Saturday, October 26, 2013

SALVATION MOUNTAIN | PT.1

There's a wonderful place down in the desert of very Southern California called Salvation Mountain.

I first heard of this place in passing conversation among friends, & then eventually in the film Into The Wild.  You can see a clip from that movie where the real creator of Salvation Mtn., Leonard Knight, talks about the importance of love here.  Or better yet, you could see the entire movie - it really is one of my all time favorites.  From that clip, I can just imagine Leonard talking to the real Christopher McCandless about love in a time of such immense desperation.

Any-who, on our trip down to the desert we made a stop off at Hadley's for their infamous date shakes & a bit of sustenance.  After having the date shakes it was really interesting to see all of the date palm farms along the highway & think of how unique of a crop that is.  Everyone associates palm trees with Southern California, but I wonder if many know about the abundance of dates we have down here.  I'm really quite honored to be able to partake in such tasty food that's both so naturally sweet & good for you!

There are so many shots from this trip that I had to break it up into a few groups, so here are some photos from that first little stop at Hadley's.





Chelsea & Gregory just need to stop with how good looking they are!

Along the top of the walls in the so-called dining area of this place there are signed photos of different celebrities who have visited since they first opened in 1931.  Since Palm Springs has often been a big celebrity vacation spot, there are a lot of second visits - I'm sure it's just for the date shakes & fun snacks that they sell.  Their pomegranate wine is another delicious take-home treat!

After we fueled up here, we hit the road again for another hour & a half to two hours of driving south to get to Salvation Mtn.  I'll catch you all up on pt.2 of the trip next time!  We also ventured past the mountain to slab city, which proved to be a very photogenic experience, aka pt.3.

Have any of you ever been to Salvation Mtn. or Hadley's?  Do you like dates?  I cannot get enough of them!

Friday, October 25, 2013

LINKS

It's Friday, & I'm here to share with you all some of my favorite internet finds from this week.

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The newest single/video from The Head and the Heart has me beyond excited for their show in December!




Check out this American Mood Map & take the test to see which state you belong in!  Apparently I belong in Oregon, & I am perfectly okay with that.

With the new Carrie movie in theaters, someone decided to pull a telekinetic prank in a coffee shop - have you seen it?  

These Wes Anderson notebooks are killer!

Of course, anything Nick Offerman will get my vote of approval - even him making this ridiculous video in support of Movember.  If I was a dude I'd totally rock a killer moustachio!


These paisley tights from Emerging Thoughts, as styled by Katie from Skunkboy Creatures are a definite must-have for Fall.

Also, I cannot get over how much I'd love it if Frankie Magazine & Smith Journal were available here in California.  (I might have to try & convince Jonathan's dad to bring them over for me when visit from Australia.)

Lastly, I'd like to say congrats to my best blog friend, Vivs, on her beautiful baby boy!  Her little family is the cutest thing ever.

Is there anything you've found online lately that you'd like to share?
Have a great weekend, friends!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

REVIEW | THE BEGINNING

So, part of my career/degree in Communications has a little something to do with reviewing items.  While I can easily review my collection of Fossil purses, various lipsticks, or boozes, I figured I'd take it up a notch & review a few books.  

This is just a snippet of one type of book I'll be reviewing.  Along with graphic novels & comics, I'll also be reviewing my extensive collection of young adult literature (YA), & my ridiculously expansive collection of novels - both literary achievements & guilty pleasures.  

For the sake of blogging, I'll probably throw in a new album here & there, as well.

























With midterms over, & application to colleges sent, I'll soon be well on my way towards what I like to call "big girl school."  Delving straight into the world of university level communications, I'm sure that practicing on this blog won't hurt - I'm hoping they'll at least sharpen my writing & networking skills.  With blogging also comes the promoting of your own space, social networking, connection making, & in more ways than one, practicing my "big girl job" on my own time.

I'm glad to be back in this thing full force.  I hope you stick around to see what happens over here in my little corner of the web.  & I'm finally remembering why I read blogs so often before.  You are all such inspiration to me!  Sharing your lives, & opening yourselves up to the world shows great bravery, vulnerability, & mad self confidence (even if you don't believe so).

Check back soon for my first review:  Mr. Stuffins.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

ENGAGED | FUTURE MRS. YOST

On September 14th Jonathan & I took a trip to Disneyland.  Since we have annual passes, this wasn't anything particularly special for us besides the fact that for once, we were able to go on our own.  

Little did I know, that lurking in the cargo pocket of his shorts, Jonathan had hidden a beautiful little gem - a surprise - a ring.  






























Of course, he had it all planned out ... & of course, I would not go along with anything he suggested - not knowing that he had a reason for wanting to go on the Ferris wheel we fell for each other on.  

But in the end, everything worked out.  He asked.  I said: "Are you fer realz?"  & then there was this perfect ring on my finger.  

We finally got to go on the new Cars Land ride, getting popcorn while waiting in the hour-long line (the shortest it's been since it opened), without a care in the world ... because we were now engaged.  

He sent a text to my mom, pretending to ask for permission.  When she said: "Yes, of course!" - he said: "Good!  Because she said yes!"  Of course, that was cuter than anything - I "D'awwed!" all over the place.  He called his mom & told her how I had asked him to marry me so that I could level up my feminism ... she bought it, & I made him tell her the truth.  He gave me the run down on how he obtained the ring, "The Trials & Tribulations of Ring Bearing."  We put together a series of fake text messages to announce our engagement on Facebook, which I'm pretty sure a lot of people thought was how it really went down.  This amused me & made me realize how ridiculous people really think we are ... it may or may not be validated.  

In all, it was a great day!  

We're set to get married on October 11th, 2014.  I've got an awesome florist for a friend.  I'm pretty sure we're keeping things really simple besides having lots of pretty flowers & an amazing photographer.  Caleb John Hill is booked - his photography is stellar ... & he's a local bloke!  We're bringing back the wedding band with Honeypie, a friend of Jonathan's, whose music I adore!  I'm debating designing my own invitations ... any thoughts on that?  Basically, I'm stoked.  

There's still so much to do, but I've got plenty of time.  I'm really excited, & can't wait to see all the pieces come together!  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

THE ABSTRACTION OF UNIQUENESS

"I want to lay in the snow as it falls over me."
She had never done that before.
Basked in the white rain of the most unique snowflakes in the world. Because each is just that.
The most unique, the most beautiful thing in the world.
She sighed with the clouded breath of cold.
Not the cold of a hard winter's day, but the cold of adventure, new beginnings, discovery, & infatuation.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

FORGET | FORGIVE

I haven't forgotten quite everything there is to blogging yet ... though, I have forgotten quite a bit.

It seems like just yesterday - I was blogging away, working out on the regular, reading books of my choice every night, going to yoga once a week, being completely here & now.  Now what am I but a machine that cranks out papers, reviews, essays, outlines, & speeches?  Yes, speeches!  I'm great at giving those now!  Who'd a thought...

But with all of this scholarly writing & researching, I seem to have lost the touch.  Simply putting words to computer is easy for me - it always has been.  Grammar & spelling are two of my best skills.  But blogging ... this is just something I wasn't ready for.  I seem to have lost my voice.  I know I have lost my audience, my family, friends, & blogging community, but to loose my voice is just entirely too profoundly sad for me.  I guess all of this studying doesn't help.  Having to use a voice other than my own for the sake of good grades prevents me from including any character or comedic aspect that I'd usually use here.  As I look back on all of the years I blogged freely, maybe even five days a week sometimes, I remember it being easier than it should have been - easier than it is now.  Writing, loading & editing photos, including a story, social networking for the sake of promotion, but also for the sake of friendship.  Because honestly, though I do have some IRL friends, the people I've met though blogging have changed my life & shaped me into the person I am today in some way or another.

It is you, my friends, who I am looking back on.  It is future friends who I will eventually look forward to.

Even now, as I sit here writing this, I am reminded of the hours chatting, emailing, tweeting, & reading one another's blogs that used to happen.  Even now, I pine for that connection.  Though my new IRL friends are more "up to speed" & social network inclined, I yearn for that special connection you get through sharing your life through a blog with friends you may or may not have ever met.  

So ... here I am.  Blogging for the sake of keeping this thing going, even if it is fizzling ... has fizzled.  Yet I am still optimistic for the future.  For a time where I can blog for the sake of blogging again, not just for the life of my blog, but for the livelihood of my life.  

The name.  Well, I'm sure there's no point in changing the name.  When I finally settled on Boardwalk To Eden it was immensely powerful.  It hit me where most phrases or sets of words don't hit.  I didn't start this blog to document my life at the time.  My life back then was a lot less interesting than it is now.  But with all that drama, that growth, that suffocation behind me, I can say that I'm glad I got it out in one way or another.  Even if it was through this very blog that is, in fact, meant to document a life of sorts now.  Sharing this space, & keeping the name will remind me of where I came from & why I began to blog - back when I was good at it.  

Maybe it will inspire me to be that blogger again.  Hopefully I will keep up with it as well as I used to.  Maybe I'll begin to feel that maternal blogging instinct again.  You know the one, where you feel like you've abandoned a child who can't fend for themselves.  Is that just me?  Oh well... Whatever it is, I hope to get it back.  I don't have a plan yet.  I might not construct one.  I think that's what fizzled me out in the first place - keeping too tight of a schedule.  But I will not let this thing die.  

I hope to see you back here.  Whoever you are.  Readers out & about in internet-land.  Feel free to say hi.  Please share your blog with me.  & ... um ... have a nice day?  Ugh, that's a horrible sign off.  

Oh, & about those pictures above ... there are some days when I remember to bust out my camera - that was one of those days.  & no, Turbo is not chewing on the blanket even if it looks that way.  He's noming on his elk antler, I think.  It's his new favorite toy, although it's dangerously small now.  He'll be fine...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

BIRTHDAY WISHES & HINTS | 2013:

This year I decided to man up & make a birthday/xmas wish list because I can't think of any other way to hint about what I'd want because it all seems so materialistic.  I think I've gotten pretty conscious about this, though, & made my lists & what I'd want for myself a little more timeless.  I'd like to keep my life classic, in some ways ... while still maintaining that natural, Southern Californian, book nerd persona I think I have...

The first thing I could think of is that taking me to get my balloons colored in or to start my Jackalope would be pretty darn great.


A cheaper option would be something on vinyl, like The Lion's Roar by First Aid Kit - or this soundtrack, Of Monsters & Men, Fleet Foxes, The Avett Brothers, even Elton John or Paul Simon.

More expensive, would be getting my breaks done, a full tune-up, or a new set of tires for my little purple June car so that I can have plenty of worry-free road trips.

A striped serape is ALWAYS a good idea in my mind!  Anything that will aid in picnicking or camping would be an excellent idea, or anything having to do with John Muir or Theodore Roosevelt for that matter.

Keeping with the textile idea, this little dude is pretty awesome!  No puppy noms allowed!

Hippies Always Welcome - because, duh.

Something simple, like this American Flag scarf would be nice to keep my road tripping, National Park visiting neck burn-free.  I've also been searching for a pair of boots like these for some every-day wear.  A black felt panama hat has been on my list for quite some time, too!  Everything I'd need for a romp in the park.  

For something to add to my library, this awesome book written by the real life Ron Swanson would do the trick.

Or, if you feel bad for my lack of natural sight, you could always aid with a pair of specs

But more important than any of these "things" would be to have a nice BBQ dinner party at the cabin with the ones I love - surrounded by both artificial & the real twinkling of starlight.  The sounds of a record playing soft sounds of folk music, & the laughter of good company would be all that I need to have a great birthday.

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My mom's birthday isn't till November but I think I have a pretty good plan for what I'd like to do for her so that she can have a special day - she's always doing fun things for people & working around my brother's birthday, so I think it's about time she has a good birthday for herself!  I absolutely love planning fun days for people, I just wish I could think of something to do for Jonathan.  I'm completely stumped, so he better make a list of sorts as well!  It'll be hard to top what he did for me last year - a trip to the Griffith Observatory, a sushi lunch, & a shopping trip to Amoeba Records!  He's a total keeper!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

WARBY PARKER | LET'S TRY THIS AGAIN:

Before I bought my current glasses (seen below) from Coastal.com, I had a beloved pair of Warby Parker frames.  They were Miles in Revolver Black, & they were perfect.  Except, they got old.  & for that "first pair free" deal that Coastal offers, I got these babies as a back up pair that turned into my current everyday glasses.  

But I'm hungry.  No, not for more chocolate.  I am ready for a new pair of Warby Parker frames.  The versatility in style & the elegance of the frames are enough to keep you hooked once you've tried them.  

The only thing left is to try them out/on.  I ordered a set of WarbyParker.com's  at home try on frames & I can't wait to snap some shots & get them up here for your judgement!  

Here are the frames I got:

Have any of you ordered at home try on frames before?  If so, do you have any frames you prefer from Warby Parker?  

I'll let you know what I think, tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

LETTING GO | NAMING:

Last night I fell asleep listening to my very favorite music.  All of the memories that are entangled in each note of each song brought tears to my eyes.  But it was something more ... after so many songs I shouldn't still be shedding tears.  Even this morning my eyes feel glassy, as if at any moment I'll burst into tears & have to hide my shame.  Oh the conundrum that poses.

The question that's bothering me.  The one that's settled down deep in the pit of my stomach, the bottom of my heart.  The one that makes me unable to sleep, unable to eat, unable to breathe.  This question is, what am I?

Not who.  I know who I am.  I understand all of the intricacies of my personality.  My social anxiety, my high expectations, my wanderlust.  I have an unabashed sense of self.

I am Cal.  I like beagles, so I got one.  I can't stand wearing pants, so I have a vast array of dresses, tights, & leggings.  I am a feminist.  I believe in Truth above all other things. (In the Henry David Thoreau sense of the word, it's real meaning, nothing religious going on here.)  I enjoy the complexities of space & the vastness of our universe - the possibility that ours is but one.  (There's a theory about the origin of the Big Bang being such as a popcorn popper, with universes being the popcorn.)  I enjoy riding bikes, running in my neighborhood, living in a town where I can walk anywhere.  I somewhat idolize mass transit, & romanticize over the prospect of taking a train to work.  I draw, mostly with an illustrative style similar to Kurt Halsey.  I have the potential to do great things with my version of art.  I am an environmentalist.  I am a member of the Sierra Club & I subscribe to National Geographic & FOAM magazine.  I enjoy indie music (Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, The Moldy Peaches, Elliot Smith, Au Revoir Simone), indie films (Garden State, Dedication, Take This Waltz, Safety Not Guaranteed, Lars and the Real Girl, The Future, Juno, anything Wes Anderson), indie books (No One Belongs Here More Than You, It's Kind of a Funny Story, How We Are Hungry, The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep & Never Had To, McSweeney's), & independent coffee shops (Augie's).

I enjoy words.  I love expression in many senses of the word, & I love to see it brought to live by brilliant minds.  Miranda July, Lena Dunham, Wes Anderson, Tina Fey - authors, writers, story tellers.

Even more than this, I love bringing words together to perform a great dance, a choreographed mix of thoughts that would create a shockingly awe inspiring masterpiece.  They wouldn't evoke tears, but maybe a slight sense of inclusiveness, of knowing, of finality.  Or quite possibly unknowing, questioning regard to the human condition, a sense of complete wonder.  I really enjoy telling stories, writing, reading, & writing again. Coming up with random ideas that may be a part of some larger novel, or of separate short stories, complete thoughts in themselves.

So what am I?

I suppose I could be called a "fucking hipster" based on the amount of "indie" crap I like.

There are many labels that can be applied to who I am.  But what, what am I? is the question.

I am a writer, a story teller.

Maybe one day I'll be an author.

So ... what's with the tears?  The ones I spoke of.  The ones that dried on my cheeks as I drifted into sleep.  I have a theory.

I think that naming something gives it power.  This may be due to the fact that I've read A Wrinkle In Time way too many times.  

What happened was this:  by silently naming myself as a writer, a story teller, I gave that incarnation power.  With that power gained, I took away from another label.  This label, as an environmentalist, lost some of its power.  This doesn't mean that who I am isn't still an environmentalist, among many other things.  What this means is that what I am, is a writer, & that takes precedence over every other aspect of who I am.  So despite the fact that who I am is an artist, an environmentalist, a feminist, a dog owner, a camper, whathaveyou, I am a writer.  

Just as my mom is a teacher, & my dad is an engineer.  

I am a writer.

Giving up the idea of becoming an environmentalist in career form, I think, is what caused the tears.  They were slow, & met the rhythm of the songs that were playing.  But I believe that they were a release.  Not that I was giving up, but letting go.  But also embracing the thing that I've done longer than anything else.  Based on habits, on life long tendencies, on school projects, on recreation, on rehabilitation - I am a writer.

As much as I rambled in this post, there was a complete thought.  If you got through it, I applaud you.  & I thank you.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

THE MONSTER IN MY POCKET | HOW NOAH MET FRED

I want to write a short series of kids books.  I don't want to be sucked into that genre, but I'd like to begin there, anyway.  If Miranda July can create Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody & still write her collection of short stories No One Belongs Here More Than You & her movies Me and You and Everyone We Know, & The Future, then I can start with a kids book, put out my short stories, & maybe move on to movies or show or even small plays, skits, & shorts.

Fred is the first character that I've ever fully developed.  He is slightly orange, although he gets a bit more coral or salmon pink when he blushes.  His fur is lush & as soft as a rabbits.  Sometimes he uses toothpicks for walking sicks because in our world, everything is large, exaggerated, & uneven to walk on for Fred.  Fred is about two inches tall.  He smiles most of the day, a warm, welcoming smile.  & after Noah discovers Fred sleeping in his pocket, trapped under lint & about 32 cents in change, Fred helps Noah face his fears.  The first being Avery, the girl who sits in the front of his class, with her plaid coat, her blue shoes, and her unabashed love of poetry.

Anywho, I can't wait to write this first story in full, & to start doing some illustrations - at least a mock up of Fred, Noah, & Avery.

In the mean time, here's the short I mentioned earlier that Miranda July wrote.  It stars John C. Reilly, & it poses the question, "Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody?"

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Have a wonderful Independence Day everyone!  ♥

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

TURDBURGLER TAVERN | OUR HOME

 In the style of keeping this blog that of a personal one, I'm planning on returning to my original format of blogging.  With all that is going on in this world, I think it'll be lovely to look back on this blog as a memory; seeing each post filled with the thoughts, emotions, & images from a time passed.

Without further adieu, I'd like to introduce you all to my little family & our home, Turburgler Tavern.  Yep, we sure did name it that.

At the end of 2012, Jonathan & I moved into this quaint little home in one of the best towns I've ever been to.  Our neighbors are lovely, we can walk anywhere we need, & even the college is only a bike ride away.  For me, this is perfect.  & as I'm writing this, I'm looking out through the back window of this tiny little 1920's home, into the yard that these photos were taken in.  The window itself could be an artistic view, but to see our yard, our vegetable garden, our fruit trees, well - it's just bliss.

































One of my favorite things to do here is to sit out back, maybe grab a beer, maybe water the garden, & just let the dogs play.  Sometimes they can get a bit crazy, & because of the large oak tree shading the entire yard there's not much grass, so it can get a bit dusty - but it's worth it to see how happy they are while playing together.  Just last week Gozer decided to show us that he was part horse, & jumped into the garden to run from Turbo while they were playing.  When he finally came out it was exactly as he had gone in, leaping like a pegasus for flight!  Our dogs can be a bit much, Turbo has a Napoleon complex - Gozer thinks he's a lap dog, but being able to share their joy & pure puppy bliss with Jonathan is one of the best things in the world.

Oh yeah, the name - Turdburgler Tavern.  When we moved in Jonathan just had to name our house.  Partly because he just does that, partly because he wanted someplace to tag himself at when we have people over or whathaveyou.  He suggested Turdburgler something or other, & I said Tavern (he makes a lot of beer, so it's fitting).  Hence, the name.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

ON DESIGN | MINIMALISM:

So, I was going to jump onto Photoshop last night & play with the border around that round image to the right here that is my head shot for the blog.  I was going to match it with some fancy scribbles around the name Boardwalk To Eden ... but instead I found myself eating a fine meal of lavosh pizza, home made whiskey sours, & becoming even more obsessed with fashion & interior design while watching hours of Mad Men.  

(Nice crotch-shot, Cal.)
The newest piece of clothing outside of my comfort zone are those tribal print, teal & black, harem pants.  I love that they're not overly Hammer pants looking, & that the drop crotch doesn't hit my knees.  I absolutely love that I now have a pair of stretchy pants that I can wear to work & pass off as work-appropriate.  &, like usual, I just have to have anything tribal.  (I think my Bueno key necklace goes pretty well with it, too!)  The Bueno sisters are opening shop again this weekend with new necklace designs, & new rings (which I have to have!) - I can't wait to see what they've come up with!

In the world of home design, I've been obsessed with Mid Century Modern before it was a thing.  After graduating high school, I was able to attend 3 years at art school, & even though I left before graduating, I gained a keen eye for textures, patterns, colors, & simple, elegant lines.  With the idea of green design planted in my head (along with my fond love of both nature & antiquing), I was enamored with the look, style, & feel of Mid Century Modern.  Enamored, because honestly, at 19 years old how was I supposed to afford anything near that style of furniture?  Learning all about Eames, Herman Miller, Greene & Greene, & Frank Lloyd Wright added even more to this lust over good design.

I think it's odd that I've never mentioned my background in either design or the concept of green on this blog before.

Anywho, my academic director introduced me to Biomimicry.  She got me into the style of design that makes you want to use old before new.  We went to the Gamble House, we visited the Hollyhock House, & while in Barcelona, we saw original Barcelona chairs!  The school itself was just down the street from a Room & Board, which enabled us to see these historically modern pieces of furniture in person.  This is the stuff you'll see at Ikea or Anthropologie now.  This is what we were taught was good design.  & with her influence of both green design, & reusing the old, I became obsessed with the concept of green.  That idea of saving this planet's resources, which will save the planet, while providing aesthetically pleasing design to clients.

It's why I blog.  It's why I'm now majoring in Environmental Studies, & it's why I just can't escape the want for minimalism.  I guess when anyone goes to art school, they come out as perfectionists in one way or another.  Explaining this is so hard.  Making people understand why my standards for fashion, beauty, & home design are so high is frustrating.  I don't want to sound like a know it all, but I wan't to inform people of what I know.

I guess this is why I've never mentioned it here before.

Good design is everywhere.  Know that.  Also, know that you can create beauty with the simplest of things.  You don't need millions to make a house a home.  All you need is a keen eye, & the ability to know what you like.  This is the same with fashion.

So, I guess I better take my own advise.  Soon, I'll be updating this space to be a little more "me," while still being a minimalist's dream.

I'll also have updates on making my own house a home.  On how I've gotten my closet down to just a few items that all work together.  On how I pack for a trip (pairing & sharing!).  & how my obsession with makeup has grown larger, instead of smaller (which sort of contradicts the minimalist thing...).

Now, please enjoy this song about society, which reflects my own ideas of "things."  ♥

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

BACK TO BASICS | A BTE MAKEOVER:

So, I've been pondering for quite some time at the idea of this blog - where it's going, what it's doing, & why I'm still at it.  Why I just can't quit you!

The fact that I watch YouTube videos relentlessly now might have something to do with my lack of posting, lack of inspiration from other blogs, & lack of good blog parenting, if you will.

I want to get back to basics here.  I'd like to introduce myself from the beginning, again.  & I'd like to tell my story.

(I've also finally got around to getting on Bloglovin!)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin



Videos like this inspire me SO much, it's just ridiculous.  All of a sudden I'm highly attracted to makeup videos, clothing hauls, ridiculous amounts of consumerism & beauty.  I just love it all!

I'd like to start networking again.  I'd like to get back to a sponsored blog where my posts are about more than just life & journal entries.  I'd like to host an art journaling class.  Or maybe start doing vlogs every so often.  A pretty background, & some fun content could go a long way!

I want to meet people through blogging again, create connections, create a space for more creativity.

Up next:

I'm going to do a 50 Facts About Me post.  I'm not sure if that will just be a written post, or a vlog, or some sort of photo/word combo - but it'll be here, & it'll be paired with a new look.  A more me style, & a perfectly genuine desire to get this blog going!

Thanks for sticking through it all.  It's like I've been trying to navigate my life while walking in mud ... does that make sense?  It's what it feels like.

Anywho!  Have a great day lovies, & I can't wait to be back on here really soon!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize that a band or a song that you've come to love means more to you than you could have realized?

It might sound silly but it happens.  I'm not talking about a teenage romance where a super angsty kid listens to a song on repeat because it make him/her cry out all of her feelings, or want to get angry & take control.

No, not that.

I'm taking about a song that pulls the heartstrings.  A band who's entire album could be your soundtrack to life.



As a lover of long road trips, the open sky of the southwest, the mountains of the west coast, & even the ravens at the rest stops ... I feel as though First Aid Kit could be my soundtrack to life.  Why on earth I hadn't discovered them before beats me.

While listening to Pandora's "Indie Folk Revival" station they kept being played ... I had to know who they were.  I did know who they were.  I just didn't realize how good they were!

I know tastes in music vary a lot between people based on a lot of things.  But if that Pandora station sounds like anything you'd listen to, then maybe you might like these free spirited Swedish girls.

This has been my soundtrack of the week.  It'll probably carry on through the weekend.

More than anything, I can't wait to get this album on vinyl & be able to dance like a hippie in my living room.

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

Monday, May 20, 2013

"Keep close to Nature's heart... & break clear away, once in a while, & climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."  John Muir
This past weekend Jonathan & I had the pleasure of being invited on a camping trip to June Lake, in the Eastern Sierra mountains.  

Whenever I find myself up highway 395, between Death Valley & Mt. Whitney, I am humbled.  I am honored to live in the same state as many great explorers once have, to fall in love with the same wilderness they did, to live just a day's drive away from these peaks & rivers & trees.  

The Sierra mountains are a great love of mine; I feel at home & at peace while I'm in them.  The ease at which they are accessible allows me to visit them whenever I'd like, for the most part. & for this great privilege, I aim to protect those glorious mountain peaks, those lakes, those gigantic trees, that idea.  The idea of a clean, pure wild.  I recently joined the Sierra club as a first step in my environmental journey, but more than anything, majoring in environmental studies, & being able to preserve the wild, everywhere, for everyone, is my main goal.  I want these open spaces to be just as glorious & meaningful to my grandchildren as they are to me.

I was honored to have gotten to visit this wild space over the weekend.  & even though I clumsily left with a bruised up, sprained ankle, it was one of my favorite trips to the Eastern Sierras, thus far.  (From the photo, it looks like Turbo enjoyed it, too.)

"Man must be made conscious of his origin as a child of Nature. Brought into right relationship with the wilderness he would see that he was not a separate entity endowed with a divine right to subdue his fellow creatures and destroy the common heritage, but rather an integral part of a harmonious whole. He would see that his appropriation of earth's resources beyond his personal needs would only bring imbalance and beget ultimate loss and poverty for all."  Linnie Marsh Wolfe

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I have recently become slightly obsessed with YouTube.

It all started while watching a friend's drunk cooking show.  In the suggestion box was a show called My Drunk Kitchen.  The snippet showed a cute, short-haired girl ... holding a plate of nachos!  So of course, I had to click over.  At once I was hooked on her silly drunken show.  I discovered her not so drunk confessions, her coming out story, how to spot a straight girl, & other videos such as her draw my life story.  She makes sure that her viewers are encouraged to embrace themselves, to love themselves, & to not be afraid to be silly as fuck.

In one episode of My Drunk Kitchen, Hannah had a guest on her show ... Grace Helbig, aka DailyGrace.  & again, I became immediately addicted to watching these ladies & their YouTube videos during my lunch hour on a (mostly) daily basis.  (Which is great since Grace is about the only YouTuber who uploads daily ... & because I had years of their videos to catch up on!)

While watching another episode of My Drunk Kitchen, I spotted another recommendation ... My Drunk Sex+.  It was a video featuring Hannah Hart, on a channel called Sex+.  Again, I was hooked.  Now, while the other channels I was watching were funny, & usually a bit drunken or ridiculously geeky, this channel was (while still funny), completely informative.

Laci Green's videos brought me back to a lifelong issue that I've had as mostly an inner dialogue.  The issue of where we ALL stand in today's society as humans, as female, as male, as whatever gender you identify with.  When I was in Girl Scouts, my mom (also my troop leader) had me complete a research project in gender studies, & how women are portrayed in the media.  Back then you couldn't simply look up a video on YouTube or find a documentary on Netflix, so we went to her college's library & did some video research on how photos of women are altered.  On how the standards for women are unreachable at times because they're simply not even real.  We also looked at obesity standards, & the falsities of the BMI scale. How obesity standards are very low according to this scale, so that people are made to think they're overweight when this scale does not even take into account a person's bone size, or muscle mass.  Big pharma uses this scale to make people buy weight loss drugs (especially in the 90s), & from friends, I hear that even the military uses this as a scale for weight management.  While in the military you must be fit, or in shape.  Using the BMI scale is crap, when it comes to this.  Personally, my cousin's husband is 6'1", 235lbs of large bones, & dense muscle.  The dude isn't a normal skinny type.  According to the BMI scale, he should weigh a measly 185lbs.  Just imagining him at that weight makes me cringe.  He has no body fat, his muscles aren't ridiculously big ... he's just a large boned person.

During my first year in college I took a sociology class on Women in American History.  In this class, I was introduced to the movie Iron Jawed Angles, about the women's movement of the 1910's in America.  They also held a production of the Vagina Monologues at my school.  I was introduced to a very in-depth teaching of women's health, sexual health & safety, & the idea that sex wasn't dirty, or wrong - but pleasurable, normal, & that it should be embraced.

Now why the hell hadn't I learned this in school before I was sexually active?!  Why does the public school's teaching of safe "sex" promote abstinence, when, honestly, we all know that isn't going to happen ...?  & why on earth, with all the information available, are they STILL teaching these same antiquated ideas to kids.  Why don't they actually educate them?  Allow them to grow, & become adults in a safe environment.

While attending the Bioneers Conference last year, I noticed a lot of focus not on the environment, but on gender issues.  At the time, this irked me since this was supposed to be a gathering of people in support of the environment, & issues on the grass roots movement.

After watching Laci Green's Sex+ & rekindling a passion for gender equality (that never died, but simply got side tracked with my obsession with the health of this earth), I am now excited to attend Bioneers for the purpose of seeing if they have anything on youth & gender (besides earthy stuff).  I've also looked at the school I'm aiming to attend to see if they have anything on gender.  I think minoring in Women's & Gender Studies, while majoring in Environmental Studies, might bring me to an odd focus about gender roles & how society dictates to us who we're supposed to be & how we're supposed to behave as women or men.  I like this idea.  I'm super excited to learn more, to continue to grow with my knowledge of what's out there in relation to this topic, & to hopefully one day bring this knowledge to others.



Up next:  let's talk about the terms "boyfriend" & "girlfriend" in contrast to "partner" "lover" & whatever else you guys & galls call your significant other.

Thanks for reading!  Have a happy hump day!  ♥

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Who looks upon a river in a meditative hour, and is not reminded of the flux of all things? Throw a stone into the stream, and the circles that propagate themselves are the beautiful type of all influence. Man is conscious of a universal soul within or behind his individual life, wherein, as in a firmament, the natures of Justice, Truth, Love, Freedom, arise and shine."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I know what I need to do.

I need to quit wanting support & community, & just do it myself ... I think I know what "it" is.

I'm so reliant on approval, love, & acceptance ... when I should just go, be. 

I have so many good ideas & my own stubborn resistance sets me back from accomplishing things.

From here on out I will live to be wild & free, & completely me.  Without the confines of society, of communal acceptance, without preconceived notions about who Cal is.  I know who I am, deep down in my heart.  & I am here to live my life as me.  As who I am completely.  


























Anne LaBastille, via:  Tumblr

Pictured above is a hero of mine, Anne LaBastille.  She was an ecologist, an environmentalist, & an American author.  She was a contributing writer for the Sierra Club, & National Geographic.  She traveled around the world working with many non-profit organizations to study & alleviate the destructive effects of acid rain & pollution on lakes & general wildlife.  She was also a noted wildlife photographer, & her work appeared in many nature publications.

Soon, I will begin reading her Woodswoman series.  I hope to become further inspired.  To gain further insight, knowledge, & excitement for where I'm taking my life, where my life is going, & where it is now. 

"A Man needs to feel the rhythms of the earth; he needs to have in hand something real — The tiller of a boat, a set of reins, the roughness of rope, or simply a shovel. Can a man live all his days to keep his fingernails clean and trim? Is that what a boy dreams of?"  John Elderedge

"The spiritual life cannot be made suburban. it is always frontier, and we who live in it must accept an even rejoice that it remains untamed."  Howard Macey

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Here in sunny Southern California it's about that time where we get our perpetual Summertime.  It's pretty awesome if you ask me, although I know some people who would object, roll up their windows, crank the a/c, & hide from life for most of the year.  I love the element, I embrace them, & I can't get enough of our dry Southwest heat.  Sometimes I even follow the lead of lizards & lay out on the cement with a nice towel barrier to soak up the sun without burning my back.  It's amazing ... as long as I remember the sunblock.  A burnt Cal is not a happy Cal.

Spending so much time outside has me for a bit of a loss of words.  But I would like to share one thing with you; from my childhood, this is, & has been, the pinnacle of my Summertime world.  Please enjoy some dreamy, Muppet-filled music:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Last week I had the pleasure of attending my first local hockey game.  Our minor league team is called the Ontario Reign (probably a subdivision of the Kings).  We started the night at the Lazy Dog Cafe, which I'm sure is a corporate chain restaurant, but they seem to treat each location with enough thought for design, menu, & details that the corporate part of it is hardly noticeable.  Jonathan & I got there a bit late, so our friends had already started on a table's worth of appetizers.  The main courses were perfectly portioned, & you could tell that a good amount of thought was put into each plate.  After chowing down, we headed over to the arena & watched most of a hockey game.

Remembering to take my camera with me everywhere is something new for me, it doesn't come quite naturally yet.  I also found out that I have to carry the biggest purse I can so as to not have my life overflow out of my purse & spill out everywhere.  I've downsized my purse's contents quite a bit in the last year, so having room for a camera is coming a lot easier than it did before.  

In other news, it's supposed to be almost up to 90­°F here in Southern California by Wednesday!  Once it feels remotely like Spring time here, Summer comes up & pushes Spring & all it's bugs & flowers out of the way to begin the process of drying out the native grasses & covering our land in gold.  We are the golden state for a reason.  (If you haven't seen this, I'd recommend a road trip up the California 101, or a look at the book The California Surf Project.)  Hopefully I can take a mini road trip & get some photos up on the blog so you all can enjoy this warmth with me!  

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Earlier today, in a fumed rage, I began writing a post about how unjust my place of work is.  I wanted to rant about things that don't really matter in life.  I was seeing red, & it didn't feel good.

You see, I was blessed with this job about 5 years ago.  This was & is my first "real" job, & I am lucky to call one of the owners of this company Dad.

The downside to working here is that despite my love of environment & this mother earth we live on, the company I work for sells their product to oil companies.  Lately, they've been tossing around the word "fracking," & it's really taking it's tole on me.  This is exactly what I am against.  The contamination, the harm, the ridiculousness of all that has to do with Big Oil still being a thing that is alive, well, & thriving.  But I digress...

One reason that I mentioned my opposing views from my company is that despite them, I still work there.  For now, this is simply a job.  I am lucky to have a job, to be able to pay for rent, for my car (which is an entirely different subject about that whole work-car circle I got myself into), & I am lucky to put food not only on my table, my in the bowls of my cats & dogs.

Family is what I live for.  Health, wellness, peace, enlightenment, happiness, among many - but what it all comes down to in the day to day, is family.





































This is my family (minus the cats).  This is who welcomes me home every night, this is who puts a smile on my face, & this is who makes me a better me.

I've been thinking a lot lately about who I am, & if I am living up to my full potential.  Outside stimuli are always there, waiting to distract me from what really matters.  Am I at peace?  Is my family at peace?  Are my dogs?  Is there harmony in my household, & within each of us?  & honestly, personally, no.  I, myself, have been wrestling with my ego for quite a while now.  Material objects can provide a temporary distraction, a stimulus to make me forget about what really matters.  With blogging, there's always the idea that you have to look a certain way in each post, that you have to be blog-ready, photo-ready.  But what does that do for me inside?  Although I do love to dress up (I love to dress my home up, too), is it something that is really meaningful & beneficial to my life right now?   With having a car, a rent to pay, & bills on top of that, I have to learn that this life of comfort isn't easy for most people.  I am lucky to have a job, despite how much I might loath it.  I am lucky to have health.  I am SO lucky that my dogs, my cats, & my boyfriend are healthy.  I am so blessed in so many ways.

The thing is, is that I simply need to step out of my own way, & let myself breathe.  I need to slow down, take everything in, be appreciative, & truly grateful.  Practicing yoga helps, meditation helps, breathing helps, but I feel that what would help more is to reflect on each moment.

I was going to write this in one of my moleskines since it would have been immediate gratification, but I think waiting to write this down on my blog really helped me think about it more.  I'll have more on this subject when I can really formulate a complete, organized though for a blog post.  For now, I'd just suggest that you listen to this song, enjoy a good cup of tea, some deep breaths, & deeper thoughts.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Spring must be near.

Lately I've been feeling a strong sense of inspiration.  This feeling has been focused on cleaning, organizing, getting rid of clutter, on getting healthy & fit, but also on style.  I've been so inspired to focus my personal style.  To get my wardrobe to a point where everything fits, matches, & works with each other.

While getting back into blogging, I want to make my life fit a certain standard I hold for myself.  It's not that I want perfection, but inspiration in every day.



During lunch today I went on a walk around the industrial block we work on.  This entire city is built on industrial manufacturing.  The king of which, is the California Speedway ... surrounded by impoverished homes filled with dreamers, lovers, & doers.  As I was on this walk, backed by the noise of a passing freight train, the grinding of steel being cut, & the beeping of a forklift backing up, I stopped to pick up a roly poly.  As it crawled around on my hand, I was struck.  This was my childhood in a pure moment.  Something about this little pill bug brought back the sense of wonder that comes with being a kid on summer break.  While putting it back in the grass, I picked a dandelion that had gone to seed - & I made a wish.

I wished for everything I've ever wanted in life - beauty, truth, happiness, inspiration, wonder, simplicity, & excited anticipation.  More importantly, I wished for this for everyone.

This is probably why I love the art of blogging.  By combining the written word with imagery, music, & inspiration, you are able to bring a specific mood to your blog.  You can maintain an atmosphere based on your content.  By being yourself, you are gaining an audience, readers, friends.

So, after all that rambling, I'd just like to thank you for stopping by my little place of inspiration.  Thanks for listening, & for being a friend - even if for a single post.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Recently Jonathan & I jumped on the juicing bandwagon.  The perks are just too good to pass up:  good calories without the chewy fiber of simply blending the fruits & veggies, the vitamins - oh, the vitamins, flavors you'd never thought you'd become addicted to, & the ability to pack it all up in mason jars & take it with you wherever you go.  I cannot tell you enough how in love with the idea of juicing I am.  If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you'll know how into this I am & have probably seen all the posts on this subject alone.

Anyway, here's a sample of how that looks on the day to day.  The varieties are endless, the flavors are just ... wow!  If you have any juicing stories, or recipes please share in the comments!  Have a great weekend!


If you want more info on the benefits of juicing, check out Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead on Netflix.  Also, Breville shared this book of juice recipes for getting started.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I try to see the world in fine details.  I love the idea of looking at things as if you had never seen them before; as if everything were a foreign object, new to the eye & the brain.

Photography has always been an interest of mine which until just recently was only something I could dream of doing.  I like the idea that cameras don't see the world as we do, they don't know what they're looking at; a camera simply observes what you put in front of it, focuses, & snaps an image.  As the photographer, you are responsible for the lighting, the subject, the framing, basically everything except focusing & capturing - which most cameras do, thanks to auto focus lenses.  This makes it very important to have an eye for detail.  

Having just recently purchased my first DSLR, I'm having a lot of fun capturing the finer details in life - & so I'm going to make it a point to share them here once a week, every week.

1.  We've been juicing a lot recently; pretty much every morning, sometimes for lunch as well.
2.  I still wear my custom key necklace from Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno almost every day.  Thanks Brandi & Kelly!
3.  A few weeks ago I got this lovely tattoo from the very talented Thea Fear.  The quote is my favorite, it's by John Muir - a naturalist who had a big impact on America's National Parks, my hero.
4/5.  By far my favorite shoes, there is nothing compared to the comfort of a pair of Vans.  The fact that they have such a classic style allows me to wear them almost daily. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

This home tour has been one of my favorites for a  very long time.  It was published in Foam Magazine a couple years ago, & I fell in love instantly.  I keep all of my Foams, so I still have this in print at the bottom of a big stack of years worth of the magazine.












One of the main things I took from this spread is that I just have to invest in a trampoline some day, & that surfboards are acceptable forms of art.  Having two waiting around to be displayed, this is a great solution to finding storage.  More than anything, I think I'm just having some serious home envy with all of their little details.  Isn't it just dreamy?