Monday, June 5, 2017

Seven Magic Mountains...

Once upon a time, I spent ever other weekend driving from Las Vegas to somewhere in California.  On this drive, I sang songs, drank a lot of coffee, and enjoyed the scenery.  After making trips along the same route about 7 times, I was shocked to notice several large towers of neon boulders stacked up in the desert just outside of Vegas. 

After a frantic Google search to see what in the world these monoliths were doing in such an unlikely location, I was even more shocked to discover that I've literally driven past them no less than 7 times without noticing them.  To be fair, though, my return trips to Vegas usually take place when it's dark; however, this art installation is called "Seven Magic Mountains" and there are road attraction signs for them all over the place.  I just never knew what they were. 

All of this being said, SB and I decided to swing back around and check them out, because hey... piles of neon rocks in the desert are just kind of fun.  Of course, we had to attempt to climb them (not recommended), because that's kind of just what we do, but really... I just needed to appreciate the fact that even though these rocks are crazy loud, the surrounding desert is just as rad! 

Ever seen this attraction? 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

#SustainableSunday with Passion Lilie...

Passion Lilie Ikat trousers, Paisley $ Sparrow Soresa earrings, Song Yee Designs turquoise berry ring, casual outfit, summer outfit, las vegas

It's been a while since I've had a good #SustainableSunday and you know what?  Today is the day!  

I am honored to introduce ya'll to Passion Lilie, an online boutique based in New Orleans.  They design all of their products to be top-of-the line eco-friendly and then have them handmade in India (in a fair trade setting, of course) that uses as many traditional techniques as possible. 

They were kind enough to send me these Ikat trousers and I LOVE them.  The fabric is lightweight and breathable, which in the 100+ temperatures in Vegas is absolutely perfect!  These particular trousers are super cool (pardon my pun) because they have slits up the side.  I tied them at the bottom to make them more like super wide-legged joggers, but they can be worn open.  If I had been at a pool and not trying to navigate the crush of the Strip, I totally would have left them open and taken advantage of the breeze!  

What's sustainable about this outfit? 
: the earrings are repurposed, handmade and fair trade
: the trousers are handmade and fair trade
: the ring is handmade

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

All it can be...

MudLOVE Be Still band, Kisii Ethiopian prayer bead bracelets, Skar Designs Jewelry white bead bracelets, casual outfit, embroidered tunic

I'm going to get real here for a hot minute: life has just not been going according to plan.  I know that life, by nature, doesn't go to plan, but I am, by nature, a planner, so I still like to try to anticipate what's going to come at me next.  I haven't been doing such an awesome job of it and I keep getting pushed down.  It's put a big damper on my mood over the last few weeks, but I'm trying to keep my head above water.  

I'm trying to look for the good.  Today, the good things are: this awesome outfit (a surprise gift from my daddy), sunshine, and coffee.  

Sometimes that's all it can be! 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Moro Rock...

Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park, hiking

Ladies and gentlemen, I had the distinct pleasure of literally having my head in the clouds on top of Moro Rock.  After waking up from my very first night ever camping in a tent that was not in a friend's backyard, we packed up, had a quick breakfast and hit the trails for one last walk amongst the giant Sequoia trees. 

We ended up hiking a trail that is usually open to vehicles, but was closed due to snow and this lead us to a smaller and much less traveled trail through the forest and straight to Moro Rock.  This monolith rose out of the forest and even though we'd already hiked several miles, we had to climb it.  It was mostly stairs, but at times, narrowed to graded slopes with little foot holds carved out.  There were few rails to hold onto and the few glimpses I got over the edge, made my stomach turn. 

We reached the top of the mountain and as we did, we were quickly enveloped by clouds.  Now, I've been in the clouds in an airplane before, but I'd never actually ended up inside of a cloud without a great metal bird around me.  It was crazy.  One second there were sweeping views of the valley and the forest and the next second, we were in a fog!  It rolled back out just as quickly as it rolled in and the gorgeous views were restored, but wow.  Just wow.  What a treat! 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sequoia National Park...

In case you didn't know, sequoia trees are gigantic!  I remember first having learned about sequoias and redwood trees as a child and thinking how cool it would be to one day see some for real, but I never really thought it would happen (you may remember my experiencing this exact same feeling with the Anne Frank house several years ago).  When I discovered that Sequoia National Park was kind of, sort of along the way from Mojave National Preserve to my dad's house in Ventura, I just knew we had to stop to check it out! 

I am so glad that we did.  These trees are monstrous, but in the best possible way.  No matter how many times I tried to photograph them, I really just can't do them justice.  They are mind-blowing.  I would love to go back with a whole bunch of friends to see how many of us it would take to hug and actually encircle an entire tree!  

We did very little planning for this leg of our journey, which was crazy because we camped and I, at least, had never camped before.  Here's what you need to know: 

: If you're going any time from winter-spring, consider buying or renting chains for your tires.  We were here at the beginning of April and while the website said that we didn't need chains, it was only after sitting in line to enter the park for 30 minutes, that we were told that chains were mandatory.  We had to turn around and stop at 3 different places to rent the right sized chains for my car.  It ended up costing a ton of extra time and about $60 and in the end, when we finally made it through the park gate, they didn't even check for them.  Nor did we actually end up using them.  I guess my point is: if you own them, bring them and if not, cross your fingers and hope for the beset! 

: Camping in Sequoia is actually quite comfortable.  This part of the journey was SB's responsibility, but he didn't come up with much, so we rolled in with a few sandwiches, some salads, fruit, and non-perishable snacks and a tent.  This was all well and good, as the campsites each had: a fire pit, a grill, a picnic table, a bear locker, a parking spot, and a place for your tent.  We each had a sleeping bag and since I didn't know if I'd like camping and didn't want to spend a ton of cash on a sleeping mat, I doubled up on two yoga mats and was great.  SB had an extra sleeping to lay on, but he said he still felt the rocks on the ground beneath him.   There were bathrooms with flush toilets and running water on the site, which made me a happy gal.  If I had to do it again, I would have brought firewood, a cooler, and more food, but other than that, it was good.  

: Pack layers.  On our second day in the park, we woke up freezing (like, we had to get into the car, blast the heat and drive around for a bit to warm up), but by the time we started hiking, the layers were definitely being peeled off.  Because the elevation within the park fluctuates so much, the temperatures change quickly!  

: Hug the trees.  Seriously.  I'm not even kidding.  I've posted before about the health benefits of hugging trees and these are the biggest trees in the world.  If there's anything that the world needs right now, it's more hugs and if you can get some clean oxygen and positive vibes from doing it, what's there to lose? 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

#SustainableSunday + repurposing old clothing...

Swallow's Heart arrowhead necklace, GlobeIn gold pendant necklace, Charlotte Russe denim jacket, casual outfit, teacher outfit, sustainable fashion, re-purposed clothing

It's #SustainableSunday and this week, I am all about re-purposing!  On a recent Instagram scroll, I came face-to-face with the fact that the garment industry isn't always the best for the world.  The use of water alone (like 5,000 gallons to produce one shirt and one pair of jeans) is insane.  And don't even get me started on the pollution and waste created by the industry. 

That being said, I'm on a mission to seriously reduce my rate of clothing consumption.  This is easier said than done, because like most people, I enjoy having a bit of change in my wardrobe.  When outfits get blah, I get to feeling blah, and I just don't have time for that! 

Now, I'm super lucky, because when I fell in love with fashion in high school, my mom gifted me with a sewing machine, a serger and let me sign up for the "clothing" elective.  I went on to college to pursue fashion merchandising and design, so I have some background in how to manufacture clothes.    Now that I'm cutting down on consumption, but am also trying to purge the things that I own but do not use (thanks, minimalism), I've been taking old garments apart and remaking them.  This shirt used to be a skirt and a bedsheets, but now is a pretty adorable (not to too my own horn) top that was perfect to wear to work and then out to fika with SB!  

Now I'm on a mission to see how many old things I can make new!  

What do you think? 

What's sustainable about this outfit? 
: the shirt was repurposed
: the earrings are handmade and fair trade
: the tag necklace is handmade and fair trade
: the arrowhead necklace is handmade 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Kelso Sand Dunes...

I wrote on Monday about the epic-ness that is Mojave National Preserve.  That post was all about how awesome the ring trail at Hole-in-the-Wall was, but we ended our day with what we thought would be a nice, easy hike in the sand dunes. 

What we didn't realize is that the Kelso sand dunes are up to 650 ft. tall at any given time.

For real, this was the most difficult hike I've ever embarked upon.  The wind was blowing like crazy and was whipping the sand around, the dunes were shifting, and because I ended uprearing leggings with my ankles exposed, my boots completely filled with sand every few steps.  I lost track of the number of times that I wanted to give up and turn around, but I took lots of breaks to breathe, regulate my heart rate and hydrate and with quite a bit of pride, SB and I made it to the top.

... where we were promptly totally and completely sandblasted in the wind and then it only took about 7 minutes to jog/roll/tumble back down the dunes to the car!