Saturday, September 21, 2013

Where We Ate | Vinaigrette


Sometimes the best dates are the ones unplanned.. like lunches at Vinaigrette on a Monday afternoon.

Life has been busier than ever lately. Over the past month, I've taken on the duties of event planner, photographer, videographer, designer, content creator, project manager, and let's not forget student. After two solid weeks of events (we're talking double digits, people) - I finally enjoyed a day off with Trevor. And, together, we enjoyed a late patio lunch.

As you could likely deduce, Vinaigrette is a salad bistro but is unlike most other salad restaurants. Owner Erin Wade grows the bulk of the produce on her 10-acre farm in Nambe. At the Albuquerque location, tomato vines even line the patio.

Inside, the restaurant is adorned with stylized picnic tables, my favorite bathroom signs (no, really), and orange and green accents. Though this was my first time eating at Vinaigrette, it marked my second visit and I was no less obsessed with the decor this time around. Trevor insists that Erin and I could be best friends (um. when I met Erin, she was wearing overalls and designing the patio to her Albuquerque location? my kind of woman.), so it's no wonder I felt like the restaurant's decor had come out of my own design dreams.

For lunch, we had the Salacho and the Tuna Salad Salad with tuna steak, instead. We may have also had a side of diver scallops. (I know, it was only lunch but our East Coast hearts couldn't resist.

It hasn't even been a week since our lunch but I'm already looking for an excuse to go back.
That Apple Cheddar Chop is calling my name.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ten on Tuesday | Birthday Wishes

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

Where did we leave off? Oh, right, on August 2nd. I know, I know, that was a month ago. A month and one day, really. But don't worry, I'm back with my favorite blog post of the year - my birthday wishlist. (Wishlist posts are so easy, aren't they? And I'll let you in on a little secret, when your proper title is "poor MBA student," they're even easier.)

Despite knowing every word to Taylor Swift's recent hit, I'm not sure that I'm feeling twenty two. I barely feel twenty-one sometimes. Some days I feel twelve, some days I feel thirty five. That being said, I'm ready for a new year and new goals. Twenty one has been filled with glasses and braces, and not nearly enough mojitos. It happens, I guess.

This year's wishlist doesn't feel all that different from the last. (Though, I think I'll be probably okay without a hat and gloves in Albuquerque.) Once again, the items can be split into two camps. This year, my fall wish list includes the necessities -  a new business wardrobe and a few things for our house.

With all of the career workshops I've been attending lately, I can't stop flipping through the online pages of J. Crew and Banana Republic and Madewell and... Well, I've been searching for the perfect blazer for weeks now and I keep coming up short. Quite literally. You know, I didn't mean to match the shoes to the belt.

Our move also left me lusting over home decor. And at the top of my list? Matching bedding, can you imagine it? I almost can't.

I recently restored a vintage Drexel Heritage sideboard (which I'll be showing you soon!) and I've had my eyes on a few different items for the top of it, too. That metal wrapped tray from West Elm? Ugh. It'd be perfect to hold the rum for all those mojitos I haven't made.

So tell me, what's on your Fall wishlist? 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Be Right Back


I no sooner get back to blogging.. and I'm off again. 

I will be back on Monday with stories and photos to share from a long weekend in Salt Lake City. For now, I am on my way to the International Head Quarters for Children's Miracle Network for the 2013 Dance Marathon Leadership Conference. (You can follow along on Instagram!)

This year I will be serving as graduate advisor to the Lobo Dance Marathon executive committee, helping to prepare a dedicated group of students in hosting their first ever Dance Marathon. And so, we are starting off the year, together, with more than eighty other colleges and universities.

I've never been to Salt Lake City - I'd love your suggestions! Things to do? Places to eat?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ten on Tuesday | Moorea Seal

For some of you, this may be old news.. but, yesterday, blogger and jewelry maker Moorea Seal opened a new curated online retail store featuring jewelry, accessories, home goods, and art work. While you are able to find some of Moorea's own jewelry (see no. 7), the shop also features the work of  a multitude of other fabulous, talented women. You can read more about each designer here
While the shop is full of beautiful, beautiful things, my favorite part of the store has to be it's mission
"Here at Moorea Seal, we believe that with the more that one may gain, the more a person is responsible for doing something good for the world with what they have. This motivation to not only do great as a store but to do good for others at the same time is the essential factor to our business. Something really special about our site is that not only is it full of gorgeous products but there is meaning behind what we do, beyond the beauty and practical needs of the store itself. We care about bringing good into the world and my closer communities. We care about working hard, taking the hardships of life and using them as motivation to do better and be better, to do great things. Our staff and site motto is 'Do Good, Do Great.'"

7% of every purchase is donated to a non-profit organization for children's needs, caring for animals, protecting our planet, health+wellness, or women's causes. The designers were able to choose the cause of their choose and the featured non-profit will rotate, allowing the women to benefit more and more individuals. So, in addition to being able to shop by category or by designer, you can shop by social cause, too.
You can shop some of my favorites here:
 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Where We Ate | Season's Rotisserie & Grill


As self-proclaimed foodies (my other half is a chef, after all), Trevor and I really enjoy trying new restaurants - whether it's chosen from a friend's recommendation, a magazine article, or just on a whim. Now, living in a tourist-driven area, there are more than enough great restaurants to choose from. I know that when we travel, I hunt out reviews of the best restaurants in the area - after all, you only have so many meals to eat in one place. I thought that this new feature "Where We Ate" might help anyone visiting the Albuquerque or Santa Fe areas - besides, it's a good reason to go out more. (Isn't that right, Trevor?)

Lately, I have been spending far too much time in Old Town - more on that later this week -  but I decided to go back once again when Trevor suggested a spontaneous date, on a Wednesday none the less, to Season's Rotisserie & Grill.

Some of the things we loved about Seasons?
The open kitchen.
They take food allergies seriously.
Their seasonal menu - with fresh seafood!
(And that you can add two diver scallops to any meal for $10!)
Their polenta. You have to try it. 
Their use of fresh, local vegetables.
That strawberry vanilla infused mojito.
Those flowers.
They have gluten-free dessert - a chocolate torte with a creme brulee top. So. Good.

And while we choose to eat in the restaurant, I've heard that Season's second-floor outdoor bar is pretty great during the summer - they even have live music.

As hard as this is to believe, I'd give Seasons a 5 out of 5.

While the prices are a little higher than you might like a weeknight dinner, they are comparable to restaurants of the area and the food quality makes it worth it. We had no complaints about our dinner, our drinks, or our dessert - and the atmosphere and service were right there too. We will definitely be back. (And this time, I'm ordering the scallops and polenta)

p.s. Trevor got a smart phone and I'm not sure if it's the best thing or the worst thing ever.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Little Bird, Little Bird

Knocks on our front door are rare and yet, predictable. Predictable in the way that unexpected and unsolicited knocks are. The balance of trying to keep Buddy in the house while somehow controlling his bark. The shuffle of finding shoes, adjusting my hair and preparing an excuse to turn the person at the door away.

But tonight's knock was met on the other side with pajama'd neighbors and distressed faces.

"We didn't know what to do, but we know you work at an animal hospital."

On the driveway next door, a baby bird huddled in under his own feathers, attempting to disappear into the pale concrete. Trevor, not worried about the tiny beak's bite, moved toward him just as he shuffled away. Unable to fly, unsteady with his wings.

The tiny bird hopped left to right, teetering back and forth, across the pavement.

Terrified of the people surrounding him, likely too aware of the calls from the birds above, the tiniest bird froze. Once in the shelter of Trevor's palm, he held on tight, unwilling to fall again. Tiny claws wrapped around not-so-tiny fingers, little feathers shaking in the quickly-cooling breeze, a tiny beak opening and closing without noise.

The situation was quickly assessed - three nests found in just as many minutes. In the first, the lowest, the most accessible, baby birds with beaks peeking above the edge. The next, up the tallest tree possible. The last, even further above the last. From the ground, all that could be seen were less-than-sturdy branches and discarded feathers clinging to brown nests, despite the wind.

An extending ladder from across the street. An old gray t-shirt from Trevor's immense collection. A brave climb to the top of the tree. Held breath while the ladder rocked and the branches creaked, with my love balanced against them, far enough above the ground.

And a baby bird once again safe and sound, perched high above the dangers of our human world.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Snapshots | School Days

Is it terrible that the only posts I manage to bring you these days are ranting and ravings about what I've been up to? With an instagram or two thrown in? At least I managed to combine this week's snapshots into a collage.

These days I'm really lovingthese downward perspective photos. Okay, excuse that poor explanation but really, I like taking a photo like this each day - a little diary of the weather, my outfit, my surroundings. I think it's going to be my new thing because, well, selfies? So not my thing.

Is that okay? Or are you tired of my feet already?

In other news: I finally have emojis and I'm enjoying it. I don't know about you but I can definitely explain myself better with little icons of doughnuts, fist pumps, and cats with financial expressions. Last week, after years of broken screens, non-functioning home buttons and frustration, I finally upgraded to a new iPhone. Maybe it's the improved camera, the new scenery, or even the sunny (104 degree!) weather, but I've been definitely snapping more photos these days.

I guess you could say I've been on a bit of a shopping spree this week, really - I finally purchased new glasses. (I'll share more about my Warby Parker experience, and my indecision, when they arrive!) Throw in some Clearance tees from Target, a sequin bombshell of a dress and some Turkey Hill iced tea and you've got my week.

Don't forget, Google Reader is going away this weekend! As of Monday, Friend Connect will exist no longer. I encourage you to subscribe to Sunlight and Air using your favorite blog reader. You can find me on bloglovin' here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ten on Tuesday | Recently Read

Though I celebrated my twenty-first birthday in September, it took me until February to share twenty one goals I planned to accomplish before I turned twenty-two. More than eight months into my twenty-first year and I've accomplished... maybe three of those goals. Some have had to be altered because of our move, some are still on my list, while others are no longer of interest, and some, like reading twenty-one books, are in progress.

During my four years of undergraduate study, I may have only read a handful of books on my own accord. I suppose I was busy with clubs, activities, and school work. But, when I finished my degree in January, I found myself with plenty of time to read. Still, books are expensive and even with a Kindle, I hesitated to purchase novels that I could finish in just a day or two. Now, with a public library card and free e-book downloads? I can't read enough.

I had originally planned to start a "Recently Read" series to review the books on my list but that seemed.. redundant. After all, I'm no book critic. Instead, I thought I would share a brief glimpse with you and tell you which ones I would recommend. Deal?

1 // The Leopard Tree is the tale of three African orphans who make their way to America to speak to United Nations leaders. While it is mostly fun, light-hearted, and easy-to-read, at times it is too unbelievable to be considered a great novel. I likely wouldn't read it again but it could make for a good, short, vacation read.

2 // Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was in the top three of the books I've read so far this year. I haven't seen the movie but when the novel came up for my turn at the library, I took a chance. The story was thought-provoking and emotional, I found myself highlighting quote after quote, passage after passage. Though young at the time of 9/11, I was deeply affected by the book and Oskar's passion. I would love to get my hands on a physical copy of this book, it was just that good.

3 // I Am Not Myself These Days: A Memoir (P.S.) was nothing like the other books on this list - it was hilarious, raunchy, and over the top. I Am Not Myself These Days tells the story of a drag-queen in 1990's New York City. Though complete with male escorts, boobs that serve as homes to goldfish, and the trifecta of drugs, alcohol and prostitution, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you're on the conservative side, this is definitely not for you but if you're up for feeling the heartbreak and fun of being a drag queen? I totally recommend it.

4 // The Hours... Ugh. This book. I'm not quite sure how it won a Pulitzer Prize but apparently someone, somewhere, thought it was a worthwhile read. After finishing Gone Girl (as you'll see further down the list), I was itching for another book. Trevor put this one, a remnant of his creative writing degree, in my hands and while I finished it all, I wouldn't wish it on anyone. My advice? Skip it.

5 // Chasing Rainbows is another book that fits into the "good beach read" category as the story is simple, easy-to-read, and short. While you spend much of the book feeling up and down for the main character, Bernadette, who has lost her father, her marriage, and her self-respect, it fails to really make a deep impression. (If I'm being honest, I just had to google the main character's name, I couldn't even remember - oops.)

6 // The Great Gatsby makes my list for obvious reasons. I planned to read the novel a second time before seeing the movie but its now the middle of June.. and I still haven't made it to a theatre. I don't need to tell you what its all about so I'll simply say this - if you haven't read it since high school, it's definitely worth picking up again.

7 // The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared seemed like an interesting read but less than a quarter way into it, I realized it wasn't for me. The story weaves the tale of a 100-year-old-man's life with real historical fact. If you are passionate and knowledgable on the subjects discussed? You would likely find it clever and engaging. Unfortunately, I didn't.

8 // Gone Girl. I know, I'm about a year behind on this one but can I just say it. was. so. good. This novel had me reading incessently. I took the hardcover novel to the dinner table, to the gym, to work, and to bed with me for four straight days until I managed to finish it. I'm usually not a fan of suspense, in movies and definitely not in novels, but this one took me by surprise. At times I yelled at loud, I was so shocked. Other times, I'd slam the book, infuriated with the characters. I know many readers were disappointed in the ending but I thought it was perfect. Possibly the most perfect literary ending since Anna Karenina got hit by a train. What I'm trying to say is, you should read it.

9 // Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail ties Gone Girl for my favorite book on this list. When I originally saw others raving about the novel, I thought that it was out of my interest range. Now that I've finished it? I couldn't have been more wrong. Like I said, I've been trying to convince Trevor that we should become long-distance backpackers. He's still not convinced. Wild is about more than backpacking though, the story begins with the loss of Cheryl's mother and weaves its way through the Pacific Crest Trail, full of funny anecdotes, relatable moments. While I typically read books as quickly as possible, I limited myself to only reading on my morning and evening bus rides so that I could make it last just a little bit longer. Even if you know nothing about hiking, mountains, or the PCT, Wild is relatable and a must-have for your summer reading list.

10 // Interview with the Vampire likely seems out of place on this list but it's my current read and besides, you must have realized by now that I have very variable tastes in most things, novels being no exception. Before spotting this for check-out from the library, I hadn't realized that the movie was based on a series of books. I know, I'm so clueless sometimes. Though I'm not yet finished with the book, I have to say that it is almost a hypnotic read. The thoughts, confessions, and memories of a vampire? I can't get enough. (Thankfully there are nine others books to read.)

So tell me, what books have you been reading? Have you read any of the novels that made my list? If so, what did you think?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013



I feel like I have just so many things to share with you.

1. I think that my glasses were taken, stolen, swiped, last week. My prescription glasses, the ones I need to see. Gone. I went to a volunteer orientation and used them to watch a powerpoint and video. When I left the hospital, they were gone. No one has seen them. Not the hospital. Not the University. Not the bus station. Who. Does. That.

2. Having my glasses disappear was a great excuse to order five pairs to try on from Warby Parker. My theory is that, like anything else, as soon as you go to replace the missing item, it will appear... Right? (Besides, what does anyone plan to do with my tiny glasses filled with my strange prescription?)

3. I just ordered prints for my first paid photography job in New Mexico. Cool, right? Now, if only I could get around to well, you know, updating my photography website, managing my Facebook page, and filing for a business license.

4. While we're on the subject.. I've been shooting with a Canon 5D Mark II for work and it makes my 60D seem.. well, insufficient. I think this would make a good birthday gift, Mom. (But really, this would be a good alternative.)

5. I also designed and order new business cards this week. I'm so indecisive, it took hours to choose a design. If you were wondering, they match this space. Aqua. Pink. And get this, they're vertical. Please tell me you're a MOO snob too?

6. Yesterday, I experienced my own personal hell. I got to the bus stop after class only to realize that my water bottle was empty. Since my bus was due in five minutes, I decided not to worry about it. Then, forty minutes later, when the bus finally arrived - it arrived without a functioning air conditioner. On a 101 degree day. In Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ugh.

8. By the time I got off the bus, all I wanted in the world was a Dairy Queen twist ice cream in a waffle cone covered entirely in sprinkles. Problem is, I can't even eat ice cream cones.

9. I'm officially halfway through my goal of reading twenty-one books before my twenty-second birthday - and with a habit of reading one book a week, I think I might just make it. I'll be back on Tuesday to share a list of the ten books I've finished.

10. Speaking of books, ever since I started this book, I've been obsessed with the idea of becoming a long distance hiker. I mean, strapping on a backpack and wearing boots until my feet blister.. that just sounds like a good time. (Then again, looking at point 6, this is probably unrealistic.)

11. I would settle for camping but.. we don't even own a tent. So, there's that.

12. Also, I've developed a new addiction: Dunkin Donuts Raspberry Iced Tea. Annnnd it's currently only ninety-nine cents from three to six. I can't get enough.

13. Oh! Oh! Oh! I almost forgot the best news. Pending a background check, I will be volunteering for Child Life at UNM Children's Hospital! GUYS. I can hardly wait.

So tell me, what have you guys been up to lately?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lifestyle | Mack & Winston

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Friday morning, I had the pleasure of photographing these guys - Mack and Winston. Cute, right?
There really isn't much more to say than that.
Unless of course, you're in the greater Santa Fe or Albuquerque areas and would like some fun portraits of your pets. 
Or your kids, your event, your spouse. 
You get the idea. 
If that's case, I have a lot more to say.
Send me an e-mail and we can chat.