffee and a snack but if I were staying here longer I would have definitely come back for a full breakfast or lunch. Homemade bread and pastries. LOOK AT THEIR MENU! It’s mouth watering.


{also the bathroom! I loved it.} ^^

From there we headed to Santa Monica to check out the pier and start our hunt for poke. Zan was on a mission to find some and who was I to stop him?? We walked the Pier for a bit and then headed up towards Santa Monica Blvd to Sweet Fin Poke. For those who don’t know (I just recently discovered), Poke is a Hawaiian dish that I can only describe as a sushi salad. It has all your basic sushi ingredients, but is served in a bowl instead of in a roll. IT IS DELICIOUS! I got mine spicy tuna style with rice and seaweed. I can’t remember exactly what Zan got, but I do remember him having the hardest time deciding what to order — he wanted to try everything!!!


Sweet Fin was so well designed too! I love the light installation, the booth fabric (hey tye-die!) and the beach inspired polaroids on the walls. Such a fun spot for lunch — and everybody seemed to think it too — the line was long but worth it!

After lunch we headed back to Venice to walk Abbot Kinney for the afternoon.


I would equate Abbot Kinney in LA to Newbury Street in Boston … but better. (Sorry, Boston.) It’s actually more like a mix of Newbury Street and all my favorite shops in the South End, plus a few awesome restaurants. I love to shop so it’s not hard for me to love a street like Abbot Kinney, but Zan loved it too. So, WINNER!


A few of my favorite shops were:

Urbanic Paper Boutique
Alternative Apparel (Zan loves these shirts!)
Linus Bike
The Piece Collective
Ilan Dei Venice

And food, drinks, and coffee!

Another Kind of Sunrise
Gjelina (they have take-out lunch too!)
The Butcher’s Daughter
Intelligenista Coffee
The Other Room (good drinks)
Salt and Straw (yum, ice cream!)


After the excitement of shopping we headed the beach for a bit to just enjoy the sun and the sand. It felt so good to be outside! Zan had made dinner reservations for 6:30, so we had a little time to spare. We walked the length of the beach and the boardwalk, got some drinks at the Venice Ale House, then headed over to The Rose Cafe for dinner…


The Venice Ale House was great. Craft beers and great people watching right on the boardwalk. Zan debated his life long dream of purchasing a longboard which he later fulfilled! I love how he knows what he loves and just tries new things when he feels inspired. It inspires me!


Next stop, The Rose Cafe!!

This place was recommended to us from Zan’s friend from work and it was everything. I loved the atmosphere and the food and drinks were all delicious. This was one of my favorite nights of our trip– talking about anything and everything under the sun and feeling happy and content. Just a very laid back night and we had the best time together.


The next morning was our last full day in LA so we jam packed it the best way we knew how. (I am 100% a cup overfloweth type. Can you tell?? Probably because I can’t help but keep filling it up. So much world to see!) We got up early to take the bikes out and rode down the boardwalk towards Santa Monica. Having the access to the bikes was one of the best perks of our Airbnb. From Venice we rode down the beach bike path as far as the Santa Monica Pier and even beyond. We were looking for “THE BEST DONUTS IN THE WORLD” {a tip I got from instagram!}, but because of the way the highway cut close to the beach we weren’t able to ride there without going way out of our way.

{ But fear not! We did make it to the donut shop eventually. :) }


As a backup to donuts, we stopped at Gjgusta for coffee and shared a breakfast sandwich. I always like to believe that everything happens for a reason, and this was definitely the reason we weren’t able to find the donuts. Gjusta is AMAZING. So unassuming from the outside and so glorious when you step in. We ordered delicious lattes and sat in their light-strung outdoor space. The perfect way to start the day.


After we were showered and checked out of our Airbnb we made one last stop in Venice for brunch — The Butcher’s Daughter! Talk about an interior design lovers dream. There was macrame and hanging plants and texture and typography all over the place. I was loving it…


Your heart eyes are popping out, right? RIGHT. I got the best acai bowl with an iced coffee and Zan ordered avocado toast. MMMmmmm. The Butcher’s Daughter! Put it on your list!

OH, VENICE! I loved you a billion times over!


And we will be back again! xo

hello, spring // taking stock

hello, spring.

Just a little update of sorts to properly acknowledge this perfect season called Spring!


M A K I N G: Another weaving for a friend soon. I cannot say much more because it is going to be surprise gift– undoubtedly the best kind!

D R I N K I N G: Lots of water and a little bit of root beer. Zan and I ordered pizza on Friday night and had root beer to go with which just pairs so perfectly, don’t you think? I got an extra bottle for another night this week. FANCY! Also, I tried this drink this weekend and it was surprising delicious and tasted so much like the real thing! I loved it.

W A N T I N G: Summer to come soon. Just 5 more weeks! My class showcased their work to the parents last week and after that I always feel like summer needs to come (and fast). The kids are so ready for a break and the beautiful weather doesn’t help either, but I keep saying to myself: I CAN DO HARD THINGS! And I know the end of the year will be here in a flash.

W A T C H I N G: I just finished Fuller House and loved every darn minute of it. I laughed and smiled the whole way through that silly show and I am absolutely looking forward to Season 2.

R E A D I N G: So! Many! Books! Most recently I finished Anne of Avonlea and I ADORED IT! Oh, Anne. I seriously love you. // I made a goal for myself this year to read 25 books and after today I have read 20. TWENTY! I’m going to have to adjust that goal soon and I am so happy about it. Over the last few years I hardly made any time at all for reading (looking at you, iphone), but I really wanted this year to be different. I am making more time for books at home and I have also discovered Overdrive which lets me listen to books while I walk Penny in the mornings and after-school. I would say the audiobooks are most definitely the reason for my sky high pile of books and I am absolutely thrilled about it. I am keeping track on Goodreads and also through instagram with my hashtag #nannerreads. I would also love to do a post here highlighting some of my favorite books soon.

L I S T E N I N G  T O: The new Lumineer’s album, Cleopatra, on REPEAT. I cannot handle how much I love it. // P.S. I listen to all of my music through the amazon prime app and I only have great things to say about it. I can choose any songs or whole albums I want to listen to– and can skip or repeat songs as much as I want. You can also make playlists! I did one for my wedding last year and we played it through dinner — it was perfect! Does anyone else out there use Amazon to listen to their music? I’m a huge fan.

E A T I N G: A lot of meals for one lately. Zan’s been traveling LIKE CRAZY for work the past few months. He was here all this week, but is gone all next so I am left to my own devices in the kitchen which usually means whatever I can scrounge up out of the fridge. Tacos are a favorite. And this kale salad, too.

W I S H I N G: Zan would be home more! Things are busy now, but will ease up soon — we hope!

E N J O Y I N G: Documenting our West Coast trip! It’s fun to share pictures and important to me to get our memories down in a tangible way. Next up is the few days we spent in LA and this summer I want to recap our honeymoon! On the blog and with a photo album. What’s your favorite company to use for that sort of thing?

H O P I N G: Time slows down a bit. Spring and Summer are my favorite seasons. I hope I can savor every minute of them and find fun ways to keep busy and enjoy the time off. Making lots of plans always makes the time feel longer. I need to remember that!

N E E D I N G: This one is proving hard for me right now, thankfully! I feel very happy right now about so many things. Plus, I just went on a shopping spree. ;)

F O L L O W I N G: I have loved keeping up with Nicki Sebastian lately. Her blog and instagram are my favorite and her move from NY to LA has been so fun to watch from afar.

F E E L I N G: Sneezy. My one and only beef with Spring. Allergy season is here and I am but a victim once again!

W E A R I N G: A few new outfits from Madewell and Anthropologie. Forever and ever amen! Also, this weekend I switched out my winter clothes for my spring/summer wardrobe which is my favorite thing to do! 

B O O K M A R K I N G: This post on shooting manual photography is the best. Easy to understand language from one of my favorite photographers. I go back to this post over and over! Perfectly helpful and so so good.

L O V I N G: This year’s May. Everything is so glorious and new. 

“Dear old world’, she murmured, ‘you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Sunrise Hike at Red Rock

Red Rock Canyon

On the last morning of our trip to Vegas we headed out to Red Rock Canyon for a sunrise hike. Do you remember how we do a New Hampshire Hut-to-Hut hike every summer? Well it’s Zan’s uncle Tim who organized that every year and it was Zan’s uncle Tim who was in Vegas at the very same time we were. Hiking is Tim’s favorite way to exercise and we were happy to tag along. Luckies!

It is so nice to have family in a faraway place while you’re traveling. We were able to see a lot of family on this trip (people we don’t often see AND people we do!) and it was just the best. Tim knew a just-right trail that was perfect timing for our morning. We got the the Canyon just as the sun was making it’s mark against the sky and we reached the summit of our hike while the light was golden and gorgeous…

Red Rock Red Rock Red Rock Red Rock Red Rock Red Rock Red Rock Red Rock Red Rock Red Rock Red Rock Red Rock Red RockRed Rock Red Rock

So beautiful! Hands down one of the highlights of our whole trip.