big sur photo diary

big sur 1

I grew up in Northern California, just south of San Francisco in a city called Cupertino. Sometimes when you’re from an area, you take it for granted. Although my parents took my siblings and me on trips around the area to Carmel, Monterey, and more, I guess I was just too young to appreciate it. So, when my friend Lauren came to visit, I decided it was time to head down south to give some of those cities and Big Sur a visit. It was just a weekend trip, Friday morning to Sunday afternoon, but we stopped by some of the coastal cities on the way to and back that it felt so long! In a good way of course. The coastal city tour part of the photo diary to come, but I thought I would share some of my highlights from our Saturday in Big Sur. A day was not enough to explore everything that Big Sur has to offer! The entire trip (coastal drive included) is probably my new favorite CA experience.

We drove down on Saturday morning from Carmel (which is where we were staying) and stopped at many of the beautiful points to take pictures (above). After passing the famous Bixby Bridge, our first stop was Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park for a 2+ mile hike to see the Pfeiffer Falls. Although it was pretty hot, the path was mostly shaded and kept us mostly cool. Such a pretty hike.

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After finishing up the hike, we worked up our appetite for lunch and headed up to Port Ranch Inn to eat at Sierra Mar (reservations needed). The restaurant is at top of a hill and I imagine it could have amazing views. Since it was very foggy, it felt like we were eating on clouds which was actually pretty cool. The temperatures were perfect to eat our indulgent three-course lunch. We lounged there for awhile, enjoying amazing food and a few fun cocktail (vodka, cilantro, jalapeno, lime – yum!) and a cappuccino before heading on our way to the McWay Falls.

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Big Sur has many sights and parks to choose from but the McWay Falls is the one that must make your list. It is one of the few waterfalls in the US that goes into the ocean. And it’s a very short walk (not a hike) once you park. It feels very tropical and you forget that you’re only in California.

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Our 3 stops (“official” stops – we made a few stops along the coast for pictures and to soak in the scenery) took the entire day, so after the waterfall we headed back to Carmel to enjoy our evening in town. More to come on the rest of our trip, which also comes highly recommended! I am looking forward to heading to Big Sur again soon to check out some more sights.

5 beauty products that you can replace with coconut oil

coconut oil uses

Coconut oil is everywhere – apparently, it can be used for everything from cooking to beauty treatments to curing something. Not sure exactly what, but there are supposedly health benefits to it too. So if you're like me, you probably have tried 1-2 of these and whether or not you like using it, an entire bottle of coconut oil can be pretty difficult to use! I've been mostly using coconut oil for beauty treatments (since I don't really like the taste of coconut to cook with it) and I've come up with 5 uses for coconut oil that have replaced my beauty products. Remember that a little bit of coconut oil goes a long way, so I recommend using as little as possible the first time you try any of … Read More

a few friday favorites

artisan toast

This was a short work week for me. I have a friend in town so I took Monday off to spend some time in wine country and I'm taking today off so that we can drive down the coast to Carmel and Big Sur for a long weekend. Weeeee!!! Because I've been busy entertaining, it has also been a little slow on the blog. I always get so absorbed in everything I *think* I have going on, but it's always important to put that aside to spend time with those who are most important. And that's exactly what I did. Probably by the time you read this, I'll be driving along the CA coast for a fun road trip. Hope you have something fun planned as well! favorite toast: If you ever head to SF (or even better if you … Read More

sasstress approved: gadgets

sassy gadgets

Sass is more than just attitude. You always need a bit of substance to back it up! Kinda like this fancy wine opener/pourer that I discovered during wine tasting over the weekend. It allows you to pour wine without actually pulling the cork! Very cool. Oh, and it's functional too. It preserves the wine so that a single sasstress like me can enjoy a glass without worrying about wasting (or more like consuming) an entire bottle. Well, that is if you can afford the price tag. For now it's just sitting on my wish list, but I put together some of my favorite gadgets that are totally useful and also have some of that extra "flare".   6-1 interchangeable floral hammer & screwdriver set  // … Read More

easy breezy

eazy breezy-3

On Sunday I headed to wine country with my friend Lauren who is visiting from Toronto. Since we stayed in Yountville and tasted at wineries just south of there during her last visit, we decided to head to Calistoga for this trip. My first stop for any Napa valley wine tasting trip is a champagne-ry, Domaine Chandon or Domaine Carneros to be exact. Last time was Domaine Carneros, so we went for a change of scenery at Domaine Chandon before heading up to the Calistoga area. Although I was expecting much sunnier weather than what we actually experienced, it was still warm enough to wear our summer dresses. I kept it easy breezy with this new dress that I picked up at Anthropologie last week. It … Read More

a few friday favorites (instagram edition)

bistro jeanty

After a few 12+ hour workdays, this really has been the longest week. But SO excited because one of my closest friends arrives today for a week long visit and we're heading to Calistoga for the weekend. Totally ready for some vino. For this week's favorites, I'm changing it up a little and putting a few of my favorite recent Instagram pics. You can follow me on Instagram here and I'm sure I'll be posting a lot of wine and sun this weekend. Hope you have a blast too! above: A quick day trip to Napa with lunch at the Bistro Jeanty. Such a cute setting... highly recommended! My sister's adorable puppy (she's a pomeranian poodle) climbing on top of me. She gets pretty excited! Taking a … Read More

5 hair myths that may change your routine

lauren conrad

Beauty myths are always buzzing. As I'm always most concerned about hair and that is coincidentally the area I've had the most experience in (okay, both personally and professionally), it is the hair myths that always stick in my mind. And it's these 5 in particular. 1. Washing your hair is bad for it. People love to find new ways to wash their hair as little as possible. Maybe I'm being overly sassy, but it just seems like this myth became popular out of a mass desire to be lazy. While washing your hair too often, especially if you have a dry scalp, may not be great for it, having excess oil and adding more hair products (dry shampoo, I'm looking at you) isn't great for it either. It can … Read More

wine tasting weekend packing list

wine tasting weekend packing list

Sometimes going on vacation can actually be quite stressful. I end up working so much before and after that I wonder... am I better off just not taking the vacation at all? I'm in that mode right now for only a few vacation days... just working away. I'm sure you've all been there. While I know the rest of this week is going to be quite busy, I'm really excited because one of my closest friends Lauren is coming to visit and we're going on a few trips around CA. This weekend, we'll be heading up far north in wine country to Calistoga where we're planning to take advantage of the hot springs. There will be one day that we'll spend mostly at the hot springs, pool, maybe even the spa and the … Read More

the treadmill v. outdoor running debate

running at Kezar

Running is my workout of choice and after a few months of it slipping on my list of priorities, I'm beginning to increase my mileage. I'm not fast, but I enjoy it, which is the most important thing when finding a fitness routine. You'll stick to what you like. And running seems to be the activity that everyone would like to enjoy so I tend to get a lot of questions about it. One of the most common is: treadmill or outdoors? I go back and forth on this myself but the response is pretty simple – whichever you will do more often and actually enjoy. When I first started running, I ran exclusively on the treadmill. Outdoors didn't seem appealing. Too many dynamics – the weather, figuring out … Read More

a few friday favorites

Big Sur

The week after a long weekend always feels long, right? I actually had some long days this week and so really, my work week was longer than usual. Monday was the worst – 3 cups of espresso did nothing for me. By Tuesday I was fine but I'm looking forward to re-energizing this weekend! I hope you bounced back from the long weekend better than I did. favorite ways to feel less lazy at work: Though I was feeling drowsy at work on Monday, #7 in particular is something I may buy for the office. Oh and the other 6 ways to be less sedentary at work are pretty good too. No picture needed! (via Summer Tomato) favorite upcoming CA vacation spot: Big Sur is on my list of Nor Cal places to … Read More