We hope you are having a wonderful day whatever you are doing. Ours will consist of lazing around in pjs, followed by a long walk with Mr Macintosh and then finally thanksgiving dinner with lots of friends from our church. There may even be some American football thrown in for good measure! 

So we are all set to enjoy our first thanksgiving over in California. Not sure we are ready for the extreme amount of food though....

H & A


Now I did warn you that I would be posting more updates to about our house as we did them, so for those who find our house details uninteresting go ahead and skip this post. For those who are still interested, we had decided early on that a gallery wall above the computer was a good option but we wanted to live in the house for a bit see how it would work, plus we needed to gather some pictures. Slowly but surely we gathered some pictures or pieces of art ready for the wall so this past weekend we set about putting it up.

Prior to actually knocking holes into the wall we had made some paper templates of the picture frames and had played about with different combinations. We wanted to get it right was this is the base of the gallery wall and we will add to it but it needs to look good now too. We had been living for the past week with the templates in the arrangement we thought we wanted and were pretty set on it, until about 10 minutes before we put them up when Andrew decided to change them round again. Cue my groans! 

Once he had finalised (again) the set up he began putting the pictures up, starting with the largest picture in the centre. It wasn't the most accurate of processes. We did mark on the paper templates where the nails needed to go and Andrew made the holes through the templates, but getting everything level involved a plank of wood and a spirit level on our iPhones! We got there in the end. 

And behold the gallery wall....

We are still going to collect different art pieces and will build it up over time but we are pretty glad to have it started and its already making our home feel that little bit more homely!


Today's Macintosh Monday is a cop out. Unfortunately for you guys Mac has been pretty well behaved and hasn't done anything out of the ordinary. He had another play with our beagle friend, Barkley, but we were too busy enjoying it to actually take any photos. So today you will simply get a wonderfully artistic shot of Mr Macintosh on our recent walk to the Devil's punchbowl. Sorry for the lack of interesting story, hopefully he'll be back on form this next week. 


So I'm pretty late this month on writing this and I didn't do one last month due to our excursion to England. At least I have plenty of inspiration to share with you! My pinterest is as busy as ever. 

The bear obsession has not ceased. In fact its probably getting worse being in California. I was really hoping to see a bear at Big Bear Lake, but other than the carved ones I didn't. Still I can dream of the day I sit next to my friendly bear. It will be amazing!

Andrew and I are busy working on our gallery wall in the living room. We have been amassing pictures ready for it and all I've been looking at recently on pinterest is gallery walls, until I saw this. Now I want triangle shelves! What a good job our interior walls are too thin to accommodate those type of shelves!

I hate to bring this up as some people will become most annoyed but Christmas is coming round the corner faster than ever! So in my head the focus has gone from enjoying our beautiful fall decor to planning the Christmas stuff. This simple garland caught my eye and I think a natural looking decor is in order this year. Watch this space!

The temperature has dropped in California so finally the scarves and boots are out. Andrew was mightily frustrated when I opened my wonderful vacuum pack of winter clothes and millions of scarves came tumbling out. Oops! Well, we all have one clothing vice. Mine is scarves! But I am enjoying wearing some cosier outfits. 

And finally this truth is one that I need to learn now more than ever. I never know what is coming ahead and my plans for the future are not always the best plans for me. I need to remember to just let go of it and trust that God really has got it under control. A hard lesson to learn but one I'm trying to master!

So there we go, that's what I have been pondering. Soon I'll be back with a christmassy post! Oh how exciting! 


Whilst we were at Big Bear lake this past week Andrew remarked how all of our photos of Macintosh during hikes are of his bottom! We usually end up taking pictures of the trail ahead of us and as he's already there we simply get a view of his tail and bottom. Not the most attractive. So when we were on the Cougar Crest trail Andrew decided to walk backwards in front of Mac to see if he could get some good shots of him busy walking and enjoying the trail.

Now you need to remember that Andrew was walking backwards and that the camera was down at Mac's height so there isn't a lot of artistic ability in the following photos. Having said that they are hilarious. His mouth flaps about so much!

Oh Macintosh, how you make us laugh!


At the beginning of this week Andrew and I escaped to Big Bear Lake for two days of hiking. It was a last minute trip (hence no Macintosh Monday post) and we enjoyed every second of it. The lake itself is about two and a half hours south-east of us and is situated high up in the San Bernardino mountains. In the summer time its filled with families enjoying water sports and chilling by the lake and in the winter its filled with skiers or snowboarders. This means that when we were there the place was relatively quiet which was perfect for us. 

We did two shorter walks each day, both by the lake and two longer hikes. The first hike consisted of us scrambling up what will be a ski slope once the snow appears. It was a designated hiking route and we did see some other hikers but it did feel a bit extreme. Here Macintosh had his first encounter with a chipmunk and he the subsequently spent the rest of the time there hunting for another! The second hike we went on the Cougar Crest trail which linked up Big Bear Lake to the Pacific Crest trail. It gave us amazing views and was a nice rocky route. We saw lots more hikers here including some in interesting attire!

We stayed overnight in a Motel 6 which is not a classy place at all, however it was cheap and allowed us to crash out with Mac which was ideal. The second half of day two we did meet up with one of Andrew's lads from work and his girlfriend. It was great to get to know them better and we really enjoyed hanging out with them. 

Here are a few pictures of our time at the lake.


As you have gathered this past weekend Andrew and I went down to San Diego for the weekend. We left on the Friday afternoon and came back Sunday evening. It really was a flying visit. 

Lots of people had told us how great San Diego was and how much there was to see. There are tons of museums, plus the zoo and sea world, but we had Macintosh with us so our tour of the city couldn't involve any of those things (although we scouted them out for a return trip without him!) We decided instead to spend time around the gas lamp quarter, downtown, the marina and Balboa Park. The weather was good so we were able to just wander around and take it all in. 

Out of all the areas I think I loved Balboa Park and the marina best. Balboa Park houses some of the museums and the zoo but also has gardens, dog parks, theatres and more. We wandered around a small area that contained the botanical gardens, a church, theatres and some beautiful buildings. It was lovely just taking it all in and Macintosh had a good old sniff around as there were lots of dogs everywhere!

The marina area had a small seaport village at one end which housed small gift type shops, restaurants and cafes as well as having nice areas to wander and towards the other end was a more military area with lots of floating museums. We loved wandering along there and looking out at it all. We loved it so much that we went back briefly on the Sunday morning before we left San Diego just to have one last look. 

We loved our mini trip and are looking forward to coming back to visit again. It will be fun to do all the things we missed. But for a quick trip I think we saw a fair amount of the city! 


Switchfoot have been a favourite band of mine ever since 2000 when they released their third studio album, Learning to Breathe. I had seen them three times in the UK and had always loved their shows. They throw everything into them and just give so much energy and enthusiasm to the audience. Plus I love hearing about the inspiration behind their songs. 

Earlier this year they released their ninth studio album, Fading West. It came out right as the preparations for our trip out west began and I would listen to it as I did packing and sorting. The band also released a film which documented the making of the album as they travelled around the world and eventually came back to their hometown of San Diego. The places of the world I saw in that film and the themes covered within it really resonated with me and I found myself really falling in love with the album; almost as much as that first album I heard. 

When we saw the announcement of their fall tour for the Fading West album I was determined to get tickets but then came the option of seeing them in their hometown of San Diego. I was sold. Andrew agreed it would be pretty awesome too. So we found ourselves sitting in an open air theatre on November 1st waiting for them in a small rain shower. They did not disappoint. It was a truly amazing show, with classics being played and reworked, a surprise cello guest and just some amazing moments. 

Here are some of the photos we managed to capture. 

It was an amazing concert and we are excited about our next one..... Handel's Messiah in LA at Christmas. :)


This weekend Andrew, Macintosh and I went down to San Diego for the weekend. We went down for a specific reason (more on that later in the week) but we were able to visit a dog beach at Del Mar, just north of the city.

Here Macintosh had the time of his life! The beach was covered in dogs of all shapes and sizes and they were all as sandy and wet as him. He frolicked in the waves, sniffed all the dogs and just ran around with Andrew like a mad man. It was all so wonderful. Except that he was stuck on the lead and they weren't...

One particularly young and boisterous dog came bounding up and looked like he wanted to play with Mac but was put off slightly by the lead trailing from Mac. Andrew gave me one look which said "Oh please! Please can we let him off?" and then just did it! Macintosh was off lead, on an unknown beach, with other dogs and thousands of smells stretching for miles. My heart was in my mouth! 

Thankfully Macintosh was amazing. He just ran around with the young and boisterous dog and had a quick sniff around at others around him before coming back to us when called. Andrew quickly clipped him back onto the lead as its always better to end in a positive way and I finally breathed out!!!

He loved every minute of it and was totally shattered for the rest of the day. He was a sandy, soggy mess but he was happy. Just look at him...

Not sure we'll be letting him off again. I guess we'll wait and see.