The Lifestyle

THE VILLAGE

It is a fact (at least in my fact book) that NOTHING in life can prepare you for becoming a parent. Whether you are a mother or father, as soon as that baby enters the world, your life has changed forever.

When I became pregnant, it only took about 6 weeks before I learned that 3 of my oldest girlfriends were knocked up also! The 4 of us were due within 3 months of each other. Everything changed at that moment. Though I had other girlfriends who were offering sound advise, and my sister was just about to have her second baby with a 14 month old to take care of, they were in the thick of their own transition to motherhood, so I didn’t want to burden them with silly questions and exciting but constant baby talk.

Our “Preggo Support Group” started as a text between the 4 of us. These girls were my saving grace with questions about my body, the baby, the changes in my mood, our relationships with our husbands…and the list goes on…There was no conversations too embarrassing or disgusting to talk about, and thankfully there is a nurse in the crew so we had a direct line to all the medical questions. It was evident, and we swiftly learned, just how much we needed each other.

They became my council in this ever-changing time of life. Through the ups and downs, ins and outs, and highs and lows, we are there for one another. Together, we have experienced pregnancy, miscarriage, birth, c-section recovery, breast-feeding, teething, going back to work, hemorrhoids, potty training, tantrums, sleep training, pure exhaustion…and the list goes on.

Now our “Bad Moms” group consists of 8 girls who all met while waiting tables together in 2000. The additional 4 mamas have kiddos just a bit older and their advise is AMAZING because they can help us new moms navigate the uncharted waters of the terrible twos and beyond. Even though we are in Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, Los Angeles, Sonoma, Portland, Nebraska and Mexico, we are always there if someone needs an ear or voice of reason.

Over the past two years and too many texts to count, I know with certainty I could not have gotten through some…if not most…of the hurdles of motherhood without them. Everyone says it takes a village to raise a child, but this tribe is making me a better mother to my crazy and funny 18 month old. They are my very own cheerleading squad and I am thankful for them each and every day! I love you girls and the mothers you all are.

Between us there are 10 boys and 4 girls! Obviously not all photographed, but this is a strong showing of the madness just after Waylon was born!

NOW WHAT?

I can’t count the number of times I have been asked “What now?” or ” What is your plan?” or “What are you going to do next?”

Well, many people forget that I have an actual full-time job (that I have always had while ERLG was up and running – though I did take a break for a wee bit of time) a husband, a child, a dog, and a home. I think it’s safe to say I have had an overflowing plate for quite some time.

I could give everyone the details of my ultimate dream job, my goals, or perhaps a sliver of what’s to come…but honestly,  I am not quite sure what my next move will be. Yes, I have a TON of ideas, but right now, I am choosing to only work 40 hours a week instead of 80. I am choosing to hang out with my family and my friends as much as I can. I am choosing to embrace our new life in Santa Ynez.

But I assure you, I will let everyone know when the next creative outlet, business, or project begins. Until then, I am going to enjoy having a little more downtime to take long walks down country roads and to escape back to Santa Barbara to get lost in Fern Gully with my girls and Milo.

Photo @bluegabor

SLOWING DOWN SLOWLY

Any major change requires an adjustment period, and as prepared as I was to close the doors on my company, I feel like I am in the middle of that tornado of emotions. While I am chipping away at all my orders, and while I wait patiently for supplies to arrive, I am very slowly…like a snail’s pace…adjusting to a different kind of lifestyle, a slower lifestyle.

My husband and I are both overly hard-working entrepreneurs who run our own businesses. It’s not in our DNA not to be working 24-7. Like anyone with a passion for succeeding in business and in life, we both are programmed to keep pressing on, even if it means we are breaking ourselves to do it. After all, who else is going to pay the bills if we don’t bring home the bacon?

This past weekend was a true testament of my attempt to slow down. I did sneak in a couple of hours of cutting patterns and prepping orders, but I also played hooky. I spent a lovely saturday seaside catching up with my friend. Our dogs and the baby ran in the sand and surf enjoying the sun after a week of rain. I had a lunch date with my son, I walked with my husband down an oak lined road and watched the river flow in the creek beds that have been dry for a few years. We sipped wine with our friends over great conversation, and watched a rugby match in the afternoon rain. I actually read a magazine from start to…almost…finish.

While it was a wonderful weekend, there were several moments that left me with an overwhelming feeling of guilt. I felt guilty I wasn’t spending more time working, I felt guilty I wasn’t finishing more bags,  I felt guilty that I wasn’t using my hands to create something, or selling anything. It was the work-a-holic in me who can’t slow down. As much as I hated that feeling, it was how I felt.

Change takes time, and time is a beautiful thing. For now I’ll try to push the guilt to the back seat and enjoy being in the present. After all, these moments are too precious, and lets be honest, it’s not like a handbag can’t wait a day or two.

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Photo @bluegabor

SERVICE ABOVE SELF

Giving back to others has been a big theme in our family during the past couple decades. My mom is involved in just about every local organization between government, social service, education, and now medicine. Because she can’t retire – I wonder where I get it from – she just took a job running the volunteer program at the Jackson hospital. As a long time Rotarian, I have heard “Service Above Self” come out of her mouth countless times. She is a true advocate of everyone.

In an effort to be more selfless in my own crazy life, when asked if I would like to paint with the elderly at our local senior center this past week, I jumped at the chance. Words can not describe the feeling of gratitude I felt for being involved in such a sweet afternoon. Some of the group participated and could communicate, others offered a gentle smile and nod. Some looked right past, me lost in their own mind worlds away. I had been given the opportunity, even if it was only an hour or so, to provide a bit of joy on an otherwise rainy afternoon in someone else’s life.

I was in awe of the children who were so at ease with the seniors. I’ll be the first to admit I was quite intimidated, but felt more relaxed the more time I was there. A simple hand on their shoulder or quick rub on their back with a smile was all I could do for some, and yet somehow, it felt incredibly meaningful to them. I couldn’t help but wonder if they had family or if they were alone. Did they have visitors or were the staff their only companions. It broke my heart to think of these things. The children were offering their paintings to the elderly who could not participate, and one even got framed from the last visit. It was beautiful to witness the young and the old, the weak and the strong, the beginning and the end of life. I was humbled and can not wait to participate again.

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AUTUMN EATS

I love this time of the year…even though it’s still SO warm here in Santa Barbara. While the rest of the country has settled into more normal fall temps, I am just happy it dropped below 80 degrees and that I get to wear a jacket!

Though it’s not as brisk as I would like it to be for November, that’s not stopping me from craving hearty fall foods. I am a sucker for a good soup or stew…which I have posted many recipes of over the years. They are a one pot meal that are healthy, filling, and easy to make…and now that I am a new mom, I need all the time I can get so quick dinners have become important to me. Any breastfeeding mama can tell you how ravenous you become, so these soups hit the spot.

Here are some yummy recipes I will be adding to my arsenal.

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Creamy Vegetarian Stew

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Thai Chicken Soup

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Tuscan White Bean

 

SEPTEMBER HEAT

Ok, I know I said I was back to my blogging ways last week, but I ran into technical difficulties and my poor overused computer needed to be checked into rehab for a few days! It’s out and fully restored which means I can actually work again… not that I wasn’t slaving over bags and orders…

With September in full swing, Santa Barbara is back to ridiculously hot days, and personally, this time of year is my favorite! As much as I want to bust out the cozy sweaters, leather pants, and boots, I relish the few weeks of heat we get every fall (and thankfully the foggy mornings are gone.)

For me, nothing can top a long workday more than escaping to the beach for an evening ocean swim with my husband. Not only is the water amazingly warm, nothing beats hot nights, harvesting grapes in Santa Ynez, planting a new garden, and slowly smelling the air move forward into fall.

Yup, fall is hands down my favorite season…and now I need to take a dip because it’s already roasting outside!

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PERKS OF TRAVEL

Anyone who knows me, knows I love collaborating with talented people and amazing companies. My love of travel has never been a secret, nor has my loyalty and support for the luxury travel company World Odyssey.

Having traveled with World Odyssey, and turning friends and family on to this amazing group of people, I was thrilled when they asked me to start making document cases and pass port holders for all of the upcoming travelers from the U. S. division! What better way to receive your detailed itinerary than in a custom E.R. Leather Goods document case…which can later be used as an iPad case, stationary holder…or just sport it as an oversized clutch!

Here is one set I recently made for honeymooners heading to Africa! Now, it’s time to plan our honeymoon…

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JUNE GLOOM BE GONE

Ok June Gloom, I am officially over you! After a month of amazing weather in May, as soon as June hit, so did the fog. Boo. I am craving my morning sun, hot days at the beach or on the water, and warm summer nights. Is that too much to ask for? I may have to go searching for sun soon…

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WORKING IN HEAT

I am one who always works outside, always! I love it. I love the energy of seeing the ocean and mountains, I love the ability to feel inspired by the wildlife, and love that I can wear my swimsuit if I want to. All that being said, it’s really hard to work in the heat, especially with leather!

The temps are already close to 90 degrees and it’s just barely 10 am! It’s a little tough getting motivated today when all I want to do is run and jump into a body of water! That being said…deadlines are here and bags need to be made! Stay tuned for some beautiful bag photos next week.

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IT’S ROASTING!

Holy Heat Wave! Spring has certainly turned into summer this week in Santa Barbara and May-Grey is no where to be seen! With the scorching temps, it’s time to take my work to the beach, soak up the sun, enjoy the day with my man, and swim in the sea! What is your plan today?

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WORK WEEKEND

How in the world is it already Friday? It’s time to break out the ratty clothes and stock the fridge with cold beer because this weekend is going to full of painting the studio, working on the house, and finishing a few big bag orders.

Ahhh, it’s going to be a great weekend. Happy Friday!

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SPRING GARDENING

It’s that time again…garden time! This season, rather than planting a ton of veggies that never seem to survive my brown thumb, I am going to stick to native plants and fresh herbs. I can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt, dig out the fire pit, cut down the old dead trees, and re-design my entire garden just in time for summer parties.

Good thing we bought a chainsaw last weekend, things are going to get crazy up here!

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IT’S A GIRL

This weekend I am so happy to be home in Wyoming where my mom and I are hosting my sister’s baby shower! This is the first new addition to our family and we are over the moon she’s having a baby girl.

While I am not big on traditional baby showers…I am sorry, but the games are just not for me…I love to decorate and entertain. As tempted as I am to channel my “girly girly” spirit and go balls out pink, I’ll refrain and just add some subtle “It’s a Girl” touches here and there.

Today is full of party prep! We are working on flower arrangements, prepping the yummy food, getting the decor buttoned up, and drooling over the tiny little dresses and adorable baby clothes she has hanging in the closet…mini cheetah Vans, too cute!

It’ll be a weekend of “oohing and aahing” and I can’t wait…now baby Munro’s arrival countdown is officially on!

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WEDDING BELLS

I know that it’s been months since Rob and I tied the knot, but after several requests I have FINALLY gotten my act together enough to write a little post about our wedding day…and share some of our favorite photos.

Both our ceremony and reception were held at the ranch we live on in Summerland, CA. We are both such DIY people so naturally, we took on the task of doing pretty much everything for our wedding ourselves…and with the help of our amazing family and friends who didn’t quite know what they were in for. It was a marathon week of prep but totally worth it!

For our ceremony, Rob built our altar from the pine tree he cut down last year in the yard while I draped it in white lace and wrapped it in leather. We had a non-traditional ceremony performed by a close friend while our guests stood in a circle around the altar surrounding us with their love and support. Of course having a ranch wedding pretty much requires hay bails,so we covered them in white canvas and Mexican blankets for our guests to sit on as. What made the ceremony so sentimental…aside from Milo deciding to come and stand with us… was that Rob wrote our vows, which by the way still make me tear up.

Our reception was held just steps away from the ceremony site under a canopy of lights. Rob and our friend Fred (our officiate as well) built the entire wedding reception structure with 16′ wooden beams and strung them with thousands of twinkle lights. Watching the guys dig these holes with some crazy tool made my back hurt just looking at them. We had a trial run of the lights every night for 5 nights just to make sure we wouldn’t lose power on the big day. It was awesome!  Lights hung from above the dance floor and tables and sail shades to block the afternoon sun…which we didn’t have because the fog rolled. It was magic though and completed a beautifully surreal scene.

The goal for our wedding was simple, we wanted to throw a great party where we happened to get married. Stepping away from many of the traditions of a typical wedding, we didn’t have a wedding party, there was no bouquet toss, no garter was thrown, nor was there any cake cutting…but none of that mattered, we accomplished a great party! We ate, we danced, we drank, and we celebrated. The day was nothing short of wonderful as we were surrounded by love.

Here is a little glimpse into our wedding day…

BCP_4133I literally only had 15 minutes to get dressed after having my hair and make up done. I didn’t time everything that well so once I arrived at my girlfriends to get ready and have champagne, I threw on my dress and hit the road with my dad.

BCP_4166After debating the look and feel of my wedding dress…which turned into somewhat of a joke…I opted for a simple lace dress I found at Neiman Marcus. I had it altered to fit me perfectly to make sure I was comfortable, and not fussing with it all night. My friend and jewelry designer Heather Wright made my necklace and bracelet which was a mix of pearls, leather, and gold. Rob had given me a Tahitian pearl which I had her incorporate in the necklace to make it more special and meaningful.

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BCP_4093In keeping with the DIY theme, my flower girls wore handmade leather outfits that their talented mother made. I gave them some of the South African feathers to add to their headdresses made from scrap suede I had at my studio.

BCP_4388One of my ALL time favorite photos of Milo and I just moments before I walked down to the ceremony.

BCP_4424I attempted to wear my mother’s veil, but after realizing it wouldn’t work, one of my girlfriends whipped this one up for me. I loved how dramatic the length of the train was with the simplicity of my dress.

BCP_4458Yes, Milo needed to give his approval too.

BCP_4514Our ceremony was full of laughter and love…by the way…how handsome does my groom look?!?!

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BCP_4566Milo thought my veil was a toy and had a ball playing with it while we walked out of our ceremony…which nearly gave me whiplash! How about that fog?! So much for our epic ocean view.

BCP_4585-2Instead of hiring a wedding photographer, we had three of our extremely talented friends, Elizabeth PeaceBlue Caleel, and Sophie Haber bring their cameras and shoot some photos. I would have to say the results were amazing!

BCP_4621To shake things up and pop some color, we detoured from any neutral tones and splashes of hot pink all over. From the napkins to the flowers, there were touches of pink everywhere. I hired my friend and amazing floral designer Kristen Cramer to take over the look of the tables and the flowers. We had tons flameless candles, hurricanes, and lanterns which were perfect for a night at the ranch…and made everything look so romantic. Kristen added feathers to my bouquet as well. There were hawk feathers I have found on the ranch, and Karen, our friend who introduced us, brought me back feathers from her native South Africa for good luck. Our amazing farm to table dinner was served family style using large wooden platters…some I owned, and others were gathered from friends. Everything was absolutely delicious.

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EmilyRosendahl -4174-Edit-2 copyWe opted out of a proper seating chart. This was a great group of our nearest and dearest so we encouraged everyone mingle and introduce themselves to people they may not have met before.

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EmilyRosendahl -4162-EditTo bring a little Wyoming and Native American spirit into our day, on each place setting we had given every guest a rusted metal feather with a Native American quote attached welcoming them into our tribe.

EmilyRosendahl -4457-Edit-2To kick off the cocktail hour, Rob popped this massive bottle of champagne which also acted as our guest book. All of our guests signed the bottle which is now on display in our kitchen.

EmilyRosendahl -4168Rob is a pretty epic wine maker so naturally, we bottled his chardonnay and rose…which we branded the night before the ceremony.

EmilyRosendahl -4415Our guests were encouraged to wear boots so they didn’t break their ankle in the field!

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35 FOR 35

Today is my day. It’s my 35th birthday…yes, it’s a little hard to say that out loud, but it’s true.

If you would have asked my 18-year-old self where I would be at 35 I would have said the obvious…”Wow, 35 seems so old” followed by something along the lines of “I’ll be married with kids.” Huh! Like most “life plans” mine has taken a detour….with a few unexpected and amazing hills and valleys.

What my 18-year-old self doesn’t know yet, is that at 35 I am running my own business, I have traveled the world, and I am the happiest and most at ease I have ever been in my life.

In my teens and twenties I was riddled with insecurity, wanting something unattainable, pushing for the future, taking things too seriously, and trying to fit a mold I was clearly not meant to form. My 30’s on the other hand have been liberating. I feel grounded, solid, and energized. I am confident and strong. I know what I want, and I know what won’t work for me. I have weeded out the negative and am cultivating the positive all around me.

As I look back on the last 34 years, here are 35 lessons I have learned, practiced, or completely given up on. Only time will tell what the next 35 will hold.

1. Be accepting of yourself – I’m not afraid to say I put myself first. I have accepted the woman I am have become, and think she is pretty awesome!

2. Embrace your flaws – Nobody is perfect…and perfection is absolutely exhausting to even attempt to achieve. Our flaws are beautiful and tell stories.

3. Laugh – It’s the BEST medicine. Period!

4. Stop Comparing – Don’t look at your friends or family and compare your life. You never know what happens behind closed doors.

5. Trust your gut – ALWAYS! If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right. Listen to your intuition as it rarely steers you in the wrong direction.

6. Travel…as much as possible– Aside from laughter, travel is the best medicine in the world. Experience new cultures, step out of your comfort zone, and embrace the amazement of seeing a landscape for the first time. Travel is the best thing money can buy.

7. Be Loyal – This is a must. Keep your people close even if you rarely see them. Be good to them, stay strong for them, and be a loyal friend.

8. Take Risks – Life is way too short not to take risks. Think outside the box, live outside the box, make your own damn box. Risks test your skills, test your follow through, and even if you fail, you can say you tried.

9. Have dance parties –Remember when you were a little girl and made up dance routines every night with your friends? Well, you can still do that at 35!

10. Love – I love, love. I love the practice of love, falling in love, and the connection you experience with true love. I feel so lucky to have given and received incredible love throughout my life.

11. Learn a new skill – Life is one big classroom. There is an opportunity to learn something new at every twist and turn. Find something you are passionate about and learn as much as you can about it!

12. Work hard – This is just a must! If anything, working hard at something you love will give you tremendous fulfillment…and you might just create a business in the process.

13. Yesterday is in the past – You can’t change the past and you can’t set the clock back. Life isn’t about re-do’s no matter mow much you want one. Don’t focus your energy on going backwards; you must always keep going forward.

14. Be healthy – We are what we eat (and drink)…which is frightening at times! Be mindful of what you feed your body; you only have one in this life.

15. Keep your tribe close – I am fortunate to be surrounded by extraordinary friends! They feed my soul and call me on my shit. They are the reason I am where I am. I love you dolls to the moon and back! Now, let’s have a bonfire and dance party!

16. Keep your door open – You never know who will walk through your door and change your life forever. My advise…keep your doors unlocked and throw away the keys!

17. Learn to BBQ – I love entertaining and it usually involves my grill. Girls who can grill are total rock stars!

18. Drink wine – Preferably a really good Pinot Noir. I’m not going to feel guilty that if I need to, I can hammer down a whole bottle…and I am NOT alone in saying that, I am just admitting it!

19. Keep your feet on the ground – Don’t let your ego get the best of you. Keep yourself grounded and humble even if you are the bee’s knees!

20. Perfection? What’s that? Nobody is perfect and everybody’s version of perfection is different. Lets just wipe the slate clean and admit that it’s too much energy to try to be perfect all the time!

21. Be honest, even if it’s going to hurt someone – Always tell the truth regardless of the outcome! The truth hurts, but it can also set you free, and push you into a different direction. You have to hurt in order to heal, but healing is a powerful force.

22. Be forgiving – Everyone makes mistakes, and you must forgive. Forgiveness takes practice but it’s critical for the soul.

23. Don’t regret – If I regretted every stupid thing I have ever done in my life I would be toast! Life is about making mistakes like kissing bad boys, sneaking out of the house as a teenager while stealing your parent’s car, missing important events because work got in the way, accidentally drunk dialing or texting your crush because it seemed like a good idea at the time…and the list goes on. So does life! Even in the worst of situations, you can’t regret them. Chances are, you learned a lesson from them, or not…so put the phone away after 2 glasses of wine!

24. Less is more – The older I get the less “stuff” I want around. A simple life is beautiful.

25. Communicate – It sounds easier than it is. If you are upset, unhappy, or just stuck, talk about it. Don’t be passive aggressive. Be open, be trusting, and don’t be afraid of hard conversations.

26. Collaborate – Nothing beats a great working collaboration. I love working with talented and smart women. It’s so inspiring and you can learn so much from your peers who are in different fields of work.

27. Embrace the journey – You can’t fight the journey of life. It gives you the most brilliant gifts of love, laughter, and happiness. Take the good with the bad and know how fortunate we all are to have what we have.

28. Be present – Time is precious so give those around you your attention. More importantly, give yourself the ability to be present.

29. Get a dog – Taking care of an animal has been the most rewarding experience I have had. I am absolutely nuts about Milo. He fills my heart with so much love I can’t stand it.

30. Open your Eyes – Everywhere you look there is beauty. If you are having a hard time seeing it, try putting on a new pair of glasses.

31. Spend time outdoors – Being in nature is a magical elixir. Touch the dirt, watch the birds, smell the trees, and breathe the air.

32. Say Yes – Try to say “Yes” more than “No.” This one simple word can change your life!

33. Dream Big ­– Even if it seems out of reach, dream big. All we have is our imagination and vision. Dream big and big things can happen.

34. Do one thing each day that makes you happy – Simple pleasures can make your day and make you a better person. If it’s exercise, a latte, kissing your beau, seeing your friends, walking the beach, or simply enjoying some downtime, embrace the moment.

35. Let your light shine – Nobody can bring me down…but I dare you to try! I feel so grateful for the past 34 years that have prepped me for this moment, and for the million moments in my future I can’t begin to imagine. I’m blessed to have such a beautiful life full of love, laughter, light and pure joy. Today, I am 35 and beaming!

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HELLO FRIDAY, I LOVE YOU!

Wow, what a week! I am so happy to be home and slowly easing myself back into the working groove…and very slowly at that.

With a few really unproductive rainy days under my belt, I decided to take the weekend off; after all, I’m not getting anything done in the rain anyway!

Now my weekend will be full of rainy day beach walks with my girls, spending time with my beau, and taking it down a few notches as I gear up for a big week! Ahhhh…Friday, I love you!

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HOMEBOUND AGAIN

After another fantastic trip to the east coast, I am really excited to get home…even if it is just for two weeks!

I’m ready for fresh ocean air, to be barefoot, to see my tribe, and of course give Milo a big squeeze! I have two weeks to finish  my orders and prep for my upcoming trunk show at The Four Seasons, Jackson Hole March 14-16th! It’s go time.

Until next time…

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BACK TO THE BIG APPLE

After a dicey cross-country flight yesterday, I am thrilled to be back in the Big Apple for the next 5 days! It’s going to be full of work and play…my favorite combo. I am really excited to participate in the Coeur Trade Show for the first time and walk the other amazing women’s apparel shows for Fall 2014! The inspiration is going to be endless.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and if you are in NYC come by and see me…and my E.R. Leather Goods collection!64ba4ccfc3e39f34e15017111095bec8

A LITTLE BREAK

As much as I attempted to put my head down and power out work all weekend, I found myself desperate for a little break. I needed a few days to relax, unwind, rest, and enjoy being home. That I did…and I don’t feel guilty about it at all. The past two months have been bonkers and it was time to slow down. It was time to give my creative spirits a much-needed a minute to recharged and refocus before heading to NYC this week.

Over the weekend I found myself surrounded by so many inspiring, talented, loving, kind, genuine, and supportive people. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Now, it’s back to work for me!

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ON THE ROAD

From trains, to planes, to cars…it’s a road trip kind of day. As much as I want to stay home and enjoy the sunshine and heat, I am loading the car and heading to San Francisco and Napa for a little work and a little play. It’s road trip time baby! Queue up the good jams and lets hit it.
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HOME, FINALLY!

After nearly three weeks away, I can’t express how wonderful it is to be home on the ranch working again. It’s the small things like waking to the sound of birds chirping, dogs barking, and the sun streaming in my window. It’s having Milo by my side every second, my girlfriends 5 minutes away, taking the horses out for a ride. It’s not having to hear horns honking, sirens blaring, and wearing 5 layers of clothing because it’s freezing. Home feels like magic.

I absolutely love being in a city surrounded by strangers, experiencing new things, and getting my urban fix, but the sensation I get when I return to my sanctuary is unparalleled. My home is my paradise, my freedom.

Naturally, I can’t stay put for long so I’ll be hitting the road tomorrow to visit my leather supplier…then heading back to NYC next week for another trade show, but today…I am home!

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RUN FREE

Is there anything better than running around with wild abandon? It may not be the most responsible thing to do, but it’s fun and invigorating! From time to time, we need to set our inner child free to explore, experience, and see the world with fresh eyes.

We are all surrounded by beauty, inspiration, and possibility. There is so much we miss while our heads are down trying to grind out another day.

This weekend, run free, and enjoy every moment as if you were six years old! Happy Friday.59de26b6b499204d898ad5eb74158d47

NEWLY OBSESSED, THE CHELSEA MARKET

Ok, it took all of 8 hours in NYC to become completely obsessed with the Chelsea Market…but I do love a one stop shop.

The food stores, the book shop, the restaurants, the energy, it’s so fun…much like SF’s Ferry Building.

During our short spurts between showroom appointments, we snuck in for the most amazing latte from Ninth Street Espresso (I have never seen a barista take such care in pouring my steamed milk) and while there is no shortage of fantastic food in NYC, I am now a huge fan of The Green Table restaurant.

After a full day of buying men’s apparel, we surely worked up an appetite! Shelley and I hammered down a delicious and locally sourced dinner; I think our waitress was shocked, and a bit disturbed by our ability to polish it off! I can not wait to get back to the Chelsea Market there to hit up the Cull & Pistol oyster bar.

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GOOD MORNING NYC

I have always had a secret love affair with Manhattan. I couldn’t live here, but I love visiting. The energy, the food, the style, the crazy cab drivers…it’s just fun!

I am so thrilled to be calling Manhattan home for the next three weeks. I may or not be keeping up with “The Goods” as much as normal, but you can keep tabs on my urban adventures by following along on Instagram @E.R.LEATHERGOODS. Ok, now off to work…the Men’s apparel shows awaits!

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SUMMER IN JANUARY

Wow, it’s going to be another scorcher! With these unseasonably hot…and a little frightening…temps we are having, I can’t help but want to spend my whole day outside, working on my garden, or at the beach with my girls.

I suppose I should soak up as much heat as I can before dashing to NYC this weekend, although packing for cold weather while donning a bikini is a tough pill to swallow. At least I get to spend the next three days barefoot in the sun. You have got to love summer in January, but I am really excited to wear my cold weather duds again.

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ONE DAY UP NORTH

On Sunday I took a whirlwind two-day road trip to San Francisco and Napa for a little work and a little play.

After arriving late on Sunday evening, I dashed to Napa first thing Monday morning. I was thrilled to FINALLY visit my leather supplier for the first time! I was mesmerized by the sights and smell…and naturally, the endless options I had in front of me. With much restrain and discipline, I managed to escape without what could have easily been a 5k bill. Though it was a bit overwhelming and I felt like a 5-year-old at FAO Schwartz, I left full of inspiration and excitement.

I haven’t been to San Francisco in ages and only had one afternoon to cover a tiny bit of ground. I was a little enchanted as I strolled the city streets taking in the sites, all while attempting to prep my walking legs for 3 weeks in NYC. I found myself at The Ferry Building desperately avoiding the temptation to eat and drink everything in sight; and refrain from scooping up the novel cooking and gardening goodies on display in the cute shops. Mission accomplished, though I did grab a much-needed Greens 4 from Pressed. That evening provided me with the icing on my monday night cake, dinner with a friend at Slanted Door…I’m not going to lie, I was a little disappointed to learn there is in fact, no slanted door, but my company more than made up for it.

Having a new-found fondness for San Francisco, I must make an effort to escape north more often. Sometimes little adventures are more gratifying than long excursions, after all, it’s only a 5 hour drive. Until next time…which will be in about 4 weeks!

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WRAP IT UP

There are no surprises when it comes to me and wrapping gifts. It’s a little sad that I don’t even need a card attached because my gifts are always, and I mean ALWAYS, wrapped the same and can be identified as mine immediately…brown craft paper and colorful ribbons.

I have never been a fan of the gift bag, nor am I a fan of bold wrapping paper. I love the simplicity of craft paper. It can take on a life of its own. My wrapping tradition comes from my many years of working at the most wonderful store, Upstairs at Pierre Lafond – Wendy Foster. Their gifts are seen from a mile away and people come in just because we will wrap presents all year around. After wrapping thousands of gifts over the time I have worked there, I still love the look, and still use it myself.

This year, I may branch out a little…maybe!

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BRING THE HEAT

While most of the country is pulling out their favorite sweaters, boots, and jackets…I am pulling out my favorite swim suits, sun dresses, and shorts!

Yes, it’s that time for me to head back to Hawaii for sun and fun with my family. Though I don’t leave for a few more days, I can’t help but get very excited about hopping on a plane and having some down time….and I mean it this time. I am only bringing 20 bag projects with me!

Before I go, I have a laundry list in front of me. The top of my list is tomorrows Trunk Show! I may have to pick up a new bikini or two from So De Mel.

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R&R FAILED

Well, my plan for a little R&R over the weekend didn’t exactly pan out. No surprise there. After putting in a solid 22 hours of making bags for my upcoming trunk shows, I couldn’t help but daydream about my two-week Hawaiian holiday.

One week from today I’ll be island bound for some real R&R, warm water, tropical air, and family time. Naturally, I’ll be packing a suitcase specifically for my leather so I can sneak in some solid work time before the holidays.

decf932d580fa3c762f9a9335bbe338bBut before I go, I have my Fall Shipping Event! If you are in the Santa Barbara area, come by and shop. Find the details here.

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TGIF!

I have to say I am THRILLED it’s Friday. I can’t complain about my day job, but I am ready for the weekend. With the beautiful weather we are expecting, I’m making an effort (and I stress effort) to break away from the bags to enjoy the warmth, throw a blanket in the field, attempt to finish one of the many books stacked on my nightstand, and simply enjoy the moments. Happy Friday and enjoy the weekend.

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Halloween has arrived! I can’t believe it’s already October 31st…now the holidays are literally right around the corner! I hope everyone has a very safe and fun Halloween.

89b2e69249a524d747830953d6667012I think Milo needs this costume today!

A LITTLE WITCHY

I’m really getting into the Halloween spirit this year. Sitting around a fire with three strong, and sightly witchy women, over the weekend may have a little something to do with setting the mood…especially since we are all dressing up like witches this year!

I can’t wait to spend the next couple of days getting ready for a fun Halloween night and watching two of my favorite witchy movies, Practical Magic and The Witches of Eastwick! It’s getting a little spooky…

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SUNDAY PLEASE

I can already feel myself chasing my tail this weekend! I never (and I can’t stress how never the never really is) have actual plans. Yes, I spend a great deal of time with my girlfriends, but that tends to be an impromptu visit at their house, or we congregate at my place for evening wine and apps. To have set engagements, well, that’s just rare, and I hope I am not sounding like a complete loser right now!

Out of all the fun things I have on the books the next two days including a fantastic trunk show  in Santa Ynez (here) and an amazing gala at the Bacara Resort, I am most excited about Sunday! My beau is coming to visit and we have sundowners planned with some dear friends. Little does he know, he’ll be digging a new fire pit upon his arrival!  I can’t wait to cozy up, visit with good friends around the fire, and make yummy stew! Ok, now I just need to get through the next two crazy days. Happy Weekend!

23f812e17c7081916585fd85693d721dNothing beats a thick cozy sweater on brisk fall nights. I always head to my beau’s closet…his sweaters are just more comfy.

48e37eb7cf1207a76cd564a30c695babThere is something about a crock pot that makes dinner on a hectic day much easier. I am not a big slow cooker, but I found this great taco chili recipe that I’ll be taking a stab at!

DREAMING OF AFRICA…AGAIN, AND AGAIN!

I can not shake the magic of Africa! Whenever I think of where on this amazingly big planet I want to visit, I’d go straight back to Africa for another safari! Ok World Odyssey, lets start planning a spring safari!

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IMG_0413A little TBT. Betsy and I (a bit disheveled after an evening game drive) enjoying sundowners at the Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa amongst a dazzle of zebra.

CRAVINGS

I was shocked that I was able to sleep in today. Sleeping in for me really means getting out of bed at 7:00am. Today is a gloomy, socked in Fall day. I love it! What I don’t love about it is that I immediately woke to crave hearty, heavy food.

Since my cool weather cravings normally lead towards soups and stews, I can’t help but drool over these savory dishes I have been waiting to try. Today is going to be a cooking day! We will see what starts cooking in my kitchen…that is after I finish painting my cabinets!

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Pappardelle with Mushroom Ragù

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Roasted Cauliflower, Sage & Almond Risotto

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French Beef and Red Wine Stew on Garlic Mashed Potatoes

SOUP TIME

Lets be honest, there is nothing healthy about a road trip. Regardless of the efforts you make to bring along loads of water and healthy snacks, inevitably, you end up at some fast food restaurant eating crap. Yes, I am speaking from experience as I proudly wolf down a delicious Del Taco chicken burrito and jalapeno tater tots for breakfast this week, while saying to my sister Hillary, ‘Dang, I should have gotten a side of nacho cheese sauce.’ It was a low point, but I embraced it because I was on a road trip!

I just took a little 900 mile round trip jaunt to Mesquite, Nevada, or as Hillary would call it, ‘Heaven’s Waiting Room’ with my family. My late step-father was a Porsche enthusiast and huge golfer . With a ton of courses in the area and the Vegas racetrack just 90 miles away, he opted for a second home in this gem of a town. There are good restaurants for dinner, but it was crap for everything else! Albert had entire ‘garage’ full of 1970s Porsche 911s that he was in the middle of restoring, along with tools, car parts, more tools, furniture, and more car parts. After three days (and only 3 hours of heavy lifting for me) the U-Haul and toy haulers were packed up and bound for Jackson. Needless to say, as soon as I got home I headed straight to the market. First stop produce, second stop wine! I needed veggies, healthy food, fall food.

Once my groceries were unpacked, I hit up my go-to Pinterest board, ‘The Food’ for some dinner inspiration. I scoured delicious recipes that required ingredients I didn’t have, so I figured I would wing it…which is normally how I cook. As I’m not much for following recipes, I took bits and pieces from a couple various blogs and ended up with Asparagus, Potato and Zucchini soup topped it with Steamed Kale and Avocado! It was SO yummy and just what I needed after a long week of sitting on my ass and hanging out in ‘Heaven’s Waiting Room!’

IMG_7302Asparagus, Potato and Zucchini Soup Recipe (my made up version)

1 bunch Asparagus cut into 1″ pieces

3 medium Potatoes cubed

2-3 Zucchini cubed

1 yellow onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic chopped

4-6 cups Veggie stock (depending on how thick you would like it)

1 cup cream

Olive Oil – as much as you need!

Salt,  pepper, and any fresh herbs from the garden to taste

1 big glass of wine to sip on while you cook!

Heat the oven to 425 and roast the Asparagus, Potatoes, and Garlic for 15-20 minutes until soft. Meanwhile, on the stove add Oil, Onion and Zucchini and cook over medium heat until soft. Remove the roasted veggies from the oven and add to the pot. Add the broth and bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes. In batches, puree the contents in a Cuisinart or food processor. Once everything is pureed, return to the pot, slowly adding the cream. Boil for an additional 5 minutes.

Garnish with steamed Kale, diced Avocado, Chives, and a dash of Parmesan.

Sorry folks, my pictures aren’t nearly as good as the ones from Pinterest. Oh well, you get the gist!

Bon Appetit!

ROAD TRIP

My bags are packed, my car is loaded, and I am off and running! I’ll talk to you all next week!

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OH OCTOBER!

As much as I LOVE swimming in the ocean and enjoying the 90 degree weather we had over the weekend, I am ready for the temps to cool! Mostly in part because I want to start wearing my cozy fall layers and make hearty stew, which is NOT an option when you are roasting.

With Indian Summer in full swing, I never know what kind of weather I wake to in the morning. Some days I’ll be in my bikini all day, while others I’ll opt for my jeans, boots and a flannel. Regardless of the temperature, October is my favorite month!

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AHHHH FRIDAY

This week has ben absolutely nuts. Not only did I launch my website, I managed to completely repaint the inside of my house,  reorganize my living room, and sneak away to the Ojai Valley Inn to celebrate the engagement of one of my nearest and dearest.

With the weekend finally here, I can’t wait to take a little breather from work, spend a little time with my girlfriends, and just relax into October. Naturally that most likely means I’ll be working on bags all weekend, and possibly start painting my bedroom! Happy Friday!

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OUTDOOR NESTING: September 2013

Without giving it a second thought, I go into nesting mode every fall. I always want to repaint my house, reorganize my furniture, pack away the summer goods and bring out the cozy blankets and spicy candles. This seasonal transition is always beautiful, but reminds me that the holidays are right around the corner! Yikes!

After a long month of purging the excess crap in my house and storage sheds (and filling up an entire 15′ dumpster) I am now onto my garden. Since my green thumb is quite brown, I was shocked to have had a successful garden all summer. Now, I am determined to keep it going through the winter!

Today is DIY day and I am going to build a new raised bed. Fingers crossed I can keep growing delicious winter veggies and herbs. We will see how this works out…keep posted!

6970c8bca08afdf24d4de5e19abd7a34Follow my garden inspiration on Pinterest here.

PRESSED

I did it! I just finished my first 3 day juice cleanse and I didn’t cheat once.

On a whim I decided it was time for me to give myself another juice cleanse. Unlike my past 1-2 day cleanses where I had to make every juice from scratch, I turned to Pressed Juicery for their pre-made cleanse program.

I’m not going to lie, it sucked. The juice was amazing and the program was awesome, but I love good food and I love wine so for 3 days without both, I felt like I was in a torture chamber! Not to mention the fact that I am so active, I was walking around like a ditzy zombie half way though the day…but I did it.

I chose the Refine cleanse, which is for green juice and veggie lovers. Check out Pressed Juicery and see what you would try. Good luck to anyone who is willing to give it a shot!

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HARVEST MOON

There are many special things about where I live, but one of them happens to be that I get to watch both the sun and moon rise from my patio. It’s magical.

Tonight’s huge Harvest Moon will mark the Fall Equinox. Though it’s not officially Fall until the 22nd, the Harvest Moon moon kick-starts the seasonal change. I really hope the weather clears up today so I don’t miss out on seeing this amazing moonrise.

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AFRICA

It’s not a surprise to anyone that I am dying to get back to Africa. My bucket list is getting pretty full, but this year, heading back to Africa happens to fall into the #1 slot!

While I absolutely LOVE South Africa, I want to venture north to Kenya for safari and a little beach time. Naturally, I will be calling on World Odyssey to hand-pick the best lodges and plan the most seamless itinerary for me. What is on your bucket list?

0ad0a1bd8453d21872250c85680d81c3First stop: Safari!

file_med_1972Second stop: The Sea!

IT’S ROASTING

It has been one roasting hot week here in Santa Barbara…and I’m not complaining. Yes, it’s a little uncomfortable when you start dripping sweat while running errands, but hey, who really cares?

It’s going to be another perfect beach weekend. I know where I’ll be making bags. Happy Friday!

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OH SEPTEMBER

My absolute favorite time of the year has arrived! Indian Summer in Santa Barbara. There is a crisp smell of fall at dawn, shortly followed by intense all day heat. The evenings are warm, and the breeze from sundowners will soon cool us down. It’s magical, intoxicating.

Oh September, I love you!

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IT’S TIME…AGAIN

After a summer FULL of airplane hopping and road trips, it is time for me to get my nutritional act together! Now that I am home for more than three weeks, it’s detox time!

Yes, I love my wine…and cold afternoon beers, but for the next month (well, maybe not a whole month) I’ll be sticking to juicing and eating clean ‘real’ food.  Wish me luck!

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I love to follow the juice recipes from G-Living. Find their RawReform 5-day juice plan here.

WEEKEND FUN

Wow, this summer flew by in the blink of an eye. Between the airplane hopping and time spent behind the wheel, I can happily say I am home to stay for more than three weeks, however, I can not believe it’s already Labor Day. Apparently time really does fly when you are having fun!

Get out there this weekend and enjoy the last little bits of summer freedom you have left with your friends and family…and don’t worry about packing up your white jeans, it’s time to take a stand and stop following silly fashion rules.

Happy Friday!

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SUMMER TIME

I can not believe it’s August 1st!  Where on earth did the time go?

With only one “real” month of summer left, I can happily say I’ve checked all of these off the list. Why not soak up the essence of summer while we have it? Now, I am off to the beach for a swim.

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VIVA LA!

Today marks the first day of Old Spanish Days…aka…Fiesta! Fiesta is an amazing Santa Barbara tradition that started in the 1920’s. It’s 5 days full of music, the rodeo, dancing, parades, and thousands of confetti eggs.

Though I will be missing the festivities this year, I am there in spirit! Viva La!

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A GOOD BALANCE

I think it’s pretty safe to everyone drank a TON over the 4th of July weekend…or week depending on the way you roll. I know that I participated in some world-class rose drinking and am really thankful to have a two-week breather before my summer travels begin…then it’s all down hill again!

Let’s not go crazy, I will still have a cold beer or glass of wine in the evening, but I can find a happy balance with tons of veggies, fresh kale from my garden, my morning juices, and lean protein. After all, it’s summer…I can’t detox now!

Tonight’s dinner may need to look a little something like this…Bon Appetit!

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Images via “The Food” on my Pinterest page.

 WATER BABY

I love a hot day at the beach! I am a total water baby so any chance I can get to be in “warm” water, I’ll take it! For me, there is nothing more cleansing and healing than being in the ocean; it’s just good for the soul!

Even though it rained off and on all day yesterday, it didn’t stop me from spending a ton of time in the water! After all, what else am I going to do at the beach in the rain? I think today may be a surf day…once the clouds break!

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THE SPIRIT

Whenever I come home to Wyoming, I am reminded why I love have a love affair with Western culture. Wyoming bleeds the simple cowboy spirit that I just can’t get enough of…but don’t worry, I am not going to quit my day job and join the rodeo!

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FIRST STOP, WYOMING!

It all starts today…my month of crazy travel. First stop, the mountains! I can’t wait to see the Grand and breathe the fresh Wyoming air. Bon Voyage.

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SO READY!

I am not one to complain, but the weather in Santa Barbara is the pits right now. I thought June Gloom was all gone, but this morning, I woke up in a cloud (literally) again. I will say it’s been nice having some cooler temps this week because it keeps me much more focused on making bags, rather than hitting the beach or pool, but I’m desperate for some hot summer days…and nights.

Maybe I’ll even have a chance to read a book…maybe!

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IT’S 4TH of JULY BABY!

The 4th of July is one of my ALL-TIME favorite holidays! I LOVE the fireworks, I love the BBQ’s, I love the excuse to get good friends together, and the overall free-spirit and fun-loving attitude that the 4th allows!

Happy 4th! Celebrate well.

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BEACHES AND BONFIRES

I have been dying to have a beach bonfire all year. Nothing screams summer more than the beach, cold beers, a bonfire, and good friends. I think tomorrow is the day! I can’t think of a better way to watch the fireworks, can you?

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BEACH TIME BAB

The sun is shinning, the air is hot, the water is warming up, and it’s Friday! I can not wait to dip my toes in the ocean and bask in the summer sun with a good book, amazing friends, and of course, ice-cold libations.

This is the perfect Santa Barbara beach weekend! Happy Friday!

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IT’S HERE!!

Yes, summer has arrived! I can not tell you how excited I am for the ease of the summer season.

Even though it always goes by in the blink of an eye, I can’t wait for lazy beach days, late afternoon hikes, cocktail hour with my girls, and of course, all of my summer vacations. It’s time to put away the long sleeves and jeans and bring out the breezy dresses and shorts!

Happy Friday and Happy Summer!

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TURN UP THE HEAT

I can’t tell you how relieved I am to see the sun in the morning…instead of 4pm! With the worst of June Gloom behind us and summer right around the corner, I am thrilled to have had some hot sunny days!

This week has been full of bag orders, production, and girl time; all while working on my summer glow.  I am so happy to be back to my standard hot weather wardrobe…a bikini all day long!

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ZANZIBAR PLEASE

With June gloom lingering, I can’t help but daydream about tropical beaches and balmy sea air. While I’ll be dashing off to Hawaii again next month, my daydreams are focused on a beach much farther than the Hawaiian Islands; once again Zanzibar is on my mind!

I am at the beginning stages of planning my next trip with World Odyssey and right now, Africa is at the top of my list, shocking I know!

World Odyssey’s on the ground team has been so helpful in designing several tailor-made holidays for each destination I’m considering. While I haven’t quite sorted out where in the world I’ll head next, Zanzibar is certainly at the top of my list!

If you could go anywhere in the world you wanted to, where would you go? Stay tuned for the rest of my considerations.

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A little solitude on this pristine coastline!

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Dinner? Yes please! Check out the Mnemba Island Lodge.

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I’ll be perfectly happy with a book and cocktail at the Mnemba Island Lodge.

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In case you need to escape the beach (I have no idea why you would) but the pool at The Residence isn’t a bad place to lounge!

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GOLDEN DAYS

I must admit our weather is playing tricks on me. One day there is a brilliant blue sky, the next it’s socked in and misty. At least we know the golden days of summer are right around the corner!

Sophie backlitPhoto by Elizabeth Peace featuring the Crowheart Saddle Bag.

HOMEWARD BOUND

I can’t wait to board the plane today and head back to Wyoming! It’s been far too long since I was home and I’m SO excited.

With an action packed week of wedding events, a trunk show, and spending time with family. I’ll be taking the next week off from work (sort of.) I may sneak in a blog or two, but I’m happily detaching myself for uninterrupted quality time with the people I love.

Have a Happy Memorial Day!

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A BREATHER

I have spent the whole morning in the garden and I am so pleased to say it’s finished! Spring cleaning has officially ended at my house.

While I was applying the last coat of stain to my chaise lounges and planting my final case of flowers, all I could think of was how much I wanted to be sitting poolside, or on the beach, with an ice-cold glass of coconut water. I  suppose I should get back to work on my bags since I have no time to hit the pool or beach…and I don’t get to see my sweetheart until next week.

Ahhh, a girl can take a breather and daydream!

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APPETIZER HEAVEN

I am an appetizer and cocktail kind of girl Yes, a main course is fabulous from time to time, but there is nothing more satisfying to me than nibbling on an assortment of delicious snacks.

I can’t wait to start cooking for Hillary’s Bridal Shower next week. Since it’s going to be a very long week of parties, I have opted for a lighter and more healthy smattering of dishes…which all happen to be green!

Here are some yummy apps I can’t wait to make!

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Grilled Asparagus wrapped with Pancetta and a Poached Egg.

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Goat Cheese Bruschetta

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Grilled Avocado with Cherry Tomatoes

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Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps

FRIDAY DREAMING

What can I say, it’s Friday! It’s been another insane week here at ERLG filling orders, making bags, prepping summer deliveries, and trying to keep up with actual life! I am so excited with how the bags are coming out for the trunk shows…and my sister’s wedding!

Even though I can see the light at the end of the tunnel (and giving my hands a much needed break) all I want right now is to sit on a tropical beach, swim in warm water, and have a cold beer in my hand.

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HILLY’S COUNTDOWN

The countdown has officially begun. Two weeks from today, I’ll be heading home to Wyoming for my sister’s wedding! I am so excited for her and can’t wait to go celebrate with my family and friends.

With a whirlwind and jam-packed trip on the horizon, I not only need to finish the bags for my trunk show at her darling store Bet The Ranch, I also need to plan her Bridal Shower!

Since I can’t really do anything until I get to Jackson, I’ll continue brainstorming ideas…knowing the shower will go off without a hitch!

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AHHHHH FRIDAY

I have to say, I am very thankful it’s Friday! My week has been slammed with house painting, bag orders, and random projects that I have been meaning to finish for months. Though I am not completely caught up, I welcome a day to chill out…and one where I’m not scrubbing stain or paint off of my body.

This weekend is going to be so beautiful! I can’t wait to relax, go for a long hike, visit with my girlfriends at the beach, and fit in a little down-time at home. It’s just going to be a weekend to take some deep breaths before trunk show production gets underway.

Happy Friday everyone, and I am wishing all the amazing mama’s out there a very Happy Mother’s Day!

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A JUICING GARDEN: April 2013

You guessed it, I am giving my garden another go…and don’t laugh! Given the fact I am a daily juicer of mostly leafy greens it seems silly not to plant the veggies I eat the most of.

Today I am planting tons of kale, a new lemon tree, cucumber, and am adding a bunch of herbs to my already thriving herb garden. We’ll see how long this one lasts…wish me luck!

536223_10151549145324530_976887691_nAlright Haber girls, you are my inspiration, your garden is amazing! Photo via Sophie Haber.

 SAFARI MAGIC

Almost one year ago, I boarded a plane for the best adventure of my life. First stop England, then down to South Africa for a safari and the wine country.

It was hands down the most amazing experience I have ever had…and I am lucky to have had a lot of them. Since the day I left Cape Town to head back to London, I have been desperate to go back.

My goal is to make it back down in the next year…who’s in? In the mean time, I will never get sick of looking at my pictures. Here are some of my favorites from the Madikwe Game Reserve.

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MOLORI DREAMS

Someone once told me that when I go to Africa, my first breath of fresh African air will change me forever. She was spot on! I could feel the energy shifting inside me from the second we arrived. It was either the air, or it could have been Molori!

One of my best friends recently began working for a luxury travel company World Odyssey, and I was the lucky lady who tagged along while she toured South Africa Safari lodges. Tough gig!

Upon our arrival at Molori we were greeted by the entire staff…get this, singing to us! We walked onto the patio of the main lodge to find a heard of elephants drinking from the watering hole. As we drank our wine we watched the elephants, soaked up the afternoon sun and laughed, and laughed…and laughed!

There really are no words to describe Molori except that it’s pure magic and completely sexy.  The decor is impeccable (I’m feeling very inspired), the rooms are stunning, the food was personalized and to die for (grown in their garden), and the service was hands down the best I have ever had. I can not wait to go back to Molori, just with a man next time!

If you look to the left of the pool, you can see the elephants!

Enjoying an afternoon glass of wine…there was a lot more that followed.

The lovely elephants that came to greet us. So beautiful, with lots of babies.

Did I mention we were the only guests of the resort (off season) so we got UPGRADED to the presidential suites?! Even though there were two bedrooms, we couldn’t bare the idea that one of us didn’t get to wake up in this room overlooking the reserve. WOW!

Our living room, minus the massive drum in the corner. Bets took a turn drumming!

When we walked into Liesl’s suite, we all just looked at each other and started laughing, again. There really were no words, which is not common for me!

Looking into Liesl’s suite from her stunning patio!

The massage room next to the spa!

I’m a little obsessed with zebra hides at the moment! Love the chair!!

 The sunset on our evening game drive.

THE ALPHEN

After 4 nights on safari, we jumped on a plane from Jo’berg to Cape Town. For those of you who have never been to Cape Town, GO! It’s utterly amazing! I am not a city girl, and I would move there in a heartbeat. Our first night in Cape Town was spent at The Alphen Boutique Hotel!

From first glance, you don’t quite know what you are getting yourself into…then you go inside! The newly restored property dates back to the 1700’s. As we made our way to our rooms, there was a brilliant mix of contemporary glamor and traditional colonial design. Our rooms were so sexy with a silver and gold headboard, black marble bathroom with deep red ceilings, white couches and massive botanical prints. It all seems so random, but it was flawless. As much as I loved my room, I became a little obsessed with their restaurant decor.

The Alphen was the perfect place to stay after an evening at Molori, and a must for those traveling to Cape Town!

My room…would have been better if I actually shared it with someone. The red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting was to die for.

Private Dining room! Deep eggplant, navy walls, and incredible art. Hot!

 The lounge and bar. I love how they framed the TV and mixed in the zebra ottoman and chandelier.

I don’t think it is even necessary to describe how much I love this!

Over the years there have been several players coming and going from the Alphen, but Dr. James Barry’s story is the best. Dr. Barry was the first person to perform a C-section in South Africa in the early 1800’s and lived a life of service and dedication to medicine. On Barry’s death at age 71, it was discovered that she was a woman who spent her entire adult life masquerading as a man so she could practice medicine. It is said that her presence is still felt through the hotel. Huh?! Dr. Barry’s portrait hangs on the bottom left.

ENGLISH GLAMPING

Why camp when you can glamp? We decided to Glamp in England…of course! We had the perfect tent, the perfect venue, and the perfect weather.

Once the ball got rolling and the rose got flowing, it was all hands on deck. Mike and I popped up the tent, Claire cut fresh lilac, gathered lanterns and rugs, and Betsy took the photos! It was the perfect end to a nice stay-cation for everyone.

Here you go!

A view from the top.

Claire and I relaxing after a hard day of walking the dog, lunching in Woodstock, and styling the tent.

Love the fairy lights. It was a big hit with the kiddos.

Looking pretty sweet.

Good night….and good morning when Hen Hen poked his 5 year old head in the tent about 5am to cozy up with the California Ladies. Melt my heart!

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LITTLE BITS OF LONDON: May 2012

My first visit to London was yesterday, just for the day. I only had a few hours to pop around so most of the tour was via car. Pathetic, I know, but I got a lovely visual of the beautiful city and can not wait to return to explore again.

Here are my little bits of London.

A beautiful flower shop on the street in Knotting Hill.

The coolest recovered cinema chairs!

Wild At Heart in Harrods. That pretty much sums it up!

MOTHER’S DAY…IT”S COMING SOON

There is nobody in my life more important than my mother. She is my confidant, counselor, sounding board, and my closest friend. She also happens to be one of the coolest dolls on the planet!

With Mother’s Day around the corner, do you have something special in mind? If you need any suggestions…don’t overlook the gift of a handmade clutch or bag from ERLG (subtle right?!) The clock is ticking so order soon to guarantee delivery.

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A DAY OFF

For those of you who know me…and really know me, to say I am a workaholic is an understatement. From dawn to dusk…and a few hours after, I am working on something for ERLG, always.

Since it’s a little rainy today I am going to give myself the day off to relax, read, catch up on housework, and just enjoy the quite misty afternoon…of course that means what I’ll really be doing is working on my new website!

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SWING INTO THE WEEKEND

This week has been nuts…in all good ways of course. I am very thankful it’s Friday. I have a full weekend ahead of me to knock out a couple big bag orders and start the others…along with getting my trunk show bags ready!

The nice thing about uninterrupted work time is that I get to escape into my own head. I will spend most of the time daydreaming of my upcoming trip to Jackson for my sister’s wedding, my vacation to Hawaii in July, my September holiday to Nicaragua, and next year’s amazing adventure to Bali.

Now, I am really excited for the weekend to start! Happy Friday!

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SUMMER IS COMING

I know Spring has just arrived, but I can not wait for Summer! I have been designing my Summer collection and am starting to make everything next week! Stay tuned for new colors, styles, and of course, a beautiful photo shoot. Until then, here is a peek at my inspiration.

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THE COOP

Ever since I moved to my house on the ranch, I have been dying to get chickens. Yes, there is a 50-50 chance Milo will try to kill them, or they will get snatched up by the bobcats or coyotes, but I’m determined.

After seeing all the chickens, and baby chicks, roaming freely around Hawaii my decision has been made. I’m going to build a coop this spring.

Naturally I have been scouring Pinterest for some inspiration…I’ll let you know how mine turns out!

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SPRING BREAK

I have always been a believer in escaping your day-to-day and going on vacation. It can be for a weekend or for a week, but it’s important to take that time away, experience new things, explore new terrain, and get a little suntan.

My “Spring Break” is in full swing. I’m fortunate I get to bring my work with me, and much as I am playing and relaxing, I am also making tons of clutches for my new stores!

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ADJUSTING THE SAILS: March 2013

“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.” – Elizabeth Edwards.

Throughout life we weather our storms. Change is constant and it’s a reminder that nothing is permanent, nothing is forever, and it’s ok to move in a new direction.

Today marks another change in my course. What lies ahead is unknown, but rather than letting fear and uncertainty hold the reins, I am allowing excitement and determination lead the way. As another new chapter in my life begins, once again, I am adjusting my sails. Happy Friday!

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GREEN THUMB

Gardening is something I love to do, but don’t seem to be quite good at. I try…and try…and try to keep everything alive and healthy, but for some reason I have little success. At least twice a year I replant flowers, veggies, herbs, and a fruit tree (or two) and 6 months later I have to start over.

This season I am making a pact with myself that I will keep my garden alive and kicking. Currently, my garden is covered in weeds and dirt, but it’s  my mission to make it last.  At least all the wildflowers are blooming everywhere and look beautiful.

4cd99761715275a403b5c8e559024802My dream veggie garden!

24575de8f7dfd0dcf9d860abf6e93297But this seems a bit more realistic.

SHE WAKES UP

“A cowgirl wakes up in the morning, decides what she is going to do…and does it!” – Marie Lords, 1861.

It’s Friday and I know what I’m doing today…what are you going to do?

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AFTERNOON WANDERING

One thing I have become quite good at is day dreaming, what a shocker! As my afternoons are jam-packed with handbag production, I allow myself time to get completely lost in thoughts of globetrotting.

I made a pack with myself on my birthday that this year I would travel as much as I could. Next year I will settle down and nest, but now, I want to hop on a plane and go. After my upcoming Hawaiian holiday, followed by a fun-filled week in Wyoming celebrating my sister’s wedding…I’ll be off and running. I just need to pick my next destination…or two.

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FORTH

Today marks the single command in the calendar year…March Forth. I have always lived my life fully, openly, and honestly, all while marching forth towards bettering myself. I have worked hard, remained motivated, and trudged through the lowest of lows and the highest of highs with my head up and my heart open.

I march forth through life because it’s engrained in me, because it’s my motivation, and because it’s my birthday. I can not wait to see where this year takes me. Today starts a new beginning and I plan to embrace everything that comes my way during the next year of my life. It all begins today, March 4th!

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PARIS IN THE SPRINGTIME

I have the travel bug right now. I often have that bug when I am about to face a big project, a long week, an overwhelming adventure, or if I have too much time to think. So, I suppose I always have the travel bug!

This spring, I am going to treat myself to a European holiday. For as hard as I have worked, I deserve to take a break. I want to experience new cultures, walk aimlessly for hours, get lost in my wild imagination, and gather inspiration for future ERLG collections. Though I have no plans yet, there is one mandatory destination, Paris.

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NEW YEARS EVE

I wanted to take a moment to wish you all a safe, heathy, and very Happy New Year! To all my friends who are scattered around the world, know that I am thinking of each of you and hoping 2013 brings abundant happiness, joy, and love. Cheers to 2013!

New Year's Wedding, St. Clair Centre for the Arts in Windsor Ontario

MERRY CHRISTMAS

To all my friends near and far, and old and new, Merry Christmas. You have all touched my life in some way, shape, or form. Thank you for the continued support, love and friendship.

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WHERE THE HEART IS

Ok, ok…I am a little heartbroken about not spending Christmas with my family. I admit that I’m a little homesick. With my crazy schedule I don’t know when I’ll get back there, but for now, I’ll dream of snow on the ground and the beautiful Grand Tetons.

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TAKE ME AWAY

There is one thing about sitting making bags for a month straight, and that is, you have a lot of time to think. Travel has been my motivating thought. The idea of hopping on a plane for a weekend getaway or jetting across the world for an unforgettable adventure fuels my fire and helps me work harder.

Having just returned from a lovely Hawaiian holiday, my wheels are turning as I plan for my next big adventure. While there are thousands of places I want to visit in my life, if someone asked me today where I would want to go it would be Zanzibar! I think the guys are World Odyssey will be getting a call very soon! Bon Voyage.

PLEASE REMOVE YOUR SLIPPERS: November 2012

There is something very childlike about running around with no shoes on. I have embraced the island spirit and have been pretty much barefoot and in a bikini since my wheels touched down last week for a family holiday. Today is my last day but nothing beats warm nights, a relaxed lifestyle, and being able to swim in the ocean day or night with minimal temperature shock!

Now, if only I wasn’t a weather jinx and the sun would come out and the waves would be bigger than 0-2. Oh well, it’s still fabulous!

BALMY ISLAND

Even though I live at the beach (or near it), there is something incredibly special about being on a tropical island. Maybe it is the balmy air, or that the wind and rain are refreshingly warm. Regardless of why, the feeling of island life is lovely and I’m soaking it up.

Hawaii is just what the doctor ordered…I am being forced to relax, which is not an easy thing for me to do!! I figure in an hour or so, some unfinished clutches will come out of the suitcase…but until then, Hillary and I are going to take an ocean swim. Happy Friday!

CHEERS BIRTHDAY GIRL!

I am a firm believer (as I have said many times before) that people come into our lives for a reason. Some that stick around and others simply fade away. I keep the good ones tucked into a little pocket of my heart, after all, they have helped shape me into who I am, and who I am becoming.

One of my favorite friends is an extremely talented painter named Karen Bezuidenhout! Hailing from South Africa, Karen is pure gold! Hands down, she is one of the coolest dolls I have ever met.  Not only am I lucky to have her as a friend, I am spoiled to have her art covering my walls.

Since meeting almost 7 years ago, we have worked together, collaborated for my “Sky Collection,” we have gone on countless rides, shared many (and then some…) bottles of wine, lived through incredible ups and heartbreaking lows, and have had the best nights simply hanging out at “the ranch.” She is a true friend and someone I will forever admire.

Happy Birthday Karen! I wish you all good things as you start the next chapter in your unforgettable book of life. Cheers!

I promise to take good care of Charlie while you are in South Africa. He and Milo will be best buds when you get home.

A glorious October beach ride! Next stop…Namibia ride?

FINALLY…A LITTLE RAIN

I woke to the welcome sound of rain. To say I was thrilled was a complete understatement. I have been craving a change in season for a month and today, I got it. Perhaps it was spending my childhood in Oregon, or experiencing rainy Fall days before the snow came in Wyoming, but rain is soothing to me…although I am in desperate need of new wellies.

I can’t wait to hunker down with a few really bad, but wonderful chick-clicks, make a hearty veggie stew, and continue knocking out bags for my Holiday Trunk Shows! I may even take a walk just to feel it on my skin.

Bring on the rain, I love it!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

I happen to LOVE Halloween! I love the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins, making roasted pumpkin seeds, and celebrating fall.  There is also a childlike joy of playing dress up for the day alongside all the kiddos…who are always so darn cute!

It makes me miss being 8 years old and going Trick or Treating in the neighborhood I grew up in.

Happy Halloween!

THE WORLD AWAITS

Last night I had the pleasure of helping my nearest and dearest celebrate the launch of World Odyssey USA! UK based luxury travel company was established nearly 14 years, but finally made the 5500 mile jump to Santa Barbara to open the first US office…headed by Betsy! (It’s ok to be completely jealous!)

After traveling with WO to Africa in May, I am 100% hooked. My days of booking my own holidays are long gone…Why do it alone when I have the WO team’s expertise to take care of business?

The big question is…where to go next?! I have a feeling Zanzibar is will take the prize.

LOW TIDE RIDE

The past few days have been unbelievably hot. My days have become increasingly lazy and my productivity levels have been taken down a few notches. In an effort to beat the heat but still enjoy the amazing afternoon, we decided a low-tide beach ride was an appropriate, and necessary adventure!

I will say, there is nothing more fun than running a horse (or mule) down the beach! It’s pure freedom.

Crossing the 101, huh, at least there was not much traffic.

We are almost there!

Paco is the only one who actually likes the water. Karen will now have some new painting inspiration!

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A LITTLE HIDEAWAY

This morning I woke with the overwhelming urge to run away for a quick holiday. No surprise there! I often feel this way when I’m nearing the end of a massive handbag project. I desire a few days to off to breathe, or to think about something other than leather and lacing.

This morning as I hit snooze (over and over which I rarely do) I daydreamed of a little hideaway in the woods, a bath tub, an outdoor fire, a cozy sweater, and a really good glass of wine. Is that too much to ask for on a Tuesday morning?

CATCH YOUR DREAMS

One of my favorite traits is my ability to dream. Big, small, near or far, I will dream it. Never do I care what people think of my crazy dreams, because they are mine. Some swirl around me like a light summer breeze, where others become deeply-rooted into the core of who I am and what I want from my life. Some may come true while others fade away. One thing is certain, you can never strip me of my dreams, who knows when they are going to come true.

What will you be dreaming about this weekend? Happy Friday.

AUTUMN HEAT WAVE

Autumn isn’t complete without a heat wave. These few smoldering hot days leading us into thinking Summer still lives on, all the while, Fall is knocking on our door. While some mid-day moments can seem unbearable, there is a lovely feeling about floating around all day, with very little clothes on, just surrendering to the world around. This heat wave just happens to dance into October!

October is my favorite month of the year. The days are warm and crisp, the sensation of change is intoxicating. Each October I wrestle with my “what if?” and “what’s next?” moments. It’s a transitional time and though I usually embrace those questions and feelings with action, this October I am gong to sit back and simply doing nothing (I wise woman gave me this brilliant advise.) You never know what will happen tomorrow, but today, it’s October 1st and all bets are off!

MORNING GLOW

Nobody likes to have their alarm go off before it’s light outside. If you are one of those people, you are like me…completely nuts! With the morning light inching later and later into the day, the 6am wake up call can be a bit troubling, after all, it’s still dark. This morning, after hitting snooze two times, I slowly emerged from the cozy abyss of my bed. If I hadn’t made myself get up, I wouldn’t have gotten to have my morning coffee looking at this magnificent sky. Have a beautiful weekend everyone!

A MAGICAL TRANSITION

I can feel it in the morning…summer is dancing with autumn. There is a crispness that will tease us for another month until the leaves begin to change. Autumn is my favorite season, but this year I am not quite ready to pull out my cashmere and boots, I’m excited, but not ready.

I need a few more weeks of heat on my skin while I enjoy soaking up the last bits of the season. To me, this small window of time, is magic.

HELLO BLUE MOON

I am a sucker for the moon and stars. Growing up in Wyoming, you could see millions of stars, the sky was massive.  Shooting stars, wishing on stars, and seeing them twinkle and glow is magic to me.

Last night’s Blue Moon was beautiful as I watched it raise up over the mountains. However, this morning, I got to see it set while the sun was raising. What an amazing way to start the day. I think September is going to be a pretty special month! It’s off to a good start.

SOAK IT UP

I can’t believe the summer is almost over! I’m so spoiled to live in Santa Barbara where the best time of year starts in September…but there is something so final about Labor Day weekend. This year, I am taking a stand! I am not putting away my white pants, and as much as I love fall fashion, the thought of heavy sweaters and boots is a little nuts right now!

Instead, I’m going to throw on my new bikini, soak up the sun, swim in the ocean, and enjoy each moment of this beautiful long weekend. Happy Friday!

ESCAPE

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you just want to escape? That is how I am feeling today and there is nothing in the world I want more than to run away for a few days, relax a little bit, and take a deep breath. If you don’t hear from me…don’t worry. I’ll be in a hammock on the beach with a cold beer!

THE BEST DAY

There are few days I will spend over 12 hours in a bikini! Yesterday was one of those days, and yes, I was working – most of the time! The sun was blistering hot, while the crisp pre-autumn air flooded my house. It was the perfect day to chip away at my stack of projects and orders…in my bikini!

Between working outside, after almost finishing a pair of shoes and several clutches, I decided I needed to take refuge in the ocean. It was liberating for me to walk away from “almost finished” projects with deadlines, but yesterday, “almost finished” was good enough for me. It was too hot and beautiful for 100%, 80% was completely acceptable!

I popped down to the beach to see the dolphins cruising, the seals curious about the dogs, and to jump in for a much-needed swim. My bikini finally came off at 9pm and most of my work got finished…It was the best day!

THE COUNTDOWN CONTINUES

I woke up this morning, bright and early as always, with the excitement and thrill of the weekend. I felt like it was the first day or school, or that I was leaving on vacation. I have 2 days until my shoot and the nerves, joy, and excitement of it all coming full circle encompassed me. There is so much to do, all fun stuff of course, but I needed to take a moment, take a deep breath, and remind myself where the inspiration originated.

I will never forget this moment in Africa, watching the sun rise in the open plains, when I everything just clicked…My wheels have been turning ever since and I’m so happy to see it all coming together. Happy Friday!

SUNDAY LOVE

I gave it a shot but it didn’t work out too well. My weekend attempt of the R&R I desperately needed didn’t end in any R&R.  However, I made the most of each moment I had. I tried so hard to close the studio door and failed miserably. I suppose I can chalk that up to the excitement I have for my Fall 2012 samples I have been working on.

My only shot of taking a break from making samples was to get out of the house, go for a ride, and soak up the fresh morning air. It was a beautiful weekend!

 

A BIT OF DOWN TIME

My weekends are always jam-packed with work, making bags, play time with my friends, chores, and being outdoors. This weekend I have decided to put an end to my ADD ( I have about 15 bags all started…but I keep starting more before finishing the others! ) and complete my projects so I can spend one day relaxing, reading, riding, and enjoying the beautiful summer day.

My hammock is hanging between my pine trees, my house is clean, and whatever bags don’t get done in the next 48 hours are going to be shut behind my studio door until next week.

It’s time for me (to try) to get a little down time before I start planning my Fall 2012 photo shoot…(see, ADD!) We’ll see how it goes, but fingers crossed I actually can make myself rest up before the August rush. Happy Friday!

A LITTLE CHEEKY

A trip down memory lane… I have very fond memories of feeding the horses in my little red bikini and wellies after a redeye from Cape Town to London.  Although my bum doesn’t look this good, it’s something to work towards…And, I’ll never forget Betsy and I sprawled out in the yard basking in the sun drinking rose at 9am. Huh!

LANDY LOVE

I have decided that with my new life comes a new car. I have a cool house, a cool dog, and (I think) a cool lifestyle, now I need a cool car.

I fell a little bit in love with Land Rovers in England and Africa. I’ve been going back and forth between an 80’s Ford Bronco or an old Landy. After seeing a beautiful black old Landy in the parking lot at work yesterday, my wheels got turning. For now, the it is back on top of the list!

I’m sorry, but I would look fab behind the wheel of one of these babies! Of course, so would Milo.

FRIDAY DAYDREAMS

I have been daydreaming of Paris. Betsy and I intended to end our holiday with 4 nights in Paris, but as things go, plans change. Ever since then, I have been daydreaming of a Parisian holiday to soak up the culture of this amazing city. Perhaps a trip in the fall is necessary, but until then, a girl can dream.

BEACH DAYS

I will admit I am more of a mountain girl than a beach girl, but this summer I am going to make a big effort to spend my lazy afternoons off with my girlfriends at the beach. After taking my first ocean swim of the summer last weekend, I am longing for heat, salt water in my hair, and the pure bliss of being by the ocean.

I am also longing for a new beach bag which has inspired me to start making them. I have the most beautiful graphic fabric and can’t wait to sew them up this weekend!

BLACK CATS AND BOTTLE ROCKETS

The 4th of July is my favorite holiday. There is no pressure to give gifts, there are no dinner obligations, and there are no silly cards. I happen to LOVE the smell of fireworks, I have since I was a little girl at my Grandma and Papa’s house. We would run around with our sparklers, lighting our black cats, bottle rockets, and anything else we could get our hands on that would explode. It was pure childhood bliss. I think one year we even sent Barbie shooting into the sky attached to something we shouldn’t have been playing with.

The 4th of July is a party and it’s summer. Unlike New Years where you have to get dressed to the nines in the freezing cold, on the 4th of July you get to run around in cut offs and flip-flops all day and relax into the evening. Enjoy the simple pleasures in life this 4th, enjoy your independence. Light a bonfire, drink some beers, and laugh your ass off with your friends and family.

Happy Independence Day!

SIMPLE PLEASURE

This weekend, let you hair down and run around barefoot! Remember the childhood days of summer when you didn’t have a care in the world…and embrace those memories. Happy Friday!

SET YOURSELF FREE

She sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the air is fresh, and it’s Friday! Set yourself free this weekend.

 WORLD ODYSSEY

Everyone has been asking why and how I got to go on such an unbelievable trip to Africa. There are two answers…first, my friend Betsy and second, World Odyssey.

World Odyssey is a worldwide tour operator that will tailor any vacation or adventure to your needs and budget! Whether it be a luxury holiday, trekking through the jungle, relaxing on your honeymoon, or heading out on safari; World Odyssey will ensure you have the trip of a lifetime.

Betsy, the lucky lady that she is, recently joined the World Odyssey team. The rough part of her job is that she now has travel far and wide to check out finest lodges and hotels to make sure they are acceptable for her clients…and I got to tag along on her first trip to Africa. Spoiled is an absolute understatement!

World Odyssey is amazing because they have a fabulous team of specialists and wonderful owners. From start to finish, our trip to South Africa was so seamless and smooth. From the airport pick up and drop off to the lodges and hotels we stayed at, World Odyssey has it dialed out! I can not wait to see where Betsy gets to go next, and I can’t wait for my next trip. I am thinking a horseback safari in Kenya!

Thank you Liesl for showing Betsy and I South Africa, putting up with our constant giggles, packing and repacking our little red polo (huh) and being so lovely! Thank you Phil and Frank for letting me experience the  most unforgettable trip of my life! This journey was pure magic, Thank you!

Here are a few shots Betsy took on our safari to the Madikwe Game Reserve in northern South Africa before heading down to Cape Town and the wine country.

Good Morning! The 6am game drive was well worth the early wake up call.

She was so stunning. We tracked her for nearly 3 hours and she could have cared less we were in the truck next to her.

Our dazzle! We had happy hour at the watering hole with a dazzle of zebra.

WILD AND FREE

I have said it once, and I’m going to say it again, and again. Africa is magic!

Since I am still reeling and suffering from serious jet lag (up at 530am on Sunday morning…sweet) I decided to look through my safari game photos for the ten thousandth time. I have memorized the faces of each animal I photographed and admired…with my point and shoot! Betsy had the big guns firing with her massive lenses, and much better quality photos.

I can’t stop looking at these beauties as a reminder of how our world use to be…wild and free!

We tracked her for 3 hours while she hunted and stalked a heard of impalas. She didn’t make a kill, but she was stunning to watch.

Oh, hello lovely.

So cute! I can’t stand it. Watching them run is amazing and prehistoric.

My dazzle! Loved watching the heard of zebra while we drank wine next to the watering hole.

Sunset at the watering hole!

There were more animals we were able to view and photograph, but given the sensitive nature of their species endangerment and fear of poaching, I will not be sharing photos of them…but they were beautiful.

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A LITTLE SPACE: May 2012

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

After ten years together, my sweetheart and I parted ways. We had an incredible journey and shared a beautiful life. In an effort to get a little clarity and plant my feet back on the ground, I hopped on a plane with one of my best friends and headed to Africa to take a deep breath.

Without spoiling the posts to come…and there are going to be a TON, I can say with 100% certainty, it was the most amazing, inspiring, and life changing trip I have ever had. The next chapter of my life has officially started!

A wide open space in Africa!

DAYLESFORD ORGANIC FARM

I have died and gone to heaven!

I have been to some wonderful places in my life, but The Daylesford Organic Farm boasts the most brilliant combination of all my favorites: delicious food, gardening, beautiful decor, amazing home goods, and a spa.  It’s just plain mean given it’s located in England and I can’t just pop in whenever I feel like it.

I was in complete awe at the sight of the freshly cured meats, stacks of local eggs, a cheese room that was stocked full of fabulous varieties, heart-shaped stone windows looking into the kitchen and prep stations, and the beautiful fruits and veggies displayed so perfectly that you didn’t want to touch them…and that was just the deli!

The restaurant, aptly called The Trough, was so delicious. The Trough’s clean white walls, high beams, and huge wood burning stove serves up organic fare that comes directly from the farm, or from the local farmers! Are you hooked yet? After a lovely lunch and a bottle of wine with Betsy, Claire and Mike, we popped into their garden shop (a dream), their beautiful home store (a loft looking over the market with the most fabulous dishes and glass ware) and dashed over to peek at the spa, WOW!

I need to open a compound like this in Santa Barbara…any takers for a business venture? I am 100% serious!

The entrance to the Trough Restaurant!

Butternut Carrot Soup as my lunch starter.

The Garden Shop entrance.

I’ll take one of everything!

Fresh farm eggs.

Outdoor enamel dishes.

For more images, check out my Pinterest page.

A LITTLE ENGLISH ABODE

I know it’s not much, but I have decided to take up residence at a humble abode in Woodstock, England. There won’t be room for many visitors all at once, but if we work out a nice schedule, I’d love for you all to come stay.

The Blemheim Palace is a stunning 2000 acre estate that was not only the birthplace of Winston Churchill, but it was the birthplace of hundreds of baby sheep that run freely about the property. The palace, one of England’s largest houses, was built in the early 1700’s and I think it’s the ideal spot to take up residency! What do you think?

JONI SUE

It takes a special person to weather all the storms life throws at you. My mom is the toughest, most beautiful, hard-working, loving, understanding, spirited, and amazing mother one could have. She has taught me that you can’t wait around for life to happen and that you must put in the time, make the effort, be creative, be accepting, be patient, and know that amazing things can happen.

You are my biggest inspiration and I love you so much. Happy Mother’s Day!

This is one of my all time favorite photos of my mom taken a few years ago. She is timeless, and always has a smile on her face.

I love this shot of my mom and grandma, of course she has a cig and a beer!

I miss you Grandma Jackie! You were the most fantastic Grandma EVER!

OH WEEKEND

Tomorrow will be the first Saturday I have had off (without being on vacation) in about, oh, 2 years. I have worked Saturdays for as long as I can remember, only taking it off if I had a wedding, event, or vacation. Tomorrow will be a shock to the system. I am so excited for it, I can’t stand it. To have 3 days off in a row feels like magic.

I have no idea what I’ll get myself into, but I plan to enjoy the time off immensely.

Happy Weekend!

IT’S FRIDAY!

Yeah, it’s Friday. I woke up bright and early this morning (again.) Perhaps it was the birds chirping, the sun’s rays peeking through my curtains, or that I was ready to take on the day…either way, it’s a beautiful morning.

Here are a few scenes from morning…It’s going to be a good day!

Jazz and Paco having a morning snack.

The birds…everywhere, singing!

Milo taking in the view…cute!

The view!

Freshly made morning juice!

OH WEEKEND

Tomorrow will be the first Saturday I have had off (without being on vacation) in about, oh, 2 years. I have worked Saturdays for as long as I can remember, only taking it off if I had a wedding, event, or vacation. Tomorrow will be a shock to the system. I am so excited for it, I can’t stand it. To have 3 days off in a row feels like magic.

I have no idea what I’ll get myself into, but I plan to enjoy the time off immensely.

Happy Weekend!

TUSCAN DREAMS

The past couple weeks have been a bit nuts, but I’m back to my blogging ways.

While I have been sitting in airports, waiting for leather to arrive, and enjoying a little quiet time, I became a bit enchanted with the book I just finished (and started again) Juliet, written my Anne Fortier. Set in Siena, my wheels quickly began turning as immediately, I started planning a trip to Tuscany. Though I have traveled through the beautiful country, I have always dreamed of spending significant time there at some point in my life.

Perhaps my sweetheart and I will honeymoon in the romantic country. Until then, I’ll keep dreaming of Tuscany and read Juliet once more.

 

IT’S FRIDAY: March 2012

I always get excited for Fridays. Not only does it mean my work week is almost over, it means date nig

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PLAYING HOOKY: March 2012

I feel like playing hooky from work today! Of course I am not going to because I am a responsible employee, but I really want to. Today is another summer teaser, much like Sunday when it was 81 degrees. I am dreaming about a relaxing hot beach day where I can finish my stack of magazines and The Hunger Games.

Instead, I am getting ready for work. A girl can dream right? After all, it’s Friday. Have a great weekend everyone.

________________________________________

ANOTHER YEAR: March 2012:

I try to gauge the success and happiness of my year starting from my birthday rather than New Years. I turned 33 over the weekend. WOW, I said it, 33!

This year, I plan to enjoy each day to the fullest and realize the small stuff makes no difference in the long run. I want to spend as much time with my friends and family as possible because you never know when they will be taken from you. I will try to be more open minded to new opportunities and take bigger risks because I know someone will catch me if I happen to fall. This year, I am marrying the man I love and get to begin a new chapter of my life with him.

33…Bring it on!

 

 

 

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