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Posts tagged travel

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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the past 9 months i have lived on one of the recommended scenic byways in colorado. a river flows through my backyard and i am surrounded by horses. i can walk onto the original dirt road to estes park and did almost daily. every time single time i have walked out my front door i can honestly say i was filled with gratitude, happiness, enchantment, and luck. every time i came home, i felt content.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul”- John Muir

when people ask me why i moved to colorado, i am not exactly sure how to answer it. part embarrassment, part not wanting to spill my emotions all over their lap, and partly because i never knew how to put it into words. i have alluded to it many times here on the blog-it’s always easier for me to voice through written word. i had hit a very unhappy point in my life in LA. i felt stuck and unsure, i was deeply hurt in a battle of who’s right and wrong, disappointed by failed “relationships” or lack there of, my insecurities may have grown deeper than they ever have in those last two years, and i was left not knowing whom i was anymore. i needed to escape. i needed to learn to be alone. i needed to feel something greater than myself.

“Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.” – John Muir

i took this chance with such certainty. i was nervous, but not scared. i knew it was the right thing to do. i have grown to love myself again even if there are a few demons occasionally turning the thoughts in my head. nothing and nobody can be perfect. i have come to realize that this life is precious- it is wonderful and worthy and our doubts and questions are what leads us to find that. i have found a peace that DOES exist, for me at least and a contentment i will have to work hard at keeping without the glorious earth presenting herself literally to me daily.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

in my heart, i feel it is time to move on. i admit i worry i will loose what i have found here when i leave, but that fear can’t be what keeps me from going. this time i am scared. i am certain i must go, i am excited to be on the road traveling and visiting friends- (i am calling it tour de friends!) but i haven’t a clue where i shall end up. maybe it is back in LA, maybe it is here in Colorado, maybe it is Chicago, i am day dreaming of europe. i know one day, i shall see myself at peace in the country again- whether it is in my dreams or a reality.

“The mountains are calling, I must go.” – John Muir

my emotions run deep, my sensitivity high, my empathy and even anger can sometimes fuel me, and my dreams soar high every day.

i am a what they call a dreamer. i dream up trips and adventures, i dream up love stories, i dream up lifestyles, i dream up different kinds of businesses, i dream up creations. sometimes, i even get to live out some of my dreams. they may not manifest with exact execution, but they exist. i learned that on this colorado adventure. How can i not consider myself lucky? i leave here a better person. i leave here with more than i expected.

“The power of imagination makes us infinite.”- John Muir

as for the blog- i don’t know where she shall lead. i have contemplated starting a new section: on the road, as the majority of the next 4-6 months will be just that. my life is packed in boxes and shoved into a 7×10 cube. i admit i am kind of excited to be rid of “stuff” for a bit. traveling makes it a bit more difficult for me to blog, because i do not have a laptop. there are many ideas floating around about what to do- we will just have to wait and see how it all flows. for now, you can follow me on instagram if you like, sunandglory, where i will be sure to update often with photos, because i am addicted.

oh, and sun and glory was written up on the UK online magazine THE UPCOMING. today, started off as a really good day. recognition is humbling and a true honor. check out the article here.

this isn’t goodbye, but another beginning. first stop, yellowstone national park.

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IMG_8463we all know i love a good party. any excuse to get crafty and make my friends feel loved. when larissa asked me to be in her wedding, i was more than flattered and honored. i love this girl so much. we were invited to park city, utah for a weekend of hiking, yoga, and indulging!

larissa’s maid/matron of honor, ally,  planned a weekend to the T full of larissa’s favorite activities. ally also openly welcomed me doing a little sun and glory craftiness. together we collaborated on a bachelorette kit, dinner, and decor. ally made up an itinerary for the weekend and was so good at organizing all of us ladies  getting us from one place to the next. that is a tough job. we even illegally smuggled wylie into the house. even if we did have to hide out in the car while the manager came to the property. we just couldn’t get off that easily, but wylie was the perfect little addition for the weekend.

i missed thursday night, but friday morning we did some yoga lead by leslie (larissa and leslie are both instructors). i have not done pigeon pose in so long that my hips were screaming. ( i have since started up yoga again, what a great way to be inspired!). after yoga we hit up a hike that we aren’t exactly sure was a hike, but more of walking around in the wilderness and campgrounds of this beautiful area. we still walked for a few hours and had a lovely gloomy afternoon. followed up by taking the tram up to the st regis in deer valley for drinks. park city was empty while we were there, it is shoulder season, the place felt like it was just ours.  the manager at st regis kindly let us bring wylie into the restaurant even though they don’t really allow dogs, apparently it is called “bark city” not just park city. the food and wine director also gave us some great hikes to hit up for the following day. he kind of became our new best friend.

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the next hike was gloomy at times, sunny at times, rainy at times. i was exhausted after the previous day of drinking prosecco in the hot tub to only be hungover by the time we made it to dinner. i have never been a good day drinker.

i wouldn’t say we got lost exactly on this hike, we just weren’t sure where we were headed. we did a huge loop in the mountains, probably 7 or so miles. even though i thought i was going to die, it was so incredibly worth it.

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 that evening we all pitched in on a sun and glory feast. grilled steaks, kale salad, and sweet potato fries with blue cheese. not to mention the prosicutto/mozzarella/melon skewers and fondue and smores for dessert. the night was complete with a whiskey bar and a dance party.

i wanted to make the table special. i bought some succulents while i was in LA and  wrapped them in brown paper. the table runner was the same brown paper adorned with air plants, plastic horses, and seed starters on the plates.

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i made a pinterest board a while back and ally and i both loved the idea of a bachelorette box. i tend to go overboard with ideas and have hard time narrowing down the things i should and shouldn’t put in these things. i bought some canteens and painted my beloved triangle on them. i also painted sticks, and made sun and glory keychains. i  threw in granola bars, mini whiskey’s, coconut water, sunscreen, rock candy, blistex, a bandana, and a little mini white cowboy hat that looks like a white blob in the photo. everyone had  blast with it.

we also did a photo shoot. american flag and all…see the next post!IMG_7851IMG_7878PicMonkey CollagehdhfIMG_8413PicMonkey Collagegsr

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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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this past weekend, i had my first colorado visitors. donna and zach came all the way from LA and amanda and chris from chicago. amanda, was one of my first friends in LA. through her i met donna and it was like love at first sight for all of us. almost ten years after meeting these girls, they are still some of the greatest friends i have ever had! seems my friends come from different era’s of my life, and these ladies were my rocks those first few years in LA. we figured out that beast of a city together driving around listening to music, hitting up the bars and restaurants, and simply being girls in their twenties. i obviously adore their men as well, whom have been around since those early days. it has been a long time since the three of us have been together, since amanda and chris moved to chicago a few years back.

the weekend was filled with colorado adventures, food, drinks, laughter, dancing, games, love, relaxation, and a whole lot of instagraming (grammin as we called it). we even did a photo shoot for sun and glory, which i am so excited about and can’t wait to share! it was this perfect weekend, one that has been hard to kind of let go of the last few days. it felt so good to entertain and have some heart and soul fill the house up.

i got quite a few blog posts out of the weekend! so, get ready for it!

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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

well, guys. i did it. i moved. although, sometimes i feel like i may just be on one of my weekend adventures, day by day i slowly start realizing this is my new home. especially, since all my shit is in this house. (which, will be posted about as soon as it all comes together!) i am living in a mix of country and suburbia…just more on the country side. i am not a huge fan of strip malls and fast food, but it seems that is to be my life for a bit. besides my friends, good restaurants seem to be my biggest grievance yet. it is going to take some research and work to find the good places, probably traveling to denver and boulder to find it. even then, i am not fully convinced yet. i am a food snob. although, a starbucks drive thru aint half bad!  what i can say though, is that it is beautiful here. the people are NICE, the men are handsome. did i mention the people are nice? because they are! hopefully, we can stay tuned for the “the men are handsome” part! wink wink!

sure, there have already been a few moments where i want to completely panic when i start to get the slightest bit lonely. i have to talk myself out of it and remember why i did this, and try to concentrate on the projects ahead. thank god for the two friends i do have here! my friend natalie came up for the day yesterday and we took a little walk in the “neighborhood”. i live next door to a saddle ranch. literally, next door. i can see the horses from my living room. i caught wylie shaking to the bone the other day when he heard them naying! poor guy, he is such a street dog.  it really hasn’t been that cold yet, but just enough to run the fireplace …everyday.  i open my back door,when the fireplace gets a little too hot,  to hear rushing water from the river. the leaves are crunchy, the coyotes are howling, and the coziness of it all is not forsaken.

we took a walk down the road which apparently, becomes private property once the road turns into gravel. we ran into the owner of the ranch no our way back, and she sure seems to run a tight ship! oops! so,basically the photos above are trespassing photos. it was worth it though, to see what is just down the road and up the hill. this rustic pasture and stable just sitting up there wanting to be gawked at. sometimes, the best ideas come from turning that corner or going over that hill.

there are so many beautiful and rustic things around the property. below are photos from around my yard and road. i can only imagine what this place looks like in the spring, or when it SNOWS!!!!

there are so many things i can’t wait to explore in the area and share with you all. there are many adventures ahead, much reflection, and new beginnings.