Tag Archives: Dogs

A Wordless Week

Blog words aren’t jumping out of me this week, so instead I’ll leave you with my favorite moments from the past week caught in photographs. A new camera and Lightroom for my birthday have given me a new hobby, (as if I needed another).

Butterfly kisses

Butterfly kisses



Happy Rye

Happy Rye

Happy baby

Happy baby

Dog friends

Dog friends


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The Illusive Twenty-Something Happiness

Damn you internet.

I’m trying to focus on writing but I got sucked into reading an article and then writing this blog simply by searching the correct way to write twenty somethings, (and, I still don’t have a freaking answer, looks like it could be twenty-somethings, twentysomethings, or twenty somethings, depending on who you ask!).

I guess that I’m already breaking one of my summer writing commandments by allowing myself to be distracted by the internet and social media instead of focusing on the task at hand.  Damn you again internet.

But, this was too good not to share:


Stumbled across this article about twenty somethings and happiness which cuts to the core of what I’m trying to write about in Expecting Happiness.  We are a generation obsessed with finding this magic key to life that may or may not exist.  Really, we’re probably no different than any other generation, we just happen to be the ones complaining right now.  Doesn’t every generation face the quintessential crisis of having to grow up and get a job?

Are we really that different for hoping we can change the work world into a more satisfying place?

I like that the article ended with a desire to bring our dogs to work.  My husband was pretty stoked when he found out he could bring Simon to his new office and we’ve envied other friends with this luxury for years.  Seems like we might be simpler to please than we pretend.  And, really, I can’t complain, Simon is pretty much always by my side as I write.

That’s why I’m convinced writers have it the best.  They can write from anywhere and achieve any of those desires mentioned in the article.  Now only to figure out how to get paid for doing it…

The only thing better than bringing your dog to work? Bringing you dog to work at the beach…

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Exiting a coffee shop in Carmel, Alex turned and said to me, “Maybe old men just know what’s up!”

Even though we were younger than many of our traveling counterparts in Carmel, we did not mind one bit.  We just decided that older people must have a better sense for what is good in life, (and Carmel is so good that we actually want to move there!).

Here is what won us over:

1.  Carmel is a dog lover’s dream.  Dogs in the hotel room, no problem.  Dogs off least at the beach– great!  Dogs welcomed in restaurants and stores, of course!

2.  Pristine white-sand beach.  Need I say more?

3.  Everything is just so darn cute.  Cute town, cute restaurants, cute houses.  Cute.

If you’re headed that direction anytime soon, here were some things that we loved on our trip, (I’m a big fan of passing along travel ideas because, if you’re anything like me, word-of-mouth suggestions go a long way in curing indecisiveness!).


Monte Verde Inn:  We ended up at the Monte Verde Inn because it had solid reviews and was reasonable at just $99/night during the off-season, (now!).

We were highly satisfied with it at that price– cute decor, private patio (unit 9), breakfast delivered in a basket daily, five blocks to beach, great restaurants around the corner, dog-friendly.  The only downsides were the small size of the room and the comfort of the bed, but at the price the pros far outweighed the cons. We’d happily return:

Small, but cozy, AND dog-friendly! 🙂
Everything is newly updated!
Morning breakfast basket on private patio… Simon wanted in on this!
Shared patio with live music/wine tasting on the weekends


Casanova:  Walking distance from our hotel, delicious Italian fare with beautiful patio.  Atmosphere and food live up to the price.  Great house wine and vegetarian ravioli!

I’m a sucker for twinkly lights, good food, yummy wine, and my husband!

Mon Chay:  I was skeptical about vegetarian Vietnamese food in Carmel, but this was amazing!  Possibly my favorite Vietnamese restaurant of all time!  Located directly off of Highway 1, it is a five minute drive from the village in a cute shopping center full of twinkly lights, (did I mention that I like twinkly lights?!).  The food was fresh, healthy, affordable, and delicious!

Wonton soup!
Vietnamese Chow Fun
Loved the big Buddha statue!
Parker Lusseau Pastries & Cafe:  Located only ten minutes from the aquarium, this bakery was a real find.  Delicious sandwiches and incredible desserts!  Friendly owner and staff to boot.  If I were getting married in the Monterrey area, I’d want my cake from here!
YUM! (I’d tell you what this was, but it was too fancy to remember the details… just yum!)
Does not look like much, but one of the best vegetarian sandwiches of my life.  Perfect bread.
Cute little outside spot to let the dog stretch his legs!


Carmel Beach:  No leashes required, friendly dogs, friendly people, gorgeous water, white sand… Alex and I ran with the dog each morning on the beach, definitely the highlight of our trip!

Carmel Village:  So many cool little details hidden throughout the village.  It is worth spending time just wandering around looking for the public art!
Diggidy Dog:  Clearly, we are fanatical about our dog.  This pet store is one of our all-time favorites, with a huge selection of toys and treats to spoil your mutt!
Simon lucked out with a dog-friendly sausage and donut!

Aspirational House Hunting:  Alex and I spent a couple of hours wandering around the village, looking at the houses for sale.  When an older couple asked if we were house-hunting, we happily replied that we were aspirational house hunting!  So many cool places to daydream about… Now we just need five to ten million dollars to spend…

One of our favorites!

Monterey Bay Aquarium:  Last, but not least, Alex and I hit up the aquarium in Monterrey.  So cool.  My favorite was the gigantic octopus, (I never knew that octopus were so intelligent or affectionate!).  Absolutely worth a visit.

A live feeding of fish and sharks
I love watching the jelly fish!

Next time you visit the area, send your tips my way!  We plan to be back, many, many times.  In fact, you might just have to visit us here someday…  Hopefully it will happen before we get old, but even if we have to wait to live here, it will be worth it.

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Certain to fix your case of the Mondays…

In my family, it’s a sin to complain about Mondays.  You should be eager to get back to work.  Sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not.  Call me a sinner this week.  I had such a wonderful long weekend with Alex, eating at yummy restaurants, getting massages, enjoying the sunshine, you get the picture.  Somehow, getting back to work just does not hold the same appeal!
So, because everyone needs a good Monday smile, here is the highlight of my day– forcing my dog to try on his new beach outfit.  Who can resist a dog in a hoodie sweatshirt?  I certainly can’t.

Not sure he’s liking the hood…  I’m officially one of those people that puts her dog in clothes…  Worth it.
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Dog Lovers Unite

I am pretty sure that the happiest thing that happened in my life in 2010 was my dog.  Maybe that sounds bad to some, but, for anyone that has ever really fallen in love with a pet, you know what I mean.  It does not matter if you just rode the train to Berkeley and back to go to a job that you dislike.  It does not matter if you spent 10 hours at school and still have four hours of homework to do before waking up at the crack of dawn and doing it all again.  As soon as you come home to a sweet dog friend that is happy to see you, all of the frustration from the day melts away, at least for a little bit.  I do not know how many times I’ve come home from a hard day and curled up with my dog and felt instantly better.

I actually watched this cool Nova program that likened petting a dog to the same levels of oxytocin released by breast-feeding mothers, (I know, a strange comparison).  Apparently, the dog also releases elevated levels of oxytocin.  I guess that helps to explain the bonding that occurs!  Alex and I both admit to having a freakishly strong love for our dog.  Not that you didn’t already know that.

At any rate, I just wanted to share one of my unexpected keys to great happiness in life.  Simon always knows how to make me smile.  Sure, I have plenty of pictures taken of him with my actual camera, but this recent pose is one of my favorites.  I call it pillow love.

If you’re interested in watching the Nova program, you can stream it on Netflix, (it’s really cool!):


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