At What Point Do You Consider Yourself a Coder?


Yesterday, someone at work overheard me talking about CSS and asked me whether I was a coder by trade. While I don’t consider myself a coder, it was refreshing to think that it wasn’t so far-fetched for this guy to believe that I could be a coder.

It made a bit of an impression on me so I posted the exchange on Facebook and the attention it garnered made me realize that this is a topic folks are interested in, so here’s my latest musing: at what point do you consider yourself a coder?

At what point do you consider yourself a coder?

I’m definitely a novice when it comes to html and CSS (we’re going to save the “is writing CSS/html even coding?” debate for another blog post). My limited skill lies in understanding enough of what’s written to move things around, make adjustments and copy and paste things in the correct spot. I do a lot of Googling to figure out what I’m doing and fix things when I break something.

While many developers (I’m going to use these terms interchangeably in this blog post just to switch some of my wording up but do note that there is a difference between coders, developers and engineers) go the university route and get an academic education in coding, many simply learn to code by looking things up online and playing around until they get it right. Which brings me right back around to my initial question: at which point will I have become a coder?

Will that be once I’m able to build an elegant website from scratch? Once I’m good enough to get freelance development work on the side just for fun? Once I’m employed as a designer or front-end engineer?

Let’s hear it. What do you think?

Have I Found the Quirkiest Spa in California?


Technically… Matt found it. He surprised me with a spa day, but you’re going to love the story (and the pictures!).

The Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary up in Freestone (near Napa) offers a very unusual treatment: a cedar enzyme bath! You change into a robe and relax in a meditation room where your bath specialist serves you green tea, and then you’re walked back into a room with what kind of looks like a big sand box (I love some of the comedic aspects of this story and play them up, but don’t let the monkeying around fool you — this place is amazing!).

So, back to the story. We walk into a room with a (very nice) “sandbox” where our specialist has literally taken a shovel and dug two holes – one for Matt and one for me – which kind of look like reclining chairs.

Then she lets us know to unrobe and hop on in.

We look at each other, and then at her. And I ask if folks usually just kind of strip down and climb on in. She was great – she acted like it was no big deal, and we stripped down and clambered up into the box (my guess is that it must have been hilarious to watch because we were NOT graceful about it).

And then the best part: she covered us in the fermented cedar mulch which was kind of like a blanket of stinky, itchy wood chips. But they were warm, very warm. It was like being enveloped in a delicious cocoon, and our bath specialist came by every 5 minutes to wash our faces with a cold wash cloth which felt amazing since the cedar mulch can reach a temperature of 120 to 140 degrees fahrenheit (oh and a water cup with a fancy metal straw our specialist would hold up to our faces so we could rehydrate)!

And once our 20 minutes were up, she helped us climb out of the bath, led us outside, and gave us brushes to get the mulch off of our bodies. They kind of looked like pony brushes – you know, the ones kids use to brush the ponies at pony camp – except that this time WE were the ponies:)

Then we showered the last of the cedar mulch off and glided up the stairs to our massage, which was lovely as well.

And now, for the pictures!

(Sadly, WordPress seems to have instituted a cap on images, so I was unable to upload my photos. You can check them out here though!)

Waikiki + Lookout Points In Oahu


Ala Wai Boat Harbor

DSC02099 DSC02101 DSC02103 DSC02105 

The Beach Bum Life (@ Kailua State Beach)

DSC02077 DSC02078 DSC02080 Lookout Points

DSC02084 DSC02085    DSC02096 DSC02098

WaikikiDSC02107DSC02113 DSC02115 DSC02119  DSC02126 DSC02130 DSC02132 DSC02133

ParasailingDSC02135

The crew who took us up: we got a crazy ocean show with one of the guys hanging from the sail lines!DSC02137

Pretty sweet graffiti in Waikiki!DSC02145

The Mormon Temple in Oahu


One of our very first stops was the temple of the Church of Latter Day Saints in Laie. I was a little surprised when Matt said it was one of the things he really wanted to see in Oahu, but it was beautiful (and everyone was incredibly friendly)! DSC01737 DSC01728DSC01732 DSC01739  DSC01738  DSC01742 DSC01748 DSC01751 DSC01752 DSC01754 DSC01755 DSC01764 DSC01779 DSC01782 DSC01785 DSC01789 DSC01790DSC01793

The Waimea Valley Botanical Garden and Hike


On our second day, we decided to adventure into the botanical gardens next door (alright, but they were only a 5-minute drive away. That still counts!)

DSC01946DSC01866 DSC01872

Matt showing off his dorky camera hat!

DSC01874

DSC01875 DSC01876

DSC01879

DSC01880 DSC01883 DSC01885  DSC01888 DSC01895 DSC01897 DSC01900 DSC01901 DSC01904 DSC01910 DSC01912 DSC01915 DSC01916 DSC01917 DSC01918DSC01887DSC01919 DSC01920 DSC01921

There were wild roosters everywhere!

DSC01923

And we even saw a peacock!

DSC01926 DSC01932

Hawaii Part 1: The North Shore Airbnb


I’m finally getting around to editing and posting my photos from Hawaii! Oahu was amazing and beautiful. We did tons of fun stuff like surfing, stand up paddle boarding and hiking, but this first blog post is about the Airbnb we stayed at the first 4 days of our trip, Top Floor Pipeline Lodge on Farm (we were there for 9 whole days!).

Our first Airbnb was on the North Shore of the island, which is like the countryside – there were few restaurants, numerous food trucks (delicious!) – and wild chickens everywhere. Our Airbnb was amazing too – an organic farm with a view of the ocean!

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves though…        DSC01996 IMG_20150511_144834

IMG_20150511_144856

IMG_20150511_144909 IMG_20150511_144929

This was our Airbnb housemate/chaperone. We named him Simba.IMG_20150511_144937 IMG_20150511_144955 IMG_20150511_145011 IMG_20150511_145021 IMG_20150511_145037 IMG_20150512_120847

Cat nap time with Simba.

IMG_20150512_155949DSC01957DSC01974

This was a real organic farm with a chicken coop, vegetable garden and everything! On our first day, we got a box of delicious organic produce for $25. There was so much salad, kale, carrots, radishes, turnips and herbs in there we barely ever ate dinner out!DSC01990DSC01988

There were also huts where the owners taught neat classes like baby music class!DSC01991DSC01993

We were warned there were wild boar and goats when we met the owner, but it sounded like they hid so we had no idea we would see any!

DSC01961

This was the view from our patio!

DSC01985