After going back and forth for months over honeymoon destinations (indecision runs rampant in these here parts), John and I have finally decided on the Pacific Northwest. As two people who want nothing less than humid weather and scuba diving and nothing more than colorful leaves and cozy cabins in our lives, we knew our post-wedding vacation had to be somewhere a little unusual. So, the PNW it is! We are both so excited to visit the Portland + Seattle areas on our first trip as a married couple. But let’s be real. I’m mostly excited to leave my shorts + tank tops at home and wear some real Fall attire. In FALL. #socalproblems
PNW locals + vacationers…any recommendations for us? We will love you forever for your ideas! xo
Yesterday was one of those days that reaffirmed I am meant for this unconventional freelance lifestyle.
My good friends Jaymee + Janelle joined me in the Arts District of downtown LA for an awesome photography workshop led by Jessie Webster (who lives in THIS amazing Silver Lake house!) and Kim Genevieve. It was a Q+A format session, which quite honestly, is my favorite kind of all. I know how cameras work…what I REALLY love learning about is how amazing photographers MAKE them work, you know? So inspiring.
Once the workshop wrapped up, Jaymee, Janelle, and I headed over to Poketo (heaven) and then had coffee+ flatbread at Eat Drink Americano. (I also may or may not have had a lovely conversation with a random passerby regarding the way he made iced coffee whilst in prison. No big.)
It was so nice to be able to go on a downtown adventure with my best gals on a random Monday afternoon. The three of us are pretty much spread out in opposite directions across Los Angeles, but when events like this pop up, no amount of rush hour traffic will keep us apart.
It has long since been a dream of mine to live in Pasadena.
I’ve always felt a certain kinship with that beautiful city that I just don’t feel with most LA towns. Sure, the summers are nearly 4 million degrees. And maybe they get hit with the same lovely Santa Ana winds that I grew up with in Simi (ugh). And maybe, just maybe, it’s a tad bit pricey to live there. SO WHAT! I am in love with Pasadena and I don’t care who knows it! (insert Elf reference here).
Since John works in one of the umm, finer? (g h e t t o) parts of Los Angeles, we knew our search for a place close (but not too close) to his office had to be on the outskirts of town. Imagine my sheer joy when after a quick Google mapping, I realized that his workplace is less than ten miles away from my DREAM CITY. Booyah! Instantly I was envisioning the way I would decorate our new home. I was fantasizing about Sunday morning walks to Colorado Blvd for brunch. I was torn between which local coffee shop I would get some work done at first. This is was happening! We were moving there ASAP, as far as I was concerned.
Needless to say, our search turned out to be tougher than we anticipated…and we’re not even in the market to buy! (How anyone can lock down – much less afford! – a house in California these days is a feat that I just cannot wrap my brain around). We viewed many properties and fell in love with nearly all of them. We applied as fast as we could and were always beaten out by other eager renters. We continued to get our hopes up over + over again. There may have even been a few tears involved (not of the John variety). We reluctantly extended our search beyond the Pasadena borders and I felt so bummed about it that I took a self-imposed Craigslist sabbatical.
But then, in a moment of weakness / genius, I decided to revisit the listings to see what was new and it turned out to be my best decision yet. I booked the first appointment available to see a beautiful apartment in person and in turn, landed us a Pasadena address. We get the keys six days before our wedding…! The timing could not be better or worse (depending on how you want to look at it), but just like the heat, the winds, and high costs, I am blissfully ignorant. Pasadena, here we come!
For two people that are far more accustomed to being behind the camera than in front of it, posing for our engagement photos was an interesting + rewarding experience. Even though I couldn’t help but wonder what in the WORLD my face looked like at any given moment (“Does this half smile look like a smirk?” “Are my falsies still on?” “Could we look anymore awkward?” Ha!), our amazing photographer was a total pro and put us at ease instantly. And then when I saw the quick photo (above) that Katie snapped with my iPhone, all my worries were put to rest. My falsies were in place, my dress was cooperating, and my smile was genuine. Phew! More photos to come :)
When John took me to Barnes + Noble after a romantic dinner on one of our first dates, I knew he was a keeper.
Fast forward almost nine (?!) years later and he still knows the way to my heart. But nowadays, it’s by way of a caprese sandwich + a mini cupcake at Lemonade first ;)
Once we get to the bookstore, I beeline for the wedding magazines + the craft / home decor books, find a comfy spot for both us, and then sit and read until they kick us out. Oh, and the latte? A MUST.
(P.S. I am so buying that Martha Stewart book when the appropriate time rolls around. Or maybe before! I’m undecided…)
We are quite possibly the oldest 26 year old (un)married couple of all time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This past weekend my brother graduated from college with a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering, so we spent the better part of Saturday exploring the Cal Poly Pomona campus (beautiful!), taking tons of photos (740 to be exact…lord help my hard drive!), and celebrating Andy’s hard-earned accomplishment (heyyyy, brother). It was a reminder of the good things in my life: lots of walking under the California sunshine, big camera + empty SD card in hand, quality family time, an opportunity to wear a new dress + a giant hat, lots of laughter, exploring a new-to-me place, and a chocolate chip Pizookie for good measure.
Not only is my brother a whip smart, hilarious, human calculator, but he is also one of my best friends. Cheers to all your successes, Andy!
I can’t even tell you how long it’s been since I made a mini book on the road, but after making one again for our SLO trip this past April, I am officially back onboard. As someone who is genetically-programmed to take pictures of ev-er-y-thing and collect every last bit of memorabilia like it’s my job (well, it kind of is), a mini book is an ideal landing spot for all of those treasures. Not only is fun to consciously seek out moments worth remembering, but it’s also a blast to set up shop at a hotel room desk after a long day of exploring + collecting (not as fun: cleaning up said hotel room desk before checking out).
For this trip, I used a Carte Postale 5×7 journal since it was the perfect size for a weekend adventure. Before leaving for SLO, I embellished the cover with a few Carte Postale supplies + my typewriter. Easy enough.
One of the main things that I love about this album is all of the pockets! I love having designated places to house my memorabilia + Instax photos before I figure out where they will permanently end up. Oh! And pockets also make great storage for supplies or scraps that I want to make sure I use on my pages. #pocketsforthewin
I brought this waterfall pack with me because it has everything I need (labels, letters, journaling spots, and die-cuts) all in one nicely-packaged place. This is key if you want to scrap on the road without schlepping your entire craft stash to your destination.
Mini books need not be fancy! I like to keep my pages pretty minimalist partly to avoid too much bulk, but mainly so I can finish the book before I run out creative steam. You know how it goes.
You can read more tips and see additional photos of my book here and here!
Remember when I talked about how productive I can be when I just leave the house? Well, I think I may have found my most productive workplace yet: THE AIRPORT!
As someone who is perpetually fifteen (twenty, twenty-five…) minutes behind schedule, I rarely have the opportunity to really take full advantage of the airport setting. I’m usually trying to race through security, grab a bottle of water, and get onboard before my plane leaves the runway. Okay, so maybe it’s not that bad (most of the time), but it’s not often that I get to wander through an airport and take a moment to breathe before takeoff.
On Friday morning, I had an early flight to Salt Lake and was pleasantly surprised when the usual weekend rush at LAX was nonexistent. In fact, I was able to get through security in less than three minutes – victory! So I went over to Coffee Bean and picked up coffee + oatmeal (that came with steamed milk – heaven!) and sat down to enjoy my meal. I can’t even tell you how nice that was for a change. Especially since it meant I could avoid the always-futile juggling act of lugging my carry-on suitcase, my laptop, and a large cup of hot coffee down that narrow aisle to my seat (lord beer me strength). Once it was time to take to the skies, I opened up my laptop and got to work! I edited photos, I composed a blog post, and I reveled in the fact that I could be so productive at such an early (read: 7am) hour! There’s something to be said about having to remain stationary for an extended period of time that really allows me to focus and get things done.
On Sunday when I was flying out of SLC, I had to get to the airport extra early to turn in my rental car and on top of that, my flight was delayed. But you know what? I didn’t mind it one bit. Salt Lake has a fantastic airport with plenty of tables, comfy chairs, and outlets coupled with a wide selection of dining options (including coffee! and alcohol! go utah!). I was more than happy to get my standard coffee + oatmeal and find a table where I could take advantage of the several unscheduled hours I had before me. It was kind of the best thing ever.
If I could hang out in that airport at one of the tables overlooking the runway, I would do it every single day. Ahhh, I love flying.
Sundance was one of the first places John and I discovered upon our move to Utah in 2010 and it completely bowled us over. In fact, it STILL bowls me over every time I visit. I spent this past weekend in Utah and on Sunday, my good friend Sarah + her husband Mike took me up to Sundance for an amazing brunch at The Foudry Grill.
After breakfast, we spent a little time shopping (I’ll take one of everything, please!) and wandering around the resort. Just being amidst the trees + the mountains felt so refreshing. One of these days, I want to rent out one of the cabins (or yurts!) and wake up and breathe in that crisp alpine air with a hot cup of coffee in hand. Heaven.
From there, we jumped back in the car and went for a scenic drive through the Alpine Loop, stopping along the way for photos. This time of year is an absolute dream in Utah. The temperature is no longer too cold and not yet too hot and it feels amazing. I’m so glad my trip happened to coincide with the perfect weather!
If ever you get the opportunity to visit Utah, I highly recommend stopping by Sundance. Not only does the resort have so much to offer (including Full Moon lift rides!), but the idyllic drive through Provo Canyon to get there is worth the trip all on it’s own!