On Friday David and I packed our bags and went to Morongo Valley for a weekend of writing. Sometimes a change of location is just what you need to get your brain working.
The only things we had planned for (except writing writing writing) was to stop and take photos if the desert looked beautiful and interesting.
So this is mostly a post with photos from those little breaks.
But first: Look at me in my new smashing vintage dress!
From the late 60s if I should guess. And EXTREMELY colorful. I have not enhanced the colors at all in this photo. It is vibrant as all hell.
Very much ready for a day of writing in the desert.
After lunch in Palm Springs we found a dirt road that looked interesting.
Commence the photo bonanza!
I'm quite fond of this one.
I had it clear in my mind, but when you're working with fickle things as wind it's difficult to get things the way you want them. I'm very happy mother nature cooperated with me.
Even the road and traffic looks cool in the desert!
Today on our way back to LA we again wanted to stop somewhere fun for photos. The fog lay thick on the mountain on the other side of the highway and we thought we'd never find a tunnel or bridge to get over there. The rain picked up, the clouds rolled in and the wind was everywhere around us. But there! A bridge!
We crossed railway tracks and then we were in the middle of a storm. And it was amazing!
Come on, Wind!
Give me the best you've got!
On my list of things I wanted to see and photograph: Strange desert flora.
Scarf or cape? Who cares when it looks this dramatic!?
Cactus in the foreground, mountain and fog in the back. Also on my list of things I've been wanting to photograph.
When the wind does your hair artfully.
On the list of favorite things to do: Adventures with this guy.
David on his way to capture the view. I think it might have been this photo
he was about to take.
Then all of a sudden the storm just went away. It stayed a little while longer over the mountains but...
...if you turned around it looked like this.
And we were ready to get back on the road to LA.
A weekend is far too little time for everything I want to see in the desert! So, we might have to come back soon.
Talk to you soon!
Still looking fresh and cool before the long walk.
I go for a long walk in the grey and muggy weather.
For the first time in ages the temperature has dropped below 30 celsius degrees, and if I stand completely still it feels almost cool. But when I go for a walk I instantly notice how humid it is and I kinda regret wearing pants today. Skirts are always better. Always. That's why I only own one pair of pants.
After ten minutes I reach the tree with a portal in its branches
and to my horror I realise that they've cut three of the branches that used to hang over the pavement- and the portal is gone. Completely gone. My kingdom has been destroyed; It feels like something has been stolen from me.
I walk for an hour, dry my sweaty neck and forehead with a tissue every ten steps or so, and then I arrive at a part of town that feels like London, South France and a little bit of LA all at once.
I go into a vintage store and buy myself a brown crocheted sweater with batwing arms from the 70's or early 80's if I should try to guess. It suits my outfit for the day perfectly and in that moment I don't regret wearing pants anymore.
When I come out onto the street there's an available table outside of the Italian restaurant and
I decide that's where I should have my lunch.
The woman at the table to the right of me is eating Moules-Frites, and instead of a hand bag she has her cell phone and wallet in a wicker basket. She tells the guys next to her that she lives in a tree house in Hollywood hills. I think to myself that I wish I could live in a treehouse of my own. That would be the ultimate dream come true.
To my right is a table with three large Italian men that look like they could be in any maffia movie ever made. They talk loudly about the neighbourhood and politics. They have American accents though so the illusion of being in Europe is slightly bruised.
I eat a huge Salad Niçoise.
Afterwards I go to a coffee place a couple of blocks away. I pass dream homes and stop to take a photo of an especially wonderful house.
When I reach the café it's exactly what I want it to be. Cozy atmosphere, good coffee and outdoor seating. I sit down to write a little about my day, but first I have to pet the cute dog that sits next to me.
Hollywood is preparing for Halloween. They take their decorations seriously in this town.
Hope you enjoyed this little snippet from my day.
Have a lovely weekend everybody, and talk to you soon!
Hello, hello, hello!
I didn't mean to be away from this blog for this long, I promise!
But we moved, and I got a new computer, and it took forever for me to get all the photos and programs that I needed, and yeeeeeaaaah, time- TIME HAPPENED!
So I thought before we (hopefully) get back to normal, I might update you on what's been going on since I last talked to you. Okay?
The last week we lived in Burbank we took a lot of evening walks, as if to really see the neighborhood so we could remember it better.
And what better way to remember than by taking creepy photos at the back of CVS pharmacy...?
I ordered this awesome t-shirt from Stay Home Club
. I have been drooling after it for a couple of years, and now (when I've sort of become an expert on being bored) I thought it would be perfect for me to finally have it!
I knew I wanted to take some cool photos of me in it, so when it came I went out in search of the best spot. I took a million pics that day and probably found every single back alley in the neighborhood. Here's two of my favorites:
I like how badass I look infront of this huge Agave plant. BORING is BEST!
I found that if I stood in the doorway to our tiny house there was great light for selfies!
One day I took some photos that made me look very Film Noir. It really made me want to be in a movie like that.
I walked the back alleys of Burbank a lot and sometimes I photographed my outfits.
And then we moved!
To a super cute little apartment in a house in Hollywood Hills. After two weeks here I still have new things to discover in the neighborhood. It's so beautiful!
Evening light from our deck. (I want that old and abandoned building that looks a little bit like a factory...)
One day I found a hidden staircase that took me to this lovely view.
That's one of the fun things with living here, it's like one of those super detailed paintings where you keep finding new things that you've missed before. If you look quickly you might miss them. Or like in Sonic the hedgehog where there's secret pathways in the hills that you only discover by walking right into it. I really look forward to finding all the hidden spots!
I have been trying to find the good selfie spots. So far this Front gate/Agave area seems to be in the lead.
As I mentioned in this post
I love to revel in the feeling of not knowing how things are going to be before they happen. Like when we were to move here and I imagined how my everyday routines would look like when we've lived here for a while. I thought I would hang out in the kitchen a lot because the light is really nice there. But the first two weeks here have been really really hot and the kitchen has been way too warm.
Plus, the wifi doesn't work in there.
But out on the stairs it works fine, and when the shadow covers the area it's the perfect place to sit and drink coffee, look at hummingbirds and work on my computer.
We have a deck, as you can see above me in the photo, and we sit there and eat a lot but during the day it's usually too hot up there.
Maybe when it cools off a little my routines will change, but I really love sitting in the stairs. It feels relaxed and gives me a lot of great creative ideas.
When it was 38 Celsius degrees outside and the only good thing about the heat was that my newly washed bras dried in record time.
I burned my right ass cheek on the hot stairs while taking this photo.
The things you do for art, right?
Some beautiful roots close to where we live. Love me some good and weird roots!
I have been starting to take lessons with a speech coach to reduce my Swedish accent (this photo was taken right after my first lesson). It's been so great!
I hope to feel more relaxed in my English because I've realized it's super hard to act in another language than your own. It feels a little bit like I'm starting all over again. The words aren't feeling like they're mine yet, so I'm working on that.
I'm also starting improv classes today and OMG I'm so excited! It's going to be so wonderful to act like that again. I have been missing it so much.
I made a really great lunch with catfish, fresh ginger, garlic and cilantro among other things. I love creating recipes like this. Especially when they turn out awesome!
The phone reception is beyond crappy where we live now. My phone says No Service most of the time, so when I want to call home to Sweden I have to walk for about fifteen minutes to find some steady reception.
Last week I sat for almost two hours outside a café with a view over the Scientology Celebrity Center and talked to a great friend in Sweden while sipping on an iced chai.
That house is a fancy castle for crazy people.
On friday I met up with three Swedes visiting LA. I took them for a long walk over the steep hills to Griffith Park and the observatory there. It was such a great day and it felt so good to spend a day with Swedish friends!
I "forced" them to be a part of my self timer photos and we pretended to be in a band. I think we look very cool.
Yes, that was all for this time. I have a couple of posts coming up this week and hopefully I will get into a good blogging rhythm again. I've missed it.
Hope you enjoyed this little peek, and talk to you soon!
I've talked about it before but I love clothes.
I love clothes and the possibility of expressing myself creatively through what I decide to wear every day.
I have always been a fan of second hand shopping and going to flea markets is probably my favourite hobby of all time.
For one thing: it's like a treasure hunt; you never know if, when and where you'll come upon some really great find. But also: it's cheap.
I have never had a lot of extra money to spend on expensive clothes, and because of that I have started to find ways to have an awesome wardrobe with what I can afford.
Besides shopping affordably I also treasure and save the clothes I have for a very long time. Forever if they hold for it.
I often get comments on my diverse wardrobe and, yes, I do have a lot of clothes, but I also use the same things in a lot of different ways to make it look like I'm not wearing the same outfit every day.
I think of this as a superpower that I need to share with the world.
An example of budget shopping. I'll return to this outfit later in this blog post.
When I feel an urge to shop but don't have much money to spend, here's a few things I do:
At thrift stores there's almost always a pile of scarfs. Search through that.
A scarf is the most versatile piece of fabric ever.
A pop of colour or an interesting texture can do wonders to your outfit.
Tie it in your hair. Wrap it around a ballerina bun on top of your head. Trow it casually around your neck or secure it tightly with a knot.
The possibilities are ENDLESS!
Every thrift shop has a bunch of belts hanging close to the cashier.
Look through them! Closely!
They always look crappy when bunched together like that. Search for a nice colour, thin or wide style, a cool belt buckle. You can find really nice belts for almost no money at all!
Save RIBBONS from gifts you receive. They look cute in your hair! Or even as a belt with a bow at the side of your waist or with the ends hanging loosely.
The forest green, wide ribbon on the top is from when I was maybe 9 years old. I had it for the school photographs in third grade.
It is still a very pretty and useable ribbon.
Proof of very young Lotta with ribbon in her hair.
And for the extra brave: HATS!
Well, I obviously don't think hats are for brave people only, but many seem to be scared of wearing hats. Stupid.
Hats are AWESOME! And you can find a lot of really cool hats at flea markets and thrift stores.
I mean: Look how great hats are!
Both of these hats were found at flea markets. The red one cost me 10 kr (1.1 USD) and the brown was 40 kr (4.5 USD) if I remember correctly.
And don't forget to ACCESSORIZE!
Brooches for an example are super versatile. Put them on your jacket sleeve, sure, but you can also secure a brooch to a cardigan that doesnt have buttons to make sure it stays closed. Or put them on your hat, on a bag, or hang it in a thin ribbon and wear as a necklace.
You get the idea? Versatile!
Do you have tights with large holes on the foot part? Cut it off and make leggings! Pair with a sock in a different colour for a nice contrast.
Now I'm going to reveal one of my best secrets. It's not really a secret though, some of you might have noticed already, but I have a skirt that I wear almost daily.
It's a black velvet skater skirt from Black Milk Clothing
. The brand or style doesn't really matter but what DOES matter is that I like it, I think it's comfortable and it goes with a lot of the clothes I already own.
And THAT is how you wear the same skirt every day for more than a week without getting bored.
Need more proof? Well, here you go:
This is maybe a third of all the photos I found of me in this skirt. And it's not like I take a picure every time I wear it. I promise, I don't.
Now for the getting dressed part.
If you have a black dress or skirt/tank top think like this: what colour can I wear around the dress. Think of the dress as the middle and surround it with a theme, like a colour.
Some days I first decide what socks or tights I should wear.
So a pair of wine red tights go well with mustard coloured socks. Then I can add a scarf or a ribbon in wine red to my hair and then something that picks up on the mustard too. A belt maybe?
And then you have a really nice outfit!
And now for an example.
This outfit contains the following:
One long sleeved shirt bought in a regular store seven years ago. It has a few holes in it that is hard to mend so I only use it underneath other clothes nowadays. No reason to throw it out yet!
The sleeveless dress is a thrift find and cost me 70 swedish kr (8 USD).
Underneath is a mini skirt I bought maybe five years ago at a cheap Swedish retail store.
The leggings are tights from We Love Colors
that I cut away the foot part when my toes managed to create holes large enough for them to peek through.
The belt is another thrift find and cost 30 kr (3.4 USD).
And then there is lipstick from Aromi on etsy
I walked around the apartment yesterday looking this fancy. Baked Pretzel Rolls
and took photos for this blog post. Sometimes you don't need a party to look smashing!
Hope you liked this little guide to budget shopping, that you feel inspired and maybe got a few new ideas for your wardrobe!
By the way: Today marks exactly one year since Lights Out
went viral! HURRAH!
We will always remember march 16 2014 as the day when our lives went bananas in the most amazing/weird/wonderful/crazy way! Thank you internet! /Lotta