Category Archives: inspiration

Fall Floral Inspiration

Fall is among us and I couldn’t be more excited to finally see a few leaves change color! I started looking for fall floral arrangement ideas online and realized that there are very few that don’t look like they belong in a window display at Kirkland’s. But here are some exceptions that really stood out. Happy floraling!

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milk glass

Amy-Osaba-7

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19440008$!400x

amaryllis-english-manor-wedding-01

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6359478709_030c8d01b4_z 6359488977_d5ff8bed36

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A Most Unusual Hike

The most surprising hike I’ve ever been on took place a few weeks ago when I happened to have an extra day off work. Don’t three day weekends give you an extra burst of energy to go out and do something productive or something new?? Well, that’s what they do for me. I could use a few more 3 day weekends in my life.

As I was Googling interesting places to go in this crazy city, I stumbled across this little baby: Murphy Ranch Trail.

The hike begins at Rustic Canyon, which is part of Topanga State Park in Santa Monica.

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It starts off like any other hike you might take in the mountains.

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A gorgeous view, wildflowers, a few weird looking bugs and lizards.

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You walk about 15 minutes along a path lined by a chain-link fence.

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THEN- there’s a gap in the fence. Take the gap, take the gap!

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As you veer left through this gap in the fence and stray away from the main path, you come across, what seems to be, an endless, cement stairwell that leads down into the canyon.

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The stairwell takes you down an almost 200 ft. descent into the desolate, Murphy Ranch. (The DEscent is NOTHING compared to the AScent, let me tell ya…)

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What is Murphy Ranch, you ask? OH..well…that’s where things get spooky.

I’m just going to let hikespeak.com explain it to you….they do SUCH a nice job. And I tend to ramble:

“In the 1930s Nazi sympathizers built a refuge in the Pacific Palisades. Herr Schmidt, Winona and Norman Stephens, and their followers occupied a self-contained stronghold in what is now Rustic Canyon between Sullivan Ridge and Will Rodgers State Park. Murphy Ranch was designed to serve as a hold out for fans of the Third Reich waiting for America to fall to the Nazis. Instead, the ranch was raided by U.S. authorities and closed in 1941. The abandoned buildings were transformed into an artists’ colony in the 60s and 70s, but were abandoned after the Mandeville Canyon Fire in 1978. Today the grounds of Murphy Ranch are uninhabited, dilapidated, covered in graffiti, and open to hikers. While much of the history is lost, several structures remain, along with long cement staircases that still link Murphy Ranch to Sullivan Ridge Fire Road, providing a 3.85-mile hike with 325 feet of elevation gain.”

Crazy, right?? Here’s where you start to see some graffiti action. Until…

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BAM! It hits you in the face.

The first building you come across used to house a diesel generator and fuel tank. You’re free to wander inside…although I was hesitant. Even in broad daylight it just felt like I was in the middle of terrible horror movie and someone was yelling at me from the other side of the screen…”WHY WOULD YOU GET CLOSE TO THAT? RUN AWAY, STUPID! RUN. AWAY.”

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Once you pass that building, you come across one more dilapidated shed.

Apparently these crazy Nazis had commissioned famed African-American architect Paul Williams  to build a four-story mansion within the canyon, but those plans were never executed.

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It’s amazing to me how much of this eerie piece of history was just left there. Not cleaned up and wiped away by the government or Parks Department. It’s just sitting there, rotting away. Which I guess is pretty symbolic in a way. To be able to see the literal destruction of  such a misguided and terrible mindset.

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There are literally still old vehicles there, rolled over and rusting. image

So if you don’t vomit at the thought of climbing down over 500 stairs (and then back up!), you need to take this hike. It’s mind blowing and you come out of it thinking you might have just had a psychedelic, Nazi nightmare. But it’s totally worth exploring every step!

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xoxo

~Alex

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Wild

I recently just finished reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed. If your a twenty-something year old female who’s been feeling a little lackluster, I definitely recommend giving it a read. It’s both inspiring and a bit soul crushing at the same time. Cheryl Strayed writes about her summer hiking solo through the Pacific Crest Trail (a trail that runs along the Pacific Coast from Mexico to Washington State) in efforts to cope with her mothers death and her failed marriage. She was 26 years old when she started her hike. Hiking the ENTIRE California coast, BY HERSELF, at the age of 26 with NO PRIOR HIKING EXPERIENCE. Insane? Yes. Completely motivating? Yes.truly want to just pack up a giant backpack and take off right now. Seriously. BUT, alas, a hike like this takes an extremely large amount of planning, gear, and knowledge that I have not begun to scratch the surface of. And of course I start Googling hiking gear and get lost in a fanciful world of completely impractical camp gadgets and garb. So let me dream a bit and plan my fairytale hiking experience. Thanks.

“Wanting to leave is enough.”  – Cheryl Strayed

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I hate packing with every fiber of my being. That is why I’m posting this. Procrastination via obnoxious, Texas pride blog postin’. Tejas and all of it’s calorie-packing goodness awaits me in less than 12 hours. Yee-freakin-haw ya’ll.

Texas Texas Yeehaw!

Wood Texas Pendant Necklace

Texas My Texas

Bone Barn Lettering by Jeff Rogers

Texas Flag

Lone Star State

robb walshs texas barbecue brisket

BBQ Sandwich

Texas Sheetcake TEXAS Sheet Cake

Texas Sheetcake

Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla

Whataburger

What A Burger

Embroidered Texas Pillow

brisket tacos recipe, Dallas style

Brisket Tacos

Texas Margaritas

Texas Margaritas

gosh i need this.. well the outline... so soon!

Tx tattoos

<3

My heart lives in Awesome Austin Embroidery

Texas Map - Mustard Yellow Vintage colorful illustrated map of Texas - 1960s picture map - Fun Retro Colors

1960’s Mustard Texas Map

texas, our texas

Vintage Varsity Sweatshirt

Please Send Queso Poster by Simon Walker

queso flameado

The Homesick Texan’s Queso Flameado

Retro Cowboy Throw Rug

Texas My Texas

Sunset Inspiration

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.

Rabindranath Tagore

The Sunset Cookbook

outdoor dinner with the sunset

My kind of sunset

Vintage Summer Mountain and Sunset Save the Date Card - SAMPLE

Sunset lights

Sunset Pillow Cover $29

Summer Sunset heart banner/ garland/ bunting - Felt hearts in red, orange, yellow and white - wedding decor

SALE Labradorite Necklace, Sunset Statement Jewelry, 14K Gold Fill, Natural Gemstone

Giraffes at Sunset, Masai Mara Park, Kenya

Zombie Sunset - Superwash Merino Bulky Yarn - Hand Dyed - 137 yds

sunset

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Annie Hall

It’s been waaaay too long since my last post. Just want to share my costume inspiration from this Halloween. A beautiful movie with beautiful people: Annie Hall.

How amazing are these prints by Mike Oncley??


Annie Hall inspired fashion:

THE Annie Hall

Annie Hall costume inspiration

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Lucky 3

As of today, I’ve been lucky enough to have been dating a pretty awesome fella for three years now. THREE! Wow…Most of my fillings haven’t lasted three years. Unfortunately, I’m not able to spend today celebrating with him. I’m still stuck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I will however be very close to matching his Mexican skin tone by the time I get back to LA. 🙂

When I first got to Kona, three weeks ago, I wrote his name in white rocks along the shore where I go jogging. Somehow it remained untouched the majority of my trip so I was able to see his name beautifully contrasted among the black lava rocks every morning. A wonderful reminder of how lucky I am to have been a part of his life for so long. I can honestly say that he’s made me feel more beautiful these last three years than I’ve ever felt-EVER. He’s a special guy who is ridiculously good at making me feel special.

OK- that’s more sap than I’ve dished out in a LONG time.

Love you Paul. Here’s to three more beautiful yrs!

 

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Island Life

The last few weeks I’ve been working in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. It’s been awe-inspiring and exhausting! Here’s just a taste of what I’ve had to endure the last 15 days.

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More Bottle Brilliance

1920’s canning jar

With all my glass bottle/jar craziness lately, it’s no wonder I’m finding amazing sites to accompany my weirdness. Just wanted to share a slideshow that Martha has so conveniently placed on her website. It’s all about how to decipher and date glass bottles. Pre-tty interesting stuff if you ask me. I know…no one asked. But I’m telling you anyway. 🙂

Check out Martha Stewart’s “Collecting Bottles.”

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Re-useful

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I admit: I’m turning into my grandmother on certain levels. Not only am I finding a few gray hairs and leaning towards slightly powdery perfumes, but I’ve also been saving shiz likes it’s nobodies business! I recently found myself saving a butter container. Yes, I have an old Earth Balance tupperware under my sink right now. But ya know what – 1.) It’s the perfect size to save the little bit of frosting I had leftover from making cupcakes this weekend. 2.) It came free with 8 ounces of butter 3.) It’s a #5 plastic, people! It can’t technically be recycled anyway. So go ahead, judge me. You can’t say it doesn’t make sense though.

So plastic butter containers may not be on the top of everyone’s rescue list. But there is one thing I think we can all agree is hard to toss- a glass soda bottle. Yes, you could recycle it, but it’s just so darn charming. I know I’ve talked about my inability to chunk these items before. They really do make for an adorable little vase! But there are only so many bottle vases one little studio apartment can hold. In an effort to save my collection of Coke, Sprite, and Fanta glass bottles that were starting to become somewhat of an eyesore on my kitchen counter, I definitely turned to my bff, Google, for some advice.

First idea I stumbled across- Dish soap dispenser. And who doesn’t want an excuse to get that ugly plastic Dawn bottle off the counter. There’s really nothing to this one at all- wash the bottle, fill it with soap and top it with a pouring spout. I got my spout for $3 at Crate and Barrel. It’s also a good idea to dilute the soap so that it comes out a little easier. ThrifyFun talks about the benefits of diluting dish soap here. So easy, so cute and I saved the life of one more coke bottle! Next project: oil and vinegar dispensers! Ok, maybe I am going a little bottle crazy. I just need to take a deep breath and lay the rest of my collection in their recycle bin grave. Maybe…

Check out these other awesome ways to save the life of a glass bottle or jar!

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