Archive for the ‘Diversions’ Category

homer, the springer spaniel.

this is hilarious, i tell you. you MUST watch it.

the poor pup is so confused…

♥ ♥ ♥

6 days until the bar madness is over! 🙂


on name-changing

i loved this post on changing one’s name, from a practical wedding.

i especially liked the dialogue about the beauty that is in a woman’s *choice* to change or not change her name. no longer is it true that women in our country are required/expected/forced to change their last name to their husband’s.

this comment especially struck a chord:

I settled this by deciding I wasn’t going to “change” my name. The word “change” just seemed so weird to me. I wasn’t changing who I was fundamentally so why would I change my name? What I was doing was adding to who I am. I was taking the person I’d developed over the course of my lifetime and who I’d come from through my family and adding wife/lover/my own family to it.  So rather than “change” my name, I decided I would add to my name. And as I was adding my husband to who I am, I added his name to mine. I added, not changed.

& so that’s what I will do – add Smith to (not change) my name. the beauty in this is that it will be my own, personally-decided choice, showing respect for both my current family and the new family i will be joining.


Anna Corinne Camp Smith, (Esq.)  ♥

wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings…

raindrops on roses & whiskers on kittens

bright copper kettles & warm woolen mittens

brown paper packages tied up with strings

these are a few of my favorite things…

when the dog bites

when the bee stings

when i’m feeling sad

i simply remember my favorite things

and then i don’t feel so bad!

on the eve of my second-to-last final of law school (ever!), i can’t seem to get this song out of my head.  it’s such a bittersweet feeling to almost be done with law school, while also realizing that two+ months of studying for the bar lay right around the corner.

WHEN THE DOG BITES, WHEN I’M FEELING SAD, i simply remember my favorite things, & then i don’t feel so bad. ♥

no matter how tiring & lonely studying can be, i am thankful for it all.  i am thankful that i get to go to law school, lucky that my fiance & family support it.  grateful that i’m finishing (because i couldn’t have gotten through intact without a lot of prayers).  & i will be eternally glad that i pushed myself to get this j.d. – i have wanted to practice as a lawyer for a long time, and that dream is becoming a reality.


you and i ♥

a cute homemade video to go with an adorable song…

it brightened my day, hope it brightens yours too!



in a recent design*sponge post about keeping organized, i saw this adorable framed picture board with ribbons.  what a fun idea!

[photo credit: design*sponge]

& wouldn’t it be a cinch to put together yourself? i think i might make this a holiday project… it would be so easy to customize the project with whatever frame fits your taste & whichever ribbon colors match your decor.  i think i would be happy if mine turned out just like the one in the picture.  it’s so bright and cheery!

so what do you think? … cute or tacky?


i completely agree, leta.

this made me laugh SO HARD… maybe it will give you a chuckle too?

botany” post @   (p.s. leta is 5 years old.)

perhaps this really is hilarious. but it’s also possible i might have spent too much time studying in this apartment. who knows.


christmas ideas?

if anyone needs some great, original christmas ideas for the artsy- or urban-minded in your life, check these lists out from design*sponge…

and if you’re looking for any ideas for me, i’d be happy with about anything on either of these lists. way to go d*s!

[i’m a squirrel nutcracker!]  [i’m a horseshoe necklace charm!]


ok, now back to studying…




i was reading a design*sponge post which mentioned the art of practicing handwriting & learning the alphabet in grade school (and also included a graphic designers’ favorite ABC cards for kids – all were beautiful).


[photo credit: from brooke reynolds’ guest post on d*s]

this picture of a little boy sitting at a table with milk & cookies brought back a flood of wonderful memories.  i LOVED handwriting homework in school.  i remember the joy i found in writing letters and forming words with those letters.  i loved those big books of lined paper (& dotted half-lines) we used to practice our handwriting.  i liked the way that my kindergarten teacher, mrs. key, would remind us to cross each “t” and dot each “i.”  i was not nervous at all for our “test” at the end of the year which consisted of recognizing and naming each letter of the alphabet.  i loved trying to make my letters look exactly like the sample even if it meant practicing page after page.  i liked experimenting with different handwriting styles.  and, oh, learning to write cursive… well, that’s an entire blog post in itself.  i loved it all!  i was a total school-nerd from the beginning.

all of this got me thinking… (as i write this on my little macbook) are we missing out on something by doing most of our writing on a computer? do we gradually chip away at our ability to hand-write graceful words as we pull away from the traditional process of taking notes on paper & communicating through written letters?

i forgot my computer charger for class one day a few weeks ago. i had to take all of my notes by hand.  it didn’t seem like a big deal at first.  but it was a disaster.  without the repetition and daily practice of writing notes on paper, i found that my ability to write quickly and accurately had eroded significantly.  how sad!

i’m not saying computers aren’t useful.  i couldn’t live without my laptop in class for a million other reasons than just to crank out my notes quickly – i use it to keep dates organized in an online calendar, to check hastings info on their site, to search quickly through past notes for a certain word/phrase, to look up cases, to keep up with email, to search terms i’m unfamiliar with, and so much more…

but i’m also committed to sticking with handwriting for certain things:

  • i still send handwritten letters.
  • i still make reminder notes to myself on post-its.
  • i still write groceries lists by hand.
  • i still mark up & write out notes in the margins by hand in my casebooks.
  • i still hand-write overview outlines for each class before exams (i think the process of writing these out by hand helps me remember them better).

there’s still something very important and useful about handwritten words.

why do you think we still hand-write our signatures at the bottom of so many things (contracts, cover letters, hallmark cards, etc.)?  the handwritten word still seems to have more meaning – even in an increasingly digital age.



attention foodies!

tonight, robert & i made dinner.  i’m talking an all-out, homemade-everything meal.

for the last few fridays, we’ve been trying new recipes of dishes we’d never attempted before.  it’s a fairly inexpensive, fun way to spend a friday night, if you ask me!  😉  martha stewart would be proud…

tonight, we made gruyere & chive scones from scratch. you can find the recipe here.


we also made homemade risotto with mushrooms, asparagus, and parmesan cheese.  so delicious.  i highly recommend this recipe for anyone who loves risotto.  it does take quite a bit of time of stirring the dish while standing over a hot stove, but the final result is completely worth the effort!  (at one point, i had to leave the freezer door open to cool myself off … darn, my teensy-weensy, stuffy kitchen.)  you can find the risotto recipe here.  (it’s a recipe from martha stewart’s personal chef, so i guess we should’ve known it would be a bit complicated.)


any new recipes you’ve tried that you’d be willing to share here?


made me smile

perhaps it will make you smile too…

i love the emotion on their faces. such conviction.

it’s gonna be sweet!

for the 60th anniversary of candyland they have turned the crookedest street (lombard) into a life-size version of the board game!

this is what the street normally looks like: 


i have SO many memories of playing this game with my sister, brother, and friends down the street on seven oak court… do you remember the gingerbread people? king kandy? gramma nut? mamma ginger tree? princess lolly? princess frostine? lord licorice? & gloppy the chocolate monster?

from this: 


to this: 



from SF Appeal: “the street will be closed to traffic as children from the university of california, san francisco children’s hospital participate in the game as colored game pieces and interact with life-sized game characters, according to organizers.” (why do only children get to play?! oh well…)

i haven’t been able to head over to see it, but i just might have to take a fieldtrip today to see my favorite childhood board game come to life.


in case you were wondering…


[julia child with a very large monkfish, 1979.]

the julie/julia project. if you haven’t seen the movie, i highly recommend it. full of humor, mouth-watering food, real characters, and cuteness. what more could you want from a film?

i found the original julie powell blog. if you’ve seen the movie already, you will probably enjoy this more. 

and, yes, i saw julie & julia TWICE last weekend. i loved it that much!


[amy adams as julie powell in julie & julia.  © 2008 columbia pictures industries, inc.]

a week in the mountains

i took a few snapshots on the way to & up in the beautiful mammoth mountains where we went camping for a few days last week.  trips like this make me so thankful to live in such a beautiful state.

what other state has countless wide, sandy beaches, mountains up to 14,000 feet [and snow year-round], deserts, valleys, rolling hills, and so many geographic formations it’s hard to keep track? only in california.


[the whole crew!]




[a ride up the gondola, just for the view]


[at the top – still snow]


[ashley’s yummy kebabs with pineapple, bell peppers, & onion – grilled over the campfire]


[on the way to a super mountain bike ride – bikes piled in the back of the truck]


p.s. someday i WILL climb mt. whitney [the highest point in california] … who wants to go with me??

does this person look familiar to you? …








that’s because it’s ME!!

i made it online, here

photofunia: i  found out about this creative site from a friend. there are a ton of “effects” to choose from. 

{have fun}


last weekend, mom & aunt linda came to visit me in san francisco … it was a lovely, relaxing weekend full of beautiful weather & lots of laughter.

we explored all kinds of animals [a mutual love – something proven by the constant dog-talk all weekend] at the cal academy of sciences: 


[an albino alligator]


[a friendly penguin]


[colorful fishies]


we ate a tons of good food: 


[tiramisu with extra amaretto ;)]


& we generally enjoyed the beautiful sites of san francisco together: 


[the palace of fine arts, built for the world’s fair]



* what is a staycation, you ask?

bike ride with a view!

over the weekend, robby & i rode our bikes down through the presidio and the marina, near the water, and over by fisherman’s wharf and fort mason.  the weather was absolutely perfect, and it was one of the prettiest bike rides i’ve ever been on . . . 











my style

took the style quiz on & discovered mine is . . .

vintage modern

decorology Victoria Perry Victorias+house+-+lounge


cottage chic

domino gasl02_warmmodern


modern elegance 

decorology martha stewart la100324_1003_traylivingroom


this might be the first quiz, ever, that turned out to be pretty accurate. 

(i have a long history of taking quizzes with horribly inaccurate results – starting with that first “career aptitude test” we were required to take in high school which informed me that i was best suited for a career as an air traffic controller. i mean, seriously?!! i am SO glad high school tests don’t determine our careers like in france!)

bike ride to the mission…


… for a picnic in delores park!

my break: part I

before work starts, i have 10 days to spend doing whatever i please. this is how it began…

day 1, saturday: 

  • cleaned the entire apartment – bathroom, kitchen, wood floors, & windows. [to some this may not seem relaxing, but i had been waiting to do this for over a month!] 
  • helped robby finish up his thesis [yay!] + took it to get printed at kinko’s.
  • had dinner at long bar  – salad & calamari.
  • went to a friend’s new condo to part-ay!

day 2, sunday: 

  • robert made chocolate chip pancakes for us for breakfast [you can get the great mix here].
  • picked up robby’s thesis & drove it to palo alto [where his professor lives to ensure on-time delivery].  
  • had lunch and shopped a bit in palo. love that cute town so much!! [some day i will see a classic christmas film here.]
  • dinner at the blue barn in the marina, san fran. the weather was just so absolutely perfect that we sat outside & absorbed the sunshine.

day 3, monday: 

  • made homemade biscuits for breakfast. ate with apricot jam [my all-time favorite!] + orange juice. 
  • wrote some overdue thank you cards that had been patiently waiting for me to finish finals.
  • brought robby lunch at work. [he now officially has a master’s degree – he deserves it!!]
  • did a little shopping with some birthday gift cards. [spent entirely too much time looking at cute knickknacks in anthropologie!]
  • went for a run.
  • dinner with stasie & robby!

secret slides. don’t we all love secrets? …

need a fun, free thing to do in san francisco?? … go to the seward street slides

i’ve actually never been, but it looks so fun that i will definitely be trying it out soon.


[the picture is from jordan ferney’s blog]

you wear pants & long sleeves. bring a piece of cardboard or plastic & zip down these “secret” [but completely free] slides!

watch a video here.

a san francisco saturday


the boyfriend took me to the MOST AMAZING brunch on saturday – at garibaldi’s on presidio. YUM. i had bacon & potato hash with eggs & fresh-squeezed orange juice. robert had a frittata (all of which was just perfect).

. . . we will definitely go back sometime.


then we headed to the de young for one of the BEST museum experiences i have ever had. there were a few really great exhibits going on – andy warhol live, yves saint laurent, and signs: wordplay in photography. i suggest anyone in san francisco should head over for what will be the best $15 you spend all week! 

. . . subsequently, became intrigued with andy warhol & gathered enough information online to write a report on the guy! (interested? — see here, here, & here)


we also went to kabuki cinema to see duplicity. great movie, but i’m still a bit confused about the ending.

. . . can anyone who’s seen it explain to me why it ended that way?

a beautiful saturday with the darling boyfriend.

i too am in love with a. lincoln

you must check out this wonderful blog post by maria kalman – the blog is titled: the pursuit of happiness. 



winter songs, the album


it was awfully chilly in san francisco today. i know this city’s weather doesn’t change too much from month to month, but it sure feels like winter is here to me!

i decorated my apartment last night with christmas lights, a wreath, a mini, silver christmas tree, star ornaments hung from the ceiling, other merry assortments, & berry branches in a vase [from the sweet boyfriend!].

the decorations are doing their job to cheer me up until break starts. two more 24-hour take-home finals are standing between me & a few weeks of relaxation! this break cannot come soon enough.

fa la la la la la laaaa!!!

i’ve been pretty addicted to pandora radio lately & have stuck to listening to lots of different types of holiday music on there, but i also bought a new christmas cd to add to the collection. the cd is also helping to assuage my sad little spirit as i spend all day cooped up, studying for exams.

i highly recommend this newest purchase to all of you. if you’re looking for a great cd full of christmasy music where you find yourself clicking replay over & over again, here’s my pick for this year’s best holiday cd compilation:


winter songs, from the hotel cafe. [it’s only $8 on itunes!]

sara bareilles & ingrid michaelson’s opening track, winter song, is simply beautiful!

yay for christmas!

happy winter, everyone!

animal law – vet malpractice

you know a case will be good when it begins with: 

This is the story of “Poopi,” a dog who tried to sue for emotion distress and failed.

perhaps i’ve been reading too many cases lately, but i laughed out loud at the thought of a judge sitting down at his big mahogany desk to write this opinion, a clever little smirk on his aging face.

the case came out of the ohio court of appeals in 2003. you can find it here: oberschlake v. veterinary associates animal hospital


nature’s watercolor

i bought some festive-colored tulips at the grocery store a few days ago. they’ve since started to wilt and unfold. as i was going to toss them in the garbage, i realized the explosion of color that i’d been missing . . .



have you ever looked inside a tulip?

can we say … procrastination?

[jumping to get mid-air photobooth pictures!]


c’est magnifique!

paris 1962: yves saint laurent & dior, the early collections

i always find myself searching for this beautiful art book in shops, just to thumb through the pages once more (border’s, anthropologie, etc.)  … it’s really more of a photography book than one for fashion fanatics.

i love the time period and mood of the photos more than anything. they exude mystery, warmth, aristocracy, sentimentality, & all through that very french-inspired/audrey hepburn look. 

although each photo is in black & white, you hardly notice the lack of color, as the many shades of grey create a color palette of their own. SO marvelous!

i ♥ pac heights

just wanted to share some pac heights news with you  . . .
so, today, as i was riding the bus to work, i noticed a mass of people on fillmore… a bunch of camera crews, a man in a black beret, huge lighting apparatuses, tripods & neat yellow cones to direct traffic away from the mess.

i asked someone on the bus what was going on, and they said they were shooting a movie. like, “it’s no big deal, honey, just a movie.” but i’m thinking, HOW COOL IS THAT? they’re shooting a movie on fillmore. like 3 blocks from my little studio apartment. i’m sure the movie will be fab, i mean, can you think of a cuter location? i wonder if they need any extras??

& if you were wondering, here’s a list of movies that – at least in part – were shot in pacific heights:

down to you, the wedding planner, mrs. doubtfire, pacific heights (called a “horror film for yuppies,” of course!), dr. doolittle, the princess diaries, basic instinct, nine months, and the list goes on… 

(carrie & i outside of bittersweet on fillmore)

pac heights: the neighborhoodthe shopping. the architecture.


wordle turned my rambling mind into something beautiful.

these were just some of my conscious thoughts as of 9:18 on this tuesday night.

cheers to thursday!

this morning i woke up thankful. happy and thankful.

this doesn’t happen everyday. i am not exactly what you’d call a morning person. i’ve tried & tried & tried to enjoy mornings, but it just never sticks.

i don’t necessarily wake up completely grumpy. i just feel the weight of sleepiness heavy on me, & after dozens of hits on the snooze button, i dizzily stumble to the shower.

if i go for a run in the early hours, i don’t even really wake up until about halfway through the run … it’s kind of sad. i think this means i’m hopeless.

despite all of this, i woke up this morning with a grin – a silly, innocent, little-child-with-golden-ringlets grin across my face. (i’m pretty sure my ever-elusive dimples even popped out for a bit.) i felt refreshed. & it wasn’t really due to any extra sleep. in fact, i had less than normal – as i decided to START laundry last night at, oh, about 10:30!

the morning light seemed softer. my bed felt cozier. the cool breeze coming through the window seemed scented even, i swear!

i made some coffee. ate some fruit & cereal. & hopped onto 3191 (a beautiful photography site – check out their cute backstory here) & found a shot that captured how i felt. . .

so cheers to thursday! & many more mornings like this.

life as it should be.

grape vines curl effortlessly around the rope…

aren’t daisies the friendliest flowers?

on his perch, reading whitman.

so peaceful, walking through the vines.

he gave her this flower.

ashland is home to the enormously

popular shakespeare festival.

a park in ashland: don’t the trees look like they’re flying by, while the car is stationary?

grape, anyone?

i loved the shadows this time of day.

crackling fire – can you see us cuddling on the porch?

… bye oregon!


oregon trip, may 2008.


just got back from an amazingly relaxing weekend in oregon.

a much-needed break from the recently hectic life i’ve been leading here in san francisco.

we stayed at a friend’s beautiful vineyard in oregon. honestly, i can say that I finally received the inner rest that i’d been needing so badly these past few weeks & months. i was surrounded by wonderfully welcoming, loving people, in a warmly comforting country home, amidst some of the most beautiful scenery i’ve ever seen – luscious green mountains, prancing deer, puppies, sheep, a horse, grape vines, wildflowers, & crisp, clear spring air.

& boy, did we eat well – for breakfast, lunch & dinner. 

i also began reading a very fitting book: “the geography of bliss: one grump’s search for the happiest places in the world.” it’s an intriguing account of a journalist’s travels around the world, in search of the “happiest place.” his very personal stories of some popular and remote locations are fascinating. before today, i did not even know bhutan existed!

we slept in (some of us), went for a hike, ate big breakfasts and even bigger dinners, read walt whitman, had an impromptu “happening,” avoided cellphones and computers, watched a movie (my big, fat, greek wedding), sat by the fire while it crackled (it was chilly in the mornings & evenings!), celebrated a friend’s birthday, relaxed in the jacuzzi under the stars after dinner, generally laughed and had a good time … & i forgot all about the stresses of law school & decided to take lots of pictures – i was trying to make up for the lack of photos taken over the past year. (they will be added soon!)

just what i needed.

the only kind of dog i can have right now…

a chocolate lab!

robby got the little guy for me at moonstruck in the marina. what a doll.

making up for lost time

lately, law school has been a big drain on everything in my life. my mood, exercise, sleep, etc. i’m just feeling a bit overwhelmed, you could say.

i suppose i’m trying to finish strong for this final stretch of my first year. hopefully the work will pay off.

as a cure for the legal overload, i’ve been trying to add a little non-legal inspiration to each day.

a few of my favorites:

design*sponge, a blog chock full of inspiration (especially the diy section!)

constant gatherer, an artist (especially these beautiful yarn wreathes!)

3191, daily photos (an old favorite!)


by discovering something new, artistic or creative from someone else’s little corner of the world, i’m finding inspiration again to keep plugging along so that i can – in turn- inspire others.