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  • I found hope in Hope thanks to nature and my nieces.
  • Reminder: There is always light at the end of the tunnel(s).
  • Possibilities.
  • "After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains." Happy 200th birthday, Walt Whitman
  • Spring is always the most alive after the darkest and rainiest of winters. #hyggehouse
  • "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C. S. Lewis. Or, as the Secret Sisters sang, "Tomorrow will be kinder."
  • "It was here in Big Sur where I first learned to say amen." Henry Miller

Friday afternoon I decided to take a last-minute trip up the coast. Every time I've driven it, I've  always had some place to be and up against time.

But not this trip.

Friday I spent time in Santa Barbara and Paso Robles.

Saturday I spent time in Steinbeck country (of Mice and Men is one of my favourite books) and finally drove the G16 across to Carmel before heading up for a quick stop to see of my friends who I would literally drive 8hrs for only to spend 2 hours with.

Today I got up super early and got a super big coffee so I could drive down highway 1, through Big Sur and hopefully beat the crowds.

Henry Miller is the author of some of my other favourite books so as I drove though Big Sur I thought of him and Steinbeck and how they wrote about what they knew, what they loved, and what they questioned. I've had this idea in my head for a new project and community that I know will resonate and mean something but just unsure how to begin.

So I made sure today to stop when I wanted to. Linger when I needed. Drive wherever for however long.

And, after all the times driving through Big Sur, I finally stopped at a beach. I spent two hours here practically alone and just was.

People say it but there is something magic about Big Sur and today was the first time I felt it. I felt the shift, the inspiration, the hunger. And I felt wet sand between my toes. 
I'm ready.

Amen
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  • That time I wore 👖
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  • Last week I drove through the area of Malibu that was most hard hit from the fires. It was completely devastated only last December but now, life is blooming again in a way I've never seen it before. The scars are there and it will take 20yeara to get back to where it was but life is back. That's the amazing, heartbreaking and beautiful thing about life. #malibustrong #earthday

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Simple Home

November 9, 2007
Santa Barbara Cottage on HyggeHouse.com

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Leonardo da Vinci

Go into any Danes home and you will more than likely see a lot of things but almost never see clutter. There will be artwork all over the walls and against the floors, furniture passed down and bits of history on shelves. Closets will be full. But somehow, it’s always a visual treat instead of overload. My mother has this perfected.

I don’t. I am the French girl who loves simplicity. Who favours great architecture that is enhanced with fabric and a few key pieces. I like white walls and calm shades. I like obvious simplicity but completely appreciate a fuller place. In fact, I’m often in awe of it.

Being simple has served me well since I tend to move so much and I have a dislike of shopping. But the trick for me is how to keep simple cosy instead of cold. How do I seem like I live in a place instead of just in it temporarily? I’m slowly finding the answers in spending money on good, large pieces (couch, tables and art), fabric (I love over sized swooping curtains) and not being so hesitant in bringing out little touches (like my childhood piggy bank made from a Danish Post Box).

But still, I often find the need to purge – once in the spring and once during winter. A good clean out of clothes, books, kitchen bits and anything else that just needs to go. I’ll sell things on eBay, have friends pick out things, and donate everything else to the Goodwill (they even take unusable clothes as they sell it for material – recycling!). I’m going through one of these moments now and being ruthless in what I’m getting rid of.

It’s easy for a home to collect so many unused and unwanted things thanks to impulse buys, sales, gifts and hand me downs. But how much of these things do we actually use, need or love?

I perhaps take simple living to an extreme and really do like exploring the mass of things my mother owns but I think everyone no matter what their style can do with a good pairing down now and then. Keep the cosy but remove the clutter. Get rid of things with negative associations, things that don’t work, duplicates, broken items, useless things so that you can enjoy what you really have.