Driving on Highway 1.


Sharing these last few pics today from our California coast adventure last month. If you ever get the opportunity to drive the coast along Highway 1 - DO IT. You will never regret the views. My prayers have been with our California friends as they endure another round of wildfires. It breaks my heart for those who call this gorgeous stretch of coast home, that they have to deal with the fires licking up on their doorsteps.

A few things I would highly recommend if you’re ever going to do this drive:

- Give yourself a lot more time and buffer than Googlemaps tells you. If you think it will take you 3 hours to get from your point A to point B, budget at least 1-2 hours more so you have time to make stops, get outside, walk around, etc. It will be well worth it! This is not a drive you want to rush. The whole point is to enjoy the drive!
- Pull off on all the coastal highway stops. Okay, maybe not all, but a lot of them! You get the very best views that will quite literally take your breath away. Also, the air is so crispy cool along the coast - it feels so good just to soak in the feeling.
- Stop in Big Sur and walk around! We got lunch at at Big Sur Bakery which has incredible food, but there are lots of quirky little places along the highway to stop in at grab a bite.
- Other places that are well worth the stop but will require some more time and planning are Carmel-by-the-Sea (see more here), Santa Cruz, Monterey and Half Moon Bay.
- The Bixby Bridge (pictured above), is spectacular and really, really worth stopping and seeing.
- Tagging this drive along with a few days in LA or a few days in San Francisco (or Napa!) is really special. If you have the chance to plan the trip that way, do it!

This trip was our last adventurous travel of the year. Now that we are in the home stretch of waiting on our baby to be born (!), I am cherishing these photos and the joy they represent. The next few months will be a lot of cozy days at home in front of the fire place!

Happy Friday to you all!

Exploring in Carmel.


Trekked out to the West Coast trek last month, when I was 34 weeks pregnant (!!!) and savoring the last bit of travel adventure while celebrating my BFF’s beautiful wedding out there. I shared about our morning watching the sunrise over the vineyards in Paso Robles HERE, and I also wanted to share a few pictures of the romantic and dreamy town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Carmel is a sleepy European-inspired village on the coast, boasting plentiful art galleries and coffee shops and fancayyy boutiques. There isn’t one destination spot that you MUST visit in town, it’s more of a place to wander and eat and drink along the way while exploring the windy streets and all they have to offer. We got juice twice here (I loved the Clean & Green), shopped around and went back and forth on whether we should get the boys souveniers (do they really NEED another stuffed animal that says a city name on it? I think not.), pretended to be art connoisseurs gazing at the assortment of mediums on display in the ubiquitious galleries (we know nothing about art. I just know it when I like it.), and of course, we wandered down to the ocean, which is a sweet walk down the street from the village.

There is simply nothing like the Pacific Ocean - the ever-reaching sapphire waves carrying the frosty, frothy water to my squeamish toes. It’s always shocking to me how VERY COLD the water is, probably because like most East Coast southern gals, I’m most comfy with the bath water that IS the Gulf of Mexico. And while the Pacific always stuns me with its frightfully cool temperatures, the views are the true marvel. California really does harbor some of the most treasured coastal views.

So grateful that Stevie and I had a few days to wander here. We gawked at the sprawling, oversized succulents, drank the boujee coffee, discussed what it would be like to raise our kids here (in a word - EXPENSIVE), marveled at the interesting trinkets while we window shopped. It was just so NICE being together, being slow, exploring again. Before we had kids, our travel looked a little something like this (although back then we were much more fast-paced - this pregnant tired mama has learned to slowwwwww dowwnnnnn). It was fun to resurrect that exploratory spirit for a bit. Just a bit.

P.S. - Fun story about the first time I visited Carmel HERE.
P.P.S. - Fun IGTV vid from our trip HERE.

Sunrise in the Vineyard.


We trekked out to California a few weeks ago to celebrate the wedding of one of my dearest, oldest friends! Along the way, Stevie and I planned to see/do a few special things and take advantage of one final trip before our baby boy arrives (so soon now!) We woke up early one morning in Paso Robles and decided to watch the sun rise over the vineyards. Because when you’re on East Coast time and nothing can keep you asleep, then you chase that sun rise! We grabbed coffee at our hotel oh so early, hopped into our rental car and drove out toward the tiny bit of light that was beginning to illuminate the wine country of Paso - it is SUCH a stunning place and home to dozens (maybe even hundreds?) of new wineries over the past 20 years or so (move over, Napa!) We found a beautiful vista and drove up into it, though knowing that we didn’t want to trespass on land that, A) wasn’t ours and B) wasn’t necessarily open to the public (remember, it was the crack of dawn!) Someone was working at the entrance of this particular vineyard (I don’t even remember the name!), and after he and Stevie exchanged a few Spanish words, we had permission, and we journeyed up, up, up!

Made it just in time. The sun crested over the hills and saturated the vinyards with every shade of the palest yellow, then marigold, then brilliant burning red. It was a sight to behold, something I will never forget.

I’m doing my best to take stock in these kinds of moments, especially as I near the end of this pregnancy and I feel such a strong shift of seasons coming my way. I know what a new baby entails - long nights, blurry days, a year passes in an instant. I’m anticipating what I know is coming, along with all the unexpected that will most certainly come along with his arrival! I can’t wait to get to know another baby boy of mine… my two boys are so different and such incredible people, who have changed me and taught me so much. I can’t wait to see what little man #3 has in store for our family. I truly feel overwhelmed with gratitude.

I have a few other things to share about this trip, including our drive up the 1 and some time in Big Sur and Carmel, so I will post those things this week while they are still fresh on my mind :) Also, a little IGTV film if you’re into it!

Wine Tasting in Santa Ynez Valley.

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Urban Outfitters tank (past season, similar here), Loft skirt (on sale!), Fabrik bralette, Anthropologie earrings (past season, similar here), Stella & Dot wrap bracelet, Keani Manta cuff, Target flats, Free People clutch (past season, similar here), Raw Bronzing Studio organic spray tan

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Wine tasting in California is a thing. A beautiful, hot, wonderful thing, and I am so glad that I got to do *all the things* while Stevie and I were in Santa Barbara last month.

This stretch of CA is a bit drier than the Napa/Sonoma area, so the wines produced in this region are a bit more unique and rare. We had so much fun driving north from Santa Barbara (only about 45 minutes) to explore the Santa Ynez Valley, which has become must-visit wine country over the past 20 years. The town of Santa Ynez is like a chic old Western village, dotted with some of the most incredibly vibrant foliage I've ever seen. It really amazed us, since California has been in a severe drought and fighting wild fires all summer long. I am so struck by how plants thrive in such incredibly dry climate! Okay, major plant lady digression. Back to the wine.

We lingered the most here, at the Sunstone Vineyards & Winery, because we loved it so much. The wine was really delicious (our favorites - the Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Rose & Soleil Rouge!) While we were tasting we snacked on cheese, figs, bread and the most insanely delicious balsamic dressings and glazes that they have on-site. I so very badly wish that I would have brought home some of the Raspberry Balsamic (because it looks like I can't buy any online!) Ugh, I hate remorse. New lesson - buy everything when I get the urge. Stevie will love my new plan.

This winery is really beautiful, designed in the French style with an extra dose of massive cream-colored dusty stones. It just felt like the set of a movie where you would see Jesus wandering around and teaching his disciples. I think it was all that stone. The sun stone, no wait - the SON stone. Gosh I am really in the zone right now.

The other venture we took was into the town of Los Olivos, where there are tasting rooms side-by-side. You can try wines from all over the Santa Ynez Valley region, without having to drive all over. This is a great way to stay safe while tasting. Since we were driving I tried a few here but nothing nearly as good as what we experienced at Sunstone. We also heard really great things about the town of Solvang, which is designed like a Swedish village. I really wish we had made it over that way to much on some pastries at Mortensens Danish Bakery, but we just ran out of time. Next time!

P.S. - What we did on our trip to Santa Barbara and playing on the beach of the Pacific Ocean!

Linen & Dahlias on the Beach.



Gal Meets Glam Abigail Dress (also available here), Soludos Wedges, Stella & Dot Cuff, Wrap Bracelet & Letter Necklace, Raw Bronzing Studio Tan

This day is even more vivid in my memory than these photos can capture. The water was euphoric, the joy in my heart was vibrant, and I was wearing the prettiest happiest dress. We were playing frisbee on the beach of the Pacific Ocean, just the two of us, laughing and joking together like we were still 18. After all these years together, no one can really infuriate me or endear me more than him.

Our time in Santa Barbara was meant for celebrating the wedding of our friends, but we also treated it as a really good excuse to toast our own 11-year wedding anniversary. I remember this day because I felt a tangible sense of bliss and elation and it was finally, a sigh of relief.

To be honest, these emotions were a pretty stark contrast compared to how I've been feeling for most of the summer. It's been a season of unforeseen circumstances and Stevie and I have clung to each other as we have been grappling with how to be adults through it all.

Sometimes the blog and Instagram world can look like a whirlwind of fun and endless joy, when the truth is that everyone has things they're going through and dealing with. This summer has been especially rife with emotion and decision making in our little family, and I have carried the weightiness around with me (that instead of a diaper bag, which I keep forgetting to bring with me lately). We live with the very real feeling that everything we do affects not only ourselves, but our two precious little boys, and this summer especially we have been examining how we are living and how it impacts our kids, for the good and the bad.

This trip was a refreshing break from all that emotion. I don't share this with you because I have everything figured out and I can tie a pretty bow around it. There is nothing really to share. No big conclusions or life changes or evidence of anything new (except that I cut my hair - like an inch). I feel like change happens first on the inside, and I can feel a shift coming even though my life might not reflect any tangible difference yet. Does anyone know what I mean? Perhaps I am just rambling, but I feel like I haven't really disclosed all of these feelings here on the blog because I haven't known how to put words to it yet. And also because there isn't anything to share! Except that I might be even more sensitive and emotional and contemplative now that I'm 30 and maybe I should just chill a minute. But that Pacific Ocean did me some real good and I am grateful that we got time to play on this beach, just the two of us, and revel in the beauty of the Earth. Just up the beach from us was a 150 year old fig tree and one of the figs fell square on Stevie's head as we walked beneath it - we both took it as a good sign.

P.S. - What we did in Santa Barbara for the weekend ;)