I've been sick folks. Like, real sick. Not the kind of sick that secretly feels like a nice excuse to watch reality television and order your partner around, but the kind that makes you want to get out of your own skin as quickly as possible and in which the words, "Thisisterriblethisisterriblethisisterrible" get stuck in your mind on repeat as you try to convince yourself that you might sleep tonight.

Anyway. Poor me. I'm getting much better and quickly. Thank you for your concern.

This Saturday, to celebrate my vertical-ness, Matthew and I decided to take a short drive out to the town of Port Costa. It's a sweet, curvy, empty, golden hill-covered 40 minute drive from Oakland (if you go the non-80 way, which you should). The town sits in a narrow canyon on the north bay, across from Vallejo, and has 190 residents.  You should go. Right now.

Warehouse Cafe & Bar entrance.

Warehouse Cafe & Bar entrance.

There are 2 bars, one cafe, and one hotel in town. "Town" is one little street that dead ends into a parking lot by the train tracks that run along the water. As soon as we got to the parking lot I knew we were in for a special day. My elevated heart rate told me so. 

When you enter the Warehouse Cafe & Bar, which is indeed an enormous very old warehouse, it is unclear where to go or if humans are actually welcome. It has a very strong "find us if you can" vibe. I've never been to a place like it, and I've been to some strange places. Intrigued, we walked around until we found humans.

We had a drink on the patio, saw either the largest feral cat on earth or a small wild cat lurking in the bushes, and enjoyed the outfits of the bikers who frequent the place. Then we set about exploring.

The place is impossible to capture with an iPhone, needless to say. Just go. Now. 

After touring the Warehouse we crossed the street and saw this eye candy and I just about lost my shit.

I mean, Port Costa tried to kill me basically. It tried to kill me with this alley patio with its perfect herringbone brick, creeping vines, colored Christmas lights, and that arch. Luckily, I lived to tell the tale.

Once I caught my breath we crossed the street and were smacked in the face with this wonderful store by Wendy Addison. At this point in the town tour I thought that maybe I was being punked. The absurd and surreal nature of every building and business was getting to be simply unbelievable. 

Um, so, yeah. That exists in a town of 190 and is only open for several hours a week. How? MAGIC.

We walked on. The town is full of birds that are slightly too loud and great in number, the streets are lined with trees that are slightly too large to be lining streets, their roots pushing the sidewalks and curbs well past being bumps and into small hillocks. There is clearly no building or health inspector or any town employees for that matter. The town feels like a labor of love. 

As if we hadn't had enough we came upon a tree in someone's front yard, right on the sidewalk in which they keep a hanging pail filled with tags and pens for passersby to add their wishes to the branches. Naturally. 

"I wish that Hank won't terrorize the babysitter."

"I wish that Hank won't terrorize the babysitter."

"I wish my family would get along."

"I wish my family would get along."

Everything felt like a set piece.

Before getting back in the car we crossed the parking lot and train tracks to look at the bay and there we saw a tiny beach with room enough for one mom and her kid and their umbrella and I swooned. Swoon.

And that was our day in Port Costa, CA! Have you ever been? What's the most extraordinary town you've ever been to?

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AuthorSarah Reid

Aw, remember when Matthew and I got married? That was so nice! Here are more photos of the day, which was perfect and amazing and lovely and perfect.

(Most of these photos were taken by Jessica and some were taken by Kevin and myself)

I had more anxiety about the flowers than was reasonable. Put me in a room, with or without stuff in it, and I will know what to do. But flower arrangements? Hell no. So I took a deep breath and just decided to apply what I know about interiors to the flowers and see if that worked. I allowed a bigger budget than I ever would normally ($75; I'm usually the gal who buys the $3.99 bouquet at Trader Joe's as long as it doesn't have primary colors in it) and went to the Oakland Flower Market. I knew I was wearing coral shoes and wanted coral in the bouquet, duh. After that, I just added texture, proportion, varying shapes, and colors that went well together. And now I want to be a florist.

As you know, Jessica was the only one with us at this point. She met us around the corner from the marriage office and we took some shots on the street before heading in. Jessica is a funny lady so I'm sure we are reacting to something adorable she did or said in this picture.

Walking on the streets of Oakland to and from the wedding was a surreal and oddly moving experience in that people who passed us, who were all strangers to us of course, were universally on our side: happy for us, excited for us, supportive of us. Boy, do people like marriage! I have a long history of feeling really conflicted about marriage as an institution and hadn't anticipated getting married before everyone in this country can, so my mind was doing a lot of adjustments as I was confronted by strangers who were so vocal about their approval when my own voice wasn't entirely there yet (and still isn't). Nonetheless, the walk was lovely and the people of Oakland made it lovelier.

This is the lobby and waiting room of the Auditor/Controller - Clerk/Recorder's Office (where you get married in Oakland) and that is our friend Kevin's big beard. See that TV screen behind Matthew's head? Those are numbers, like you get at the deli counter, that tell you when it's your turn to get married. Kevin and his Special Lady Friend Michelle had gotten there before us and had pulled a number so now all we had to do was wait. In this room. With a lot of other people waiting. To get married.

This is not a good photo of anyone or anything but it does show you the range of engaged people we were sharing the room with. That young leather jacket-wearing long haired dude? Getting married. That pregnant sweatshirt and flip-flop wearing lady? Getting married. That older dressed-to-the-nines lady with blue flowers? Getting married. That handsome pregnant couple with the 2-year-old wearing three dresses because she was so excited that we were getting married she couldn't choose just one? Not getting married, not yet. They were, however, our wedding party. Just them and Jessica. In order to be legally married you have to have 1 witness. In order to believe that you are actually married you need at least 2 friends to watch you get married.  

We had wanted to get married quickly, and to separate the legal ceremony from the family celebration of the ceremony (which will happen next summer). Kevin and our friend Casey had been instrumental in getting us through our Hellacious Winter of Hell so we invited them to attend and though her heart was there, Casey's body couldn't make it. While we missed our families, it felt very very right to do this thing on our own. I pinned my favorite picture of Zane onto the bouquet, which, yes, okay, admittedly makes it look like he's dead but where else was I going to put it, and the day felt complete knowing everyone was there in spirit.

And so we waited. For a long time. We danced with House Baby, and ate dried persimmon, and talked to other wedding party members, and honestly, just felt content. I don't remember feeling nervous. Just happy. And right.

This shot exemplifies what a quirky and delightful day it was. I look oddly huge compared to Matthew. There is a perfect stranger sitting next to me on one of the most meaningful days of my life. We are in a municipal building that is not to my taste design-wise (at all, you'll see). House Baby looks like a doll, a doll of a sedated psychiatric patient, that we brought as a prop so as to complete our family portrait. But we're filled with glee. And we are present. And we had been missing out on both those things for too long.

Eventually a very short older woman with a flower in her updo dressed in a long black robe called our number and said, "Let's go to the Wedding Room!" And we did. And I will tell you about that later.

 

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AuthorSarah Reid
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I recently went to Massachusetts to be with my son while he had wrist surgery (!) and only had a few moments to thrift and thank goodness I did!  I only had one carry-on size piece of luggage to get things home in so I had to restrain myself, but I am super happy with these three  things. 

What I got:                                                                   Where it went:

Paint on canvas, Whitney Hill Antiques, $11.

Paint on canvas, Whitney Hill Antiques, $11.

Ceramic ring holder, Whitney Hill Antiques, $5.

Ceramic ring holder, Whitney Hill Antiques, $5.

Small Flokati rug, Savers, $4.99. Not smelly! Clean!

Small Flokati rug, Savers, $4.99. Not smelly! Clean!

In office, next to the dressing room.

In office, next to the dressing room.

Dining room bookcase. I officially have a hand collection.

Dining room bookcase. I officially have a hand collection.

Office coffee table.

Office coffee table.

All of the things.

All of the things.

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AuthorSarah Reid

Remember Christy, my fearless comrade in the battle against the Tyranny of the Original Trim?

Her living room is coming together, slowly but surely (waiting for couches for 6-8 weeks is unpleasant!). I've been traveling a bunch so I haven't been able to get over there for a while but yesterday I did, just as she was getting home with a new rug and coffee table. She and I are like design soul mates; I would live in her space without question. 

These pictures are un-styled, not finished at all, messy, and in-the-moment iPhone shots, so don't get all worried that I don't know what I'm doing. I DO. Promise.

This is how we started.

This is how we started.

Quick and dirty Photoshop rendering of what could be.

Quick and dirty Photoshop rendering of what could be.

We will play around to find the perfect places for all these gorgeous things!

We will play around to find the perfect places for all these gorgeous things!

Perfect neutral palette to begin with. 

Perfect neutral palette to begin with. 

I mean, I'm dying.

I mean, I'm dying.

This is after the paint.

This is after the paint.

Where we are now! Den black out on purpose!

Where we are now! Den black out on purpose!

Coffee table feels small. She's gonna live with it, build it in a bit, and see how she feels in a week.

Coffee table feels small. She's gonna live with it, build it in a bit, and see how she feels in a week.

She went plant crazy. I love that.

She went plant crazy. I love that.

Leo likes it too.

Leo likes it too.

Obviously, this is a PROCESS shot. New sconces are going in and everything will be played with until it's RIGHT.

Obviously, this is a PROCESS shot. New sconces are going in and everything will be played with until it's RIGHT.

We're doing a healthy mix of vintage and new. The rug, coffee table, and chevron side table are West Elm, couches are EQ3, and most of the rest is vintage. My favorite rooms always have old and new, cheap and expensive, and something totally quirky to elevate the mood. That amazing carved deer head is the quirk and I am in LOVE with it. This room makes me so happy I might burst. 

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AuthorSarah Reid