Thursday, June 18, 2009

Leisure Time

I'm loving the latest post over at I realized that I hardly ever take the time to truly relax. When I was little I used to sit in my bean bag chair and read books for hours. These days I can't tell you the last book I read (although I've purchased plenty that are gathering dust on my bookshelf). If I'm not at work, I'm rushing to the gym, going out with friends, or planning my next adventure. The days of craft projects, movies/popcorn on a Friday night, and a long nap have been replaced with LA traffic, rushed shopping trips, and hurrying to meet friends for a night out.

Now that I've moved into a quiet little place, I need to slow down. I need to stop worrying about what I'll be missing out on if I stay in for the night, put my new chaise to use, and watch life at the beach pass by. So this weekend I'm literally forcing myself to take some downtime...I have a few projects I need to work on and I'll definitely be sleeping in. And I'm going to try not to feel like I'm missing out on something...I've had enough fruity drinks to know that a night out will be much more appreciated when I stay in for a few. All these non-ambitious plans might be thrown out the window if fun plans come up, but at least I'll have made an attempt! When the world is rushing all around you, what do you do to take a step back & relax (workouts not included!)?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cowgirls & Coronas

After having so much fun on the cattle drive in Santa Ynez, I finally made it back up there to go horseback riding on Sunday. Jen and I picked up some snacks & beer and drove past all the gorgeous wineries before driving down a long dusty road. We met up with a guy I know who works on the ranch and we saddled up 3 horses for the trail ride. The horses were cutting horses used for chasing cattle, so they were especially responsive.

I thought that Jen had ridden before, but it turns out she was a new rider. So we had a slow and easy trail ride. I was dying to pick it up a notch, so our "cowboy" stayed with Jen while I galloped out in front. It is one of the most amazing experiences...literally takes the breath right out of you.

Cowboy had a saddle bag with a cooler (!), so we downed quite a few Coronas along the way. After a stream crossing, we made it to a small cabin where we had gourmet cheese and crackers...goat cheese, brie, salami, and more Coronas! Cowboy's dog's name was Side, and he would swim on command in the cattle troughs and run ahead to chase the squirrels.

When we got back to the barn, Cowboy suggested that we race around a small track that he keeps free of debris and squirrel holes. I was a little nervous, but took off after him anyway. Wow...we ran the track at a full gallop twice and I could have kept going and going. I love the exhilaration that comes with being on a horse. And the horses were so well trained that for a moment I felt like a true cowgirl : )

I can't image a better way to spend the day. I was pretty sad to come home on Sunday and had to remind myself that I can go up there anytime and ride. And hopefully someday I'll be living on small ranch with a few horses, a "race track," streams, squirrels, and a great guy to share it with. Until then I'm dreaming of my next trip to Santa Ynez...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Studio on the Sand - Beach Sheik

I'm so excited about my new place that I had to change my blog layout : ) It's taken a while to settle in, but I finally have some pictures to post. Peaceful and serene is the best way to describe it...I fall asleep to the sound of the waves and I make sure I'm home every night for the sunset. On the day I moved in, dolphins were right outside my living room window...stellar. And the sailboat regattas are pretty spectacular too. Here's my sandbucket full of photos:

My eyes are an ocean in which my dreams are reflected.

My neighbor gave me this table for's not "outdoor" proof, but I'm hoping it lasts through the summer! I wasn't much of a wine drinker until now...

Cozy living room...I love small spaces.

Life is Better at the Beach

A few of my favorite shells & rocks collected over the years - I bought the Oregon dolphin one on the left at Cannon Beach...still my favorite beach of all time.

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.

I've always wanted a comfy chaise...this is an IKEA bargain with a shell embellished pillow from Target...perfect for a post vball nap : ) My silver sandals are a reminder of my Cabo vacay.

To find a seashell is to discover a world of imagination.
My IKEA coffee table is now ocean glam! I displayed my favorite travel photos with cute beach plaques from Ross, a TJ Maxx glass bowl and some gorgeous shells.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.

This is my favorite sunset picture so far...I love that the beach is usually deserted in the evenings.

The best time to reflect on the course of your life is when you are near water, such as the ocean, a quiet pond, or a small stream.

I've had this dresser since I was a little girl...I painted it black, sprayed the knobs silver, and it's almost vintage now. I added a few photos of the castles of the Loire, a pink chocolate tin from France, and a mirror I found at Ross.

Maryanne Radmacher is one of my favorite inspirational writers, and the artwork on the right is a defining life quote for me - "I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world." I always think of my time in South Africa when I look at it.

On the beach, you can live in bliss.

The lotus flower is my one of my favorites because I'm working on a park project where the lotus beds have significant historical value dating back 100 years. I topped it off with a porcelain shell bowl ($10 TJ Maxx find) filled with beachy washcloths.

I found this super cute IKEA chair cover in eggshell definitely updated my Poang chair without looking cheap.

I finally got rid of my double bed and invested in a Queen with a REAL bed reminds me of some of the B&Bs I've stayed in. The lamp is a favorite that I found at Marshalls for $20!. The nightstand is another "vintage" piece from my childhood. Duvet - Bed Bath & Beyond Lantana with with embroidered green leaves. Botanic prints - Kohls. I also used a french liquor bottle as a vase to hold pink flowers.

These frames showcase some of my favorite castles of the Loire Valley. Ode to Marshalls, Max, and Ross for cheap sheik housewares!

I fell in love with these dishes when I saw them online.,default,pd.html?cgid=BCOMB. Added sea blue sequined placements for $1 ea.

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.

To unpathed waters, undreamed shores

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How Many Frogs?

I was in a really good mood last week and met a guy named "Mark" at our local music spot. He was confident and came right up to introduce himself. We had 2 great dates...the first one I challenged him to the sand dune hill. He's pretty fit, but he still couldn't quite keep up. No problem though...he has a great personality and was pretty laid back. We finished it off with lunch, mimosas, and a walk on the beach.

We had our 2nd date (gasp!) on Monday night. He texted me to say, "I'm packed and ready for my trip. Cancel your plans tonight because I'm coming down to see you." Wow. Now that's what a girl likes to hear : ) It's been a while since I've had REAL dates...sometimes I think that dating is old news. I tend to meet more guys through friends of friends, vball, etc. Nevertheless, it's nice to meet a guy who knows HOW to date, as funny as that sounds. He brought over wine, homemade hazelnut beer, and a little gift. I told him that my hands are calloused from weights at the gym, and he brought a pair of pink weight lifting guy is super thoughtful. He checked out my new beach pad and we cracked open the beers. Any guy who loves seafood is a "catch", and we had a relaxing dinner on the harbor : ) We finished it off with listening to the waves over wine at my place.

So this is where I'm supposed to have butterflies and can't stop thinking about him. Ummm...nope. So this is where I play 80s love songs and walk around with a smile all day? Nah. And I'm looking at my phone every minute? Negative. Unfortunately I'm not into him, which is annoying considering the fact that he did ALL the right things a guy should do. It's a combination of things...I'm not that attracted to him, our personalities are almost TOO MUCH alike (we're both perfectionists), and there are significant cultural differences. So at this point I'm wondering how many frogs do I have to kiss before Mr. Right comes along? I'm proud of myself about keeping an open mind and letting things happen...I've had enough bad dates to know that this is closer to what I'm looking for in a guy. Someone who's spontaneous, can call his own shots/take charge, and is fit, funny, and smart. So I'm dedicating this post to Mark, the guy who reminded me that they are out there and sometimes frogs aren't so bad either.

How many frogs did y'all have to kiss before finding a good one?