To say my life has been challenging lately would be an understatement. Actually, it has been going like this for awhile.  2015 has turned out to be a real doozy. 

I have not posted as much I wanted.  I have a lists of content ideas and partially done posts, but the time and energy to complete them - well . . . that has not been as available.

So what does this have to do with the make up photos??  Probably nothing, just sharing. One day recently I realized I reallllllly let my minimal make up regimen become even more minimal. If I ran out of something or misplaced it (happened so often) this year, I would forget to replenish it and since I keep things pretty pared down anyway, just loosing 2 or 3 from my arsenal left me with the anemic routine of tinted sunscreen, brow powder and maybe a little slide of liner.  

With the change of seasons, came the realization that I actually missed the ritual of applying make up.  Those few extra minutes standing in the streaming sunlight with my morning tea making an effort to show my best self had a meditative quality that I felt odd without....I decided to snap out of  my 'rut'  (for lack of a better word) and re-up my beauty arsenal.  I have a few more things I really want but with just two new products - things were already much better.

Mind you, they are not just any two products, the shadow palette compliments my eye color and skin tone pretty well and this mascara is the best ever!  No exaggeration, and I'm very particular!  Pair both of these with my daily must have kohl and I am set for fall.... It feels good to return to my morning make up ritual, and a little bit of feeling good can go a long way. I love that ♡



I enjoy visiting the same place over again and seeing it with new eyes.  There is a 'creature of habit' part of me.  I am  will order the same thing at my favorite restaurant again and again because that makes me happy.  I also believe that it is not really the same place (or the same order), we are different each time we come to something and that changes our experience.  I believe the subtleties are beautiful. 

It has long been in the back of my mind to visit a few of the historic Mid Century Modern homes in Palm Springs. There are so many great ones but I easily would let pool time distract me or laziness from the heat would set in.  Recently, I finally made it to one of them:  the Kaufmann house by Richard Neutra. It is one of the best examples of International style architecture and one of the few still owned privately.  There is much to love about it, and wished I had access to the interior - but the exterior was treat enough.  The beautiful blend of architecture with the landscape was so seamless, we completely drove by it a few times before noticing it.  

From the outside it does not look extravagant or like there are 5 bedrooms, 5 baths,  a huge pool and indoor outdoor rooms beyond the blonde wood door.  I loved the color palette of the landscape, the playfulness of shapes and textures, I loved the harmony and flow - I loved it so much I saw it in my dreams.  Sounds so corny, but it's true.




Visiting Big sur any time of year is magical, but during summer is extra nice - the days are longer and the weather is ideal.  The only slight downside is the increasing number of organized tourist expeditions going on.  I cannot help but wonder how the locals must feel about this, because let's just say some visitors are not so respectful, but that is a whole other story about my observations on that front.  For this post it is about the magic, the beauty of being among breathtaking nature with only limited choices of activities.  I was talking to a friend the other day of how lovely it was to wake up and think:  Hmmmm, what should we do today?  Let's see our options are : reading, writing, painting, hiking, meandering, napping and beach going.  That's pretty much how the days go there and of course there is the fun decision of where should to eat once the provisions we brought ran out.

Some of my favorite Big Sur loves:

Big Sur River -  Accessible at several places and a must for its' beautiful jewel toned colors and soothing sound. Great place to picnic or sit or play. 

Andrew Molera beach - Hiking trails and more beautiful views.

Deetjen's Big River Inn - Legendary. Iconic. Quirky in the coolest way. Rooms are charming. Dinner was delicious and their breakfast is hearty.  The decor alone was a feast for the eyes.

Big Sur Bakery - Where you can have a coffee and a peach scone in the morning, then return for a full force dinner over looking the prettiest Shell gas station ever and the redwood grove across the street.  They really pull out all the stops for their weekend brunch, quite a menu.

Big Sur Roadhouse - Beautiful design and detail from the decor to the food.  Wonderful indoor and outdoor seating areas.  I prefer indoor near the cool fireplace.  During summer they do a fun grilling lunch menu, but it's very popular.  Dinner is delicious and for now not open for breakfast. Not what you think of when you think 'roadhouse', this was more chic responsibly renovated mid century cabin. 

Henry Miller Memorial Library - Cool cottage library with a great outdoor space.  Run by such enthusiastic devoted staff, ideal to come for a music performance or film screening.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park - Stunning! Home to McWay Falls, where everyone is taking a photo because how could you not?  A sight I will never forget.  There is also Ewoldsen trail nearby for a great 6 mile loop hike.

Post Ranch Inn - The grounds are beeeeeautiful.  The view is beeeeeautiful.  The rooms seem like little glass treehouse gems perched in just the right angle for maximum view enjoyment. Sierra Mar for lunch is a perfect way to get a taste for this luxurious modern rustic enclave.  I loved their solar panel field which looked like a contemporary art installation to me and their local garden looked dreamy.

General Stores - There are about 7 of them along the highway.  Fernwood tends to be the most organized and well stocked. 

The Esalen Institute - Worth the hurdles you may have to go through to book an appointment or stay for a visit.  A massage and soak in their 'baths' (hot springs) is awesome. The views are unbeatable and you do with your mind, body and spirit completely soothed and refreshed.

Note:  Curiosity and what looked like the perfect sunset watching perch took us over to Nepenthe.  It is perfectly located for great views but the tourist crowds and loudspeaker calling waiting parties to their table did us in, we lasted 10 mins.  We ditched that idea and found a great spot over at Ventana Inn where the atmosphere is more chill, but still has great sunset views.

Ps.  My earlier Big Sur post is here.  (I want to re-edit those photos, please pardon their over contrast look, thanks!)




Summer Roadtrip


Summer road trips have always been a favorite love ♡.  As a kid, I looked forward to them every year as special times dedicated to exploring - whether it was a beach town, a mountain cottage or a lakeside inn - I was very happy seeing new places. I have some pretty great memories from them.  Sometimes we went far, sometimes not so far.... but it was the ritual and excitement of being together on the road on an adventure that I loved/love.

One of the things I noticed about my current road trip experience is how dedicated to the preparatory stage I've become, building an every growing 'what to bring/pack' list.  With the constraint of flying and my vow to never check luggage, I am excellent at staying disciplined  (I have pre-made packing lists based on the climate of my destination). But, road trips are another story, my list keeps expanding - I pack with the mindset of 'there is always more room in the trunk for more things'.  I tell myself it is totally acceptable (& normal) since sometimes a quarter of my luggage is photography related (yes, I have been known to bring 4 cameras - not smart at all because truly I only end up shooting with one)

In my attempt to keep it easy breezy on the road, I really like to zero in on the things I will use daily.  The above photo are my current must bring items that make my heart smile.  Something easy and fun to wear, sun protective gear and things for making and reading  - kind of all you need to enjoy your summer journey.



Naomi Yamada Wedding Guest Weekend

Quickly packing to attend a wedding out of town, I am not sure why I didn't prepare better.... No time for shopping, going with a classic LBD and a few key classic accessories.  Keeping my make up "summery minimal" except for an subtle red lip (my new make up go to is Surratt - such great textures).  Going to bring my polaroid this time, always a winning accessory at a wedding.