Posts Categorized: travel

Life + travel / Monday, 2 Mar 2015

Click Retreat Caribbean

click retreat caribbean

In January I was invited to teach a photo styling workshop with my good pal, Meta Coleman, aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of The Seas, the largest ship in the world for Click Retreat, a conference for bloggers that focuses on photography and social media in the Caribbean for a week. When I got the email the only words I saw were “January”, “cruise”, “Caribbean” and immediately responded “YES!”. We visited Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten.

But, what would make them think I would even like it? I mean, it’s not like the Bahamas had photogenic pink buildings everywhere or anything…

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And it’s not like the scenery was very scenic. Bleh.

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Seriously, I couldn’t find a single pink building ANYWHERE in the Bahamas! It was so BORING!

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It’s not like we had colorful props to work with or delicious fruits to make smoothies with…

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Meta and I pretended we were recently engaged and on a romantic getaway the whole time taking our engagement photos…Somehow we keep getting invited to rad places around the world…just the two of us without our families…when in Rome!unnamed-12

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Food + Party + travel / Thursday, 12 Jun 2014

World Cup bites: sonhos

If you’re just joining in, to celebrate the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we’ll be providing some of our favorite Brazilian recipes here on the blog that would be perfect for your World Cup celebration. First up, sonhos. Sonho literally translated means “dream” and they are quite accurately named. They’re basically a filled donut, so yes, you can imagine I was all about it. I remember walking the streets of Curitiba, Brazil listening to the loudspeaker of sonho car–Brazil’s version of the ice cream truck–and wanting so much to try them. But then remembering that some stranger was selling them from a van….

photography by Laura Sumrak
food and steps by Karlee Bronson
styling and creative direction by Brittany Jepsen


Click below to see how we created them!

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Design + Events + Friends of Lars + Life + travel / Friday, 7 Mar 2014

Meet Make Do Part 2

Yesterday I talked about the crafting retreat I attended last week in Palm Springs, Meet Make Do. Today I’m finishing up starting with a change of scenery. See this bright of colorful sunshine above? That there is the Saguaro Hotel. It comes into the story in just a bit. But in the mean time…

You might remember from yesterday that we were staying at a really awesome mid-century house, which was perfect for our needs. We all had our rooms and then a central gathering place to craft not to mention a pool and tons of beauty. Serene. Well, we returned home from dinner the second night and found that our place had been robbed. Eeeeeeek. For reals. The two little casitas in the back of the house had been ransacked. Laptop, money, wallets…gone. Two girls lost a lot of valuable stuff, not to mention a sense of safety and comfort in a new place with new people. Erin of House of Earnest was one of those and you have to read her account of it. I admire her for her amazing perspective while being in such a vulnerable position.

The police came and did their thing and because of a lack of feeling safe in our place, our hosts and our sponsor, Bing, decided that the best solution was to find a hotel to stay for the night. Through the horrible events of the night, the highlight of the situation was trying out something new. Enter Saguaro. I can’t say I was super bummed about our new locale.

Erin mentioned something in her post that was spot on. We no longer had a place to craft and do our thing AND THEN, the elements decided to turn on us and rain the next day so our plans really went out the window. BUT, the change of plans brought us closer together. We ended up spending time together chatting and really getting to know each other. Some of my favorite moments were late night chats with my roommate, Melanie from You Are My Fave and our last night together as a group gathered in Erin’s hotel room eating cheese and pretending as if we were circled at a campfire. I felt 16. I felt bonded. We talked about what it means to be generous and a good person. I can’t imagine a better ending to what could have been a truly negative experience. Have you ever come out of an awful situation feeling reenergized? It’s incredible how those things happen.

Above, the first night we ate delicious food at Workshop Restaurant. And see the name tags? All the cool writing was done by Striped Cat Studio. The next night the ladies had coordinated an amazing taco bar on top of the Ace Hotel
And we were presented with some lovely goodies like these prints from Minted.
I had really been hoping to get my hands into the amazing florals that the girls had brought the play with from Flower Muse, but sadly, because of the change of events we didn’t get to do so. Sad face. How gorgeous are these David Austen roses???

 This is the view of the Saguaro from my room.

 And Kelly matched the walls.

Back in the day I interned for Jonathan Adler and I finally got to visit the hotel he designed, The Parker, which is impeccable. So so gorgeous. I forced Ashley to take a door shot.

Now, how embarrassing was this. I brought my skirt that I found at a vintage shop years ago. I perfectly matched the bedspreads in the hotel rooms. I compare it to the time I showed up to high school on the first day wearing the same thing as my teacher, DJ Tanner style. You know what I’m talking about. I got a lot of compliments from the housekeepers.

I had to get a shot with the B. And that uncomfortable face I’m pulling is a result of rain and wind in my face.

Well, that’s it folks. A lot of really great times combined with some not so stellar moments. But I’d do it again in heartbeat.

Thank you to so many people for making it happen. Especially Chelsea from Lovely Indeed, Kelly from Studio DIY, Brittni from Paper & Stitch and BING who is the best. Also a big thank you to West Elm for providing a lot of the styling pieces we were going to use (doh!). Jordan Brantley for all the branding and all the others who I mentioned yesterday and above. Can we do round 2 please???

photography by Mary Costa Photography with some snapped from my iphone and one from @lovelyindeed

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Crafts + Design + Friends of Lars + Life + Party + travel / Thursday, 6 Mar 2014

Meet Make Do Part 1

This, my friends, is how life should be:
Palm Springs pool with palm trees
Am I right? Sun, pool, oversized blow up swan. Bliss.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen a lot of pictures about the most magical retreat I attended last week called Meet Make Do sponsored by Bing.  It was a craft bloggers getaway organized by three wonderful ladies: Brittni of Paper and Stitch, Kelly of Studio DIY, and Chelsea of Lovely Indeed. They’ve been planning it for months and months and by some mystical power I made it onto their invite list. And I’m sure glad I did! 
The whole premise was for craft bloggers to come together to just make stuff. It’s thanks to the kind folks of Bing, particularly Katie and Natalie, who made it possible. Guys, I have to say that Bing is THE BOMB. They brought us a whole bunch of Surfaces for us to use as we researched our projects and I have to say that having been familiar with it for a bit now, I find the features super helpful. There’s even a travel feature that provides great info for on the go so you better believe we used it for all things Palm Springs.
As a kid my family would go to Palm Springs for a little vacation (which now I find a bit odd to travel to the desert when you live at the beach, but whatever). BUT, I didn’t know that Palm Springs was cool. We would only go to a resort and swam in the pool the whole time. I had NO idea that there were amazing houses and shops and an amazing mid-century vibe. I’ve been puzzled over the years why anyone goes there on holiday. And now I know. This place is the unreal, bizarre even. Beautiful, perfectly preserved houses and the most phenomenal shops. If only I had oodles of money to spend…
So, I arrived to this
scarf
…and I thought, “really?” 
And then I saw the house
Palm Springs mid century home with yellow door
and I was all, “Yup,” I really do.
And then I saw the crafting closet filled with all sorts of goodies that are way cooler than anything I have
closet for crafts
and then this fabric happened to me:
fabric sorting
Like Project Runway, we had a limited amount of time to create something so my anxiety levels were HIGH! I learned that I am a thinker. I dwell on things. Usually I don’t even create unless I have a really stellar idea. But here I just kind of dilly dallied (and ate and chatted) until I realized that here I am in this beautiful place with an amazing photographer, the wonderful Mary Costa,  who WANTS to shoot my projects. Then it was time to get down to business. I went through the fabrics from the brand new Fabric Store in LA, which I would be at ALL the time if I lived in LA (speaking of…why don’t I???) and Melanie from You are my Fave got down with the crepe paper from Shop Sweet Lulu.
crafting with You are my fave
Jenn Elliott of Scout blog got her craft on making a beautiful tablescape with Ashley of Sugar and Cloth. She even stitched some napkins. Erin of House of Earnest got down with the Surface to research her lovely projects.
Palm Springs crafting retreat
I mean, look at the details: huge beach balls, bright colors, SUN! I’m dreaming about it as I type while looking at the grey Utah skies.
meet make do
I was off sugar for two months and sadly it coincided with this trip so I didn’t get to try the cups of cookie dough from Edoughable. Saliva drops.
cups of cookie dough
And, we got a fabulous Swag bag full of all these goodies. I mean…look at it all! Wonderful items from Almond Milk LA, Coveted Things, Etta & Billie, Fat Eye Design, Fletcher and Fox, Landis Carey, Lovely Pigeon, M. Greenwood Jams (delish!!!), Michelle Dwight Designs, Mr. and Mrs. P, Oh So Pretty, Seoul Little, Striped Cat Studio, Twedle Dee Designs, We Love Citrus, Wind and Willow Home, World Reclaimed
goodies
And the group of ladies. Now, it’s rare to bring together a bunch of crafting ladies who are so kind and generous and overall good people. I went in knowing most of them only as an admirer, but I came away feeling like I had gained genuine friends. That’s rare, right? 
craft bloggers in Palm Springs
pool in Palm Springs with blow up swan

And I’ll leave you on this image…because again, this is how life should be. More tomorrow. You won’t want to miss it but find out the reason why we suddenly had to get up and leave this paradise. Dum dum DUM!

all of this wonderful photography is by the stellar Mary Costa, who I wish I could bottle up and take with me wherever I go.

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flowers + Life + travel / Monday, 1 Jul 2013

Top destinations for flower lovers

I’ve been extremely blessed to see some beautiful places throughout the world. I like to say that I don’t like to travel, I just like beautiful places–traveling is my vehicle for getting there. I love beautiful places so much that I’ve prioritized it over other things like an amazing wardrobe, furniture, and other fun delights and securities. I took my first trip to Europe when was 12 on tour with the Orange County Junior Orchestra after joining because I heard they were going to France and England (oh yeah, and I guess I liked the music too). I had always been fascinated by the books I read as a girl that were set in beautiful places like the brooding moors in Sherlock Holmes and the floral nooks of The Secret Garden. After a few more trips to Europe, living on the East Coast, and then finally marrying a Dane and living in Denmark, I feel like I am only a bit more conversant in beautiful sites to see. I know there is so much more out there.

Beautiful places, particularly gardens and old estates, make my heart burst. I didn’t realize how much a part of me they were until I noticed that other people couldn’t go on a run without stopping at every corner to look at the flowers. (That, and I hate running so I’ll stop whenever I can). I also started to notice that I love flowers. Like, I REALLY love flowers. I love floral fabrics, silk flowers, paper flowers, flower rugs, flower pillows, real flowers. Flowers everywhere. Perhaps I have an abnormal condition?

With that flowery talk out of the way, I’d love to get a list going of the top places to go for flower lovers. I’ve asked a couple of people who I know have a similar affinity to flowers to share some of their favorites too, florist Sarah Winward and garden expert and BYU Museum of Art director, Mark Magleby. Additionally, I’d love to hear what YOU have to say. I haven’t found a comprehensive list anywhere, so I’m thinking this could be a help to all of us and help us create a bucket list.

My suggestions

  1. Monet’s Gardens at Giverny in France. As cliche as it is, Monet is my man.
  2. Tage Andersen’s residence and gardens at Gunillaberg in Sweden. You know I’ve now written about it like 5 times
  3. Carl Larsson‘s Sundborn home and garden in Sweden. He’s also one of my favorites.
  4. Karen Blixen‘s home and museum in Denmark (I went last summer and just realized I haven’t written about it yet)
  5. The lavender fields of Provence (I just missed it last year and I was devastated)
  6. Stourhead in England. I nearly died of beauty there. It’s mostly just gardens. This is also where the new Pride and Prejudice was filmed.
  7. Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC. I think this might be the loveliest place in the world. I lived a few streets from it and had a season pass. That, and the cemetery next door, are pinch-yourself-I’m-dreaming worthy in spring and fall. Here’s a little post. I also love that it was started by two women who just loved flowers and gardens. Read more about it here.
  8. Hillwood Estate in Washington DC. The gardens are delightful and the interiors are crazy ornate.

Sarah makes the loveliest arrangements. She’s got an impeccable eye.
  1. Around the end of June, purple lupin are blooming all over Iceland, they practically cover every hillside. They are up to four feet tall and the dark purple color looks amazing against the green mossy landscape.
  2. Israel has red anemone that cover lots of hillsides in the spring. I think this is so memorable for me because a red anemone isn’t the type of flower that I am used to seeing grow in the wild.
  3. Jasmine vine in New Zealand completely covers jungle areas. The smell is intoxicating and I wanted to clip entire walls of it to bring home. 
  4. Locally in Utah, I loe the Mt. Aire trail up Millcreek canyon. In the late summer there are wildflowers and butterflies all over the trailside.

Mark Magleby, Director of the BYU Museum of Art
Mark was my thesis instructor during my undergrad at BYU. I went on study abroad with him and his family to England, Scotland, France, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands about a decade ago. He specializes in 18th century art and architecture and his scholarship focused on the gardens of Stourhead as well as the creation of a database of English garden history. You can see why I would turn to him, non?
  1. The greatest of all the English flower gardens may be Sissinghurst Castle garden with is color coordinated garden rooms. 
  2. Another would be the kitchen gardens at Rousham, which are riotous with flowers in the spring and summer. The most famous parts of the garden are designed by William Kent. 
  3. I also think that the herbaceous boarders are excellent at both Hampton Court and Kew Palace. 

    Now, what about you? What are your pics? Please write them in the comments below. I want to visit all of them!

    top image from here

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