Pacifica State Beach

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    Last weekend Tyler used a Groupon to take a 2 for 1, 3 hour course on learning to surf in Pacifica. I was invited to be #2 but had been saying 'no' since he bought the Groupon almost a year ago. The warm weather didn't change my mind, so he extended the offer to a friend from work who has surfed before. I offered to go and take pictures but he thought I'd get bored after 3 hours [and I secretly think he was nervous about learning something new]. He had the biggest smile when he got home and of course regretted telling me not to come take pictures, so when he decided to go again this weekend, I was invited - both to surf and take pictures! After rearranging the living room for an at-home crash course in surfing, I again declined but agreed to go take pictures and relax on the beach [secret ulterior motive: work on my tan]!
    Pacifica is located just south of San Francisco so it was an easy drive to and from home! Still a beginner, Tyler wanted to go earlier in the day when the waves are calmer. The morning conditions were windy and 'cold' to California standards, but it was starting to warm up when we left around noon. Albeit chilly, the beach was beautiful and we had a great time! Covered in jeans and a sweatshirt to brace the cold, I was stunned [read: thrilled] to come home to sun-kissed cheeks!
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Waiting for Waves
    Taking pictures of surfers is hard. Like, really hard. You spend half your time waiting for the right wave to come, then wait to see if out of the 20 people waiting, your subject will be one of the 10 to attempt getting up on it, and one of the very lucky 3-5 that the wave doesn't eat during their attempt to stand. If not, you're back to waiting for the next perfect wave. Not to mention that they're far out, so if your camera doesn't have a million times zoom, it's going to be pixilated. All that to say, in about 3 hours I only got two action shots, and they're not even thaaat great - although Tyler was super impressed that I managed to capture a picture of the only wave he and his friend rode together.
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My main squeeze up on his first Wave of the day
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Tyler and Ronald surfing the same Wave
    I did get some shots of the beach, some washed up jellyfish, and some not-so-action shots as well as getting my jeans soaked up to the knees when walking in a little too far to capture some shots! Other than playing photographer I spent the rest of my time relaxing, playing nurse when Tyler's leash got tangled around his toe slicing it open, and praying - that the sharks wouldn't be able to smell his blood through the bandage - seriously a concern for me and he didn't even think twice about it. Boys.
    Since we missed church to go, I did my own self-titled, 'Devotion by the Ocean' and let me just say, I could totally get used to doing that. Nice to be close to God through His beautiful creation.
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I won't lie, I touched it with my toe!
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So mysterious and beautiful
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a pause before the next round of fighting and riding waves
    Watching Tyler fight the waves was exhausting enough for me. I think I was a little hard on him every time he came in for a breather and claiming, "I'm just not good at surfing." While I'd love to agree that there's at least one physical fitness feat he's not good at, I can't. Even if he didn't catch every wave, or any over 7' - he stayed with it the whole three hours we were there [with plenty of tough love encouragement from me..]. So proud of him for getting out there and trying something new and adventurous. Me on the other hand, I'll stick to sunbathing and being his personal photographer.
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*I personally took and edited all pictures in this post. Tyler rented his board/wetsuit from NorCal Surf Shop in Pacifica Beach. I am clearly not an expert on anything surfing related, but I was shocked at the pricing [in a good way]! For an entire day rental it was less than $40 for both. The Groupon for lessons was not through NorCal, but they do provide lessons which I'm sure are just as good.
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    Life lately has been insanely crazy. Hence the lack of Blogging. When I'm not doing real work or out enjoying our awesome city and awesome [70* daily] weather with the hubs, I'm spending every waking hour on Zillow, our realtor's site, researching our new city, going over financing and budgeting for our first house, taking needed [for sanity] shopping breaks, and finishing my application to get my Dental Hygiene license in our new state.. cause oh yeah, we're moving to:
Charlotte, North Carolina
    In about a month we will be leaving California and moving across the country to the Carolinas. While we are super excited to be back in the same time zone as our families [and my 'side' job], I'd be lying if I said we weren't a little sad to be leaving the first place we ever called 'home' together. And the weather here. And friends. And all of the adventures of California. [Not going to lie, kind of pumped about lower taxes and lower cost of living though.. shh!].

    We are excited for this new adventure, but for now I'll be in and out of blogging, the dirty clothes piles will continue to grow past where I can stand, 'hand-wash only' dishes will sit in the sink for longer than usual, and we will be out walking through Walnut Creek after work, trying the weekly changes in Frozen Yogurt flavors at our favorite place, hitting up the city on the weekends, using our last few pool passes, and playing Frisbee Golf on the new course by our place no matter how terrible I am. [Yes. They would install that a few months before we leave. That and a Hobby Lobby.. don't even get me started..]

    See you in a week Charlotte! Excited to see what's in store as we search for our first home! Ps. for those of you wondering.. HGTv was not going to be able to give us a definitive answer by next week for whether or not we'd be on the show. With that in mind, we have decided to go ahead and buy if we find something we like while we are there - finding a place to live and getting things in order before we move across the country is more important than being on TV!
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        I discovered Zara through Instagram and although there are [what I would consider] few stores in the US, San Francisco of course has two! The sizing was a little different to get down since it's European, and although it would say the US size, it wasn't always accurate [or the US sizes aren't accurate to begin with - who's for a universal pattern to make all sizes equal?!] but being able to try things on in store helps! Plus I'm pretty sure the website is free shipping and free returns [awesome].
        I currently have a pair of Zara shoes, a shirt my sister hates, and a pair of pants and I'm thinking I need to add one of these cute Spring jackets to my mini Zara collection!
[clockwise from top left]

1. Round Neck Coat With Zip
Let's start with the fact that it's pink. I can envision wearing this casually, or on a romantic night out, or Easter Sunday, or to a wedding, or out to coffee.. or anywhere. It's simple enough to be casual, yet the color and classy lines make this coat elegant as well. My only concern is the cropped arms - not 100% sure about the style especially since I have long arms already! Seriously, they're abnormal.

2. Fabric Coat With Zip
Need a coat to match anything you wear this Spring? This is the jacket for you! Neutrals go with anything and this cute I personally love how they casually paired it with jeans and a simple blouse on the website! The zipper is not my favorite, but that could always easily be changed!

3. Coat With Pockets
I am obsessed with this one. I love the color yellow, so bright and happy, plus the details in the pockets and even the sleeves add an even more fun and modern element [more pictures on Zara's website]! I also love that the zipper starts at about waist-line instead of at the bottom of the coat - this makes sitting down so much easier!

4. Wool Coat in Green
This one is an example of something that doesn't look great on the hanger but looks so cute on [see the pictures on the website]! Made of wool, this is the perfect jacket for those of you who are excited for Spring looks but the weather has cooler plans. Available in both "Tangerine" and my personal favorite; green!
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    If we could afford to have our entire home decorated by Pottery Barn, we probably wouldn't be opposed. But we're young and love to travel, so we put our money in that direction for now. And the reality is, I shop too much to place all of my eggs in one basket - I love mixing pieces from different places and I'm pretty good at finding expensive pieces for less. That doesn't mean I don't indulge in a PB Sale every now and then, or still consider them as one of my favorite stores when searching for something for our home, because, they are. Our bedding is from there and I love it!
    Shag is back, and I am in heaven. Wool shag rug, wool shag throw, and my new favorite shaggy faux-fur pillows! The pillows were from Pottery Barn and, surprisingly, they were way less expensive than any other store!:
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My faux-fur pillows in their new home! Other pillows pictured: Sequin Tile Pillow Cover [Pottery Barn] and Rosette Pillow [old Crate & Barrel, no longer available]

Look for Less

    I am obsessed with the big, fluffy, faux-fur pillows - but the prices, not so much! I was shocked to see that Pottery Barn's regular pricing was way less, and I got them at the Sale price! Luckily I already had pillow inserts so I don't need to purchase the inserts, but even if I had to, the Pottery Barn complete set of pillow + cover would still be less than just a cover anywhere else! The PB pillows are faux-fur as opposed to 'Mongolian Lamb' but they achieve the same great look and are still soft!
Crate & Barrel
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Lambskin Pillow
16" Square: $89.95
This pillow comes with the insert but is only sheepskin on the front
Crate & Barrel
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Pelliccia Pillow with Insert
18" Square: $89.95
23" Square: $159

Mongolian lambskin with insert, but again, one-sided
Pottery Barn
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Faux Fur Pillow Cover - Long Shaggy
18" Square Regular Price: $39.50
No insert, fur on both sides
West Elm
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Mongolian Lamb Pillow Cover
16" Square: $69
24" Square: $139

No insert, fur on both sides
Z Gallerie
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Mongolian Pillow
22" Square: $129.95
This pillow comes with the insert but has leather backing instead of full fur
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Spring is so close I can feel it. But really.. in California, we can ;) sorry Midwest and East-Coasters!
These are some of my favorite Target finds for the upcoming season!
[Clockwise from Upper Left]

1. Popover Favorite Shirt in Cycle Print - Merona®
Cute little pink bicycles adorn this breezy blouse - perfect to pair with white jeans and a jean jacket for cooler evenings or bright colored shorts for the daytime.
2. Lakitia Sandals in Gold Glitter - Mossimo Supply Co.
I saw these last year and regret not getting them.. I mean, they're gold glitter, what's not to love?
3. Pedestal Taper Vase - Threshold™
There's just something so romantic and Spring-timey about pastel tulips draping out of a simple white vase!
4. Rain Boot Candle - Threshold™
I am in love with this candle! Reminds me of Hunter boots! I keep it on a mini cake stand next to my sink in the kitchen, and I will never burn it!

Sorry for the lack of posts - squeezing a lot in right now before the big move in April! Hoping to have more time in the upcoming weeks!
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