California

Yo, Semite! I Think I Love You!

This year is the 100th Anniversary of the United States National Parks Service. Our big, beautiful country is home to volcanoes, waterfalls, HUGE mountains, canyons, caves, geysers, pools of bubbling colorful goo, and pretty much everything else in between. There are 58 National Parks in the US, so it's time to start checking them off your list if you haven't yet been to many. 

Until mid-July, I'd only been out west once. In 2013, I went to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Both of these were incredible! Never before had I seen such high mountains, and I'd never seen mountains that just came out of nowhere, surrounded by plains and soaring up thousands of feet into the sky.  This July, Victor planned a trip to Yosemite National Park in California. We flew into San Francisco (my first time seeing the Pacific Ocean in the USA), which was beautiful. We will be back when we have time for more than just lunch. 

After driving through countryside speckled with windmills, we arrived at a Bed and Breakfast we found on AirBnB. It was very cute and had two dogs on staff helping our sweet hosts. We mapped out a basic plan of attach for our trip before we left, so we chose an AirBnB that was equidistant from each of the entrances we'd use to get into the park while we were there. Since we planned our trip without tons of notice, most of the camping in the park was booked up. But I'm not complaining because the AirBnB was super comfy and the breakfasts were HUGE and delicious--perfect for fueling up for long hikes each morning. 

On the way in, we stopped off the side of the road and I lifted this boulder just to warm up ;)

On the way in, we stopped off the side of the road and I lifted this boulder just to warm up ;)

Day 1, we did a tour-de-valley. We drove around a little, parked, and started our full day of hiking. We hiked so long on day 1 that we came back to the car and it was pitch black for some time. We had tired feet, were a little sore, but very happy. 

From the valley, you can see the very famous El Capitan and Half Dome. We walked along the meadows, hiked up to Yosemite Falls and bouldered to the bottom of the falls. The boulders were hot as they baked in the sun, but it was way worth the reward! A fine mist of cool water from the falls blew around and was so refreshing. We did kick ourselves a little for not wearing swimsuits. The pool at the bottom of Yosemite Falls was filled with swimmers--and we were instantly jealous. We made our way down, headed to Bridalveil Falls, which was almost dried up for the season. The bouldering here was a little more treacherous. The rocks looked like polished metal and were super slick. Though we went for somewhat more challenging routes and climbed up rocks for better views and less crowd, the park really is accessible to everyone. There are handicapped ramps, viewing platforms, and buses to help those who may be less able to get around still be able to enjoy the park fully.  

We finished our day after Hiking to Mirror Lake to see the sunset over Half Dome.

We finished our day after Hiking to Mirror Lake to see the sunset over Half Dome.

We saw Yosemite Sam, too! 

We saw Yosemite Sam, too! 

Our second day in the park, we headed first to Glacier Point. If you're going in the summer, get there early or stay in the park. We took a more leisurely approach to our morning on our second park day and so we had to park in a far off lot and be bussed to the Glacier Point trailhead. That was the only thing about that day that wasn't perfect. 

Naturally, these photos don't even come close to doing the view justice. Victor is braver than I am with heights. I crept to the edge and the took pictures from a "safe" distance. The photo above of Victor on the scary edge is at Sentinel Dome. The wind whips around so fast and so hard up there, it's a thing to behold. 

On our way from Sentinel Dome to Taft Point, we found this huge cluster of solid quartz. Everywhere you look, flowers and trees find their way to root between rocks and on the side of cliffs. They're determined!

On our way from Sentinel Dome to Taft Point, we found this huge cluster of solid quartz. Everywhere you look, flowers and trees find their way to root between rocks and on the side of cliffs. They're determined!

Once we got to the top of Taft Point it looked like this: 

And then...THIS HAPPENED

WE'RE GETTING MARRIED!!!

Next, we hiked around the Giant Sequoias. They're incredible. Unfortunately, the portion of the park with the largest and oldest tree in the world was closed while we were there. Everything feels bigger in Yosemite. 

Our final night in Yosemite, we stayed at May Lake High Sierra Camp. It's a fairly steep hike in, full of prehistoric looking petrified wood and tumbled rocks with twisted trees forcing their roots between the rocks and just dealing with the rocks around them by bending and squeezing around them. The High Sierra Camp was awesome! Little huts with tiny fireplaces in each one were shared by 4 people in each. There's a food tent for dinner and breakfast. The manager of the camp blows a conch shell to call everyone for meals and hot beverages. It was 96 degrees in the valley and got do to a very cool 34 degrees at the camp that evening. I was not prepared for that--but a fire, hot cocoa, and layering saved the day. 

Victor LOVES the water. He even swam in the 54 degree May Lake. I watched from the warmth of the beach. He's a champ! After dinner, we hiked to the top of the ridge to watch the sunset. It was so beautiful that Victor wished he had held onto the ring for one more night. We met a very active pair of grandparents who gave us marriage advice and life advice--to keep active and stay interesting. They've been married for 54 years, are in their 70s and hiked up to the nearly 10,000ft elevation with us!

We hiked to the same ridge for sunset the next morning, then we heard the conch shell call and enjoyed breakfast. The views and hiking around the camp were gorgeous, but we loved the company equally. Everyone was so friendly and kind! We got to talk with people who had grown up coming to Yosemite each summer along with people like us who were just visiting for the first time. It felt like grown up summer camp in the best possible way. 

Because of the elevation, these cuties are the cargo haulers who bring the food and supplies up to the camp. 

Because of the elevation, these cuties are the cargo haulers who bring the food and supplies up to the camp. 

Also worth mentioning, we saw MARMOTS! They were so cute and fluffy and not afraid of us being nearby. 

For our final day (we flew out late that night), we made our way to Tuolumne Meadows which is where we saw the most Yosemite residents. It was pretty clear who had been backpacking for weeks on end. They even have a post office at the store for those who have supplied shipped to them to extend their trips. We definitely looked like the "squares" among all the dreadlocked hair, but at least we hadn't showered in a couple days either. In Tuolumne Meadows, we saw lots of little ground squirrels that very cutely popped up like prairie dogs, we saw the biggest hawk I've ever seen flying just over our heads (yikes/cool), and even some mule deer bedded down in the reeds along the river. It was peaceful, cool, and beautiful. 

There's the deer! 

There's the deer! 

I highly encourage everyone, no matter what your hiking skill level or comfort with camping to go and enjoy Yosemite. It is now extra special to us and we plan to be back soon! Next time, we will plan further in advance and camp in the park each night in tents and perhaps another visit to the High Sierra camps-it's worth it!  

Happy National Parks Centennial!

How to Wear a Drapey Cardigan/Cape

If you want to have a fabulous time with one of your BFFs, travel across the country with no specific deadlines, take photos, and enjoy the views! That's what Christina and her friend Danielle did during the month of December. If you follow us on Instagram, you've probably seen some of the gorgeous photos and like me, have been insanely jealous of their trip. If you don't follow us on Instagram yet, you should! Here's our handle: @endsinstyleYou'll be glad you followed :) So many reasons to double tap.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

It would be a crime to wear a cute outfit and travel with a professional photographer and NOT take photos to document it, wouldn't it? We sure think so! Doesn't Danielle look adorable in this sweater? We've partnered with SheIn again to bring you this super cute look inspired by their Beige Long Tassel Sweater! We love this sweater for transition months all the way through the chill of winter. Great for layering and looking effortlessly chic.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

From Joshua Tree National Park to the sidewalks of Atlanta, the Beige Long Tassel Sweater fits the bill. If you'd like to get one for yourself, be sure to order a size larger than you normally wear as SheIn products run a little small.  

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

I love this look Danielle and Christina put together! It's relaxed, casual, and super duper cool, with the added bonus of sharing a positive message: "you are so worth loving". Have you heard of So Worth Loving? They're an Atlanta-based company spreading positivity through fashion. That's something we'd like to see more of in our clothes! By wearing the message "you are so worth loving" on your clothing, you'll be part of starting a conversation of empowerment and you'll encourage others to consider their value and that no matter who or where they are, that they ARE worth loving. Check out the other super-soft, super-cute, perfectly sized shirts available in their shop and read all about them and their mission! We're in love <3

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Shop the cute and cozy look! 

Sweater | T-shirt | Similar Jeans | Similar Shoes

Happy shopping and styling, love!


Coachella Style Inspiration

The country is buzzing about Coachella.  It is a massive music and art festival going on now, held in the Coachella Valley of California. A mecca for music and art lovers alike Coachella has a famous great lineup and awesome location. Coachella Valley is just a short drive to the Joshua Tree National Park, only 30 min! So this is pretty much the setting where this music festival is going down. Beeeautiful!

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

I've got to admit that usually I'm annoyed with "music festival style" because I've never really understood why those headbands were something one needed/wanted to wear ONLY at a music festival and why are people wearing very warm boots and the tiniest shorts imaginable at the same time?? I swear I'm still in my 20s and am not actually an 80 year old woman shaking my finger at the young whipper snappers with their new fangled fashions. So, instead of focusing on the typical bikini top and frayed shorty shorts with a fedora and boots that I so clearly do not like and that is so common, I'd like to take a look at some unique outfits that you can modify for your everyday life, inspired by Coachella looks!

Image via Google

Image via Google

This first inspiration is unique and cool actually seems pretty practical while still looking ready for the festival fun. H&M is a great place to look for Coachella inspired looks without spending much money. Also, check stores like Zara or Forever 21 for affordable printed pants like these above that wont need to last too many wears. How do you make it work for regular life? As is would be fine for some functions, or add a cami under the top for a little more coverage and you're ready to go!

Image via Google

Image via Google

Crochet pieces are everywhere right now and they're perfect for music festivals and real life alike. Crocheted pieces are breathable and are fantastic for layering. Also, in this case, I love the flower crown and don't find it the least bit annoying. It makes sense with the look and seems super appropriate. Layer a see-through crochet dress over a snug top and shorts, a smaller dress, or over a bathing suit and use as a cover-up.

Image via Google

Image via Google

I'm sold on this look! A bold floral print maxi skirt with a super-cropped top is seemingly quite uncommon at Coachella. It looks so pretty to me when the volume of the outfit is balanced with a lot more weight in the skirt so the top can be skimpy and she still looks like a lady. Add on the hat and you've really balanced out the look AND have minimized sunburn by probably 25%! So long, sun damage! To make this work for regular life, if you've got the confidence, go for it as pictured! If not, lengthen the top but make sure it is very fitted with an open neckline to maintain the proportions of the outfit.

Image via H&amp;M

Image via H&M

H&M has a line of Coachella inspired looks in stores right now that check all of the boxes. Off the shoulder? Check. Shorts? Check. Crochet? Check. Floppy hat? Check. Long, draped wrap? Check. Take each of these pieces out of the Coachella setting and you can truly bring a little Bohemian flavor into your everyday wardrobe by mixing and matching with what you already have in your closet. Before you know it, you'll have a really interesting and fun look for your next brunch or date inspired by your favorite music festival looks. Maybe your new outfit will even put you in the California state of mind.

Design Crush: Modern Palm Springs

In the world of design, there are many crossovers from graphic design to interiors to architecture. The mid century modern movement is a perfect example of that! Watch one episode of Mad Men from the first season, then one from the most recent season and you will see styles change and become the beautiful and simple mid century modern that so many of us love. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Following the European Bauhaus movement which was a paring down and simplification of lines, keeping things utilitarian and clean, the mid century movement came into America with those same themes. You see these same reactions in fine art. Think Mondrian, Henry Moore and Barnett Newman with simple lines and no fuss. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

The Bauhaus movement influenced many graphic, architectural, and furniture designers to change their styles from more ornate early 20th century decoration to clean lines and functional pieces that had a totally new look. Art and design became more geometric while the mix of natural and man made materials added layers of organic over synthetic. The American response to Bauhaus was mid century modern.  

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Where Bauhaus focused on removing ornament, mid century adds geometric decoration in a new way, changing art, design, and architecture for the better. In mid century buildings you'll often find very long windows, rows of intricately laid stonework with a simple geometric pattern, repeated style elements in linear forms, and unexpected uses of space.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

In Palm Springs, modern architecture is abundant! We are currently looking for a house with this sort of charm here in Atlanta. How I wish these homes were in Georgia, too! This area of Palm Springs is known as "Modern Palm Springs" because of its many excellent examples of midcentury architecture, specifically desert modern. Desert modern uses material and landscaping choices to marry the building with its surroundings. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

One of my favorite things about mid century style is the use of bold colors. Why have a grey front door when you can have orange or chartreuse?! Bold colors used in small doses pack a punch when the style is simple and clean. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

If you are ever visiting Palm Springs, California, go tour the Desert Modern area and soak in all of the beautifully thought out homes nestled among cacti, mountains, and palm trees.