Oregon and the Central Coast // Better Late Than Never!

If you know me, you know that I love to go on road trips up the coast…especially when they start or end with Portland! Okay, maybe Portland is not by the coast, but how could I resist? Two of my favorite places in one trip.

I’ve been promising these photos for a week, so here they finally are!

Silverton, OR

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Powell’s Book Store in Portland (!!!!!!!)

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Downtown Portland

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Multnomah Falls (Gresham, OR)

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Big Sur, CA (near McWay Falls)

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There are a thousand more photos, but these were my most memorable moments. Tag me in your summer adventures!!

xox

Bec

It’s Friday! // Instagram + Places in Portland

Happy Friday! I woke up (at an ungodly hour) this morning dreaming of my favorite city. I spent about a half an hour looking back through my photos from my last trip up and realized I want to do something with them! I am not by any means a Portland tour guide (I only just started touring the city last spring), but I’m super excited to show you one place at a time that I really loved. I’m going back up on August 10th, so these will probably be popping up a couple times a week.

Salt & Straw is a unique chain of ice cream shops that began in Portland and has recently launched in LA. Their special flavors (such as Honey Lavender, Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper, and the classic Arbequina Olive Oil) and hip, modern atmosphere draw people in.

More info on Salt & Straw:

How it all began

Flavors

Even if you don’t really care about the story of it all, I would recommend checking out the website because it’s adorable.

I didn’t get that many photos while I was there and I didn’t get ANY inside (why?!?!?!?) but I’m going to share a few shots from outside. And yes, I did basically do a whole shoot just because of how beautiful my ice cream was…which brings me to the Instagram portion of this post! I get a lot of questions about Instagram which is always a little surprising because I don’t have much of a following, so I thought I would talk a little bit about photo content.

Utilizing Walls

When you’re in the city this one really comes in handy. The first way to do this is, of course, to just stand in front of it and smile. This one is classic but not obnoxious or overdone.

And then there’s the thing plus wall strategy as pictured:

No matter what, interesting walls are your best friend. Let me know what YOUR favorite spots in Portland are for my next trip up!

xox

Bec

San Juan Capistrano // #WhatBeccaWore and Traveling

all photos taken by Amanda Parsons (heyamandalane.wordpress.com and @heymananda on IG)

So I know I JUST did a #WhatBeccaWore but I’m just so excited about this last shopping trip and I was up in San Juan Capistrano to see family last night and it just seemed like the perfect opportunity to shoot this. We had a fun family dinner and of course a little exploring and shooting! Wherever we are we like to drive to the top of parking garages and sit on our car and get a bird’s eye view of the city!

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Dress: Urban Outfitters // Clearance $19.99 (I don’t think it’s available online anymore)

Boots: H&M // $34.99

xox

Bec

Side note: My cousin Jilly, who is currently visiting from Australia, is a crazy inspiring world traveler. She travels in tour groups to places like Croatia and Dubai and lives simply in order to pay for it all. Everyone was talking about that last night and my mom brought up the old saying: “You can either have things or do things.”

4 Ways to be an Urban Explorer // Tackling Big Cities

Hi friends! Things have been very hectic in my life, as always, but today, my sister and I had the same day off (hip, hip, hooray!) and were able to do some exploring. We decided we would take the Coaster down from suburban San Diego into the downtown area and spend some time just walking around experiencing parts of San Diego we’ve sort of neglected. I’m always surprised how much more there is to my city than what Manda and I have explored because it feels like we’ve gone everywhere, but today, everything felt completely foreign to me. There was a very unique crowd of hundreds of thousands of people visiting for Comic Con on top of the regular weekend/summer hustle and bustle, and I realized how little time I’ve spent in the Gas Lamp district, which is arguably the heart of the city.

But the truth is, sometimes exploring feels like a whole lot of work. The more chaotic my life gets, the more likely I am to stick to all my same coffee shops and book stores and restaurants instead of branching out into the unknown where (God forbid) I might not immediately find parking. So without further ado, here are four ways to make the city a little less scary:

1. Utilize public transit. Even if you don’t mind paying for parking, driving in the city is just plain stressful, especially if you haven’t been driving in one your whole life. Either way, most cities have great public transit systems set up that will end up sort of being like a mini tour for you!

2. Research the area you’re going to. What’s highly rated? What do locals say is unmissable? Ask around when you get to the city. Even if you change your mind on where to go, you’ll still feel like you know what you’re doing. Make sure to research the communities within the city, too!

3. Or don’t. This is usually the way I go, but it isn’t necessarily a great plan if you are traveling or trying to get the most bang for your buck. But who knows…sometimes the best places are the hidden gems that you stumble upon!

4. Find a high place. Pretend to be a guest at a hotel and go to the top floor. Try and look professional in an office building and stare at your watch while you rush into an elevator. You’ll be glad you did.
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xox

Bec

Salvation Mountain // Leonard’s Life’s Work

Love is universal.

If you’re a California or Arizona native, you have probably heard of/been to Salvation Mountain, a permanent art instillation by Leonard Knight hidden in the depths of the low desert. We made the 4 hour journey out to the Calipatria/Niland area next to the Salton Sea and were completely amazed by what we found. In a slightly dismal desert area, Leonard’s work, created almost 100% by himself, is a giant mountain of bright colors and encouraging messages about love. The piece was created using local adobe clay and donations of paint from people far and near. When he appeared in the movie “Into the Wild,” Leonard spoke about being in awe of the love he receives from people internationally because of his art. The piece is categorized as “outsider art” and draws attention from people all over the world. Even in the blazing heat, we met many other people during our time there.

Anyway, I’m done rambling, so here are some photos from our adventure to Dr. Seuss land in the 110 degree heat:

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Leonard passed away last year, but since then, volunteer groups have been devoted to preserving the piece for future generations. If you want to learn more about Salvation Mountain and volunteer opportunities, here is there official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SalvationMountain

We spoke with some volunteers who were repairing part of the piece and they told us that despite all the different websites about Salvation Mountain, the Facebook page is the only official website they have.

xox

Bec

Alone Time (When You Don’t Like Alone Time) // Step by Step

Lately I’ve been so stressed out with work and finances and even my own health that I haven’t taken a second to just stop and breathe. Even though I’m not someone who loves to be alone every second of every day, I think everybody needs a little time to themselves for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, I think we need alone time to relax and to fall in love with ourselves!

So here is my recipe for productive alone time:

Step One: Take your time getting ready. Play some music, curl your hair, dress up a little (but keep it comfy!). You want to feel confident!

Step Two: Take the long way there. These are written obviously to suit me, and I love driving…so of course I’m going to choose PCH over the 5 when I’m taking time for myself!

Step Three: Go someplace peaceful. The photos in this post were taken at Roasting Works by Lofty, a small coffee shop full of neutral tones that usually isn’t crowded. And best of all, it’s inside of an art store!

Step Four: Order tea. Always. Even if your heart is crying out for coffee. (Okay, maybe not if your heart is crying out for coffee. But generally, green tea is going to make you feel a whole lot better than coffee will!)

Step Five: Plug in. Get going. Whatever activity you want to do, be it journaling, painting, reading; ready, set, go go go for a solid fifteen minutes. Don’t worry about the people around you. If you like to wear headphones when you’re out and about, this would be a good time to whip ’em out (Personally I’m paranoid that somebody is talking to me every second that I have headphones in…even when there isn’t music playing!). This is time for yourself. Try to keep off your phone. Everyone else can wait.

Step Six: Take some photos. But again, don’t spend a lot of time on your phone. For me, photos that I love of my life help me visualize where I’m at in a more positive light. If it’s not the same for you, maybe skip this step!

IMG_2355 IMG_2357 IMG_2363Of course, these are 300% tailored to my personal preferences. Try creating your own step by step guide to unwinding!

xoxxo,

Bec