Desert Magic in Joshua Tree

The desert is something else. There's no other place you can find these gorgeous combination of colors. Earthy tones mixed with the bright blue sky and glaring sun...it's a beauty that's hard to find.

The little town of Yucca Valley and all its neighboring desert cities have magic just waiting to be found at every corner. If you are ever in the area, here's what I recommend:

BRUNCH
Nothing like a delicious brunch to get you going before your hike in the beautiful Joshua Tree National Forest. La Copine is a brand new spot that fuses an LA hipster vibe with the desert. I mean, perfect right? The Royal Crumpet and delicious Breakfast Junction granola yogurt bowl were our two favorites. Oh, and don't forget the beignets! 

SHOP
Although the desert is vast, there are some gems to shop at on a small strip of Route 62. Amidst the antique shops galore there is Hoof and the Horn - full of bohemian and vintage treasures that may make you just want to move in. 

EXPLORE
Well, of course you have to see the beautiful national forest! A trail I recommend is the FortyNine Palms Oasis trail. There's a lovely (you guessed it) oasis at the finish line and you'll feel like you stepped into The Lion King. Simba...where are you?!

LET LOOSE
Just 13 or so miles away from Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree there is Pioneertown. And in Pioneertown there is the legendary Pappy & Harriet's Music Venue/BBQ joint. Amazing live music, great food, and atmosphere...what more could you want? It was amazing to look up and see the old posters from artists who have stopped in previously. Their roster includes bands like Vampire Weekend, Divine Fits, and the like.  

STAY

The AirBNB we found, called the Home Sweet Homesteader was pure magic in and of itself. I probably would have been content just staying in this tiny house the entire weekend. The homesteader was artfully and thoughtfully decorated, peaceful, and had the most beautiful view of the sunset from the living room window. 

So, do you want to visit the desert yet? It's the perfect place to head if you're needing some time to unwind and relax.

A moment to myself.

It's hard to keep up with a blog when you have a full time job and are a full time student. But, I should stop complaining - because my new gig is pretty darn sweet. It's making me feel super creative. So creative that my brain hurts and sometimes I have to tell myself "stop. working."

But, it feels good. 

And sometimes, when I'm feeling like my creativity is stalled, and it sucks, I just have to remind myself to take a little break. To do something that's still creative, but for myself. And that's when I grabbed my Minolta and realized there was film in there needing to be developed. I used the rest of it up when I was in Austin last month, so now it's a hodge-podge of my travels over the past year. It still feels good to look at, even though it wasn't from one linear trip. Brings back magical memories that I almost forgot about. Then, with this - I feel good again. 

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Asian Fusion Sweet Potato Salad

Have you ever just start craving something so badly that all of a sudden you dream up different flavor combinations in your mind and then set out to create it? I'm no professional chef mind you, but I really had these two things on my mind: sweet potato and an Asian inspired dressing. So, I ventured off to Pinterest where of course, voilà there were a myriad of recipes ready to fulfill my cravings.

I changed the recipe up and added sugar snap peas instead of edamame and ditched the purple cabbage, but my oh my was this recipe magical. You can see the full ingredient list and step-by-step here (thanks BLDG 25 Blog). And naturally I had to photograph it because 1. I had not blogged in a while, 2. the colors were absolutely gorgeous and 3. I bought some pretty Gerber daisies this afternoon and thought they needed a close-up.

Enjoy!

UK Trip Part 2

Why is black & white photography so beautiful? I'm a bit obsessed. Although some are under exposed, the one's that aren't turned out just fantastic. I need to cool it with the film development, as I'll be breaking the bank if I do this super regularly, but I'm so happy I did this for my trip. The thrill of opening up a packet of prints is incomparable. Below are photos mainly from Newcastle. We visited Jamie's little nephew Hugh! Hugh was clearly very excited to see Uncle Jamie and Auntie Calia and he was a natural at the camera... 

UK Photo Diary Part 1

Part 1 of 2 UK photo diary is here! Spoiler alert: my next photo diary will be black & white : O! Very excited to see how those turn out. 

I've been to the UK (Scotland specifically) many a-times, but this one was special because my family came along with me! We did a lot in just ten short days. First, we toured around Edinburgh and saw a lovely town nearby called Linlithgow. If you ever stumble upon Linlithgow, be sure to eat at Brodie's. It is the most delicious (and adorable) tea room I ever did see. We also saw the Kelpies in Edinburgh (see large horse statue coming out of my brother's head above) which were new! After our 3-day tour of Edinburgh, we headed to Glasgow and Newcastle... photos to come! 

Then, as you can see we headed to London. We toured the sites, saw the lovely Tate Modern, took an amazing tour inside the Emirates (Arsenal) Stadium, and had the best Indian food I've ever eaten. I need that again. Still dreaming of it, man oh man. Also, traveling has made me have the travel bug even more. Is this a thing? Please let me know I'm not going crazy. 

Stay tuned for part 2!

Another film photo diary

Had some fun with film (yet again) when my friends were in town for alumni weekend and I took it out to Jalama Beach when a bunch of us were camping (in the wind). Made for a beautiful photo diary. See 'em all below! 

Southern + Northern California

Sometimes I'm not sure why the two are at odds with each other. Both are beautiful and inspiring in different ways. We should be ecstatic that we have so many amazing cities in our wonderful state!

These photos were extremely fun to take. I got to take out my aunt's 80's Minolta x-700 for a spin. Although film and developing film is expensive, there is something so satisfying about using a film camera. The manual settings, real "click" sound of the camera, and the excitement when you open the envelope that reveals your photos. The memories are closer to my heart! I have to think once or twice about when we took a certain photo or where it was taken. 

Some of these shots were taken with expired film (which is always fun) so there are pretty glorious all natural light leaks happening. Enjoy my Los Angeles + San Francisco film photo diary below!

photos taken by me & Jamie Booth.

Coffee + Clothing

I've been working with the most beautiful clothing boutique and coffee bar called Whistle Club and here's a few of the shots I took for an upcoming blog post! 

Check the blog out here to see more of my work, and if you're in the Santa Barbara area, be sure to stop by this wonderful shop. Beautiful curated selection of clothing and accessories for the fashionable lady. And yes, there is also an espresso bar serving the wonderful and delicious Stumptown Coffee. I'm drinking a cold brew as I type.