Category Archives: wanderlust

Tiny House Dreaming

February 18, 2015

As minimalism is gaining traction in the fashion world with capsule wardrobes cropping up on blogs all over the place, the same revolution is going on with houses. The smaller the house, seemingly the more creativity goes into designing a functional space and more often than not it results in a quite beautiful space. While I am not ready to stuff my life – clothes, dogs, boyfriend, office – into 200 square feet just yet, the idea of simplifying and streamlining living is becoming more attractive (as more clutter living and working in the same spaces builds up). Perhaps I will just have to ease into this type of living – maybe starting with a tiny cabin in the woods to escape to! Would you ever live in a tiny house?

tiny_houseThis is perhaps the most famous tiny house, with a documentary following the entire building process, and is a mere 127 sq. feet in Colorado.

tiny_house_cabinThis cabin in upstate New York is a luxurious 300 square feet – and completely off the grid. It is just a vacation house, so it might be something I could get into!

tiny_house_siloThis is a 190 sq. foot silo in Phoenix, AZ and all of the design was based around the curves of the structure. The architect and owner, Christoph Kaiser, said “I didn’t want to cheat and do a box inside a curved shell”. So amazing!

WANDER & EXPLORE // Taos, New Mexico

December 3, 2014

There is nothing more refreshing and fun than a trip somewhere! Whether traveling solo, with girlfriends, or your boo – close to home or far – a getaway is sometimes just what you need to recharge your soul and be inspired.

In this series, we pick a spot that is special to us or special to someone special we know and get the inside scoop on where to spend your time while visiting.

Taos_new_mexcio_jalune_7THE PLACE:


Taos, New Mexico is about an hour away from Sante Fe, nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. I had always pictured Taos as a small desert town, but it is in fact is situated where the mountains meet the desert at an elevation of 5,716 feet – it even has its own ski resort. The town gets its name from the Taos Pueblo, a Native American village and dwelling that has been occupied for over 1,000 years. Taos is rich in Native American culture and in the early 1900s drew artists to the area for its history and landscape. It become an artist colony that continues to grow through present day. From the art galleries to the mountains, this small town has the perfect range of activities for a quick weekend getaway.




Coffee Cats is hidden in a an alley away from the busy Taos plaza making it the perfect cafe to duck into for an afternoon pickup.

Also, the Taos Diner had hands down the best breakfast and decent diner coffee to go with!

Taos_new_mexcio_jalune_6 Taos_new_mexcio_jalune



We lucked out in an amazing VRBO casita that was close enough to walk to town from.

Taos is also known for their earthships, off the grid dwellings made from natural and recycled materials. There are some earthships available to stay in that are farther from the town center.

There are also many campgrounds in the surrounding the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Taos Valley.




There are several great hikes nearby:

Italianos Canyon trail is a steep trail, but one of the most scenic as you climb up through aspen groves and small open meadows.

The Wild Rivers Recreation Area also has trails that surround the area of where the Rio Grande and Red River meet.

Taos_new_mexcio_jalune_5 Taos_new_mexcio_jalune_4


Natural Hot Springs – Just 40 minutes outside Taos, the Ojo Caliente hot springs were discovered in 1500’s by the Spanish and have been used for healing ever since. You can use the pools for a day rate, or if you are feeling fancy, you can book a room and spa packages as well.


Taos pueblo – As mentioned before, the Taos pueblo is a village that has been continuously lived in for over 1,000 years. You can take a quick tour for some history and then wander around the grounds where you will find little shops and cafes run by the Red Willow people. Be sure to look for Carpio’s shop, Water Crow, and ask him about his time hanging out in the desert with Dennis Hopper and Neil Young.


The Love Apple – One of the best restaurants we tried in Taos, not the common New Mexican cuisine of pesole and green chili which is easily found at most restaurants (and is delicious!), but a farm to table menu that changes with the season and is located in an old mission church.


The Great Sand Dunes – If you have an extra couple hours, the trip to the dunes in the southwest corner of Colorado is worth it. The dunes are over 750 feet high and cover 19,000 acres, so they are not your standard beach dune you may have encounter before. They formed from sediment from the Rio Grande and winds that helped blow the sand from miles away. The dunes look surreal next to the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, where there are trails, alpine lakes, and camping as well. If you do go, make sure to stop at the visitor’s center where you can rent sand boards!

Taos_new_mexcio_jalune_2 Taos_new_mexcio_jalune_1

Day hiking

July 3, 2014

hiking_jalune_4This spring I took my casual hiking up a notch with longer full day hikes. There is nothing more satisfying than finding a new trail and spending a day exploring it while getting some exercise and being surrounded by nature.

I also committed to hiking more and bought myself a pair of shoes solely for hiking. Wanting something light, but also high-topped for extra ankle support – I ended up finding the perfect pair for me in the Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof boot. I can’t say enough good things about this particular shoe. Wearing a shoe made for hiking really helps with your longevity and comfort on the trail so I highly recommend finding one that suits you.

hiking_jalune_5hiking_jalune hiking1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Here is my list of essentials & tips for a Day Hike along with some of the products I use:


At the trailhead, take any maps they may have and take a photo with your phone of the trail map. You may not have cell service so switch to airplane mode to save batteries and you will still be able to snap photos.


Never touch plants with 3 leaves, those are your poison ivys, oak, and sumacs!


Stay on the trails and be aware of where you are walking. Snakes and other animals are scared of you, so talk to your hiking partner consistently to let them know you are coming so they stay away. Look ahead, down, and above – i.e. stay off your phone! I was on a trail and there was a snake (harmless but giant) in the tree branch right over my head, that was not something I expected.


Hiking shoe / boot  – as mentioned I am in love with my Ahnus!


Sunscreen – put it on prior all over, as well as bring some with you for reapplications.

face & hands: Kiss My Face

body: Alba Botanica


Baseball cap – strap it onto your pack. Comes in handy when the sun won’t let up. I prefer a mesh cap for a less sweaty experience.


Sunglasses – Lightweight frames, sun protection, and a fit that won’t slide of your sweaty nose is key. Rayban’s new Liteforce line is amazingly light, I don’t think I can go back to the weight of regular sunglasses. They have both Wayfarer & Aviator versions.


Tissues – ie toilet paper! I often just fold some up and put in a ziploc. Even if there are toilets at a trailhead, often there is no paper left.


Wipes for your hands / feet / etc – I like the ‘Yes To’ wipes


Small plastic bag to keep all your trash in your backpack – keep the gross stuff separate. Never litter.


Bug spray if needed – This one is awesome –  all natural and effective, and I love the smell which is a bonus!


Extra socks – if you’re crossing rivers there is a good chance you will get water in your shoes. If you don’t know Stance socks already, treat yourself and feel the difference.


Small towel – in case you fall in the water or purposefully jump in…


Bathing Suit – if you know there is water on your trail, be prepared in case you get the urge to jump in!


Portable Snacks – such as apples, oranges, trail mix, protein bars, and almond butter & jam sandwiches on sprouted grain bread


Put all this in your BACKPACK – a small day Camelbak makes lugging your water with you that much easier as its weight gets evenly distributed. A bit of a nerdy look, but really smart and comfortable.



Leave the trail cleaner than you found it, carry out all your trash if there are no designated bins.

Leave only your footprints and take only photographs!

Summer Road Trip Photo Diary

June 16, 2014


There is nothing more exhilarating than hopping in the car to head off on a adventure, whether for the day, the weekend, or longer with a favorite person. Leaving with extra time for the loose plans, intentional destinations, unexpected road stops, and a car full of snacks & shoes is my favorite way to go!


This past week I set off on an epic road trip with my amazing beau, who knows everything about the outdoors, camping, and driving. It was my first time camping as an adult too – and I can’t wait to go again!


We went from home in Long Beach, CA: inland & north to Yosemite  – Lake Tahoe – Klamath Falls & Southern Oregon through the Redwoods out to the coast – then down the Northern California Coast through more Redwoods, Mendocino County, Sonoma County and into the Bay Area.


Nature was everywhere and since I am not the best with descriptive words – here is a quote that sums it up plus my favorite photos from my trip. I am already daydreaming of the next one!

Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature’s sources never fail.
-John Muir, 1901