A Getaway to Desert Hot Springs

A few weeks ago we had a little getaway to Desert Hot Springs. Have you ever been? Well, there's not too much there which was actually perfect for us. It's so close to LA, but a completely different world. On our way there we stopped by Hadley Fruit Orchard (fyi not a real orchard) and the infamous date shake. It was really yummy. We were hoping to get to Desert Hot Springs early so that we could drive to Joshua Tree before it was time to check in. Well, that didn't happen. You know how it is, you plan to leave the house at a certain time, but you end up leaving a couple of hours later. So instead we went to the resort early. The resort/ spa we stayed at is The Spring. It is amazing! So small, quiet, tranquil, and very clean. There are no televisions here, but there is free wi-fi if you bring your own devices. loved it. My words cannot describe how wonderful this place was so I'll just share some of the photos I took. We're already planning another trip. If you're close by and want to truly escape, check The Spring because it just might be exactly what you need.

xo, jen
p.s. there's also a fabulous outlet center in Cabazon. this alone was worth the 2hr. drive :)

The Weekend is Here!

The weekend is here, thank goodness! Hopefully you have something fun going on or that you get to completely relax. A couple of weeks we went for an overnighter (i'll share more next week) & this is a picture of a beautiful flower that greeted us as we entered the grounds. isn't it lovely?

Have a great weekend everyone! xo, jen

Made :: I Love My New Book

A couple of weeks ago I decided that it was time for me to make a book. great decision. The book I decided to make had a lot of tedious steps and pieces to it, but I absolutely love it. The spine is perfect, the binding sewn tight and beautiful. I love it so much that I don't even want to write in it until I make another one. I hardly have time as it is, but I really want to make more books. So I guess it's just like anything else in life...you just gotta carve out time for the things you enjoy.

xo, jen

It's Okay to Say No

There are so many demands that life can make on us and then just when we think we can't take another thing, we're asked to give a little more. Out of some sense of obligation or people pleasing issues, often times we agree to what is being asked of us. Our mouth say yes, but inside we're screaming no. It's hard to say no even though it's one of the first 10 words we learned & constantly repeated as babies/toddlers. Parents are always trying to teach little ones not to say no. Kind of funny that as adults we have to learn how to say no all over again.
Lately I've been feeling the need to practice the art of saying no. No to things I don't feel comfortable with and things I honestly don't have time for (physically or emotionally,) or that I'm simply not interested in doing. Coming to this conclusion has been a painful process, but I'm looking forward to seeing the benefits in the long run.  Just for fun, I made a little reminder that "it's okay to say no...sometimes." How about you? Do you have a hard time saying no? How do you feel afterwards?

xo, jen  

Made :: Matcha Salt

The other night I had a hard time sleeping so I got up and started watching videos on YouTube. Love YouTube. Anyway, I came across a video by the Breakaway Cook making Matcha salt. I would have never thought about that combination, but yum! Of course, I had to make it like the next day.
As luck would have it, I had the ingredients to give it a whirl. I even had sel gris from PARIS! It's so quick and easy, here's all you need: matcha, sel gris (grey salt), coffee grinder, and something to put your finished salt into. I used a baby food jar

We tried it on our egg sandwich's and it was truly yummy. My next batch, I'll probably use a tad bit more matcha because I like it a little strong. 
xo, jen
please note: this is a finishing salt.

Obsessed :: Camera Lens

About a year and a half ago my beloved point and shoot camera died :( Since it was around the holidays, my husband upgraded me to a DSLR. Most of the pictures here are taken with my Canon Rebel t3i. Love it! The camera came with a lens, a 18-55mm. It's standard and does a wonderful job. After taking a class to learn how to use the camera (I could use a refresher), I wanted to buy another lens. The instructor gave me a couple of suggestions for lenses that he thought would be useful and that weren't "too" expensive. Finally, I took the plunge and bought a lens. Yay! Not the lens I truly wanted, but a lens and I love it!
It's a 50mm f/1.8 II fixed lens. I was amazed at how crisp the photos are and how the backgrounds blur beautifully. I'm still playing around with it, but here are a few pictures using the lens.

1. hanging lights in our sunroom 2. yoshi's feet 3. framed postcards in our living room 4. new magazines I've yet to read

Have a great weekend! xo, jen

Field Trip :: Beverly Hills Children's Library

A couple of days ago we went on a field trip (any drive over 30min. is a field trip in my book) to check out the new Beverly Hills Children's Library. I must say that it is AMAZING! It was big, bright, and airy. There's a theater room for programs, a family room for playing with toys, puppets, blocks, etc., an Enchanted Woods room that's filled with Fairy & Folk Tales, beautiful children's books illustrators prints, study rooms, and more. The boys (they're best buds) had a blast. So much to see and take in. We all loved it.
After the library we had lunch at Harajuku Crepes...YUM and then enjoyed a special treat from the infamous Sprinkles Cupcake- they have a very cool Cupcake ATM. We also took pictures at the Beverly Hills sign, and did a little shopping at Paper Source. It was a fantastic Field Trip. Can't wait until the next.

xo, jen

A Simple Happy

On Saturday we had a baby shower for a friend and it was a blast. While looking through the pictures I took at the shower, this is one that I keep coming back to. This is K, my friend Jen's little girl. Look how happy she is. Love it! She's just sitting on her mom's lap and her mom is talking silly to her. It's such a pure, simple happy. It made me reflect on what makes me feel this type of happiness. Maybe it will make you reflect too. Happy April!

xo, jen