Your Getaway Suitcase

Are you ready for vacation season? I've just booked a few summer trips; and while none of those trips have an exotic destination, I still found vacay wardrobe inspiration from these beautiful campaigns -

From Harper's Bazaar Czech magazine:

From the J.Crew Summer Style Guide:

Does packing for vacations stress you out? 
Here are 5 of my summer suitcase staples: 

(1) 2 swimsuits: 1 for tanning (i.e. a strapless top) + 1 sturdy for water activities
(2) 1 of each: flip flops/sandals + wedge heels for evening + light athletic shoes for walks/hikes
(3) Easy separates you can mix and match as outfits: skirts + shorts + tops + trousers
Don't pack it if it can't be paired with more than 1 item in your bag!
(4) 2 dresses that transition easily from day to night by adding jewelry/heels
(5) Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher. 
A bad sunburn can ruin a vacation!

Images from SOURCE and SOURCE


Spring Rain Painting Series

Last week I was excited to finish a painting series I've been working on since early March. The series features 4 oil paintings on 12 x 12inch canvases. It's called Spring Rain, named for the season during its creation and the raindrop-like drips that interrupt the patterns on each canvas.

Because the paintings were intended as a series, I used the exact same color palette on each painting so they look harmonious on a single wall. I even used my new favorite oil color - metallic gold! What do you think?

The series is intended for sale, so the canvases are un-framed and I moved my signature to the back.

Detail of painting #4. I love how the Turpenoid drips drag the color along as it falls.

Interested in purchasing my art? Feel free to check out my art shop on Etsy.com - CLICK HERE.

Artistic works and images are my own.
Please ask permission before using images.


Redwood Giants

On Saturday, Hubby and I had a hankering for adventure. We drove around Santa Cruz, ending up at Henry Cowell State Park and visited the Redwood forest. What a breathtaking experience - the tallest trees you've ever seen aged hundreds of years, some even over a thousand years old! Photos from our hike:

This trunk cross section had plaques marking years on its rings. The center ring said Birth of Jesus. When the tree finally fell (of natural causes), it was over 1800 years old.

Even the clover were supersized, blanketing the forest floor.

This is a family circle of Redwoods where roots and trunks had all grown together over the years.

The fat yellow guy there is a Banana Slug. I'm fascinated by them!

After walking back to our car, Hubs and I noticed a log cabin with a neon sign promising cocktails. An eclectic end to a perfect day.

The staggering size of California Redwoods is difficult to convey in a photograph. But I feel very blessed to live so close to such natural beauty. It was an unforgettable experience to walk among giants, relishing the feeling of being small and insignificant by comparison. I felt I was breathing the freshest air, and it's no wonder so many creatures call the Redwoods home.

Images are my own. 
Please ask permission before use.


Home Made

I enjoy crafting, I love dogs, and I relish finding quick and healthy dishes to add to my meal rotation. Here's a small collection of my recent DIYs and personal recipes:

My best friend just tied the knot in Austin, TX and I had the pleasure of being both her bridesmaid and her caketopper designer! The bride and groom are self-named 'gingers' and huge Star Wars fans; so I sculpted these inspired figurines out of clay and painted them to resemble the couple, their cats, and officiant Chewbacca.

Crispy Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus
Clean and pair asparagus spears.
Wrap with slice of prosciutto.
Melt together butter, white sugar, salt and pepper. Paint mixture on each wrap.
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes (turn wraps over at 5 minutes).

Fresh Watermelon & Tomato Salad
Add equal amounts of cubed watermelon and tomato. 
Sprinkle in feta cheese crumbles.
Wash and chop fresh mint leaves, add to salad.
Drizzle equal parts honey, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Fold ingredients together. Enjoy!

A helpful trick for dog owners: 
My big boy Kaiser had an open wound on his shoulder (acquired while wrestling roughly with the other pups). He incessantly licked his wound, preventing it from healing; so I put a loose-necked men's shirt on him which covered the wound. Magically, Kaiser forgot all about it. And I know he much preferred the shirt to the cone of shame

All images are my own. 
Please ask permission before use.