NURTURED BY NATURE // "Said Destination"

For our anniversary this year, Jonathan had a surprise planned for me.  Because I don't like to be out of control (something I'm working on), I was a bit freaked out, so my friend just kept referring to the trip as "Said Destination."  

The destination was this amazing place called Nurtured By Nature.  People like us who go & pay for our play-time with the animals are also providing the lovely people who run this thing with the funds to give kids with life-long or terminal illnesses the chance to play with these animals as well.

We got to meet a sloth, which Jonathan was stoked on.  That was a nice surprise for him!  The baby fennec fox was the cutest thing ever.  But my favorite part was swimming with the otters.  Oh.  My.  Gah.  It was just amazing.  I love otters.  They're just the coolest, cutest little dudes.  Getting to spend some one-on-one time with them in a swimming pool was the best.  My life was made that day!

Let's just say that Jonathan is REALLY good at surprises!

Tips >>
- Pack for anything.
- Always bring a swim suit, towel, & sunscreen!
- Use Sunbum's zinc formulas, as they stay put in water longer & are chemical-free.
- Get yourself a LifeProof case for your waterproof photo snapping needs.
- Hats are a great way to hide from the sun & stay cool, invest in one you don't mind thrashing.
- Make a playlist with enough jams to get you anywhere.

Wearing >>
Recluse T-shirt from Stay Home Club.

Check out more on Instagram >>



For the longest time I felt like I wasn't going anywhere, fast.  I was in a hurry for life, but didn't know why.  I was stuck in a rut.  But that is the past.  Instead of dwelling, like I have before.  Instead of writing out my concerns, my fears, my thoughts on where this should go - I'm just going to DO.

Nike's got some sense in that one.

Just do it.

Hi, I'm Cal, & this is my blog!

A few things about me:

― I absolutely LOVE the smell & taste of coconut.  I could live in a world where everything was coconut.  I'm cuckoo for coconuts.

― Nature is my jam.  Living in California provides SO many rad natural landscapes.  We have the desert so close, with Joshua Tree being this iconic masterpiece.  The beach is a quick drive away.  & even closer is our majestic mountain forests.

― I'm getting married in less than a month!  My parents have this amazing piece of property up in the mountains, & we're having a little-big backyard wedding there.  Pine trees, twinkly lights, nachos, baked potatoes, ALL OF THE GOLD, wildflowers, pies, French macarons, boots, good music, & great people.  I cannot wait!

― For me, life is art.  In this journey of mine, this Boardwalk To Eden, I'm seriously going to have to find a way to make a living by creating art.  I'll find my niche.  Until then, I'll just keep on doing me.

― I tend to ramble...
Now that I've introduced myself, please, stay a little longer - I promise it's going to get a lot more colorful really soon, & stay that way.  Besos!

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey
(I like quotes)

You can also come hang out with me on Instagram:



It's not that I hate myself when I eat bad foods, it's just that I get highly disappointed.  I'm supposed to be on some super last-month-till-the-wedding-detox or something.  This is what society has taught me, & for some damn reason, I believed them.

In opposition to this ideal, my body has gone on strike - gaining more weight than I ever have before.  I've lost my drive to work out, I've lost my energy.  I always used to work out at least some - at least yoga.  Now I seem to be trying harder than ever to put good food into my gullet, while not moving a damn muscle.

My Pinterest food board, "savory," is loaded with yummy recipes utilizing fresh ingredients.  So why on earth have I not taken advantage of this plethora of knowledge concerning the age-old question, "What's for dinner?"

Is it because I am no longer under the watchful, ever-concerned, never-tactful eyes of my mother?  Is there some part of me that is craving body-freedom?  Some part of me that wants full & complete independence from the hold I have on being "just like my mother."

This image, taken from my Pinterest board, is one example of just how beautiful I'd love to make each meal.  I would love to tend a farm, make my money cultivating, growing, selling, & providing flavors to people who otherwise have none.  People who would, like me, automatically go for what is easy.  But wait, haven't I learned that cooking is easy??  Haven't I always known this?  Then why the inner conflict, affecting my material world?  Why don't I work for what I love anymore?  Somewhere deep, I need to find this motivation again.  Motivation for cooking, cleaning, working out, writing, blogging, doing yoga, not drinking.  It's not that I've been drinking a lot lately, I just feel that the extra sugar in a bottle of beer probably isn't the best thing for me.  So what does my amazing soon-to-be-hubby do?  He buys me gluten-free, organic beer.  Because he's awesome, that's why.

"Local females are returning to the farm — raising livestock, picking produce and finding happiness in the peacefulness of Earth’s harvest."  - Chatter

Words of wisdom, & so much truth ring from that simple statement.  This is what I want, this is what I yearn for.  I just need to do it & stop thinking about it, I know.  But materializing action from these internal road blocks is so hard for some reason.  I know what to do, I know what steps to take, I just need to take the steps & just do it.  Yeah, Nike sometimes says it best.

Okay.  So.  Here I am, saying that I'm going to do it.  I'm going to look this thing in the eye & start living.  Really living.  To my fullest potential.  Without scrutiny, without concern for what others are doing, I am going to stop hating on myself, stop dwelling, & start doing.



These photos were taken months ago, in the heart of my last term at a junior college. I was inactive, overly-stressed, always tired, but filled with love & longing. I wanted so badly to be done with that school, to get ready for the wedding, to figure out what I was actually going to do with my life.  I was in a hurry for something, not knowing what it was.

I began to develop a particularly horrible body image, something I've never before dealt with in my life.  I grew up active, physically fit, emotionally & physically self-confident.  I never had a reason to doubt my life, my looks, or my intelligence.  But after taking five classes, a total of 16 term units, trying to plan a wedding, & trying to figure out what I was going to do & if I was going to get into the university I applied for, I began to question everything.  When these photos happened, I stopped taking pictures of myself.  I no longer wanted to see what I looked like.  Blogging, posting on Instagram, on Twitter, & even on Facebook felt vain & unnecessary.  I fell into a depression - I have NEVER been depressed before.  Because of this, I felt weird & silly for being depressed, I hid it.  What did I have to be depressed about?  I just bought a house, got engaged, & finished up my general ed all in a couple months.  I was completely overwhelmed, completely confused, & had no idea what I was going to do with myself.  All I knew was that I had Jonathan, my pups, my family, & a home to call my own, a place where I felt safe & calm.  I didn't have the option of having a bedridden depression, I had to work, had to finish school, I had so much to do.  My depression was masked with business.

A lack of friendships, & dwindling of any stable friendships kept me questioning.  I wondered what I was doing wrong, why I didn't have friends.  Why couldn't I have strong relationships?  How could I be so off-putting?  I really had to stop questioning everything, but I couldn't stop.  I was on a roll.  Questioning my college major, my future, & my career came next.  I mean, honestly, is anyone ever going to know exactly how their life will play out?  Why would I do that to myself?  Whatever is was, I knew I had to stop.

I began to repeat these words as a mantra.  I didn't know I was doing it, but I did it anyway - reminding myself to slow down & just breathe.  No matter how unhappy I was, there wasn't anything I could do but decide to BE happy.  So I just decided to BE - at least that was something.

Eventually, I was done with that final Spring term at my former junior college.  Eventually, I began to get my shit together with the wedding, & started figuring out what I was going to do.  Eventually, even, I began to have less negative feelings associated with my body.  Despite not really doing a damn thing, I learned to love it again for what it was - a healthy, capable home.  I began to treat it better.  I began to treat myself better in general.  I met an amazing friend, which helped me a lot in the "not good enough" region of my brain.

Now, just about two months away from the wedding, I am finally okay with not knowing what I will do for a living in the future.  I decided to care less about when I was going to leave my current job, & care more about when I was going to start up at the university.  I decided to read a lot, love as much as I could give love, & be kind to myself.

These photos are not my favorite photos of us, but they are honest, true, & beautiful.  They have taught me to not be so hard on myself, to trust my instincts, & to always carry lipstick.

(These photos were taken at our house & around our neighborhood & small town, Redlands, the place we call home.)