Category Archives: Life

Beach Dogs

beach dogs
Doggles are a thing.
We are a big 30 minutes from the lakeshore and, somehow, I only make it out there once each summer. I think it has something to do with an aversion to sunbathing to preserve my vampire skin. Last month we packed up our pups and spent Fourth of July camping on the beach in West Olive, Michigan.

Doug and Huey don’t fare well in high heat and they weren’t keen on swimming, so I worried how they would do for the weekend. After a few reluctant dips in the water they were content to hang out under umbrellas poaching fallen sandy Doritos. Doug loves following Neil everywhere and, to my surprise, he waded out on his own to see him by sunset.

Beach Dogs
sam and toby
We knew this would be our pups’ first time experiencing fireworks so we kept them close on their leashes and in our laps. Fourth of July = “boom boom nightmare day” for many dogs. We camped in tents near the shore and the next day the dogs were so exhausted from all of the excitement that they lazed around all afternoon.

I feel so guilty every time we leave the dogs home on weekend evenings, I’m glad they were able to come along. I’ve been trying to vary our normal walk routine by taking them downtown to busier streets. This past weekend we took them to movie in the park so they can adjust to crowds and random passersby. It was a little stressful, but I’m hopeful they’ll adjust to excitement in time.

jenny and reggie
West Olive

  • Where do you take your pups for an adventure?
  • Any tips for traveling with fur babies?


Treat Yourself

So it’s been quite a hiatus. I needed to unplug to make way for many good things and I felt dispassionate (again) about this site which I initially launched after college to house my resume and portfolio. Ten years ago I actively updated my LiveJournal (ha!) with artwork, travel, and fashion. Today I’m not sure I can keep up as regularly. Also, let’s be honest – I spend more money on food than clothes and I wear the same (mostly neutral) pieces on heavy rotation. Thrilling.

I am in awe of people who produce regular content, maintain a healthy lifestyle and a social life all while working a full time job. How do they do it? I am active on Instagram, but I struggle with what I want to share here.

In my absence I left my job to start one I am really enjoying and my work/life balance has dramatically improved. It was a huge change, but it was time. I was feeling burned out creatively and the thought of spending another hour on the computer after work or forcing myself to draw when I was lacking inspiration was draining. I also wanted to give myself time to acclimate to a new environment and responsibilities. There have been other positive changes:

I’ve started waking up before 6a.m. which is sometimes still a struggle for this night owl. Yoga has become a part of my routine again and has been a welcome start between weight training (have to stretch those hammies)! I have carved out more time with my favorite people and met some wonderful, positive new friends.

I’d like to overhaul this site (what is going on with that header?) in time. Going forward I will post things I really love – mostly kitchen creations, more art, some lifestyle. I often find myself emailing coworkers, friends, and family recipes and I figure I may as well share them here as well.

Have a wonderful week! xx

Graydons Crossing

Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall

Montego Bay Jamaica

Traveling over Thanksgiving is becoming a tradition, and that’s absolutely fine with me! This year our warm weather respite was in Montego Bay, Jamaica at Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall. Neither of us had been to the Caribbean and after the mid-November snow dump I was looking forward to trading my bulky knits for sandals and swimsuits. Taking a week to unwind and unplug from work was a treat, but certainly a departure for both of us who are used to exploring far and wide on our vacations. Seriously, I think we were both a little stir crazy faced with a leisurely no agenda staycation.

Adults-only and all-inclusive is the way to go! During this offseason we encountered some overcast days and choppy surf that canceled our grotto excursion, but we read plenty, exercised our appetites, and soaked up the balmy weather.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset
Iberostar Grand Rose Hall
Iberostar Grand Rose Hall
The hospitality here was beyond measure…a pillow menu?! Our butlers remembered our tastes (even for Nacho Cheese Doritos in the mini bar- vacation food!) and everyone was so friendly. We had to laugh about our room service mishap when we were mistakenly given five margherita pizzas.
Iberostar Grand Rose Hall

dolce far niente: the sweetness of doing nothing

Iberostar Grand Rose Hall
These cabanas were one of my favorite spots to kick back and read. Even for being 7:30am early birds many of them were claimed by the time we made our way to the pools.
Iberostar Grand Rose Hall
Iberostar Grand Rose Hall
We loved our porch and this reading swing! There were a few passing rain showers during our stay so we could retreat to our balcony.
Iberostar Grand Rose Hall
The Dressel Divers offered free scuba diving lessons. Overcoming my anxiety and distaste for mouth-breathing was worth it. I want to take a stab at diving certification back in the mitten state so we can explore on future vacations.
Iberostar Grand Rose Hall
neil feet and shell

We met some awesome people during our stay who renewed our urge to travel and have memorable trips as much as possible. I don’t know that resorts are for us (at least not for a long time) because we are eager to explore and immerse ourselves into the environment, but it certainly was a beautiful stay. Since our return we’ve revisited Parts Unknown and No Reservations feeling inspired by Anthony Bourdain to travel wider, to eat authentic cuisine, and to do more things that scare us in the new year.

Iberostar Grand Rose Hall
pool and kindle
Iberostar Grand Rose Hall
Iberostar Grand Rose Hall
iberostar jamaica

What is your favorite warm weather destination?