guts, grit, and glow

Last week's day dreams, while traveling to through Austin and Seattle, had me reminiscing and thinking about how one day I would look back on this time in my life and I would title it, "the LA years."  I guess I've realized the day will come when I no longer live here and this time in my life will be but a chapter in my story.  As much as I love and appreciate the city right now, in my heart I've always known I'm a country kinda gal and one day I'm gonna make my way back to those Texas fields.  But, for now, its just a distant dream and LA is still a magical, sun-soaked reality and I wouldn't have it any other way.  But, these 'LA years' had me thinking about all the other places I've called home and I came to the conclusion they are also a part of my story.  It can all be so conflicting sometimes, it feels like I leave behind memories, friends, and little bits of life each time I move.  Sometimes I wish I could just pick up all the geographical pieces and mesh them into one giant place that combines everything and everyone that I love.

Let's start with Philly, oh sweet Philly.  Where I first learned to truly live on my own.  First time in a big city.  First job.  First solo apartment.  There were a lot of firsts and a lot of tears if I'm remembering correctly?? I'm not totally sure because I think I've mentally blocked those parts out.  But even so, Philly taught me how to be tough, it gave me guts.  There were times when I was put through the ringer but I came out stronger for it and learned not to take things so personally or get emotional about things that didn't deserve my time or attention (any fellow Pisces out there know that the struggle is real).  I learned to have the guts to speak up.  I also figured out that east coasters say exactly how they feel, even though it may not always be what you want to hear.  I learned to love and appreciate that quality, and I think that might be the thing I miss most about Philly.

Next up is Texas, my home--where I got my grit.  First and foremost I developed an obsession with all things antique, over loved, worn-out, and vintage.  Scouring antique fairs with my mom, growing up in farm houses, riding to school in old pick up trucks, climbing on top of the hay bales.  Texas shaped me as a designer and an artist and I realize it now more than ever.  It made me tough but sweet, and instilled an appreciation for anything with a history.

Lastly, I like to think Los Angeles, and the golden state it resides in, gave me my glow.  When I say glow I mean more in the figurative sense that for the first time I felt like all the puzzle pieces were falling together, not to say new puzzles didn't arise but I was finally able to live in the same zip code as Morgan, I was all about my #dreamjob, and at last I was amongst all the beautiful nature I had craved so much the year before.  I was happy--so, happy in fact that I guess you could say I was glowing (and like to think that I still am).
So after those very lengthy, somewhat biographical few paragraphs, I guess what I'm getting at is--for all you people out there with friends/family/memories spread all across the US and possibly the world--don't feel conflicted.  You can love the places and the people in them equally and all at once.  I think we take a piece of each place with us everywhere we go and that's what make us all so unique.  We're truly a product of where we're from and all the places we've hung our hat along the way.



sanctuary in the city

Currently watching the 'Girl Boss' on netflix and thinking about the parking ticket that I have to pay in 45 minutes before they try to charge me late fee.  But still dreaming about my sanctuary space from yesterday.  Sometimes you just have to bring the inside outside and create an area worthy of your chill time.  I brought my favorite pillows, cushion, and glass of wine and was totally in my happy zone for a while after work yesterday.  Actually, come to think of it, yesterday was a pretty great day in general because work was abnormally creatively fulfilling and made my heart so happy.  Today, however, has been a strange one.  The wind has been insanely strong here in LA and with it came a weird anxious energy.  you know those days when everything just seems off?  And you try really hard to move past it but as soon as you do something else goes wrong?  That was me today.  I would say I'll be spending all weekend in this very spot trying to recover from the week, but I'm actually going home to Texas.  We're traveling to Austin for vintage shopping next week and I couldn't help but visit my hometown the weekend before to get some family time in.  I'm missing those wide open spaces.  Can't wait to be inspired and find some amazing vintage next week #soooostoked.



poppies in her eyes

Wherever you are at this very moment, I hope you are feeling the renewed energy of spring.  I hope the season is inspiring you to get out and soak all that beautiful sunshine in.  Sometimes I think we forget how healing the sun can be.  I mean, I live in LA the supposed land of eternal sunshine, and even I can forget just how healing some time outdoors can be (that's not to say you don't need to protect your skin, I'm all about that SPF!) Something close to therapy occurs while I'm out in nature just letting my mind wander, soaking up the suns rays.  (I try to get there as often as I can)
Last weekend's wandering thoughts were especially beautiful because they happened in this windy field of poppies.  California has been killin' it with the wildflowers lately.  I think I've officially made it my goal to seek out every noteworthy patch in southern California before they die off, who's with me!?
P.S.  maybe it's just spring, but I've been feeling every sort of femme, white, poplin, cotton, blouse thing in my closet paired with washed/destructed denim.  It just feels so right!  One of my favorites is this vintage long shirt dress I got at the rose bowl.  I cut it off to make a mini dress/tunic sort of situation and I can't stop wearing it.



technicolor dream jacket

Lately I've been thinking a lot about this blog, photos, content (lol at that word) and the current river of media that never seems to dry up in our daily lives.  It can be so overwhelming, all. the. time.  I've even found myself becoming slightly depressed over this constant stream of media because I'm wondering where I fit in to all of this?  Where do any of us fit in?  Usually I'm fine with creating just for the sake of my own happiness and sanity, but feeling that way all the time is easier said than done.  It's easier sometimes, when my photos or my dress didn't turn out quite as planned, to ask myself, "whats the point!?"
As the world becomes more homogenized everyday through the constant spread of information, I think now more than ever it's so important to stay true to ourselves.  It's not always easy, but its important.  Keep writing, keep creating, keep singing, keep painting.  Turn our phones off, disconnect, and do life in real time.
Try to weed out all the 'noise' of everyday telling you what to wear, what to listen to, what to eat, and stick to what truly makes you feel good inside and out.  It's so hard sometimes to listen to what my inner self is telling me, sometimes I have trouble hearing, but the more and more I try the louder that voice gets and the easier it becomes to listen.

Thursday evening after work I heard that voice.  I felt a little jolt of inspiration and Morgan and I took our camera around the corner in our neighborhood.  The light was beautiful, I was wearing my favorite vintage jumpsuit/jacket combo, and we even found a secret staircase covered in beautiful palms and bougainvilla blooms.  It was pretty much the perfect end to our day.  I was also reminded of why this is my favorite time of year.  I think if I could I would want the sun to stay out for about 99 percent of the day.  I can never get enough of that beautiful light.



white walls: 3 things you should know

I'm currently in the process of painting the walls in my small bungalow apartment white.  I started with my kitchen nook/studio space because it felt like the right way to go.  You can see my previous wall color here, although it was a light neutral, it just felt a little dingy and old school.   Since there's not much we can do to a rented apartment we figured a little paint could have a big impact, and pretty much every image that lives on my pinterest board features white walls.  Soooo, we naturally decided to give the whole white wall, clean, bright thing a shot.

1.  White walls are kind of scary.  Scary because I didn't realize how bold of a statement it would be.  White is an eye catching color, which is probably why I have so many images of white walls.  If you're thinking about going for it, go ahead and take the plunge.  I started to doubt myself after one wall, but when the entire space was done I was in love! 

2.  White walls force you to be colorful.  I'm a girl with many sides, I like soft neutrals, I like color, I like it all!  So when I was finished painting I realized I drastically needed some color on my walls to help warm it up and bring back the eclectic feel.  I ditched my old soft, natural mood wall images and refreshed them with some bright new ones that I'd been collecting.  I'm really feeling this mexican/canyon/hot pink with red vibe.  I also realized a lot of the objects I'd been collecting over time had been white or neutral, next rose bowl or flea market trip I'm going right to any object with color to help make the shelf pop.  Which then brings me to the table.  We had painted white to also help brighten the space.  Now we're thinking about sanding this down, beating it up a little bit and staining it something slightly darker than a natural wood finish.  The new table would add warmth and texture to the space.

3.  White walls are cozier than you think.  After seeing the first wall one of my fears was nighttime.  I love my apartment at this time, especially with small lights everywhere, candles, and music playing.  It feels so cozy and feared the white walls would make it feel cold and more like a gallery than a home, but I was completely wrong.  I still have my cozy feeling, and the white actually makes the existing lighting in my house feel a lot fresher and less yellow than it actually is.  And in the day time, well this place is complete MAGIC.

Basically if you're thinking about going for it, do it.  I opted for a warmer, slightly off white instead of optic white, which made me feel better about the whole thing.  We don't see ourselves moving out of this apartment anytime soon, plus it's the best $15 I think I've ever spent.  What do you think about white walls?  Have you already hopped on the band wagon??

P.S. I love the article linked below, from design sponge, that talks about the white wall craze.  It also makes me curious to research more global design (i.e.: tokyo, scandinavian, greek...etc)


bali design + travel journal

504 hours abroad, 52 hours of travel, 5 different airports, and 482 emails later I'm finally home.  I just returned from a crazy good, and exhausting, three week long design trip.  It was mostly work, but we always manage to have a little bit of fun in between.  We stayed up late, worked hard, laughed a lot, cried a little(aka tattoos!), felt sick a little, and drank watermelon juice...a lot.

Twice a year, my boss (even though I don't like calling her that, she's more of a mentor) and I travel to the magical island of Bali to work with our talented counterparts there to dream up and make a capsule collection for Free People.  I still have to pinch myself so I know it's real, but it's absolutely the best part of my job.  This time we also went to India for a week after Bali, but more on that later.

Over the years, we've become quite the Bali locals (or so we like to tell ourselves) so I figured I would start sharing little bits of my trip, so that everyone can experience this island like a regular.  Side note:  if you ever have a chance to experience Bali, do not hesitate any longer.  Book your ticket now! I'm serious.  The plane ride is brutal (from the US anyway) but when you get there it is totally worth it!  It truly is life changing.  So now for the good stuff...

Once we got a little break from sketching we headed over to Canggu to check out the famed 'Old Man's' bar.  We ordered margaritas, some fish and chips, and made friends with the tech guy--we got dibs on the new wifi password before anyone else.  I loved seeing all the surfers pour in, and what everyone was wearing.  The laid back beach vibes.  The people watching!

We were staying at a beachside resort in Seminyak for one weekend, so we headed out to do some inspiration shopping.  I honestly am not a huge shopper, but in Seminyak all the shops are so unique and quaint that I don't mind it at all. It gets my brain going!

We found a taco place close to Oberoi road called Lacalaca and of course we had to stop, it was soooo good.

Oh yea and then there was the whole "we're gonna get tattoos in Bali" thing, but so glad we did!

The dream team that makes all of our pretty clothes a reality.

Design life involves lots of bags, basically a mobile office.

Other than our weekend in Seminyak, we spent the rest of the time away from the chaos in Sanur.  The beach on that side of the island is one of my favorites, and even though you don't get the sunsets because its on the east, it's totally worth it.  We spent the day finishing up our sketching there.

We stayed at the Hotel Puri Tempo Doeloe.  It's a tranquil, jungle-like setting of mini Joglos that have been painted bright colors and turned into hotel rooms.  A joglo is a traditional balinese house found in small villages.  We ended up getting the villa so we could have more space to work, and it included a more private setting with a pool.  I left this place basically wanting to turn my apartment into a mini island getaway, so inspiring!

Counting down the days until our next trip!
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