May Gray

This gloomy May weather has been bumming me out. It's almost the perfect metaphor/ pathetic fallacy for the creative block I've been kind of feeling these days. While walking Hoku yesterday, I realized that I couldn't remember the last time I took my camera out on one of our daily walks. It's funny how easily things can become routine, mundane and ordinary when there's so much inspiration in the everyday. I also couldn't remember the last time I wanted to shoot...not to document a trip, not for a job, not because I felt like I needed to update my Instagram feed, but just for the joy of it. So today, I did just that. No headphones, no looking at a screen...just me, my camera and my dog. Just like how this whole crazy journey started.

Anyway, I love how this set of images turned out, and all thanks to the cloudy skies and overcast light I've been hating on. Take that, May Gray. You can't bring me down.  

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The bandana Hoku's wearing was made by our super talented Insta-friend, Tracy (@chelseatheterrier), mom of two of our favorite scruffy pups, Chelsea and Emma. Check out her Etsy shop, Kawaii Hound, for cute handmade booties, bandanas and accessories.

Saturday Mornings

"Oh hi, sorry to bother. But now that I see your eyeballs, can we go out now?"

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Saturday morning walks with Hoku are my favorite. I love the calm, quiet streets, sunrise through the trees, the cooler temperatures. There's no sense of urgency to rush back to the computer to check emails or get ready for meetings. Instead of NPR, I listen to real music (and detox from news of the current presidential election). We take our time, pick up breakfast and coffee at our favorite bakery, and sometimes explore a new route.

What's on your dog walking playlist? "Nothing But Time" from the documentary Mile Mile & A Half is still one of my favorites. It gives me an extra spring in my step and makes me want to climb a mountain. 

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Our newest dog walking essential are these wireless earbuds from Sudio Sweden to keep me from becoming a tangled mess of cord when I need to grab my wallet or poop bags. It makes me happy when good design meets functionality. (And guess what, our readers can use discount code hellohoku to get 15% off!)

We love meandering down to our little neighborhood village center to pick up breakfast. Although I do enjoy the occasional fancy west LA brunch, nothing beats a simple chocolate chip scone and a no frills cup of plain, black coffee to start the day. While we wait, Hoku says hi to a shitzu friend and I eavesdrop on a group of old timers at the next table working on the NYT crossword puzzle together. Love the small town vibe of our neighborhood. 

It's going to be a gloomy, rainy Halloween weekend here, so we're looking forward to a lot of cozy time indoors. Happy Saturday, friends! 

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This post was created in collaboration with Sudio Sweden. All opinions and photos are my own.

Hoku Explores Malibu

Even though we're total homebodies at heart, we love it when family comes to town because it's the perfect excuse to explore a new part of our city. This past Saturday, we drove all the way out to the ocean and up the Pacific Coast Highway to the scenic, coastal town of Malibu, passing surfers and other early risers along the way. First stop, pup-friendly* Malibu Farm for breakfast on Malibu Pier! (For parking, you can pay the big bucks to park in the convenient lot next door or just find street parking on the highway, like us.)

The eatery has two parts, Malibu Farm Restaurant located at the beginning of the pier and Malibu Farm Cafe located at the end of the pier, with a 180 degree view of the ocean. We made our way down the pier to the Cafe and headed up to the second story dining area to take in the views before settling for a shadier spot at the side of the restaurant on the first level. 

↑ Can you tell that Hoku really loves stairs?

We enjoyed the Swedish mini pancakes with whipped cream and berries, the fried egg sandwich and the multigrain pancake with maple syrup and bacon bits, along with coffees and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Hoku nibbled on arugula leaves and entertained himself by keeping a watchful eye on the seabirds flying by. To be honest, we tend to be skeptical of the quality of menu located in primo locations like this, but let me tell you, this one little cafe has seriously amazing food AND atmosphere. The fact that they welcome dogs is just the icing (er, maple syrup) on an already delicious (pan)cake. 

↑ The view from our table. 

With breakfast in our bellies, we continued our drive up the coast to Leo Carillo State Beach, where pups are allowed on leash. We explored the rocky cliffs before heading down to the beach to walk along the sand and waves. It wasn't the sunniest of days in LA, but being near the ocean always feels like home. 

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*Malibu Farm is technically located on a State Beach that does not allow dogs. However, the restaurant itself welcomes dogs so bring your pup at your own discretion.