Driving on Highway 1.

ca1.jpg
ca2.jpg
ca4.jpg
ca3.jpg
ca6.jpg
ca5.jpg
ca9.jpg
60D825C8-E310-4ECB-81F9-B507F0F69871.JPG
ca12.jpg
829087B9-73F7-4667-B020-4EF12C0553DF.JPG
ca8.jpg
ca7.jpg
ca13.jpg
91AB94A9-50C6-4229-A9BC-38404624D4AF.JPG
BF3C9845-403E-4CDB-90E3-9D70A4029EC5.JPG
ca11.jpg

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.

carmel2.jpg
carmel9.jpg
carmel11.jpg
carmel10.jpg
carmel12.jpg
carmel13.jpg
carmel4.jpg
Carmel5.jpg
Carmel6.jpg
carmel18.jpg
carmel3.jpg
carmel1.jpg
carmel15.jpg
carmel17.jpg
carmel19.jpg
carmel16.jpg
Carmel7.jpg
carmel8.jpg

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.

sunrise4.jpg
sunrise6.jpg
sunrise5.jpg
C96751F7-D39D-497B-8ED3-279D8D7F779B.JPG
sunrise10.jpg
sunrise.jpg
Sunrise3.jpg
Sunrise2.jpg
sunrise9.jpg
sunrise7.jpg
sunrise8.jpg
sunrise12.jpg


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!


Linen & Dahlias on the Beach.

GMG1.jpg
GMG2.jpg
GMG3.jpg
GMG4.jpg
GMG13.jpg
GMG10.jpg
GMG11.jpg
GMG15.jpg
GMG12.jpg
GMG5.jpg
GMG7.jpg
GMG8.jpg

Details:

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 ;)



What we did in Santa Barbara for the weekend!

SB4.jpg

Oh my GOSH Santa Barbara is some kind of dream. I am so excited to share this post with you because I have been living on the memories from this beautiful trip since we returned. I hope this post is helpful if you are planning a trip out West! We were so stoked to visit this place that we had heard about for so long but failed to visit when we lived in California. On this trip, we were busy seeing friends, exploring this incredible stretch of California and eating & drinking a lotttttttt of good stuff :)

We flew into LA and headed up to Santa Barbara for the weekend, to attend our friends' wedding and also to celebrate our own 11-year anniversary. We explored the town but I wish we could have had even more time there - Santa Barbara is an absolutely decadent, luscious and exotic place. From the hand-painted Spanish tiles trimming the cobblestone streets to the volkswagon-sized succulents growing wild, I was on inspiration overload. So much intricate beauty and divine details spilling out of each vignette.

We stayed at the Santa Barbara Hilton Beachfront and had an awesome experience. The beach was steps away and the pool and gym were used by us on more than 1 occasion. As were the chips and guacamole that was available at the pool. And the breakfast was so good too! We kind of regret not going out to eat more in town, but the food at the hotel was outstanding and we were tired people so...

Things we LOVED that were recommended by locals:
- Wine Tasting in Santa Ynez Valley - One of my favorite memories! (separate post coming on this!)
- Coffee at Handlebar Roasters - we visited 3 times!
- Santa Barbara Historical Museum - it was honestly so stunning.
- Funk Zone (wine tasting rooms and art galleries) - My favorite was The Valley Project! The Sauvignon Blanc & Grenache were my favorites!

Restaurants Recommended that we didn't get a chance to visit!
- Barbareno
- Bouchon
- Lily's Taqueria
- Ice Cream at McConnells

We also ate at some food trucks (the names which I can't remember any more - #blogfail), but even though I could keep talking I figure I should just show you around so you can FEEL ME here. Santa Barbara was truly more than I could have imagined.

SB2.jpg
SB1.jpg
SB5.jpg
We drank coffee at  Handlebar  everyday (perhaps multiple times...) and I was so excited to try oat milk in my cortado!! I know you're probably thinking that is the most California sounding order  ever , but it was seriously SO GOOD you guys. I've got to find a place to buy oat milk to have with my coffee at home! Also the scones were delish.

We drank coffee at Handlebar everyday (perhaps multiple times...) and I was so excited to try oat milk in my cortado!! I know you're probably thinking that is the most California sounding order ever, but it was seriously SO GOOD you guys. I've got to find a place to buy oat milk to have with my coffee at home! Also the scones were delish.

Attachment-4-1.jpeg
SB8.jpg
SB7.jpg
SB6.jpg
There was some amazing shopping in this town, and Stevie is lucky that we were too busy juggling the wedding events, wine tasting and driving the coast in our rental convertible to take time to shop. I did manage to pick up an amazing pair of earrings in one of the boutiques in the Funk Zone which was my only souvenir of the trip!

There was some amazing shopping in this town, and Stevie is lucky that we were too busy juggling the wedding events, wine tasting and driving the coast in our rental convertible to take time to shop. I did manage to pick up an amazing pair of earrings in one of the boutiques in the Funk Zone which was my only souvenir of the trip!

A big wooden fancy carved door. I walked through it ;)

A big wooden fancy carved door. I walked through it ;)

Our rental!!! Since we drive extremely normal cars in real life, we were freaking out like school girls when we got our rental upgraded to this baby. I named her Crystal and she was the best. Also now I'm spoiled and I dream of luxury vehicles for my future life.

Our rental!!! Since we drive extremely normal cars in real life, we were freaking out like school girls when we got our rental upgraded to this baby. I named her Crystal and she was the best. Also now I'm spoiled and I dream of luxury vehicles for my future life.

SB11.jpg
My feet are NOT this tan in real life. Thanks to my trusty gals at  Raw Bronzing Studio , I was feeling like my best self with this sun-kissed glow. Without actually having to bake in the sun ;)

My feet are NOT this tan in real life. Thanks to my trusty gals at Raw Bronzing Studio, I was feeling like my best self with this sun-kissed glow. Without actually having to bake in the sun ;)



Do you see what I mean about inspiration overload? Like, what do I look at first in this photo?! The trees, the colors, the lines, the sunlight - it's all so good and soulful and brilliant!!!

Do you see what I mean about inspiration overload? Like, what do I look at first in this photo?! The trees, the colors, the lines, the sunlight - it's all so good and soulful and brilliant!!!

Wedding guest style! I loved wearing  this gown  from  Rent the Runway  for our dear friends' wedding - I've really enjoyed using RTR this summer to find beautiful dresses for some special events like this one without actually having to buy formal attire. You can get  20% off your first time  if you try it out with code FIRST.

Wedding guest style! I loved wearing this gown from Rent the Runway for our dear friends' wedding - I've really enjoyed using RTR this summer to find beautiful dresses for some special events like this one without actually having to buy formal attire. You can get 20% off your first time if you try it out with code FIRST.



JPEG image-A5895BA2CA24-4.jpeg
SB14.jpg
Attachment-1-1.jpeg
6F4F9687-146D-467E-AF8F-2F2B4623CA3F.JPG
The succulents grew like weeds. Like the most beautiful, stylish, Instagram-approved weeds.

The succulents grew like weeds. Like the most beautiful, stylish, Instagram-approved weeds.

These are stairs that I seriously wanted to take home with me. I am obsessed with spanish tile and although this style would majorly clash with my green bungalow-style home, I just know that somewhere in Heaven there is a home for me and it is, in fact, spanish architecture style and it has these stairs (I might have hugged them after this photo was taken.)

These are stairs that I seriously wanted to take home with me. I am obsessed with spanish tile and although this style would majorly clash with my green bungalow-style home, I just know that somewhere in Heaven there is a home for me and it is, in fact, spanish architecture style and it has these stairs (I might have hugged them after this photo was taken.)

SB16.jpg
JPEG image-A5895BA2CA24-3.jpeg
Like I said - the beach was calling and I had to GO.

Like I said - the beach was calling and I had to GO.

89188517-E06C-45A9-AF10-5DE6922725BD.JPG
060AE184-15BA-4891-86B2-DD432D471C1A.JPG
This is a photo of me being pose-y because 1. I liked my dress, 2. I liked the plants and 3. We were without children so taking photos without coaxing them with snacks was a vaycay in itself. Although Stevie needed a lot of snacks on this trip so ??

This is a photo of me being pose-y because 1. I liked my dress, 2. I liked the plants and 3. We were without children so taking photos without coaxing them with snacks was a vaycay in itself. Although Stevie needed a lot of snacks on this trip so ??


Dress - 50% off with code SISTERS / Bag / Earrings - similar / Necklace


Attachment-1-2.jpeg
Attachment-2-2.jpeg
I mean, this photo is stupid pretty. Can you see the boats in the distance? I can't handle this view. Like, I want to take everyone I know and love back to SB just for this view. The Earth is so beautiful I could cry.

I mean, this photo is stupid pretty. Can you see the boats in the distance? I can't handle this view. Like, I want to take everyone I know and love back to SB just for this view. The Earth is so beautiful I could cry.

We loved our time in this town and we really want to take another trip back! I think my boys would absolutely go nuts for the little park in downtown Santa Barbara we found. And also, I need more oat milk cortados because Georgia hasn't caught on yet. May the trip planning commence!


P.S. - Later this week I'm sharing some beachy dress photos and a review on some wineries in Santa Ynez Valley!