Live Well: Back in the Swing of Things


Friends, I wasn't lying when I said my trips would interfere with my blogging consistency. Thanks for sticking with me.

On Sunday night I got back from a fantastic trip to Texas. In one visit I somehow managed to 1) go wedding dress shopping with my sister [and have the honor of watching her find a PERFECT dress!] 2) meet with two LOVELY readers of this blog at Rice [hi Sam and Charlotte!!] 3) catch up with one of my best friends from high school 4) catch up with not one, but TWO of my best friends from college 5) spend lots of quality time with my four wonderful siblings [who I love more than words can describe] and 6) celebrate my mom's birthday. That's doesn't even include all the time I got to spend laughing with my family, drinking great wine, rambling around my old haunts, and just generally enjoying myself. It was a great trip.

And while it was a fantastic trip, it was the second weekend in a row that I spent away from my husband. That's the first time we've been apart for back-to-back weekends since we got married. Reuniting with him in the airport Sunday night was like celebrating the end of long distance all over again - I don't want to be apart for that many days EVER again!

The craziness isn't quite over - my husband's parents come into town on Thursday! It's been a series of tiring, fun weekends, and this upcoming one will be no exception. I can't wait to show them some of our favorite spots around town, and even take a trip up to Sonoma!


Other random thoughts for your Tuesday morning:

1) I started reading The Goldfinch on my flight back to San Francisco, and so far, it's fantastic. I'll of course dedicate an entire post to it once I finish reading it, but if you've been considering starting the book, I would jump right in!

2) I've been using the Songza app to listen to music at work, and its "Today's Singer-Songwriters" playlist has been rocking my world.

3) Does anyone else feel like an alternate title for the How I Met Your Mother finale could be Worst Finale Ever ? Did you enjoy it?


We'll be returning to normal programming after today's messages :) See you tomorrow, y'all!

Live Well: British Virgin Islands


I really want to kick this post off by saying that I'm glad to be back, but if you peruse the pictures included below, you'll know that's at least a partial lie. We landed back in the States late Sunday night and honestly, I'm still in vacation withdrawal. It would be impossible to explain how perfect our trip to the Virgin Islands was - every minute that we were on the boat was pure joy. From stunning scenery to delectable food to plenty of hours spent swimming, hiking, and laughing with my family, I loved every minute of our getaway. We're planning on heading back there during the summer of 2015 - the countdown starts now.DSC_4739

The tiny plane we flew to and from Tortola - truly an adventure in itself.






Living the good life.


NOT the boat we spent the week on. This is Steve Jobs's yacht. Pretty impressive, right?


DSC_5414My wonderful family.

I'll be easing back into blog posts this week, trying to grab photos whenever my husband and I have the time! In the meantime, I'll try to pull out of my post-vacation sulk...

Happy Tuesday, everybody!

Live Well: Thanksgiving at the Ranch


Somehow, holidays always go by too quickly. Our four days in Texas were spectacular - we ate, drank, and loved every minute we got to spend around our families. You'll have to forgive me for the relative lack of blog/Instagram photos of the trip - I tried to stay as unplugged from social media and general technology as I could while we were there. Although we were sad to leave, we were comforted by the fact that we only have three weeks of work and two weekends before we're headed back to Austin for Christmas with my husband's family. Something tells me that will be here before we know it.


The entire family!


Dad + girls


Sister + her boyfriend



Me + my husband


Brother + sister + brother's puppy (what a Muppet, right?)


Probably my favorite picture from the trip.

DSC_3612I have the most wonderful siblings.

Now onto the next holiday - when we got back to San Francisco last night, the first thing we did was stop by the Christmas tree lot around the corner. We may have less than three weeks left in town, but we're going to make it as festive as possible! Rest assured that I will be listening to Bing Crosby / Nat King Cole Christmas music non-stop until December 25th rolls around.

Have a great Monday - happy December!

Live Well: Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. There is something so delicious (literally and figuratively) about the countdown to Christmas Day, made all the better by dinner in the dining room, lots of pie, opening presents from siblings (an Ashcroft family tradition!), and ending the evening at church singing Silent Night, Holy Night. I've been trying to take time to enjoy all the little things that have made the past week at home so special, the things that will undoubtedly make Christmas Eve that much better. A few of them are below.


Stockings hung by the chimney with care.


The Ashcroft family Christmas countdown calendar. Don't judge - I know it looks like some of the hideous stuff your grandmother has hanging in her house. It's been with us since childhood, though, so it's here to stay! Also, because I am up at 2:15AM writing this post, I am going to go down and move the mouse to the 24th...beating my brother to the punch :)


Lots of beautiful gifts.


Eating the most delicious cookies in the world.


Texas skies.


Dogs. Lots of dogs.

I hope you're enjoying the best day of the year as much as I am. Merry Christmas Eve!