lifestyle

THE GOOD.

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A BIRTHDAY ROAD TRIP

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tis true, my twin and i turned 26 last weekend and to celebrate we took a quick road trip to monetery. to make the most of our weekend, we headed up to san luis obispo on friday after work. it was a tough task but we made it. we stayed the night in slo so we could get an early start the next day, a reservation at the copper cafe was a good reason to set an alarm on the weekend.

this place was a DREAM. i’m already trying to plan another trip to slo so i could stay at the madonna inn and be surrounded by pink at all times of the day. *i hated pink as a kid and i think i’m making up for it now…*

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Copper Cafe

*cody making fun of the fact that i ordered three drinks with my breakfast* yes, i bought one of those goblets from the store and will be drinking all of my liquids out of it forever.

did i mention these two joined us for the trip?? dang i love them. (best roommates ever)

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post breakfast we went to see bubblegum alley- where you can surround yourself with other people’s spit and bad breath by choice! no, we did not contribute to the wall…

Bubble Gum Alley

Processed with VSCO with e1 presetProcessed with VSCO with e1 preset Processed with VSCO with e1 presetwe continued our drive up north by stopping in morro bay to try and see some otters. SPOILER ALERT: we didn’t see any otters but we did see a corgi so we consider that a win.

after our corgi sighting, we continued on to cayucos for some cookies and stumbled upon a vintage store where i almost took home this jacket…some serious thought went into deciding against this jacket. i toss and turn at night wondering if i made the right decision.

Drivingand so the road trip continues to big sur! this was a long stretch for us; it took a few hours to get to the next stop… a lot of snacks and some terrible views were consumed within those hours (see below).

so we didn’t get the obligatory bixby bridge picture… as we approached the crowded bridge it was a pretty unanimous decision “DON’T STOP! KEEP GOING! WE’RE ALMOST THERE!” we were so close (yet so far) to monterey and as much as we wanted this road trip to be about the journey, we really wanted to just stop driving. in hindsight, we could have used another day (or two) to really explore but you live and you learn right?! once we got to monterey, we dropped our bags off at the hotel and headed straight to dinner to drink and eat our weight in pasta – WE DESERVED IT.

before embarking on our journey back home, we wanted to see the beautiful 17-mile drive. i know what you’re thinking…”before you drive the 6 hours back home, you’re going to drive 17 miles to see beaches?!” the answer is yes, and like i said, “you live and you learn.” i loved our not so little road trip up the coast and spending time with my loved ones in a car for hours on end. would do it again in a heartbeat.

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our weekend on film below. xx

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

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there are so many incredible and inspiring women that i look up to so in support of international women’s day, i’m posting a few of them here for you. you may know some of them but if you don’t already, get to know them…it will only bring you joy. happy international women’s day! may we empower, support and trust in each other! xx

“Little actions, like wearing a hand-stitched message on your chest, can spark conversations that we collectively need to be having right now. Starting meaningful dialogues has always been an essential goal of ours.” – Rachelle Hruska MacPherson 

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“a musician unbound, from the conventions of country music, from the tiresome arguments over what constitutes “real country,” from an industry that hasn’t so much made her a superstar as it has watched her become one anyway.”

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“A self-described “Céline woman” of the Phoebe Philo era, she has the casualness of Bieber but the refinement of a woman you could spend your life trying to emulate.”

“I’m not just going to post shoes,” Welch says, “You’re damn straight I’m going to say what I believe in. If that has consequences, I think the consequences of being quiet are way bigger.”

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“Her drive to confront structural racism, sexism and classism would be remarkable no matter what her age — but when delivered by an 18-year-old it is, frankly, astonishing.”

“Yara’s character, integrity and intellect are matched by a deep sense of purpose, which is extraordinary to see in someone so young,” said Burch. “She is positioned to become a voice of her generation.”

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“Natalie Prass has a voice like a cupcake, a creamsicle, a rainbow. She has a way of infusing the simplest turn of phrase with unspeakable wonder, injecting a line with a trill or a breath, wielding pause and emphasis with expert, joyous control.”

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“Ocasio-Cortez has become the new face of the resistance, electrifying the media, emerging as a hero to millennials alienated by broken government, and confounding establishment Democrats as much as the “alt-right dudebros,” as she calls them, who have attempted to trivialize and villainize her.”

“There are a lot of things that just need to change. And friction and conflict is just a foundational element of change.”

GIFTING GUIDE:

GIFTING GUIDE FOR HERwe’re nearly two weeks away from christmas and i’m just making a list of all the things i need to get. i wish i was more consistent with my christmas shopping. one year, i’ll have everyone’s gifts wrapped and under the tree WEEKS before christmas and the next year i’ll be out on christmas eve braving the crowds and screaming internally. from year to year it’s always different but if you’re like me (this year) and you need some gifting inspiration, you can take a look at my gifting guides below!

 

GINGERBREAD SPICE & EVERYTHING NICE!

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it’s that time of year again! where the christmas music is overplayed (guilty), turtlenecks are worn in 70-degree weather and i pretend to be on the great british bake off. the best place to pretend you know everything about baking is at williams sonoma, but it’s a dangerous place to be during the holidays. they have peppermint bark, holiday mixes and lots of festive dining decor… which is how we ended up here with this blog post! i saw this holiday bundt pan and knew it’s rightful place was at home with me. it didn’t matter that i had never made a bundt cake before, i was going to make a bundt cake now. i’ll admit baking does not come naturally for me, i need a recipe and i will follow that recipe to the very last pinch of salt. so, when i saw this gingerbread spice quick bread i was at ease having the reassurance of detailed directions all along the back of the pretty packaging. this recipe was quick and simple and i can’t wait to make more for the holiday season.

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apparently, while mixing ingredients i bounce as if i’m trying to put a newborn baby to sleep…it’s a new technique.

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A WEEKEND IN CHICAGO

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this past weekend my sister and i went to chicago to see our two friends tie the knot. there is something magical about that city in the winter, maybe it’s because i’m not from there and i’m born and raised a cali girl so i’ve never really experienced “seasons” but i fell hard for this place and it’s crazy weather. i mean the weather wasn’t ideal for exploring and on the day of the wedding, i experienced rain like i’ve never seen before but since it was my first time to chicago, i wanted to make the most of our quick trip… so i made an eatinerary – see what i did there?? this basically determined where our time was being spent based on which restaurants we were eating at. saturday we pretty much dedicated that day to catching up on sleep, crying and dancing. i’m a great wedding date by the way.

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the next day, the weather decided to chill and stop raining sideways, so we were able to spend some time outdoors. first stop on the eatinerary- goddess and the baker. this place was PACKED… so we ordered quickly, snagged a spot and devoured our breakfast. we didn’t get any pastries for the road because we had many more stops to go on our eatinerary and didn’t want to get full before we got to the rest. it’s all about pacing yourself right?? i am kicking myself for not getting at least one pastry to try… my biggest regret of 2018. HANDS DOWN.

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to try and walk off our meal before the next stop on the eatinerary, we headed over to millennium park. as we approached the park, we could see an ice rink peaking through the trees,  we smelt the christmas tree and felt the crisp air on our cheeks. it felt like we were stepping into a hallmark movie and i never wanted to leave.

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next up on the eatinerary was some schnitzel, pretzels and cheese from the christkindlmarket. we underestimated how crowded this place would be (on the 1st weekend of december…who were we kidding??) we looked at as many vendors as the mob would let us and squeezed our way to the front of some store to purchase some christmas trinkets. to emphasize just how crowded it was- this was an outdoor market and i was sweating from all the body heat. unfortunately, because of the crowds and the fact that we had to catch a flight later that night, we had to cut our time at the market short and weren’t able to try the schnitzel, pretzels or cheese but we made sure to grab a hot chocolate in the cutest little souveneir mugs on our way out!lrg_dsc04438-1

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going from one hot chocolate to the next! this was a must for our trip as we’ve read here, here and here . mindy’s hot chocolate… god this place is good and it’s got all the awards to prove it. courtney had the old fashioned and i the dark oat milk… i have never tasted something so diviinnneeee. to top it off, there were homemade marshmallows in our drinks. yep! HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS. i’m ending this post on a deliciously positive note. until next time chicago! xx

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LOS ANGELES COFFEE FESTIVAL

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this past saturday my sister and i decided to get hopped up on caffeine and explore the los angeles coffee festival. if i’m being completely honest, i use instant coffee regularly- it’s quick and doesn’t taste terrible. i, however, did not disclose that info with any of the coffee connoisseurs out of fear of being shunned and having rocks thrown at me. lucky for us, there were a lot of nice people who knew a lot about coffee and were willing to explain a lot of it to us…

our first booth- elmhurst 1925, a plant- milk company. we got to taste their new barista edition series which was created to give a more rich and creamier consistency than your average plant based milks…i told you there were nice people willing to explain things to us! the new barista series will be hitting retailers very soon so keep your eyes open!

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next up, the straus family creamery. 1. it’s organic- (the first 100% certified organic creamery in the country) 2. the woman at their booth made us milk tea coffee and we will remember it and cherish it for the rest of our lives.

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i know what you’re thinking…“you went to a coffee festival and all you did was try milk and creamers?” don’t worry, i’m getting the coffee…

there were a lot of vendors that were environmentally conscious. it was so great to see all these companies showing that they care.

cold brews… i love a good cold brew and chameleon cold brew is one of the good ones. i already knew what they were all about and stopped by their booth to selfishly indulge in their goodness. if you haven’t tried the mexican coffee cold brew, drop everything now and go to your nearest gelsons, whole foods, cvs, target and get your hands on one. you won’t regret it.

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one particularly great part about this festival was the support it had for the arts. to learn more about each project, click on the links below.

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and now for some “adult coffee” by mr. black coffee liqueur…all the way from australia! coming from a visual merchandising background, i was originally drawn to this booth because of its decor. i was handed a shot of the cold brew coffee liqueur. thinking it would taste mostly like coffee with a hint of alcohol, i took the shot. i was WRONG. it tasted mostly of alcohol with a hint of coffee. they have so many yummy looking recipes online that i would definitely be interested in trying some of them but i think i’d pass on having any more shots.

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this booth isn’t technically coffee, but it is coffee flavored! i didn’t get to try any of the coffee candy but i overheard only good things from the folks that did.

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thanks for the good times and the caffeine high LACF!img_7124-1

 

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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