Monday, August 29, 2011

Hair Inspiration

and inspiration all around.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Peaceful Dip

Photo from my friend Sophie's trip to Big Sur

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Burgers & Beer and Sun & Moon

Ever since I've joined the Sun Valley Idaho train, my family's been telling me about Grumpy's. A bar for the locals, this dive brings together two beloved indulgences: burgers and beers. During the lunch hour of my last day at the Sun Valley Writer's Conference, I finally stopped in for a brew and a quarter-pounder. The meal was delicious and refreshing (perfect for a hot summer day) but I was also quite impressed with the decor. Covering the wall were old street signs, license plates, kitschy photos and, of course, beer.

The moon sets...

...and the sun shines in Sun Valley. With or without beer.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Sometimes a girl's just gotta buy herself some flowers (or a new camera). It appears that there's a foreign object in my lens (?) or a smudge on my sensor (?) or a UFO in the shape of an arrow lodged inside my four-year-old Canon (???).

Supposedly it'll cost a pretty penny $$$ to get it repaired (along with shipping it across the country to Virgina - how is there no one in the Bay Area who can fix this???) so I'm considering buying a new and improved camera. Any ideas or suggestions? I'd love some advice from my readers.

My advice to you: pick yourself up a bouquet. It made me deliciously happy today.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Style Me Georgia

Photo from here

Without a doubt, the highlight of my trip to New Mexico was visiting the home and studio of Georgia O'Keeffe. Nestled above the highway in her beloved Abiquiu, Georgia's house is an adobe style haven that, one might imagine, was the ideal source for artistic inspiration.

Her personal style was infused throughout, from pine cone filled baskets to her plethora of trees pruned in the bonsai way. Even the lighting had a special touch: save for one lamp, Georgia was not a fan of the lamp shade. The simple, elegant bulb would do just fine.

Although the interiors evoked her stylish tendencies, it was what the eye could see through the windows that really conjured a sense of where Georgia found her inspiration. Whether it was the red clay mountains in the distance or the snake-like highway where she learned how to drive, Georgia had a backyard as limitless as the horizon.

Photo from here

She once said of Pedernal (the reigning plateau in the distance) that if she painted it enough God would give it to her. It was on this flat-topped mountain where Georgia would eventually have her ashes scattered after she died. Details like this convinced me that Georgia was not simply out to convey the landscape through painting, but that she was part of the landscape and thus eternally bound to its offerings through her deliberate and thoughtful interpretations of it.

Now, in preparation for the house and studio tour, I heard something that no blogger wants to hear: no cameras allowed. At first I was disappointed (we've all been there: no photos=no blog), but the moment I entered the property I knew that I wasn't meant to see this space through a lens. I also wasn't meant to revisit it as a slide-show on my computer, flagging the photos I liked best. The experience lives elementally, through my memory and the senses:

the smell of PiƱon in the courtyard, Georgia's kitchen - in tact just the way she left it (canning supplies, herbs and yogurt maker included), the vignettes by the corner fireplace, the way I imagine the carpet in Georgia's studio felt under her feet. When she started to lose her sight, she put in a creme-colored carpet to replace the hardwood. This way she wouldn't step on her doggies. These deliberate details are the ones to carry with you - a camera can't always take the story.

Like I said, the visit to O'Keeffe territory was a total inspiration. The colors of the landscape, the architecture of her home, her general aesthetic appeal. During the remainder of the trip, I felt as if I was looking at the world through Georgia's eyes. What might I see that could play a role in my artistic endeavors? It started at the Flea Market and slowly unfolded from there. Here are some of the visions I kept with me:

The warm tones at Ghost Ranch (another place Georgia called home).

Soft pastels as a color scheme on one of the oldest structures in Santa Fe.

This fantastic Moroccan chair we saw (and coveted) at a shop downtown.

You'll find these everywhere in Santa Fe, spinning with the wind.

The festive decor at Pasquals, reminding me to throw a party someday soon. I bet Georgia threw some good ones.

We took sanctuary in a garden of Buddhas, aka: my dream garden.

Rugs at the Flea Market and a blue sky.

Mexican mirrors, so that I can always see myself in Santa Fe (yes, I took one home).

There's so much Turquoise in Santa Fe that your skin starts turning its color. Oh, wait, that's because you're wearing it. Yes, I took it home.

I wanted to buy a cowboy hat, but we all need to set some limits.

Finally, the classic Santa Fe style architecture. I love these houses so much. I forgot to mention that I wore a very peachy nail color on my trip. It was actually called "My Villa or Yours." In the case of these casas, I'll take "yours"...

There's no harm in channeling your inner Georgia...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Little Tesuque

More of Santa Fe, because why not? Before my recent trip to New Mexico, I'd been to Santa Fe a few times. However, I'd never been hiking in the Santa Fe Mountains. Just a few hours after I landed in the city of Albuquerque, I was hiking the little Tesuque trail with friends that I consider family. It doesn't get better than that.

Our trail of choice links the longer Aspen and Windsor trails. Aspens are one of my favorite trees. This hike was full of them. It always feels like the Aspen is looking at me, probably because it's covered in formations that look like eyes. I return the glance and continue looking back.

Looking, looking, looking...

There was more than just Aspens to look at. I've probably never seen so many butterflies in my life than on this trail. They flapped their wings, darting from flower to flower. They definitely made their presence known and we accepted their flight gladly.

Santa Fe might have that desert vibe, but there is also a lushness to be seen. On hikes, I love observing the layers of trees and different shades of green. There's so much within the collage of the forest. A world to discover, if you're ever looking for one...

On hikes like these I always think, I'm happiest in nature. It's when I feel most connected to my surroundings. Never out of place, unwelcome or confused. Everything makes sense outdoors. Maybe it's because the hardest decision to make is whether to take this beautiful trail or that beautiful trail?

To frolic through the meadow alongside the creek or through the grass, upon the path?

Speaking of decisions, I probably wouldn't eat these. I know nothing about mushroom foraging, but these beauties evoked an interest. Although I wouldn't be removing these from off the log, I got fancy with the close-up mode of my camera. Got right in there.

I love the kind of trip that lets me bring my Chacos (a jaunt somewhere glamorous probably wouldn't be one of those trips. Chacos in the City of Lights? Not so much.). The great thing about Chacos is that, although they might not be the most stylish shoe, they provide for a comfortable hiking shoe while also letting your footsies breath. When hopping from rock to rock over a creek, there's less pressure not to miss your step. It's a refreshing splash in the water as opposed to a soggy shoe. They make wading through water much more fun. Alright, done with the promo...

This trip reminded me of the gorgeous Santa Fe sky. Although there was a bit of rain when I was there, a clear blue sky always peaks out from behind. But the clouds don't block the sun and sky. They make them that much brighter, giving shape to an otherwise vast ceiling.

From then on, it was dreaminess, relaxation and cozy vibes. Oh, and did I mention the turquoise? The lavender lemonade? The rose Quartz? More to come...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Oh, Santa Fe

Just got back from a relaxing and inspirational weekend in Santa Fe. We spent our time eating delicious New Mexican food, hiking into the mountains, bargaining at the flea market, journeying through Georgia O'Keeffe land and hearing our voices come back to us at Echo Canyon. It was special enough for 10,000 blog posts. Here's a first glimpse into the magic:

Rachel and me at Ghost Ranch.

The road to Abiquiu.

The whole world at the Flea Market.

My highly anticipated Zuni purchase.

Sunset outside of Pasquals.

One of many beautiful days in Santa Fe.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wild About Wild Flour

Wild flour bakery and garden, that is. I'm kind of a sucker for bakeries. Who isn't? An establishment devoted exclusively to breads, sweets, tarts, scones, croissants, rolls, buns, muffins - should I go on? Maybe I shouldn't because, unless you're sitting IN a bakery right now reading this post while crumbs litter your keyboard, I'm not in the business of making you drool.

Or maybe I am? Let's change the topic. I also have a weakness for gardens (again, who doesn't?) and the garden at Wild Flour is possibly one of my favorite places in the world. Always full of plump veggies, basically falling on the vine, this garden is the perfect place to relax and inhale the good earth while enjoying a delicious item from the bakery.

Sometimes, while I'm lazing in the sunshine out in the garden, I can't figure out what's lulling me so deeply into a state of calm: is the smell of flowers? The sweetness of the sticky bun? The buzzing of bees? The light coming through the canopy of trees? It's everything.

After our horseback ride, Caitlyn's Bachelorette group headed over to Freestone (a short drive from Bodega Bay) to luxuriate in Wild Flour.

The bakery in action: is there such a thing as too much bread? No, especially when it's of the cinnamon variety. Or, possibly, when there are goat cheese and potatoes baked inside. We got one of each...and more.

After grabbing the best that the bakery has to offer, we went out back to the garden. Caitlyn (above) steals a piece of scone.

In the garden, you see flowers floating.

Squash blossoms growing.

Green here...

Sunflowers there...

Wind chimes everywhere.

Petals upon petals upon petals.

Sweet peas crawling.

This sweet pea, Caitlyn, smiling - as we all should be. Because in places like these, when one is wild, one is free.