Happy Anniversary, Hither & Thither!



Who would have guessed that the little blog Aron and I started together in New York would have come to mean so much? It amazes to think all that it’s become—a job, an education, a door to new experiences, to new friends. I have tremendous gratitude to all of you who come to read each day. I recognize many names in the comments as people who, though we’ve never met, have been here for so long; others may just stop in from time to time. It feels like a privilege and a responsibility to put content out there for another to read and then to find that someone has.

This week marks seven years of Hither & Thither, over 1500 posts. It seems like a fitting time to look back over the year and remember how much has happened. Thank you so much for reading and making it possible.

Here are some highlights from the past year, and some things I’m looking forward to! (Warning: these are always such long posts—but I can’t help it!)



In January, the 5 Things series took me to Boston, Santa Cruz, Portland (Maine), and inspired me to get to know the new North Beach of San Francisco. Aron took a glider ride over the valley and I started picturing what travel to Cuba might look like. I shared some tips on the proper way to pour beer (by way of UC Davis’s “Pope of foam”), practiced my pizza skills, and shared a delicious kid-free brunch date in the city.Hudson turned 3-1/2! And we discussed the tyranny of email, and the painful reality that most of us spend hours trying to remember what it was we were just doing before being pulled away to our inbox.



In February, I introduced a new food contributor when Jessica of SeeSalt shared recipes for a Pear & Blackberry Galette with Honey Vanilla Crème Fraîche, and a Citrus Salad with Candied Pistachios. I shared some baking of my own (like this Meyer Lemon Upside-Down Cake) when I hosted a Valentine dinner for friends, that was featured on Camille Styles. Valentine’s Day proper fell on a weekend this year, and we visited Almond blossoms (in bloom so early!) and Scribe in Sonoma. I helped throw a baby shower for a friend. And we celebrated Skyler’s first birthday! I wrote her one-year update, talked a bit about gift ideas for first birthdays, and shared photos from her party.  Finally, I introduced new Pinterest travel guides, where each pin is mapped out.






March took me to Las Vegas! I spent 48 hours there, highlights including eating a much-missed burger from Shake Shack and touring the Neon Boneyard. Aron and I snuck away to the coast and spent a wonderful day driving around Point Reyes and Tomales Bay, stopping to picnic on fresh oysters at the Tomales Bay Oyster Company, before having dinner at Point Reyes Farmstead. We all watched the Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco, and spent the weekends appreciating local wildflowers. I shared my experience buying furniture abroad, and travel inspiration from guest posts made me want to book tickets to Stockholm and Edinburgh. Skyler and Hudson sat for (incredible) silhouettes and I can’t believe how fast they’re growing.





In April, I returned to New York for a brief stay to take a food styling and photography two-day course. Aron joined me for a night—we stayed at The Standard. It was the perfect kidless getaway. We also took a family vacation to Southern California, driving up and down the 101 to Los Angeles. I broke our trip into two travelogues (parts one and two), as well as shared bits of our visit to the Huntington Library. That’s a trip I’d recreate in a heartbeat. We’re thinking of returning this spring. Also travel-related: I shared an imaginary itinerary for a week in Austria, and the 5 Things series took us to Portland, Oregon, and to my home town of Long Beach. I loved our conversation about adopting a uniform (that article came up so often around then). I became enamored with surfing photography; we made marmalade from our Kumquat trees (my favorite topping on rich Greek yogurt); and I shared scenes from our Easter Sunday. I also introduced Anna Smith for the first time as a home contributor when she shared a DIY Marbled Jewelry Box. Oh yeah, and Mad Men ended.




In May, I started working with Bota Box and the brand took us all on an amazing trip to Big Sur. I can’t wait to go back with Aron and the kids—that stretch of California Coast is just so breathtaking! I also started a partnership with the American Egg Board, only fueling my desire to post egg recipes (I’m definitely in the “put an egg on it” and call it dinner camp.) Aron and I spent an evening at the Kendall-Jackson winery and were blown away by their culinary garden. I asked the lead gardener to share his tips on the site afterward. I made an appearance on the local news, sharing tips for road trips with kids and a seasonal muffin recipe (we picked blackberries from Aron’s mom’s vines). We celebrated our wedding anniversary and Mother’s day (my first with two!), and I shared ideas for a stress-free kids’ party. Finally, I posted my interview with my friend’s father, a 70-year-old man who through-hiked the Appalachian trail.



June took us to Mexico City. What an incredible place! We rented an apartment in la Condesa, spent a day touring Mercado la Merced, and just had an amazing time. (Of course all of these posts didn’t actually make it up until July.) It was also the month of sunflowers, of two-ingredient doughnuts, of Father’s Day (and advice for new dads), and for discovering the term “wife bonus.” I loved the conversation we had about that last one (and two-income households in general), as well as about meal trains and etiquette. I shared photos from our visit to Balboa Island earlier in the year and from our weekly picnics in Davis’s Central Park. I shared my fantasy itinerary for a trip to Vietnam and 5 Things guides to Western San Francisco and Dublin.


kitty fam


Coming off the heels of an international trip, we spent July appreciating home. We celebrated 4th of July with friends and threw a kitty-themed pool party for a very special 4-year-old. We visited the California State Fair and checked out Sacramento’s Gather nights. And we got reacquainted with San Francisco’s wonderful (if usually foggy) Outer Sunset—where we had some wonderful food. I shared one woman’s tiny house and her tips for small-space living; we talked about the concept of a family gap year; and I continued my search for perfect summer sandals. July was also the month that I got some help! Alexis started working with me on the site, behind the scenes.





In August, we traveled to Oahu! And though the posts technically ran in September and October, our stays at the Disney Aulani and on Oahu’s North Shore were both highlights. The summer travel season got us talking about whether sunshine truly makes people happier; how to stay comfortable on cold airplanes; work remotely; find the best sunscreen; and whether or not you would ever consider taking a professional photographer along on a trip. A new contributor, Natalie Bowen Brookshire, shared tips for designing with flowers, and we went in search of the best local swimming holes. And our little Skyler turned 18 months!


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Sonoma Coast Weekend-7


September came too fast, and prompted me to make a Fall to-do list. That said, it still felt like summer in California for most of the month. We rented a house in Jenner, on the Sonoma coast, with friends. I shared five great day-hikes to take in Northern California. And I contributed a guide to Davis for a favorite local site, City Scout. We made hash-brown waffles and baked chicken burgers. And one of my favorite conversations appeared on the blog about Socality Barbie.




Apples were a dominant theme in October, with a contributor’s outstanding guide to Apple Hill as well as some scenes from our own family’s outing to the region. A new food contributor joined for the fall months, giving us recipes like these hasselback apples.  Some of my favorite family posts included one on sharing and empathy, and one on the state of the sibling union around our house. We talked about how to get great family photos and how to make slime (still my favorite kid DIY). We talked about where to shop in Venice (Italy) and where to stay in Napa and Sonoma. And Aron and I spent a weekend in Vegas together! Of course, it was also Halloween.



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Sun Valley-Thanksgiving-HitherAndThither-21

November included an amazing weekend in Yosemite Valley (and I shared a packing list). And Natalie shared tips from her visit to Big Sur. In other words, California is amazing. The month was packed full of Thanksgiving inspiration: from brussel sprouts to pumpkin mousse pie, from choosing wine to decorating the kids’ table. I had fun collaborations with favorite brands like Snowe, Stowaway, and Boden. We spent Thanksgiving in Sun Valley, Idaho (a winter wonderland). And we all agreed that Terry Gross is wonderful.


Finally, December! The holidays! I broke our family holiday posts into two parts (one and two), and we talked about holiday traditions and the Santa Claus story. (I decided that this Yule log layer cake is going to be a regular part of Christmas for us.) There were gift guides; discussions of the best (and worst) holiday music; and tips for the perfect s’more. And behind the scenes, we were looking forward to having our home shot for a feature in Sunset Magazine next December!

It’s so incredible to look back and recognize all that’s happened in a year! And coming soon? A site redesign! There’s a lot to look forward to. Do let me know if there’s anything in particular you’re looking forward to.

Thank you again for reading along with me.

P.S. Last year’s anniversary post.

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