Leaving Matador Beach was hard. It's one of those places where you take in the sights and wonder, "Is this real life?" It's been a long time since I've been around that kind of landscape (last time was probably Hawaii in 2011), and as much as I love city life, this was a necessary break. From the road level, the beach is totally hidden and it's not until you stand over the edge of a cliff that the sights come into view. It was a beautiful day.
El Matador State Beach
32100 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265
There was no shortage of these poetic Spanish Moss trees (I'm mostly sure that's what these are, but please correct me if I'm wrong! *Edited: Ah! I stand corrected. The trees are Live Oaks and the flowering plant on them is the Spanish Moss.) in Louisiana just outside of New Orleans. I'm kicking myself for not taking more photos on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain with all the beautiful negative space, trees and benches. As always, anything you see here is available as prints (if you ever fancy one – let me know and I'll send rates). I do think this first one would make a fine large print.
There's something to be said about the power of an understated but classic accessory piece that can bring a little magic to any old outfit. In the final stage of my project with the Amulette de Cartier, I'm taking the pendant out of its dream world and bringing it to reality and daily life. Though, to be perfectly honest, these are still the filtered pretty views because most days you'll find me cooped up at this computer in my fancy sweatpants with an overflowing messy desk. I've been working on some ongoing projects that I know will be rewarding, but have pretty much wiped out the idea of free time this summer.
It's been surprisingly "mild" this summer (as far as my memories of NYC summer go), which has been great as I'm much more of a jeans/pants girl than a skirts/dresses girl. I often cut through this park on my walks, as it's much prettier than the alternative. I keep thinking about how nice it'd be to just park myself on a bench and get some summer reading done, but I find that the city's pace and energy can make it hard to sit still in one place for long.
One early morning last weekend, Jimmy and I headed to Bowery Coffee, which used to be one of my favorite spots. They've since changed a few things and don't offer pour over anymore, but truthfully, I go for the Doughnut Plant cake donuts anyway. That morning, we had the blackout chocolate (devoured before we took these photos) and blueberry donuts.
It's been a fun challenge envisioning the Amulette in these different scenarios and attempting to transfer that vision over to photos where you, too, can imagine the thought process and interpret in your own way. If you've missed any of the other posts in this series, see part one or part two here.
I think one of the reasons it took me so long to edit and post these images (taken last November, eek!) was that I didn't feel like these were that special per se, even though the experience was once in a lifetime. I mean that you can find hundreds or thousands of stunning images of Machu Picchu from countless travel editorials (for example, these from Cereal Magazine), and I felt these were lacking a sort of Alice factor. Not to mention, they don't quite capture the feeling of really being there. Nonetheless, I felt it was an experience worth sharing.
One thing I didn't expect was just how many people were exploring the grounds all at once. It was practically as crowded as Disney World. Since I haven't seen the inside of a gym since 2009, even just going around the grounds was a bit challenging for me. When Jose (our wonderful travel companion from LAN Airlines) and I tried to "hike" to the Sun Gate, it was a total fail. We made it to the halfway point, stopped in defeat to catch our breaths, and said forget about it. I think that if I didn't have my heavy-ass Canon and 24-70mm around my neck and a frighteningly limited supply of water, I could have possibly made it. From what I remember, there was no way to get water once you were inside the grounds, and to use the bathroom, you had to exit (which was down some pretty grueling stairs) and come back (up those damn stairs again). Can you tell I'm terrible at this outdoorsy travel stuff? Hell, I had to buy sneakers just for this trip!
Part of me definitely regrets not making it up to the Sun Gate. We were also traveling with Pavia Rosati from Fathom, and she was able to get up there (probably in the amount of time that it took us to make the halfway point). One of the special things about the Sun Gate is that it's the first real spot where hikers doing the full Inca trail (which takes four days) can spot the ruins. I can only imagine what that must feel like after the long hike. I think Pavia also went on the Inca Bridge – apparently it's a dangerous enough attraction that you need to sign in and out (I guess so they know you made it out alive??).
Some day it would be great to get back there (I can only hope I'm in better shape then) and do all the hikes, especially the one up Wayna Picchu!
It's easy to fall in love with the aesthetic of Hotel San José in Austin. I'm a sucker for minimalist decor and concrete floors (as you probably all know by now), and the Garza chairs were the cherry on top. We didn't get to spend too much time enjoying the hotel grounds, but I'd love to stay there again if I find myself in Austin again. Below are some iPhone snaps in and around the hotel before we ran out one morning.
Hotel San José
1316 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
The last few weeks were a complete blur - if you follow me on Instagram, you might have caught some glimpses of the road trip I took with Lincoln Motor Company. It was a neat opportunity to see parts of the South I've never been to, including Nashville, Memphis, Jackson, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Houston, and Austin. I thought I might get a chance to blog along the way, but the shoot days were long and we were on the road most of the time, rushing from city to city.
One of the prettiest areas we stopped was the swimming hole at Blue Hole Park in Wimberley, Texas. The hole had closed for swimming by the time we got there, so we were able to see a rather quiet and peaceful version of it. The evening light had that magical fairy-tale like quality, and I was surrounded by more green than I had been in a long time.
I've been searching high and low for the right lightweight blazer - ideally, it would have cropped sleeves, not scream "finance interview outfit", come in some neutral color, and be short enough for my petite frame. I think I've found one as close as I can get, short of designing one from scratch. This Rag & Bone blazer immediately caught my attention while browsing one day, so I took a chance and ordered it.
Let me tell you, it is not easy taking photos of yourself when you've lost your camera remote shutter. Not only did I set up a light, I used a tape measure from the camera to where I was standing so I could figure out where to manually focus the lens to. For each shot, I'd hit the shutter, head back to the mark on the tape measure and wait for the 10 seconds to run up. It sounds crazy, I know. A live-in photographer would be nice, but you do what you gotta do. So if these look a bit silly, that's because I felt quite silly doing it.
I think this blazer feels polished without looking too stiff. I also tend to push up the sleeves and always wear my blazers unbuttoned for a more casual look. I sized up because I do have wider shoulders, but I think I could have stuck to my usual too. Though this blazer is not a particularly wallet-friendly option, it's a piece that will get a lot of wear (and bonus, it's made in the USA).