• 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.

  • Instagram Image
  • That time I wore ๐Ÿ‘–
  • Instagram Image
  • 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


Fashion & Beauty

Spring Travel Wardrobe

May 6, 2008

spring trip clothes

Thanks to years of travel and hundreds of trips (52 last year and 11 so far this year), I’ve got packing down to a science – especially since I like to travel with only carry-on. However, my current trip to Europe was a little challenging due to several different climates, events, Terminal 5, and length of time so I had to really think about what to bring.

Dressing for comfort is essential followed by flexibility (how many times to how many places can I wear something) followed by is it appropriate (for weather, people, dinners, daily touring). Above is my essentials which was all nicely tucked into my Orla Kiely roll on bag (which worked as carry-on!).

So far, everything has worked really well and been very comfortable. I’ve been able to go to some big events but then walk on cobblestone streets in freezing temperatures. There were a couple of items that didn’t make it in (a bright orange dress and a shawl I wear – you can see those in some of my Flickr shots). The purple Rachel Pally dress has been heaven for flights because it’s easy to sleep in. My Born boots have been crucial to walking around. And the hat comes in perfect when rain hits and the hair frizzes. And big sunglasses cover up late nights and hours of travel.

There is the cliche saying that you can spot a tourist because of their running shoes, khaki pants and t-shirts. I find this is often true and it’s confusing to me how comfort is almost always equated to sweat pants and runners in North America. Or how when people travel they don’t “take the good stuff” because they fear it getting lost on a flight. This is my fear, too, which is why I do carry on. If I have too much to fit into a carry on (which is very, very rare) I take a second bag, packing all the things that could be easily replaced or I could afford to lose (often this is computer gadgets, chargers, shoes, books, toiletries). Things that I don’t want to lose (clothes, computer, personal things) I then put in the carry-on.

The other trick for me is to pick things that all work well together colour-wise. This way I can extend the life of my clothes by mixing and matching so that I don’t get so sick of wearing one thing over and over (especially after a month of travel!). I also stick to materials that don’t wrinkle or, if they do, I wrap the item in tissue paper (usually I ask for some extra pieces from Anthropologie and wrap it up – wrinkles are avoided!).

  • Reply
    KerryNo Gravatar
    May 8, 2008 at 11:15 AM

    Great article Alex! I have been a fan of your sites for a long time now, and I enjoy all your helpful travel info and tips.

    If I may ask, how were you able to pack so many things in just a carry-on (including boots, etc)? Do you have a packing technique or do you choose materials that are thinner? Thanks!

  • Reply
    miriaNo Gravatar
    May 9, 2008 at 1:05 AM

    Hi, I have a question, don’t you ever wear trousers? I like very very much dresses and skirts but not on me, plus I don’t have the courage to wear them so I always end up in trousers… but I would like to change this habit…so you wardrobe is very inspiring.
    Hilsen fra Oslo

  • Reply
    Hygge HouseNo Gravatar
    May 12, 2008 at 12:17 PM


    If I travel with boots, I wear those since they are hard to pack. So everything above with the exception of one pair of boots fits into the Orla Kiely. I ended up bringing a second bag just for checked luggage because I had to bring a lot of winter and computer gear so the second boots went in there. I do pack things in my boots (umbrella, cords) to maximise space. Summer travel is so much easier!

    A lot of the items above are bulky (sweaters, sweater dresses) but I just lay them as flat as possible with little folding. This really helps. I’m against those air compression bags – they wrinkle clothes and don’t really work. But this all fits so it’s just like putting a puzzle together!

  • Reply
    Hygge HouseNo Gravatar
    May 12, 2008 at 12:19 PM


    I own one pair of pants that I wear if I must – and that’s not very often. I just personally don’t find pants comfortable – especially whilst travelling. And if I wear pants, then I have to think of a top to match and shoes and socks and on and on ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m lazy – a dress is one layer and easy to make look nice. And being short, pants always have to get hemmed and that’s another step I just am too lazy for.

    I know a lot of people who fear skirts/dresses the way I fear pants so I totally understand. But there isn’t anything I can’t do in a dress that one can do in pants, except maybe a handstand.

  • Reply
    DebbieNo Gravatar
    May 13, 2008 at 8:30 AM

    Hi Alex!

    I love your blog and wondered what the name of the Born boot is? I go to Europe once a year with my husband for business and would love some comfortable boots for tons of walking.

    I love the idea about dresses! I have never thought about that! Great idea especially when traveling for business with my DH and need to look good.

    Thank you PS Do you have names of other comfortable boots for walking?


  • Reply
    JodyNo Gravatar
    May 18, 2008 at 7:17 PM

    Wonderful post.
    My daughter and I went to England for 2 weeks and packed everything we needed into one carry-on each. No waiting in lines at the baggage for us.
    I love your traveling wardrobe too.


  • Reply
    sarahNo Gravatar
    May 27, 2008 at 2:38 AM

    I love your style. This may be a ridiculous question, but how do you end up with the perfect little photos of all of your pieces? When I buy things at the Anthro store, I usually don’t see them on the website…

  • Reply
    Hygge HouseNo Gravatar
    May 27, 2008 at 9:20 AM

    Hi Sarah,

    Before Anthro did their redesign (about 6 months ago), they used to have the .jpg images on their site that were easily downloadable. Those are the images I have. Now I use an image capture program to get them but it’s true, not all things they sell in the store are online but I try to get as many as possible (and the description) should I ever sell it on eBay.

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