Monthly Archives: July 2014

the California Bucket List

It’s hard (and quite sad) to believe that I only have about 3 weeks left here in California. Even just typing out that sentence was hard. I have absolutely loved my time here. Everything about this place seems to awaken parts of my spirit I didn’t even know were asleep. I’m not ready to leave, and I kind of doubt I ever will be. With the days dwindling down, I decided I needed to make a bucket list of things I want to do before I leave. Now, this list is small, and there have been many things outside of this list I’ve gotten to do, but this is a good compilation to begin with. As the day’s progress, I’ll be posting the moments of crossing these items off! Yay!

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-Sunset on Superior Ave. (Theres a big hill that overlooks the ocean, super pretty.)
-Bike to the Wedge
-Disneyland (We’ll see if I have enough in my budget for this by the end of the summer :))
-Rose Bowl Flea Market
-Thousand Steps in Laguna Beach
-Morning coffee at Inspiration Point
-Try a waffle sandwich (that’s a thing here.)
-Photobooth at the Ace Hotel
-Wine at the Gypsy Den
-Try an Acai Bowl
-Sleep on the beach
-Yoga at Darling HQ

Have anything in mind I should add to my list? If I’m missing a must-see or must-do let me know!

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As you read previously, the Darling Dinner was a beautiful night filled with great food, great wine, and even better conversation. I had been anticipating this dinner for a while, so when I finally got tickets, it was so much fun trying to dream up what to wear. I’m first to admit I’m girly, so styling outfits is a creative outlet I really enjoy. Here’s what I wore to the Darling Magazine + Giving Keys event:

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Tank, H&M | Vest, J. Crew | Skirt, Thrifted | Shoes, Aldo

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Necklace, F21 | Ring (Left), Brandy Mellville | Turquoise Ring (Right), Grandma

*Thanks to my roommate, Miss Katie P, for letting me roam her closet. She’s the proud owner of the vest & shoes. 

Darling Dinner + the Giving Keys Event

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How many of you all have heard of the beautiful Darling magazine? If you haven’t, it is my pleasure to introduce you to what I think to be one of the most influential, liberating, and truth-filled magazines of today. Darling magazine is all about the art of being a woman.

Recently, Darling started to host events called Darling Dinners. Darling dinners is a time for women to gather on behalf of the Darling Movement, enjoy beautiful food & wine, and thoughtful, deep conversation. The past couple times they have released this event, it has sold out in a mater of minutes. I kid you not. Last time, I went to sign up right after they announced it on social media. I was typing in my payment information, and it was SOLD OUT. Needless to say, I knew I would not be missing the next one.

For this specific dinner, Darling partnered with the Giving Keys. It was an evening all about how to not just be here, but be here with a purpose. This dinner was one of the highlights of my time here in Southern California. I was encouraged, challenged, empowered, and met some incredible ladies whose wisdom I will cherish. I captured some moments throughout the night…

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Yes, it says Catherine Reynolds. My full name, for those of you who don’t, is actually Catherine Blake Reynolds. *Pause and wait for the ‘Cathy’ jokes to finish*. I’ve actually been called Blake since before I was born. My first name being Catherine is usually an entertaining surprise for most people.

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Above is Darling’s mission statement. Ladies, if that doesn’t make you want to get up and start changing the world, I don’t know what will.

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Every detail of the night was so beautiful. The (3? 4?) course meal was more like an art piece than anything else. The chef came out and expressed his heart on the meal he had prepared, and man, I was inspired. I love people with passion. His heart was for his dishes to bring people together, instill community. I love that.

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During the dinner, each of the hostesses, Sarah Dubbeldam (Editor-in-cheif of Darling Magazine) and Caitlin Crosby (Founder of the Giving Keys), stood, expressed their heart towards their work, and posed a question for each group of women to discuss for thirty-or-so minutes. Sarah asked a question about what we think women most struggle with today, and Caitlin asked what in our life we feel that we need to be generous with. Two great questions that had us all thinking, reaching deep within our heart, and exposing the beautiful, messy, dark parts of ourselves to the women around us.

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After the night drew to a close, I had the opportunity to talk with both Sarah & Caitlin. They are two beautiful, world-changing women. I am constantly humbled and encouraged by the strong women in this world who know who they are, and want to lift others up around them. So thankful that it is those ladies who are paving the way for both the women around them, and the generations to come.

That night, I left with a feeling of being understood. With a sense that women don’t have to compete, but we can all finish this race together. I left feeling encouraged, spurred on, and heck, empowered to continue to walk in who I am.

Thank you, Darling. May your message continue to sink deep into the hearts of women everywhere.

the iPhone archive | 01

How many of you guys are visual learners, documenters, etc? I feel like in today’s day and age, where everything is visual, bright, and instant, it’s rare for someone NOT to be visual. I know I am. I love to document my moments, bright colors I see, pretty things that fill my day. When I don’t have my camera around, I love the easy alternative of grabbing my iPhone and snapping some photos. I dug around through my camera roll this evening and pulled out some snap shots that I love. I feel that they capture my time here in a really real, fun way. To see the whole batch, click the ‘read more’ tag at the bottom of the following photo! Enjoy!Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

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Flower Child

Let’s be honest, I’m just one of those girls. I love flowers. They completely brighten up a room, a space, a moment. One thing I love about the spring and summer months is the wide array of flowers showing themselves off. I just cant get enough. Lately, I’ve been finding the most beautiful flower arrangements via the web, and I thought I’d share them here. We all need a little pick-me-up from time to time, don’t we?

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^I love the natural base with the pinks and purples. Shades of elegant greens and pinks are probably my favorite combination.

^Um, hello! This bouquet is sure to make sad days happy, and happy days happier!

^I just love a handful of wildflowers. There’s something beautiful about the idea that something so beautiful sprouts up, shows itself off, sometimes without ever being seen or appreciated. And they are just fine with it.

^ Lets be real, you can never go wrong with a handful of daisies. Daisies will always be my favorite. So simple, yet I really do feel like every time I see them, it’s like the first time again! They just add so much with so little. I love ’em. The meaning behind daisies are especially beautiful: purity, innocence, loyal love, beauty, patience and simplicity.

Go buy some flowers for yourself today. You deserve it!

Jen Gotch | Los Angeles

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Okay ladies and gents. So as I’ve mentioned before, I love living in the LA area because seriously I feel like everything happens here. It seems like I am constantly getting updates about events, people, places I need to go to, meet, and see in Southern California. Quite a few of the creatives and designers that I have followed over the years live in this area as well!

One of these creatives being Jen Gotch. Jen Gotch is the founder and Creative Director of Ban.do, but more importantly, she’s just an all around rad creative and artist.

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When I first came to LA, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a list of people I would love to meet, and that she was on it. Lucky for me, a couple weeks into my time here, I saw a post on Ban.do’s blog advertising for Jen Gotch’s art show in Los Angeles:

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Okay, to say I was pumped up is an understatement! I knew I would definitely regret not going. So I put gas in the tank, grabbed one of my roommates, and headed out to East LA. Everything about the night was so inspiring, so full of color and vibrance:

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The place that the show was held was called Shopclass. I had never heard of it before but it turned out to be a super cool space, filled with vintage finds, hand made items, etc. As we were walking up on the building, I noticed that Jen’s name had been spray painted on the side of the building. It doesn’t get much better than that, people.

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Behind this projector was a short film playing on the wall of the building. I was so intrigued by this idea of a sidewalk cinema. One of the people putting it on came up and explained to me that their group is trying to bring the art of film out to where the people are. I loved the concept. Check them out here.

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I loved browsing around the store, letting my eyes take in the unique items as well as the different people that filled up Shopclass. So many different types of people made their way out.

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If you follow along with Jen’s creative and personal life through social media at all, you know it wouldn’t be right to not involve a disco ball. IMG_2139IMG_2145

It was such an amazing night. I loved the experience of seeing one of my favorite creative’s work in person. Lucky for me, the night ended with a brief meeting and conversation with Jen. Super sweet gal, and so happy I got the chance to meet her. Even better, once we walked out of the show, we realized that the artwalk was happening that night (once a month!) and so we got to walk along the streets of Highland Park in LA and see ton’s of art, run into fun vintage shops, sneak into an eighties rock concert (what?), and overall just explore more of the art scene in LA. I’d say it was a pretty good night. Cheers to many more encounters with many more creatives!

You can check out more of Jen’s work through her website, her instagram, or Ban.do. If you want to learn more about her, I personally loved this interview by SF Girl by Bay here

Ruche Turns 6: Birthday Party Recap

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One of my favorite parts about living in Southern California is all the events that go on in this area. Not only that, but events put on by brands I’ve known and respected for years! This past weekend, I attended Ruche‘s sixth birthday party! Lucky for me, the event was being hosted at the 31 Bits headquarters, which is right down the road from where I live! Let me just tell you, I loved this event. Everything was planned and executed so well. Who doesn’t love a good birthday party?

Right as you walked in, some girls were passing out goodie bags (which, by the way, were some amazing goodie bags) and welcoming you into the event. As you walked in, Ruche had set up a pop-up shop of some of their clothing and accessories. Best part? Everything was $10 or less. What! That was quite the nice surprise. As you continued through the venue, you finally entered into a bigger space that was decorated with flower arrangements by Art with Nature Design, party garlands, stringed lights, and other celebratory touches. There was pink champagne, mini cupcakes, a flower crown stand, live music by Honeypie, and a cotton candy stand. Yep.

We totally enjoyed our time celebrating with Ruche! Here are some snapshots from our time at the event:

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If you’re every in Southern California, be sure to swing by  31 Bits  in Costa Mesa. Each piece is so unique, well crafted, and empowers women to rise above poverty in Uganda. They are close friends to the Krochet Kids intl. family! Seeing their products in person makes it even harder to resist! Each piece is so beautiful.

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It’s safe to say my favorite part of the event was Bon Puf. Bon Puf is a service that specializes in organic, natural cotton candy (I didn’t even know that was a thing). And whats better? They have some of the most unique flavors I have ever heard of for cotton candy. Salted Caramel, Strawberry Lemonade, Pear, Coconut, and many more. I had the coconut flavor and they sprinkled the top with pop rocks. How cute is that. Bon Puf is definitely a vendor I recommend for your next event. Oh, and get this: the founder of Bon Puf is only twenty years old.

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I love flowers. I definitely was in awe of all the beautiful arrangements at the event done by Art With Nature Designs.

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One really special part of the event was a wall with a big sign that read “How Do You Live Beautifully?” That’s a good question. Each person got to write how they live beautifully and tape it up on the wall. It was a really special thing to read each persons response and to see how people’s definitions of living beautifully are so unique and vast. I loved that Ruche took time to direct us to evaluate how we are living in beauty in our every day lives.

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Thanks, Ruche, for such a special time celebrating your 6th birthday!