Redlands with the Girls

redlands-sign

I happened to schedule a visit to my tax guy during Spring Break. Not smart on my part. I spent the first part of the week adding up receipts (the exact opposite of my idea of a vacation) and the last day taking a trip to Redlands where my tax guy works. I would have much rather been in Paris but well, you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

On the upside: I ended up taking the girls with me to Redlands and we found this cute little photo op in downtown Redlands called Orange Alley. Nothing like a photographer with a new camera and two cute side-kicks! Bring on the instagrammable moments! Bug just bought herself a new dress so she was happy to oblige and Joon is just a good sport.

girls-in-orange-alley-1

Orange Alley is where it’s at. It’s not a huge tourist attraction or anything and you can walk the whole stretch in less than two minutes but it’s a nice little spot. I really appreciated who ever thought this art installation up. Way to brighten up an otherwise dreary downtown!

orange-alley-2

Pretty, right? I wonder what they look like in a rain storm.

taking-photos-of-hannahs-wings

Joon especially loved the “Hannah’s Wings” painting since Hannah is her real name after all. I’m not such a stickler about protecting their names anymore now that they are old enough to have their own online presence and embarrass and exploit me all they want. Believe me, they do. I have a whole gallery of fat arm photos in Bug’s instagram feed. Turn about’s fair play I guess.  I actually don’t mind. It’s kinda cool to see what I really look like. I have such a distorted version in my own head.

hannahs-wings-1

There she is. Just touching down for a minute before she flies off to grace some other place.

graffiti-wall-girl

I was desperately hungry so we went in search for a restaurant that everyone could agree on. This is no small task. Sometimes I think the girls set their parameters on what is acceptable and not acceptable to eat based on how much resistance the other will guarantee. I guess there’s an easier way to say that. They are opposites and will fight to the death over it. If Bug wants Mexican food, Joon wants Italian. If Joon wants pizza, Bug wants hamburgers and never the twain shall meet. Rinse and repeat until you are clawing your eyes out and eating your arm off in starvation. Of course I could just put my foot down but that would be like parenting or something.

Anyway, we found a fondue restaurant that we all liked and had a glorious afternoon eating bread with long stringy pieces of cheese hanging off them and delicious strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. Not the cheapest lunch but I wrote it off for business since the whole reason we were stuck there was because my tax guy lives in Timbuktu aka Redlands. I really need to get a new tax guy. Too bad I like this guy so much. And guess what guys? He told me he wished all his clients were as organized as me! *bats eyelashes and feigns false modesty* This is a new high from the girl who hates math. Did you hear that? I’m organized! I have spreadsheets! Who knew! Turns out I’m a lot more left brained than I thought.

good-is-the-new-gangster

Then we stopped into Bug’s new favorite store, Nectar. She is obsessed. Every time we go there she tells me that she wishes the whole store was her closet. At least she’s easy to figure out these days. She loves muted colors, all white walls and plants. Plants, plants, plants! I love plants too so I’m super happy about this latest trend.

plant-mom

She bought herself a pathos and carried it around in her backpack all day with the leaves hanging out the back. She calls herself a plant mom. Heart eyeballs!

And then we went home and lived happily ever after. Sort of. Until next time!

Hey, It’s me!

new-camera-2019

Hi! It’s been a minute since I have shown up here. Like fifty zillion minutes ticking away. But I’m back and I want to do better.  I want to be here more. Things have been happening lately. I finally saved up enough for a new camera! Remember how my old one got stolen in Italy? I borrowed my publisher’s camera for a while (so thankful to her) but it just wasn’t as good as my old one and my old one just wasn’t that good either. I’ve had my eye on a Canon Mack 5 forever (that costs an arm and a leg) because that’s what all the pros use but ended up getting a 6D instead upon advice from Toby. What can I say? Ex’s who are still friends do come in handy sometimes!

So guess what? It rocks! It is so so so so so so much better than my old camera. It focuses like lightening. It’s larger format so I can take pictures of a whole room without backing up into a corner. It’s easy to use. There are all kinds of cheater buttons that tell you what setting to use. This is handy for me because numbers (ie: f-stops and apertures always give me spinny ball brain fog). I just love it. Now I just need to book a bunch of photography gigs to make it pay for itself! If you are looking for photography, look me up! I don’t really have a photography website and it’s not like I’m going to be calling myself a full time photographer but you know I love it and I can always use more work.

What else is new? Well, I just got back from Alt Summit in Palm Springs.

hello-from-alt2019

How was it? It was good but it was hard for me.  I forced myself to go by myself and that was terrifying. I really needed a buddy to side-kick me through social situations. I get really nervous walking into a room and striking up conversations with people I don’t know. It’s silly but I always think they won’t want to talk to me and that I’m making a fool out of myself. I can do it and once I get started I’m really good at getting people talking (journalism background pays off) but the walking up to people is the hard part. I felt like I was back in middle school all over again, agonizing that my best friend was sick and I was too shy to make new friends.

joanna-gaines-alt2019

I did see Joanna Gaines speak. That was pretty cool. I love seeing famous people who are just regular people. She was so humble and real. Her baby was in the front row and she talked about him often. It was really cute and fun.

anxiety-at-alt2019-1

But yeah, there were 2,000 women there. TWO THOUSAND! So you can see why I had some trouble with social anxiety. The wonderful thing is that everyone seems to also have social anxiety and everyone was struggling. When I did get up the guts to find someone to talk to, they were usually really really nice and wanted to help things be less awkward as soon as possible. I don’t know if that’s because it was mostly women or if creatives are just nice people or if I’m just cooler than I think I am and people really do want to talk to me.

anxiety-at-alt2019-2

First day I kinda cried in my room a little. You know how it is. But then the second day, Isabel, (my boss from alpha mom) showed up and she is the best side-kick buddy ever. Things got a lot easier when she was around. Though I didn’t attach myself like a starfish and parasite my way through the rest of the week. I forced myself to do my own things, only checking in with her randomly.

alt-sunrise-2019

I think the highlights for me were of course the pretty hotel. It’s a lot prettier outside than inside. I think they recently changed all the lightbulbs to florescent bulbs in the rooms and it was super depressing inside. I walked across the street and bought myself a candle to counteract the depressing-ness of my room. I loved having a hotel room by myself but I also wished it could be a little less like Motel 6 painted bright colors. I also bought myself a plastic bowl, cheerios, bananas and milk. They had a mini-fridge in the room so I saved myself bucket loads of cash by eating breakfast (and sometimes dinner) of cheerios in my room. Sad, I know but I am trying my hardest to be frugal these days. I thought I was pretty clever sitting there watching Netflix on my laptop while I sat in my pajamas on my bed with my candle flickering on the nightstand near by. It was very rotic (romantic without the man).

garance-dore-alt2019

Another highlight was seeing Garance Doré. I LOVE her. I have been a fan for ages but seeing her in person and hearing about her struggles with depression sealed my devotion and love for her forever. She really hit on a subject that had been bothering me the whole conference. These days it’s so hard to make it in the popularity numbers game of social media. It’s really hard to be in a room with 2000 women who all have followings of 20K or more. I love being around creative women like me but the competition is overwhelming. It’s crushing at times. I just can’t even try anymore. She talked about how she doesn’t go to fashion week anymore but prefers to go on 20-person retreats and that resonated with me. I can’t do ALT Summit again. I learned a ton and it wasn’t a waste of money at all but it brought up all my old fears and insecurities and I think I am just too old for that sh*t. I just need to make my art and not worry about what anyone else is doing. That’s aways what has been successful for me in the past. Why do I keep forgetting that?

trek-to-find-desert-x

Then after the summit Isabel and I went on a mad trek to find Desert X. Spoiler: We didn’t find it. I almost got my car stuck in the sand instead and it was quite thrilling to have adrenaline pumping through my veins as I maneuvered my way out of a sand pit. But we did it! We walked for a mile or so and saw nothing. Just an old abandoned washing machine, a disgusting dirty bed with dog poop on it and a homeless camp. We turned around and went back. But not defeated! It was fun! I love spending time with Isabel. And really, spending time with a good friend is better than getting that perfect picture for instagram that everyone else has already taken.

Don’t get me wrong. I still want to go back and find Desert X. It seems amazing and I really want to take pictures of it. BUT…

desert-x-who

I feel quite fine settling with this photo as well. I heart my new camera!

 

(Do you guys need links? Desert X.. Alt Summit, Garance Doré…? If so I can go back and put them in. I just liked flying under that radar since I didn’t have all good things to say.) done!