Framebridge

Being photographers Lou and I have so many photos from our wanderings and adventures that we could decorate a lifetime of houses!  I’m a huge fan of framing photos that carry great memories from travel, or that remind of us of a fun shoot we did.  And I love seeing family photos or gallery walls of portraits in friend’s homes (it’s fascinating to look at portraits of a family, isn’t it?!)   I also love displaying photos that evoke a mood, bring in some bright color or are a bit graphic in nature.  It’s amazing what a quality framed piece of artwork can do for a space!  I also really enjoy rotating pieces and giving rooms a fresh feel by just switching out art and accessories.  This has saved me many a time when I’ve felt compelled to redecorate!

All of this brings me to why I’m so excited to introduce you to Framebridge, a beautifully easy and affordable way to frame your favorite pieces!  I love that they offer the option to print your photos (I’m pretty sure almost everyone has a frame-worthy photo on their Instagram these days)!  And being able to see your artwork on their site with framing options (mat or no mat, floating, borderless, a variety of frame types, etc) makes the process so fun and easy.  I found myself wanting to frame every last photo we have!  And this is what I found the most convenient and brilliant- they will ship you packaging to mail in your art- every little bit of detail (including the packing tape you’ll need to close it up) is included.  It couldn’t be easier or more convenient!

Lastly, I have two bonuses for you!!  All of the photos seen here are now available for purchase on SHOP A HOUSE IN THE HILLS!  AND, Framebridge is offering a 20% discount* for A House in the Hills readers with the code AHOUSEINTHEHILLS20.  So really, what are you waiting for?  Time to get framing my friends!!!  xx- Sarah

Seen in in the photos: Tokyo Skyline w/Sonoma frame, Morning w/Marin frame, Smoke Bomb w/ Irvine Slim frame, Bougainvillea w/Mercer frame, Heels with Mercer Slim frame, Motorcycle w/ Bolton frame, Skulls w/ Cairo frame

*Code is for 20% off your first Framebridge order of $59 or more, expires 11/30/2015

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HEALTH UPDATE AND A MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!

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Hi Friends!!!  I’m excited for today for soooooo many reasons.  And you know how it goes when there are too many things to talk about – say in a phone chat with a best friend- that you have to make a list to make sure you cover it all?!  That’s where I’m at.  I NEED A LIST!  So, here’s the what’s up:

– I am 100% healthy again- fully back on my feet and feeling amazing.  This year has been wicked- it’s turned me inside out and upside down to face such intense health struggles.  The day before the photo on that post was taken I was so ill that I was scared that I might not make it out of the surgery.  I hadn’t ever experienced such an intense leveling.  I was in the fight of my life to get back to health- and it was one that probably started years ago here.  And I’m beyond thrilled to say that I didn’t quit and I’m in a better place now than ever before!  I want to give you answers to how I got better because I know so many of you are facing your own challenges, walking your own path to health.  For me, my return to health was a fortunate combination of a few things.  I started seeing an amazing GI specialist- she’s an MD, but also practices Endobiogenic Medicine.  There were so many twists and turns the past six months I can’t remember exactly who sent me her way, but it was life changing!  She suggested IV treatments of vitamins to get the nutrition that I hadn’t been able to get from having digestive issues for so long.  She ran intensive comprehensive bloodwork and said that my central nervous system appeared to be operating as if I were being “chased by a tiger”.  Yikes!!

She recommended I continue with the GAPS diet.  She said that she could work with me giving me all the medications/treatments in the world but that if I didn’t learn how to calm myself I wouldn’t be able to recover.  She also told me that she would be able to see more through my bloodwork than just physical things, that she would also see my emotional health and gain a perspective on who I am.  Everything that she proceeded to tell me about myself was spot on. And then she told me that I have no “mother energy”.  It was crazy to hear her say that, Lou and I left the office close to speechless.  I haven’t written about it too much here but I’m estranged from my mother, and have been for some time.  Per the doctor’s recommendation, I picked up with meditation practice and became even more dedicated to creating that space every day.  The Art of Mindful Living on Audiobook became my saving grace.  I’m learning how to be still.  I’m learning how to be OK in my body.  I simultaneously started seeing an energy healer/craniosacral practitioner and seeing a therapist to work through  some of the traumas I’ve experienced, and how they have played out in my adult life.  I’ll write more on that in depth another time.

The meditation, the IV treatments, the GAPS diet, the craniosacral, the therapy all helped me to gather myself, so to speak, and get back to the wonderful experience of living a healthy life.  I’m not clear on whether I will always feel this good, I suppose no one is.  Our health is with us, until it isn’t.  And there’s really no way to control certain aspects of it.  But I’m healthy now, and in many ways I feel as if I have a new lease on life.  I feel as if I’m in the process of becoming who I’m meant to be- that everything I have gone through has brought me to this place.  As I mentioned above- the day before this photo was taken- I was literally so weak that I could barely speak.  I weighed 113 lbs, I had no voice, I felt as if I was staring down death, that I was fighting my body to survive.  I asked my Stepdad and his wife to come from the East coast to visit because I thought that if I continued to decline I wouldn’t have another chance to see them.  That was June 28th.  I think it was my rock bottom.  It’s a testament to the beauty of life that on my birthday, a little over six weeks later, I caught my first wave on a stand-up paddleboard.  Since then I’ve been jogging 2.5-3 miles each day, last week I climbed San Diego’s highest peak and every weekend I’ve been crashing through waves and doing handstands on the beach with as much strength as I’ve ever had.  It feels like a miracle, but it feels also like every minute of my life has been exactly what’s it’s meant to be, if that makes sense.

– Earlier this year I mentioned that I was set to travel to Fiji.  And then I later mentioned that I had to cancel the trip due to my health.  That was devastating,  but primarily because I’d been planning to announce that I’d joined forces with my dear friend January to offer a wellness retreat at the amazing Koro Sun Resort in Fiji.  (A brief aside- Lou and I fell in love in January’s yoga class circa 2008.  I’ve always said that if I hadn’t landed in her class as my first yoga experience I’m not sure I would’ve fallen in love with it the way I have- she is hands down the best yoga teacher, fitness trainer and nutrtional consultant I’ve ever encounterd!  And there are hundreds of people here in San Diego who concur and make sure most of her classes are filled to the brim!)  When my health was so up in the air I worried I wouldn’t recover enough to give 100% of myself to the retreat, so I (extremely reluctantly) stepped away.  January carried on, like the warrior she is and headed to Fiji for our scout trip by herself.  We didn’t want to host a retreat anywhere we hadn’t been- we needed to know that Koro Sun is as magical in person as it looks in photos.  AND- CONFIRMED!!!!  All of these photos (below) that January took are just the tip of the iceberg to what the islands/resort have to offer!

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– The tides turned pretty quickly since June when I cancelled the trip.  I’m feeling 100% better, and 100% committed to picking up where I left off- it just didn’t feel right to watch January carry on without me when I’m healthy and roaring to go.  SO, I’m back on board!!!  You cannot imagine how excited I am!  I’ll be co-hosting the retreat November 1-6.  We designed the retreat to be for EVERY person.  This is not just for the dedicated fitness buff, or the yoga guru, or the wanna-be-yoga-guru.  This is for anyone who is looking for a way to step outside of their life in search of new experiences, adventure, an opportunity to connect in a world that’s NOT ONLINE, an opportunity to learn and grown.  This is for fitness beginners and experts, those who are halfway down a path, and those who are just looking for an opportunity to shake things up a bit.  This is for the seasoned seekers and the wanna-be seekers alike.  And there’s a very good chance if you’re reading this, that it’s for YOU!

January and I both see health and wellness from the same viewpoint- that it’s truly about living your best life- one that’s in balance and harmony with your individual body and it’s needs- that it truly is a mind, body and soul endeavor.  We designed the retreat to be what WE  want out of a retreat.  Here’s a short list of what we have planned: a smoothie-making class, cocktail parties, a morning hike to a waterfall, yoga classes, group meditations, a Fijian cooking class, a trip to a local school to donate books and meet the children, and an empowerment talk by yours truly. There’s a whole bunch of other goodness planned as well!  We’ve built out an entire itinerary that is 100% flexible- ultimately if any part of it doesn’t suit you, we think you should skip that part!  We think you should snorkel instead, or lay in the sun with a book, or go for a stand up paddle, or take a nap in your burre, or perhaps wander off on your own or with a friend to explore the island.  We think you should honor you, what’s best for your spirit any given time.  We want the retreat to be a healthy, inspiring, fun and most importantly, we want you to leave feeling filled up.  Renewed.  Reinvigorated.  Inspired.  We want you to leave committed to carrying on living your best possible life- whatever that looks like for you.

-If you’d like to learn more about the retreat, please email bulawellness@gmail.com and we’ll send along a PDF that has all the details! I’m so excited about this adventure, so excited to meet some of you in person, to play in the South Pacific with you, and to revel in this beautiful life together.  I hope so much to see you there!  xx- SarahFiji__a_house_in_the_hills--796

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J.Crew Denims

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I think I mentioned it earlier this year but J.Crew is killing it with their denim collections this year!  Case in point: these high waisted skinnies.  They fit like a dream and I’m pretty sure would be flattering on most anyone.  Well played J.Crew, well played.  I think I wore them no less than 3 times the first week they arrived.  That’s always a good sign, when I’m binge-wearing.  I do have to warn you though, they’re the kind of denim that attracts lint/fur.  So having a lint roller on hand when getting dressed is key.  Oh, denim problems.  haha!  Have a  great Thursday my friends!!!  xx- Sarah

Shop this outfit:  denim, shirt, hat, shoes (Thakoon, sold out), bracelets here and here, necklace, bag,

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Weekend Road Tripping- San Onofre

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Happy Wednesday my friends!  How did we even get here, was it not just Monday?!  This summer is going by far too quickly for my liking, I can’t believe September is creeping up on us so quickly!  All the more reason to enjoy every minute of it I suppose, which is exactly what I intend to do.  Beach days, eating outdoors, and soaking up all the sun I can get.  You may have seen here that Lou and I bought an RV!  It has been a lifelong dream of mine- it satisfies my wanderlust in major ways, and feels like a bucket list dream come true!

We took her on our maiden voyage over the weekend to San Onofre State Park.  We wanted to go someplace close to home for our first trip- dipping our toes in the experience so to speak.  And…. it was incredible!  I couldn’t love the RV life more, I was pinching myself all weekend long!  It was so fun traveling with our pack of animals (yes, Pepito came along too!) and waking up early and taking Bean for a run on a beach that was entirely empty filled my soul right up to the top.  I’m going to share our travel adventures here, and of course we’ll be posting on our Instagrams here and here as well.  We’re planning on renting out our house on airbnb for the times when we go on longer adventures, so stay tuned for that as well if you have any trips to SD in the works.  Cannot wait to explore this incredible country (and maybe a couple others) and share it all with you here!  Hoping I’ll inspire your own adventures, in summer and beyond.  I like to imagine that I’m taking you all with me in my pocket!  More on San Onofre below…   xx- Sarah

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San Onofre State Beach is beach is a madhouse on a Summer weekend, for good reason.  It’s a great place to find a little surf during the summer months when the waves die down and it couldn’t be a better spot for beginners to learn!  I love the energy there- it’s Southern California beach culture at it’s best- so many sprinter vans and VW buses outfitted for surf trips, so many little kids who can ride waves with the best of them, and so much mellow energy.  Even though the beach is crowded and chaotic, the people are friendly and everyone is there with a common purpose and a common love of the ocean.  It’s really quite a special spot and holds a place in my heart.

As far as outdoor adventure goes- I love it but I’m rarely willing to sacrifice in the food department.  I have a hard time an enjoying an experience if I’m not well-fed!  So we packed up our trusty Weber grill and all sorts of delicious ingredients before we headed out.  We grilled Branzino and ate it with a sauce similar to this one and served it with the salad below (butter lettuce, mache rosettes, purple cabbage, carrots, cherry tomatoes, avocado, garlic roasted pistachios, watermelon radish and a dijon balsamic vinaigrette).  It was heavenly!  Everything tastes better when cooked and eaten outdoors, doesn’t it?!  This is how we intend to camp/travel- deliciously!!!!!

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I don’t think I’ve worn a matching bikini set all summer- I’ve been all about mixing and matching patterns and colors.  This top is Mara Hoffman from a couple of years ago and the bottoms are Athleta (on insanely good sale marked down 10 $14.99 from $49!  Now is the time to take advantage of those end of summer swimwear sales!  Here are a bunch I’m loving:

 


 

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This is the beach I discovered the morning I took Bean for a jog.  It’s just south of San Onofre- I believe it’s the San Onofre State Park campground- at the San Onofre bluffs.  The camping is parking lot camping, essentially.  And the highway noise was a bit of a bummer.  But all was forgiven when I woke up for my morning jog with Bean and discovered this beach.  It was early enough that it was just the two of us and a long stretch of sand.  Magical!!!  That’s one of my favorite parts about camping- being able to find spots where you’re alone in the world, even if for just a moment.  (And yes, I use the word camping with full awareness that what we’re doing in that RV barely counts!)  More of this beautiful spot below….

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Bedroom Update with Tommy Hilfiger

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Happy Wednesday my friends!  When we sold our Palm Springs house the new owners purchased a good amount of our furniture, including everything in the master bedroom except for two poufs.  So we started from scratch with this house- and it’s slowly but surely coming together!  Our wishes for our bedroom are always the same: a tranquil, soothing, cozy retreat. At the end of the day there’s nothing sweeter than climbing into a soft bed and snuggling up for the night. And I have to say, this is our favorite bedroom so far- which is fantastic because we still have so far to go with the design so I know we’re only going to love it more and more!  It’s simple and sweet, cozy and inviting- really just the perfect place to lay our heads.

The bed is pure heaven.  I’m in love with the neutral pallette, the comforter with just the lightest hint of pattern, the variety of textures in the pillows/throw, the warmth from the wood frame, and the way it all comes together so cohesively.  And, you’ll see above the bed, my first weaving!  I may move it, not 100% sure that I love it in that spot but for now I’m displaying it like peacock feathers cause I’m pleased as punch with how it turned out!

The rest of the room still has a ways to go, but I love the simple dresser, the lights that offer the softest glow at night and the pop of color from the photo above it (will be offering those up for sale here in the next week or two- please email me at hello@ahouseinthehills.com if you’d like to be notified when they’re available!).  And I didn’t photograph it but on the other side of the room there are a bunch of plants.  Will save that for another update down the road, hopefully soon. Hope you love it my friends!  xx- Sarah

Sources:  bed, bedding set, side tables, lamps (here and here), dresser, rug,  {This post was sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting our sponsors!}

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Neutrals + Layers

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Fall isn’t upon on us quite yet, but I’ve been missing layers so much lately that the first cool evening was pretty much all I needed to layer up!  And, as is so often the case, neutrals were my go-to for the occasion.  I’ll never get enough black, white, and grey.  Sometimes I even fantasize about creating a capsule wardrobe of all neutrals that I can mix and match.  But who am I kidding? I love a bold, colorful graphic print too much for that.  But for now, neutrals.  xx- Sarah

SHOP THIS OUTFIT: pants: Theory, trench: Re-Named top: Free People, shoes:Derek Lam bag: Clare Vivier, bracelets: Miansai, Giles & Brother, Sunglasses: Sunday Somewhere

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