We’re heading to Nashville and couldn’t be more excited about it. We’ve been wanting to go for quite a while now and finally have the time to do so. We figured we’d turn it into a little road trip and stop in some cities we have never visited before. This will be our first official road trip and we’ll be on the road for eleven days!
We’ll be stopping in:
-Albuquerque, New Mexico
-Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
-Little Rock, Arkansas
-El Paso, Texas
We really can’t wait to get out there, explore a bit, and meet up with some friends. If you have any recommendations on places we should stop along the way or road trip tips, please pass them along! We’ll be sharing our adventures while on the road via instagram and snapchat (username: newdarlings), so be sure to follow along with us. We’ll be documenting everything under #newdarlingsontheroad.
One room at a time, this apartment of ours is slowly coming together. It’s definitely been a process, but one we are enjoying and putting a lot of love in to. One thing we have always struggled with was deciding on artwork. It has always felt like such a big commitment and something that would dictate the whole feel of the room. We’ve done gallery walls in the past, but honestly…they give us a lot of design anxiety. (Yes, that’s a thing…at least for us. Haha) Which piece goes with which? Should our frames match or all be different? Is the color story clear? Maybe down the road, we’ll experiment with a gallery wall again, but for the dining room we decided to go with one large piece of art work. We felt this was the simpler route and made more sense for our small space, while still making a statement. Our living room, kitchen, and dining room are all open to each other, so we wanted to make sure we chose a piece that flowed well with the living room and accents in the kitchen. After searching on Minted under different filters, colors, sizes, and shapes, we decided on this pretty landscape. We loved the neutral palette and the calmness of it. It’s been so nice to sit at the table in the morning, still a little sleepy eyed, over a cup of coffee and glance over at it. It’s definitely a nice way to start each day. This little dining room of ours still needs some love (still on the hunt for an area rug and some other accents), but we definitely feel like it’s starting to come together. Below we put together a round-up of some of our favorite large scale art pieces. The Italian coast line print was a close runner-up. 😉
Monday we decided to take a trip up north completely on a whim. We were craving a hint of fall, so we threw on some jeans and boots, grabbed our camera and jumped in the car. The drive up to Flagstaff is always fun. We hit a bit of rain on the way there but it just added to the cozy, fall-like weather we were yearning for. The temperatures were in the 60s and it was pretty perfect. We grabbed lunch and some warm drinks at our favorite local spot, Macy’s.
Fall has always been our favorite time of the year. Our birthdays are in October and November, and its the season in which we met and fell love. (Too mushy for ya? Sorry, but it’s true!) We have so many good memories linked to leaves crunching under our feet and being layered in cozy knits. Dressing for the colder months has always been our favorite. Pretty ironic we moved to the desert right? 😉 Back east we would live in sweaters, denim jackets, and boots for a good portion of the year. A new season meant a new pair of boots. We recently picked up some pairs by UGG in these pretty chocolate shades, for him and her. They just came out with a new line, and we have a feeling we’re going to be wearing these non stop all season!
The drive back to Phoenix was long but we caught the most beautiful sunset on the way, so we can’t really complain. Thanks for the good times Flagstaff!
Thank you to everyone who came out to the Madewell + New Darlings Fall Fashion event last night. We had a great time hanging out with everyone, snacking on some great treats from Tryst Cafe,and checking out all the new fall arrivals. Below are some favorites from the new collection. We can’t wait for a ton of plaid and cozy layers!
This past weekend was so refreshing! We didn’t have any big commitments or plans, so we took Saturday morning slow and stayed in our pjs just a tad bit longer than we should have. Easy weekends like these are always our favorite, especially after a long week. We make breakfast together, get the coffee and tea brewing, and turn on some of our favorite records. The light that pours in from our dining room in the early hours each morning makes our silly dream swapping, coffee talks that much more enjoyable. Lately we’ve been making coffee for two and I’ve been passing on the tea. The bitterness of coffee was always too much for me, but I’ve been loving the vanilla flavor of Leaner Creamer. It’s all natural and dairy free, made from powdered coconut oil, which is great if you have a lactose sensitivity like me. Plus, it smells so good!
Breakfast is always best with our favorite records spinning in the background. Here’s what we’ve been listening to lately:
The last place we stopped on our way out of Palm Springs was Moorten Botanical Garden. It was on our list of places to check out and we are so glad we did. This place was truly magical and we instantly fell in love with it! We’ve been to our fair share of gardens and nurseries, but there was something about this one that was so special.
It’s a private arboretum that was established back in 1938 and still family owned today. We had an amazing time speaking to the current owner, Clark Moorten, who’s parents opened it up more than seven decades ago. His father, Chester Moorten, also known as “Cactus-Slim”, pictured above (no, that’s not Sean Penn 😉 ) with his wife, Patricia, created this wonderland of over 3,000 different plants. Clark shared childhood stories with us of him working on the property with his father. Today he manages the garden along with some volunteers.
One of our favorite parts of the gardens had to be “The Cactus Castle”, which is a Mediterranean style house that sits on the property and was actually the Moorten’s home. It was so charming with blue accents and beautiful pottery surrounding it. The “Cactarium” was also one of favorites. Just incredible! It was a little greenhouse full of every type of cactus, terra cotta pots, and little lizards. We would literally come out and turn right back around and go back into it. We did this three times before we cut ourselves off. We really could have stayed there for hours, but we knew we had to hit the road. We highly recommend this beauty of a place and can’t wait to head back there! It was the perfect send off to such a calming (extended) weekend.
If you follow along with us on instagram and snapchat, you probably saw that we recently took a mini vacation to Palm Springs. We both have been wanting to go for quite a while now and this trip couldn’t have come at a better time. Palm Springs is only a few hours from Phoenix, so it was definitely the perfect (extended) weekend getaway. The morning of our trip we threw some clothes, swimsuits and our camera in a bag and hit the road. Four hours later, after a few car singalongs and laugh attacks, we arrived in Palm Springs!
Thanks to Home Away, we stayed in one the of the most beautiful, retro homes just five minutes from downtown. When we first walked in to our rental we were taken back by the beautiful view from the mid century living room straight through to the yard with a huge swimming pool and spa, that was surrounded by the tallest palm trees. This place was seriously a dream. We spent our mornings and evenings swimming around in that pool until our skin turned all pruney. (Not the best visual? Yeah probably not, but it definitely was a highlight for us.) In all seriousness, it was the perfect way for us to unwind and take it easy. The last two months have felt like a marathon, with moving in to a new apartment and some new projects underway, so we couldn’t have been more excited to just take it easy and enjoy one another.
Some mornings we had breakfast in the cute kitchenette area or out by the pool. For being so close to downtown, the neighborhood was so peaceful and calm. It was really refreshing. We filled our afternoons exploring the midcentury homes and great restaurants. If you find yourself in Palm Springs, here are some favorite places we found:
After settling in to our place for the weekend, we decided to grab an early dinner. This was the first place we checked out. The pizza was tasty. Our choices were: the prosciutto + black mission fig and a classic margherita pie!
PALM GREENS CAFE We hit up Palm Greens Cafe one day for brunch before an afternoon of antiquing (more on that in a minute). Their menu is all vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and organic. We don’t follow a vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free diet, but we do try to eat organic whenever possible. It’s in a pretty unassuming location, in a regular looking shopping center, but it definitely is a place to check out. The food was so fresh and our waiter was so friendly. We’re still dreaming about the breakfast tacos!
REVIVALS Located in the same shopping center as Palm Greens Cafe, Revivals is a strip of consignment shops with everything from old TVs and records to vintage dresses. You definitely need to have a keen eye in this place to spot some hidden gems, as there is so much to go through! We did however score a little planter basket for $2, so it was worth it!
DAZZLES ANTIQUE SHOP
Such a fun antique shop with a HUGE jewelry and home goods selection. This place was one of our favorites. The owner was so sweet!! We spent some time chatting about the history of Palm Springs and the evolution of his shop. There are so many treasures tucked away in every corner. We left with a cute mid-century planter, but its pretty easy to get carried away in there.
We stopped here for a quick refresher one afternoon; iced coffee and and a cold green tea. It’s such a cute little place and Palm Spring’s only independent coffee shop. If we lived in Palm Springs, this definitely felt like the place we’d hang around, get some work done over a latte and even meet friends for a drink later on. (Yes, they also have wine and beer.) 😉
MID CENTURY HOMES + #THATPINKDOOR HOUSE If you haven’t heard of the pink door house, just search #thatpinkdoor on instagram and you’ll see a bunch of photos of people standing in front of this house. It’s kind of become an internet phenomenon. It was designed by Moises Esquenazi and voted one of Metropolitan Home Magazine’s “Best Homes in America”. Every home on this street was really unique, from colorful doors to intricate entry ways and landscape design. If you’re into midcentury architecture and design, this street is a goldmine.
ELVIS’ HONEYMOON HIDEAWAY So we found out about this place on accident…kind of. Before dinner one night we were driving around and looking for some historical places to check out. We did a quick search for places near our location and Elvis’ Honeymoon Hideaway came up! We couldn’t have been more excited! Guys, this is where Elvis and Priscilla Presley lived in 1966 and 1967! We literally just stood there geeking out checking out the property and imagining what Palm Springs might have been like back in the 60s. Did we mention, you could set an appointment to tour this place?! It was too late into the evening to book a tour and we were leaving early the next day, otherwise we would have definitely done it. The photos of the inside look amazing. We truly can’t wait to come back and take a tour.
BILL’S PIZZA What can we say? We like our pizza! This place felt very family-friendly and casual, they had cute pop-art portraits on the wall of old actors and actresses, like Lucille Ball and Audrey Hepburn. As for the pizza…thicker crust, tons of toppings, we were in love! 😉 We wandered around tourist streets after dinner and passed a cute little chapel. Of course we needed to snap a photo.
We grabbed a super quick breakfast here on our way out of Palm Springs. Get the cinnamon bun — so good! They have a few locations in Palm Springs. We went to the one on North Palm Canyon Dr. They have a pretty patio area with some great views. Definitely a nice place to start your day.
The last place we visited was a beautiful botanical garden. It was truly incredible and we fell in love with every inch of it. We’ll be sharing photos from there later this week! We took so many!
Some places we wanted to check out but didn’t get the chance to were:
–CHEEKY’S – everyone recommended this place for breakfast, but they were closed the weekend we were in town!
–PINNOCHIO IN THE DESERT – bottomless champagne for $4.95
–LAS CASUELAS – Mexican food + music and dancing
–WORKSHOP KITCH + BAR – brunch and dinner – looks like a pretty place
–EL MIRASOL – another Mexican food place that was recommended to usHope some of our recommendations are helpful. We had such an amazing time and can’t wait to plan another little getaway. We’ve already started researching places in other cities we want to explore! Thanks again to Home Away for such an amazing stay!
rug c/o West Elm | pillow c/o Boho Pillow | vintage LIFE magazines | Urban Outfitters mug
Since posting our living room makeover (which you all have been so sweet about!), we’ve gotten a few emails and comments about our plant baskets. The two above in the first photo are from Ikea and Home Goods. We’ve also found some pretty great ones at some local thrift stores too, like the magazine one in the second photo. We have baskets in every room in our apartment. We’re slightly obsessed. They’re perfect for storing blankets, magazines and books, laundry, housing plants….the list goes on! Here’s a little round up of some of our favorite baskets on the web!
[Click through to see some of our favorites]
Follow along with us on Pinterest for more home inspiration.
Most of the time it feels like we’re all working for the weekend, counting down the days until Saturday arrives and we’re free of responsibilities…well at least for the most part. Everyone always talks about “weekend indulgences”, how it’s a time for comfort and relaxing and we couldn’t agree more, but what about the weekdays? As we get older we’re realizing the value of time and the importance of creating a calm morning routine before rushing off to work, checking emails or conquering that never ending to-do list.
As someone who quickly wakes up, checks their phone, hits the shower, and then gets straight to work, I’ve been waking up earlier to give myself an hour of quiet time each morning. Rob has always been better with this…making time to read articles or check his favorite music blogs over a hot cup of coffee. I’m the opposite and will sleep as long as I can and then rush out the door. This isn’t really ideal and leaves me with an anxious feeling, which isn’t the best way to start the day.
Lately, I’ve been setting time aside for a warm cup of tea and curling up with a good book each morning. It’s the perfect way to relax and set the tone for the day. We’re currently both reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. We’re only about a quarter of the way in, but the author’s perspective on a simplified and organized lifestyle is really inspiring. One of the concepts discussed in the book revolves around touching each of the items in your home individually and asking, “Does this spark joy?” That really resonated with us and got us to think about all of the items we have tucked away in draws and closets. Each day I look forward to reading this a bit more.
Most mornings I’ve been reaching for soft and cozy knits to lounge around in. This jumpsuit from Aerie has definitely become a favorite. I’ve been loving their soft intimates and all the amazing things they’ve been doing with the AerieREAL campaign. We’ve both been admiring the direction the company has been going in with their unretouched ads, positive message on embracing all body types, and feeling comfortable in your own skin. It also doesn’t hurt that they have a ton of comfy basics for easy going days.
Slowly but surely, we’re embracing quiet and calm mornings during the week. We always make time to sit down and have breakfast together on the weekends and unwind, while our favorite records spin in the background, so it feels good to incorporate a little of that easiness into our weekday routine before all the “hustle and bustle” begins.
We are so excited to finally share our living room makeover! We’ve been working with the amazing team at West Elm, since May, designing our new space. For us, the living room is one of our most used rooms in our home. It’s where we hang out with friends, have movie nights, spontaneous dance parties, and binge watch Netflix. We knew that moving in to the location that we’re in meant sacrificing a bit of space. This living room is a little smaller than our last (see our first apartment here), measuring about 10 x 12 feet. After going back and forth a bit and weighing out all of our options, we decided to start from scratch and create the living room we always dreamed of. We loved each of the pieces in our old place individually, however it never truly felt like it all came together for us. So we sold some of our old furniture, gave a few pieces away to friends to enjoy, and started with a clean slate.
We really wanted our new space to feel fresh and airy, yet still cozy and inviting. Since moving out west, we have been so inspired by the desert boho style and all the neutral tones. We definitely embraced that with with this room, bringing in a lot of wood furniture and plant life. We’ve always been big fans of 50s and 60s furniture design and of West Elm’s mid century line (we have it in our bedroom and spare room/office) so we figured we why not incorporate it into the living room as well? We chose an indigo blue as the accent color, bringing in various shades, to keep an organic and earthy feel.
After a few ideas for above the sofa went sour, we had the idea of creating these floating wooden shelves. We wanted something just simple and clean to hold some of our favorite treasures. Luckily two of our best friends, Cody and Andrew, (owners of The Perspective Shop — coming soon) are super creative, so we recruited them to help us. Even though we had to drill into brick, it turned out to be a lot easier than we thought. With just one plank of wood, some stain and sandpaper, we were in business in just a few hours! We brought along our ‘War Is Over’ print from our old place and filled our shelves with candles, keepsakes, and of course a plant or two.
This wall hanging piece was actually the last piece we added to the room. We usually keep things pretty minimal, but felt that corner needed an extra “something”, so we quickly whipped up this wall art and are so happy we did! We love the texture it adds to the space, with the cotton piping and brass bells. It’s quickly become one of our favorites and has inspired us to create more pieces for our home. Cue the DIY posts! 😉
We really wanted to make sure that anywhere we looked in the room, was a piece we loved or that brought joy. The room is full of some of our favorite books, meaningful postcards and notes, and little souvenirs we’ve picked up along the way. We decided to fill the terrarium on the coffee table with our polaroids. It’s a fun alternative to traditional picture frames and is always a conversation starter when friends are over.
One of the things we were immediately drawn to with this place was the great light that pours in. Our living room and bedroom both have these huge floor to celling windows that let in the most beautiful sunshine throughout the day, so we wanted to take full advantage of it and create a plant wall. We’re constantly visiting our local nursery and bringing home new plant babies. There’s just something about having plants in our home that makes the space feel full of life and warmth. Together with Cody and Andrew, we made these hanging shelves to create homes for some of our plants. We love the varying heights of the shelves mixed in with our floor plants.
This leather accent chair is one of our favorite pieces in the room. Its mid century design immediately drew us in and we love how the black leather creates a nice contrast to the tan and wood pieces in the room. Although we didn’t have too many options with how the room was laid out, we are pretty happy with its placement in relation to the couch. It really creates a good flow when entertaining.
We’ve been in our new home for about a month and a half now and it feels so good to have this room complete. In the past, we would constantly be moving furniture around, switching out accent pieces, and changing color palettes, but we’re happy to say we haven’t had that urge with this room. We can’t wait to share this space with family and friends!
We are Robert and Christina: husband and wife, photo takers, adventurers and best friends. We like to laugh too hard, dance all night, and explore together. Here is a little glimpse into our lives in sunny Phoenix, Arizona.