{friday’s sweet escape}

I don’t think anyone would skip breakfast with this view. Take me here. 


{san francisco part 1: in pictures}

If you’re following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram you would know that I’ve been in San Francisco since last Wednesday (arrived home this morning on the redeye…yikes). I went for the Alt Design Summit, which was so great! In fact it was so great that I need a little more time to put together a post to share it all with you. 

So the conference kicked off Wednesday evening and went all day Thursday but the rest of the time I was out exploring the city and beautiful Napa Valley. Here’s a photographic story of my adventure in the City by the Bay.

I spent the first day wandering around. There’s lots of interesting neighbourhoods and architecture. Here is the Flatiron building with the slick Transamerica Pyramid Tower to the left.

And those streets! People are insanely fit in San Fran and I totally know why. Biking or walking, it’s a workout to get around. 
{insert amazing and super inspirational Alt Summit conference here….coming soon}

After a great time at the conference, my friend and our wonderful hostess took us to Napa Valley for the day and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Unique wineries (Joseph Phelps, Cade), cruising with the top down, a ridiculously amazing dinner and a sunset drive. It also spawned the personalities of California Melissa & Cherie. I’m ok with multiple personalities in this case. 

After that dreamy day in Napa it was back to exploring the city. Something I loved being the type nerd I am is all the retro signs. This is a tiny sample some that got my attention.

There were also pretty succulents everywhere, it was almost like they grew wild in some areas. I especially loved this street garden. It’s the perfect place to take a seat after walking up and down those hills all day.

One of the most interesting things I saw that was completely unplanned were the houseboats in Sausalito. I reunited with an old friend when I was in San Fran and after breakfast she said she could show me this unique area that she actually spent years living in as a child. The Sausalito houseboat community consists of more than 400 houseboats of various shapes, sizes, and values, along the north end of town, approximately two miles from downtown.

She brought me to the neighbourhood of houses that were owned mostly by artists and more of a housing co-op, protected from regular real estate and tax laws. Basically is was a huge hippie artist community back in the day and still is largely to this day. It was so interesting to see how they live on the water surrounded by so much art and creativity, living the Boho lifestyle. It’s nice to see that some of these areas still exist (although they are constantly fighting for it). 

And finally, the grand Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately it was pretty foggy. But as my local friend said “well fog is part of the culture here, so you might as well embrace it”. Touche! 

I just loved all the colour around the city. It really just brightens everything up, even under a layer of fog. I also took a stroll by the famous beauties, The Painted Ladies. They sure are pretty (and make think of Full House) but I don’t think I would appreciate my house being photographed by tourists all day. 

And last but certainly not least – I had the pleasure of having these two adorable roommates for part of my stay. Meet Cody & Emma. They really were a pleasure to have around & I miss them already. Poor Emma got in a little accident with a shopping cart. We wish her a speedy recovery! 

I think that gives you a pretty good idea of all the neat stuff I saw. Does it make you want to book a trip? 

{SPACES: camping on wheels}

Happy Victoria Day everyone! I’m spending the day at home catching up on projects on my patio. Hopefully I get done early and have a little time to kick back and enjoy the patio. But for the past two days I was out enjoying mother nature in the heart of it with a few girlfriends. We rented a yurt in at Charleston Lake Provincial Park. It was beautiful! I hadn’t been to a provincial park in ages and forgot how nice and well kept they are. 

It was also my first time staying in yurt. And don’t get me wrong, I loved the yurt! It was super spacious, clean and I can’t complain about having a real bed, a deck & a BBQ. But I became quite enamoured by our neighbours across the street and their caravan. I think it was a little nostalgic because I have memories of camping with our small expandable trailer as a child. 

It made me fascinated with the idea of owning a vintage style (of course) caravan and all the interesting places you could take it for different adventures or peaceful getaways. 

Talk about the ultimate DIY renovation project. The only thing stopping me from hunting down one of these charming sleeping nooks and giving it a makeover is the fact that I live in a condo an don’t have anywhere to park it. 

Maybe it will be a future project. In my research I came across a site called Sisters on the Fly. Their tagline is “we have more fun than anyone”. The website could use a little makeover but I couldn’t love the concept more. It’s a community of women who love adventure, traveling by caravan and enjoy the outdoors. Their mission statement is “Offering empowerment and sisterhood through exceptional outdoor adventures.” They also have something called Cowgirl Bootcamp. Hello! Retirement planning done.  

{friday’s sweet escape}

This time tomorrow I will be escaping 3 hours north for a weekend of yurting in the woods. Yurting lies somewhere between camping and cottaging. Although I’m not so sure our yurt will be quite as beautiful as this – I can still enjoy the thought. 

Happy long weekend everyone!

photo sources: one / two / three

{artsy souvenirs}

One of the sweetest escapes in the world is, well, exploring the world.

Aside from photos and memories of course, my favourite souvenirs from my trips are artistic ones. Having a creative memento in my home from a trip is such a great way to take me back to that place. 

My latest adventure was a trip to Vietnam in January. Boy did it ever live up to it’s reputation as a beautiful country. You can see a tiny visual snapshot in this post over here

I saw many beautiful pieces when I was there but the truth is that the Asian aesthetic just doesn’t fit with my decor. Then one day I visited a studio where all the pieces were handmade by locals with disabilities and I was really drawn to the embroidery pieces. I found something that was SO me. Needless to say, I fell in love with a piece and it became my souvenir of Vietnam. 

I just finally got it properly framed & hung it up. It’s a beauty!

I was immediately drawn to the colour and I love the contrast to the simple black background. The detail is unbelievable. It’s 100% hand embroidered. Even the black background!

Here’s a look of the local women at work at the studio. It made me appreciate it even more to see the time & effort that goes into one piece. 

Check out the crazy detail. I chose to get it framed in a shadow box to show it off even more. 

Man, it even looks good from the back. Now that’s a sign of a great piece of art.