My morning inspiration

This week I’ve been rehashing my trip to California more than a month ago. It’s been so fun to finally go through all my pictures! This set is my Friday inspiration – I hope you find as much calming energy as I do when I look through these. Enjoy! 


These were taken early in the morning on the pier that once belonged to William Randolph Hearst’s family. We started day four of the trip here, across the highway from the entryway to his castle, this place was incredible. You’ll notice how few houses there are in the background. This serene stretch of land in central California is dreamy and calms me down whenever I look at it.


I love being in the middle of nowhere and by an ocean at the same time. Where do you go to seek inspiration?

{trip report} Day 3: Mission Santa Barbara


On day three of the Highway 1 trip we headed to a town that my mom told me was her favorite in California. As she reminisced her own family’s roadtrip in the 60s, I knew this place was going to be special. Santa Barbara is magical. The hilly land with blue as far as the eyes can see – the sky and the ocean. 

We went to the Mission Santa Barbara and, while I’ll reserve my opinions on colonial rule and it’s impact on the “New World,” I’m happy to report those Spanish friars make some great looking buildings. 


Ready for some unintentional porn?


Yep – I’m mature…taking pictures of this in the middle of the cemetery in a Mission. With skull and crossbones looking over me. Good, Eliza, good.


There’s this massive tree in the middle of the grounds and under it are some 4,000 people buried over the course of the years. The energy there isn’t sad though, it was just plain calm and beautiful.


The chapel had incredible acoustics and my mom belted out a song in the middle of it!


The art hung on the walls was dark, but very pretty. It was really dark inside compared to the beautiful light everyone else around the grounds. And there were some great features hidden throughout. The warm building designs meshed nicely with the darker art on the walls. 


The fountain in front of the Mission had stunning flowers, these pictures don’t do them justice. 




How cute are they? Shortly after this picture was taken, I was pooped on by a bird. Good luck, right?


Mission Santa Barbara is a must visit in Santa Barbara, but doesn’t need a full day. We could’ve done the entire thing – museum, church, grounds – in about an hour or two max. Afterwards, walk around down town Santa Barbara and work up a good hunger.

Once you’re good and hangry, head to the harbor. Seriously. More to come on that. 

{trip report} Day 2: Malibu, Neptune’s Net & more ocean

A month ago I went on a glorious vacation with my family and intended to post about the entire thing here. Sadly, or not so sadly, life got in the way. In an attempt to rehash my memories, I’ll share short tidbits when the mood strikes. The full trip report will stay in my Word document unedited…

Day One:

On day two, we explored some more! After a morning on Rodeo Drive (yes, I bought a purse), we headed up to Malibu and through the surrounding canyons. This included was a stop at a restaurant that cameod in the Fast and Furious series – Neptune’s Net! I was star struck, the food was magical, we all had a great meal!


If you go to Neptune’s Net in Malibu, make sure to get the fresh seafood NOT the fried stuff. This place gets a ten in my book – a heaping plate of freshly steamed veggies and shrimp, great sourdough bread and an ear of corn with a cold beer overlooking the ocean? Yep. Heaven.


My mom sitting at our table — that might even have been where the actors sat during filming! Tons of motorcycle dudes were walking around, totally adding the atmosphere. 


After lunch, we ran across the street to go play on the rocks and watch the sunset. Another great day spent on the ocean. 


I took tons of pictures of the family, but this is probably one of my favorites of my brother and me. In my small collection of family photos, I have a shot just like this at various points in our lives. Making faces and laughing. Love it.


My favorite thing about these? My dad and my brother have so many similar mannerisms that came out! Look at the way they walk, stand, play with sea creatures, all of it!

Family, Pride and Antiques

What happens when your father’s family has been in the country since the 1600’s? (It is traceable, I’m assured by my dad.) Really old stories. And really old furniture. One of my favorite pieces of furniture in my parent’s house is a desk from the late 1800s…so that’s what this post is about. 

If you are bored by someone’s family history (that isn’t your family), stop reading. 

Not a lover of antique furniture? Stop reading. 

Interested by people that invent stuff and really old tables? I like you, and you should continue. 

I come from a lineage full of engineers, inventors, patent attorneys and sailors. I lovingly call them tinkerers – they tinker with stuff to make it work. Example of this prowess? My grandpa, Captain (we sailed with him as children on Lake Michigan), had the caption, “I’ll fix that!” under his high school year book photo. As his engineering hobby progressed (and he learned that advertising just wouldn’t pay the bills, smart man) he became an inventor. Can you hear the pride? Yep, it’s boiling over in this post and I don’t care! 

We have a series of old tables each with a crazy story – I’ll try to stick to the truth, although there are some fishermen in my family history as well. 😉

Not a fan of poorly taken photos? You’re already this far, might as well finish up the post.

First off – this drafting table. It was created in Worcester, Mass. before the turn of the century and all of the mechanics of the table still work. It currently lives in my parents informal dining area behind the kitchen table. It’s purpose? To hold binoculars, look good and start interesting conversations.



Now, the cool part.




Inside one of the drawers (above), my great-, great-, grandfather signed it C.L. Newcomb 1890. Besides being an awesome table – absolutely beautiful in design and engineering, it has his lead-written signature in precise cursive. Doesn’t get much cooler than that. Or does it? Stay tuned for another table story later this week.

Do you have any family pieces that make you proud of your heritage/lineage? 


– E.G.S Nukem 2011 — doesn’t have the same ring as C.L. Newcomb 1890