Last weekend we finally tackled the enormous task of cleaning our our new basement and turning it into a little studio. It was a lot of work, but I couldn't be happier. Finally having a space to get creative, messy, crazy...I feel so inspired! Because I was so excited I forwent my run the other night, and instead got to work with some watercolors. I've never worked with the medium before, but in getting organized I found the beautiful set my parents brought me from China a couple years ago. I finally decided to try them out, and it was so much fun.
I decided to look around for inspiration on techniques, and I came across these stunning numbers by Spanish artist, Oriol Angrill Jorda. Aptly titled, Blendscapes, the series mixes hyper realistic portraits with energetic washes and emotional overlays. I fell in love instantly and knew I'd need to do a post if not to remember them in a diary-like way. I can't wait to get to work and start creating some works of my own. I can only dream to achieve something quite as beautiful. Something to aspire to, right?
Check out more of Oriol Angrill Jorda's work here
What an amazing little trip I just had to San Francisco. It was my first time getting out to the west coast in my adult life. I was ten years old and still really didn't understand life the last time I was there. At this point, my perspective can't help but be tarnished by the overarching stereotypes and historical anecdotes that I've heard so much of. I could tell, being there, that this was a city founded by hippies and based on love. The air felt fresher, the people a bit friendlier. Marijuana is in a sense legal, and real, rugged nature, is right at your fingertips. If that's not hippie influence, I don't know what is.
I can in no way cover everything that I experienced on my trip, but let me try and entertain you with some of the highlights...
Outside Lands Music Festival
I arrived on a Friday night and was able to catch Saturday & Sunday of the Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park. Two days of magic infused with music, I could have stayed in that time warp for the rest of my life. I did some freelance coverage while I was there, so rather than try and find new words to express my experience, check it out:
We climbed up to the top of Strawberry Hill on our way to the festival one day. Supposedly it's a great view of the bay, but what we got was mostly fog. Where some would be disapointed with that, I actually wasn't. The fog is so striking, and such a bold characteristic of the city. I find it very beautiful and calming in a way. We played around at the top, channeling our childhood selves for a minute. It was sheer fun.
"I spend more time outside here than anywhere else I've ever lived," my brother explained to me. Hanging out in parks is a huge part of the culture here. Because it's so accessible, people go for hikes, they read a book in the grass, play some Frisbee - free time just isn't spent cooped up inside. Not to mention, the city is very green. You find compost bins everywhere and have to actually pay if you want a plastic bag at most stores. It's not a struggle to get people to live green, and I think that ties back to the close connection San Fransicans have with the outdoors. A lesson the rest of us should take if you ask me!
So that I could get the lay of the land, one day we started in the Marina district and walked all along the coast and the Embarcadero until we got to the edge of the financial district. The views were spectacular. We walked out on a pier right at the beginning. There were were sailboats all around, and you could get a great view of Alcatraz floating out on the water. We stopped in the Ferry building which is full of little shops piled with well-designed items and food joints serving up fresh, organic, well-crafted grab n' go's. I got a fresh pressed juice and some heirloom lima beans to try out.
Only in the Haight have I ever seen a real life nudist. This happened early on my second day there. I quickly knew, this city was like nothing else. That being said, the Haight is a really cool little spot in this world. Neat shops sprinkle throughout and it's overall a happening place. I hit up a yoga studio, Yoga Garden of San Francisco, while I was there that I would highly recommend if you're staying in the Haight. There's a little zen garden as you walk in, and the place is three stories high of gorgeous sun-filled practice rooms. At my brother's suggestion, I followed it up with breakfast and coffee at Bean There Cafe. I loved that I was able to get almond milk in my granola here, and not soy. Additional bonus, they made my fruit salad fresh before my eyes, and the coffee is top notch.
This city has some stellar views, and a trip to the Persidio/Baker Beach really proved it to me. It's a really peaceful nook of the city that I highly suggest finding if you have the time.
I had to make it here while I was in San Francisco. One of my only memories from the first time we came to SF was being told that they served cat in Chinatown. I think my brother was trying to scare me...
Nonetheless, we all know I'm a big lover of Chinese culture and cuisine. My brother and I walked through, and downed some cheap and delicious dim sum before I had to hop on a plane back to Philadelphia.
I'm a fall baby. The season lends itself to outdoor activities and is the best time of year for fashion. What's amazing about San Francisco is that it perpetually feels like fall, but at the same time they can grow warm weather plants. My brother's roommates had a lemon tree growing in the house! How cool is that? They also had a fig tree growing out back, and I spotted some olive trees while walking the streets. This place is seriously perfect...
As if I wasn't already full of wanderlust, this city really got my dreams going. San Francisco makes you realize that life doesn't always have to be serious. It can be fun and productive at the same time. As a place, it works. The people get along, the city is very clean and put together, and because they're able to do that, it seems like everyone is able to have as much fun as they'd like. It's about living responsibly so that you can live free.
I might be the only weirdo out there who can’t wait for fall. But I love it, I love the feeling in the air, the color in the trees, and the clothes….oh the clothes. This shoot has me brimming with inspiration for fall dressing. I love the mixing of leather, suede, and sherpa with soft flannels and eclectic accessories. The hairstyles are fierce. I want to put my hair in braids right now. Who’s down for being a warrior this fall??
Vogue Paris, September 2013
Photographer: Lachlan Bailey
Fashion Editor:Claire Chelens
Hair: Rudi Lewis
Make-Up: Christelle Cocquet
Model: Kasia Struss
A phenomenon occurred last week. Adam and I had three days to spend together. It was out of this world, and you know we made the most of it. After sticking around Philly and staying up way too late, we had a lazy morning. Finally making it out of the house, we fueled up at a friend's cafe, Red Hook (check it out), and then headed to the Pine Barrens of NJ to hike 14 miles of the Batona trail.
Starting at Batsto village, we walked 7 miles in to the lower ridge campsite. All along, the trail was lined with blueberries. We hiked through what was literally, a blueberry forest! It was a glorious day. The sunshine was on our side until right after we pitched tent and got a fire going. Once the flames were finally blazing, the heavens opened up with all their might. Luckily we had the tent up, so we climbed inside and listened in awe to the loudest crashing thunder we've ever heard.
Waking early, we enjoyed being the only human beings for miles. Heating up water from the camel backs we brewed coffee. I had awoken with a shiver, it was awfully early in the morning, and the heat from the cup slowly brought me back to life. We then hauled out the powdered milk and granola to whip up some breakfast. Cleaning up involved a hike down to the stream where we scrubbed the dishes and pumped new water through the filter for the day.
Getting back to our feet, we crossed the river and walked 7 miles down the other side. The return was simple and enjoyable. Nature all to ourselves. Silence albeit the rustling of leaves and birdsong. We approached on the other side of Batsto village and got to check out the old buildings. My imagination immediately filled the scene with hardworking men and children running free with adventure. The place represents a different time, and it's funny to think of a civilization so different from ours.
We finally found the car, and drove straight to the closest diner. It was simply put, some of the best three days of my life.
Photographed some interns wearing new August catalog items at work the other day. Above are a couple of my favorite takes. Always fun when you have beautiful girls and beautiful clothes to play around with. <3
Shop Free People's August Catalog Here
Talk about a no cook meal. This dish is fast and easy to whip up. I made it for dinner the first time after we got back from a backpacking trip and were too exhausted to cause much of a production. All you need is a hand blender and some fresh ingredients. Did I mention that it's delicious and healthy?
1 Cup mint leaves, unpacked
1/2 Tbsp sea salt
Juice from 1 lemon
10oz Lump Crab
1 Green Pepper
2 Tbsp Lottie's hot sauce (any other will work too)
2 Tbsp olive oil mayo
Juice from 1 lemon
S & P to taste
1. Blend soup ingredients together using a hand blender, and stick in the refrigerator to chill.
2. Dice half of your cucumber and all of your green pepper. Slice the other half of your cucumber into in strips for garnish.
3. Mix diced vegetables with all other crab salad ingredients.
4. To serve, fill a shallow bowl with gazpacho. Using a large spoon, form crab salad into a large ball and place it in the center of your dish. Add cucumber for garnish.