Simple Autumn Favorites

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cafe Latte

Pumpkin spice oatmeal.
I'm particularly smitten with the one from Archer Farms. It was an impulse purchase made while wandering through the newly renovated Target by my condo, but it's quickly become one of my favorite breakfasts. I serve mine with sliced bananas, a dollop of cream, and a light drizzle of maple syrup.

Languid afternoons at my favorite cafe with a stack of magazines.
This speaks for itself. I've been trying to sort my way through my magazine backlog and what better place to do it than at a cafe? My personal favorite has a penchant for French jazz and is blissfully quiet in the afternoons.

Slow mornings curled up on the sofa.
Particularly with a cup of coffee and light filtering in through the window. These moments are a rarity and are something to be savored.

Early evening sunsets.
There's something decidedly cozy about evenings. Once the sun has set, there is no lingering guilt to be productive so evenings are spent with good books and even better company.

Warm scarves and my favorite cap.
If you follow me on Instagram you probably have an idea which hat is my favorite. Thankfully the crisp weather has been giving it a workout lately. Las Vegas can be so unpredictable in the fall, but this year has been perfect sweater weather. Bliss.

What are your simple autumn favorites right now?

On Community

Friday, November 15, 2013

Farewell Dinner

As I wrap up this two week series on Palm Springs and Camp Mighty I am left with a thought from Jon Acuff, "Fear hates community." That, I think, is the lasting takeaway from the weekend. That community is everywhere, sometimes you just need to take a step out of your comfort zone to find it. Not only is it wonderful to cultivate a community of your own, but it's even more amazing to be a part of someone else's. To cheer them on, to be a sounding board, to realize that you do have something to offer.

Goals change. People change. Your community is going to grow and shift. You are going to grow and shift. I say that to remind myself that inevitable change is not a reason to isolate or to stagnate. Change is the fuel, not the enemy. If I come away from Camp Mighty with nothing else, I want to never stop reaching out. Or reaching out to others. That's the reason we do this blogging thing, isn't it? Community is necessary, we aren't islands as much as we sometimes pretend to be (or wish we were).

Life Lists Tag It

Palm Springs: Foodie Favorites

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Billy Reed

Vintage Lighting

I don't think it's possible for me to visit a new city and not check out the local restaurant scene. Palm Springs certainly did not disappoint. On the way to the hotel we had some time to kill before hotel check-in and after seeing some positive reviews of Billy Reed's online we decided to stop in for a late lunch. Instead, the shining star of the meal was their pumpkin pie. A huge slice of house-made pie with perfectly tender pumpkin filling and a generous scoop of fresh whipped cream? Amazing. Definitely the right way to start a vacation.

Garlic Bread

Upper Crust

Next up is the product of a late afternoon food run on the second day. My mom came with me to Palm Springs to hang out and make it a girl's weekend and while I was in the conference she was exploring the city. On one of her runs she stopped by Upper Crust Pizza and decided to share her spoils with me. The pizza was fine, but the real gem was the garlic cheese bread. So ridiculously delicious with just the right amount of cheese. Also a must? The ranch dressing.

Beef Stroganoff

Miro's Restaurant

Easily my favorite stop of the weekend was Miro's Restaurant. Tucked in a shopping and business complex it's easy to miss as you're driving by. We saw the ivy from the road and decided to check it out. An upscale restaurant with a European flair Miro's is worth the stop for the atmosphere alone. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable, which lead to trying the beef stroganoff with spaetzle. I am rarely left speechless by a meal, but this did the trick. Warm and filling there was something addictive about that cream sauce. You can get the dish over noodles instead, but you don't want to miss out on their spaetzle. Sautéed after cooking it gave the meal some added texture in addition to being the perfect vessel for that sauce. A stop at Miro's is a must.

Corned Beef Hash Stack

French Toast

On the way back to the highway, downtown warranted one last stop before hitting the road. Ruby's Diner beckoned with both its convenience and cute, vintage-themed interior. The food didn't disappoint. Mom had their french toast which tasted as yummy as it looks. I was drawn to their specials. A corned beef hash stack layered with potatoes, fried eggs, and cheese? What could be better? This was comfort food at it's finest. I wouldn't have thought to mix corned beef for guacamole and fresh salsa, but it was a surprisingly refreshing combination that lightened up the meal. This is something I'm going to figure out how to make at home.

Visiting Palm Springs is worth it for the food alone. I'm looking forward to my next trip, both to revisit these new favorites and to check out a few more places that I just ran out of time for.

Ace Hotel: Palm Springs

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ace Hotel

Wrist Band

It is impossible to talk about Camp Mighty without giving at least a passing mention to the Ace Hotel. I believe the phrase "glamping" was thrown around at least once. Low, gloriously soft beds with fluffy down comforters. A large pool area boasting not only a lovely pool, but also a delicious menu and plenty of chairs for afternoon (or late night) lounging. Perhaps my favorite feature were the outdoor fireplace nooks complete with comfy chairs and trellises covered in vines and bistro lights. Now that I've fallen in love with Palm Springs, the Ace will certainly be staying on my list.

At the ACE



Palm Springs

Thursday, November 7, 2013

On the Streets

Koi Pond

I have fallen in love with Palm Springs. Which surprised me, quite honestly. I am not a desert lover, and living in Las Vegas has made that all the more evident. When I started planning my trip for Camp Mighty I was ready to shrug my shoulders and just focus on thoroughly enjoying the conference. Instead, somewhere between early morning garage sale adventures and too many food runs to count I was charmed. Winding, palm lined streets (that were shockingly easy to navigate). Adorable shops. A fantastic downtown district. Amazing food (a post in of itself). It was love at first sight.



Plaza Theatre

Camp Takeaways

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mighty Panels

Camp Mighty was hands down an amazing experience. I've had a few weeks to contemplate and unpack everything that went down and I have come to the conclusion that there will be new conclusions to be drawn for the foreseeable future. Along those lines, these were my some of my favorite takeaways from the weekend:

• "Fearlessness is the mother of reinvention." - A. Huffington
• Know your phase. Don't punish yourself for being in transition.
• Get to work on your strengths.
• "The nicest thing in the world you can do for anybody is to let them help you." - John Steinbeck
• "Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work." - Chuck Close
• Leave yourself open for opportunities that you never would have thought of on your own.
• "Be nice. Be genuine. Be generous." - Jihan Zencirli
• Make stuff for other people just to delight them.
• Think hard about the "why" of what you do. What motivates you? Would you still be doing what you're doing if you removed the negative motivations.
• Passion is just the start.
• If what you're selling isn't desirable without the story, don't bother.
• Take your fist out of the air and put it to work.

I feel inspired, but more than that I"m ready to get to work. I've been busy behind the scenes working on some new adventures that will be unfolding soon. More than anything though I'm excited to truly be alive again. The accident robbed me of that for a while, but that spark is back and I couldn't be more grateful.

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