The journey to the metaphysical mecca of Joshua Tree, deep in the Mojave desert is a spiritual one. There’s a solitary feeling that arises passing through those gnarled trees.Read More
As I spent last year trekking across America documenting travel, style & culture stories for my second book Wanderful, The Modern Bohemian's Guide to Traveling in Style, I often returned to the beaches of the Pacific Coast Highway, artistic hideaways in the Mojave & Sonoran deserts, and the California canyons.
Traveling the cerulean blue surf breaks, experience the flora of the canyons & the wildly energetic art havens tucked way out in the desert gives me a soul connection I've only experienced in one other place (a few summers ago on a 4 month summer adventure in the Southern Coast of Spain - and that feeling reignites for me in SoCal).
Today I'm taking over the instagram page of Passport by Forbes - the journey begins on the Santa Barbara boardwalk and ends here, in Salvation Mountain. I trekked solo for 3 days, and ended this adventure with friends - celebrating the birthday party of a dear old friend from New Orleans.
Read more about traveling solo here - and come back over the next few weeks for photo tours of each destination I stopped in along the way.
The rainbow-hued Salvation Mountain, built with adobe clay and painted with a half a million gallons of donated paint, is a favorite destination for aspiring artists and wandering off-grid types too.
I arrived into Joshua Tree for a night of birthday fun (i.e. a bit too much pink wine and lots of story telling as the sun fell over the monumental rock formations all around). The next morning I took the wheel of my friend's jeep, 4 friends (new and old) piled in, and we hit the road to Salvation Mountain. A few hours later.... south of Palm Spring, east of the resort ghost towns of the Salton Sea and through Slab City (a desolate RV filled village home to snowbirds and serious off-gridders) the five story high man-made structure was in view.
Take time to travel up the hand-painted yellow brick road to reach the summit and then explore the ingenious labyrinth of Technicolor caves below.
I'm finishing packing up for a weekend down at Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. I've been to this festival many times, some of my favorite memories of times with friends have happened at this fest. I'm doing this year a little differently, however. I'll be staying at a beautifulllll b'n'b about 30 miles away, and taking notes on things to do for the female adventurer too. (Come back for that post, and follow along on my IG stories to get an inside look at our b'n'b starting tomorrow!)
I've always loved festivals on the beach and to be honest, I JUST checked the line up and am kinda wayyyyy excited: Phoenix, Band of Horses, MGMT and Mutemath are topping my list. It's my first beach weekend of the year, and as a girl that's always happiest by the water it feels like it's the perfect kick off to the summer.
I took a last minute road trip this past weekend to Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta (and wow, it was a good one! Two weekends in a row of Phoenix, my faveeee, and omg I'm a happy camper.) One of the things I love most about a good road trip is the excitement of jumping in the car and just, well - going for it.
I'm truly thinking through my festival packing list this go round since it's a three day deal. I'll be meeting up with a group of travel & style bloggers in partnership with Subway (yummy salads and "green room" accommodations at the fest, yes please!), and there's two things I'm thinking about as I get my trunk loaded up:
1. Festivals give us the perfect opportunity to rock out our most adventurous bohemian summer fashions (I mean, c'mon whether we like it or not Coachella seems to be the new Fashion Week).
2. I don't want to look like a "fest girl wannabe." At all. And you shouldn't either. Be your best you, and maybe funk it up a bit and you'll have the best time.
So here's what I'm packing and a little of the prep I'm doing before road tripping to the beach tomorrow.
So there we have it loves. I'll catch you guys at the top of the ferris wheel and I hope you guys will follow along this weekend on insta. I'll definitely be sharing a post festival recap. Share your thoughts on my packing list in the comments. Anything I'm missing?! What's your festival style?
Happy Lundi Gras!
I'm so thrilled to share this post today! While I've been off traveling it's carnival season back home in New Orleans. I'd been having a teeeeny bit of that FOMO feeling seeing my friends and family celebrating back home, so as any good New Orleanian does, I decided to create my own Mardi Gras celebration just in time for this past weekend's parades.
Today, over on Reese Witherspoon's Draper James blog, I've shared my 'Mardi Gras, Party Gras' party just in time for Lundi Gras! You can take the girl out of New Orleans, but never ever can you take the carnival spirit out of the girl. I hosted this little Mardi Gras brunch for a few of my out of town friends and truly it was glitter filled perfection.
Plus: I relived so many of my favorite New Orleans moments in a series of posts I contributed to with several fabulous New Orleans locals for the DJ blog. If you've never been to New Orleans, trust me, this list will have you booking a flight immediately. See the series here and here!
Read the full Lundi Gras Party post here!
Here's an excerpt from the feature:
Happy Lundi Gras! As in, the Monday before Fat Tuesday—the closing day of the Mardi Gras season. And who better to show us how to make the most of it than Andi Eaton, whose Mardi Gras party ideas guarantee you’ll close Carnival out on a high note?
We first met Andi when we were searching for experts for our Draper James New Orleans Guide (see the guide here and here). Andi’s enviably hip day job is writing and blogging about her many travels, as well as bringing her self-described “modern bohemian” style to fashion brands as a creative director. While her blog and Insta have her everywhere from Nashville to Cali, Andi makes her home in New Orleans, where her colorful and freewheeling (and totally chic) look fits right in.
To close out Mardi Gras, she hosted a low-key “Mardi Gras Party Gras!”
Draper James: For folks outside of NOLA who want to get a little Mardi Gras on while there’s still a little bit of time, what’s a fun and easy way to whip up a celebration at home?
Andi: I’ve been traveling so much this year, so I’m well-versed in having a New Orleans celebration wherever you are. It’s easy! Create a New Orleans inspired playlist—mine has Dr. John, The Meters, and lots of Allen Toussaint songs. Have a king cake shipped in and whip up your best New Orleans cocktail. My must-have king cake is from pastry Chef Lisa White. Lisa’s presently at the Marsh House in Nashville. She created the infamous Salted Caramel & Banana King Cake served at Domenica in New Orleans; it’s completed with a gold leaf decoration that truly makes it fit for royalty! She also created the pastry program at NOLA favorite Willa Jean.
DJ: We love the way you styled your Draper James!
A: I’m a vintage lover and this top and shorts together remind me of something a Southern girl would wear to a sixties-style afternoon lawn party. The whole look is so fun and flirty—what girl doesn’t love pink?
DJ: What’s your personal favorite MG tradition?
A: Waking up with the sun, fueling up with a café au lait, hopping on my bike covered in feathers and glitter, and heading out to catch a coconut at the Zulu parade.
I chatted with Lisa, btw about the cake and her love of Mardi Gras and here's what she had to say!
A: Tell me about this cake?! All the details please!
Lisa White: The king cake ...I had heard about this King Cake competition in NOLA... I think 2009 or 2010 and entered. I of course then went on a tasting spree of all the king cakes at that time! I decided the inspiration would be what would I give to the king of Mardi Gras!
I kind of think of it as all things New Orleans flair: bananas, pecans, rum, brown sugar, caramel, cheese because why not, praline glaze, and gold!
A: What are you doing presently? Obviously we love Willa Jean and the Besh restaurants and everything you do, where are you at the moment?
LW: I am up in Nashville loving life and creating breads & sweets in the The Marsh House Restaurant in the Gulch - I came from New Orleans in December literally right before Christmas.
I have worked for John Besh & Alon Shaya since 2009 and opened Willa Jean with John Besh in 2015.
A: What do you love most about MG?
LW: I personally LOVE Mardi Gras ...a lot! I love the costuming, parading, brass bands, the fantastical use of glitter! My friends would say my favorite is probably wigs ..I have a pretty great wig collections. I truly love the passion and joy of it all!
Thanks for stopping by today you guys. This post was so much fun for me. Hope you all have a beautiful week! Kisses to my friend Keiko for snapping these photos!
p.s. All the decor was provided by Fox Fete! They've got the best in indulgently luxe party supplies. Tell them I sent you!
This feature has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #CallieCollection #CollectiveBias
This week has been a good one for down time - a little r&r, wine and a lot of reflecting. It was nice to be home a bit before taking off for my next trip (bonjour! I just arrived back in New Orleans!), and in my time at home I pored over my photos from Paris to relive all of my favorite moments.
On that list: catching the sunrise over the Eiffel Tour, leisurely mornings at the most glamorous museums exploring the art of the masters, hangs along the Canals listening in on the philosophers and poets swapping stories - and all of that stuff was incredible! But truly - my most favorite moments were the nightly catch ups over wine and cheese with the girls.
My girlfriends are each uniquely special, and I absolutely love a good wine night with them to share stories about love, career, ambition and dreams... there doesn't have to be a special occasion.
For the holiday season I've committed to planning more gatherings at home and in honor of my time in Paris I've decided to plan a Gertrude Stein style ladies only "salon."
Classic salons are making a comeback (remember when Dan and Blair tried to make it happen on GG, oh my) and besides, there's no better time than now for ladies to come together and share their voices, exchange ideas and cheer each other on.
If you're not familiar with Gertrude Stein's salon nights here's the backstory:
Stein was an original bohemian. On Saturday evenings she'd host intimate gatherings for a wide range of guests. She was a collector - she collected peculiar people, experimental art, progressive ideas and spirited conversations. She'd show off new artists she was interested in (Picasso and Matisse had pieces on her walls before they were famous and Hemingway, Joyce and Fitzgerald were some of the first storytellers to become regulars in her living room). She'd evoke conversations on a variety of deeply engaging topics. Her intention was always to promote the brilliance in those that would later be the stars of their generation.
And! She was a woman. Before woman were doing these sorts of things!
In honor of progressive women from then to now here's how to plan your own salon style party:
Before everyone arrives send a list of discussion topics. Due to the current political climate I'm intending to avoid diving too far into that and to focus on uplifting and positive topic ideas - things that are a little funny or odd even. To have the salon be successful the more idiosyncratic the topic ideas the better I think! If it helps to get the crowd going you could choose articles, literature or poetry to send out in advance. It may help to steer the conversation!
Invite a wide range of guests. While I love spending time with my bff's I'm intending to have this gathering bring people together that otherwise wouldn't necessarily meet. Plus I'm still new in Nashville. I follow so many photographers, designers and stylist on instagram, several of which live near me, I'm also in a few Facebook groups so I'll look for locals there also. I'm planning to invite these ladies to my event in hopes that they're as interested in experiencing new faces and conversations.
The original salons (the first ones date back to 16th century Italy btw) often included a meal or wine. Outside of that not much is required.
For my event I've decided on wine and cheese and theirs, a tribute to the California Central Coast, (another place I adore) are lovely - easy to drink with beautiful aromas and fresh flavors. There's several varietals - two whites and a red, and I intend to stock a few of each. Callie's a wine made for moments that stop time and I've got a feeling the conversations will go late.
Be sure to encourage your guests to ride share or plan for a DD if you'll be including wine too!
Lastly! Be sure to specify the dress code! For my event I'm thinking of asking the guests to dress in their best Hemingway-era inspired ensembles, it's always fun to dress up a little even when you're not going out on the town.
I'd love to see how your own salon parties go if you decide to host one yourself! I'll be sharing mine on instastories and would love for you all to follow along.
By the way, I'll have lots of time to catch up with a few more of my best girls in my New Orleans home this week. Stay tuned for posts from the French Quarter, I'm so glad to be back.
Hello bebes! It's official. I'm in Paris. I arrived just a few days ago after a whirlwind few days of U.S. traveling.
As miss Hepburn once said, this place is always a good idea, and truly! I believe it is. It's been quite some time since I've been here, however, Hailee, one of my soul sister friends from New Orleans moved here several years ago, and Chelle studied here too. So, between the two of them they've got lists of cafés, museums, gardens and hidden little restaurants that we're committed to spending the next week living in.
When we arrived the weather was drizzly, maybe 60 or so... typical Parisian afternoon I suppose. And from that day on the sun has twirled in and out as quickly as the horses on the carousel whirl by.
It's ok though... here it rains - you dash along, tuck in under an awning at a café and wait... and sip coffee, and wine, and daydream... and eventually the rain subsides and it's time to move along again.
Hailee's apartment is a short walk to the Eiffel Tower, so of course, before I could even think of doing a single other thing, I went straight for the twinkling lights and the carousel.
We spent our first full day touring the Luxembourg Garden (the chairs, the flowers, the hot chocolate around the corner at Angelina! Le swoon!) and then yesterday I strolled for hours along the Seine, wandering the quiet Sunday streets, arriving in the Tuileries Garden for a solo picnic. A great afternoon of solitude, which I find to be so important to gain a connection to a place.
More to come - including my packing guide and a travel guide, which I fully decided I'll only share if what I traveled with proves to be the right choices! These Parisian girls are hard to keep up with, wish me luck!
p.s. Bisou bisou to GG Boutique for dressing me for my first day here!
Hiyaaa wanderful girls (and boys),
I've been home in our new Nashville home for a full week, Ben's home too and it feels so incredibly good to be here together. We're exploring our neighborhood (baby deer sightings confirmed over on my instastories!) and it's been a nice change from our usual out in the world travels. Making time for early morning adventures and sunset drives seems like the perfect way to settle in.
I leave again Monday for a quick trip to New Orleans, then New York and then I'm off to Paris with Michelle. (!) We're going to visit my little Parisian bf Hailee (oui oui!) and I can't wait to settle into girlfriend time. Send me all the recommendations you guys. What's your favorite hidden Paris gems?
I wore this adorable dress from Personify, a shop in Lakemont, GA catering to the modern bohemian (hand raise emoji right here), to catch a Tennessee sunset the other night. My sweet friend Sam sent me the hat and it feels perfect for these Nashville nights. I just love it out here by the way, and Nashville girls - I can't wait to meet more of you, it's so nice making new friends!
I'm feeling the happiest lately and love and appreciate all of you guys for reading so much!