Winter Wanderlust: Oh hi, Ojai

Ojai Rancho Inn on Anything For The CrownI believe in working hard but I'm also a big proponent of spoiling yourself. And sometimes you just need a retreat to get away. Somewhere you can relax, drink wine and soak up the beauty of the environment, and someone to enjoy it with. That’s why I booked a bestie retreat in Ojai for no reason other than to enjoy the present.

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I first heard of Ojai from a cousin and then later stumbled upon Ojai Rancho Inn from Shelter Social Club. Ever since the discovery it lingered in the back of my mind for almost a year until bestie and I finally booked the trip. I was eager to make the trip no later than January so as to experience the infamous “pink moment.” And let me tell you, it most certainly did not disappoint.

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Ojai is hardly 1.5 hours away from LA so I really don’t know why I haven't visited sooner, but I now know where I will be spending many more weekends to come. I can only describe the quaint town as a hidden gem. Downtown Ojai is walking distance from the inn but we still drove so we could cover as much as possible. From winery shops to bike rentals to an array of restaurants, it honestly has all you can imagine for a perfect weekend getaway spot. (I'll link to the places I visited at the end!)

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Now onto Ojai Rancho Inn. The place is a photographer’s dream come true with wood accented rooms to teepee huts and a pool that probably gets more pictures than swimmers. The property even has its own bikes that you can borrow for the day…and I rode one of them! My second time ever riding a bike!! And I didn’t crash and die!!! (Kind of a big deal for those of you who may not know me well.)

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Seriously, as much as I’d like to keep this spot a secret to myself, I loved it too much not to share. Hopefully you all get a chance to visit and see what I mean. Know of any other awesome, local getaway spots? Let me know in the comments!

Ojai Rancho Inn on Anything For The Crown Ojai Rancho Inn on Anything For The Crown Ojai Rancho Inn on Anything For The Crown Ojai Rancho Inn on Anything For The Crown Ojai Rancho Inn on Anything For The Crown Ojai Rancho Inn on Anything For The Crown

xo,

el

Inn: Ojai Rancho Inn

Shopping: Fig Curated Living

Wine Tasting: Casa Barranca

Bike Rental: The MOB Shop

Restaurant: Suzanne's Cuisine

Restaurant: Osteria Monte Grappa

 

 

 

Ojai Rancho Inn on Anything For The Crown

 

Winter Wanderlust: #YNPinstameet

YNPinstameet on Anything For The Crown

 

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“You’re doing what?” is the reaction I got from most people. Whether it was in response to driving to Yosemite and back within a day or driving to Yosemite for an Instameet, I have no idea. I’ll admit that up until 3AM on that pitch dark Saturday morning, I wasn’t sure if I was really going through with it. But once I was out of bed, packed, and on my way, I was all excitement from there.

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Google Maps said it was around a 6 hour drive from Venice to El Capitan Meadows. I think we made it in under 5.5. It really wasn’t too bad of a drive; nothing that some coffee and cheese danish from Starbucks couldn’t get us through, anyway. We got in around 10:30AM and saw car after car parked along the road, along with a massive group of people in the middle of the meadow. It was kind of an incredible sight to see. By the time we found a parking spot the group looked like a little ant mound.

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I get teased a lot for geeking out over Instagram and being so nit-picky about my photos. And in all honesty, I wish I had started sooner. Working in the digital marketing space I thought of social media as work. When I started, “Instagram influencers” were just on the cusp of becoming the next big marketing sensation, and I simply thought of them as a moving piece for client campaigns.

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It took me this last year or so to realize I was a content creator myself, and that I was already steered in that same direction. From my Nike obsession to my Tender Greens loyalty, I'm always curating content for the brands I love. And when LifeProof selected me as the weekly bucket list contest winner and sent me a $250 gift card to REI, I knew I was onto something.

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So when people ask why I do what I do and try to understand why I spend my free time outside of work working, I’ll say this: To be a part of a community that is as excited as I am for the same little things in life. To not only inspire others who seek adventure, but to build a relationship with brands that embrace the same lifestyle and values as I do. Whether I win $250 or am inspired to drive 6 hours, I consider it a win in my book. And as long as I can in return inspire just one person, it’s all worth it to me.

YNPinstameet on Anything For The Crown

   

xo,
el

   

Winter Wanderlust: Joshua Tree

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Winter is here and so begins my winter wanderlusting. I started these seasonal series as a way to keep myself adventurous and avoid mundanity at all costs. As a risk-adverse individual, it’s sometimes difficult but always rewarding. And with perfect timing, I’ve taken on LifeProof’s Winter Bucket List contest  to help spearhead some more winter exploration.

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First destination to be crossed off the list was Joshua Tree National Park. I never realized how close this park was to Los Angeles and it’s really a shame that it took me this long to make a trip. I was only able to make a short day trip but I loved every minute and am only more inspired to return again soon.

I didn’t expect the park to be so filled with visitors just a few days after Christmas, but I guess it makes sense. It took almost an hour just to enter the park! But once we passed the entrance (shout out to Papa Lu for his senior citizen card and getting us to skip part of the line!) it was smooth sailing from there.

The park is so open and spaced out that you really could stop anywhere along the road, get out, and start climbing any rock formation you wanted. And this is precisely what I saw. Our first stop was to the Barker Dam Loop. This was the most packed spot and it was almost bumper to bumper while walking the trail. Although crowded, it was still a beautiful scene with crisp blue skies, parchment colored rocks, and Joshua Tree's signature trees.

Our next stop took us to Jumbo Rocks where we climbed over huge boulders and tried not to freeze to death. It felt like another world seeing row after row of giant rock mountains. People seriously looked like tiny ants scattered across the tops. Finally, we ended the trip at the Cholla Cactus Garden where we enjoyed the sun set and watched the sky fade from a bright blue to a creamy caramel infused with lavender highlights.

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Although it was a short trip I can’t say anything bad about it. It was a great way to end the holidays with my family and just get out to experience something new. I have a few planned trips coming up and just participated in my first instameet. And as last week's bucket list winner, LifeProof hooked me up with a $250 gift card to REI. So be on the lookout because I'll have lots of adventures to share :)

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Dream, explore, live.


xoxo, el

Chasing Fall: The Stahl House

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If you haven’t been able to tell already, I like visiting unique places, attending exclusive events, and taking photos of pretty things. That’s not to say that I don’t like to kick back in sweats and a t-shirt or get a little scrubby on a hike, but sometimes it’s just nice to spend the day being a little fancy! Case in point: the Stahl House, aka Case Study House #22.

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Stahl House, Hollywood
I can’t even remember how I came across the Stahl House but it’s basically been bookmarked for the last few years, and it wasn’t until a couple months ago that I thought to actually look it up. So this last weekend I finally made it happen and bought tickets to go.
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If you have heard of the Stahl House before, you may have heard the saying, “Nobody famous ever lived here” along with it. That’s because it didn’t start out famous. CH “Buck” Stahl bought the land for just $13,500, although that was probably a lot in 1954. It wasn’t until late 1957 that the Stahls hired architect Pierre Koenig to take on the challenge of designing the house on such a complicated plot of land.
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Part of the reason why this house became so famous is how ahead of it’s time the architecture was for 1959. That and a most famous photograph captured by Julius Shuman in 1960. Located at 1635 Woods Drive in Hollywood, the house stands at 2,200 sq. ft. with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a swimming pool, and an indescribable view.
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Stahl House, Hollywood Stahl House, Hollywood Stahl House, HollywoodStahl House, Hollywood
If you are at all a design/architecture/Los angeles lover, you MUST visit. You can pick from three viewings (afternoon, mid-day, evening) and prices and tour duration will vary. I picked the mid-day viewing (415P - 645P) because it was the longest tour and you basically get the best of both worlds: day, night and an incredible sunset.
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Stahl House, Hollywood Stahl House, Hollywood
xoxo,
el

Chasing Fall: My Baes in the Bay

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All I need in this life is good food, good travel, and badass baes. It’s hard to find quality company these days so when you find people who share the same passions in life, it’s important to hold on to them. A couple of weekends ago I made a trip up to the bay to play, and all we did was eat, drink, and explore. Tough life, right? There really isn’t much to say except that it was an amazing weekend and I loved spending time with these bebehs!

Special thanks to..

Brewski - for letting me and my posse stay at your place <3

Jooshi - for letting me post some of your photos, hehe.

Quinn - for playing chauffeur and planning the whole day.

Baby Prawn - for bringing us Ike's and driving us to the car rental place...you owe me coconut water..

Tigress Lee - for being the bestest and driving my fat, hungover ass home to LA :)

(Hawk Hill)

(Point Bonita, which was closed unfortunately)

(Battery Spencer)SF17

(Dynamo Donuts)

(Bernal Heights)

(Plow)

<3

xoxo,

el