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  • One of my favourite places.
  • It's a Southern California fall day like this that makes me miss my Topanga house in the mountains. You can see more photos on the blog.
  • This time last year I took my first road trip up California's 395 through the eastern Sierra mountains. I went on to Mammoth, Truckee and Yosemite.

It was epic.

The highlights for me were Bodie (Check out my highlights for "ghost town"), Mammoth (reminded me of the Canadian Rockies), and seeing the Donner Party Memorial/area.

It's a super hard state to live in, but it sure is beautiful. (PS: I made a Spotify playlist for just the drive: http://bit.ly/mountainroad).
  • I posted this in stories but  got so many comments I had to post it here.

I'd read an article which said how common an electric kettle is in the UK/AU but not in America. 
This was so interesting to me because my kettle is probably my most used appliance. But when I stay in homes here I can never find one.

A lot of Americans told me they use their microwave for hot water or they have a stove top.

And @astridpiepschyk explained it had to do with voltage. "Most Americans don’t own an electric kettle because the electricity voltage is too low to power a kettle effectively. In Australia, UK the voyage is 240, but in America it’s 110, and not very effective in boiling an electric kettle. It works, but takes a long time. This is why stove kettles are much more common." So what started as a post about how I love my half shelf for teacups in my 1930s cupboards turned into a great cultural and scientific conversation.

This is why I love Instagram πŸ˜€
 #hyggehouse
  • Ten years ago I moved to Philadelphia to build Anthropologies first Social Media, Content and Community programs.

It was a dream come true for two reasons. One I loved the company and two I was moving in July which meant I'd have an east coast fall.

It did not disappoint.

I spent every weekend out in nature with rosy cheeks, drinking hot apple cider. All this time later, that fall is still one of my favourite s and I miss it every year.

PS: the last photo is my old garage on my one acre property in Chestnut Hill. I had an 18th century stone home which I loved. I don't think I ever really wrote about this place because i never really settled in. Something I wish I'd done but I was just so consumed with work.

Pps: I've done a fall clothes clean out and am posting things for sale at @hyggehouseshop this week
  • I like taking photos at Disneyland that don't look like Disneyland.
  • This is my aunt on my french fathers side. During WWII, she got tuberculosis and was sent to a sanatorium to recover.

To pass time, she and her other young female friends would doll up, take photos and send them plus letters to soldiers to flirt with. Some they knew, some they didn't. Like old-fashioned Bumble. πŸ˜€
She was incredibly smart, witty, and fierce. In this photo she was full of possibilities and hope.

She married soon after to an abusive alcoholic, had four sons and quickly got trapped by circumstance and the era.

She was my favourite family member even though I didn't see her that often. I have one hand written letter from her and this photo which are the few family things I have.

I loved her because she always listened to me - patiently and sincerely. She saw who I really was and was so kind about it and oddly relatable. She gave me direction without advice. She laughed often, was direct when needed and sometimes acted soft. She was the only one who ever called me sweetie (my family nickname at the time was Chuck! and my family never used soft names with each other. So sweetie felt so amazingly special). I had 5 other aunts but I called her just "Aunty" as she defined them all. It was only to her that I felt a connection, unconditional love and a sense of family.

Her situation was always pitiful and dire,  but she never acted like a victim. When I saw her on her deathbed she was so small, weak and wilted from a hard life. But somehow she had always given me courage and strength, as if to say to be the possibilities she couldn't be.

Recently I hung out with my two young adult nieces and they both just called me "Aunty." Not Aunty Alex or Alex. Just Aunty.

It made me feel so special and like we have formed the same bonds that I had with my own Aunty. And that I was now being to them what she was to me. 
But more importantly, they helped me change my idea of her - the one that she never accomplished something. 
Because she did. 
She taught me how to be a good Aunty - one of my favourite things to be. That's her legacy which I think is really beautiful.

Well, that and dressing up when you feel poorly. πŸ˜€
  • The @ojaivalleyinn is one of my favourite places either for a day trip or an overnight. β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €
I always go when I need supreme rest and healing because I really really get that here. β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €
There's something so magic and calming about Ojai and this place taps into it so perfectly. And they have the best massages.

My recs? Avoid weekends and holidays. It's insane and the spa isn't as relaxing because it's just so overcrowded.

For rooms, avoid the ones above Libby's Market/Pub (I think they are the original rooms). They're just louder & smaller. β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €
I've had a suite with a patio, bedroom and fireplace down by the spa that was heaven and I've had a larger room by the main restaurant (I can't remember that buildings name) and both were amazing. This past room was in the Topa building which is their main building and it was really lovely (and had a balcony overlooking the golf course). β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € I've  been here with girlfriends, alone, on retreats with work and loved all the experiences. I know a lot of people who come here with kids (@couldihavethat has a recent post in IG and her blog on why it's great for families) and it's also totally dog friendly (@ScoutStCharming has been). β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € I  paid for my room πŸ˜€ and received zero things for free. So not am ad, just sharing what I love.
  • I found hope in Hope thanks to nature and my nieces.
  • The bridge next door and the buildings in the park across the street burned down in the Woolley Fire. But the Old Place still stands which makes me so happy. It's my favourite place in LA and I have missed hanging out here. It's nice to be back.
  • Possibilities.

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Everyday Hygge

Personalised Art

November 17, 2006

I’m a visual girl; I’ll tell you directions by the shape of the road and the colour of a building. I’ll remember your face forever even though I’ll forget your name after five minutes. I can stare for hours at a photo but have a hard time explaining why. And this is one of the reasons why I love the web – so much beautiful things to see if you know where to look.

A lot of the images I’ve fallen in-love with on the web I’ve bought for a couple of reasons; to support the artist, to encourage art, to beautify my home and sometimes just to own the image even if I do nothing more than tuck it away in a favourite image box. Perhaps it seems easier and cheaper to buy ready made art from mass retaillers but thanks to the web, buying personalised art straight from artists has never been so easy. There’s a value to buying art this way that goes far beyond just the cost. There’s a hard rule in my home; all wall art must either be from me or an artist that I connect with. This makes the process of looking for art fun, personal, creative and meaningful. It’s not too expensive, either – the image above can be yours for as little as $8 and like your food, you know where it came from.

Some ideas for beautiful art for your home:

Jennifer Causey’s photographs have inspired me for so long and I’m constantly in awe of the stories she tells through her lens. I’ve purchased a photo from her but might have to also purchase the postcard pictured above – I have just the place for it.

A Walk Through Durham Township has become a fast favourite when I found it this summer. Almost every photo makes me literally gasp. I often find them haunting in a beautiful way and I think some of my favourite photos ever come from this site.

Although she’s not a photographer per say, my friend Alicia’s photos always inspire me with home ideas. When I slept in her pink spare bedroom years ago I understood what having a home was and wanted the same feeling in my own place. We have different aesthetics but hers charm me and give me ideas – and everyone else. She’s currently just selling postcards but she does sell a lot of products that give your home a visual kick, too. And her home has been featured in so many magazines and from her photo’s, you’ll see why (and Stephanie of Little Birds has the same effect on me with her home photography which she does not sell but she also sells goods).

Kaat is another one of my favourites – especially with her nature photography.

And Lorissa Shepstone makes beautiful websites and beautiful photographs. I always say I want a pony but I didn’t actually mean it until I saw this photo of hers.

As for prints, Camilla Engman and Katherine Dunn are both favourites as is Lori Joy Smith who makes whimsical monsters! All offer great, affordable prints as well as one of a kind paintings and objects.

Oh there’s more and I’ll have to find some more moments to share them. I just got caught up again when I was going through the links just now and find myself brought to action in my own way.

I recently purchased the new book Visual Chronicles because I wanted to see if there was a way that I could combine the visual element to my journals and work; I’ve never been able to mix writing and images before. I’m not a personal journaller and often intimidated by these kinds of books because I never seem to make them as beautiful or interesting as I can see it in my head. But this book is also a visual treat that I think might be the help I need. Well, that and a continuous supply of lovely via the web.

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