Camping 101 | Lessons Learned . . .

We went camping for the first time 2 weeks ago. Up to this point, my only experience with camping was sleeping in a tent in the backyard of a friend’s house for a few hours when I was 9. (It got too “chilly” and we decided to come in and reclaim her bedroom). Our friends, Tandalaya & Warren are avid campers, and they invited us up to their campsite to hang out with them and their kids. All of us were really excited to experience nature up close and personal. We drove up to Leo Carillo State Beach, in our car packed to the hilt with snacks, a tent, blankets, pillows, changes of clothes, bathing suits and towels. When we got there it quickly became apparent to me that we were camping novices!! Upon walking up to the campsite and viewing the cozy layout, 2 things were made very clear to me:

1. Our tent was pretty small for 4 people.

2. Camping requires ALOT of packing, planning, unpacking and organization!!

So here is my camping experience in bullet form, to briefly share our trip:

  • Overall feeling: Love camping; Underlying feeling: Camping is not as fun without the right stuff!!!
  • Don’t skimp on the blankets: Didn’t bring enough blankets so Rob and I froze all night.
  • Must. Get. Larger. Tent. -preferably one with 2 rooms (Yes! they have those, even ones with 5 rooms and screened porches!!)
  • Always check to be sure the ground where you are setting up your tent is LEVEL. I awoke with a pretty bad back ache because I had spent the night trying to keep myself from rolling onto Nadiya! The slightest incline makes a world of difference in your sleep.
  • You can have a blow up bed to sleep on in your tent??? WOW!!! Note to self: must research . . .
  • Get Warren’s rib recipe!! Total mouth-watering yumminess!!
  • Eating ribs with a plastic knife and fork (due to braces): not so fun.
  • Hatred of public restrooms: CONFIRMED. My natural aversion to public areas of waste deposit is in tact.

There were many highlights of our trip, (funny Jamaican ghost stories, good conversation & of course, good food) but I think the one that stands out most is being awakened at 4am by an overly-excited bird I had never heard before. It made the most interesting sound, and was very adamant about doing it right outside our tent. I don’t know what he was singing about, but it sounded ALOT like “McDonalds!  . . . McDonalds! . . . McDonalds!” I’m not a fan of McDonald’s food at all, but that bird could make alot of money if the McDonald’s PR peops found out about him!!!

We had a fantastic time and we are going to do it again next year. But this time, we will invest in a larger tent, and be sure NOT to set up our tent on an incline!!

Have you ever been camping before? Did you like it?

3 Days of Sheer MAGIC . . . Travel Day 1

I’m gearing up for the MAGIC show in Vegas next week. I love going to industry buying shows. There is so much inspiration and it just feels great to be in the middle of all that energy. Whenever a business trip is approaching I can’t help but begin wardrobe planning in my head. Try as I might, I am NOT a light packer, so the way I go about combatting that, is to lay out a blueprint of my daytime/evening outfits in my head. I tell myself it helps me to pack more effieicntly, yet I still manage to look like I am going on an month-long pilgrimage to some far off land. No matter how much editing I do, I end up leaving the house with an oversize suitcase and a separate overnight bag (+ a purse + a bag for my laptop & work). I know it’s ridiculous. I can never seem to avoid the semi-silent chuckle and non-threatening eye roll I get from my husband when I ask him to “please honey, can you bring my suitcase downstairs?” He never fails to ask once again how long I will be gone, knowing the answer is a mere 3 days. I can see him trying to figure out “what is in this damn suitcase that weighs 40 lbs!??!” I save him the trouble of pondering and tell him “its the shoes.” Shoes can make or break an outfit. Even worse, I suffer from plantar fascitis, so I have to wear comfortable shoes when I know I am going to be doing a lot of walking. In my book, comfortable translates to ugly. Therefore, I have to switch out shoes. I have to bring cute AND comfy. And that means separate pairs. Can’t wait for the day when someone makes a cute . . . dare I even say sexy AND comfortable shoe, that exists as one whole complete package!!!! Anyway, while I am head-plotting my outfits, I thought I would share them with you. Here’s my idea for day one. (We are driving up, so comfort is key!!!!)

On second thought, considering we have had sweltering heat lately with temperatures in the triple digits, I think I might switch out the skinnies for a skirt or pair of shorts!

Bright & Airy . . .

So much has been going on lately it’s been hard to even come up for air! I’m working on a fun design project that I will share with you once it moves out of the “covert” stage. In the meantime, I am still working on all previous projects from my trusty little Ikea desk in my bedroom. This causes me to daydream quite extensively at any given moment, both opportune and inopportune, about the type of space I would like to be working in. I found this picture and I just want to be here . . . working or not. Clean, bright, open and airy. Non-cluttered and spacious. You know what they say, conceive it, believe it and then achieve it . . . I got it covered on all fronts!

Have a spectacular Sunday!

 

Mood Board Mondays: Tangerine Dreams

Such a warm, yummy color . . .

Beautiful . . .

Frida Pinto

Awesome color combo + a gorgeous face.

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Beaches . . .

Happy Friday yall!!! Today I am meeting with my web designer to begin work on my new website! This has been a long time coming. I’m so excited! It’s so great to be taking those little steps toward the bigger picture.  Have a fantastic Friday, and a wonderful weekend! xo

Life in Pictures . . .

And so another month comes to a close . . . Hard to believe we are so quickly approaching the month of August!! It’s amazing how fast this summer is going! Nevertheless, this has been a good summer. Last week our cousin from Chi-town came to visit. It’s been about 25 years since I last saw him . . . and that’s pretty damn amazing considering I am only 27!!! Lol. Anyway, we don’t have much family on the West coast, so it was fantastic to catch up and reminisce. July has been filled with good food, family time, fun outings and time spent with loved ones. There is nothing better. This week we gear up for our first family camping trip! We are meeting some dear friends up in Malibu for a little fun in the sun. We’re all really looking forward to it. And since I am not taking any work with me, I am posting this now, that way I know I’ve done my due diligence and completed the month on the good foot! As I look back, I can see there are a few things I am not able to cross off of my July Goals list, but I guess that’s what August is for!!

Have a great Tuesday and keep reaching for the stars!!! xo

Fine Feathered Friend . . .

Kate Moss for Love #8 Fall/Winter 2012

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Randomocities: Balancing Acts | Work + Family

This weekend I had a crazy allergy attack that kinda knocked me off my feet. Luckily the worst is behind me now. I don’t get sick often, but when I do it makes me stop and take a look at what’s going on in my life. While I was recovering, I realized that I am feeling a little overwhelmed. Why? Because I am still having a hard time balancing work & family under the same roof, 24 hours a day. My bedroom is doing double duty as Command Center One for my business, and it is showing signs of distress. I’ve really been having a hard time keeping my work area neat and separate from my clothes, laundry and shoes. I’m thankful that I have a bedroom that can accommodate my desk & design tools, so this is not a full on complaint. This is just me recognizing that something’s gotta give. Meanwhile, I am really trying not to have my mind on work while I am spending time with my family. I hate being that person who is always on their phone tapping away during face to face conversations. I think it is rude and unnecessary . . . unless maybe your name is Barak Obama, then you get a pass for running the country and indulging in face-to-face conversations simultaneously. However, Barak Obama I am not, and lately, this has been something of a challenge for me. During the summer days I seem to take little work breaks, where I break away to my desk to shoot off an email or make a phone call. When there is a project at hand, I block off a few hours to sit (hopefully, yet unlikely) uninterrupted and complete it. Still, the guilt is there. I don’t expect to be available to my husband and kids all day everyday, but there is something that is understood when you are leaving the house to go to work. People know you will be less available, and that’s okay. But when Mommy is locked in her bedroom frantically typing into her computer, it just doesn’t seem to carry the same weight . . . at least not yet. I’m holding fast to the idea that this too shall pass. And though I find it hard to believe, school will be in session again shortly. I can’t believe we are almost face to face with the month of August. Realizing this, I am vowing to take every moment as it comes. I truly am enjoying having my family around. Even if I do have to take little breaks here and there!!

Tuscany in Black & White . . .

I love the gritty classic feel of black & white fashion editorials. The contrasts found in a black & white image can really set the tone for fashion magic!! These stunning images above are of Karolina Kurkova, shot in Tuscany by Miguel Reveriego for Vogue Spain. Love. Love. Love!