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A DAY OF RUINS

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i was planning on posting about the rest of my trip to peru much sooner but well…life happened…between work and an unexpected surgery, i’ve only just finished organizing my thoughts and notes that have been left on my phone for too long. so here it is in all it’s glory, part 2 of my trip to peru, “A Day of Ruins”. in case you need a refresher, you can find my first post here.

our day began with the ruins at ollantaytambo which for the record are at the bottom, middle and top of a mountain…just for the record! so, we began our ascent to the top. much like the burning in my thighs, it’s hard to forget about these incredible views. we were up among the clouds, face to face with the mountain- it was definitely worth the climb… you know, just for the record.

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after our morning “workout”, we went to see the town of chinchero. as we went deeper into town, the quieter it seemed. the little noise we did hear was only from our own footsteps on the cobbled ground. our guide brought us to a church; it was sunday. it felt like we were standing there waiting for something to happen and then the church doors opened. out poured what seemed to be the entire town of chinchero; talking, eating, playing. this quiet part of town was now filled with color, laughter and food. i felt surrounded and consumed and i loved it!

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our guide told us that after church, the women gather to talk about their community and discuss items of “business” while the men play futbol. i think these peruvians might be on to something! just below the plaza was a marketplace with food, trinkets and lots of peruvian goods, so we went to have a look. surprisingly i didn’t buy a thing! rob, however, couldn’t help himself…he just HAD to have it.28

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we ended our day at pisac with some more ruins on top of another mountain, with more incredible views…are you sick of it yet?? me either. stay tuned for the main event…peru post number 3…MACHU PICCHU!39

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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

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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.

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TRADITIONS & TEA

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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

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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.

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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.

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THE LAST LADY DATE OF THE YEAR

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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!

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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.

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RECIPE: MIXED BERRY PIE

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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AN ITALIAN WEDDING

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

 

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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