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Capturing A Moment...

5.30.2013


The eye opening sunset... my cheesy grin... it was perfect timing. The ending to a crazy work packed week (for me) and the sun going down as a symbolic gesture that I had made it... the light at the end of my tunnel. A little dramatic, perhaps. But this past week I have poured my everything into a project... blood (paper cuts), sweat (from nerves), and tears (I think I cried at least once a day, every day from the sheer pressure of it all!) But in the end I delivered and that's all that matters. It was so tempting at times after I had completely broken down to just admit defeat and stay curled up in the fetus position. At one point hubs asked if there was anything he could do to help and I just replied "drugs". I don't even know why I said that, I don't do drugs. I guess in my delusional sleep deprived state where every inch of my body hurt from hours of sitting at a makeshift desk it seemed appropriate.

This moment, captured by the ever loving and supporting hubs of mine (seriously thank you!) is just amazing. I was sooooo happy to be done, proud that I had made it, and ready to wash down all of my hangups with an ice cold beer. And that sunset... man it's just breath taking it isn't it? They usually are over here in the surreal world that is Santa Monica, but I like to think that this one was exceptionally beautiful and saved for just this moment. You learn a lot about yourself when pushed to the limits... walking the line was all I could think about, always on the edge of teetering and collapsing thanks to my self destructive nature. But I had hubs there, cheering me on when I needed it the most and giving me some tough love when I just wanted to sulk in self pity. And the love and encouragement I got from family and friends, most that didn't even really know what I was doing, it was enough to help me come to grips with everything. So thank you everyone, you helped in more ways that I thought was possible. Now I just have to wait and see what happens...

But enough of my ramblings, there are boxes to unpack that have been sitting patiently waiting for over a week now and the temptation has been unbelievable. You know things are that hectic when the boxes have been left (mostly) untouched for this long! And there's a heap of laundry at least as tall as myself that needs to be tackled because we are out of underwear in the Beale household and have been wearing bathing suit bottoms for the past few days and that is not very domestic now is it? I'm pretty sure we are also out of food because things like eating and sleeping got way low on the list of priories around here... again, so sorry hubs! So yea... the work continues, but of a different kind. And believe it or not, household stuff like this actually acts like therapy for me. Maybe it's the predictable nature of it all that just suits my controlling nature. But first I'll enjoy some homemade iced coffee and catch up on some blog reading... just because I can.

***Today I am thankful that hell week is over... until next time!***

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Lighthouse World Charities...

5.23.2013

 ^^^so many fun prints!^^^
 ^^^love a good shoe find^^^

After our first LA brunch at Huckleberry last Friday, hubs and I ventured around exploring our new stomping grounds of Santa Monica. It was the perfect sunny day, just breezy enough to keep you in long sleeves but with some leg exposure to balance everything out. On our walk we stumbled across this great shop called Lighthouse World Charities and of course had to go in for a peek! The store was very spacious and perfectly laid out, making it easy to navigate the brightly colored and patterned racks. When it comes to thrifting, I'm not a big fan of the whole rummaging thing... and I definitely don't like it when stores are so cram packed that their is barely any breathing room. It makes the whole experience stressful (for me) and I'd just rather take a rain check. But on the rare occasions that I can tick all of the boxes (spacious, not too crowded, has a varied assortment), just try and stop me from going in! We browsed through the racks and I found a few cute things but since I'm really trying to enforce this minimalist lifestyle (when it comes to clothing anyways), I was good and didn't try anything on. Five or six boxes marked with "clothing" that you have yet to unpack will do this to you... especially when you know most of the boxes contain your clothing.

I'm trying this new approach with this apartment, kind of like making list of basics everyone should have in their closet, but for the home. Hubs and I are really trying to make sure that we only buy pieces that we need and absolutely love for this home. A slow and sometimes frustrating process, but one that will be worth it in the end I hope. One of those things we have been shopping around for include a desk and chair. It may sound kind of funny, but you wouldn't believe how hard it's been to agree on a look and style (and price point) that keeps us both happy. So the furniture fairies must have known we'd be stopping by when they placed this perfectly aged vintage desk chair there... just in time for us to adopt. We quickly scooped her up (well hubs did) and walked home with her... all seven blocks too! My strong hubs, thank you so much for carrying our new chair all the way to our new home... for stopping along the way when I begged to do a quick style shoot... and for agreeing with me on something finally! Now hopefully we'll have the same luck with a desk.

P.S.- Did I mention that this place is non profit that raises money to help provide medical aid to West Africa?!?As if I needed anymore reasons to encourage my border line hopping habit ;)

 ***Today I thankful for finding the perfect chair... now she just needs the perfect desk***

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Huckleberry...

5.22.2013

 ^^^mouth-watering treats^^^
 ^^^isn't he just the cutest!^^^

Last Friday I took hubs to a new (well new to me) hot spot for amazing food to celebrate his day off. Actually I owe a huge thanks to B for introducing me to this place after our Rose Bowl Flea Market adventure! You can also watch a little video I made about it here if you like. Anyways, poor hubs has been working crazy hours since we moved (surprise, surprise) and that includes some weekends too. He hasn't really gotten to see much or explore any so I thought we'd start with this adorable little eatery, Huckleberry. Serving the freshest (and tastiest) of meals, they are known for shopping locally and organically when it comes to their produce and most other ingredients used in their seasonal menu. If the yummy food wasn't enough to keep you coming back for more, the rustic and inviting atmosphere will surely do the trick. I especially love nabbing a seat by the front because of it's great big windows that are usually open and pouring in delicious sunshine. There's also seating outside but this place gets so crazy full and the food is just too good to wait so usually it's grab a seat wherever you can.

Despite the popularity of the place, both times I've been I have never had a problem finding a table. You order and pay at the till with the line moving pretty quickly. Then it's sit down and wait for them to bring you the goodies! Hubs ordered the warm steak sandwich and I had the BLTA which we promptly switched half of so we could try them both! A little secret of ours, we typically share meals and purposely order different things to try as much as possible when eating out... foodies, I think so! They were both so good it's hard to say which was a favorite. We also ordered a blueberry ciabatta that was heaven. Another little secret of ours, hubs and I aren't much into the sweets so we find sharing a desert works for us. But if you insist on having your own desert, this place is for you! All of the patisseries and deserts were mouth watering behind the counter glass... and yes I can appreciate the beauty that is them without necessarily craving them ;)

***Today I am thankful for and much needed day off for poor ol' hubs... he works too much***

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Oklahoma...

5.21.2013


My heart yearns for those lives lost in the Oklahoma tragedy... for the little souls dimmed before their time. I can't even begin to imagine how loved ones are dealing with this, my mind just can't comprehend the amount of grief they must be feeling, the suddenness of it all. Another reminder that life is precious and not guaranteed. Please hold your loved ones close, tell them that you love them daily. The saying "live each day as if it were your last" stands true. My thoughts and prayers are with you all, the people of Oklahoma. It is time to come together as a nation once again and lend a helping hand to those in need. Oklahoma needs us, let's show them there is hope.

You can make a donation or get involved to help at any of the following:
-Red Cross
-Salvation Army
-Samaritan's Purse
-Operation USA
-Team Rubicon
-RYOT

*Update: hello merch is giving 100% of the proceeds for this cute tank to the OK relief fund. Help out and be fashionable, I like it!

***Today I am thankful for life... so precious it's scary***

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Rose Bowl Flea Market In Video!

5.19.2013

*click through to the blog to view actual clip...

So if you read yesterday's post, you'll know that I was very inspired by the Rose Bowl Flea Market... so much so that while I was too dumbstruck to actually purchase anything, I did however manage to re-remember (is that even a word?) a little video app that I had long ago purchased and recorded some stuff. Thanks to that stuff and imovie, I bring you last Sunday in a little video of sorts. I really enjoyed the editing and creative side of this and the fact that it's yet another way to annoy the people  I hang out with... I mean capture memories, and so hope to be using it more often. I don't know if it's the sunshine or the blue skies, but you looking good on camera L.A., so good! Happy Sunday!

***Today I am thankful for a little app known as 8mm... let's make movie magic together!***

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Rose Bowl Flea Market...

5.18.2013

 ^^^cause everyone needs a pirate spice rack^^^
 ^^^the heat made somebody sleepy^^^
 ^^^the watermelon lemonade was to die for^^^
 ^^^so regretting not buying some antlers^^^

Last Sunday I was lucky enough to hitch a ride to the Rose Bowl Flea Market with the younger brother of a good friend of mine from college and talk about visual stimulation overload! B is one of the three people I actually knew living out in LA before moving and he has been such great help in just about everything. Turns out one of his favorite rituals is heading to this self proclaimed "world's largest and rarest market" early on the second Sunday of each month to gaze, shop, and be inspired. And what a treat to the eyes it is! I think I was in genuine shock the entire time because even though I had allowed myself some cash to spend that day, I didn't spend a dime and that's just not like me at all. The market was filled with vendors of all sorts selling everything from antiques and actual treasure to just plain junk... I loved it all! At one moment I almost made a purchase and it was for some vintage small glass bottles when the whole indecisiveness thing I have going on lately kicked in and I found myself unable to chose a color... or style... or size. So just left in a dazed confusion and stumbled onward to the next stall. It was also an unusually warm day and B swears it's always about 10 degrees warmer in Pasadena and while I promised myself I will never again complain about the heat after surviving London, it was hot! So hot in fact that a few of the vendors (like the one captured above) could be found lazily sleeping under their tents in the cool summer breeze.

My shoulders and tops of my feet got a nice dose of vitamin d for the first time in years and I even got a bit of a sunburn... yes guys, turns out  do sunburn. Oh and I also have a funny tan line on my feet from the my flats and while normally that would really annoy me, I'm just grateful for any tan lines at the moment. We had a mini break and stuffed our faces with some tacos from vendors set up inside the market and they were to die for! I think I can happily eat tacos for every meal living out here and can totally understand why people love them so much (never did before). I would also recommend the watermelon lemonade which is just the thing you need to quench your thirst on the first hot day of the year. And while we drank about a liter of the stuff, neither of us had to pee so that just goes to show how much  fluids we were losing in sweat ;) As the weather will undoubtedly get hotter and hotter, this is still no reason to not keep the Sunday tradition going. Things to remember for next month:

1. Wear shorts!!! I can not stress that enough.
2. Don't forget to lather on the sunscreen because although normally I don't burn, now I do.
3. Bring an umbrella, parasol, hat, or some other device to shade oneself.
4. Don't forget the sunnies to shield the eyes.
5. Bring a water bottle to keep hydrated.
6. Cash if you actually plan on buying anything.

So I think I will join B in this monthly tradition and hopefully next time I'll be able to lift my jaw off the floor, keep my eyes in their sockets, and not let the indecisive curse take hold of me... because I am here to shop and I am good at it! Not to mention we still need a ton of stuff for our new home and this is the perfect place to get some one of a kind pieces. And when in doubt, just buy it or you'll end up regretting it later... like those antlers, sigh.

***Today I am thankful for B... this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship I can just feel it!***

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A Lovely Week 5.17.13

5.17.2013

 1. toes in the sand! 2. my hair absorbing ALL the salt air 3. looking up 4. new rug 5. my favorite palm tree lined street 6. going for a ride 7. hubs playing on instagram! 8. santa monica sunset 9. at the rose bowl flea market 10. brunch at huckleberry 11. playing with the new a beautiful mess app 12. happy mama's day! 13. hand drawing 14. always designing 15. portfolio re-working 16. pretties i picked on my walk home 17. sleepy eyes 18. street art 19. jumbo margaritas at cabo cantina 20. working in bed

Awkward-
Being in LA in general... awkward in a good way, don't get me wrong... but still awkward... It's like my brain won't fully register that we are here, this is it, this is home... I feel like I'm on vacation what with all the sunshine and happy people all around... this couldn't possibly be real life, could it?!? The fact that I got sunburn for the first time years and didn't really realize what was happening until it was too late... I mean I don't tend to burn... and especially not from just a stroll around a flea market! But I forgot... and my skin forgot that we just aren't used to dealing with this much sun ever! And so neither of us knew what to do (my skin and I) and so we burned... but it was worth it! My hair and how crazy out of control it's acting out here! You can tell how close we are to the coast directly by how large my hair is at any given moment... the closer to the sea I am, the bigger and wilder it gets. I'm not really sure what to do to control it... and while hubs reassures me that he like my hair all messy, I'm not quite as convinced... there's always dreading it as an option for control... Me acting like a tourist (as if I ever don't) and taking pictures of everything (as per usual) including but not limited to tall and skinny palm trees... extravagantly ridiculous cars... and all the tacos I'm consuming that if I were keeping count (I'm not) it would at least be in the 100's by now...

Awesome-
Being in LA but more so back on home turf! I never thought I could be homesick for somewhere I didn't even live before but LA is in America and so I went with it... A lot of people mistaking me for British (really?) or not being able to place where I'm from thanks to my unusual accent... and no, I no longer sound like I'm from Miami and yes, I am like a sponge and soak it all up! It's only a matter of time before the British words and my new articulate self are replaced by Californian phrases such as totally and awesome while being completely spacey... Walking barefoot through the beach and feeling the sand beneath my feet while the warm sunshine pours on my ever grateful face...the perfect place to do some soul searching if you ask me... Exploring places here and there of our new home and everything being just so new and exciting! I hope this honeymoon phase never goes away... Getting to talk to my parents and sister and friends and just about anyone I want to really, whenever I want to... I haven't felt this connected in a long time and I am so grateful for it... The tallest and skinniest of palm trees I have ever encountered live here and that's just pretty awesome in itself... Getting back into the swing of things and creating again... and blogging again (I missed you guys!) This feeling of genuine optimism of the things to come and feeling like anything is possible out here... another feeling that I hope is here to stay... Starting over in terms of decor for our new apartment taking our time to find pieces we really love and make this place our own... our new motto- "this is for life"... Oh and that smile of mine, it's back and bigger than ever... probably to match my big hair!

***Today I am thankful for this exciting opportunity and all the adventures that lay ahead... let's do this! ***

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Our Aprtment Checklist...

5.16.2013


Now I'm no expert when it comes to renting apartments, but seeing as I've lived in eight different apartments in three different cities (one being abroad!) over the last nine years, it's become quite a normal process for me. With each move I've learned a little about what to look for, what to expect, and what to never ever to do again. Maybe I'll share some of those in another post! From searching through countless craigeslist ads, word of mouth, and even reaching out to fellow blogger friends (thanks Mara and Megan!), I have done it all.

So after so many trial and errors... not to mention about a million viewings (some being the most horrific sites ever) I thought I'd share with you guys a little trick that has always helped me start the process. Because let's face it, it's always going to be a stressful and slightly scary ordeal, especially if relocating to a completely new city. But this will at least give you a starting point. And hey, any little bit helps hu?!

One of the first things I like to do is make a list of the most important things to me, or in this case hub's and I's... kind of like what our dream apartment would have. It really helps to get these things down on paper and especially if you're having to include someone else's opinion in this, you want to make sure you both know what each other is looking for. You would be surprised what someone else may deem important that might not have even made it onto your list... but that's what love is, compromises! And making list's are just fun right?! So here is our little love nest list and what perks we managed to find in our new apartment, in no particular order.

1. An outdoor escape: Be it a balcony, rooftop access, or a garden, we both felt pretty strongly about this one. I think it might have to do with the fact that our last apartment in London had a massive billboard that wrapped around it most of the time, covering the windows. While it didn't seem to bother us at the time, and it was the reason we could afford to live in such a great location, it was something we really wanted to get back with this move. In NYC I had rooftop access in multiple apartments I lived in and it was just so nice to escape out there! Verdict: Our new place has mini balconys in the living room and bedroom... mini meaning you can stand outside in them but that's about it.

2. A dishwasher: I know it sounds silly, but this was high on my list because it was the stem of a lot of arguments back in London. I've had one in the past and I think I may have taken for granted just how nice having one really is. Hubs didn't really seem to care one way or the other about this one but agreed that if it meant less tiffs, then he was on board too! Verdict: We have a dishwasher folks!

3. Location: This was a biggie for many reasons, but the main one being that we needed to live close enough to hub's work so that he could cycle to and from until we got a car. Lucky for us, hub's just happens to work super close to the beach which was something I definitely wanted to live near by now that we had the chance. Another really important thing to us was living somewhere that had a bit of a nightlife and things to do close by that we could walk to or take a cab without breaking the bank. LA being such a driving city and us being big on the whole no drinking and driving thing, we opted to be safe and not sorry. Verdict: We are just 3 miles from hub's work, a mere 23 blocks from the water, and just a walk away from tons of cute bars and restaurants.

4. A Gym: Having one in or near the apartment. This one is obviously more for hubs because I couldn't wait to get back into running and especially along the beach (still haven't gone for a run!) Hub's got really into crossfit and weight lifting during our wait in  Ringwood and wanted to try and make it a habit. Verdict: While we didn't end up with one in our building, there are literally gyms everywhere over here so finding the perfect fit for hubs either near home or work shouldn't be too much of a problem.

5. A Bathtub: As a runner, ice baths (a necessity for faster recovery) would be a lot easier to do with an actual bath tub don't you think? I used to have to do ice showers which I think are slightly more painful and in a teeny tiny shower that just about fit one regular sized person. If you were any heavier, forget it, you might end up stuck! This one of course is more a "it would be nice" and not a total deal breaker... but still, it would be nice. Verdict: We have a bathtub guys!!!

6. Wooden floors: We just love wooden floors! They are absolutely gorgeous and so much easier to maintain than carpet. Our London flat had bright blue carpet people... bright blue! Not to mention I felt like it was always trapping extra dust and pollen, no fun for hub's and his hay fever (British allergies). Verdict: we have white carpet... and while yes we are very relieved it's not blue, this may call for a life style change... and lots of area rugs!

7. Parking: While we don't have a car just yet, we knew we'd eventually be getting one and maybe even two in the future so a parking spot was a must! This is after all LA, the land of driving everywhere with terrible public transport compared to both London and NYC. Verdict: We have a spot! No car yet, but a parking spot none the less. And this guys, makes me so giddy and yes I imagine what our future car will look like parked there daily.

8. A washer AND dryer: Another something I've taken for granted in the past and decided I couldn't live without ever again. We had a washer back in London but had to hang dry everything in the coldest and dampest of places. I think if I had to dry myself off with a hard as a brick, smells like damp grossness, towel for any longer I would have cracked. And isn't a bed made up with fresh out of the dryer sheets just the best?! Right up there with the smell of cookies baking and a cuddly puppy. Verdict: There's a coin laundry for the building on the ground floor and that's good enough for me.

9. A living room AND separate kitchen: While our London flat had a separate kitchen, it was pretty cold and damp in there year round so we kind of merged our living space into the huge bedroom ala studio style. We really missed having a space to have friends over to entertain. Not to mention that whenever we had guests stay with us, we could only offer them a blow up mattress in the same room as us which was fine, but a little crowded at times. Plus I love the idea of closing the bedroom door if people stop by unexpectedly and it's messy. Verdict: We did it guys! A true one bedroom and a living room that will hopefully have a couch for already self proclaimed visitors to come.

10. A full sized refrigerator: This one is another ridiculous one but after living with a teeny tiny fridge where I'm telling you nothing ever fit, it made it pretty high on my lists of important musts. It was pretty frustrating to us both to only ever be able to shop for the day or two and not even because we had to carry it all back, but more so because nothing fit. And you could forget about refrigerating leftovers... and a proper freezer? As if! Our ice cream melted within a few hours which was a good excuse to eat it all in one helping, but not the healthiest. Verdict: Our refrigerator seems so huge and empty and I can hardly wait to fill it up with about a million nonsense condiments just cause I can!

So there you go guys, the little and not so little things that we deemed important for our new home. Obviously other factors come into play too like budget, how quickly you need to move in by, and how much searching you are willing to do. But this really helped us and I'm happy to say we were able to tick nearly all of the boxes. It's always a give and take with some compromising and I can only imagine how much longer the list will be when we are looking to actually buy! Yikes, the mere thought makes me cringe. For those of you that are curious, we ended up in gorgeous Santa Monica and used Westside Rentals with our hunt. And no, that's not our car pictured above and yes, there will be another list when it comes time for that.

***Today I am thankful we were able to find our little dream apartment... perfect for us right now***

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This Was Friday...

5.13.2013

 bicycles are for lovers...
guys i'm seriously in love with these tall skinny palm trees!

 it feels good to have my toes in the sand again...
my hair doesn't stand a chance over here, soaks up ALL the salt air...

I didn't mean to let the blog go quiet... again... but you know life happens and so far it's been pretty amazing I must say. Everything has been flying by at lightening speed since we got here, so much so that I still feel like I'm on holiday. Reality hasn't really sunk in just yet that this is home... I live here! I was looking at a shirt in a store window and it had the silhouette of the state of California on it and I thought "that would be so cute for a local" and then I realized- "I'm a local!" Believe it or not, this Friday was my first time down at the beach... and I mean not just walking past it... but actually enjoying the salty breeze, uncurling on the warm sand, and just letting my soul soak up all of the wonderful sunshine. I had one of those "why am I always stressing about things (ie- getting a job) moments. I mean how can I have a care in the world when the beach is literally a few miles away?! I'm not saying that am going to abandon all of my responsibilities because that wouldn't be too cool. But I am going strive to enjoy life (and the sun) to it's last little bit from here on out. I mean eventually I'll have a job and have to be sitting in an office from 9-6 and think to myself "man, I wish I was at the beach and why was I in such a hurry for this?!" So yea, there was a lot of soul searching and life re-evaluating done on the beach that Friday afternoon... as one does when sat in paradise on their own. And it was good, I tell ya, so good. There might have even been a brief "let's just have a baby" moment... but it passed ;)

To say that I am visually being over stimulated at the moment is probably an under statement. If my crazy picture taking of everything habit has ever been at an all time high, this would be it! Hubs is being amazing (thank goodness!) and I think it's because he just knows that this what I have to do to feel connected to a place. It allows me to channel my creativity and really see my surroundings in a way I never really did before. Man I wish I had blogged in New York just so I would have been forced to stop and really look at everything. Laugh if you will, but the blog and photographing (including instagram) really saved me back in London... it was rocky. But also because I think he is just as stunned with the beauty (ridiculously tall and skinny palm trees people!) and the vast difference of it all. He's even on instagram now (@bhbeale) and you guys, I couldn't be prouder! It's been pretty cool already seeing the same city through his eyes.

On other news, our stuff accidentally got shipped to Miami... what I mean to say is it arrived in LA and then got loaded onto a truck heading to Miami where my parents live... because that was the address I had given them once upon a time when we needed an American residence on our customs forms and had no idea when we'd be over here. So due to some mix-ups between the British company and the American one, our stuff is now headed back to us and hopefully it'll all be here this week! I couldn't be more excited because I have forgotten what I packed, am so sick of the clothes I have even though they are my favorite pieces, and that it will just help this place feel more like home. Must say I do miss that toilet chair of ours! Have to admit, I am kind of jealous of our stuff... doing the cross country road trip that's on my 30 before 30 list... which reminds me that I have to actually finish that page and start blogging about all these things because 30 is only 2 years away... eek! Which also reminds of the fact that I never finished posting about the wedding and our honeymoon and yes, it was 2.5 years ago but I'm going to do it anyways! And lastly, I have rediscovered A TON of old pictures from our time in Ringwood and London that I had posts for but for one reason or another, never got around to sharing.

What I'm trying to say is that for the next couple of weeks, you can expect a mixture of current life updates with a sprinkling of some oldies... just trying to keep life interesting guys! So don't freak if you see a London one and think I've moved back... because I haven't and probably won't for a long time. Some other things you might see on here... some decor related posts because I need help! I'm looking at a fresh, blank canvas and suddenly can't make a decision to save my life! So I'm going to have to break it down on here and you guys can feel free to chirp in with thoughts (only nice ones) and suggestions. I think that about covers the randomness that is in my head. You may have seen on twitter or instagram that I recently got to assist styling a shoot and managed to sneak a few behind the scenes snaps (naughty!), that I've been eating my body weight in tacos, or that I got a new rug. All very exciting, I know. Oh an I've recently decided that spray painting stuff gold is just like the best idea ever so there will probably be a lot of gold things in my home coming soon. And I think that's enough for now... Happy Monday!

***Today I am thankful for sunshine... no more SAD for me!***

*On a slightly more serious note, a great post about depression... a lot of the same things I felt and dealt with during my time in London only she writes and illustrates it way better than I could ever!
 

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