blogger

SEDONA: A WEEKEND GETAWAY

Sedona 6sedona is one of my favorite places to visit, as i’ve mentioned here, here and here. it’s just close enough for a quick weekend trip, yet far enough to escape the city life in los angeles.

{i originally wrote this post a year ago and never got around to actually putting it up on the blog…why? because sometimes life happens and you move on to different things BUT since it’s now a year later, on memorial day weekend, i decided why not post it?? it’s like a weird full circle moment. a lot has changed since the last time we were in sedona, more on that in another post.}

this memorial day weekend i spent most of my time reading and soaking up some vitamin d in santa monica. as i’m typing this, courtney and leo are flying back from england…i’m waiting to pick them up from the airport and trying to distract myself from the excitement that i will soon be reunited with my two favorite people…it’s been a long two weeks. aaannywaaayy, last time we were all in sedona was to visit the newest member of our family; squirt the mini horse. for a long time, leo was the newest member of the family- taking in all the love, attention and glory… not sure how he’s been coping with the fact that squirt has stolen his thunder, but i mean look at this horse! he’s stolen all of our hearts!Sedona 7Sedona 5on our way back to the house, we stopped by the mcguireville annual tractor and engine show. each year the town hosts this show over memorial day weekend putting all their tractors on display. we didn’t stay long, not that there wasn’t much to see but if we stayed any longer, we would’ve melted into the asphalt… so we went to the creek to cool off.Biker

Sedona 10Sedona 8

before our long weekend came to and end, we had to make one last visit to see squirt. we just couldn’t get enough of him! after saying goodbye to the little guy, we headed back to the house for a bonfire, cake and some tunes. god, i love sedona.

Sedona 30

Sedona 14

Sedona 17

TRADITIONS & TEA

TEA TIME 4

this past sunday i posted a picture of myself and my two dearest friends and captioned it “18 years and counting”. 18 YEARS! 18 years of friendship, laughter and some embarrassing stories… but 18 years of life together. i don’t know if it’s because of oprah’s golden globes speech or because it’s my time of the month (not sorry) but 18 years is giving me ALL the feels…feeling extremely grateful in particular.

every year during the holidays we get together to exchange gifts, it’s been our tradition for as long as i can remember. each year is a little different but more or less the same. we’re tasked with trying to chat, open presents and consume all the cheese and wine within a respectable amount of time. this year was particularly different… it was the last year with just us three. next year will be momma kenna, auntie taylor, auntie kenzie and baby easton! i have spent a lot of time with these two over the years; with their families, in their home and both of them in mine and i can’t believe all of the things that we’ve done together but i especially can’t wait for all that we will do in the future. xx

TEA TIME 8

something i get from my mom is her love of wrapping and decorating… and her freckles. sometimes i forget that people need to be able to open their presents rather than just stare at my beautiful creation. bless kenna and her patience, this bow was no easy feat.

TEA TIME 5

the night before our get together, i was at disneyland with the fam and saw this adorable “baby’s first christmas” ornament. i had to get it for momma kenna.

TEA

 

THE LAST LADY DATE OF THE YEAR

BROAD 1

last post of 2017! what better way to end this year than with my ladies. man, lady dates are good for the sooouuul! earlier in the week, i went out with my sister and my museum buddy to spend the day downtown. first up was yayoi kusama’s exhibit at the broad. somehow by the luck of the draw we got tickets to this amazing exhibition… 4 months of anticipation and we finally were able to see yayoi’s amazing work.

after the museum we walked over to the grand central market to eat ALL the yummy food. we ate at the sari sari store where courtney and i reconnected with our filipino side. it was the second best adobo i’ve ever had…first being my grandma’s and nothing can ever top that. dessert was served at valerie’s where dana and i shared a coffee crunch cake with honeycomb all over the icing and we nearly died. it was the best last lady date of 2017!

BROAD 3

BROAD 24BROAD 11

BROAD 13

BROAD 31BROAD 29

BROAD 32

BROAD 36

on our way to the grand central market, we stumbled upon the angels flight railway and hopped on. this is where we cried when we had to walk up all the stairs on our way back to our car. good times…good times.

BROAD 38

BROAD 47

BROAD 49BROAD 45

DSC09149

RECIPE: MIXED BERRY PIE

PIES 22

the best way to spread christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear by baking PIE. okay… to each their own but for me, nothing says “merry christmas” quite like a homemade pie baked with lots of love.

meet taylor- yoga instructor, pie baker and best friend of mine for 19 years and counting. for tay, it all started one night at home watching the food network. she was looking for something to cheer her up and decided to bake using whatever ingredients she had available in her pantry… and that’s when the mixed berry pie was born, bringing a happy tear to every pie lover’s eye. she brought the pie to work to share with her coworkers and they LOVED it. so much so that folks requested her pies for their party, their sister’s baby shower and for their thanksgiving. she sold 15 pies for thanksgiving! this pie is no joke. we’re sharing her recipe below but if you want one made special with her love and magic touch, you can message her here!

dough:

  • 1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of butter, chilled and diced
  • 1/4 cup of ice cold water

PIE 3

in a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, one teaspoon at a time until a ball forms. Toll out to fit 9-in plate. set in the refrigerator until filling is ready.

PIE 4

with the remaining dough, gather and roll out to create your own personalized stamp on your pie. IE 11

filling:

  • 2-3 cups of frozen berry medley mix
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla

PIE 33

heat berry mix in a sauce pan on medium heat. in a separate bowl, mix together; sugar, flour, eggs, sour cream, vanilla until completely smooth. in another small bowl, combine brown sugar, sugar, flour, cinnamon.

PIE 34

pour berries into the dough lined pie dish. pour custard on top of the berries. sprinkle the sugar and flour mixture on top and lightly mix with fork.

set oven to 350 degrees and let the pie bake for 40 min or until edges are golden brown.PIE 31

pie 28me waiting for the timer to go off…nikki keeping it real.PIE 12PIE 26

PIE 24

SUNDAY FUNDAY

EDIT sometimes the best plans are the ones you didn’t actually plan for. on sunday a friend asked if i wanted to go to the 14th factory before it leaves los angeles for good. i spend a lot of my weekends in orange county visiting my parents (and their dogs) so she was shocked when i actually said yes. look at me being spontaneous!

on our way to the museum, gps couldn’t get a word in edgewise (we like to talk… a lot) and we passed the museum on our first go but once we turned back around we snagged a spot right in front! the parking gods must have been looking out for us and my excitement about this is 100% warranted because in los angeles, if you find a spot on the street where you don’t have to walk a mile to your destination, that’s considered a blessing. we both took it as a sign that our last minute plans were meant to be…and so began kenzie and dana’s DAY. OF. FUN! 14th factory museum

14th factory art museum installation Stanley Kubrickart paintings 14th factory los angeles museumSunday 32EDIT 1Sunday 28

Sunday 23

Sunday 18Sunday 16Sunday 11after the museum we went to salazar’s for lunch. our stars really were aligned because we found ANOTHER amazing spot right in front. i’m not kidding, i felt like i needed to test my luck and buy a lottery ticket.

okay. i’ll stop talking about parking now and get to the good stuff…the food. i had the vegetable tacos with grilled cauliflower, carrots, roasted fennel and pickled ramps (my mouth is watering as i write this post) and dana had the chilaquiles. by the end of our meal, we were sat in our chairs trying to collect ourselves after graciously devouring our food. no regrets. NEW EDIT

Sunday 5being friends with dana is like a blessing and a curse…most of the time it’s a huge blessing but my god does this woman know her food! if we keep hanging out like this, i’m going to have to join a gym (which she’s been trying to get me to do since we met. sorry, but i don’t like sweating with strangers).

after lunch we went to wanderlust creamery (still debating if this one’s a blessing or a curse). famous for their artisanal flavors (sticky rice and mango, kinder bueno, ube malted crunch), we tasted almost every one they had, they even had flavors inspired by game of thr(c)ones. i couldn’t think of a better way to get me in the mood for sunday’s episode so i had the “dragon’s blood” and “winter is coming”. Sunday 2

Sunday

AN ITALIAN WEDDING

IMG_0873

it was only in september when i was last in cortona visiting hannah and luca for the first time. fast forward 9 months and i’m back in cortona with my brother for their wedding…their WEDDING! this was cody’s first time in cortona (in italy actually) and i couldn’t wait to show him all the things that made me fall in love with this little town. i didn’t need to do much selling, cortona pretty much sells itself. between the wedding, sight seeing and pasta eating, i think he fell hard for it too.

cody and i flew into rome pretty early and couldn’t check in to our hotel until 2pm soooo we freshened up in the lobby bathroom (thank god for l’ocittane’s verbena refreshing towelettes) and began our first day in rome at 7:00 in the morning! (i think this is what they call making lemonade out of life’s lemons). first up? the spanish steps…cody was eager to run to the top and take in the view… i was eager to run from the sun and keep the awkward jumpsuit tan at bay (spoiler alert, i still got an awkward tan).IMG_0251

IMG_0323

after a full day in the city, we were ready to check in to our hotel room and get some rest. with a nice shower and a belly full of pasta (i promise to show all the food pictures), it only took me about 3 seconds to fall asleep. i think i might take this secret back with me to the states and use it as my bed time remedy…

one train ride later aannnddd we made it to cortona! we went out to explore the town before dinner and ran into some familiar faces in the piazza; the bridal party, some wedding guests and even the bride and groom! i love small towns.IMG_0343

IMG_0897

there was a market in the center of town over the weekend, so we spent our morning browsing all the vendors. with a lot of self convincing (and cody’s reply of “you don’t need that.” to my “but it’s itaaaalian!”) i managed to not buy a thing! it was hard….like really hard. after we walked through the market, we caught the train to florence to check out the uffizi museum and stop for lunch at my favorite sandwich spot. hannah took me to this place last time i visited and i couldn’t wait to take cody. he’s only heard me talk about it every day since we got into italy.

it’s wedding time!!! i’m so happy to have made the journey to witness these two share their love for each other. the ceremony was translated in english and italian and took place overlooking the beautiful province of arezzo. the day couldn’t be any more perfect. salute to the happy couple!

Processed with VSCO with b1 presetIMG_4236

FullSizeRender 28the day after the wedding, we went over to the house where hannah’s family was staying and hung out poolside with the newlyweds. it was the perfect way to spend our last day in cortona.IMG_0759IMG_0726

IMG_0682

IMG_0724

IMG_0739

IMG_0784

cody and i left for rome the next morning. this time around, we took a pretty relaxed approach to the city. we spent the time we had left in italy as laid back as we possibly could… wake up. eat pasta. roam the streets (pun intended). eat gelato. roam some more. repeat. we walked through the villa borghese gardens, found a bench and sat there for a couple of hours. there was a light breeze that day, i think i could’ve listened to the trees sway back and forth forever.IMG_1387

 

IMG_0842

IMG_1353IMG_1330

OJAI: A WEEKEND GETAWAY

OJAI 16last weekend we went up to ojai to get some good old fashion fresh air and vitamin D. only an hour and 15 mins north of los angeles, it made for the perfect weekend getaway. while out exploring the city, courtney and i discovered one of our new favorite shops, it took a lot of convincing from her to stop me from buying every damn thing in sight. as we continued to roam the streets, we were able to really grasp the feel for the community. everything about ojai is focused on its local community and i love it. on saturday we ate at the town’s pizza joint (papa lennon’s pizzeria) and shared a table with a family and their dog. their dog was going from table to table as if he were the owner of the restaurant, checking in on everyone, making sure we were all enjoying our food and having a good time and then he’d lay down wherever he felt comfortable. the next day at the farmer’s market we saw that same family as one of the vendors. i didn’t know them personally (although i felt like i knew their dog) but there was this weird familiarity as if they were my neighbors i’ve known for years “hiya dave, how’s the wife? is little jimmy doing okay?” but i guess that’s ojai- making you feel welcome and part of the community, even when you’re just visiting.

DSC01463such a beautiful day for a farmer’s market. music, food and friendly faces.

OJAI 11

we couldn’t wait to get back and try all of our new goodies. the quinoa bread with the balsamic vinegar olive tapenade went perfectly together. i found out that unlike the rest of the popcorn flavors which you can buy online, you can get the rosemary garlic flavor (my fav) at the farmer’s market. i would drive up to ojai for this popcorn over and over again.OJAI 20

our amazing digs for the weekend! my boss built this place from the ground up and now that it’s in it’s final stages, she offered us to stay there before she puts it up on air bnb – make sure to keep an eye out for this property this summer!DSC01826DSC01918DSC01628Bathroom

DSC01708DSC01777

DSC01749

i don’t know what came over me but the minute i saw these chickens i ran outside and wanted to be close to them… i have about 500 pictures to show for it.OJAI

SXSW: AUSTIN, I LOVE YOU

SXSW 72finally getting around to posting some photos from sxsw and this is just the first batch! my brother-in-law was playing a showcase this year and i invited myself to join him and the boys in austin as their roadie/photographer/”we have 10 minutes to leave” alarm clock. i couldn’t wait to get back to austin. my first time visiting was with my brother back in october when we were in town for acl. it felt like we were visiting the face of the sun rather than texas (maybe texas is the sun?) but not even the heat could keep me from getting that tingly “i think i’m in love with you” feeling inside. i had never felt so at home in a place i’d never been before and when i returned “home” i think everyone realized just how close they were to losing me

leo and i were the first of the sxsw crew to get to austin, so we hit the ground running and did some exploring, then our reality of a 4:00am wake up call from this morning started to set in so we went back to the hotel, took a 5 hour nap (we crashed hard) and then ordered room service… #yolo. come morning, we were refreshed and ready to avenge our lost time and show that nap just how rock ’n roll we really are!!…but first, coffee (skinny vanilla late please) and then things got really hard core…we went to the apple music showcase and met up with a friend of ours who works for beats 1 radio and was so nice as to share in the open bar and good music with us. thanks olivia xxoo.SXSW 60SXSW 61and so, my transformation of becoming a southern belle has begun- we drank, we mingled and we listened to good music (midland– above- stole all of our hearts, even the brit who doesn’t listen to country music). things started winding down and we were ready to head to the next show. midlands had just finished, we were all filing out and like a moth drawn to a flame (metallica) we experienced our very first pedicab ride in austin. i mean it was hard to say no, all signs pointed to “get in the friggin pedicab you’ll never make it on foot” so we got in. bless our pedicab driver (cyclist?) how he managed to lug us all the way downtown and keep up a conversation i will never know, but one thing i do know is he had great calves and i do remember staring at them for an uncomfortably long amount of time (uncomfortable on his end) and then being caught by him staring at his calves (uncomfortable on my end). SXSW 58SXSW 74

we spent a lot of time at the british music embassy showcase because well…leo’s british… aaaannddd they had a really good line up.  as the night went on, the crowd kept getting bigger and bigger and at this point i was holding my camera, my new sxsw hoodie and my beer. i had no free hands to take pictures and too much crap to try and weasel my way to the front. the fact that i didn’t bring a purse or backpack was making me look weak and unprepared to the other sxsw attendees… i could hear all the whispers… “amateur” “how could she not bring a bag?” “wow, she is sooo unprepared”. but what all those naysayers didn’t know is that i was not alone. and that’s why i would like to go on record here and thank leo for holding my sweatshirt all night because it was expensive and i didn’t want to lose it and i wouldn’t tie it around my waist because it didn’t match my outfit. it’s because of you, i have these pictures to post, you are the real hero. you also gained major brother-in-law points and i promise that if you ever need to store anything in my purse, you can… just make sure you tell me ahead of time so i can coordinate how big of a purse i need to bring. k thanks! BBCSXSW 48SXSW 42SXSW 41SXSW 52SXSW 53SXSW 50we danced so much this night… 1. leo and the boys had just finished an amazing show so we were all ready to celebrate 2. these guys know how to boogie, i’m just a little upset that i didn’t know about the matching metallic jackets and shoes… i was ready to throw down.SPORTS

SXSW 29

featured above- midlandthe japanese house, the vryll society, sports

 

 

SXSW: LEO JAMES CONROY

ljc-4 very excited to be joining these boys at sxsw this year. leo james conroy made his solo debut at sxsw in 2016 but returns to the stage this year with some help from his friends. i’ll be down there shooting some fun content for them so stay tuned for all things sxsw! below are some photos from the live session we recorded last month.

ljc-6

ljc-7

THE PEOPLE. EMILY NG LITTLE

85930014emily ng little is a freelance artist living in los angeles with her husband nicholas, their pup cooter and their cute baby girl lucy. after graduating from college in texas, emily made the move to california and started her career as a production designer, stylist and art director. we met about two years ago working for the same production company. we spent a lot of time together on set and quickly our relationship blossomed into such a sweet friendship. not too long ago emily and her little fam started making these adorable stop motion videos that she shared with her friends and family. i asked emily if i could come by to take some  photos and see where the “magic” happens. i got to spend a full day with the littles and it was such a treat! you can find all the fun babe&bunn creations here.

theblog: it’s sweet that these videos are like a family affair. how does everyone contribute to the task?

emily: “if we had titles mine would probably be the creative director and nicholas would be the technical director. once we decide on what video we want to do, i’ll usually come up with the general idea and story. after we come up with a cohesive idea, i’ll storyboard it and break it down into a props list and start sourcing materials and making everything. when we’re ready to shoot we set up everything in our living room. the camera is actually just my iphone attached to a light fixture in the ceiling- we’re super low budget. {laughs] animating with the baby can be a huge challenge because she doesn’t take direction very well. when we’re done shooting i’ll do most of the editing in photoshop and aftereffects. then we add the music, which is just me playing a really simple tune on the ukulele. when it’s finally all put together, we’ll watch it a couple times then high five and drink a beer and that’s pretty much our entire process.

theblog: what made you want to start doing these stop motion videos?

emily: “well as you know, you actually have an indirect role in the conception of what we’re calling the babe&bunn videos. after moving to la a few years ago i decided to take a step back from contemporary art and began working in the art department for film. after doing a gig at a stop motion studio i realized that’s what i really wanted to start doing, but at the time i was really beginning to flourish as a production designer and stylist. after i got pregnant and had to stop working for a while i decided to use it as an opportunity to make a career shift. it was hard to get back into any sort of studio practice and working on my own stuff, especially trying to find time with a newborn, but then your sister’s wedding video came along. you asked all of us to make a video of ourselves toasting the new couple. the criteria was that we had to be in it, we had to be holding a drink and we had to say “cheers to the conroys”. i suppose it was one of those things where limitations breed creativity. it was so much fun to make and came together so quickly and organically that we wanted to ride the adrenaline and make another. it felt good to work on something again, creatively and in the general sense. it’s all kind of silly, really, but really fun too. we have a youtube channel and everything!”

8589002485930018

theblog: did you grow up in a creative/artistic household?

emily: “you know i didn’t. not really. i would say that i grew up watching my parents work with their hands a lot and through that may have acquired traits like dexterity from my mom and meticulousness and high standards from my dad, but creativity was sort of this innate thing in me. my parents said i was very curious as a kid – i couldn’t sit still and had to be fiddling with stuff, figuring objects out. it was the same in school. i pretty much went overboard on any sort of creative project and would spend way too much time and energy -i would even get teased for being such a nerd about it. i was always interested in art and creative writing but i never considered it any sort of career until college. although i knew i wanted to work in the creative field, i was undecided for a while and thought about going into fashion or advertising or interior design. ultimately, i found out that the art school required the least amount of academic courses and at the time, i was really over the traditional structured idea of school, so i decided to apply and got in. it was a bit impulsive, but discovering the contemporary art world was really new and different than my previous academic life- it felt very freeing and full of possibility, like i was finally good at something.”85930012theblog: how’s life as a new mama?

emily:“it’s wonderful. i still find myself completely overwhelmed with the idea that there is now this tiny human being living in our house. everything she does is basically the most impressive thing my husband and i have ever seen. seeing her discover the world and how she takes everything in is really kind of this constantly miraculous thing. time, priorities-everything is different, more urgent. but at the same time there is this casualness to it all, this naturalness to motherhood. i guess i would say that being a new mom is a life full of dualities. it is without a doubt the most challenging and rewarding experience i’ve ever had in my life. i can tell you all the things that makes having a baby difficult-never getting enough sleep, never having personal time to do anything, testing your patience to the limit-but i can’t quite articulate what makes being a parent so particularly amazing. there’s just something about having this little thing who relies on you and loves you so much, who is full of potential, who you made and is made of you. it’s indescribable.”

“i really want her to grow up knowing my creative spirit.”

theblog: do you find creating more fun with a baby?

emily: “ha! well, i will say that it is difficult to do much of anything with a new baby. but my creative self has definitely felt a sense of renewal and the mindset that i’m in now is much more productive and spontaneous. life is less dramatized and nowadays, whenever i have a tiny window of time i’m using it to it’s fullest potential because that time is so rare. lucy has definitely been a great source of inspiration-not just for the videos but as a reason for making. i really want her to grow up knowing my creative spirit. i think all parents must find themselves being more creative. you spend a lot of time just playing. she’s still a bit small, but i’m looking forward to the really fun stuff like making castles out of cardboard boxes and putting some sort of band together with the dog.”85930008

theblog: do you think you’ll keep doing these videos when lucy gets older? 

emily: “you know, i’m really not sure. right now we’re having a lot of fun with them and are planning to continue making them but i feel like they may evolve. once she’s older we’ll have to consider how she’ll want to be involved and if she wants to be involved at all. but i’m also interested in exploring other avenues within this format. i’m just really looking forward to seeing where this all goes.”85930015