I❥CA | Ojai, CA – Bart’s Books

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If you’re planning a trip to Ojai, there are a few places you have to hit up. One of the essentials is Bart’s Books, located slightly off the main drag, this outdoor bookstore is the bibliophiles dream come true. Chock full of classics, contemporaries and everything in between, you can lounge in the sunshine or find yourself a shady nook and read to your hearts content. The staff is uber helpful and more than happy to leave you to your perusal if you just want a quiet place to read.

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I stopped in the other day just to take a peak and wound up spending a couple hours reading by a window, watching the other patrons come and go out of the corner of my eye. The courtyard, which is open to the sky and the hot Ojai sun was just too warm, but within one of the open-air rooms, the temperature was pleasant enough to while away some time. I situated myself in a cozy armchair by the hearth and buried my nose in a first edition copy of Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea, a novel which eventually became the inspiration for Studio Ghibli’s Tales from Earthsea…yes, I am a huge nerd. I regret nothing.

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So, next time you’re in Ojai, swing by Bart’s Books a pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read…or let destiny guide you and pick a book at random. You might be surprised by what you find.

 

Brain Clutter | 03.28.15 | the demise of Neverland, preschool for adults and spring cleaning for the soul

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☽The vibrant, graphic work of Elena Boils is really doing it for me now. This piece is called Flowers and is from her Timbergram series.
☽I started reading BrokeAssStuart before I even moved to San Francisco and his cheapskates guides to SF were my tour guide to the city when I was still living on hostess wages and paying obscene amounts of rent. He’s sort of an institution there and for many of us he’s the Patron Saint of Living Well When You’re Broke… so this post he did for the BoldItalic, on how even the king of being poor in that city is terrified of losing his home due to San Francisco slowly shifting away from being the neverland of perpetual pixies, punks and pirates that I fell in love with absolutely broke my heart.
☽So, the entire internet is counting down the days until April 12th premier of the new Game of Thrones season…and this new trailer and set of behind the scenes videos is not helping my withdrawals.
☽This perfectly preserved 1950’s era kitchen is so Barbie Dream House it hurts. That fridge!
☽The water out of the tap in Southern California is notoriously bad, and according to the Coveteur, might be what’s been messing with my hair and skin. This shower head filter could solve the issue.


☽This acoustic performance of Ghost by Halsey, off her recent EP, Room 93 is just the sort of soulful, husky-voiced vocalizations that I love.
☽This solar distiller that turns salt water into drinking water could save thousands of lives, as well as help CA out of it’s droute.
☽A Brooklyn based preschool for adults. Any bets on how long it will take this to become a thing on the West Coast?
☽The conversation around Mental Illness is becoming less guarded in our society. It’s great to see Celebs speaking out on how mental illness has affected their lives.
☽Here are 6 reasons to start your day before 6AM
☽…and 7 Habits of Truly Genuine People.
☽There are so many lies our culture tells us about falling in love, here are the worst of them.

“I believe it takes more love to listen well and clearly articulate your thoughts than it does to buy into the myth that true love “always knows.” True love works hard to know.”

☽The things American parents nag their kids about haven’t changed much since the 1985, when Mike Cohen recorded his Mom and Dad hassling him about cleaning his room.
☽A beautifully photographed guide on how to dry and preserve medicinal herbs.
☽Say what you will about the crazy color schemes and questionable upholstery choices, the 70’s was an era of fearless interior design.
☽Career Girl Daily did a great roundup of little tips to boost your blogs popularity and how to actually do whats on your To Do list.
Katie Horwitch talks about spring cleaning for the soul and how it’s a lot like spring cleaning over on the Chalkboard. Also, this post on how to change your life.
☽True talk about how awesome Adventure Time is.
☽I just started reading Jessi Kneeland‘s blog and loved this post she did on her epic self-love secrets: ogling yourself in the mirror.

Drift is an app that guides you on a walk through your neighborhood (or anywhere really) using randomly assembled instructions. Sometimes the best way to explore is to just get lost.
It always works better if you’re enjoying it.
☽My intelligent, articulate and super-wonderful friend Ally writes about the importance of non-judgment and patience and trying to pee on an airplane during turbulence.

 

Worn | Repeat Offender

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Since moving to Southern California, we’ve been staying with my Mancandy’s family, and thus, the majority of my clothing/worldly possessions have remained in storage…which has resulted in my wearing and re-wearing the same six or seven articles of clothing over and over and over again. This dress in particular has gotten a great deal of play in the balmy SoCal climate. I scored it at Goodwill in San Francisco during January, when the dress racks of SF are full to bursting with neglected summer dresses, as the climate is akin to the arctic and sheets of rain discourage even the bravest fashionista from baring too much skin.

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Initially, I wasn’t so sure about it. The mustard-yellow color and graphic animal print seemed like they might be too much…but somehow, the grunge-influenced 90’s print and cut have grown on me and now I wear it at least once or twice a week…with boots, with flats and continually with this denim jacket (which, let’s be honest, I wear with everything). It’s casual and comfy enough to wear while lounging around the house, but also just playful enough to wear out and about. It’s so damn versatile, I’ve worn it to the beach, for excursions to Ojai and dinner with friends, and most recently for a drive up to The Cross above the quaint little beach town of Ventura, where these shots were taken.thecrossventura

I’m still adjusting to the temperatures down here, so living in dresses and shorts is pretty much all I’m capable of. I can’t even fathom rocking jeans most of the time, and my poor, poor sweater collection will have to find a new home since I don’t foresee them getting much play down here, though it was kind of brisk on the top of this mountain. The couple above resorted to sucking face the whole time in order to stay warm. So much face-smooching happening. But it makes a rather pretty picture, no?

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Hope all you kiddo’s trapped in the winter-wonderland of the East Coast are staying warm, even if it is through sucking face. Send some snow to Cali, it’s dry as hell here.

jacket :: vintage via WastelandSF | dress :: thrifted via Goodwill | flats :: ???

I❥CA | Welcome to Ojai

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There’s something about Ojai, California that just soothes the soul. This tiny town, just about forty minutes inland from Santa Barbara, is well known for scenic retreats, luxurious spas and celebrity getaways. The valley is renowned for it’s pixie tangerines, restorative energy and the infamous “pink moment;” when the entire valley is bathed in pink light as the sun sets behind the mountains. It’s got a quirky, bohemian vibe that residents and visitors alike adore.

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We spent the afternoon wandering around Ojai a few weeks ago, and pretty much immediately decided we needed to live here. The energy is laid back and artsy, with adorable shops lined up in Spanish-style adobe store-fronts all along main street. You feel like maybe you’ve slipped out of California and into the heat of a New Mexican desert town. Populated by artists like Beatrice Potter, there is a distinctly artistic vibe that permeates the quaint, tree-lined streets and craftsmen style homes nestle behind towering cacti.

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Just beyond the borders of the adorable downtown area, the valley opens up into rolling hills, fields and farmland. A ten minute drive takes you up a winding road to the Ojai Foundation, a retreat and meditation center which features sweeping views of the valley and the perfect vantage point to take in the sunset as it stains the entire valley that glorious shade of pink it’s so famous for.

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Believe me when I say my heart was stolen by Ojai. We’ve started looking into finding an apartment in the area, and I assure you, there will be many more, in depth posts on this darling little town in the future. In the mean time, take some time to trek up to Ojai. You won’t be disappointed.

 

I❥SF | The Haight

A few moments captured in my old hood, the Upper Haight. This is Haight-Ashbury in all it’s grimy, technicolor, patchouli scented glory.
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Life + Times | Monterey Bay Aquarium

A few weeks ago I hopped in a car with a couple of friends and cruised down the coast to Monterey to hit up the Monterey Bay Aquarium and check out their special exhibit, Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes. If you know nothing about our cephalopod friends, I would highly suggest falling into a youtube spiral because these animals are fascinating.
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I grew up going to the MB Aquarium and have always loved the surreal beauty of the curious animals that float behind the glass in those massive tanks. The jellyfish and particularly the octopi have always been favorites of mine, with their elegant, alien tentacles. Their ability to change color and dance along the ocean floor like strange, sentient flowers. I’ve always been fascinated by the strange twist of evolution that resulted in such creatures. Although, I’m sure they think the same thing about us.

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Isn’t science pretty? Nature! Yay! In addition to all the cool stuff they have on display regularly, the addition of the tentacles exhibit features a cool camera thing that takes a brief video of your face and, through the magic of very advanced technology, makes your face change colors and patterns, mimicking that cool camouflaging trick our fine, many limbed friends from the deep. Behold.

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