Getaway; Ace Hotel DTLA

We stayed at the Ace in DTLA for our friend's wedding. Unlike the Palm Springs hotel that has a mid-century casual desert vibe, this is more a boutique-style with Spanish Gothic architecture. My favorite part of the hotel was the restaurant, L.A. Chapter. The breakfast was the best I've had in a long time but then again, I can't say I've had terrible granola bowl or pancakes. Even if you're not able to stay the night at the hotel, stop by the restaurant. 

May 2014 Favorites

Let's take a look back at favorites for May 2014


Favorite Instagram Feed this month is @njinla. She’s a food blogger with a love for California. She makes a plate of tacos look so polished. It’s full of her weekly CSA deliveries, culture, and beautiful plates of food not only styled but that’s good for you too. 

Favorite Purchase would be traveling. Buying experiences over things wins, always. I’ll never remember the silk shirt I purchased but I’ll always have the memory of the small road trip I took instead. 

Favorite Moment would be when friends Aline and Mark getting married. I’ve known them for years and there are so many cheesy things I can say about their wedding but it was a perfect way to celebrate their love and I’m so honored to be a part of it. I also met so many great people that are a part of their lives. 

Favorite Music is You Blew It! This record isn’t for everyone. Unless you miss the 90’s emo music revival, You Blew It! was made for you. I don’t listen to it for the nostalgia of it, I love this type of music and this is the perfect band for what I love right now. Listen to them for free on Spotify and Rdio


King's Highway Diner

Ace Hotel in Palm Springs has a restaurant on location, King's Highway. It's a retro-ish dive but with good food and good service. We went to the Monday Night Bingo and I loved it. The hotel lot is small enough to walk over and order to go and take back to your hotel room, watch the desert sunset, the mountains, the palm trees, all the stuff made of romance while stuffing your face with Crushed Almond Joy- a chocolate flourless cake with almonds, coconut pudding, and and salted caramel. It was one thing I had to stop for before we left home! 

King's Highway and their menu

701 E Palm Canyon Dr
Palm SpringsCA 92264

Getaway; The Saguaro in Palm Springs

I've been wanting to stay at this hotel for years since I saw it on Rubyellen's blog. Overall I liked it. It's a novelty but it also had good customer service. We explored the hotel and each day we did we found something new. Across the street is Native Foods, an OC vegan friendly favorite! There's also a grocery store down the street and the room provides an empty fridge. We were able to eat healthier with those options. 

This is what I pulled up to- even the exterior was magical.

The lobby and interior were inviting and look at the pink air conditioner!

Our room was orange and yellow theme. I would have loved the pink room but I can't discriminate against anything colorful and bright. It even featured a purple carpet. It was a Laker's fan come true- yellow and purple

There was also the pool with the views of the vibrant hotels. I know there's so many photos of this scene but I can't help it!! You're probably thinking ok, enough with the color. we get it. you love it. STOP. NEVER!!!!!

Just a quick note- I'll be closing down comments for now. I haven't had a chance to blog much let alone reply and visit other commenter's blog. It doesn't seem fair and I noticed most of the community build is either Twitter or Instagram. It's one less thing to worry about in this hectic time. Thanks for understanding! 

The Doors of Palm Springs

We drove to Palm Springs and our Prius took us to places we would normally pass up if we weren't driving. One of them was the neighborhoods of Palm Springs. We saw beautiful modern architecture and I fell in love with the desert inspired doors most homes had. Below are images of Elvi's honeymoon vacation home, Marilyn Monroe's estate, the famous pink door house, and Liberace's Palm Springs getaway along with just homes I really loved.

New (Makeshift) Treadmill Desk

It felt good taking almost a month off from blogging, I really missed it! It wasn't intentional- I got sick for a couple weeks, then I left a week for Palm Springs. Then I came home and my stepdad had a massive heart attack. He's fine, thankfully, and he's getting surgery. Please send good thoughts for a healthy recovery! Between taking care of my family, being away from home and prepping for weddings, and trying to take care of myself, something had to go and that was blogging.

I'm back now! And I'm blogging from my treadmill. Yep, a treadmill. I read this article it's been on my mind for some time. I've read hundreds of articles and endless info graphics on the dangers of sitting too much. Instead of buying an actual treadmill desk, I just went to Home Depot after I measured the size I needed, asked for a finished piece of wood. It's not secure, but since I'm not using it for sprinting or anything, it's secure enough to not fall over. I plan on using for running still and I want the option to take out the wood. Plus I don't want to drill anything in the treadmill. I'm sure I can tie something around it and drill holes in the wood, but I think it works great now. 

Also- I'm short. This size works for me. I think a regular sized treadmill desk would actually be too tall for me but this is perfect. I also got the Polar Watch with training data on it and I'll be updating how it's going. 

This is the perfect time to start walking and working, along with Pure Barre classes. When you watch one of your parents almost die from their poor eating habits, it makes me strive to be a better example to my family. 

Friday Darlings

Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling. 

I'm a little embarrassed to post this but I got so many compliments on my nails when I wore these, I thought they'd be worth sharing. They're actually press-on nails! Yes! Normally I would think they're tacky, but I didn't have time to do my nails and I grabbed these last minute at Target. I'm sure if I spent more time being careful with application, they'd look more "real".  You can check out the website here for more designs! 

I'm a little embarrassed to post this but I got so many compliments on my nails when I wore these, I thought they'd be worth sharing. They're actually press-on nails! Yes! Normally I would think they're tacky, but I didn't have time to do my nails and I grabbed these last minute at Target. I'm sure if I spent more time being careful with application, they'd look more "real".  You can check out the website here for more designs! 

+ Things No One Tells You About Blogging (free e-book). I can't wait to read this! 

+ Let's Talk About the Sad Parts. I loved reading this. There is help out there. 

+ The real reason why an editor isn't responding to your pitch.

+ The Blessing of a Stillbirth. Scott, my husband and a published writer, wrote something a few months ago and finally went forward with it.

+ Paige Baker wrote an article on fighting withe diabetes. It's hopeful, beautiful, heartbreaking and it makes me love her more. The Subtext of Disease

+ Want to know if your Instagram photo is going to be popular before you post it? 

+ Want to be more creative? Take a walk

+ Emerging Thoughts is having a sale. 25% off with the code "love". Ends today! 

+ If you think the blog is dying, read reasons why you should keep blogging. 

+ Friday night pizza night! 

Enjoy your weekend! 


Loly In The Sky

Yep, this is a sponsored giveaway but don't worry, it's a brand I 100% support, love and recommend!

I am so excited for the new Loly in the Sky line! I saw them all over Instagram last year and I loved their designs. I purchased a couple pairs last year because I was impressed with their pricing, their designs, and their quality. They were my favorite pair for the summer and they still look great after so many wears. Loly is popular with flats, but they’ve introduced wedges, heels and sandals.

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I was so happy when they wanted to work with me. After I received my complimentary pair to review from Loly for the new season, I was even more impressed. On top of all the new cute designs, they’ve re-designed their shoe for ultimate comfort. They’ve added a removable cushion padded foot bed for the shoe. I tested them out before I wrote this post, I wanted to make sure this is something I’d recommend to readers. After I wore them for a few days, a sweaty day to Disneyland (gross, sorry) and standing on my feet in them, they still kept their cushion, and I’ll be the first to point out- I am not a lightweight. The padding still stood well and I had the option to wash them (again, gross, but if you wear flats often in the summer, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about). Loly took the extra step to make the foot beds anti bacterial. 

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Not only are the new designs even more comfortable than last season but they adorable and also more sophisticated. The shoe is handmade and designed in Mexico, where in Loly in the Sky is located and began. It provides job for their area, which I love and support. Every now and I then I see someone wearing a pair, I can spot the familiar “L” brooch on the side of the shoe. 

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Loly has also added a dust bag with the new shoes. Something I never thought of having for my flats, but considering they’re going to last a while, it’s a great detail they’ve thought of. The shoe I purchased is called the “Coco”. I should point out the sizing- even last year they sizing was different than women’s US sizing chart. When I purchased both shoes last year, I had to get two different sizes. My biggest advice would be to follow their own size advice! Every shoe is different and if you need help with sizing, the site has a great chatting feature. I’m a 7.5 to 8 but I was sent the 8.5, and they fit perfectly. 

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I love these shoes. Just like I bought two pairs last year, and I got a complimentary pair this year, I plan on buying another pair. I have my eye on the Juliet. Yes, this company does want to sell shoes but they also are a brand I love to support. I love what they stand for, who they are, who's behind it and what they're about. You can get your own pair here

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April 2014 Favorites

Let's take a look back at favorites for April 2014

Favorite Instagram feed is sophlog. Her feed is a California dream. Her view of California is the most colorful and amusing I've seen yet. I've seen hundreds of photos of In n Out but I never imagined a shot of a burger and fries look so dreamy. 

Favorite purchase would be scribd. I feel a little guilty getting this because I'm such huge supporter of libraries and libraries now offer Overdrive, a FREE library of digital books. I wanted scribd because not all the books I want on digital are on Overdrive, just like not all the physical books I want to read are readily available at my library. It's like netflix, but for books! 

Favorite moment was a mix of beautiful memories I have now. I met Kate Gabrielle, Cassie, Ashlee and her family, childhood friends visited from Florida (hi, Janelle!) and I celebrated Aline becoming a bride soon! I've had tough moments, heard sad news, seen friends struggle, but through it all, it seems the year becomes more and more hopeful. It has to go up once it's gone down, right? 

Favorite music has been anything from The Rocket Summer. I feel like I'm in college all over again. The best way to describe Bryce Avary's music? Imagine every motivational and hopeful Pinterest poster quote in one album. You can listen to The Rocket Summer on rdio or spotify. 

Here's to May 2014! 

Aline in Wonderland - An Alice in Wonderland Themed Bridal Party

Aline had her bridal shower and it was appropriately themed Alice in Wonderland or what we called it, Aline in Wonderland! 

There were mixed tea sets and tea pots, with different version of Lewis Carroll's book as decorations and there were tiny "drink me" notes tied to each cup, just to name a few of the details. The decorations were so well thought out, they were amazing and you can see them throughout the photos. The tassel was made by Tissue Paper Party on Etsy.

Friday Darlings

Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling. 

The first year I bought the house, I planted so many roses and rose bushes, I'm finally reaping the benefits. 

The first year I bought the house, I planted so many roses and rose bushes, I'm finally reaping the benefits. 

+ Impossible Film goes wild with skins 

+ Why You Should Follow "MySpace Tom" on Instagram

+ I watched American Blogger this week, and while I have my own good and bad review on it, overall I really liked it. This post, from a blogger in the movie, was the one I related to most. 

+ Donate your clothes to homeless if you're in NYC.

+ I discovered this new blog and so many books! 

+ Friday night pizza night? Uh...

+ It's not even the end of spring and I've officially finished my second bottle of this for 2014. It's my favorite under makeup or alone. Please please wear your daily sunscreen. 

+ The difference between motivation and inspiration.

+ There are so many infant-loss groups on Facebook, I found one that helps with losing baby weight when there's no baby. 

+ Amy Estes will have herself a best selling novel one day but in the time, I'll enjoy her weekly essays. 

Have a great week! 

Grow

We're growing our own organic garden this year and hoping it'll cut back on our grocery bill next spring. The herbs and romaine I planted last year can't stop growing and are giving me so much, I've made herbs de provence with almost every dinner, and it's saved me money on my daily GG smoothies. So far we have mint, thyme, cilantro, rosemary, sage, and tarragon. I placed a couple of the herbs in their containers and kept forgetting to plant them but overtime, they grew roots on their own, and broke through the bottom of the container. In our dirt pods, we've planted cucumber, spinach, corn, beets, squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, and goji berries. We have a greenhouse (a small one we found on amazon and it works great), some dirt, seeds, and a little time and motivation, and we're hoping to reap the benefits next year. 


Kacie's Cookies

Last month Kacie sent me a box of homemade rosemary lemon cookies. At first I thought she hated me because who adds rosemary to a perfectly well baked cookie? I've never imagined rosemary in a baked good and she opened up my taste buds to a new world of herbed desserts.  They were so delicious, I asked for the recipe. It's such a surprising ingredient and it's always a hit when I tell people what's in it. You can find her recipe here. Thank you, Kacie! 


Unplugged for 40 Days

I don’t want the title to be misleading- I gave up TV for lent, not for good, and I still spent hours on the internet. I’m not scolding anyone for watching TV, just listing how awesome it was from my own personal experience. 

I've never participated in it but I didn’t know lent was something talked about until I read Jen's post. I thought it was like tithing- it’s personal. I wanted to share this because unlike tithing, something required, lent was a choice. I chose to challenge myself. The whole point of lent is to substitute whatever you're giving up to replace with acts of worship or something to get closer to God. I decided on TV because I love TV. I've never loved TV so much than I have at this moment of my life. I find comfort in it, I find humor in it, I find inspiration from it. If I want to tune out sad feelings, watching TV is a great alternative to feeling them. So I gave up the one thing I didn't want to give up. I decided to replace with worship music, and I made a playlist. The first hour was good, I felt inspired and ready to take on the next days. However, I barely made it through the first day. I had no idea how much terrible worship music was out there and it took me weeks to find something good. Once I got over my music tastes, I found out giving up TV was one of the better things I’ve ever done for myself- 

I ate cleaner. I didn’t watch commercials for food, or cooking or baking shows. I really believe in the out of sight, out of mind meaning. I didn’t see sweets or fatty foods, I didin’t crave them.

I moved more. I get bored. I get antsy. If I was sitting at my computer too long without the tv on, I got up, left the house, walked to the grocery store out of boredom, ran on the treadmill to listen to more music. 

Combine those both, and I lost weight. It was a mix of moving more, and eating better

I tweeted less. I didn’t realize how many tv-related tweets I had. Plus I didn’t want to read spoilers. 

I slept more. I didn’t have HGTV on at midnight. As soon as I was in bed, I was asleep a minute later. I’ve never experienced 8 hours of sleep since high school and according to my fitbit, I hit 7-8 hours every night. 

Less triggers. No baby commercials! To clarify, babies are NOT triggers for me (half my Instagram feed are babies, and I love and celebrate each one) but if I'm staring off into the TV, my mind goes into dark terrible places.  

I discovered new and loved music. I love music but over the years I’ve stopped listening to it as much because of TV. I pulled out old vinyl, and listened to over a hundred albums on my queue in rdio.  

Surprisingly I didn’t read much. I was in the middle of reading 7 by Jen Hatmaker, but I didn’t want to be influenced by her experience, I wanted to have my own so I put it down for lent. I read my Bible more, I felt more inspired without images, I blogged more, I had a cleaner home, we took up gardening to name a few. I dealt with issues that made a big step in going forward in my grief.  When we finally did watch TV, we weren't that impressed. Our DVR was filled and by the time lent was over, we had less than 2 hours of recording space. Today we just got rid of premium cable, deleted a bunch of TV shows, and are contemplating canceling netflix. I know it's only less than $10 a month but that money seems to steal me away from what I loved experiencing most- life! Like I mentioned, I loved TV more than most people and everything works in moderation, but there was no such thing for me. I hope this helps someone out there contemplating giving up TV, or even less of it. 

Friday Darlings

Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling. 

This week has been busy and full of love and friends. There has been three visits to Disneyland in one week, meeting online friends, celebrating birthdays, gardening, and flea markets. 

This week has been busy and full of love and friends. There has been three visits to Disneyland in one week, meeting online friends, celebrating birthdays, gardening, and flea markets. 

+ Clean eating approved cheesecake? It exists

+ This has been my favorite lip liner for the past few weeks. I didn't realize I wear it so often, I'm almost out. It's a mix of pink but with a red undertone. 

+ Friday night pizza night

+ This is what I'll be doing this weekend. 

+ I love love what Savannah carries in her bag, even the baby stuff. 

+ The culture of Pinterest- I don't agree with all of it, it's worth a read. 

+ I would love to shop at this

+ I love what this company does and who they do it for. 

Enjoy your Good Friday! 

Art School Dropout + A Giveaway!

Yep, this is a sponsored giveaway but don't worry, it's a brand I 100% support, love and recommend!

What I have up on my wall, this adorable pink Home Sweet Home banner, took 4-6 days to complete. It was a process of handmade, detailed labor of love from Jessee, founder and artisan behind Art School Dropout. I won't go into too much detail to give away her daily grind secrets, but I'm forever impressed. She may be an art school drop out, but her work was a best sellers. Her shop has a little bit for everyone, including the best selling banners, but also accessories and other things you didn't realize you needed until now. 

I really didn't know what to expect when I read "hand cast plastic". When it arrived, it was beautiful. Now I see what the description means when it says "one of a kind". It looks like glitter, but it's not overbearing. It will fit any type of decor and when you walk by it, there's an extra surprise. 

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A lucky reader will have your own chance to win one of these awesome banners! The winner can choose any banner in the shop, that includes pre-orders or custom colors! All you have to do is enter below (click here to enter in case the entry form isn't showing). 

Custom Nike ID Low Blazers

I don't need another pair of sneakers, but I found myself on the Nike ID page and a few minutes later I got a confirmation saying my shoes were ordered. When they arrived, they were so beautiful, I had to take a million angles of a pair of shoes. As for the size, they are a tad bigger than the Nike Free's I normally wear for working out. I'm not sure if that's the style of the Blazer or just weird in sizing. I'm a 7.5 and that's what I ordered, but there is a little bit of room to wiggle my toes. I'm sure that extra space will come in handy when my feet are swollen from the summer heat. If you just want to purchase the Blazers but not make your own, I love these, these and these (and this pair if you're feeling brave).

Friday Darlings

Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling. 

This photo was taken at The Chromatic Gate in Santa Barbara.

This photo was taken at The Chromatic Gate in Santa Barbara.

+ I love makeup. LOVE. I love neon bright lipstick, smoky eyes before noon, and blush that looks unnatural on purpose- not all at once but you're brave if you can pull it off. I think it's also brave to go without makeup, especially when you're a fashion blogger. Leandra writes about how she feels when people call her ugly because she chooses not to wear makeup and it's as beautiful as her (makeup or not)

+ I can't deny my love for pink and readers associate that. This made my day. 

+ On the topic, I love this pinterest board

+ This makes me want to dust off my bike and go riding again. 

+ Calm Your Anxiety. 

+  I've been eyeing The Paper Mama's jewelry displays and they're available to purchase. 

+ 12 Books to Read for Spring

+ I have a Fitbit now. Let's cheer/taunt each other

+ Social Media Etiquette from someone who has kept it classy. 

+ I've been eyeing this camera strap! So pretty. 

+ I don't need another cute camera bag. I don't need another cute camera bag. I don't need another cute camera bag. I don't need another cute camera bag. I.DON'T.NEED.ANOTHER.CUTE.CAMERA. BAG. !!!!

+ Friday night pizza night! 

I hope you enjoy your weekend!