last 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.
such a beautiful day for a farmer’s market. music, food and friendly faces.
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.
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!
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.
after our failed attempt at camping in the desert this past weekend (who knew the desert got so hot? -that’s sarcasm) we decided to make some lemonade with our sour lemons so we stopped by the desert x exhibition on our way home to see mirage by doug aitken.
finally 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.and 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).
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! we 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.
after my stop in stockholm, i was on my way to italy to see my dear friend hannah. i took a bus, plane and train to get to cortona and after a full day of traveling, it felt so good to see a familiar face and such a cute one at that! i met hannah’s boyfriend luca, their new pup milo (mee-lo) and i finally got to see the place that hannah’s been calling home for the past year and a half. after i arrived we met up with luca’s friends and went out for drinks and dinner. luca told me how they all grew up together, knowing each other’s families and playing on the same futbol team… he was explaining to me how where they’re from you’re born and raised there and you don’t really leave- his reasoning “why would you want to leave?” after my time there … even i didn’t want to leave!
in the mornings, hannah and i would walk down to the piazza with milo to get breakfast before she went to work. milo and i would wave goodbye as she left for the train, then make our way back home for some good old fashioned puppy cuddles. luca is an amazing cook and he really knows his stuff. i felt so spoiled having these two cook for me. coming from someone who is pretty terrible in the kitchen, eating delicious homemade meals was a highlight of my trip. for lunch they made homemade fish tacos… i still have dreams about it and hannah’s habanero peach jam!
most of the time milo and i would keep each other company while we waited for our food to be ready. on sunday we went to luca’s parent’s house. his parents had a fig tree and we picked some right from the branch, they were so sweet! all the food here is so fresh, luca picked basil from the garden and made pesto from scratch for our pasta. like i said… he knows his stuff!
we took a trip to florence so hannah could take me to eat the most delicious sandwich on the planet…i stand by my last statement.
earlier this month i went to visit a friend in italy. i booked my ticket through kayak which had an amazing deal…the catch was a 21 hour layover in sweden going to and from italy…fine by me! i’ve always wanted to go to stockholm so it was nice to get to spend some time there and explore the city, even if it was for a hot second. in my first 20 minutes in stockholm, i stumbled upon a record store. i went in and asked the guys who worked there if they could recommend a good swedish album that i could buy. they showed me a couple of options and then both agreed on det stora monstret. i was anxious to listen to it, i figured these guys would either take this seriously or just give the “american” the worst record they could think of. thanks to them, i now own an amazing record and one of my favorite souveneirs. walking around gamla stan i was going in and out of all the shops and cafes. i took this after i had loaded up on all the swedish chocolates i was going to bring back to the states. i love that this picture makes it look like a ghost town when in reality everyone’s actually inside the candy shop…that place was a zoo but it sure was magical. shortly after, i began to crash…my jet lag was REAL and my tylenol cold was wearing off. i desperately wanted a nap. i found this little garden behind a building and laid on a bench for a bit. i sat listening to the sounds of the city, watching people pass through, i think i could’ve laid there forever.
this cafe made fresh squeezed orange juice and the kids inside were mesmerized. it was really sweet seeing their excitement.
for every blanket you purchase, sackcloth & ashes will donate one to your local homeless shelter. living in los angeles, it’s hard not to notice how many people are left on the streets and sometimes we’re not really sure how to help but with sackcloth & ashes, they make it a little easier to lend a helping hand. you can buy your sackcloth & ashes blanket here.
babylonstoren seems to be straight out of a movie. where the writer goes to cure their writer’s block, where the busy city girl goes to unplug or where the lost 20 year old goes to find their purpose in life. regardless of what character you are, babylonstoren welcomes you to the country getaway you’ve been looking for. you can see more about the farm and hotel here.
babylonstoren offers one-bedroom suites, one-bedroom cottages and two-bedroom cottages.
guests can enjoy hand-picking their own crops or can dine in the hotel’s restaurant, babel.
– noun– a large natural elevation of the earth’s surface rising abruptly from the surrounding level; a large steep hill.
i love what mountains represent; journeys, goals, battles… all of it! it doesn’t matter how small or big your climb is, the view at the top is worth it. photographer nicola odemann has me swooning over her photographs. taking me to far away places and reminding me to keep climbing!