Eaton Canyon Falls

3.6 mi

 

377 elevation gain

moderate

dog-friendly (leashed)

out and back

 

First of all, those of you who knew there was water AND trees down here (so-cal) and didn't tell me, shame on you. Secondly. Hello EATON CANYON FALLS! 

So, I've recently come to the conclusion that I am a pretty habitual person. As much as I like spontaneity and adventure, I also really like knowing what I'm getting into. It's not the first time I've come to this conclusion, but when a friend suggested we try hiking something new I popped onto AllTrails (if you like to hike and don't have this app, you need it, like.. yesterday) to look for a hike and realized how much I havent seen or explored. I think a big part of my love of routine is that I recognize new things are risky, and why be risky, especially close to home, when I know there are trails I already like? But hiking Eaton Canyon Falls today was a sweet reminder that risk is almost always worth it in one way or another. 

THE HIKE

1999 Veranada Ave, Pasadena, CA 91107
377 ft elevation gain
moderate
dog-friendly (leashed)
out and back

Eaton Canyon Trail starts right outside the big, free parking lot. It's about 3.6 miles out and back, with some really great mountain views and a 40 foot waterfall at the end. I put the location for this hike as Los Angeles, but technically I think it's considered Pasadena/Alta Dena. 

We showed up at 7:30am on a Sunday, right when the parking lot opened, and I was shocked to see how many people were there and ready to hike. I definitely thought we were going to be the only people there that early, come to find out this is a really popular and well known trail. So, be ready for lots of fellow casual hikers. I honestly can't imagine what the hike would be like at a more reasonable hour, but even as heavily trafficked as it was at 8am, I'd say it was definitely worth it. 

I slapped a moderate on this bad boy because there is a fair amount of traversing back and forth across the creek that comes down from the falls, but if you do any sort of physical activity I would say this trail could pass as easy. The hardest part for someone who knows how to hike would probably be keeping your shoes dry. It can get a bit hairy in some area's with boulder hopping, but I found the traversing to be a lot of fun on an otherwise easy hike. The scenery was beautiful; sometimes I forget that trees exist down here. 

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The trail itself is pretty straightforward. Follow the large groups of people. Kidding, sort of. The only real note I have is when you get to the bridge (which is pretty dang cool) look for the trail marker on the right side before you cross the bridge. My friend and I were talking and we totally missed it, climbed the big hill to the street and looked at each other super confused, like, was that it? where the crap is the waterfall? hah.. So, bridge. Keep your eyes open! 

While the hike isn't the most intensive the payoff is totally worth it, provided you go when there is water. The waterfall, which is actually pretty impressive, was a refreshing sight and the prince LOVED running through the clear water at the base of the falls. There were people sitting around, enjoying and snapping photos. We didn't stay long, but even now as I write this it feels kind of magical to know there are beautiful waterfalls hidden in the mountains just outside my routine. 

happy hiking, beauts
xx

 

 

Brave And Wild With Color

September 10, 2013

I want to look back on my years, as I have all this time, and be proud of my life.
I want to look back and see a journey marked by faith.
I want to see highlighted those moments of choice that led me down a brighter path.
I want to see the lives of those around me illuminated with love.

I want to look back and smell the soil of distant lands.
I want to stand up tall knowing that I tried.
I want to have my heart melt with the relationships I’ve held close.
I want to see myself soft with compassion.
Hard with determination.
Brave with risk.
Wild with color.
and reckless with love.

I want to look back and see an adventure that led me to progression.
I want to see calm waters, as my soul.

I want to breathe deep, on that beautiful rocking chair of reflection,
and see a glass spilling over with the attributes of a wild and majestic spirit,
a life driven by love itself,
no regrets,
only abundance.

Exploring The Black Mountains

The United Kingdom has long been a dream destination in my mind. My fascination started at a young age, rooted in my love of legend and lore. Stories like The Arthurian Tales sparked a hunger in me for whatever lay hidden in the silver fog; be it wisps, or druids. So you can imagine the deep delight in me when I had the opportunity to catch a train from London out to the mysterious land of Wales. 

Everything on this trip seemed to fall into place without my help. Previous to leaving for the UK I found out a friend of mine would be in wales during my time in Britain. It seemed only right that I would venture to meet her, and it felt fitting to be gearing up to explore the great land of wales with someone who, so long ago, inspired me through her role as a character in a great, sweeping, epic-fantasy tv show. 

After navigating the train from London to Wales, and being picked up at the station by a beautiful, and lovely stranger (a friend of my friends) we embarked on the journey back to her cottage where my friend awaited our arrival. The trip to her home was everything I could have dreamed. The fog was thick, and the land wet. We zipped along narrow roads in her jeep like vehicle. Her car smelled of Bella, her old sweet black haired dog who confidently claimed a spot on my lap (which I was grateful for on so many levels). The woman herself, Mary, was kind and talkative, making me feel welcome, safe and at home. 

It's funny to think back now about my experience with people, and how we are met. Mary, much my senior, in a beautiful way, oozed strength. She was grounded and wise in a way that words can't capture. Part of me believes it stems from the time she spends walking the ridges of the sweet valley she calls home. She seemed to have sapped up every bit of depth and texture the land could offer. It was from of that place that she impacted me during my stay. She made sure I was warm and fed and went out of her way to facilitate exploration. 

Even though I had come into the valley under the cover of night, I wasn't sure it could get any better. My heart was already so full. But it did. Waking up the next morning was something out of a dream. The room was warm, thanks to the old school wall heater, and soft light filtered in through the skylight above my bed. I padded downstairs and found both Mary and my friend awake, tea-filled, and ready to explore. It took me but a minute to layer myself down, and pull on my boots all the while gushing inside over the fact that this land was exactly what I had dreamed it would be. 

Both women laughed as I tried to contain my awe. They told me that they, neither of them, had ever seen the land like this (so covered in fog). I like to believe that God orchestrated it just for me.

Mary and Bella led the way down the muddy drive, past the sheep which my friend insisted on singing to, through the ancient graveyard thick with history to the outer reaches of The Black Mountains. Aside from a small farm we passed through, the transition from inhabited to wild land was nearly seamless. One moment we were on cobblestone and the next we were trudging through the forest which gave way to a vast and magical land. 

The breadth and scope of The Black Mountains would be hard to relay through words alone, so I will leave it to pictures. But, there is no denying the tangible magic of that place. I wandered in silence, yards behind my friends, soaking up the fulfillment of something I'd held in my heart for so long. 

Two Tea's To Kickstart Your Day (In Lieu Of Coffee)

I love coffee. I love energy, and I love productivity. That is the long, and the short of it, really. But, more recently I've found myself gravitating toward tea. Why? I have no idea. Blame it on three years straight of espresso on my fragile tummy, or my need to work from home sometimes, but either way it seems that my every day cup of joe has been for the time replaced. The good news is: giving up coffee doesn't mean giving up my morning burst of energy and productivity-- in fact, research suggests that tea is actually more beneficial as a whole. 

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BUT WHY, WHY TEA? 

The National Institutes of Health reports that Tea naturally contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which, at certain doses, has been shown to improve cognitive clarity and have a relaxing effect on the brain without grogginess. Plus tea is packed full of antioxidants, which protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. 

Some other benefits to swapping out coffee for tea are: decreased inflammation (polyphenols in tea help fight inflammation), hydration (tea is comprised mostly of H20), improved insulin sensitivity and has been proven to help decrease stress levels! 

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy a good cup of coffee here and there, but I am also glad to share that I've found a couple teas that pack the same caffeine punch (if not more) than your average espresso. PROTIP: I usually drink half in the morning and half in the evening for sustained energy.

GUAYAKI YERBA MATE (UNSWEETENED) 

-- 16floz --
Caffeine: 150
Calories: 10
Carbs:0
Sugar:0

Real talk: while I have my moments, I'm not usually tryna put a ton of sugar and carbs into my body while drinking tea. So, in light of that I would have to say that GUAYAKI's Yerba Mate is my go-to morning tea. They have a couple different unsweetened flavors, but my personal favorite is the Hibiscus Lime. protip: I usually drink 1/2 in the moring and half in the evening for sustained energy.

& HoNEST TEA (Assam Black Tea)

-- 16floz --
Caffeine: 106
Calories: 35
Carbs:9
Sugar:9

This black tea, or breakfast tea, by HONEST TEA is for when I am looking for something with a little sweetness to it. The flavor is amazing,and is sweetened with organic cane sugar and organic maple syrup. 

When it comes to kickstarting your day you might consider that two shots of espresso weigh in at 69mg of caffeine vs the 100+ of these teas. With the added cognitive and digestive health benefits of tea why not spice up your morning and give these bad boys a shot?  

Brand Love: Nalgene

It's exactly one month until the first day of summer, but of course, it's 95 degrees in Los Angeles. Y'all, I am so not ready for this. I'd honestly be cool if we just skipped summer this year and went straight to fall. Actually, wait. Let's pit stop at 4th of July—because #fireworks, obviously—and then fast forward straight through to Halloween. Who is with me? Great. I'm glad I'm not alone. It's too bad none of us are time travelers. 

If I slow down long enough, I sense a challenge in the approach of summer. I feel the pull to get outside, to make memories. Every year it rolls around, bringing with it a sweet nostalgia of long, warm evenings at the lake, laughing unrestrained to the backdrop of a bonfire and all things horses. Oh, to be carefree again! To toss our backpacks, water bottles and keys to the wayside; to climb high and confidently to the tallest parts of the tallest bridges and plunge fearlessly into the deep cool waters below. Ya...I guess summer isn't all that bad. 

I love these memories. It's neat to be able to look back on the things we thought were cool then, and see how some of them have carried over into today. And to know that there are brands that I still gravitate toward, even amidst the changing landscape of my life. Like Nalgene. 

Growing up, Nalgene was always the go-to water bottle brand for all my outdoor friends. It was well loved at the summer camp I worked at because of it's sturdy, scratch-resistant, heat-resistant nature (commercial dishwasher safe, biaaaaatch!) You could leave lemonade in it all day, in the heat, and you wouldn't end up with any unwanted odor or taste. Plus, there was the added bonus of all that free space to cover with stickers (which I may or may not still do today...judge me.)

But, then came the BPA scare. And into the trash went my beloved Nalgene. Or did I lose it while camping? I honestly can't remember. It's irrelevant though because the company is amazing and they quickly dropped the questionable plastic and replaced it with a BPA-free alternative. Which, from what I can tell so far, is just as awesome as before. My Nalgene has been dropped, thrown, kicked and hauled all over the world and it still fails to leak, crack or find itself irreparably damaged. 

These bottles are one of those products you'd find me being like, "Yo. You need this." Without question. In fact, I own a two already. Aaaaaaaand I may or may not have my eye on another one, in another sweet color. It's summer y'all and you know you're going to be out and about. So stay prepared, and stay hydrated...with Nalgene. 

#GOTEM

Honestly, they don't pay me enough for this. Just kidding. They don't pay me at all. But seriously, no one paid me for this. I guess technically I paid them, I bought my water bottles. Really, they're just that cool. Ha. Cool. Like keeping it cool...in summer. bah dun dun CH. Okay. I'm done. 

Oh! real quick, PROTIP: Get a splash guard. We all know how hard it is to drink from a wide mouth bottle, and now you don't have to be 'that guy'. These little silicone suckers fit right into your bottle opening and keep you from looking like a fool, splashing water all over yourself in public. You can thank me later. 
 
Love you guys, stay wild xx


 

It's Official: Travel Trumps Material Things

Becca Tapert

Becca Tapert

This just in: recent studies out of Cornel University conclude that travel makes—and keeps—us way happier than material possessions. 

I get it, our generation is all about instant gratification. Saving up to splurge on that thing you’ve had your eye on is a thing of the past, thank you credit cards. We want the feels and we want them now. We want to be relevant and up to date, but while we may get those fuzzy feelings of enjoyment and fulfillment from bringing home that ‘I just have to have it’, research suggests you may want to consider reallocating those funds. 

#travel

Head nod to Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor over at Cornell University. This man has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades, and according to his findings one of the main impediments to happiness is adaptation. Meaning that just so soon as that thing ‘we just had to have’ becomes ordinary, the level of satisfaction we get from it fades. Which leads us to buying something else. And so on. It’s a nasty cycle. 

The good news is, research Dr. T has been conducting has a found an alternative to the nasty.

According to Professor T, we experience the same level of happiness when we buy something we want and when we travel. But, spoiler alert: travel trumps material things, and here is why. 

The amount of enjoyment we derive from the purchase of material possessions fades over time, whereas memories, experience and connection - all byproducts of travel - are a source of joy that stays with us for our entire lives. And if that wasn't enough, there's always all the other things you learn by heading out into the great unknown. 

So, do it. Get out there! Invest in your future. Build memories, find your moments. And do it knowing you'll have them for forever. 

xx

4 Essentials For a Killer Solo-Hike


One of my favorite extracurriculars has always been hiking/trail running. Not only is it a great workout but its a perfect time to allow my brain to engage in something other than work. The whole experience feels like a sort of meditation. An intentional time to check out of the world and into myself.

So, whether your first hike, or your five-hundredth (which probably means you don't need to be reading this) I've pulled together a couple of things I've found are crucial for a good hike.

1. FIND A GOOD PODCAST / CREATE A PLAYLIST

Don't get me wrong, half of the reason I love hiking instead of a gym sesh is to be able to tap into nature. So for the sake of that, and for safety, I typically only leave one ear bud in while on the mountain. But, I also find it helpful to have something else to focus on aside from my burning muscles on the way up. And I love a good podcast.

For the way down (usually at a faster pace) I like to tap into a good playlist. I suggest finding or creating one with a good tempo to pace yourself to. Spotify is King.

2. INVEST IN SOME GOOD GEAR

Good gear is critical. Especially when hiking/trail running. Nobody wants a rolled ankle, nor do you want to run out of water halfway through. I'm not an expert, let me make that abundantly clear. But do some research! Find what works for you. I've found that the four things I can't do without are:

A good pair of shoes: I run in nikes
A good bag: I shamelessly use a fanny pack -- find what works for you! I've found I need something to hold my keys, water & phone.
Sunglasses: And not something that bounces all over your face. Find something with UV protection and thick side arms!
Smart Clothing: I advise against cotton. No thank you chaffing. No Thank you swamp ass. I'm a huge fan of Dry Fit Tech & Under Armour as a whole.

3. BE TRAIL SMART

I can not tell you how many time I've almost slammed into people or fallen off the mountain because people refuse to stick to their side of the trail. I would say the basics of hiking are the same as driving on a narrow road. If someone is coming (especially if they are running) just move to the side. ALWAYS YOUR RIGHT. Don't make this a case of Awkward Squirrel. Use common sense. Read the situation. Slow down or stop and move as far right as possible and/or is necessary to let them pass.

4. REMEMBER YOUR BODY

Y'ALL. HYDRATE. ALWAYS. And then do some research. Figure out what your body needs pre-hike to stay fueled, as well as the best way for you to treat your mind and muscles to some recovery post-hike. 

++ Do you have any hiking essentials? Let me know in the comments!

3 Podcasts For When You're On The Move

Whether traveling for work, for enjoyment or simply because I live in Los Angeles It's no secret that I spend more time on the road than off it. Growing up I was never a big fan of talk radio. In fact I can clearly remember giving my friend Jesse the judgemental side eye in high school, sighing dramatically as an unspoken request to change the channel when I got in the car and NPR was on. But things have changed. Now, I'm quite the fan of podcasts and audio books! 

Here are my recent go-to listens: 

 
 
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POD SAVE AMERICA
/  Politics

Real talk: this is my first year involved in politics and I absolutely love these guys. They provide an insider perspective, wish a dash of humor, aiming to activate change  (not just talk about it.)

Four former aides to President Obama — Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor — are joined by journalists, politicians, comedians, and activists for a freewheeling conversation about politics, the press and the challenges posed by the Trump presidency.

/ Find POD SAVE AMERICA on iTunes

 


S-Town
/  Investigative Journalism

I am addicted and endlessly fascinated by the people in this story. I devoured Serial a while back and was pleasantly surprised to find this series just as interesting, if not more so with all it's twists and turns. It's not as straightforward as Serial, and I love that. 

S-Town is a new podcast from Serial and This American Life, hosted by Brian Reed, about a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian to investigate the son of a wealthy family who's allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But when someone else ends up dead, the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man's life.

/ Find S.TOWN on iTunes


LifeAfter
/  Radio Drama 

I found this and thought, "why not, I'll give it a go" and then promptly binged the entire season. I wasn't sure how I would feel about the Radio Drama genre, but I loved it. I've since tried to find a series as good as Life After, but everything has fallen short. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

From GE Podcast Theater and Panoply, the producers of The Message, comes a new thriller, LifeAfter. The 10 episode series follows Ross, a low level employee at the FBI, who spends his days conversing online with his wife Charlie – who died eight months ago. But the technology behind this digital resurrection leads Ross down a dangerous path that threatens his job, his own life, and maybe even the world. New episodes every Sunday.

/ Find LIFE AFTER on iTunes

 

 

++ Got a podcast suggestion? Let me know in the comments! I'd love something new to listen to!

Popp & Scott

If you've been paying attention you may have noticed that with moving into my new apartment I've become quite smitten with my plants. I'm trying to be responsible with my time and money, but I seriously just want to go and buy all the plants. I definitely underestimated how content and excited I would be to watch all my little green-friends unfurl new leaves. They're so happy and I'm so proud! So, you can imagine my delight in stumbling upon these rad Australian-made pots. Every good plant needs a good home to grow from, right? With a selection of tribal, modern and minimalist have something for everyone. Let's just hope world-wide shipping is something coming soon! 

5 Sustainable Brands To Get Down With This Spring

Spring is the perfect time to shake ourselves free of winters sluggish hold. To emerge from our cozy dwellings and greet the warmth of the sun. With the milder temperatures comes endless possibility of adventure.

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You know those places you've wanted to explore? Whether with friends or flying solo, now is the time to do it! 

A couple weeks ago I hit the road with friends for a day trip into the desert. I feel like I spend a large majority of my time working, but I promised myself that this year I would make time for people and for the moments that are made with them. After all, our lives are made of up things like these, right? Moments. At the end of my days I want to be able to look back and reflect on time well spent, a life well lived. And live we did! We laughed till it hurt, sweat more than any human should (frolicking around in a field of poppies) and drove until I passed out in the back seat (which, for the record, is like my road-trip superpower).

In looking back I realized that there are a few things that are essential for any spring adventure: comfortable clothing, a few great accessories and a durable bag (for all the snacks, duh). 

So, whether a trip to the mountains, an adventure in the desert or a Sunday spent picking through treasures at the local market - whatever you decide to do - do it!  Make some memories and take your adventure head on.

From planning phase (if you are into that sort of thing) to kicking your heels up and enjoying the open road, here are a few brands I love to throw on for a good adventure:

 

" We make our watches for people who don't just have somewhere to be,
they have somewhere to go." #Adventure

Time Management is a thing. A real thing, and sometimes I'm real bad at it. But at least I'm bad at it in style. Jord is a super dope brand, offering hand-crafted one of a kind wood watches, made with sustainable, natural materials from all over the world. Click here for the watch I'm wearing!

(also, for a chance to win $100 toward a Jord Watch see below!)


Because whats better than a pair of Birks on the road? A clue: nothing. 
Easy on, easy off and comfortable as a cloud. I basically wear my Birks all day erry day. No seriously, I do. And when it get's a bit cold, I just throw on some socks with my stocks. Talk about classy...

Plus these guys are socially responsible and are committed to making moves in sustainability. Read more here. 


We can all agree that there is nothing like a pair of worn in Levi's.
Or seeing a classic brand evolve with the times. These guys have been making moves by evolving their ethos in regards to responsible production and design.  They've implemented techniques that conserve massive amounts of water, they're recycling and giving new life to old denim and getting involved in supporting their communities. Read more here.  


I have a Timbuk 2 bag that I travel with exclusively, but I stumbled on these customizable backpacks the other day and it might be bye bye birdie to my trusty ol' messanger bag.

Aside from making real sweet bags, Timbuk 2 (born and bred in San Francisco, Ca) partners with SFMade whose mission is to build and support a vibrant manufacturing sector in San Francisco. They aim to empower companies that produce locally-made products, encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, and create employment opportunities for a diverse local workforce. Which is pretty dope if you ask me. 


lib·er·a·tion /ˌlibəˈrāSH(ə)n/ 
noun 1. the act of setting someone free from imprisonment, slavery, or oppression; release.

MY SISTER's mission is: to prevent sex trafficking, educate communities, empower the population, provide after-care for survivors and offer growth opportunities to at-risk women through the sales of their statement-making, ethically-sourced apparel and accessories.

Click here to grab that Liberation tee, because #freedom


>> JORD WOOD WATCH GIFT CODE GIVEAWAY <<


Yo Friends,

JORD and I have teamed up for a little gift code giveaway!  These guys are sweet as, and I'm stoked for you to have an opportunity to get yourselves one of these lovely pieces. 

 The details are easy-peasy and as follows:

  • All you have to do is fill our your name and email HERE

  • Each person who enters will be entered to win a $100 gift code to use on the JORD site!*

  • Only one lucky person will win, but everyone who enters will receive a consolation code worth $25 once the contest ends!

*Please note that a free watch is not a part of this contest. 

The contest ends on 4/16 at 11:59PM, so hurry and get your name in there! Can't wait to see you in your new watch, good luck!