Guide to Spring City, Utah

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Guide to Spring City, Utah

A few weeks ago I was invited to go down to Spring City with some friends to celebrate Pioneer Day, a state holiday here in Utah. We were guided around the town by Spring City native, Zina Bennion, whose family settled there in the 70s and helped turn it into the artist destination that it is today. Zina is a wealth of knowledge about many things but especially about Utah history and artists as both of her parents are well-respected artists and she grew up immersed in that community. Today, we are lucky to hear the full guide to Spring City.

And you might be wondering why you even need to know about this little town in Nowheresville, Utah. I would have wondered the same thing before visiting. Guys, this place is a little piece of magic. Only this town and Williamsburg, VA are listed as complete towns on the national history registry. and Forbes listed it as one of the top prettiest towns in America. And I had never even heard of it until a few months ago. We need to change that people!

We’re releasing the guide today just in time for Labor Day, when the annual Artist’s Studio tour and plein air competition takes place. If you haven’t made Labor Day plans yet, I’d strongly suggest going!

So, without further ado, here’s Zina!

Iceland waterfalls

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And three months later our Iceland trip is finally being wrapped up in photos. Goodness, I’m constantly reminded how surreal this place is. You can’t go to Iceland and not see waterfalls, so I’ve dedicated this last post to all things waterfalls. A little tip, “foss” in Icelandic means “falls” in English, which might help break down the names. Here we go! We started our waterfalls exploration by taking a little day trip out to Barnafoss with our gracious hosts.
Then Paul and I rented a car for a few days and hit some of the major highlights around the southern rim of the island including Seljalandsfoss, Skógarfoss and Svartifoss. The beauty of Seljalandsfoss is the trip BEHIND the waterfall. Pretty wild. And cold. And loud.
Svartifoss is insane. Look at these rock formations! It has the feel of cathedral organ pipes you know what I mean?
Ok, these little rock pile ups below are a sweet story. Visitors are supposed to add a rock to the top.
Moody!

I’ve been enamored with pictures from other people’s trips to Iceland including Jenna’s super detailed write-ups. Mackenzie of Secret Pocket has beautiful photos of their trip to Iceland/Denmark for the holidays last year. Elaina from Fint og Deilig and her husbandMark spent their honeymoon camping in Iceland last summer. Brave souls! I’ve been following the Instagram of Andrew and Carissa as they explore Iceland right now. This shot at the Blue Lagoon is gorgeous! Elena also did an Iceland falls post. BTW, we did go to the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s biggest tourist destination, but we didn’t take a single photo! Crime! Needless to say, the place is otherworldly (and expensive! especially when we went here for free!)

Check out some more Iceland photos here

Best Baby shops in Paris

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Baby shop tour of Paris As you might be well aware by now because I have tendency to deluge you with travel photos and Instastories, I was in France for two weeks last month for my brother-in-law’s wedding. We planned our trip so we’d have a bit of exploration time, because you can’t just go to France and not soak in all the magic, right? At the time of our booking I wasn’t pregnant, but once we found out that the little guy is on his way, I thought it would be great fun to dedicate a couple of days to baby shopping in Paris. In fact, when I was there last year for a conference, my friend Anne of Pret a Voyager, took me to a number of beautiful baby shops, which at the time were so inspiring, but not relevant to my life.
This time around, I put in hours of online research to identify the best ones and a number of Parisian friends stepped in to offer their advice. Thank goodness for an insider’s view! Paul and I ended up spending 2 1/2 days walking around the city exploring beautiful shops and feeling so lucky we got to be there during such a beautiful time of the year. I was 7 months pregnant and all of a sudden the aches and pains that everyone talked about of pregnancy became my reality, though I’m sure walking for 10-12 hours a day had something to do with it. We decided that we need to come back annually to repeat the process…and perhaps stay for a number of months 😉 Baby shop tour of Paris

Top destinations for flower lovers

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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

    Lars Bucket List Trip: Carl and Karin Larsson’s home in Sundborn, Sweden

    carl larsson's house

    larsson home

    There are certain places in the world that mark your memory and change your vision of the world. Visiting Carl Larsson’s home in Sundborn, Sweden was one of those places. Sadly, when I visited a few years ago, I didn’t take great pictures, and you’re not allowed to take pictures inside. BUT! Lars contributor, Meta Coleman, captured it on a recent trip and documented some lovely details and wrote about her experience. Her story kicks off a new series called Lars Bucket List Trips where every now and again I’ll share places to add to your bucket list. Perhaps they’ll inspire you too. 

    As a child I had a large Carl Larsson print in my room. It was of a girl sitting in her bedroom holding a tulip. I felt very connected to that little girl and to the beautiful day to day family life painted by Carl Larsson.

    Roskilde

    Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! You guys are the best. After working yesterday we headed out to Roskilde to attend the Royal Danish Ballet’s summer series. Coincidentally, our first date was this exact event three years ago so it was very apropos. Roskilde is Paul’s favorite town so we spent some time exploring the city including the cathedral, churches, harbor, and charming streets. If you ever get to Denmark, Copenhagen is great, but the smaller towns are more walkable and cozy. 

    Iceland

    Paul & I just booked our tickets to Iceland for Easter and I. Cannot. Wait. I’m taking my work with me and we’re going for a full solid two weeks. Wahoo! Iceland seems so other worldly to me. So much open space with greenery. It just begs wandering. I’m loving this picture above with the hardened lava contrasted with the green. Have I ever shown this Bon Iver video? It captures what I think the spirit of the place feels like. So beautiful.

    Do you have any tips? We have PLENTY of time to explore so I’d love your suggestions. Shops? Little corners in town? What do you think?

    This was my first post on Iceland and I still dream about it.

    Picture

    Miami prints by Jane Merritt

    Miami City art prints

    Like the other prints in the Lars Print shop, each design can come however you’d like–as a download where you can print it off yourself or as a print in the mail in a variety of sizes or it can come framed and/or matted. Here we put three together and I think they work perfectly together, no? All that Art Deco glory–so good! 

    You can find the prints in our Lars Print Shop!

    And you can find our art lovers guide to Miami here!

    You can see Jane’s work here.

    Art prints for every style

    From illustrations to photography to quotes, the Lars print shop has wall decor for every style! If you’re looking for some bold pieces to accompany your Miami prints on a gallery wall, you can find plenty of patterns and bright colors in the Lars shop prints! Or, if you’re going for a more subtle, pastel wall, you can browse through some of the illustrations to match the Miami art prints.

    We even have a couple of art prints for Coronavirus relief charities. You get beautiful pieces of art AND help out communities during the pandemic. It’s a win-win.

    If you love these Miami prints but aren’t sure how to start your gallery wall, we’ve got you covered! Learn how to make a gallery wall here, and let the decorating begin!

    and we’re off!

    Paul and I just decided to take a little road trip around the island of Iceland. We’ll be taking the southern route and ending up at Jökulsálón, the glacier lagoon. We are stoked! Thank you for all your tips on Iceland. It seems like everyone who has been here has loved it and I can see why. This place is phenomenal. I’ll most likely be silent for the next few days as we will be *deep breath* CAMPING.*

    *Note: I don’t camp. This should be interesting.

    A Lars Girl in Mexico City: Travel Inspired Design and Fashion

    Mexico City definitely is at the top of my list of favorite trips. Truly, it is a place of dreams. The gigantic, bustling city is home to almost 9 million residents, and the feel of the city is indescribable. I’m trying to teleport there using fashion and interior design; I’ll let you know if it works!

    I visited Mexico City a couple of years ago with friends Nadia Coates of Casa Palomi, Meta Coleman and Chaunte Vaughn. (You can find Chaunte’s work in our print shop here! And some of Meta’s curated home picks here.) We went to visit Abby Low, whose work is also in our print shop! Abby’s book This is Mexico City is full of the color, print, and culture that inspired today’s post.

    I am imagining what A Lars Girl would wear if her wardrobe was inspired by Mexico City. And what her home might look like. After getting a feel for some of the amazing sites in our Mexico City guide here, explore the links below for A Lars Girl top picks for fashion and decor.

    Mexico City Inspired Fashion

     

    Accessories

     

    Read more about this amazing place

    La Ciudad

    Ciudad de México is an ancient city. Long before the land was called Mexico, the Aztec civilization built impressive temples and monuments in the middle of what was then a lake. Due to Spanish imperial efforts, much of the ancient city was destroyed or buried beneath new buildings. Modern renovation projects have done a beautiful job of peeling back the layers, allowing the city to truly shine. Though its past isn’t pretty, a beautiful way of life and a unique design sense has developed literally out of the ruins. Now a modern and very cosmopolitan place, Mexico City is a truly fascinating spot. 

    La Mezcla

    Old-world European architecture meets older ancient architecture, and all of it fits into an amazing modern place. When I think of Mexican design, I tend to think of folk art and textiles brim with life! Bright colors are used on funky patterns. But when I think of Mexico City, complex stylistic ideas with refined elements come to mind. Once there, you’ll know what I mean. If you’re looking to steal the style, try designing with Old World tastes, then decorate with clean-lined modern elements that allow ornate intricacies to shine. Conversely, try designing in a contemporary, clean design, then add some flair with natural or folk elements. To see this mezcla (mix) work in real life, check out pictures of the Museo de Artes Popular! Its architectural style is stunningly simple art deco, while the works within it are traditional and FUN! 

    The residents of this city know how amazing it is, but most are happy to share the place they call home. I became friends with my cabbie and the local barista pretty quickly, and they clued me into the real neighborhood spots. Only true locals know the local spots. So, make some friends and get exploring! While you’re there, or even if you’re just lazing around the house, bring a dash of la Ciudad de Mexico into your life! See our shopping list above and below for clothing items and home decor that we think make the mark.

    Mexico City Inspired Interior Design

    Artwork

    Decor

     

     

    Provence: Part 1

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    It’s been over a month since Mom and I popped over to Provence and looking over these photos I’m reminiscing over the beautifully warm weather, the dusty roads, and the pops of lavender. TAKE ME BACK! Once I earn my millions blogging (ahem) I plan on buying us a stone villa with robin’s egg blue shutters. We flew into Nice, rented a car and enjoyed the three hour drive through vineyards, pumpkin patches, and plum trees to our destination, Apt. Are you looking at these pumpkins? Beautiful Cinderellas. I was tempted to steal as many would fit into my suitcase (one before getting caught at customs?).
    We arrived to our destination, a town called Apt. The apartment we were staying at is situated in a square, where the weekly Saturday market is located (but more on that later). We escalated the staircase, taking note of the courtyard behind the apartment building where laundry was drying. Yes, even the laundry looks picturesque. HOW?!
    And this is the apartment. Look at that staircase! The couple who owns the apartment are an architect and designer and completely remodeled it themselves. I love the mix of modern and French country. I’ll be highlighting the apartment a bit more tomorrow so you can see some of the lovely details. 

    Bless, bless Iceland

    Well, it’s true what they say, Iceland is out of this world. I have so much to show you, but here’s a little teaser for now. Have a LOVELY weekend!


    This went on this week:
    not one but TWO DIYs, flowers made out of soda cans
    and a floral candelabra for Styled Mag
    This Girl likes colorblocking
    Murder Mystery dinner with friends
    the best in baby’s breath for Brooklyn Bride
    Stephanie wrote the nicest thing and threw the loveliest shower for a mutual friend of ours (congrats Cristina!)

    *”bless, bless” is good-bye in Icelandic. Such an awesome phrase, right?!