bucket list

checking off that bucket list

Since the last time I’ve posted (about a month ago), I’ve been in 4 different countries.

I started off April with a spontaneous trip to Mexico, came back to the US for less than 48 hours, then left for the last minute and highly unplanned trip to Spain & Morocco.  Going to Europe has been on my bucket list for the better chunk of my life, so to finally be able to check that one off was a phenomenal feeling. And Africa too?! I still can’t believe it. What’s equally as incredible is how all of this came together in such a short period of time.

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I’ve always been fascinated by the “just book a ticket” mentality.  When I was younger, I used to have a pretty fierce spontaneous side, but over the years that has been replaced by my more rational, responsible side.  So just randomly booking a ticket to Europe about 11 days out with no real plan was, umm, just slightly out of the comfort zone.  But now I know why they say you don’t really live until you push yourself outside of it.  I felt more alive than I have in probably months, maybe even years.  It’s like I went from one euphoric experience to another. No, I didn’t do plethora of drugs. I’m talking just being completely high on life.  That’s the feeling you get when you put all other thoughts aside and do what’s best for your soul.

quit your job, buy a ticket - island company.jpgThe perfect analogy I have for making the trip is in reference to my love of breakfast tacos.  When I moved to Texas and had my first breakfast taco, I was so blown away by the amazingness that just hit my taste buds, all I could think was, “How did I go my entire life not experiencing this?!”  And that’s exactly how I feel about Europe, times like 10.  It’s that feeling of instant unexpected satisfaction, where something you knew would be great was even better than you could have imagined. As soon as I stepped foot out of the train in Jerez, Spain and looked around at the amazing tile-work at the station, all I could think is, “Why haven’t I did this sooner?”  In this life our biggest regrets come from the things we didn’t do, and wished we had.

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I have so many pictures and memories from the trip, but perhaps the insight gained from the whole experience has been the most rewarding.  While I was there, I felt so removed from my daily life, and I loved it. Travel has this way of helping me clear my head, and I had so many revelations being able to view my own life from the outside.  I can’t wait to share everything I’ve learned, observed, and experienced.  I will be doing a series of travel posts, highlighting each place I visited.  I just can’t wait to show you how amazing it all is, maybe it will encourage you to book that ticket to your dream destination too. 🙂  Now is the time.

 

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highpoint market faves

Hi!

So last month, I was able to cross something off my design bucket list.    MTD took us girls on a 4 day trip to this little thing called Highpoint Market.

Seriously I was so excited when I found out we were going.  It has been one of my dreams since my college days at Michigan State.  To grow up and be a real legit designer and go to the biggest residential furniture trade show.

It was amazing. We found some great new lines. It was also so helpful to sit in, touch, and see the quality firsthand of some furniture pieces we’ve been eyeing for a long time.  Yes, “shopping” for work is enough to make anyone jealous, but I’m not going to lie, it was exhausting.  We covered about 6-7 miles a day on foot.  Probably the first trip I’ve ever taken and not gained weight.

Here’s some of my favorite finds from this amazing trip.   Hope you enjoy!

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10 places, 5 states, 8 days: southwest roadtrip guide

The week after Christmas we spent 8 days traveling to California and back.  By car.  That’s over 50 hours driving.  You may think I’m crazy, but it was one of my favorite vacations ever.  It was my first time to the Southwest.  And through those 8 days I covered more ground than some people do in their lifetime.   I drove through the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts.  I got to see the Saguaro Cactus, which is native only to the Sonoran Desert.  I hit all 4 seasons.  Felt the warm Cali sun and played in the snow all in one week.  It was a mix of things.  It was life changing.

Southwest Roadtrip Guide - Vim & Vintage Blog

 

1. Scottsdale, Arizona

I loved Scottsdale. Beautifully landscaped, impressive bike trails, gorgeous mountain views.  Make sure to check out Frank Lloyd Wright’s home, Taliesin West and Old Town.

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2. Jerome, Arizona

Blink and you may miss it.   It’s that small.  Off the beaten path, you’ll find a hillside artists’ colony that may be one of Arizona’s best kept secrets.  Jerome popped up on the map as a mining village, and is now home to some great art galleries and boutiques.  Ghost lovers take note:  word is it’s haunted!

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3. Sedona, Arizona

Gorgeous red rock formations.   Photos never do any justice.  We were just passing through, but I want to go back, explore, hike and shop in this colorful town.

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4. Flagstaff, Arizona

Not even a couple of hours north of Sedona we hit snow!  If you love skiing or sledding, this is your place.  In recovery from my initial shock, it was hard for me to believe we were in Arizona still!

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Drive on the other side of the mountain and you find grassy plains of nothingness.  Sometimes a whole bunch of nothing can really be cool.

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5. Grand Canyon and Historic Route 66

Doesn’t really need much of an explanation.  A must see!

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6. Laughlin, Nevada

We don’t have much footage but Laughlin is like a desert oasis.  This casino town is built on the river that borders Arizona and Nevada.  Rumor has it that it’s one big party in the summer, with jet skis, boats, and of course gambling.    Here’s a pic I found online of it’s high season:

Harrah's in Laughlin

(source)

 

We stayed the night at the Golden Nugget.  I’m not too much of a player (I just crush a lot), but I played Black Jack for the first time and turned my $5 into $50 in 5 minutes. This creeped me out and we left.

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7. West Hollywood, California

We stayed in WeHo for 2 nights at the Farmer’s Daughter & loved it.  I did my happy dance after eating heavenly Chicken & Waffles at Tart.

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To sum it up, W. Hollywood was lots of excellent food, trendy vintage boutiques, and great design shops.  The picture below is from my favorite, Style de Vie.  Check it out. It’s awesome.  Just saw a couple weeks ago Lonny named Style de Vie one of their “Next Big Names”.

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8. Pasadena, California

If the Rose Parade or Rose Bowl wasn’t already on your bucket list, you should add it right now.  What a great experience! (It helps when your team wins of course.)  I had been to LA a few times before and never realized just how cool Pasadena is.

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9. Los Angeles Beaches, California

This trip we hit Venice, Santa Monica, Manhattan, and Redondo.

IMG_6405The first two pics are from quirky Venice.  Probably one of my favorite places in existence.  Everyday it’s different – you never know who or what you’ll see.

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The next 2 shots are from the Manhattan Beach Pier.  It was my first time here.  Definitely won’t be my last.

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Next is Redondo Beach.   We spent some time walking the boardwalk and checking out the harbor.  The boardwalk has a pretty amazing arcade in it.  I rode the Tilt a Whirl and felt 13 again. But then I got off and almost threw up.  Some things are not better with age.

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10. White Sands National Monument – Alamogordo, NM

Ever since Boyz 2 Men shot the video for “Water Run’s Dry” at White Sands, I put this landmark on my Bucket List.  Because if B2M does it, it must be cool.  And it surpassed my every expectation.  It was truly amazing.  Can you believe it’s the largest gypsum dunefield in the world?  Just one big white beach in the middle of nowhere with a mountainous backdrop.   Bring the family and play on the dunes, or bring your camera and become an instant photographer.

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design obsession: moroccan style

Morocco: A magical land, rich in history, culture, and charm.

It’s no secret that it’s top 10 on my bucket list.  I dream of traveling to Marrakech, strolling through the marketplace, and photographing architectural and scenic wonders that are like no other.

The style is timeless.  A constant influence to so much of the design and fashion world today.  The attention to detail is impeccable, from the arches and architecture, to the refinements of the tile and latticework.

So naturally, I adore anything inspired by this amazing place.

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Wallpaper by Urban Outfitters!

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Behold the La Mamounia Hotel in Marrakesh.  DROP. DEAD. GORGEOUS.

This freakin pool!!!

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Everybody needs a lil Moroccan in their life. 🙂

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a)  Light fixtures, Viva Terra   –  b) Teal Moroccan Veridigris Earrings, from Christina Nicole via Etsy  –  c) Geometric Cuff in Grey, Deja Vu  –  d) Sandals, Charlotte Russe  –  e) One Shoulder Dress, Deja Vu    –    f) Carthage Pierced Lantern, Home Decorators   –    g) Tahla Lantern, Z Gallerie  –   h) Rug, Ikea   –     i) Chinese Garden Stool, Wisteria   –    j) Moroccan Inspired Photo Frame, Wisteria   –   k) 4 Door Mirrored Console, to the trade only (contact me for pricing/ordering)  –     l) Votive cups, Z Gallerie   –    m) Jacqui Coffee Table in White, Bungalow 5    –    n) Light Fixture, to the trade only (contact me for pricing/ordering)    –   o) J.L. Rhein Pillow, Wayfair   –     p) Macau End Table, Home Decorators