We spent the last few days in New Orleans with friends. We planned this trip soon after our son was born in February as our first adult getaway after his birth. We booked the tickets and an Airbnb and then life got busy, really busy. As a result, while we didn't have much of an agenda other than to explore the city, eat good food, enjoy the vibrant music scene and perhaps drink a cocktail or two (or three...), I didn't have much in the way of expectations either.
One of the biggest surprises of our trip was the incredible architecture and vibrant homes. The style of the homes is so different from what I am accustomed to in California with incredibly high ceilings, tile or brick floors, shuttered windows and bright color palettes - blues, many shades of green and warm rust colors feature prominently. I found myself wandering the streets snapping photos with abandon as I imagined myself owning a sweet little home in this very cool city. Our Airbnb was a traditional New Orleans home. The owner had kept many of the original details including the brick floor in the kitchen and original woodwork, shutters, and windows, but had added updated the paint and fixtures so that the home was wonderfully charming yet comfortable.
Yesterday as we were walking home from brunch I realized that it would be great fun to plan future Ella Lou collections after cities I have visited and found particularly inspiring. A bright collection inspired New Orleans or Havana (or both); a more muted, neutral collection inspired by Stockholm; or a rich, warm collation inspired Istanbul. While I mull that idea over a bit and figure out how to make it come to fruition, here are a few snaps from New Orleans.
I feel as if we barely touched the surface of this incredible city and cannot wait to return. A friend that we were traveling with described New Orleans as feeling like "the closest city to traveling abroad while still in the United States." I couldn't agree more. And, that was one of the reasons I throughly enjoyed it.
Until I can get back to NOLA, I am going to try to perfect what was hands down the best cocktail I have ever had in my life - the Ramos Gin Fizz from the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel.
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Bonjour! I was recently asked by a journalist to provide a few shots of my daughter and I playing with Ella Lou products for an upcoming article (more about that later) and realized I didn't have any. I have hundreds of her playing with my Wanderlust Playmats, wrapped in a pestemal, or hugging pillows. However, because I am typically behind the camera, we didn't have any of us together. We decided to make an afternoon of it and made an appointment at Blink for a quick photo shoot.
On my most recent trip to Paris, I asked my close friend Vanessa, a particularly savvy Parisian, for a list of her favorite Parisian kids stores. Having recently developed our line of Wanderlust Playmats, I am increasingly interested in well-designed children's products and spaces. The Parisian children's stores did not disappoint. Here I share a few of my favorites.
I have wonderful memories of summers spent at Dillon's Beach, where my family rented a house for a couple weeks every summer. This weekend a close friend was participating in the Vineman Monte Rio triathlon so we decided to spent the weekend in Sonoma and cheer her on! We spent Saturday night in the small coastal town of Jenner and then Sunday got up bright and early to watch the race in Monte Rio. It was the perfect way to spend a weekend!