the “light” year 2013

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dear blog, it’s me annie.

i have, undoubtingly, been ignoring the blog. i still seem to be getting followers daily (HELLO, new readers-don’t run away yet), and in turn feel guilty that i have little inspiration to produce any content.   i have several theories surrounding this, none of which seem worthy of too much explanation. yet, i also have some new ideas on the horizon, that is if i manifest them.

i have had many moments over the past month where i sincerely miss my life at the cabin. my connection to nature, being completely in the moment.  for a mere second, i start to ask myself why i left that incredible place and regret begins to shade my future. THEN, only then, i remember what happened, what would have happened if i had stayed.  the only thing i do know, and the only thing that helps me believe i am where i should be, is that if i had stayed, if i had lost everything- i would more than likely be exactly where i am now- living (let’s just say “staying” to boost my confidence) in my parents basement.

there are so many answers in my head, too many places i want to go. so, i came to the conclusion that nothing would be the right answer, until it just is. i miss LA deeply (which is confusing, but i suppose only natural) and thoughts of my life there feel as if it never happened. ten years go by in a flash and i am back where my life started, in the midwest. i find myself here daydreaming of an exciting life just as i did in my teenage years growing up in indiana. an ordinary life just isnt for me, though if i popped out some kids i could deal with a white picket fence.

i made this video through flipagram using instagram compiling all my favorite moments of the year. it really got me thinking on how incredibly wonderful the past year was. just when i was starting to think my life was boring, this little video reminded me of the amazing adventure i just endured. well, the amazing adventure life is and that tomorrow brings another day of brilliance! it was truly a scenic year of beauty, travel,self reflection and love, and so much love and friendship. i accomplished some of my favorite work to date both with styling and my line of goods. i am one lucky gal even when i think i am not!

song credit: jenny o.- auto mechanic

colorful magic

IMG_6917fall is magic.  as it is beginning to disappear, i thought i would share some photos from my fall adventures. it was the first complete fall i have experienced in over 10 years. things don’t really change in LA being there are only two seasons there- sun and rain. there are moments when i miss the cali sunshine,but this year i relished in the changing leaves and brisk air.  i started seeing spurts of it when i was in olympia, washington. i was hoping for a little more while in NYC, but when i got to colorado for work it was starting to ooze with yellow and orange. when i got back to my family’s home end of october the color was so intense i couldn’t help but to be filled with excitement. it was totally unexpected. my parents said it isn’t normally this colorful- i got lucky. as if, mother nature was making it beautiful just for me.

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i was/am missing fresh air, the mountains, the city, and inspiration being in suburbia, and i decided to do some exploring here in missouri. i ventured on a hike to the lewis and clark trail. i stood on top of a ravine, overlooking the missouri river. she is vast, she is large…not like my little big thompson river in colorado. i couldn’t get to close to the edge or i felt a little dizzy. i kept walking unsure of where i was exactly on the trail, asking along the way with the few people i saw. every time i felt like i was going to wrong way or wanted to turn around for fear i was on the 8 mile hike vs. the 5 mile hike, i would be completely taken away by the scenery. it would stop my fretting and it was those moments that taught me to be in the present on that hike and everyday. even if wylie got 3 ticks and i was covered in stickers to the point i had to give him a homemade hair cut- it was worth every second.

it was amazing how the terrain would change every twist and turn. the colors of the leaves too. as if i was stumbling across different villages, villages of trees.

IMG_6891 IMG_6866 IMG_6851 IMG_6890 IMG_6846between olympia,colorado, NYC, denver, missouri, and chicago- i got my dose of fall in. i even helped my dear friend rake leaves outside her house in chitown. that smell of crunchy and wet leaves. raking them all up into one big pile- i love it. the color, the rain, the leaves- it is exactly how i remember those midwest falls growing up. it all makes me believe in magic.
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freckles & honey soap co. holiday catalog

page1lookbook here it is, as promised.  the freckles & honey soap co. holiday catalog.  my trip to NYC’s main purpose was to shoot and style this lookbook. my old, dear friend, dahlia warner, created this line and brought me on last year to help her develop the brand creatively and as well as some administrative duties. i put together her website the last time around and we already have something fun planned for spring. i absolutely love getting creative with dahlia on this line. not only because the products are so intoxicating, seriously- i can not get enough of it, but also helping out a friend build her little empire. d, gives me a lot of creative freedom and as she often puts it- “i trust you”. well, thats pretty awesome. i am pretty proud of this one on both of our parts. dahlia is one talented soap maker and entrepreneur. and me- well i just love styling stuff and getting my hands dirty. being that her products are centered around flavors and ingredients, it makes these set ups super fun allowing for inspiration from the kitchen and blogging. i look forward to doing more of this stuff!

 the winter forest soap i could inhale all day long.  it really does smell good enough to eat.

www.frecklesandhoneysoap.com

follow the line on Facebook for updates!

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on the road: NYC

IMG_6590i spent the beginning of october in NYC, falling deeply and madly in love- or as one of my friends put it “caught between the moon and new york city”. perhaps, it was the joy of being in the most lively city in the world after spending months in mere solitude. or perhaps i just love NY. i have been to manhattan a gazillion times, but this trip, this trip was special.  no particular reason other than the amount of inspiration i inhaled. i didn’t even realize how much i needed that. i had to cut my east coast trip short and head back to colorado for some production jobs. it felt good to be incredibly busy and constantly on the go. though, i couldn’t wait to get back to see my pup and take a rest, but as soon i did just that i crashed and burned and am still recovering. i seem to be following fall around the country. i was extra excited to see autumn in ny, but she had yet to fully show her colors. colorado was insanely beautiful though and we even did some shooting in a small mining town, so i got to travel within my travels.

but new york, lets talk new york. the walking, the food, the subway, the spontaneity, the food, the fashion, the people, the food. did i mention the food? i stayed at a friend’s loft in williamsburg to shoot her holiday lookbook (which i will post when we release). she had to go out of town for work… so, i got to play “new yorker” living in a loft and dressing up in many of my clothes i buy with intention to wear, but never do. i didn’t take a cab once except to and from la guardia, it was subway all the way and lots and lots of walking. though my feet killed me all week and i still have remnants of blisters, it was liberating.  i spent the week shooting and styling during the day in the loft and meeting up with friends at night around the city and brooklyn.  at first, i was overwhelmed with the amount of hipsterness of williamsburg, but by the end of my trip i was loving it. it has been so long since i felt inspired by fashion and clothes, i had so much fun picking out a cute outfit everyday-even if i was just going to get coffee. i can’t say i felt comfortable going to the store in a long lace dress in colorado- but in new york- anything is possible and acceptable.

i have always wanted to live in ny, but never did it because of the “complications”. the time is feeling right i must admit.  well, it is a possibility anyway-one i can’t stop thinking about. what is my life without chances and experiences? it is what my heart desires. i realized as i was leaving ny for colorado that i don’t fall foolishly in love with boys anymore- but rather places. maybe it is an infatuation, but those are the most fun anyway aren’t they?

IMG_6626IMG_6545IMG_6482manhattan- my first love. alive and full of energy. i had dinner one night with an old friend and we talked of my colorado adventure and his life in ny. he said someone once told him that the people of new york are the nature, the botany. it might be a concrete jungle, but we are animals and the humans bring the life to the city. it is so true! people come to new york because they want to be inspired by others-to work with others. that whole new yorkers are rude thing- i just dont believe it. i encountered so many nice people and conversations just at a coffee shop, and slowly my intimidation of coming off a mountain adventure and into a big city dwindled. you don’t get that in LA. everyone seems miserable in california or LA, i never felt warm fuzzy feelings going to get a cup of coffee- i felt judged.

there is one spot i always hit up for a dosa in soho. a friend took me here years ago and it has been my tradition ever since to go at least once. hampton chutney company. i get the #6 with chicken, cilantro chutney, and an iced chai.there are a gazillion restaurants in manhattan and i can say i have only ever had a few bad meals. i have expanded my horizons over the decade of visiting from little italy to searching out the hippest of small joints. there are many websites to help you find the best restaurants of the moment.

it so happened while i was visiting two of my friends from LA were also in NY. it made the first few days full of random adventures and moments. that’s the thing about new york- you can turn a corner and your next hour is spent doing something totally unexpected. almost every night i came into the city from brooklyn and met up with a friend. (all of whom are very old friends!) one of my girls in ny is a broadway actor/dancer- i use to drive her to school back in alabama. she took me to sardi’s (if you have seen the muppets take manhattan you know this restaurant!) and at one point during our visit we were walking around times square to only stumble upon my morning jacket playing a free concert. another highschool friend of mine and i went to see our other friend’s show on broadway. it was my first broadway show.

i sat in line for 30 minutes to try shake shack. i saw ” something borrowed” one to many times, and plus i had to compare to in and out. it was pretty good. i could eat it right now in fact. you can’t really compare to in and out though. you just can’t. i did have a run in with a squirrel while trying to eat my shake shack. this little shit wouldn’t leave me alone. he tried to get in my purse and even followed me down about 10 benches. he ruined my experience all for the hopes he was going to get a french fry.

my last saturday in ny i decided to take the ferry from williamsburg to 34th street. i then took the subway to 77th street and walked to the park. i walked north to the jackie o reservoir and then all the way back down to 59th street. it was a beautiful day in the city. the park was crowded and the leaves were crunchy, though the colors were just starting to peak through. my feet hurt bad, but i took my time and sat on benches or laid in the grass- people watching all the while. it was awesome.
IMG_6622PicMonkey CollaggeIMG_6469IMG_6638IMG_6637IMG_6584PicMonkey Collagjhewilliamsburg is full of every current trend that is good. clothes, food, bars,and lifestyle. the weekends on those sidewalks feel something like the halls of highschool, but with hipster 20 somethings and young thirty-forty something families. i got the chance to try many little places in this epicenter of coolness. here is a list of some of my favs.

A. D.O.C. wine bar– this little wine bar/italian restaurant was my last pit stop. i stopped off just because and i had the most delicious pasta, house wine, and tiramisu!

B.Tiny Empire – another stop off on my way to the subway. this juice bar has so many options it is hard to decide.

C.The Shanti Shack– this yoga studio and cafe was delicious for such a small place. i am still thinking about the grilled cheese and have been making the nutter smoothies for breakfast the past few days (banana, spinach, coconut milk, almond butter)

D. Blue Bottle Coffee – drip coffee is where it is at. so is a buckwheat biscuit with ham, cheese, and chutney. holy shit- this was so much better than i ever could have imagined it to be.

E. Depanneur– this place was my staple because it was next door to the loft. i came here for coffee, breakfast, and pick me ups. such a cute shop. just cute.

F.Beautiful Dreamers– this shop is curated so well, and rightfully so as it is owned by a stylist.i dream of getting my work in here.

G.Mast Brothers Chocolate– hipster willy wonka’s!

H.Brooklyn Flea– pretty comparable to fairfax flea market. with views of manhattan and the water. i also bought two pairs of clogs from Nina Z that i am in love with.

I. East River Ferry – if you are in manhattan and are looking to visit williamsburg, i suggest taking the ferry one way. great views of the city.

other places not on the map, but totally worth the visit:

Marlow & Sons– a little empire of food and drinks.

Taco Chulo– hands down delicious mexican.

Species by the Thousands– another epic store full of curiosities and mysticism

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down the flooded memory lane

photo 3last week i drove from olympia to colorado. i needed to go back and see it all for myself. i was nervous as i drove into town and down 34. there were road blocks, but i drove around them, heading into the path of destruction. it hit me like a ton of bricks, seeing the debris piled on the side of the road, huge trees laying in the river. the only people using the road were workers and people whom obviously lived out that way. i started crying, my stomach was turning upside down. i was nervous, i was confused to see this place change.  when i pulled onto the property i knew what to expect from photos, but it just felt weird. i couldn’t cry anymore, i couldn’t feel much of anything but shock. it just was not the same place. the sun was shining so bright, you could feel the autumn change in the sun. it was a vast difference from the gloomy afternoons we had had all summer. it was as though everything was constipated and it exploded with massive amounts of rain, leaving behind destruction and sunny blue skies. the least mother nature could have done was to get a colonic if she was that backed up. just kidding, but not really.

i walked around the property taking it all in with little feeling- it seems in times of tragedy it feels so unreal to me that i dont know what to feel. the concord grapes were still there and you could smell there sweetness in the hot autumn sun. my neighbor had come out with a volunteer. i walked across the newly built dirt road to the other side of the  river and entered a war zone. or maybe a movie set. that is what it felt like. my neighbors houses were under sand. we could walk right on to the roof. cars buried in sand, propane tanks on tops of trees. dead fish tangled in the mess of debris, and random bits of houses just hanging out. laura has started digging their way out finding a small amount of their previous items.  they plan to take the roof off and dig their way down.

i have never witnessed a disaster first hand. i have come close twice now. ( i was suppose to fly to nyc the day after septemeber 11) and this is the first time i have seen anything like this in person. though i lost nothing, my memories feel bruised. after about 30 minutes i just couldn’t look at it anymore. later that night i kept wanting to go back, to make sure it was all real. i wasn’t sure where to put my memories. the sight of it all was overpowering my time there. i am sure it will for a while. for now, i seem to just be trucking along, making jokes about the tragedy, because it is the only way i know how to deal with it. i wasn’t even sure how to post this- i didn’t want to keep harping on it, but it seemed only fitting to tell the truth. i write this from nyc now, a whole different world from my cabin on the river. hanging out in hipsterville of williamsburg makes me realize how lucky i was to have that time there.

i also just want to say thank you for all your kind comments and for reading. thank you.
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