Swannanoa Palace

Happy New Year! I’ve recently just returned back home from my longest road trip yet, spanning from snowy New England back to the desert of Arizona. I was lucky enough to have some amazing adventures along the way so I’ll be sharing those with you.

High atop Afton Mountain in Lyndurst, Virginia, sits the most incredible looking palace with breathtaking Italian architecture. It looks straight out of a fairytale, and in a way, it was. It was built as a symbol of love and devotion between a husband and wife. It now sits in a bit of disrepair, but it only adds to the air of mystery and romantic feel. While exploring, I imagined what it would be like to wake in such a beautiful place every morning and walk the gardens while admiring the mountaintop views.

Find more info here: Swannanoa Palace

I’m wearing a matching skirt and top set from Planet Blue. The plaid print and flannel material is perfect for the cooler winter temps. I love the flow of the skirt with ruffle and tie details. The wrap top pairs perfectly with denim. You could easily use both pieces to mix and match, or wear together and layer with a black motorcycle jacket and boots.

Top

Skirt

Boots

Photos by Chris Heck

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Travel Guide: Joshua Tree/Yucca Valley

Isn’t it fun to take an impromptu trip and get away for a bit? Sometimes a little road trip is exactly what you need. I had the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing creatives this past weekend that were staying in Joshua Tree so I decided to make the trip. If you’ve never been to this area of the California desert, I highly recommend it! 

A little over a four hour drive from Phoenix, and just outside of Palm Springs, the Joshua Tree/Yucca Valley area is filled with breathtaking desert landscapes, vintage shops, and unique little finds. A haven for artists and creative types, you’ll be able to see why so many are inspired by this place after your first visit. 

Where to Stay:

There really aren’t any large hotels in the area, so if you’re looking for something more resort-like, you’ll be better off staying in Palm Springs and making the drive, BUT I highly recommend checking out options on Air BnB. Search both the Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree areas. You’ll find everything from modern wonders with floor to ceiling windows to sweet, artistic cottages to retro, wallpaper-filled funky spaces. It makes wherever you decide to stay part of the adventure. Some homes are still only accessible by dirt roads. 

What to pack:

Think casual layers and flowy dresses. The temperature fluctuations can be intense from sweating hot days to chilly nights. A jean jacket or cardigan is always great for air conditioned restaurants and cooler desert evenings. Open toed shoes are ok for around town, but definitely bring closed toe options for exploring. Boots and/or sneakers are a must. Those cacti are not friendly to exposed toes! And a crossbody bag to hold your essentials while exploring or shopping will make it easy for you to paruse hands free. Also, don’t forget your sunscreen and a hat (or two) to protect you from the sun. You may also want to take along a blanket and/or yoga mat. If there were ever the perfect place for your mediation practice or just simply taking a breather while taking it all in, this is it. Of course your camera to document the amazingness! Also, if you’re road tripping, pack plenty of water and lots of snacks, especially for roaming around the park.

Shopping:

For shopping, head to Yucca Valley. Here are a few shops I recommend where you’re sure to find unique treasures:

  • The End – You know those cupcakes that are almost too pretty to eat, but SO YUMMY once you take a bite? I feel that way about The End. It’s so cute outside and perfectly styled inside its almost too good to be true. ALMOST….because I always discover at least one incredible find on every trip. Filled with vintage clothing, accessories, sunglasses, artisan jewelry, picked to perfection and displayed in a way that will make you want to move in. 
  • Promised Land – An incredible selection of vintage. Everything from perfectly worn tees to make-your-outfit cowboy boots.
  • Hoof and the Horn – This is a new shop and it looks like they haven’t updated their website yet, but it’s a MUST! A bohemian heaven filled with flowy maxi dresses, fringe purses, as well as an incredible selection of hats and jewelry. I found a pair of to-die-for high-waisted velvet bell bottoms and a desert-perfect gauzy, striped off-the-shoulder jumpsuit. The men’s selection is also perfectly hipster and on trend.

What’s great about Yucca Valley is all of the above shops are in walking distance in the downtown area. After (or before) your vintage treasure hunt, the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat or just sip coffee and people watch is Frontier Cafe. Right next to Hoof and the Horn, with delicious breakfast and lunch options, they also occasionally host live music acts, so check their Facebook for details! 

Explore:

If you have a chance to make the drive through the Joshua Tree National Park, you should. You’ll recognize exactly what a Joshua Tree is right away. Huge, spikey trees that look straight out of a Dr. Suess book and scattered across the area. You will find the most towards the Northern part of the park. Along with an expanse of massive boulders, they form this almost otherworldly landscape. If you are interested in photography (or maybe just an incredibly good iPhone snap or selfie), it has some of the most beautiful light you can find. Give yourself plenty of time to meander through and explore. I’ve found new spots that I fell in love with on each of my past visits. The energy here is different, which can only really be felt. There’s a calmness and stillness that truly makes it a special place. If you have the time, make it a point to witness at least one sunrise or sunset here. Believe me, it’s worth it. 

Also take your time to go off the beaten path and discover unique artist installations in the area. You never know what you’ll find! 

The nights cool down, even in the heat of summer, and reveal incredible starry skies. It’s the kind of place that makes you dream, refreshes your soul, and inspires you. Stayed tuned to my Instagram for my collaborations with the talented photographers I worked with while there! 


The front of the super cute Doodle Inn.

Top: Zaful

Jeans: Target



The inside was bright and colorful filled with unique artist’s touches throughout.

Top: Earthbound Trading

Pants: Earthbound Trading


Joshua Tree 


Dress: Free People

Boots: Sam Edelman



Above photos by Emily Teague

Dress (similar) BooHoo or Forever21


Veggani Handbags

As someone who loves all things earth and animal friendly, I was excited to learn about the brand Veggani which is a vegan handbag company. Their bags are made with high quality, sustainable, and eco-friendly materials. This tote is the perfect size for carrying all the essentials for everything from everyday errands to picnics to beach days. It’s also reversible. It’s warming up quickly here in Arizona, so I’ve been living in easy breezy maxi dresses. This one is from Forever 21. When it’s over 100 degrees, nothing beats a comfortable and cute maxi. I’ve just returned from an adventure-filled trip to Northern California, one of my favorite places, so I look forward to sharing more of that with you soon! I’ll also be hosting a shopping giveaway on my Instagram tomorrow, so stay tuned! 


Tote Veggani

Dress (similar) Forever 21

Hat Lack of Color

Matchy Matchy

One of my favorite looks for summer is matching two piece sets. Top and skirt/shorts that perfectly match in fun prints. They’re a great alternative to a simple summer dress and you can mix and match the pieces separately for new looks. I love this outfit from Abask Clothing. They have such beautiful bohemian style pieces. If you look closely, this print is actually a bright blue and white floral with a polka dot background. Such a happy print! It also packs easily and gives you options while traveling. Anything I can do to save space in my suitcase is a bonus. Now I just need a fun destination! 


Top Here

Skirt Here

Yes to Easy Prints

Wouldn’t we all live in stretchy pants if given the chance? I know my yoga pants have seen way more than yoga class. These Billabong bell bottoms have all the same easy comfort with a fun summer-ready print. I paired them with this fun swimsuit from Asos. I love the embroidery detail and little pom poms! You could just as easily pair them with a simple tee or tank and look super cute while still being super comfortable. Switch up your accessories to change up the look! I went more is more with these beautiful pieces from Criscara Jewelry. I love layering delicate pieces to create a unique look. 

Swimsuit (similar) Asos

Pants Billabong

Jewelry Criscara

Sunglasses Sunglass.la

Coachella Day 3

My look for Day 3 was easy breezy. This embroidered two piece paired with a long lace dress/kimono. Ankle boots were a must to protect my toes in the crazy crowds. I debated wearing sandals until someone squashed my toes and I was so very thankful that I had boots on! One of my favorite parts of music festival style is having fun with your hair, make up, and metallic tattoos. I added star stamp details from Milk Make Up and loaded up on Flash Tattoos. I honestly wish I could rock these both on a daily basis! 




Two piece Love Culture

Lace Kimono A’Gaci

Sunglasses Quay

Star Stamp Milk Makeup

Tattoos Flash Tattoos

Yours truly ended up being featured in some style publications including Vogue Australia and South China Morning Post.

Vogue Australia #35


South China Morning Post

Coachella Day 2

Coachella Day 2 was all about color! I’m obsessed with all the embroidery trends going on at the moment, so this A’Gaci bodysuit was just perfect! I paired it with some crochet shorts and layered a silky, bright pink kimono on top. This one is actually just a bathrobe from Target. When I wasn’t wearing it, I tied it around my waist as a skirt. Some fun reflective sunglasses, bright tassel earrings, and layers of statement necklaces topped off the look. 



Bodysuit Here

Crochet Bottoms Here

Kimono (similar) Here

Sunglasses (similar) Here