Balloons Over Edinburgh

This is why I applied to art school in Edinburgh.

I love everything about this illustration. The colors, the lines. Some drawings are simply nice to look at, others really make you feel something you don’t have the words to explain. They capture character with an intricate subtlety that feels unbelievably personal.

As a writer, I strive to communicate ideas and feelings in creative, graspable ways, but there are some feelings I couldn’t ever actually pass onto anyone else with words. Unlike elation, regret, hope, or guilt, this feeling might not be something anyone else has ever felt. Maybe it’s unique.

Maybe we all have unique feelings sometimes that only we were able to bring into the world.


voyages over edinburgh


To be honest, I typically shun new year’s resolutions. They’ve always seemed cliche to me and oh-so-sadly destined to fail.

I mean, if you haven’t wanted to eat healthier and exercise more or quit smoking all year long (or ever before in your entire life), what makes you think the fact that it is January is going to somehow instill the strength, motivation, gumption, and tools it takes to make a drastic life change?

I do, however, like the idea as long as it’s a realistic goal that you’ve already been working towards. Resolutions can be great guiding tools, and I’ll admit that January is a great time for transitions. While Santa Barbara isn’t exactly blanketed in snow like a blank canvas (and is far from it), there is a sense of winter serenity here; empty, low-tide beaches, less bustle downtown, and cozier evenings.

Also, I became pro-resolution last year when I found a list of things I had written down that I wanted to do from 2010. I had completely forgot about the list shortly after writing it, but something must have stuck, because–looking back– I overachieved every goal. Because, you know what? They weren’t just goals, they were desires and dreams. And I wanted them badly.

And that’s how resolutions really work.

With that, I’ve decided to make a little list of things that I want in my life this year.


1/ Dance at least four times per week, practice pointe at least twice per week. I want to be able to do an entire variation en pointe by the end of 2012

farmer's market veggies

2/ Use as much fresh ingredients every day as possible. On that note, focus on getting better (I’ve been having some health issues) until I am all good again

burlap covered corkboard

3/ Create something new at least once a week. Includes jewelry, knitting projects, graphic/web design, floral arrangements and other decor


4/ Keep fresh flowers in my bedroom and bathroom as much as possible

edinburgh skyline

5/ Face my biggest fears, make my own body my only “comfort zone”, and move somewhere for grad school (this is a photo of Edinburgh, where I may attend school at the Edinburgh College of Art, not pictured: Boston, New York, San Francisco, Pasadena)

What a wonderful life, right? Despite the recent health hurdles I’ve run into and the familial adjustments and losses I face, I feel glad to be looking at the year ahead, and also proud to look back at 2011. As hard as it is to let go of the past sometimes, moving forward is absolutely wonderful and I would never stop the clock even if I could.

Last post I mentioned that we are right now in the “in-between” referring to the inter-holiday time that takes place between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

But we are also amidst another in-between of sorts– that is, the reflection on the past year while looking forward to the new. It’s a strange time, no? One moment it’s lively, colorful autumn and holiday time, friends and family all around and warmth and food and being cozy and lazy and indulgent. For me, it’s the time when I revert as much back to childhood as I possibly can, without abandon. Where I normally tell myself to deal with things and be an adult, this is the time when– for just a couple of weeks– I run and hide beneath warm bath water and my childhood dog’s fuzzy coat.

Then, without warning, it’s the new year. The world is a blank slate and it’s time to think about what you want for your life in the coming year. Everything is so fresh that there’s nothing better to do than make resolutions. Again, for me, although I am against the whole new years resolution fad in a way (I mean, why only ONE time of year?!), the new year really does find me dreaming up goals and ways to achieve them.

Right now, I find myself doing both. I would be under-exaggerating if I said I have a weak spot for the past. Right now it’s the worst, too. Do you guys find that, too?

If so, then I made this for you.

Lights C.S. Lewis Quote

” “-C.S. Lewis


Changed a few cosmetics on the blog. I hope everyone adores them, although changes can feel strange sometimes– they are either awesome or disorienting. Sometimes both.

Hopefully nobody feels any emotions so dramatic just because of a few font changes and letter-spacing adjustments. If you do, I am impressed at your aesthetic sensitivity!

Eliot Lee Hazel Photography

We are now straddling the year’s major holidays, and it’s a good time! Winter is still fun right now! I’m not yet in Christmas mode but it’s nothing a little bit of ice skating, port-drinking, and gift-making can’t change.


Unfortunately, as much as I love this time of year and the holiday season, it has been a bit rough for me due to family and relationship changes and re-arrangements.

But I came across this time-lapse photography video and I’ve watched it about six times since. It fills me up with more awe than I know what to do with, so I just keep watching it.

Stepping back and seeing and thinking about the world and the universe usually makes me feel really happy, so on top of being the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, this video has really enlightened everything for me. I hope you enjoy, too.

I am thankful for this:

You know what’s super dreamy? The 1940s. Never has war seemed so romantic.

My dream is to have a WWII-era themed Christmas party, but I don’t know that I could convince my friends to dress up. Dreams are dreams for a reason. To try to expel some of my mid-century lust, I put together a 1940s fashion inspiration board. Now that it’s all said and done, I actually don’t know if it has made things better for me or worse!

1940s fashion collage

earrings headband brooch dress stole clutch pumps

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (again): Nostalgia takes over my mind this time of year. It makes autumn the most romantic thing ever. And as most of us know, with romance comes both bliss and melancholy.

Once upon a time, a vineyard stole my heart and then broke it. Ever since, it almost hurts to look at vineyards. So here’s a hay field that’s just as glorious.

lynda naranjo hay field