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i am always wanting to more DIY’s, but for some reason, it isn’t the kind of post i go to first. i think i get intimidated by all the amazing diy’s you can find on pinterest. it is hard to come up with something original, and let’s face it, i hate to be anything but original.  i also like to come up with ideas that i can spend the least amount of money on, because once you get me into hobby lobby all hell breaks loose and my wallet generally pays the price.

this one i recently thought up with and i was proud. i am sure it has been done before, but i refuse to let myself google or search on pinterest. i am going to take this one home! the expensive part, would be the wood burning tool, if you don’t have one.  i have had one for a while now, and am always looking for some wood to burn. so, why not burn those beautiful old wood bowls and kitchen utensils? the amazing thing is, you can pick these up at the thrift store! the spoons and brush i have actually had for a while now, but the bowl was a thrift store gem! we all have wooden spoons in our drawers too!

the thing is once you get burning, it get’s kind of addicting. obviously, this is not a safe one for kids.

what you need:

wood burning kit and tools (i use the finest head)

wood bowls, utensils, or just some wood

a marking pencil, wax pencil, or pen

a good working surface

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mark on your wood the design you wood like to carve into the piece using a pencil or wax pencil. turn your tool on and let it heat up. carefully, follow your design template and use the tool like a pencil or pen. sometimes you need to push hard, sometimes you can gently place on the wood and let it slowly burn getting a lighter or deeper color.  wallah! that is it. pretty simple, my kind of DIY. PicMonkey Collagejvj PicMonkey Collagegvgj IMG_7712 2

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I sit in a holiday inn express blogging this song because it just makes sense for so many reasons. Clearly it has been on repeat most of the day on this road trip! My wanderlust, my trials and tribulations of years of finding a love (and the awful online dating to do so), my passions and drive, my solo journey. When i left colorado this morning i was hoping i will take with me to california the bit of peace i have found for myself these past few months, yet still searching for my home and getting closer to what that is.

I am headed to LA for over two weeks where i will work and play. Then it is off to utah for a bachelorette party for one of my dearest. I have a few posts pending for this week, but after that it might be a bit before we meet again. I leave you with these lyrics, before my auto posts take affect and you think it is me, which it was, but it won’t be. Ha!!!

Ends of the earth…lord huron

Oh, there’s a river that winds on forever
I’m gonna see where it leads
Oh, there’s a mountain that no man has mounted
I’m gonna stand on the peak
Out there’s a land that time don’t command
I wanna be the first to arrive
No time for pondering why, I’m wandering
On while we’re both still alive

To the ends of the earth would you follow me?
There’s a world that was meant for our eyes to see
To the ends of the earth would you follow me?
If you won’t I must say my goodbyes to thee

Oh, there’s an island where all things are silent
I’m gonna whistle a tune
Oh, there’s a desert that’s size can’t be measured
I’m gonna count all the dunes
Out there’s a world that calls for me girl
I’m heading out into the unknown
Wayfaring strangers and all kinds of danger
Please don’t say I’m going alone

I was ready to die for you, baby
Doesn’t mean I’m ready to stay
What good is livin’ the life you’ve been given
If all you do is stand in one place?
I’m on a river that winds on forever
I’ll follow ‘til I get where I’m going
Maybe I’m headin’ to die, but I’m still gonna try
I guess I’m going alone

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first off, thanks to those whom participated in the giveaway! the prize went to marissa of marissamoondaughter. i also wanted to thank everyone for their lovely comments! i am sorry i have been a bad blogger and have not replied. please know that i do read every one of them and am so grateful for all my readers!

it is amazing how much i go in and out of missing LA and loving it here. last week we had two feet of snow. even though it is beautiful, i was so sick of being stuck inside i could scream. i was literally trapped for a few days  because i couldn’t get my car out of the driveway. the photos below don’t even do it justice! after a taste of spring in LA, this snowy, gloomy, weather had me confused and had me missing my old life. it is hard to change, it is hard to let go, i am now realizing this. i suppose this was the point of it all though, to change.  luckily, i get to fill my craving for my old ways when i leave in a few days to road trip it back to sunny california to do a job. i am super grateful to get to play in my old city and hang out with my friends i miss so…and for a few weeks!!!

over the past weekend the snow started to melt into wet sticky mud and the sun started to show his self again. wylie and i did a little exploring of our country/mountain neighborhood and by monday and tuesday, we had snow again. uh, that was enough to almost make me go nuts. wednesday, the white fields finally started to disappear and by yesterday i started to get excited again about what is to come ! wylie and i went on a little hike into the hills outside the front door and we sat by the river just relaxing. i haven’ been able to do that without shivering! i realized, the summer here is going to be breathtaking.  i think the snowy, winter seasons make you appreciate the beautiful weather even more. it’s not that we take it for granted in LA, it’s just so normal to have  a beautiful day you don’t know any different after a while. but here, here the land comes alive again. your mind and body rejoice, and the sun feels like you have been given a golden warm gift. the grass is turning green, the buds are slowly showing their strength. the rhubarab is popping up in the garden. the sounds of the river feel like a vacation on the beach. by the time i get back in 3 weeks, i can only imagine this place is going to be a whole new world and ecosystem.

it’s true, somedays i want to crawl back to my old life. some days, i can’t believe this adventure i get to take. i feel torn between loving the wilderness and the peace, but i crave culture and eccentricity! yet still, i find myself wanting more, i find myself envious of others. these are just some of the things i am learning about myself, some of the things i want and need to change. i am not sure what path to take in the next few months. hopefully, working and being in LA for a few weeks will bring me some clarity. i am an over analyzer, if they gave awards out for such, i could most definitley win won. i sometimes feel a peace here that i havent felt in years. sometimes i feel i might just be a little to eclectic for a middle america lifestyle. maybe i am having a mid-life crisis- but a beautiful one.

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i believe the above photos need little explanation!!!

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wylie and i found the head, one claw, and feathers of a flickr bird in the front yard. something devoured this bird. i clearly saved it all.
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working on some party favors for a bachelorette  party i will hit up on the way back from LA in utah. also, working on a few samples for the small summer line to come out.

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taking a hike on the ranch’s land. a little bit of trespassing, but what glorious views. i have never walked this path before, and it was awesome!  also, the horses are horsin around when it comes to feeding time. except the one little guy in the back. he seemed a little mad at everyone else. IMG_3229 IMG_2997

the elk are everywhere.

IMG_6689i have been growing herbs for a few years now, and though i am no expert, i find these tips to be helpful.  living in southern california, i could grow herbs year round and it was luxurious! here in colorado, i have been growing them inside for a few months, but have had a few mishaps with bugs, or simply leaving them by a very cold window for too long.  i recently bought a new batch and am back in business with the little gems. they are currently sitting in the front window and so far so good! when i first moved here, i cringed at buying a $4 box of herbs when it is so easy to grow them yourself. there really is no excuse not too!

there are many books or even tutorials online about your herbs. these are just a few simple helpful hints for flavorful herbs.

1. learn where your species are from in order to mimic their preferred environment. lavender, rosemary, thyme, savory, and sage are Mediterranean herbs and like lots of sun, sandy soil that drains well, keeping fertilizers to the minimum.  all this will help keep the flavor in the leaves. herbs like basil, mint, lemon verbena prefer lots of water and rich soil, maybe some compost. an easy way to distinguish is by the leaves. the softer the leaf, the more water it will want! perhaps, you plant your mediterranean herbs together and your more delicate herbs together so your watering doesn’t get mixed up!

2. harvesting: new leaves tend to have the most flavor vs. the leaves at the bottom. some say harvesting in the morning is also the best time!  when herbs like basil and dill have flowered, that means they have matured…no more leaves. for basil, cut down just above the last branch and new leaves should begin to sprout again!
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rosemary: year round if you live in a frost free area. dry soil, full sun. companions: beans, broccoli, carrots, hot peppers. keep dry.

sage: grows in brisk dry summer, dry soil, full sun. companions: cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, rosemary, broccoli, don’t over water-likes it dry!

cilantro: grows in spring/summer.cool nights, sunny days.rich soil. companions: anise. adequate water.

chive: spring summer. well drained average soil, 4-6 hours of sun. companions: parsley, broccoli, eggplant, mustard, rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes. water: once a week. these babies will keep coming back!
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thyme: brisk days of summer. well drained, sunny airy spot. companions: everybody! keep fairly dry, don’t overwater.

dill: grow in summer. plant early spring. average light. companions: cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, onions, beets. lots of water. IMG_6692

basil: grow in summer. plant when soil is warm. full sun. companions: tomatoes and asparagus. adequate moisture.

mint: grow mostly in summer. plant anytime. open airy spot with room to grow. companions: cabbage, tomato, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli. needs lots of moisture.IMG_6690

tarragon: winter in some zones. well drained soil and sun in the mornings. if too hot, place in shade in afternoon. companions: anything. pests don’t like tarragon. keep well watered.

oregano: spring/summer. full sun and well drained soil. companions: cabbage, cucumbers, grapes.  moderate watering, but more while young.

now, these tips are simple and again, i am not an expert. i just thought this would be fun post to do to inspire those who may be timid to start a garden. there are so many different great websites out there for growing herbs. not only are they great for cooking, but have been used for centuries in many medicinal purposes. one day, we might just discuss that! we didn’t go over a few great ones either like anise, lavender, chamomile, but you can easily find this info online. check your thrift stores too for garden books! it is one of my favorite places to look!

i can’t wait to get started on my garden outside. i was hoping to dig into it before i left for three weeks, but that might not happen.  another tip, is to check about local growing. different areas will have different species of bugs, critters, or animals that will pester your herbs or garden. for example, the squirrels were a pain in the ass last spring in LA. apparently, growing tomatoes here in colorado is best done next to chervil (i believe, i gotta check that one again!) i also can’t plant any fruits or the bears will eat em up! another fun tip about tomatoes, if your leaves are turning a bit blue green, producing lots of leaves and no fruit…clip back your leaves as the plant is being too taken care of. the fruit grows in order to procreate. it is where the seeds are they will germinate the next batch. i found that to be so exciting! sometimes, you want to make the plant thrive in order to get it to produce. but more to come on the garden beds and veggies! i can’t wait!

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“the earth does not belong to us. we belong to the earth.” – chief seattle

happy earth day! are you doing anything to celebrate our home today?

sun and glory is doing it’s first giveaway in honor of our immense and bountiful home! to win this black leather medicine bag and night shadows terrarium read the rules below!

1. repost this giveaway on Facebook, instagram, twitter, or your blog! tagging #sunandglory 

2. leave a comment below with how our earth inspires you. 

the winner will be chosen by random at midnight tomorrow night!

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IMG_6907i love a good cocktail menu and i love how fancy and trendy bars are getting these days. i was certainly getting sick of the old whiskey and ginger, so when i see a fancy drink with egg whites- i am sold!!! i don’t make or drink enough cocktails. i tend to be more of a social drinker. i also tend to be glued to the couch the day after.

for this speciality cocktail i made sugar ice cubes. they slowly melt into the drink so, by the end you get all this sugary goodness. the cucumber is refreshing, the cilantro and mint packed full of flavor. this green cocktail, might just be good for you? well, that is debatable.

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for the ice cubes. boil one cup of water and one cup of sugar together until the sugar dissolves. let it cool a bit and pour into ice cube trays. i added a small piece of cucumber too to make em pretty.

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add a shot (or two or three) of vodka.

you can also add club soda for some fizz!

add the ice cubes. i did two for extra sugary goodness! garnish as you wish. enjoy!

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during my trip in LA, i stayed in hollywood with my friends sean and kate. they live in the hollywood tower ( hollywood tower of terror at disney is modeled after this building). my dearest stacy and allan live across the street. one morning, i met stacy on the corner of franklin and argyle and we walked straight up into the hollywood hills. stacy was taking me on a walking tour of her neighborhood. her and allan, her husband, discovered the gem of a neighborhood right out there front door from a walking tour guide of LA. turned out they were amongst charlie chaplin’s old stomping grounds. sometimes we get caught up in our worlds and forget the history we are standing on. i was more than delighted to be a tourist in “my” city and with one of my favorite people as my tour guide!

it was one of those gloomy LA mornings, but to me coming from winter wonderland, what once would have been daunting, became delightful. it was warm, it was green, it smelled of exotic flowers and plants.

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the first stop, stacy showed me a little yoga temple just a few blocks up the street. nestled in a neighborhood, this beautiful,worldly building sets itself off from the rest complete with a bookstore. the blooms taking place had me in awe. i forgot how exotic and exciting the vegetation is in so cal. ( i really need spring to bloom in CO). although, most of what you see is probably not native, the sheer fact that so many different species of plants can thrive in this environment is a blessing.PicMonkey Collagek PicMonkey Collagezr

there are castles, wood doors, and breathtaking views all along the way. i can’t help but to wonder who lives in these houses. or who use to. what do they do? and how do i live in one?PicMonkey Collagelggf

on the tour we come across two of charlie chaplin’s dwellings. the photo above on the left is now an apartment complex, but was once his apartment. the house on the right was his house, or better – his mansion. the stories stacy would tell along the way of different old hollywood actors living in these dwellings gave me this whole different perspective of LA. being such a new city in relation to the east coast, any history i find even more fascinating. i love movies and photos of LA when it was first developing or when neighborhoods were completely different landscapes.  i tried to imagine these hills when they weren’t filled with a gazllion houses, when it might have been peaceful. i often think about old hollywood or what it was like when it was starting up. was it as cut throat? was it as egotistical? who were the starlets and the struggling actors? and who were the people behind the scenes?PicMonkey Collagetfxt

i think the most interesting part of the tour for me was the krotona portion. stacy knew a whole lot of details on the era.  krotona is a theosophical ” colony that began in 1912. a utopian oasis where practitioners hoped to ” study philosophy, appreciate nature, celebrate performance and otherwise live a fuller life — all in the Hollywood Hills.”  the cheap, paradise land below what is now the hollywood sign (and a million dollars for a one bedroom), began a colony. it was finished in 1919. the colony later moved to Ojai in the 20’s as to escape the hollywoodism and growing communities that were infringing on the utopia and is still there today. The photos above are a few of the buildings from the Krotona colony. This is a good article to read for a bit more in-depth info.

somehow i identified with these people. desiring a simple utopia in the beauty of southern california. maybe i should have moved to ojai! 🙂PicMonkey Collaged7td IMG_2802

i love how on any given street in LA the houses can be different. spanish, modern, traditional, craftsman.  especially in the hills. occasionally, you will find these story book houses that look like snow white will be popping her head out at any given moment singing to the birds. PicMonkey Collagecyy PicMonkey Collagegcitu

just some more random buildings and architecture. the photo above on the right embodies a house where there a pianist lives and never leaves. the house is decorated with characters outside (hard to see in the photo). and you can’t help but to wonder what kind of stories this pianist could tell.

i wish i would have recorded stacy giving the tour. she did such a good job. if you take a trip to LA, my advice, skip the star tours, beverly hills, and the grauman theater. find a walking tour guide of LA. you will discover and learn more about LA than you thought ever existed. i still am! it is a magical city and i fell in love with it in a new way again. PicMonkey Collagecty

 

below are just a few snapshots of the inside of kate and sean’s lobby and from their roof. on my birthday we relaxed in the sun on this roof, drinking a few beers, talking of life, hollywood, and what is next to come for us all.

being in middle america now and then traveling from NYC to LA- the vast difference is amazing. these cities are magnificent and filled with so much life.
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i use to do a lot of hiking in LA. i hiked up the observatory several times a week when i lived in that hood. griffith park smells glorious in the spring and i longed for the old days. i realized on this hike the things i have taken for granted. the things i forgot to cherish. why must we only see it after it is gone? PicMonkey Collage

 

my trip to LA, as i knew it would, left me a bit confused. the city seemed different to me on this trip and i loved her in a whole new way. i have this relationship with LA, as if LA was my significant other. sure, i was probably glamorizing it again and remembering back to my dreams of wanting to move there. it was spring in LA (it starts early there). everything was in full bloom and green! (come august, it will be brown again.)  i forgot how magical and golden that sun was, and it surpassed any memory i did have. i forgot how luxurious the weather really is. i realized, how much i took for granted all the amazing things about that city. even driving didn’t feel as daunting.  funny how only 6 months away changed that place for me. lesson learned: enjoy the place you live as if you are a tourist everyday!

i still can’t say if i will go back. sometimes i want to, sometimes it feels silly to do it over again. my trip back in may i think will be another good lesson, and i can’t wait to spend more time there again.

i can say i am proud i was an angeleno…and after giving it ten years i think i can still call myself one.

IMG_2597 it is amazing the kinds of things one must catch up on after two weeks of traveling. well, not really…that seems pretty general actually, but those duties have kept me away from the blog. i am finally starting to catch up on my list, to only leave again in a week and a half.  it was nice to get back to colorado, but i am already excited about my trip to LA in a few weeks for work.  i fear there is no cure for my wanderlust. although, it could have something to do with the fact that it has been snowing here since sunday night and will continue through the night. i would say there is almost 2 feet out there. i admit it is beautiful, but i got such a lovely taste of spring on my trip, that it was really hard to come back to a week in a winter wonderland. because…it is april, what they call spring. where is she? cause she ain’t in colorado right now.

let’s talk about NYC.  yes, i love nyc, however, you won’t catch me wearing the t-shirt that says so. i love flying into this vast land of buildings and sea. it seems every time i drift into this place from the sky it is from a different angle with a different view point. this time, i was just in awe of this crazy land built on an island. building after building. it literally is a concrete jungle. there is something pretty spectacular about flying over this earth where you get these views that look like images vs. the reality of what it is. translation: it looks fake. quite astonishing really, to see the world from 30,000 feet.

as much as i am a nature girl, i am city girl too! i thrive on the restaurants, people watching,creativity at the epicenter, even the transportation. i still find it a novelty to ride in subways and taxi’s- after spending ten years in my car in LA. i feel so powerful hailing a cab, i even admit i like the smell of the subway. not the pee smell, but whatever else it is…which i have no idea how to describe it. i only got one subway ride in this trip, but lots of hailing the good old yellow cab.

i went to NYC to help my friend style a photo shoot for her new line of soaps.  most of my time was devoted to shopping and shooting, but of course we did manage to squeeze in some good food and i met up with a few friends too. it was still such a great trip and i wasn’t ready to leave. my friend dahlia lives in the lower east side in a little 4 foot walk up flat. her apartment is to die for and i will feature more of it soon.  the photo shoot turned out amazing, not to mention my inspiration for good food!

i love you new york!

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1. flying over NYC into LGA

2. chelsea

3. happy hour with me myself and i at the smith on 3rd avenue and 10th street

4. brooklyn taco co in essex market, lower east side

5. me and dahlia after brunch and cocktails…followed with a nap

6. west village

7. view of new jersey

8. houston and broadway

9.  west village

10. dahlia’s apt: shower in the kitchen

11. dahlia’s living room

12. dahlia’s kitchen

13. prep for the shoot

14 & 15. sneak peak of the shoot!

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my little adventure isn’t quite over yet, but i thought i would get back on the blog and write a little post that i have had pending. my guest blogger fell through and i am sorry about that…i hate to say something is going to happen and it doesn’t. perhaps, the blog just needed a little rest.

my journey the past week has been a good one. one that i will share lots over the next few weeks in a couple of posts.  i don’t feel too sad it is over, because i will be back on the road again very soon traveling to LA for a job.  oh, the wanderlust that feeds my soul…sigh.

today, i share with you some strawberry scones i made a few weeks back.  i use a barefoot contessa recipe and spice it up with a few extra ingredients!

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4 cups of flour

2 tbsp of sugar, plus more for sprinkling

2 tbsp of baking powder

2 tsp salt

3/4 lb of cold unsalted butter, diced

4 extra large eggs beaten

1 cup of cold heavy cream

3/4 cup of diced strawberries and blueberries

1 tsp of cinnamon

zest of one orange

1 tbsp of orange blossom water

1 egg beaten for egg wash

preheat oven to 400 degrees

combine the dry ingredients in a mixer with paddle attachment. add in the very cold, diced butter and mix until it turns to pea size. mix the cream and eggs together and mix in with flour/butter mixture until it starts to turn sticky. add in the strawberries/blueberries, zest, cinnamon, and orange blossom. dump dough onto a well floured board and roll out. i cut the whole thing in a rectangle, then divide that into 4 squares, then halve the squares into two triangles.place on a baking sheet and brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

the key to these scones is the cold ingredients (butter, eggs, and milk). the cold butter makes the scone fluffy!

serve with clotted cream and tea!

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