Plum and Ashby | June 17, 2015

San Francisco is meant to be one of the most dog-friendly cities in the world.

And in many cases, it is.

I've witnessed many a dog casually wander into a boutique with their owner- sometimes even cafes and house inspections! A stroll on 24th St in Noe Valley any given Sunday morning will deliver the frequent canine encounter.  Outside the Farmer's Market a multitude of panting pups eagerly await their owners who are picking up their fresh produce for the week. And, of course, beautiful dog parks abound and are usually rife with activity.

The city is seemingly perfect for us and our massively spoilt furkid, Sukie.

The only way San Francico kinda misses the mark on the dog front is their rental property policies. Many properties will claim that they are dog-friendly. It's the usual riff- "We love dogs!"  which will then be followed by these oh so-common caveats- "Small dogs only", "Pets have to be under 40 lbs", or "No 'aggressive' breeds".  Sometimes you'll simply get a long and, oftentimes, baffling list of strictly forbidden breeds.  I mean, Dalmations? Really?

Considering the overt fido-friendliness of this town, the vast challenges we face as owners of a large dog of mixed breed seem strikingly incommensurate. :(

*Sigh* 

BUT... we are slowly and steadily navigating these confusing new waters and will hopefully secure our next home in this city soon. Fingers crossed!! 

So, enough with the griping and onto happier pooch-related matters! Here's an adorable find for all the dog lovers out there...

Plum and Ashby is a stunning UK-based home accessories brand by Vicky White. I'm simply loving the products inspired by her gorgeous pup Bertie- especially the ceramics! Way to combine perhaps my two favourite things in the world- homewares and dogs!

Take a gander at the whole collection here.

( photos: Plum and Ashby )

XO
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posted under: Gift Ideas, Home Décor, Pet Chic, San Francisco, Sukie

Kinda Big News, Ok- HUGE... | June 11, 2015

So, about a month ago Mark and I, along with our dog Sukie, packed up all our belongings and moved to California!

Yep.

Cos, you know, we hadn't done anything CRAZY recently and needed to fill out quota.

The whole process started about 7 months ago and it's been one giganormous rollercoaster ride ever since. The short of it is this: Mark was offered a job at Google in San Francisco!!

GOOGLE!!!

So, we left our extremely comfortable, happy and, let's face it, SPOILED ROTTEN existence in our hometown Melbourne, Australia and hi-tailed it all the way to the USA. The Bay Area is no joke. Property and rent prices are sky high as masses of people trying to squeeze into an already high density, tech-frenzied, fast-paced town. NOTHING here is easy. But when Google calls, you come running!! And we did. 

To say that this whole process has been a challenge is the understatement of the millenium. We've been through every headache from trying to apply for work VISAs to working out where we're going to be buy our underwear from now on. 

But I won't get into all of the craziness now, at least not yet. Let's just say that, despite the monster challenges we continue to face, this is possibly the most exciting adventure we've ever been on and totally worth the blood sweat and tears! 


Mark and I have moved into a temporary Airbnb for a couple of months in a very, very cute suburb of SF.  We're still exploring, still learning lots and still getting our bearings...

Thankfully, Jordan, of Oh Happy Day, has been an absolute godsend!! She has been so welcoming- showing us around all the awesomeness of SF, inviting us to a dinner party, helping us get settled. That's Jordan in the pic with the gorgeous flowers- I'm sure you recognise her little red Fiat! (Photo taken by Paul Ferney). I simply had to get her a gift for being so awesome (bottom left). 


Amazingly our super-anxious rescue pup Sukie has settled in extremely well. She used to be an absolute wreck when it came to any slight change of routine but she has adapted so quickly and easily to this whole new life!! Admittedly, faster than I have!!! She even had to endure a 14 hour flight in air freight and she used to be terrified of confined spaces! She was in a bit of a daze and slightly traumatized after the ordeal, but she recovered quickly! She's LOVING exploring her new backyard in our current rental and dozing in the California sunshine- when it actually bothers to make an appearance, that is. (The pic of her in the grass was perfectly captured by Mark). 

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't make a note of just how proud I am of Mark for getting this amazing job at Google. He went through a particularly gruelling interview process and successfully made it to the other side! Even more impressive is that he's been so great at navigating this whole process of moving to an entirely different country- which is no small feat! He's provided us with such a wonderful opportunity and I'm so incredibly grateful!! 

We've been living in a constant state of transition for the last 7 months. The continual uncertainty has been a huge challenge for us at times- we don't know what's going to happen next or where we'll be living (our lease runs out in a couple of weeks and we still haven't lined up our next place!!), but at the end of the day, it's all just part of this INSANE adventure. We don't know what the future will bring... but, in some strange way, that's actually part of the fun.

Finally, apologies for being away from this blog for so long. It has been an overwhelming experience and I do have a tendency to retreat when things get too much... I do, however, want to document this whole crazy ride here. So much to tell you....

Hopefully, back with more news soon!

Toodles! :)

XO
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posted under: San Francisco, storytelling, Sukie, Travel