You Can Call Her Emma…Because That Was Her Name.

Because I find it ever so crucial and relevant to remember this star, in all her perfection, after leaving this world so shockingly soon.  Any site dealing with creativity would be crazy not to acknowledge it.

I still can’t believe it.  I still don’t really understand it.  One of those events I probably never will.

Because she was wonderful.  And rememberable.  We all knew her as Alice (or Honey).  But if you really knew anything about the sphere of Richard Curtis, you knew her as Emma Chambers.  Someone from a universe that has touched me, and she was someone I cared to know.  And now never will, except through her work.

Some highlights of the best:

You can call me Alice. Because that’s my name.” – Vicar of Dibley

Oh God, this is one of those key moments in life, when it’s possible you can be really, genuinely cool – and I’m failing 100%. I absolutely and totally and utterly adore you and I think you’re the most beautiful woman in the world and more importantly I genuinely believe and have believed for some time now that we can be best friends.” – Notting Hill

Okay, as long as it’s not about tampons because I just don’t understand them.” – Vicar of Dibley

And because – surprisingly – it wasn’t really about the words, but her brilliant delivery…

 

She was a good one, folks.  She won’t ever be forgotten.

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26

Weeks away from another birthday, I thought it would be nice to virtually create a sort of list (or lists): one brainstorming the self-improvement goals I want to further over the next year, and another list looking back at all the things I managed to do whilst the age I am leaving.

Things I want to accomplish at 26:

  • Write…Write…Write.
  • Find a balance between self-fulfilling passion and ensuring financial stability.
  • Travel to 3 new countries (my goal every year).
  • Meet my savings goal by the end of the year.
  • Integrate more meditation with my occupation (and life!)
  • A big one – foster and improve creative & corporate partnerships.
  • Make more stories (in tandem with bullet point #2).
  • Get more photography gigs.
  • Maintain and upgrade this site.
  • Read a book a month.
  • Do another birthday trip as fun as this one was – complete with more earl grey cake (!!) and wine, maybe?

 

Things I accomplished at 25:

  • Have the ability to work remotely.
  • Do pre-production with the Producers of one of my all-time favorite films.

  • Go on a safari in the jungles of Thailand.
  • Have the experience of living by myself.
  • Do high tea at the Ritz.
  • Work on one of the most popular Netflix shows of all time.
  • Attend the Havana Intl Jazz Festival.
  • Maintain enough freelance work to stay employed for an entire year.

  • Check out some of the top internationally renowned SEA nightlife scenes.
  • Publish this site!
  • Check out the Downtown Campbell nightlife scene (OK – so doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it didn’t feel like I was officially from here until I ticked this box at least once!)

(Photo credit: the bouncer of Katie Blooms.  Thanks for making our night.)

 

What other self-improvement goals should I add to the list?  Post some of yours!

Entertainment Thanks You!

Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Fairmont San Francisco’s 4th Annual Entertainment “Thank You” Reception with one of my besties.  AKA invite everyone you know in the entertainment industry to come take pictures of your gorgeous penthouse.  Because guys…it’s gorgeous.  Like one of the most gorgeous penthouses in the world.  With a helicopter pad.  And rotunda library.  And master bath complete with entertainment center.  And…ok, so maybe forget about renting for a night.  I’m happy to just move in and live here.  Thank you…

(this room always makes me think of Citizen Kane!!!)

And maybe I’ll never get to stay here for a night, but it’s fun pretending and, more importantly, a reminder of how amazing the Fairmont truly is (not just the location, but the incredible people who run it).  We’re lucky to have you, and you make creating stories in SF oh, so worth it.

+ your gorgeous interiors.  They really make it worth it, too.

What’s your favorite Fairmont hotel or place to stay in SF?

Food for Thoughts that Roam Wild

The beauty of scouring old writing when your brain is feeling fried, is that you wind up being kinder to the person you used to be.  Words from the vault:

 

I didnʼt know what I was doing with my life.  I felt helpless and lost, mostly shrouded by the negative images my mind presented of itself.  I felt stifled by my physical form.  My body played tricks on me, the worst kind.  If you canʼt trust your own being, what life can you trust?

The heat was getting to me. I loved the sun, but maybe the fall was needed more than I realized.  I was fortunate in all the usual ways.  Except I felt that I was wasting my life.  What was the point of it all?

And what do you do after?

After everything.  After a period.  A time in your life.

What do you do after you finally break free from everything – everything that was trapping you – that you dreamed of running away from?

Itʼs something like what happens after ‘Happily ever after’. The end isnʼt always really the end.  Thereʼs sometimes a lull.  The calm after the storm.  The slate is clean, or as clean as it will ever be.  The scars are still there, and a few bruises for what itʼs worth.  But you have a chance to finally do something.  No one to get in the way.  Nothing to stop you.

And your mind goes blank.  You know what you want, but how do you get it?  It seems like the efforts of trying have made you tired, but yet, thereʼs still so much energy and time left on this world.

What do you do, when youʼre left with nothing but the memories of what could have been and the notions that thereʼs still so much more to be?

Where do you run?  Where do you hide?  Where do you go to yell at the top of your lungs that you are here, and youʼre ready – ready to the world?

Itʼs a slow start, remembering how to run again.

 

Twinkling Lights, or Fairies Everywhere?

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Don’t forget to follow those glittering lights and all else that gleams.                                   For magic is everywhere,
for those who take beats to see, and live to believe.

And when you walk down the street as a twinkle catches your eye,
and you wonder what stirs–lights? Or fairies dancing under the sky?
Know, when you think the world’s playing tricks,                                                                (“why, you’ve seen nothing at all!“)

the true magic is: You get to decide.

 

 

A pick-me-up for all other than myself this week who need.

Happy Friday.

 

A Napa Bachelorette Pad

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So not quite the view from my old place, but literally just down the road, and pretty much sums up the neighborhood vibes…if you get my drift 😉

I never took a full photo tour of my bachelorette pad in Napa, but managed to find a couple pics to give the general sense of taste and style.  Pretty rustic, bohemian, and femme – just what you would imagine for a small apartment belonging to a young, single-working lady, all in the heart of Wine Country (is there any other way?)  Needless to say, I totally embraced where I was and how I’d live there.  Right down to the literal farm house table I purchased from Antiques on Second (that surface wasn’t always distressed!) and the fresh garland greenery I trimmed from downstairs (side note: thanks, neighbors).

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Quiet?  Yes.  Too quiet at times?  A little.  Beautiful views? Duh.  Perks of being surrounded by wineries?  The free wine tastings, obviously (yep, that’s right).  The foliage and the downtown charm wasn’t anything to scoff at either.  Although, being in the middle of a massive wildfire took up the better half of my peace of mind towards the end of last year.  No matter, of all the places I’ve lived in Northern California, this one definitely took the cake.  Don’t you think so?

 

Harvest Treasures

Helping my mom design her living room over the weekend, I took a quick field trip to downtown LG and relied on these finds to get the juices flowing.

I have to say, I’d never stepped into Harvest before (although frequently DROOL over RH next door!), but it wound up being my FAVORITE store on Santa Cruz after popping in and out of shop fronts all afternoon.  I usually find the boutique and furniture stores in LG to be a little too quirky for my taste, but Harvest is just perfectly curated and fully embodies the elegant-yet-rustic-and-relaxed Napa/Northern California lifestyle.  While this location was a bit on the smaller side, I highly recommend going to any of the Harvests in the Bay Area.  I’d also love to check out their warehouse some day.

Anywho – some of my favorite styling looks that I found:

And photos coming soon of how I tried to incorporate some of the inspo (leaning mirror! books!  wood!)  at my mom’s.

 

Possible to find other great interior shops without heading into the city?  I’m curious, so share if you know!

6 Reasons to be Ornate

Just…

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…and…

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…and this…

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While I always prefer simplicity over anything extra, there are certain places around the world that make me forget that particular detail about myself.  Some designs just blow your mind (and your friends’, as you can tell from the cute Lourve photo, ha!)

 

∴ 

What are some must-see places around the globe that get it RIGHT when it comes to detail?  Inquiring trip planning minds would like to know…

Vignettes in Retrospect


 

A few of my favorites from over the years.  Looking to curate/perfect some more, but also not sure if anyone else gets as much of a kick out of these as me??  Is it the idea of witnessing only snippets of people’s lives, a peek at something personal and intimate, that makes this kind of photography so lovely and charming?  Leaves much to the imagination in terms of story, but garners enough intrigue to need to see more?

Also the perfect thing to shoot on a day like today: overcast skies and soft lighting.  I think this is quickly becoming a new obsession…

 

Okay – looking for some inspo – what are your favorites?  Pls share!

“Not The End Of The Road, The Beginning Of The Highway”

After shooting a retirement reception a week or so ago, I started thinking a lot about what I want my retirement to look like.  Not just a retirement party, but how my day-to-day will pan out as well.

And I know what you’re thinking – old soul, aren’t we a little early, yadda-yadda.  But after talking to a lot of people now hitting that age, the one thing that always seems to come up is that they wish they had planned for it when they were first starting out.  How many times do we spend a $20 at the drop of a hat? (An easy week’s worth of lattes at Starbucks at LEAST).  And how many times do we do that on a grander scale, not really thinking about THEN because then is THEN.  Only it’s not, and when it comes, we won’t have all the chances that we have now, and then what?  We think of THEN as the end, but there’s really a whole life you live after retirement – day-to-day things you still have to pay for and get by – and we don’t want to be caught unprepared for that.

But then I’ve also been on an existential kick as of late.  So.

Annnnd because I like parties, some retirement reception inspo in images:

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