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Posts from the go places Category

IMG_6590i spent the beginning of october in NYC, falling deeply and madly in love- or as one of my friends put it “caught between the moon and new york city”. perhaps, it was the joy of being in the most lively city in the world after spending months in mere solitude. or perhaps i just love NY. i have been to manhattan a gazillion times, but this trip, this trip was special.  no particular reason other than the amount of inspiration i inhaled. i didn’t even realize how much i needed that. i had to cut my east coast trip short and head back to colorado for some production jobs. it felt good to be incredibly busy and constantly on the go. though, i couldn’t wait to get back to see my pup and take a rest, but as soon i did just that i crashed and burned and am still recovering. i seem to be following fall around the country. i was extra excited to see autumn in ny, but she had yet to fully show her colors. colorado was insanely beautiful though and we even did some shooting in a small mining town, so i got to travel within my travels.

but new york, lets talk new york. the walking, the food, the subway, the spontaneity, the food, the fashion, the people, the food. did i mention the food? i stayed at a friend’s loft in williamsburg to shoot her holiday lookbook (which i will post when we release). she had to go out of town for work… so, i got to play “new yorker” living in a loft and dressing up in many of my clothes i buy with intention to wear, but never do. i didn’t take a cab once except to and from la guardia, it was subway all the way and lots and lots of walking. though my feet killed me all week and i still have remnants of blisters, it was liberating.  i spent the week shooting and styling during the day in the loft and meeting up with friends at night around the city and brooklyn.  at first, i was overwhelmed with the amount of hipsterness of williamsburg, but by the end of my trip i was loving it. it has been so long since i felt inspired by fashion and clothes, i had so much fun picking out a cute outfit everyday-even if i was just going to get coffee. i can’t say i felt comfortable going to the store in a long lace dress in colorado- but in new york- anything is possible and acceptable.

i have always wanted to live in ny, but never did it because of the “complications”. the time is feeling right i must admit.  well, it is a possibility anyway-one i can’t stop thinking about. what is my life without chances and experiences? it is what my heart desires. i realized as i was leaving ny for colorado that i don’t fall foolishly in love with boys anymore- but rather places. maybe it is an infatuation, but those are the most fun anyway aren’t they?

IMG_6626IMG_6545IMG_6482manhattan- my first love. alive and full of energy. i had dinner one night with an old friend and we talked of my colorado adventure and his life in ny. he said someone once told him that the people of new york are the nature, the botany. it might be a concrete jungle, but we are animals and the humans bring the life to the city. it is so true! people come to new york because they want to be inspired by others-to work with others. that whole new yorkers are rude thing- i just dont believe it. i encountered so many nice people and conversations just at a coffee shop, and slowly my intimidation of coming off a mountain adventure and into a big city dwindled. you don’t get that in LA. everyone seems miserable in california or LA, i never felt warm fuzzy feelings going to get a cup of coffee- i felt judged.

there is one spot i always hit up for a dosa in soho. a friend took me here years ago and it has been my tradition ever since to go at least once. hampton chutney company. i get the #6 with chicken, cilantro chutney, and an iced chai.there are a gazillion restaurants in manhattan and i can say i have only ever had a few bad meals. i have expanded my horizons over the decade of visiting from little italy to searching out the hippest of small joints. there are many websites to help you find the best restaurants of the moment.

it so happened while i was visiting two of my friends from LA were also in NY. it made the first few days full of random adventures and moments. that’s the thing about new york- you can turn a corner and your next hour is spent doing something totally unexpected. almost every night i came into the city from brooklyn and met up with a friend. (all of whom are very old friends!) one of my girls in ny is a broadway actor/dancer- i use to drive her to school back in alabama. she took me to sardi’s (if you have seen the muppets take manhattan you know this restaurant!) and at one point during our visit we were walking around times square to only stumble upon my morning jacket playing a free concert. another highschool friend of mine and i went to see our other friend’s show on broadway. it was my first broadway show.

i sat in line for 30 minutes to try shake shack. i saw ” something borrowed” one to many times, and plus i had to compare to in and out. it was pretty good. i could eat it right now in fact. you can’t really compare to in and out though. you just can’t. i did have a run in with a squirrel while trying to eat my shake shack. this little shit wouldn’t leave me alone. he tried to get in my purse and even followed me down about 10 benches. he ruined my experience all for the hopes he was going to get a french fry.

my last saturday in ny i decided to take the ferry from williamsburg to 34th street. i then took the subway to 77th street and walked to the park. i walked north to the jackie o reservoir and then all the way back down to 59th street. it was a beautiful day in the city. the park was crowded and the leaves were crunchy, though the colors were just starting to peak through. my feet hurt bad, but i took my time and sat on benches or laid in the grass- people watching all the while. it was awesome.
IMG_6622PicMonkey CollaggeIMG_6469IMG_6638IMG_6637IMG_6584PicMonkey Collagjhewilliamsburg is full of every current trend that is good. clothes, food, bars,and lifestyle. the weekends on those sidewalks feel something like the halls of highschool, but with hipster 20 somethings and young thirty-forty something families. i got the chance to try many little places in this epicenter of coolness. here is a list of some of my favs.

A. D.O.C. wine bar– this little wine bar/italian restaurant was my last pit stop. i stopped off just because and i had the most delicious pasta, house wine, and tiramisu!

B.Tiny Empire – another stop off on my way to the subway. this juice bar has so many options it is hard to decide.

C.The Shanti Shack– this yoga studio and cafe was delicious for such a small place. i am still thinking about the grilled cheese and have been making the nutter smoothies for breakfast the past few days (banana, spinach, coconut milk, almond butter)

D. Blue Bottle Coffee – drip coffee is where it is at. so is a buckwheat biscuit with ham, cheese, and chutney. holy shit- this was so much better than i ever could have imagined it to be.

E. Depanneur– this place was my staple because it was next door to the loft. i came here for coffee, breakfast, and pick me ups. such a cute shop. just cute.

F.Beautiful Dreamers– this shop is curated so well, and rightfully so as it is owned by a stylist.i dream of getting my work in here.

G.Mast Brothers Chocolate– hipster willy wonka’s!

H.Brooklyn Flea– pretty comparable to fairfax flea market. with views of manhattan and the water. i also bought two pairs of clogs from Nina Z that i am in love with.

I. East River Ferry – if you are in manhattan and are looking to visit williamsburg, i suggest taking the ferry one way. great views of the city.

other places not on the map, but totally worth the visit:

Marlow & Sons– a little empire of food and drinks.

Taco Chulo– hands down delicious mexican.

Species by the Thousands– another epic store full of curiosities and mysticism

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this post is a little behind, but none the less, worth sharing.  my sadness has subsided about the cabin in colorado, though- out of sight out of mind. i have been busy hanging with my brother and his family, playing nanny, and playing more nanny. kids will get your mind off anything.  rain is a common denominator in my life these days, since i left colorado, and now being in washington. it is incredibly cozy here right now, i will share more on that later.

first, let’s talk about my trip through yellowstone. it was a very gloomy and rainy day. i arrived at shoshone lodge and resort in the evening in time to enjoy the brisk evening and have a glass of wine in front of the cabin. it was so quiet and peaceful, it was strange to not hear a river running. i choose this lodging because we stayed here as a family when i was a kid.  my parents always talk about it and i thought it would be fun to check it out. it was me and all the old folks, but that is to be expected this time of year.  the place was clean and cozy. though, i didn’t eat at the restaurant, the menu was hearty and home cooked.

i woke up early and started my trek into the park. i had wylie with me, so i couldn’t plan any hikes, but it was raining anyway. within my first 15 minutes in the park i saw cars pulled over on the side of the road, cameras out- gawking. i got out and to my surprise- a bear. she was far away, and it was hard to get a photo with the iphone, but i saw her. i waited forever, even prepared, in colorado for bears. they never came. it was an off year, obviously- being they had a 1000 year flood, and my neighbors were shocked the bears never came. i told them i would end up seeing one in yellowstone, and i did! the buffalo were everywhere too. one even walked directly in front of my car. it was pretty awesome.

i entered the park through the east gate and took the southern route to old faithful. i remember this from my childhood, but of course when i showed up, she had just gone off and everyone was returning to their cars. we drove a little more and found some other geysers and they were the color of heaven. from there we headed north where the terrain changes into waterfalls and lakes with all these geysers spewing all around. the land is so diverse. i have been meaning to do a little more reading up on the evolution of this land, it is hard to read the map when your passenger is a dog. i simply enjoyed the beauty and the chance to be there.

i ended at mammoth hot springs. i didn’t get to walk all the way up because wylie at this point was totally stressed that i kept getting in and out of the car. so, i choose a closer path and to my surprise, it was my favorite part of the trip. it was the most beautiful natural element i have ever seen. as if it wasn’t even real.

i thought i would try something a little different along with my travel posts. being that i can’t do much crafty or food posting, how about some of my favorite things of the moment. inspired by each trip i go on, a mood board of wants and must haves! here goes the first one.

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1. Stetson Austral Hat – every hipster has a hat these days. this is a classic western brand.

2. Zara turtleneck – great color for fall

3. Kutoa Peanut Butter and Jelly bar – yum

4. Top Shop overalls – classic,rustic, and comfy for road trips

5. Madewell “the fielder” lace up boots –  i want these

6. Mast Brothers chocolate – who doesn’t want chocolate on a road trip?

7. Chimani APP – national park app

8. National Geographic APP – another great app for road trips through national parks

9. Herschell “little america” Backpack –  a little color and function

10. a playlist – what is a road trip without music

11. Mountain Spirit Book – some history on the native americans of the area

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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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for new years, wylie and i took a little road trip around my old midwest stomping grounds. one of the luxuries to my parents being within driving distance and having a car. i forgot my camera, and have to surrender to doing this post with iphone pics,which i admit bothers me deeply. i may be more type A then i am willing to admit.

we started off the weekend with a trip to indianapolis to visit some of my childhood best friends. i lived next door to these girls for quite sometime growing up and may have spent more time at their house then my own.   it is so much fun to laugh at all the silly things we did growing up and it is more than precious to get to hang out with all their babies. sara, brenna, and lauren are like sisters to me.  it fills my heart up to see their families grow and inspires me for my own.  when i arrived to the suburbs of indy, the snow was coming down intensely. i have been waiting so long for this! it was so beautiful and also wylie’s first time to frolic in such a thing. he loved it, but also had to be blown dry every time he came back in because the snow would just clump to his hair. poor guy! we spent the weekend eating dim sum, visting, and playing. brenna even made me homemade chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes. it was my favorite meal their mom made growing up and kind of a running joke!  it was so nice to be around these guys again!

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from indy i drove up to my home town of Crown Point, Indiana. i stopped by to see my friend lisa and her family. lisa currently lives in russia and i love hearing about all her stories from her european adventures. i visited her in london a few years ago on a last minute trip and got to meet her 10 day old son, cayden, at the time. so, fun to see cayden a big boy now! i didn’t get any pictures of lis- sorry lisa- you know i love you and yours! from there i did a quick little tour of Crown Point, briefly driving through the town square to snap a quick photo. i have not lived here since i was 15. sometimes it feels like a dream, maybe a nightmare-just kidding, but so familiar at the same time with so many many childhood memories. i still have many friends from this small town and well, that certainly says something. next, i drove to see my old college roomie, mandy, and her husband and kids. natalie, my dearest that lives in colorado, was there too, they are sisters. i had yet to meet mandy’s kiddos (pictured above), and they are as cute as can be. mandy, natalie, and johnny were a big part of my college years, but they too are from my hometown. they have just redone a beautiful house, filled with john’s crafty workmanship. i hope to one day share it on the blog!

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the area i grew up in is only 30-45 minutes from chicago. needless to say, going to the big city was a treat, but also not an uncommon adventure. the drive on the freeways, the crisp cold air or hot humid days, the lovely brick architecture and yet sometimes awful 70’s/80’s buildings,and the people bundle up on the corners take me so far back. this is what i love about chicago- how close i feel to it, yet at the same time i have so much to constantly learn about it. i have spent much time here over the years coming to visit all my friends that have lived in this great city. i admit i have often contemplated moving here, and sometimes regret having not done so. i will say one thing, it is cooold. the cold air pierces your skin and my nose hairs. waiting at the bus stop growing up, my nose hairs would freeze together. most people don’t get this when i try to explain it…..so, i shall say no more and just leave you with that.

i think of one my favorite things about this city, besides my friends, the beauty, and the memories…is the food scene. i think it is one of the best the country has to offer. you get this midwestern approach to good food that is creative and innovative without the intimidation of new york. it is accessible and booming all the time.  luckily, i have foodie friends that know how much i love doing this and always take me somewhere i cant stop thinking about!

amanda, one of my dearest friends that i actually met in LA my first year living there, has lived in chitown for a few years now. even though she left LA, i was happy she went to chicago, because it is somewhere i obviously visit often. she took me to cafe selmarie in lincoln square, a suburb north of downtown. i ordered the corn beef hash, which was possibly one of the best things i have ever eaten for breakfast. the corn beef was shredded vs. cubed. yumola! we also picked up a few delicious pasties for new year’s eve. my favorite being the banana eclair. good grief!

a few days later, we did another breakfast, this time at lula cafe in logan square. chicago hipsterville! i loved going into a restaurant in a different city, filled with hipsters so that i can people watch and spy on the fashion trends. between the food scene , craft scene, and the hipster fashion, chicago could be the midwestern portland. bonus points too, when the bus boy commented on one of my sun and glory necklaces i was sporting that day! but back to lula. anther thumbs up and another yumola!!  amanda ordered the baked french feta (which i will totally be making at home now) and i ordered the ham and raclette panino. i hate/love when you want to order everything on the menu. i would go back here in a heart beat.

another dear dear friend, larissa, also from my home town, but also a college friend and LA friend, whom has been back in chicago for 4 or 5 years now, always showers me with yummy food. new year’s day i spent an evening with her and her fiance, sean, and a few friends as well. one of whom is a big wine guy in the city. the meal was accompanied by only the finest of wines and what a treat, because it is one thing i enjoy, but know little about. we had a delicious cheese platter (and i brought the stinkiest cheese!), followed by a salad with apple and red onion. next, beef stew followed by pies from hooiser mama pie company, a name after my own heart- go hooisers! we had the orange cream pie and ginger custard. let’s all say it together- yumola!!!

my last night in town larissa took me to au cheval, a chic greasy spoon in chicago’s west loop on restaurant row.  we devoured a burger (holy moly!), fries with béchamel and a fried egg, a green salad (not your ordinary as it was fresh and the herbs pungent), and root beer. this place was so damn good. i walked away happy from food and good conversations, with a new album for my playlist per the music playing during dinner, and a sick idea/plan to come back to chicago for a week to hit up as many restaurants as i can and blog about them. oh, my day dreams sure do have a mind of their own.

now, this trip was centered around food and friends. not much different than any other trip, but i didn’t do a whole lot of touristy stuff besides hitting up top shop and a quick stroll down  michigan avenue before deciding it was too damn cold and hiding out at my friends office downtown. two things are for certain: 1. i love my friends and am so lucky these people are such an important part of my life and 2. it is time to start weight watchers.

a few of my favorite things to do in chicago besides eating:

rent bikes  at millenium park and ride around the city. such a great way to see the neighborhoods. obviously, you want to do this in the summer.

architectural tours on the river. another summer funday.

the art institute, the modern museum is great

a stroll on the water front.

shopping-anywhere

riding the “L” train. you can actually get some really great views of the city this way. i have a thing for trains though.

any of the museums are great in this city

 at christmas time- walking around the macy’s chirstmas windows . we did this every year growing up- when it was still marshall fields, when the windows were not so “modernly disney” oriented, eating around the huge christmas tree in the walnut room,  and when we could get marzipan from the basement candy store department. it was just better back then, i am biased. still good for the kiddos today though!

millennium park– so much to do here. ice skate in the winter and watch concerts in the summer. this park wasn’t around when i was growing up, but the concerts in the park are my favorite as an adult.

some of my favorite neighborhoods for shopping and charm: wicker park, lincoln square, lincoln park, and logan square.

don’t forget to get a Chicago dog, eat chicago deep dish pizza, and get a cup of coffee from intelligentsia! amongst so much more!


Indianapolis on Dwellable

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things have been a little crazy around here. i am so behind on blog posts and have a lot pending. my poor kitty lola has been in the hospital the past few days, needless to say, i am stressed out.  before the poor girl got sick, i took a little road trip to taos, new mexico for a few days. taos is one of my favorite places in the world and it holds a special place in my heart. my first trip there was in high school when my brother moved there. we went a few times to visit and one summer took a big family vacation there. my dad’s grandparents had a motel in albuquerque, so he too grew up going to the land of enchantment.  a few years ago i was traveling there a lot. i got to know the area pretty well, the best burrito places, and the best bead store i have ever been too. it was a 14 hour drive from LA, but now i am sooo close- about 6 hours from my new house. i would have moved to new mexi, but i though there were better opportunities here in colorado with the booming denver/boulder/ft collins. being so close to taos, is amazing, and i couldn’t be more excited about that prospect. i called up my friend natalie in denver and asked if she was up for a road trip! i more or less wanted to go to the bead store for more supplies, and it was certainly a good excuse!

we entered taos from a different route than i am use to,which was pretty spectacular.  there is something about that place that is addicting, exhilarating, and spiritual. the sunrise, the sunset, the clouds are like none other i have seen and each day the sky gives you a different picture to look at. it never gets old, never. the mountains frame the town while the mesa looks as though it goes on forever. it is simply, beautiful.

we stayed at the la dona luz inn, a 200 year old adobe, and booked the la madonna suite. we both brought our dogs and they serve a sweet little breakfast in the morning! the inn is walking distance to the main shopping of taos. the room smelled of fire ( i love that smell) and the charm that is new mexico was practically bleeding from the walls. it was hard to eat out with the pups, so we had to do a lot of takeout-but we for sure got a lot of good stuff in (a few to try guadalajara grill, Michael’s kitchen, historic taos inn). we of course, did some shopping hitting up the bead store, a consignment shop that is to die for, and the local fare the town has to offer. the hike we went on was everything i remember about my time here: peaceful, beautiful, and enchanting. there is this silence on the mesa, that if you just stop and breath, you will never hear anything else like it in your life. you have to just do it, to know it… and i of course, highly recommend it.

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the last few photos give you a taste of the light. we were driving down the road to the taos pueblo and the light was this intense yellow. twenty minutes later we got to the hotel and the sky was pink. not an uncommon thing for the area. just a little taste of what it can be.

i have had some pretty amazing experiences there: hanging out in earthships, floating down the rio grande in inner tubes and a white water raft, or hiking down into the rio grande, pitch-black outside mind you, swimming naked in hot springs, made some art (this is where my jewelry line was inspired), and gazed at breathtaking stars. once, i even thought i saw a spaceship. pretty sure it was a satellite!  i learned a lot about myself in all the time i spent there, i learned a lot about myself after. it certainly has always made a mark.

i can’t wait for more.


Taos on Dwellable

so, i am giving you another “the week…ends” post today. i spent the past weekend in olympia, washington visiting my brother and his family.  i have posted about olympia before, but it seems i can never get enough of the sweet little town. just about an hour from seattle and two from portland, olympia is kind of an undiscovered gem.  the capitol of washington and the home to evergreen state college, the town has cute shops, good food, the puget sound, a view of the Olympic mountains, and the PNW written all over it. being an epicenter for the puget sound, the city has some great seafood, and we always manage to hit those places up! their food truck scene is growing and the farmers market is one of my favorite. full of so much color and great merchandising! i always make point to go.  over the weekend we were lucky to have two days of some great sunshine. something we take for granted here in LA, something to be coveted in Olympia. well, i might be a sun snob!

it was just a quick 2 days for me, but we managed to get in some fun stuff. my bro’s kids are just the cutest and i am a sucker for the little ones.  general play time is always a fun event. on sunday we hit up a apple/pumpkin farm and ate too many good treats…like the best apple fritter i have ever had (and the longest line to get one), some tangy apple cider, and a cream puff we brought home for later. which the 3 of us adults inhaled after the kids went to bed…not an uncommon event when i visit these guys!! we all share a sweet tooth.

i took off again last week for a little get-a-way…this time it was just me and wylie. we drove about an hour and 15 minutes north east of LA to a small town called Ojai. i have been wanting to come to this little gem for some time now and decided it was time to cross it off my bucket list since my days in LA are starting to come closer and closer to an end. on this little journey i came up with a new sector for the blog called- the week…ends. since i am often going on these little weekend adventures i thought why not categorize them as such… plus, it is just incentive to continue these small  adventures. (i also have this small dream of having an airbnb blog…maybe someone would pay me to review places! oh, the ideas i come up with!) for the longest time i think i was waiting for a man to come around to take these little trips with. i was always a bit scared to do it on my own…but no more waiting around, i am a big girl now (with a dog).

i rented a little cabin on the east end of Ojai off air bnb called the Wabi Sabi house. my friends stacy and allan stayed in the bigger version of this small cabin for their mini-moon. they convinced me the place was well worth it, and well, they were right!

a little one room cabin with charm and love. perfect for one or two people with just the right amount of amenities.  complete with some coffee, a bottle of wine, and pellegrino. although, i was dying to stay in the other house which was featured in marth stewart living, i settled for the cheaper  place. i have to say i am happy i did. i think my favorite part was the bathroom. a japanese style outhouse where the breeze and sunlight hit it just right. after a long hike outside the front door, i took an afternoon soak in this tub. it was just me, the birds, the sunshine, and wylie hanging next to me. the breeze would sneak through the small open windows and hit my skin. it was as if someone was blowing whispers.  it was heaven.  frankly, i didn’t want to get out.

we went hiking both days and it was the first time i felt like fall had arrived in california, and  i loved every second of it. i have to admit i miss seasons like crazy this year, perhaps it has something to do with the fact that it is suppose to be 100 in LA today on October 1! there wasn’t another soul on the hike the first day, just us and the critters.  i picked a whole bunch of california white sage (illegally? i don’t know?) and even went back for more the next day. there was an empty soccer field just right before the hike that wylie got to do his favorite thing, run! i absolutely love watching him do this…it cracks me up!

this place is filled with so much charm, peace, and spirituality.  if i hadn’t already settled on colorado,i could totally settle in here. it is everything a california town should be, to me anyways. orange trees, health food stores, good restaurants, hiking, mountains, 20 minutes to the beach, art and lots of it, locally owned stores (all that is allowed, no chains!), artists, farmers, sunshine, yoga, hippies, sometimes the rich and famous, swimming holes, just to name a few things. small town living with  some culture…something i certainly can’t say for my home town! ha! poor CP!

i have to admit i spent a bit more time on the computer than i had hoped too…but it was nice to do away from my desk.  we hiked, drove around town, and hit up a few of the eateries and such. i bought some groceries from west ridge market, got take out from boccalis (just down the street from the house) and hip , a vegan hot spot. hit up bart’s books, the coolest little outdoor bookstore, walked around downtown -full of cute shops, and drove up to meditation mount for the most glorious view! on the way out i stopped at knead and got the best breakfast sandwich ever…and maybe a nutella croissant too.

even though i didn’t want to leave this place, as i took the 101 south to LA, listening to Karen Dalton, “are you leaving for the country“, i felt happy. happy, knowing my decision to move on, out of LA, is right. i will begin a journey to find a more realistic and simple approach to this life of mine. i couldn’t be more excited to begin this next chapter.


Ojai on Dwellable

my most recent adventure to joshua tree national park this past weekend was short, but sweet. i have been to palm springs, desert hot springs, and coachella, but never to the park. the town itself of joshua tree is as small as can be, but with a few charming shops,cafes, and a health food store. you can’t be in the desert without a health food store.

 since, we had the doggies with us we couldn’t hike anywhere past 100 yards from a stop off. so, it was a scenic route in the car stopping off for photos. the place looks another planet… or something like the flintstones. i love the mountains,i love nature in general, but the desert has my heart.  it has always thrusted an immediate peace over my body and mind. i feel such a powerful spiritual prescence and yet a feeling of total isolation. there are few trees or mountains to hide behind, everything is out in the open, exposed to the sun and the sky. it feels safe to me, but then again i am generally an open book. the desert isn’t for everyone. some don’t like the heat, the dry air, the creepy bugs and critters…but this is all part of the beauty. you just have to search for it a bit more.

i am a nerd for geology, geography, and information. i find it fascinating the way the earth creates her own beauty through time and transformation. read the excerpt below for info on the park.

“The desert is immense and infinitely variable, yet delicate and fragile. It is a land shaped by sudden torrents of rain and climatic extremes. Rainfall is sparse and unpredictable. Streambeds are usually dry and water holes are few. This land may appear lifeless, but within its parched environment are intricate living systems, each fragment performing a slightly different function and each fragment depending upon the whole system for survival.

Two deserts, two large ecosystems whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation, come together at Joshua Tree National Park. Few areas more vividly illustrate the contrast between high and low desert. Below 3,000 feet, the Colorado Desert, occupying the eastern half of the park, is dominated by the abundant creosote bush. Adding interest to this arid land are small strands of spidery ocotillo and jumping cholla cactus. The higher, moister, and slightly cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of the undisciplined-looking Joshua tree, extensive strands of which occur throughout the western half of the park. Standing like islands in a desolate sea, the oases provide dramatic contrast to their arid surroundings. Five fan palm oases dot the park, indicating those few areas where water occurs naturally at or near the surface to meet the life requirements of these stately trees. Oases once serving earlier desert visitors now abound in wildlife.

The park encompasses some of the most interesting geologic displays found in the California’s deserts. Exposed granite monoliths and rugged mountains of twisted rock testify to the power of the earth forces that shaped this land. Washes, playas, alluvial fans, interact to form a giant desert mosaic of immense beauty and complexity.

The geologic landscape of Joshua Tree has long fascinated visitors to this desert. Geologists believe the face of this modern landscape was born more that a million years ago. Molten liquid heated by the continuous movement of earth’s crust, oozed upward and cooled while still below the surface. These plutonic intrusions are a grantic rock called monzogranite.

The monzogranite developed a systems of rectangular joints. One set, oriented roughly horizontally, resulted from the removal, by erosion, of the miles of overlaying rock, called gniess (pronounced “nice”). Another set of joints is oriented vertically, roughly paralleling the contact of the monzogranite with its surrounding rocks. The third set is also vertical but cuts the second set at high angles. The resulting system of joints tend to develope rectangular blocks. Good examples of the joint rock system may be seen at Jumbo Rocks, Wonderland of Rocks and Split Rock.

As ground water percolated down through the monzogranite’s joint fractures, it began to transform some hard mineral grains along the path into soft clay, while it loosened and freed grains resistant to solution. Rectangular stones slowly weathered to spheres of hard rock surrounded by soft clay containing loose mineral grains. Imagine holding an ice cube under the faucet. The cube rounds away under the corners first, because that is the part most exposed to the force of the water. A similar thing happened here but over millions of years, on a grand scale, and during a much wetter climate.

After the arrival of the arid climate of recent times, flash floods began washing away protective ground surface. As they were exposed, the hugh eroded boulders settled one on the top of another creating impressive piles of rock that can be seen today.

The “broken terrace walls” laced throughout the bulders are naturally occurring formations called dikes. Younger than the monzogranite, dikes were formed when molten rock was pushed into existing joint fractures. Light colored aplite, pegmarite and andesite dikes formed as a mixture of quartz and potassium minerals cooled in these tight places. Suggesting the work of a stonemason, they broke into blocks when they were exposed to the surface.

Of the dynamic processes that erode rock material, water, even in arid environments, is the most important. Wind action is also important, but the long range effects of wind are small compared to the action of water.

The erosional and weathering processes of the present are only particially responsible for the spectacular sculpturing of the rocks. The present landscape is essentially a collection of relict features inherited from earlier times of higher rainfall and lower temperatures.”sourced here

everyone is talking about fall these days and i have to admit i just can’t relate, even if i can fantasize. it is certainly not fall yet in LA, nor is it ever what it is back east with crisp air, crunchy leaves, and a yellow wash of color. sure the garden is starting to fade, but the temperatures are high here in southern california. it was in the 100’s over the weekend, not uncommon for september. luckily, my friend donna and i escaped to Joshua Tree this weekend (part of my LA bucket list!) and the weather was perfect! funny to go further into the desert for it to be cooler than by the coast, but thank god! now, i love the mountains, but i LOVE the desert.  i think it is one of the most magical and mystical places on this earth. it evokes a feeling for me like none other. i am truly in love with it.

we stayed at the most adorable cabin just a few miles from the tiny town of Joshua Tree. green acres ranch has two cabins on the land which is full of treasures and oddities to walk around and discover. it is like a small desert museum. we stayed at the roadrunner cabin with the two pups as well! it couldn’t have been more of a perfect little getaway for a couple of old friends to relax and enjoy conversation!

the inside of the house was just as cute as can be. it was perfectly cool inside and came with a fully equipped kitchen.  so much charm throughout the whole place.  half of the house is also an outdoor studio space…i was completely ready to move in here!

the grounds really are the best part. the pictures really just say it all. since, it is the desert,and if the temperature is right…you are pretty much outside! we laid in the hammock, put back a few bottles of wine, did some drawing on rocks, had a fire, and talked a whole lot about our futures. the dogs had lots of fun looking out for critters and running around the grounds. the place is complete with a bbq, a fire pit, an outdoor shower and tub, misters, a fish pond, hammock, doggie houses, not to mention the random old truck and other knick knacks hanging around.  the other cabin on the grounds is just as wonderful!

the sunshine was abundant and i was in heaven the whole time.

already, planning a trip back! stay tuned for more photos tomorrow of joshua tree national park!