tree farm!!

The Friday after Thanksgiving we set out for Rancho Siempre Verde to find the perfect Christmas tree.

We loved the RSV tree farm so much last time, we couldn’t wait to go this year!  The first day they opened, we were there.


At RSV you can saw down your own tree, or choose one that’s already been cut and trimmed.

Thank goodness I had multiple outfits on hand (#beprepared) because it was HOT.  I ended up in the JL premium V tee — favorite t-shirt ever.

Of course I was all ready for cooler temps with this year’s reindeer sweater (so freakin’ cute! LOVE!!), but seriously it was so crazy warm out!

We opted for a pre-cut tree this year… and IMO, still just as fun 😉

And the wreath-making!! I almost forgot!  I made a wreath while Pavi and Denton roasted sausages and marshmallows on the bonfire.


[Next time I’ll pick a backdrop that’s not a pile of dead bonfire brush. oops.]


I highly recommend Rancho Siempre Verde tree farm if you’re in the Bay Area.  The people are wonderful, there are fun tree swings, a bonfire for marshmallow and sausage roasting (bring a cooler and have a picnic!), beautiful trees, and the drive up the PCH is pure eye candy.

For a full day trip itinerary see last year’s post here for inspiration!


I’m already looking forward to taking Denton again next year 🙂











Bastille Day aka le 14 juillet is this week and I’m in the mood for all things french!

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pie plate  |  le jardin sign  |  wall art  |  bisou sneakers  |  l’aventure pullover  |  cookbook set  |  louboutin heels


It’s been well over a year now since I last visited France… feeling nostalgic…

It’s hard not to have a great time in France.  I think it’s about time I plan another trip!
Any recommendations on where all to go?!



OOTD: denim dress

A couple years ago I picked up a chambray shirtdress on sale at Anthropologie and I have worn and loved it many times since.

Here I wore it to Tamber Bey Vineyards.  As an aside, if you’re looking for a beautiful winery in Calistoga (Napa), Tamber Bey has great wine, horses, and a spacious patio!


And here I wore it to Chateau Montelena Winery, another great winery in Calistoga (Napa).  Before visiting Chateau Montelena though, I highly recommend watching Bottle Shock – a comedy/drama that tells the story of Chateau Montelena and California wines.

Don’t yet have a denim dress, or feel like you’re ready for a new one?  There are so many options this season!  Here are jut a few —

Farryn Laced-Back Shirtdress |  Fringed Chambray Button Down  |  Luna Denim Shift

Open-Shoulder Chambray Shift  |  Open Sky Denim Dress  |  Ruffled Denim Shift Dress

DV Sam Bootie  |  Harrow Suede Bootie  |  Vince Camuto Bootie

Calhoun Cutout Bootie  |  Star Studded Bootie  |  Iris Fringe Bootie

And while we’re on the subject, who could forget the denim on denim sported by Britney and Justin at the AMAs over 15 years ago.  (Has it really been that long?!!)



CIM race recap

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As you may know from reading here, I had a very hard time the 8 weeks leading up to this race. So, I’m not going to sugar coat it and tell you it was amazing, I trained hard, I ran hard, and I did amazing- I’m going to tell you the ugly truth. I didn’t train much, I felt awful, and It SUCKED. Not every training plan will go according to plan, and for sure not every race.  I will say, one day, I will be back to race CIM. It was a great course, great volunteers, and overall a fun race. But, back to the ugly details:

I was planning on killing this race. When I finished St George I was already planning my training schedule on the flight back home. I had 8 weeks between races and was ready to get to work. I had a 2 week recovery planned, 4 weeks of hard training, and a 2 week taper on the calendar. I was ready to train hard and dominate CIM.

My body had other plans.

It started with strep, then tonsillitis, then bronchitis. Once I was over that-I had about a week of health before my entire family came down with the stomach flu. It was brutal. Once recovering from all of this…it was time to taper- insert eye roll here. My plan of attack was to just hang on for as long as I could and then just finish. I knew I could not race it as planned, and had come to accept that and was ready to just have some fun.

Mom and I flew out to San Francisco to hang out with Ashley for a few days before. [side note- our Mom is amazing. CIM was her 2nd marathon!] On Saturday, the day before the race, the three of us road-tripped it down to Sacramento. We stayed at the beautiful Westin Sacramento and were thoroughly enjoying ourselves – we visited the expo and ate a great dinner…


About 6pm shiz hit the fan. It was then that my body revolted against me even more- an hour later I was in a minor emergency place with a painful bladder/kidney infection – fever and all. We gathered up my antibiotics, a giant jug of cranberry juice and decided we would just see how I felt in the morning. The next morning was better, but not great; however, I was there and told myself even if I had to walk it, that I had already bought a shirt that said CIM 26.2 or nothing so… 26.2 it was going to be!

So here is your ‘real’ picture, behind the scenes, not the sugar coated ones:


 I ran the first half in about 1:42…. and it was at mile 14 that I said to myself, why are you doing this? You can’t keep this up the whole time feeling like this! So, I backed off and decided to not hurt myself or push myself beyond my abilities that day. There was lots of walking, plenty of texting and complaining to my husband and sister, and calls to encourage my mom by telling her how much I was hurting too! I rounded the final corner and saw Ashley, some of our friends and completed my 4th marathon in 4:15. It was not my fastest, not my slowest, but probably the one I am most proud of. Just shows- on a small level, when things seem to be going against you, you can still do hard things.

Our mom finished a bit later, taking 40 minutes off of her previous marathon time!img_7553She’s a rockstar. I love trips like this with mom and Ash. I get so emotional at finish lines, especially seeing people I love – and people I don’t know!- encourage, support, and crush accomplishments like this! Like you’ve heard before-

If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.fullsizerender-39


labor day weekend

at Yosemite National Park – too afraid to let go of the railing

Labor Day is Monday, September 5th, and for many of us that means a glorious 3 day weekend is ahead!

According to the Department of Labor, Labor Day is a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.  So cheers to you working women and men!  How are we going to celebrate?  I’ve got some ideas…

Shopping!  Who doesn’t love a good sale?  And there will be no shortage of stores having them.  Grab some girlfriends for a morning brunch, then hit up your favorite stores for some retail therapy.  News outlets are already reporting on sales to come, and stay tuned for a Juniper Lemons labor day sales post!

Hike.  Fall is sneaking up on us fast, so enjoy what’s left of summer by getting out in the nature.  Not sure where to go walk around?  Check out All Trails for some ideas!  Simply enter a city, park, or trail name and voila – happy trails!

Picnic.  Similar to the hiking option, but a bit less athletic.  Step 1: go to Trader Joe’s and load up on cheese, salami, grapes, wine, and a baguette.  Step 2: load the items in a cute picnic basket (because presentation matters) with any necessary utensils, cups, and napkins.  Step 3:  gather your family, friends, and/or dog and find a sunny spot with a view and let the celebrating begin.

BBQ.  The quintessential summer gathering.  Whether hosting at your home or meeting up in a park, BBQs are the best.  I can almost smell the chicken, burgers, and corn on the grill.  Call some friends and fire it up!

Have a great long weekend!



shortbread and jam

Shortbread is my favorite.  And lavender-rosemary shortbread is my VERY favorite!  For six months I lived in London and shortbread and tea became a favorite snack.  So did chips and beer, but that’s for a different post.  Another UK takeaway?  Strawberry jam.  For whatever reason, strawberry jam is the most popular flavor in the UK, and all of Europe for that matter.

With spring in full swing my rosemary and lavender plants are ready for picking, and rumor has it that strawberry season has arrived.  So it’s time to stoke that London Town nostalgia and cook up some UK inspired treats!  Or do what I did and ask your sister to make them for you 😉

shortbread ingredients

lavender-rosemary shortbread cookies
3/4 tsp rosemary, chopped
3/4 tsp lavender, chopped
2 heaping tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (room temp/softened)
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 2/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
combine the sugar, honey and butter. mix them together in mixer (with the paddle attachment if you have one). add the lavender, rosemary, e.g. yolks, and vanilla. mix everything together again until thoroughly combined.
add the flour and baking powder to the wet ingredients. mix everything on the ‘stir’ setting (or just hand stir) until everything is combined. CAUTION:  don’t over-stir. the dough should be sticky and a little wet
dump the dough onto a piece of parchment paper or cling wrap and form into a log about 1 1/2in in diameter. freeze for a half hour or so.
remove dough from the freezer and slice 1/2 in thick. (or you can roll out on a floured surface and use a cookie cutter). place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with sugar, and bake at 350 for 9-10 min – or when the sides start to turn golden but NOT brown.  remove from oven and cool on cooling rack.
strawberry chia seed jam
24oz strawberries -sliced
2-4 Tbs honey, maple syrup, or agave
2 tbs chia seeds
in a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries and 2 Tbs honey. cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to liquefy (about 5 to 10 min). once the fruit is liquid, bring it to a gentle boil and let cook until it breaks down and becomes saucy, about 5 min. mash lightly until at your desired consistency.
taste the jam for sweetness. if you want it sweeter, stir in additional honey a few tsps at a time.
stir in the chia seeds and let cook one minute. remove the pan from the heat, stir once more, and let sit for 10 min. the jam will continue to thicken as it cools. (if it’s still too thin, add 1-2 tsps of chia seeds)
transfer the jam to an airtight container (mason jar if you have it).  the jam will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or the freezer up to 2 months.