5 on Friday

I'm linking up to these lovely ladies to dish my five!
1. A New Dresser
 David and I pick this girl up on Saturday. I have been scouring Craigslist for weeks looking for a long dresser. I was getting frustrated because all David's clothing is just sitting atop our guest bed creating a mess! I'm excited to refinish it have David refinish it. A definite before/after post with the big reveal! Bonus: I see a changing table one day...

2. Art & Wine Festival
 We have the annual Art & Wine Festival this weekend. This is the first one to kick off the many summer Art & Wines Festivals that happen around me. And it's supposed to be high 80s!
3. This quote
I often have to remind myself to just slow down and enjoy the ride. I am really looking forward to everything that is yet to come for us!

4. Canon Rebel T4i
David bought this for me for my 30th birthday and I absolutely love it. I swear each time I pick it up I learn something new about it. I also bought the Nifty Fifty Lense because I read it's a must have. I agree!!

5. My mama
My mom and dad are always in Aruba for my mom's birthday and Mother's Day since they fall within their two week vacation. So we are celebrating her on Sunday and I plan on attempting to make this ombre cake - with documentation of course! Done this before? Give me some tips in the comments!

My Rescue(er)


If you're coming over to read my blog, one thing you should know right away is that I am obsessed super in love with my dog, Finnley. He brings me joy in a way that is hard to describe and a love that is unconditional.
Our story...
I grew up with a purebred Australian Shepherd named Shelby. She was perfect. She herded me as a child, ate my scrunchies (yes, I am an 80's baby!) and her hair was everywhere. But boy, oh boy, did we love her.
When my sister moved from the Bay Area to Orange County she took Shelby with her. It was hard to not have her at home but I was away at college in San Diego so I could see her anytime I wanted. She lived 15 long years and had a wonderful life.
I knew around the time that she was getting older that I wanted to get a dog to make Shelby's eventual crossing into Rainbow Bridge a little easier to take. So David began to search PetFinder for our perfect match.
I only had two criteria: 
1. He/she had to be a rescue
2. He/she had to have some Australian Shepherd in them
So we looked for a bit, not very seriously and then we saw him.

His name was Teddy B. and he was in Stockton, CA - about an hour and a half from the Bay Area. Part Aussie part Chow Chow and he was 3 months old waiting for his forever home. Which we hoped was our home.
David filled out the application and we waited to hear back. Not long after, we found out he was scheduled to be adopted by another family. I was devastated. Our search was placed on hold so I could get over the "loss" of Teddy B.
And then on April Fools I got a call from David telling me that Teddy was ours if we wanted him. I told him not to play such an evil April Fools joke on me, I wasn't in the mood. Turns out he wasn't joking, the other family had passed him up because of his coat (double coat) and because he was Chow Chow.
foolish people
David was out of town the weekend I was to go see him. So my friend, Kerri, and I packed up my car at 7am and began the drive so we could be there as soon as the shelter opened. I waited outside of the gate like a nervous parent. The whole time thinking "What am I doing?!"
We were led over to his cage and even though all the other dogs were barking he remained calm. He sauntered over to the chain link fencing and put his paw against my hand. Our fate was sealed.
"I'll take him"
I didn't even interact with him or hold him. I just knew that we were meant to be.
He has changed my life in so many ways. In a great way I believe he is prepping me for motherhood. I like taking care of him. Making sure he has the best care and the best life. Anything to erase whatever happened to him in his first three months of life. He's a smile when I come home, an exercise partner, a companion, a listener, a soother, a confidant. Heck he's even a baby pacifier (for now!)
And 3.5 years later he is still the best decision we have ever made. I cannot put a price on the joy he has brought to our lives.

Which is where this whole post is going...
This weekend, June 1-2, your dog and cat adoption fees will be paid by Maddie's Fund at hundreds of locations across the U.S., as part of the country's largest FREE pet adoption event! There are more than 200 shelters and 8 rescue groups from around the nation participating. Click below for a link of participating shelters and rescue organizations.
I know we all have a choice when it comes to how we choose our animals. However the animals at the shelters don't have a choice when it comes to waiting to be adopted. A sad fact is that most only have about 72 hours...
We rescued Teddy B. and we renamed him Finnley - which means "light haired courageous one" because he deserved another chance.
If you're looking to add to your family please consider pet adoption, your rescue may just end up rescuing you.

Tomales Bay

This weekend we celebrated our friend, Justin's, birthday by spending Sunday in Tomales Bay. It was a windy gorgeous day! Our first stop was Marin French Cheese Company, we selected our own cheeses and wines and ate out by the lake.
After Marin French Cheese we drove out to Marshall, CA for some oysters! David and I have been before but it was everyone else's first trip - we were happy to play tour guide!

We choose to go to the Marshall Store for our oysters, but there are plenty of awesome places to stop. One of our favorite restaurants in Marshall is Nick's Cove. They have cute little cottages set up on the bay that you can rent out and the restaurant has amazing food! Highly recommend!
Four dozen oysters disappeared in about four minutes!
BBQ Oysters
Kerri & Kerri enjoying oysters!
Birthday Boy!

Pretty sure David ate two dozen of the four dozen
It was such a lovely three day weekend. Memorial Day weekend is so much more than the kickoff to summer. It's remembering and honoring the lives of all the men and women in our country who have given up their freedom to ensure we have ours.
Thank You.

CPK Quinoa + Arugula Salad

California Pizza Kitchen recently added this salad to their menu and it's delicious! My sister and I often meet for lunch together in the city and split this with a small pizza. I wanted to try and recreate this at home.  I discovered Beth had shared the recipe so I thought I would give it a whirl!
What you will need:
For the salad:
1/2 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, cut small; plus 1 tsp. of oil from sun dried tomatoes
3 ounces of feta cheese cut into small chunks (I used feta with Mediterranean seasoning from Trader Joe's since I already had it. The flavoring really complimented the salad!)
1 1/2 cups of baby arugula leaves
1 bunch of asparagus, stalks cut off, cut in half
1 1/2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts (I used pepitas, again cause I already had it)
For the dressing:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. of kosher salt
1/8 tsp. dried oregano leaves
A few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
Wash the quinoa and cook according to package directions. Once quinoa finishes cooking transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
While quinoa is cooling, prepare the dressing. In a bowl mix together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, oregano, and pepper. Mix well.
Once quinoa has cooled, add the sun dried tomatoes, sun dried tomato oil, feta cheese, and dressing to the bowl. Toss well to coat. Place bowl in fridge for 30-45 minutes.
About 20 minutes before you are ready to serve the salad, steam asparagus. Put asparagus in a large saucepan and cover just barely with water. Put over medium heat and bring it to a simmer, then lower the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Asparagus  is done when you can prick it through with a fork, but still tender. Once finished cooking place on plate to cool.
While the asparagus is cooling toast the pine nuts. Since I used pepitos I skipped this step!
When ready to serve the salad, take bowl out of fridge. Mix in arugula and toss. This recipe can make two large salad servings or 4 smaller salads. Top each plate with asparagus and toasted pine nuts/pepitos. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.
Check out some of Beth's other recipes on her blog:
  www.bakeitmakeitwithbeth.com they all look delicious!


5 Things that Make Me Happy

1. Blankets
Giraffe at Home has such amazing blankets! My husband bought me this when I bonked my head on the bottom of our friends pool (ouch!). It definitely made me feel better!
This IS stationary heaven and one just opened up in my town! My gift wrapping skills are about to become so much more impressive!

Hedgehog Wrapping Paper yes please!!
3. The Ocean
I swear all my troubles just melt away when standing next to a body of water.
 I am a true Pisces :)
This is me on our honeymoon in Kauai!
4. A good book
Currently I am reading Unbroken, which is not a normal read for me but it's my book clubs current pick. I have yet to sit down with it and really dive in. But so far so good! My two favorite books are A Dog's Purpose & The Other Boleyn Girl. SO GOOD!

5. My little family
After seven years together my husband and I tied the knot on October 6, 2012! We have been together since we were 21, survived a long distance relationship (he was in Kansas City, MO and I was in San Diego, CA) and rescued our dog, Finnley in 2010. I am so lucky to have him as my other half!
Well that is a little about me! Hope you enjoy reading my blog - this is all new to me!!
xoxo Laura