Starting the Year off Right

Sunday, March 31st, 2013
Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

2013 has already been an amazing year for our household. To make sense of it all, I give you a timeline:

Wednesday, January 2 – I was officially granted my Architect’s license from the state of California.
Thursday, January 3 – I decided it was time for me to get a full time job.
Friday, January 11 – I had an interview at a firm that I had been curious about, but didn’t think much of it.
Monday, January 28 – Nik handed in his letter of resignation after a happy year and a half.
Friday, February 1 – Had a 2nd interview, was quite impressed this time, and was offered the job. I accepted!
Friday, February 8 – Nik had his last day of work.
Saturday, February 9 – Monday, February 18 – Ten days of double unemployment bliss that included lots of celebrating and a much needed trip to Lake Tahoe.
Tuesday, February 19 – My first day of work as an architect, and Nik’s first day where he was able to focus on anything he wanted.

Honestly, we have been extremely fortunate, and we thank our lucky stars every single day. When the year started, Nik had already decided to leave his job, but we had no clue how long it would take me to find one. We worried about the awkward and stressful overlap where we were both trying to start something new without an income in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Granted, there is still a little stress associated with both of us starting something new, but it is stress brought on by excitement and anticipation of great things.

I am still getting used to the regular schedule. My work day starts earlier than Nik’s used to, and it is often later than his used to be as well. My body is also not as resilient to the long hours as it used to be, and working 40+ hours a week wears me out. I expect that this will calm down after my first big deadline on May 1, but then there will be another deadline a couple months later. It is an endless cycle in the world of architecture, but it is extremely satisfying work. It has been a while since I felt like I was part of a larger team that is passionate about the work they do, and I cannot wait to see what this group is capable of.

Home sweet home for a couple days

Home sweet home for a couple days

My fellow unemployed spouse

My fellow unemployed spouse

The Picnic Spot

The Picnic Spot

2012: 100 Firsts

Friday, December 28th, 2012

In 2012, I               for the first time ever.

01. celebrated a wedding anniversary

02. witnessed Nik make an entire tent full of people laugh as he gave a Best Man Toast

03. drove the Vespa

04. have a California driver’s license

05. voted in California

06. attempted (and partially failed) to complete a daily photo project – 366 Objects

07. listened to a classical radio station for hours and hours most days

08. tried (and failed) to sell clothes at a consignment shop

09. wore skinny jeans

10. went suit shopping with Nik

11. sang duets with Nik while he played the guitar (in the comfort of our own home)

12. finished reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy

13. installed a legitimate version of the Adobe Creative Suite onto my computer (Thanks, Wayne!!)

14. dyed fabric with beet juice

15. hand-quilted a blanket

16. gave a quilt I made as a wedding gift

17.taught myself embroidery techniques

18. altered a man’s sweater to fit me

19. bought an entire bolt of fabric

20. designed and tested a quilt pattern

21. performed a semi-significant kitchen upgrade project

22. hosted a dinner party for 8

23. grew strawberries in our living room

24. grew mushrooms on our kitchen table

25. made polenta

26. made home-made biscotti

27. made home-made granola

28. bought and used taper candles

29. used a salad spinner

30. used a feather duster

31. attended a professional conference, and did not like it very much

32. helped launch an online shop, Urban Burp

33. was hired as the only employee in an architecture firm

34. attended the opening of my first built project in San Francisco (the Andrea Schwartz Gallery)

35. designed a friend’s apartment

36. felt like the moon was smiling at me (on the day I passed the final test to become a licensed architect)

37. had multiple conference calls with my siblings

38. had my hair cut by Nik’s sister

39. visited my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew in their new Atlanta, GA home

40. was told by my nephew, “Auntie Jamie, I love you” at least 10 times in one day

41. threw a huge party for my parents with my siblings

42. rented a vacation house with the Sinz family (in Guntersville, AL)

43. jumped off a boat dock with my nieces

44. surfed across the water on a wake board

45. saw thousands of lightning bugs in the trees at night from a canoe

46. witnessed my cousin marry her true love

47. went out to drinks with both of my siblings and their spouses (it was awesome)

48. was the first to sleep in “Grammi & Papa’s room” in my sister’s new home in Paducah, KY

49. sewed with my nieces

50. witnessed my niece take her first no-training-wheels bike ride

51. walked my other niece to school

52. did not spend either of the two major holidays with the Sinz side of the family

53. spent Christmas in Santa Fe with the Daum side of the family

54. walked along Canyon Road in the snow on Christmas Eve to see the Farolitos in Santa Fe

55. slept in a light house on an island (East Brother Light Station, Richmond, CA)

56. crowd-sourced travel recommendations (for New York & Japan)

57. rode a bike in New York City

58. ate noodles at Momofuku in New York

59. rode a bike in Brooklyn

60. stayed with my best friend from college in her precious Atlanta, GA home

61. met up with a friend after posting photos of her Atlanta neighborhood on Instagram

62. vacationed in Mexico City while Nik “worked” there

63. rode the Mexico City Subway

64. slept in a St. Regis Hotel

65. drank beer on a boat in Xochimilco

66. ate worms and bugs, and did not like them (in Mexico City)

67. went to a pretty big work dinner with Nik (10 handsome American dudes and me)

68. vacationed in Japan

69. rode a Japanese bullet train

70. rode a bike in Kyoto

71. rode the Tokyo & Kyoto Subways

72. ordered ramen from an automated machine in Tokyo & Kyoto

73. ate rice triangles from 7-Eleven and Family Mart in Japan for breakfast, lunch and dinner

74. ate cow tongue, and liked it (in Japan)

75. held a clear plastic umbrella over my head in the rain

76. slept in a capsule hotel (9hours, Kyoto, Japan)

77. walked under hundreds of orange gates at the Fushimi Inari Shrine

78. had dinner on the 14th floor of a department store

79. rented a movie on iTunes to watch on a plane

80. went to the Antique Archaeology store in Nashville

81. rented an apartment through AirBnB

82. went to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

83. rode the ferry to Larkspur

84. ate oysters at the Marshall Store outdoor bar

85. spent a day in San Francisco with my 2nd year college roommate that I haven’t seen since college

86. spent a day in San Francisco with my Uncle Don, Aunt Kim and cousins

87. had a crowd-based panic attack while attempting to watch Flugtag

88. listened to the choir sing at the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Cathedral

89. volunteered at an AIA Home Tour

90. rode in a scooter rally

91. sat in a booth at the renovated Louis’ Restaurant for breakfast

92. went to an event at the Internet Archive

93. watched skeet shooting (at Lake Merced)

94. walked through the Bay Model in Sausalito

95. dressed up fancy just for the fun of it to go on a double date to Frances on Halloween

96. had drinks at the Tonga Room

97. drove 1-1/2 hours each way to the Boat Shack in Marshall, CA for a dinner date with Nik

98. attended an Outstanding in the Field dinner as a guest

99. hiked in Yosemite National Park

100. camped in Big Sur with a view of the ocean from our tent


Exciting Things are Happening!!!

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

I started a new photography and story telling project called 366 Objects! My plan is to photograph an object and tell its story every day of 2012 which is a leap year, hence 366. Most things I own were either given to me by people I care about, were found on fantastic adventures, were purchased to fulfill a very specific desire or need, or are simply beautiful (in my eyes at least). The stories will be the easy part, and the photography will be the hard part. 366 Objects is definitely inspired by some other great projects I have followed, including A Collection a Day by Lisa Congdon, multiple projects at 3191 Miles Apart by Stephanie & MAV, and Drawing A Day by Lauren Nassef. Click here or the 366 Objects logo above to go to the website.


Next week I will be going to the Altitude Design Summit in Salt Lake City!! It will be the first time I have ever spent multiple days with five hundred people I don’t know talking about something I am interested in. I will be surrounded by ladies & gentlemen I have admired via the internet for years, and I get to wear a vintage white sequins top from my mother-in-law’s shop to one of the big parties. I am definitely a little nervous because I am not really a design blogger….but I am a designer and a blogger, so I guess that counts. Right? I hope to do a post or two while I am there.

As I gear up for Alt, I am trying to streamline myself on the internet. I am active on several social networking sites, and you can now find me by looking for @jamiesinz on Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

Finally, since I do not carry my full camera around every day, I have started taking photos with my phone. Many of these have been posted to Instagram and if you have the app, you can find me @jamiesinz. Since we cannot access Instagram directly from a computer, I am also posting them to my Tumblr blog. To see the blog, go to or click any of the images below.

I have several more ideas about how to push my personal and professional limits, and I cannot wait for them to evolve enough for me to share those too!!



2011 Will Be Forever Known

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

The eleventh year of the twenty-first century will be forever known as the year Nikolas Daum was wed by law to Jamie Sinz. That will be what the world remembers most, and that is okay with me. Fortunately for you, I am in the habit of reviewing the entire year in all of its glory as seen for 2008, 2009, and 2010, and this year will be no different. It was a year of wedding planning, long drives, great food, professional ups and downs, minor exploration, “only in San Francisco” moments, sunsets by the beach, and life as a newlywed. It is always fun to look back at the little things that happened over past year to write this post!!

In January…
Nik searched for geo-caches all over the city,
We visited the main branch of the San Francisco public library for the first time,
I started a monthly quilt project with my mom,
I went to a birthday party on the beach with a bon fire,

We spent the first of the year in Dallas, and*

We went to the Pie Ranch Barn Dance.*

In February…
Nik and I discovered a few new hikes,
We went to the Alameda Flea Market,
We went Arizmendi’s in the Sunset for the first time,

Nik ate raw oysters for the first time,

We took a long drive thru Sebastapol, Petaluma & Bodega Bay with friends, and*

Garlic & Avocado plants were growing on our back stoop.*

In March…
I took my first of seven licensing exams for architecture, and passed,
A photo of mine was purchased to be included in an economics book,
Nik & I both were offered full-time positions,

We bought a couch, and*

Three small tomato plants found a home in our living room.*

In April…
I found out that I am an ENFJ according to Meyers Briggs,
My brother moved from Denver to Atlanta
My mom & sister came to SF to help me finalize wedding stuff,

Kayaking on Tamales Bay

We were "rescued" while sea kayaking trip in Tamales Bay,

We witnessed a bunch of naked people riding bicycles, and*

We picnicked in Golden Gate Park, and*

In May…
Nik bought a new camera…and I inherited his old one,
I went to Death Valley & Monterey for work,
Nik got his first traffic ticket on the way to the Maker Faire, and

We made the trip to City Hall to obtain a license to marry,*

We used our new sleeping bags for the first time at Rob Hill with the Presidio Volunteers.

In June…

We spent an amazing day with 60 of our closest friends & family and have the rings to prove it, and **

Oaxaca was graced with our honeymooning presence for 10 days.

In July…
We rode the big dipper in Santa Cruz,
I hung white curtains, and let out a huge sigh of relief because the mismatched mini-blinds were driving me bonkers,
Nik spent most of the month in Europe for work,
I saw the final Harry Potter movie with 14 friends-of-a-friend,
I turned 30,
I took exam #2, and passed,

We saw Neko Case at Stern Grove, and*

We took the ferry to Angel Island & watched fireworks from the Presidio on July 4th.*

In August…
I went to the coolest back yard concert ever,
I had my first dentist appointment in 3 year and came out with no cavities,
Nik bought a unicycle and rode it twice,
I took exam #3, and passed, and

I met Nik in Prague for a long weekend.*

In September…
I went to a Giants game with coworkers,
I took exam #4, and passed,

We took a drive to Big Sur for Labor Day, and

We went to the Sing-a-long Little Mermaid at the Castro Theater, and it was one of the best things to do in San Francisco.*

In October…
We spent a weekend in LA with friends,
We had our first dinner at Cookhouse,
We got a flat on the Vespa,

Nik bought a bike, and*

Nik and I made a video for his Kickstarter project.*

In November…
My last day work was on the 4th,
I took exam #5, and passed,
I finally took the driving test to get a California Drivers License,
Our wedding albums arrived,

I gave my iron a run for its money,*

We had Friendsgiving at Maggie's,*

We had Thanksgiving in Tennessee.*

In December…
I took exam #6, and don’t know if I passed yet,

I enjoyed the home maker's life of cooking, cleaning & sewing while avoiding thoughts of what my next job will be,

I drove the Vespa for the first time,*

We had Christmas in Dallas,*

We took a drive on the last day of 2011 in search of Edgerley Island,
And then I wrote this blog post.

Now, 2011 is over, and it is time for the NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Photos by Nik

**Photo by Steepstreet

Typewriter & Stamp Holiday Cards

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

All of the necessary supplies laid out & ready to go


A unique tiding for each card

Our cards were super simple this year. Nik wrote a bunch of little tidings that would make you laugh, and I made them. The perfect collaboration.

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