End of the year road trip!

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This year we decided pretty soon after returning from our Honeymoon in Oahu that we wanted to go on a road trip between Christmas and New Years since Aaron was off of work. We played around with a few different routes but ultimately decided on St George, Utah to Flagstaff, AZ to Kingman, AZ with National Parks and fun stops in between. I used the Roadtrippers app to map everything out and it helped so much! It shows you how much time between each stop, helps you search for stops in between destinations and even estimates your total gas spend. Personally, I feel like 5+ hours a day driving is too excessive for a trip where you want to have fun but also not be drained, so we kept our driving days at about 4 hours of driving or a bit less. Also, keep in mind things always take longer than expected on road trips!

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Our first stop was Peggy Sue’s Diner and dang what a dream. The inside was just as good as the exterior and the food was diner perfection. Highly recommend sitting at the counter and admiring all of the details, pies and food coming out. Will definitely be returning!

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Next stop was the Seven Magic Mountains. I’ve been wanting to stop here since I started seeing it pop up on Instagram last year. Two things I didn’t expect: how big it was and how many people were there! Seriously, major props to those of you who got a picture with no one in the background (or have the patience and skill to edit everyone out). It really was breathtaking, especially as we approached it from a few miles away and all I could see was giant neon rocks against the desert landscape. Worth the stop if it’s on your route definitely. Bonus points if you match your dress to the rocks!

After that we made a quick stop in Vegas to see my instagram friend Tammy who manages the Buffalo Exchange out there. I’ve been following her for awhile and she is ALWAYS finding the best vintage kitsch out there so I knew I had to stop. She pulled a rack of vintage just for me at Buffalo (so special!) and we got to chat for a bit. I genuinely wish I had more time in Vegas to shop & eat so I think I’ll make that happen soon. She suggested I stop over at Glam Factory around the corner as well which was also sooo good!

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We made it to St George that night and got a solid night’s sleep before trekking to Zion National Park the next morning. One major bummer here was the construction happening on the road leading up to the entrance. We sat in our car waiting to get in for over an hour in dead stopped traffic. I recommend going as early as possible! Since we had Mochi with us, there was only one trail we were allowed to walk, but that’s okay! It was so beautiful and not very busy at all. Weather was also crisp and perfect for a hike.

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As soon as we got back to St George we stopped in at the adorable Larsen’s Frostop. I mean, how cute is this place?!

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The next day we packed up and got on the road to head to Horseshoe Bend in AZ. Sooo gorgeous in person and a great place to stop if you’re traveling with a pet. It’s about a 20 minute walk round trip to see the actual horseshoe once you get there. Oh, also it’s free! Maybe not the greatest place for kids or off-leash pets as there isn’t a rail around the edge. I read online it’s one of the most photographed places in the country and I can definitely see why.

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Next stop was Flagstaff and I can tell you that we were thrilled to be in a city with more than a few food options! Spent the afternoon vintage shopping at Incahoots, buying too much candy at Sweet Shoppe Candy Store and then eating dinner at Pizzicletta (mmmm).

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The next morning we got up early, grabbed a smoothie at Local Juicery (the only healthy meal I had on this trip, ha) and hauled ass to the Grand Canyon. I wanted to get there before the rush and we got there with only four cars in front of us in line, YAY! We parked with ease and walked over to the rim of the canyon and proceeded walking around for about 2 hours. The path around the rim of the canyon is 13 miles long and dog-friendly so it was pretty perfect. It’s true what they say: photos don’t do it justice. In person it’s like you’re looking at a 3-d multi-colored painted backdrop that is somehow real. I wish we could have seen the colors change at sunset but I’m so happy with what we saw. Also, it’s very draining walking around with a cute dog in a sweater at a place like that! By the end, Aaron was joking that we were walking Beyoncé because we couldn’t get 10 feet without someone stopping us to take a picture or pet her lol. When we drove out of the park there was a line about one mile long of cars waiting to get in! So glad we missed that rush..

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Next stop was the Bedrock City about 30 minutes back towards the highway. I’ve wanted to go here for awhile and it was exactly what I imagined: a rundown roadside attraction with equal parts kitch and creep. Unexpected bonus: dogs are allowed since it’s an entirely outdoor park. The $5 admission is definitely worth it for the photo ops. Must stop if you’re in the area!

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The rest of our route was along the historic Route 66 which was so great for kitschy spots like this that pay homage to yesteryear. Sadly, many spots were closed due to it being the week between Christmas and New Years. If you’re driving this road, you have to stop in Seligman, AZ.

By the end of our trip we were more than ready to get home and sleep in our bed with a nice meal, but we really had the best time! Tips below:

How to keep your road trip within a budget: Research & be flexible! Our original plan cost almost double what this trip cost us and would have required way more driving so we adjusted accordingly. I used TripAdvisor to book everything because I like their interface and find that they offer the best pricing aggregate. I didn’t always book the cheapest option since I read reviews and looked at photos. I think it all depends on your priorities and ours were mainly in our experiences on the road since we knew we weren’t spending much time in the actual hotel rooms. For meals, we kept it cheap or even free when possible with RX bars & pretzels in the car and taking advantage of included continental breakfasts. We indulged when we had the option but really tried to not spend too much on mediocre food. Another cool part of our trip was that after visiting two large national parks ($30 entry to each) we splurged the extra $20 and got a year pass to any national park! I’m all for spending on experiences rather than things and I love that this is sort of a challenge to see where we can go next.

How to travel with a dog: Mochi is so easy to travel with but Georgie isn’t so he stays back when we go out of town. It’s pretty easy to find dog-friendly hotels and also see what sort of fee they have. For the National Parks, some are more welcoming than others but we had no issues. There was one place I wanted to stop that I couldn’t because we had her and they don’t allow dogs (Lower Antelope Canyon) but I don’t regret bringing her at all. Just research ahead of time!

How to pack: I’m genuinely thrilled with myself on this one, haha. This is probably the first time that I got back home and all I had still clean was 2 pairs of underwear and 2 pairs of socks. Since everything was pretty mapped out, I knew when I would want to wear a cute dress or leggings for a hike or to be comfy in the car, and I packed just that plus extra undies and socks. I also usually make a few vintage purchases on the road. Also, bring things that you can easily change into on the road if you want since most time won’t be spent in a hotel. Get yourself a good lil duffel bag if you don’t already have one for trips like this so it can squish behind your seat if need be.

What I could do differently: research more and bring more healthy snacks. The cute exterior motels aren’t always cute inside (duh, haha).

xo

Sam

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Our Wedding Video

I’m so excited to share this! I feel the same way about this video as I do about the photo sneak peeks I’ve gotten so far from our photographers: I’m pretty sure I would still be obsessed with it if it weren’t my own wedding because the videographer + setting are just that amazing.

Amanda was an early adopter of Whurl so we’ve stayed connected over the past few years. She reached out about a month after I got engaged with a long + thoughtful email letting me know why she thought she would be best for the job of shooting video for our wedding and why video is important. Without even asking, she knew my concerns which was wild. ALSO, she mentioned in her email that it would be cool to consider getting married at the Madonna Inn while she had no idea that I was actually looking at the venue the exact day she sent me that email. I felt so connected to her already at that point and honored that she wanted to travel from Virginia to California to shoot my wedding. As we talked more she assured me she would be a somewhat quiet presence in the background shooting our day and capturing all of the magic that I was too busy to notice.

She was so sweet and genuinely calming the day of that I was not only satisfied but relieve that we had hired her. She also told me a story about how when she used to work at Beacon’s Closet in Brooklyn (if you are planning a trip to NY, make sure to stop there; amazing vintage!) a decade ago she would sit in the breakroom and stare longingly at a postcard of the Madonna Inn and think “I just have to go there one day!” What a sweet story and I’m so happy I was able to play a small part in helping her finally get to the see the beauty of the Madonna Inn in real life!

I’m blown away by what she captured, edited and created here in this perfect 5 minute video and I hope you enjoy it too! Please check out more of Amanda’s work here and she’s currently booking weddings and events all over the country through 2018.

Oahu Guide!

 

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illustration by Louise Androlia

So excited to share all of this! Making guides is so dang fun for me for two reasons: 1, I love to share all the cool & yummy places I find and 2, I love having a diary I can look back at for nostalgia’s sake or to plan a trip back. I’m hoping to travel more in 2018 (just made that resolution as I typed it) and thusly, make more guides for everyone to enjoy. Lemme know if you have any feedback!

 

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1.     Makaha beach – This beach was about a five minute drive from our airbnb the first two nights of our trip. We found it by googling “best soft sand beaches in oahu” and it did NOT disappoint. The water was really clear and I even got to “touch” a rainbow! Also important to mention: the beach was pretty much empty!

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2.     Dole plantation – A fun tourist attraction where you can take a Pineapple Express train around the pineapple farms and learn about the rich history of the yummy fruit + it’s hawaiian roots. Afterwards nab a cone of dole whip on your way out.

3.     Green World Coffee Farm – a quick stop for a cup of coffee at a coffee farm; how could you not? Also have lots of samples of other varieties and sell tons of yummy flavors to bring home as gifts.

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4.     Ulua lagoon – four gorgeous side by side lagoons on the coast, blocked off by rocks so there are no waves. Go here if you wanna lounge in calm waters & feel like a mermaid. Bonus: one of the lagoons is located in front of the Disney Resort, why not try dropping into their lazy river while sipping on a mai tai??

5.     Savers – it’s not possible for me to go to a city and not pop into a thrift store in the off chance that other cities are somehow frozen in time (my dream). I definitely didn’t strike gold but I did score a set of 60’s daisy coasters for my coffee table.

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6.     Primo Popcorn – I fell in aesthetic love with their fruity popcorn when I spotted it in the gift shop at the Dole Plantation. But then I feel in actual love when I found out it was a mom & pop artisan popcorn store (I love popcorn fyi). Stinkin’ Rose was my fave. They sell online too. 

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7.     La Mariana Sailing Club – multiple people told us to go here so I knew it was worth the trek. It seems like the last authentic tiki style bar in Oahu. It’s tucked away on the docks near a bunch of sail boats and the aesthetic is just spot on. Honestly everyone said the food was bleh but the drinks were good and I beg to differ: our nachos were heavenly!

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8.     Barrio Vintage – another amazing spot! I’ve been following them for years and sooo into their collection and overall vibe. The store is stocked with mostly 60’s and 70’s (my fave) and tons of vintage hawaiian pieces. The owners are not only super knowledgeable but nice as hell and excited to meet everyone that walks through their doors. Oh and prices were G R E A T.

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9. Liliha bakery – Yum yum yuummm! We had the yummiest purple poi mochi donut here and I can’t stop thinking about it and wondering WHY this food trend hasn’t landed in LA yet?

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10. The Laylow – Our adorable as hell hotel situated one block from the beach and just a few steps from lots of yummy food. Would definitely stay here again! The design and color scheme is great, rooms are mid-century modern meets vintage Hawaiian and they even give you a basket of snacks and flip flops when you arrive. Oh and did I mention free shave ice in the lobby from 1-2 pm everyday??

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11. Scratch Bakery – Aaron found this spot from browsing yelp and boyyyy was it good. “Cereal milk pancake stack” are words I had never heard and now I can’t UNHEAR them! Also, we got there 30 minutes after they opened and it was already packed.

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12. Baskin Robbins – if you watch my instastories you know why this made the list; the King St location is where Obama worked as a teen. It felt comforting and almost magical to walk into this tiny strip mall and get a kids’ scoop of mint chip ❤

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13. The Royal Hawaiian – the second oldest hotel in Hawaii! Everything about this place is perfect and best of all it’s PINK! I highly recommend having a walk around the grounds and even jump in the hot tub if you think you can get away with it. I always use a rule when I drop in on other hotels that I buy a drink or food so I rationalize that it’s okay, haha. 

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14. Banan – yum yummmm! Soft serve made entirely of bananas and so dang good. I got mine with fruit and granola on top and it was the perfect treat on the beach. I make this at home all the time just by throwing frozen bananas in a blender and adding some peanut butter or chocolate chips, just F Y I. 

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15. Moana surfrider – The oldest hotel in hawaii! There’s a free museum on the second floor with tons of Hawaiian history. Also a 116 year old massive banyan tree engulfs the beachside patio and it’s just so breathtaking irl. 

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16.  Marukame Udon – delicious udon & tempura located conveniently across the street from The Laylow, where we were staying. Prices on udon range from $5-8 so it’s a nice yummy and cheap meal when you’re on vacation. Important to note there is sometimes a long line outside so keep that in mind. Once you order your food is handed to you immediately though, so that helps if you’re entering high levels of hangryness. 

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17. Musubi Café Iyasume – tiny hole in the wall with spam musubi’s at $2 a pop. I love snacking on these in between meals or carrying one around for when I do get super hungry. 

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18. Rainbow Drive-In – What an amazing exterior! Sad to say I didn’t get a chance to actually eat the food here but just had to pull over and get a pic when I saw it. At night the neon sign comes on and it’s just as magical.

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19. Leonard’s Bakery – I don’t feel like I’m exaggerating when I say you haven’t lived until you’ve had a malasada, and Leonards is truly the best! Malasadas are portuguese donuts which can best be described as oversized donut holes that are always fresh & piping hot and can be ordered with or without filling. A definite must!

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20. Spitting Cave – this was one of the recommendations from the boys at Barrio and it did not disappoint. A little hike down and then back up when you leave but so worth it! The rock formations and waves crashing are just plain stunning. 

21. Makapuu Beach – a cute little east side beach we went to watch the sunrise at 🙂

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22. Halona Beach Cove – My favorite beach we went to! Also known as Cockroach Cove due to the fact that before you hike down to the beach, everyone looks like cockroaches from that high up. Clear water, gorgeous rocks and tiny tidepools make this my number one beach in Oahu. Oh, and this is where they shot the infamous kissing scene in From Here to Eternity !

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23. Ono Steaks and Shrimp – Another cheap fave on the island and to me there’s nothing that screams vacation more than chowing down on coconut shrimp while in your sandy swimsuit. It’s 10 minutes up the Highway from Halona Beach Cove and the perfect lunch stop before you continue on to…

24. Lanikai Beach – one of the most gorgeous & clear beaches we stopped at! Sand was soft and so picturesque. If i’m being completely honest we didn’t actually swim here because once we arrived Aaron realized he had set our towels on the roof of the car before we drove off (lol) but all I could do was laugh hysterically and put my feet in the water. 

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Whurl Gurls: Interview with @KateGabrielle

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I’ve loved following your blog for years now! What are your thoughts on the evolution of blogging? What was your favorite part of blogging when you started vs now?

Thank you! Based on the blogs that I’ve been following for the last several years, it seems like most of them have either turned blogging into a full time job or they quit entirely. There aren’t many “just for fun” blogs left out of the ones I originally followed in 2010-2011. I think a lot of people have moved over to instagram for outfit posts, but I miss SO many blogs. There are a few that I still check in on once in a while, even though they haven’t been updated now for over a year! There’s even a few that have disappeared entirely from the internet and I’ve used the wayback machine to view them, lol! There was just something special about each blogger having their own little corner of the internet, and I feel like instagram just doesn’t have the same vibe. Especially since I personally prefer bloggers who write little daily scribbles to go with their posts and that doesn’t happen quite as often on IG.

My favorite part of blogging is the same now as when I started – the idea of having a semi-consistent journal of the last seven years of my life. I was much better at posting regularly at the beginning (I think sometimes I posted three times a day, which seems insane to me now!!) but I still try to post at least once a month. I also love the idea of being part of a community, and I have found so many lifelong friends through blogging 🙂

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At what age did you discover vintage and how has that influenced your personal style? Do you have a single piece of vintage that’s the most meaningful to you?

I’ve loved vintage clothing since I was like 7 or 8 and was obsessed with the outfits Elizabeth Montgomery and Barbara Eden wore in Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. And I got even more obsessed when I discovered classic movies when I was 13. But I didn’t realize buying that clothing and wearing it myself was even an option until I was 22! It definitely allowed me to add more fun to my wardrobe. I feel like many 60’s and 70’s dresses are much cooler and more exciting than most of the clothes for sale today, so I feel like my own personal style became cooler and more exciting by proxy once I brought some of that vintage goodness into my closet.

Each piece in my collection feels special (even the ones that I agonizingly part with for closet sales) but the most meaningful piece is a pink bell-sleeve lace dress with a giant pink bow on the front. [I attached a picture of it] It was one of the first vintage dresses I purchased that actually fit like a glove. Being a 5’ tall modern size 8, that doesn’t happen very often lol! But it’s so perfect that I’ve worn it for a lot of special occasions, and that’s just made it even more special to me over time.

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Your portraits are stunning and your pop culture pins are hilarious. Anything new coming up with your art?

Thank you so much! Right now I’m working on holiday designs, like a 2018 calendar, Christmas ornaments, and some new Christmas card designs. And long-term I’m working on a book of drawings inspired by the artwork in classic movies (like the portrait of Laura, or the painting of Rex Harrison in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.) I’m obsessed with films where a piece of art plays a key role in the plot of the movie, and I want to pay tribute to those films in my own small way 🙂

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What’s a typical day in the life of Kate?

I’m a night owl so my day typically starts around 11:30AM, when I say ‘good morning’ to my cat, Arrietty, who sleeps in late every morning with me. Then I get dressed, pile on eyeliner, and make my breakfast. I check my emails and usually have a message from my brother, who manages my business, with a list of made-to-order items that I have to produce for order packing that day- things like buttons, pocket mirrors, nostalgia kits, art prints, and custom pendants.

After I’ve finished making items to ship, I’ll usually take my instagram photos for the day. Sometimes if I’m feeling ambitious and particularly creative I’ll try to take more than what I need for that day but most days I come up with 4-5 ideas and narrow it down to three photos. Then I’ll edit my pictures on the computer and schedule them (I use the Later app for scheduling Instagram posts.) If I’m taking outfit photos, now is when I’d take them. I’d put on my favorite music (usually The Killers) and take about 40 shots to get *one* that I like enough to post.

By this time it’s usually late afternoon and I’ll go for a walk with my dad in the park. I stop at the grocery store on the way home each day to pick up fresh ingredients for dinner (I’m super boring and usually eat salmon with roasted asparagus almost every single night) and get an unsweetened iced tea from McDonald’s.

I get home, cook my dinner, and then the rest of the night is creative time. I usually stay up until 3-4am each night working on drawings, new products, working on the coding on my shop’s website and brainstorming new ideas. I also order any supplies I might need, which is especially fun if I need stock for my 90’s kits. I stock them with all kinds of fun things from the 90’s (think stickers, trading cards, pogs) so it’s actually part of my job to scour ebay for cool things for the kits. I love it!

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I’m obsessed with your new delias tumblr!! I also know your obsession with yesteryear covers a lot of ground including old Hollywood and much more. Can you say a bit about your feelings on nostalgia?

Thank you! For me, I think my obsession with 90s nostalgia is entirely because I had a really fun childhood and things that remind me of that era take me back to a time when I was my happiest. I miss how carefree life felt when I was a kid and silly stuff like delias catalogs, Clarissa Explains it All reruns, and smiley face backpacks are like mini time machines.

Now my nostalgia for 60’s fashion and classic movies is entirely different. I just LOVE the aesthetic of 60’s fashion. Everything from vinyl mini skirts to avocado refrigerators. I love it all! And with classic movies, I am just more attracted to the way movies were constructed back then (my favorite era for classic films is the 1930’s and the 1960’s.) Visually I find them more interesting than modern movies. I love the style of acting, the innuendo, the running time (most movies weren’t 2+ hours like they are now) the humor, the set designs, the color palette in 60’s color films, the way movies just felt larger than life and more grand than they do now (the quote “I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.” comes to mind, from Sunset Boulevard)

I have to add though, I’ve been making it a point recently to emphasize the difference between nostalgia for vintage style and nostalgia for the values of the time. Especially when you start getting into the 40’s, 50’s nostalgia, you run into a lot of people who like “the good old days” not for aesthetic reasons so much as political ones. That whole “when men were men and women were women” kind of crap. So I feel like it’s important now to differentiate between loving the aesthetics, art, fashion, movies, and style from loving the antiquated value system that went with it.

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Whurl Gurls: Andi of @ouiwegirl !

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Q – Congrats on your new book! All the photos I’ve seen of it so far are S T U N N I N G! Was there any particular stop on your travels while writing Wanderful that was the most fun or meaningful?

A- Merciiii! So, the book covers 9 road trips, each trip features a destination that’s well traveled (like Santa Fe and San Francisco), one that’s more of an artistic hideaway (Ojai and Marfa, for example) and then a truly off the beaten path destination. Several of the chapters include deeper dives into certain regions and others skip along two line highways making lots of little stops. Choosing the most meaningful or the most fun is hard! There were destinations that I expected to blow me away, to have a sort of sensory overload … like Big Sur, the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree and Flathead Lake in Montana to name a few – and wow they didn’t disappoint! And then there were places I didn’t expect and couldn’t believe were in America and much less driving distance from the cities that we’d started from.
If I had to choose I’d say the most fun was traveling the PCH with Allister Ann and equally as fun was the Eastern Seaboard from NY up the coast of Southern Maine with Keiko. The most special was unexpected: Terlingua, Texas. It’s a good example of a place I couldn’t believe existed and that whole journey was pure magic. Ben and I had departed from Austin, traveled through the artistic utopia of Marfa and then finally arrived in Terlingua. It offered up a different type of creative collective: it’s a Mexican border town – a stone-cold silent desert mixed with a vibrant little ghost town community. That trip was my first true desert road trip – Ben and I were on the road for a month on that outing and I felt so connected to the wildness of it all.

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Q – I know you’re originally from New Orleans. Without stealing too much from your book, can you give a few little tips or your favorite things to do there? I’ve never been but hope to go this year. The city seems so magical!

A – Much of the world’s knowledge of New Orleans is overshadowed by Mardi Gras one one side of things, and then that epic natural disaster Katrina, on the other. However New Orleanians have always known their city holds a much deeper magic. I love that city more than any other place on earth. The architecture and people exude a subtropical Gothic vibe and I’ve filled pages upon pages with recommendations of how to spend time there. In the book I’ve included a “can’t miss” list depending on what you might be into: love music? – don’t miss going to Preservation Hall in the French Quarter; love vintage fashion? (which I know your people do!) take a day to shop the Vieux Carre’s indie boutiques; art aficionado? walk the length of Royal Street to explore gallery after gallery interspersed with Parisian-style cafes. If you’re more of a nature lover there’s a whole list of recommendations including parks and botanical gardens too, and of course there’s jazz clubs, music halls and food recs for days.

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Q – I saw your eclipse party last week and couldn’t help but feel envious of your local pals. For someone who travels so much, you seem to be able to settle in to homebody life pretty easily too. How are you adjusting to your new life in Nashville?

A – Aw, it was the best! You’re coming in 2024! It’s a bit of a strange thing: I’m a nomadic girl at heart, I find incredible energy in travel. However my home is the place that rejuvenates me and Nashville has been awesome for that. Ben is a touring musician and often we coordinate our travel schedules, however once we’re home we settle in so easily. Astrologically I’m a Leo, Capricorn rising, Taurus moon. My Leo-ness drives me to get out and chase new adventure, there’s a want in me to go conquer the world, haha – however, my Capricorn and Taurus inner self have a need for structure and grounded-ness. I consider myself so lucky to have a partner and friends that have a bit of this same spirit, and Nashville has allowed me to connect with some seriously creative entrepreneurial people that I love coming home to.
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Q – How on earth did you take something as fun and rewarding as traveling with your friends and family and turn it into your job? I think that’s the million dollar question everyone wants to know.

A – I ask myself that same thing sometimes, do you want the whole answer? Ha. it is so wild and I’m so grateful to do what I do! Here’s how it started I suppose: I spent the summer of 2014 working on my first book “New Orleans Style.” I was living in New Orleans and had decided to spend 4 months in Spain to write, kind of weird I know – to leave the city I was writing about, however, I decided to immerse myself into a new culture while telling the story of the one I was so used to.

In the meantime, I’d started to rework my blog to reflect these new travel experiences. I love the mindset of artistic survival and for the first time I’d have to live that way – I’d left my corporate job and felt a kinship to people that live their lives on the hunt for the next gig. I’d read an article in Vogue, it was a fun insider look at fashionable travel – a hip hotels and decadent designs sort of thing, peppered with packing & beauty tips – it was the type of info you can’t find in travel guides. As I transitioned Oui We into a wanderluster’s travel site I took initial inspiration from that article, but rather than designers with yachts and private islands (Miuccia Prada and Dontella Versace were on the list) I looked to my own friends, creative muses that have the notion of gypsy traveling down to a science.

That summer, while I was taking writing breaks, I’d travel through Spain (on a serious budget, btw!) and the idea to write a book about bohemian traveling came to life there. Once I returned home to New Orleans the travel bug had me. I’d meet artists, musicians, and style mavens that spend so much of their time living out of a suitcase and studied their ways.The more I wrote about what I was finding on Oui We, the further the fashion travelogue concept for the book developed.

It was a real leap of faith, I remember Ben reminding me at one point, right before I signed with my publisher and just as Oui We was starting to gain real traction, that I needed to give up having any back up options and follow my intuition, because if I kept a back up plan, it would allow the self doubt to seep in. So I saved just enough money to get things fully underway and off I went.

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Q – At what point did you start shopping vintage and why? What’s your fave piece you’ve scored? What’s the best city for vintage?

A – Well – speaking of Vogue, I remember coming across the magazine when I was so young – I’d pore through my mom’s and my aunt’s copies – it was a dream world that I wanted so much to be in. I began a style obsession that was never a “study” in the way most people do it…I was forever collaging and mood boarding just for fun. I was also the kid whose parents weren’t willing to buy mall clothes. To me Gap jeans were a sign of being in the “in crowd” – (omg really, I had no idea!). I was never going to have that “what everyone else is wearing” option so instead I dug through flea market and Goodwill bins (my mom was a serious flea market goer) and developed a style that was my own. While I knew it was all I could afford, it also became a serious form of self expression!

A favorite piece? I actually had a vintage studio in New Orleans for about a year, and I bought and sold so many killer pieces, however I have a white YSL Tuxedo Suit that I found at an estate sale in Houston and I will never, ever part with it.

In regards to favorite vintage shopping cities: there’s so many amazing ones! Nashville has a kick ass vintage scene, Missoula, Montana has some of my favorite vintage too – LA has amazing finds of course and New Orleans too!

​ Small towns thrifts however, sometimes that’s the very best.
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Whurl Gurls: Interview with @mintkarla

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I can’t believe I only recently realized you went to school for film and production. It makes so much more sense now that your photos are all cinematic masterpieces! How do you feel your background overlaps into your life & instagram?

Aw, thank you for the compliment!  I’d say it comes from having a terrible memory combined with a love of storytelling.  I’ve always kinda been an overdocumenter anyway (you should see the shoeboxes of film negatives in storage chronicling my life from ages 16-27, before I got my first digital camera), but when I had my first baby it went into overdrive, as it does for most people.  I think memories are essential, and I strive to document them in a way that feels emotionally real looking back, which is a balance of real moments manipulated into a fake composition.  It’s definitely life creating art creating life but some of the best things are.  I don’t really care to be just absorbing rather than making something, because I feel that I do both absorb and create when I am documenting, which helps me experience certain events in a more heightened way.  Shooting is almost how I process what’s happening to me, if that makes sense.  I’m sure it’s rooted in control issues somewhere, lol.

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Do you ever feel pressure to pose / be super cute and vintagey? If so, how do you deal with that pressure?

These are good questions!  You know, I don’t really feel alot of pressure to be cute!  I’ve just always really enjoyed clothing.  It has such a transformative power over your mood.  I was just talking with a friend about this recently but I vacillate constantly between these extreme modes—productivity / laziness, sleeping all day / not sleeping at all, eating whole foods / surviving on garbage—and I’ve always been that way for some reason. For me it’s either extremely gross marathons of not showering in disgusting food-covered rags or wearing coordinating vintage ensembles with my kids to the grocery store, just because.   I have no idea why but there’s very little in-between, haha.  But one of the great things about clothing is its ability to elevate you to where you want to be mentally;  how we adorn ourselves can be a healthy form of expression and creative control when perhaps we need it the most. Moms reeeeeeeally need to feel good about themselves.  I’m even more thankful for vintage after having kids; the cuts and the fabrics make you feel fantastic the way new clothes just can’t.  I will say though that I do feel pressure when shooting in public, but only if I am the subject—it suuuucks being on display, right? So of course like many I prefer be behind the camera most of the time.  But I guess to be a character in your own story, sometimes you have to do things that intimidate you, you
know?
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How did you get into vintage? And when did you start collecting vintage clothes for your future children to wear?
I got into vintage in sixth or seventh grade—we couldn’t afford new clothes much anyway, and I mainly had hand-me-downs as the youngest of five daughters.   There was this great thrift store called D.A.V. in Lynchburg, VA where I’m from, and I used to go and find the most amazing pieces.  Just…nothing like what was in stores.  In the 90s when the 70s was cool I was thrifting for boys bellbottoms,old man plaid pants, and polyester button-up shirts (though as early as ninth grade I started to dabble in dresses) and now that I’ve embraced my feminine side I wish I could go back in time to the golden era of $1-fill-a-bag thrifting and actually thrift all the amazing vintage dresses that I missed at that store!  Good grief, little Karla didn’t know what she could have had!!!
I was newly married when I bought my first-ever kids vintage piece.  It was a Lacoste tennis dress for a 2-year-old.  I didn’t even want kids at the time, because I’ve never been one of those maternal types (though I was surprisingly open to the idea after becoming engaged—I think that has more to do with your partner being awesome than anything, because you can actually see it working when you’re with a dude who’s enabling and selfless and awesome), but I could’t resist!  How lucky it ended up that not one but TWO little girls get to wear that Lacoste dress. ❤  Kids vintage is really so much fun, like dangerously fun…it takes your collecting to a whole new level.
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What obstacles do you face as a woman director / editor in the industry? And doing all of that in Atlanta, GA?
I think most creative folks learn that to have any sort of life outside of what they do, they have to combine things.  The desire to document is compulsory but the desire to make things amazing for no reason probably has to do with frustrated creativity.  There’s so much I want to do and don’t have time for right now, professionally and otherwise, that I just end up using myself and my children as subjects in my own story.
Women face so many obstacles in the film industry!  Honestly the mom struggle is the hardest, especially when we have half-formed careers.  You just can’t do it all below a certain pay grade.  I can do little films and video projects here and there but I can’t get to where I want to be right now and be the primary caregiver for my children (James works full-time).  The school schedule complicates things, as well.  I’m happy to freelance from home, it is important for me to connect with my girls….and James has a very understanding work which is great when I can pick up shoots and take off for a few days.  Child care is one of the fastest-growing industries in this country because women are starting to get out there and kick ass, which is great, but our society isn’t set up to help families to find the balance between personal and work life, and it falls on womens’ shoulders the most to suffer in one or both of these areas.  I want to figure out how to get out there and kick ass as a mom of small children but real talk it is HARD, production work is so all-consuming.  I don’t want to have to wait another five years before taking the plunge on a big project. But I’m dying to make another feature film or work on a series or the next big thing.  It’s SO encouraging to see incentives for female directors making headlines with companies like Netflix.  Makes me think that I will be starting back into a more open world than the one I left.  Maybe I can actually get some meetings, haha.
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Do you have one very special piece of vintage? Either for you or Olive? Tell us the story!
I have a little polyester house dress that I have had since ninth grade and I still wear it all the time!  It is cream with dogwood branch printed on it and I love it because it reminds me of my home state of Virginia, whose state tree is the dogwood.  For whatever reason keeping pieces like that for so long brings me so much joy.  I’m already buying vintage that I feel like I can wear as I transition into old-lady-Karla, whose look I’ve already planned: I’m going to dye my hair black and cut it like Louise Brooks and dress every day like I’m going to an art gallery opening.  You know, when I’m not wearing wine-covered sweatpants.  It’s going to be fabulous.
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Whurl Gurls: Interview with Keiko Lynn!

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To celebrate the launch of Keiko Lynn’s closet sale (live now on Whurl!) I sat down and asked the OG blogger a few burning questions. Enjoy and be sure to check out her sale before it’s all gone!
I’ve been following your adventures for what feels like a decade and consider you as the first wave of blogging. How did you get started and what compels you to keep sharing today after so much of the industry has changed? 
I started blogging at the age of 15, when I needed an outlet. There’s no such thing as a private diary when you’re living with sisters, so having an online [semi] private diary was exactly what I needed. I had a small audience — some of whom still follow me today — and that carried over to livejournal. For someone as anxious and shy as I was, it was nice to have this built in support system. It’s very different today, but I love that I can still post something super personal and there are these longtime readers who will engage with me on a different level. I feel very lucky to have a unique readership.
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I adore your fashion posts (especially featuring your drool-worthy closet) but I think the travel posts are some of my favorite. Do you have any factors that help you decide where to adventure next? Any fun upcoming travels you’re planning? How do you balance your travel time with your life in NYC?
My best friend and I take big trips together every year, since we live on opposite coasts. We are the queens of crowd sourcing and last minute decisions. We take everyone’s suggestions into consideration, then look at costs to narrow it down. We are planning a trip for September and have it narrowed down to a few places, but that doesn’t mean we won’t end up somewhere totally different. Last year we planned on going to Tulum and ended up in Thailand. NYC is a hub, so traveling feels like second nature. I do mostly domestic travel so that I can bring my pup along — she especially loves road trips — but international trips require a lot more planning when it comes to my animals. But the key to my staying in love with NYC is to get out of the city and explore as much as possible, no matter if it is for a quick day trip or an international excursion.
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One thing I absolutely adore about following you, is seeing the work you’ve been doing with animals. As a fellow dog-lover person it just genuinely warms my heart to see you dedicate not only your social media real estate, but your actual time and energy to constantly helping animals. What made you decide to take your love of animals front and center?
All of my animals were adopted, and it’s the only thing I ever really considered. I never understood why there were people buying from pet stores when the shelters are overflowing. The only logical answer to me was that people just don’t know enough about it, or don’t want to confront it. I believe that people are generally very good and want to help, but need that extra little push.
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Do you remember what first drew you to vintage clothing? Or even the first piece you bought?
My mom has a consignment shop, and she often bought out entire estates. She doesn’t sell much clothing, so I would end up rooting through it (and the photos!) for my own collection. My mom fostered that love of vintage, but it was born through a combination of fascination with my great grandma’s old photos and good ol’ Nick at Nite when it was all classic television shows. I grew up with shows mostly from the 50s and 60s, so I was obsessed with those eras in particular.

Guide to Phoenix / Scottsdale + Hotel Valley Ho!

Hey all! I’m so excited to share more details about my weekend in AZ! I had been craving a vacation and decided to finally stay at the Hotel Valley Ho after dreaming of it for months. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a gorgeous mid-century hotel that opened in the 1950’s, remodeled in the 70’s (you know, when the 50’s aesthetic felt so out of date *eyeroll*) and then restored to its original aesthetic in the early 2000’s. Other than looking like a retro-chic palace in photos, the Valley Ho checked off a few other important boxes for me as well. Colorful decor, check. Dog-friendly, check. Multiple swimming pools, check. Delicious on-site restaurant, check. Massive bathtub in room, added bonus! Anyway, you get the idea.

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When we arrived after the quick 5 and a half hour drive (yes, it’s quicker to drive here than to get to San Francisco from LA!) I was actually in awe. Every single detail in the lobby was an actual dream to me! From the furniture used, to the decor to the Supremes playing on the speakers. I really felt like I was in some sort of tropical time machine! Next stop was our beautiful room, with patio doors that opened to the pool area; not bad! They even left a water bowl for Mochi in the room! I immediately felt relaxed and like I was actually on vacation, which to be honest, is a hard feeling to achieve when you’re constantly working from your phone.

After a nice swim and a nap, we checked out their restaurant and I was genuinely impressed. Let’s be honest: not all hotel restaurants are created equal! The service was impeccable and the food was divine! If you happen to stop by, you have to get the lobster and grits for dinner and the red velvet waffle for breakfast!

After the obvious food coma that ensued, we woke up on Saturday feeling refreshed and ready to S H O P. One of my favorite stores to pop by in Phoenix is Antique Sugar. The selection is incredible, the shopowner is so nice, and most importantly they have a 50% off storewide sale the last weekend of every month! Was it a coincidence that we happened to be here the last weekend of the month? You decide. After picking up a few new pieces, I popped over to Retro Ranch. Another impeccable store that’s about half clothing and half amazing mid-century decor and furniture. I walked away with a vintage pillowcase and a doll case that I’m going to use as a purse! Probably the biggest surprise to me was how much I scored at Buffalo Exchange! A few people had recommended it to me and I was pleasantly surprised with how much vintage they had and how most of it was on sale.

Can I also just say how impressed I was with the food in AZ?! I had the most delicious vietnamese tofu salad at Flower Child, delicious matcha latte from Songbird Tea & Coffee, a fresh poké bowl from Chula seafood (apparently they take half the week off to drive to San Diego and go fishing to source their fish!) and a milkshake at the Sugar Bowl.

 

Next up we headed to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art to check out the submergence exhibit. So cool and open until 9/24, I highly recommend it!

Once Sunday rolled around, it was finally time for the Whurl Sip ‘N Shop with Luxie Vintage, Lauren of Mint Hair Studio, and Lisa from Colortheoryshop and I really had the best time! The atmosphere was great and every girl that came by seemed so excited about the event. I’m looking forward to coming back for more events!

Thanks to everyone who showed us a good time In Arizona (especially Hotel Valley Ho for inviting us to stay!) and we can’t wait to come back again soon!

Whurl Gurls: Meet Katie of @skunkboy!

SO excited to launch Katie’s closet sale today! She has the sweetest ethereal style with just the right dash of 60’s kitsch. I’ve been following her and her adorable family for a few years and am always inspired by her cute life. I mean, she’s in a band with her husband, has two beautiful daughters and a kickass backyard garden…does it get any cooler? Well, yes IT DOES! She just got a litter of kittens that you absolutely must check out on her instagram after you’ve looked through her sale on Whurl! xo
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Where are you from?
*I’m from Springfield, MO, which is an ever-growing little slice of southern Missouri. The community here is amazing. People take pride in our city and are always working to grow the area. I love the passion here.
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What inspires you?
*I’m inspired by fun and whimsy. I adore vintage dollhouses and toys, and I love color. My home and wardrobe both reflect that.
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What’s your favorite decade?
*My favorite decade is probably the 60’s. It’s the one I’m most drawn to, even though I’ve always dreamed of being a total 70’s babe.
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What’s your favorite place to vintage shop?
*Springfield has quite a few hole-in-the-wall secondhand shops and these are easily my favorite. I do love a pretty, curated vintage shop, but there is such satisfaction in popping in a Thrift Haven or an STD (yes, they are called that and we have two of them) and scoring something gorgeous for $2. I know my way around the sewing machine well enough to take even the rougher garments and turn them back into something wearable.
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What’s the best thing you ever thrifted?
*The best thing I’ve ever thrifted is my vintage Playboy bunny chair. It sits in front of my vanity and it’s the perfect accent for my little getting-ready space. My husband actually popped in a thrift shop one day and once he spotted it, he immediately came home to pick me up so I could check it out. It was love at first sight.
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Name one fun fact about yourself
*I’m in a 90’s tribute band called The Mixtapes. I play keys, guitar, and accordion, and am 1 of 4 singers. We started this band for fun and now we’re about to celebrate our 4th birthday! We have a lot of fun and try to musically be our best without taking ourselves too seriously.
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Whurl Gurls: Meet Yasmine of @yasminemei!

IMG_5128How and when did you start doing floral design?
I started working with flowers when I was 18. Fresh out of high school and fumbling through college, I landed my dream job working weekends at a flower stand in Laguna Beach.  I’ve been at it even since.
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With such a colorful profession, how do you feel your job influences your personal style if at all?
The palettes I use in my arrangements and choose for my wardrobe tend to be similar. Often times, if I didn’t have a particular color palette in mind when shopping at the flower market, I’ll end up choosing flowers that match the outfit I was wearing that morning. It’s subconscious and comical.
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I know you’ve given lessons in floral design in the past, are there any quick tips you can give here to help those of us who are florally-challenged?
Practice! And don’t overthink it.
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You seem to travel a lot and I bet you draw inspiration from every location. That being said, how do you find yourself inspired by living and working in Los Angeles?
I find myself incredibly inspired by LA. The city (and county) is so diverse in population and landscape, that it’s impossible not to draw influence from it. I love how simultaneously gritty and precious LA can be. That’s a look I sometimes try to achieve in my arrangements.
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Speaking of travels, do you have any one specific place you like to go when you’re in need of an extra dose of inspiration?
Arizona, always.
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You seem to have a great support system here in Los Angeles. As someone who works alone as well, I know how important that is! Not only to stay inspired but to be able to bounce ideas off of friends. Are there any friends or businesses that you rely on here in LA to keep the Yasmine machine going? 
There are SO many people in my life that keep me and my business going. I feel incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by so many smart, capable women. I know for certain that my business wouldn’t be what it is now without the help and support of my dear friend Monica, who owns the shop (Individual Medley) where I do my pop-ups.