CALIFORNIA

December 28, 2016 |

Joshua Tree: One Desert to Another

Our trip to Joshua Tree was just what the doctor ordered.  We just went through a pretty long, thorough, house buying process, it’s the holiday season, and we’ve been working our butts off lately.  A trip to the Joshua Tree Casita with our friends Tim & Merrill was the perfect retreat.  If you haven’t been to Joshua Tree, we highly recommend it.  We’re not sure why it took us so long to visit. There is just enough to do there to not feel like you’re the last man on earth, and there is so much open desert and sky to just turn off that ol’ brain of yours and get to relaxing.

The drive from Phoenix was about four hours long and it was pretty much just open road and mountain views. We recently spoke about our reliable, trusty Toyota Corolla and the car buying process and these trips remind us why it’s so important to have the right vehicle to get from A to B.  Our first car, before Arthur, was an old Honda from the 90s, and while it definitely got the job done for day-to-day travel, it would’ve never lasted on these little road trips of ours, especially not on the dirt roads of Joshua Tree. It was nice to not have to worry and just turn the music up, chat about our 2017 goals (this year flew by) and get to our destination. The clarity and efficiency of Capital One’s Auto Navigator® site makes finding and financing a car a breeze. Instead of wasting time on a ton of different sites trying to figure out which is the right car for you and whether or not you can afford it, the Auto Navigator site has it all in one spot, so you can spend that extra time traveling to see the one’s you care about. We wish we had that option back when we got our car.  If your goal for 2017 is more travel, we highly recommend checking this out before you hit the road.

If you are heading to Joshua Tree, let us be your guide.


WHERE TO STAY:
The Joshua Tree House or The Joshua Tree Casita:

Sara and Rich Combs are the amazing, master minds behind these homes.  Every inch of these properties has been thought out and jam packed with inspiring decor.  The Combs are high school sweethearts who were the kindest hosts we could have asked for.  We were so happy to be able to gather around the fire at sunset with some wine, cheese & crackers, they so generously prepared.  While under a few layers of blankets and shooting stars, we share stories, including how they landed in Joshua Tree.  They are incredible people and we can’t thank them enough for their hospitality and friendship.

Joshua Tree is definitely more of a weekend destination if you’re looking to go out, so not everything was open for our mid-week getaway.  Here are the places we enjoyed most:

WHERE TO EAT:
Pie For the People – New York style pizza and garlic knots was the first meal when we got to Joshua Tree.  It was delicious and really the only way we could imagine we’d kick off our trip with The Melideos.

Joshua Tree Saloon – Wanna grab a drink, shoot some pool? This place is for you!

Crossroads Café – We enjoyed breakfast here our first morning in town. Get the “Messy Jessie” and some homemade biscuits, you won’t regret it.

Joshua Tree Coffee Company – This place was perfect for a little afternoon pick me up and everything is locally roasted.

Natural Sisters – Breakfast to-go on our last day in Joshua Tree. It reminded us of a NY deli with bagel and egg sandwiches and yogurt fruit cups. They were so kind here and super accommodating with dairy restrictions.

WHERE TO SHOP:
There are so many amazing vintage shops, that are not overpricked, so you can find some pretty great treasures. Here are a few of our favorites:

The End – I’ll start with the staff who were so kind and chatted with us for quite a while about how they ended up in Joshua Tree and why they love it.  They were great!  Now on to the goods…this place is classic Joshua Tree and felt like a work of art in itself.  It felt more like an authentic 60s style shop than a vintage store.

Promised Land – Lots of vintage boots and so much more.  Very clean aesthetic.

Hoof and the Horn – A great mix of new and vintage goods.  Probably the most curated shop in Joshua Tree with classic, boho vibes, and well known brands.

Hoodoo – Records, comics, t-shirts, and tiki goods.  We walked out with a few jazz records as usual.

Pioneer Crossing Antiques – Good selection of pottery and local artwork, with some quirky description tags.

‘Til next time Joshua Tree!

Unless noted otherwise in this post, Capital One is not affiliated with, nor is it endorsed by, any of the companies mentioned. All trademarks and other intellectual property used or displayed are the ownership of their respective owners.  This article is © 2016 Capital One.

August 9, 2016 |

Palm Springs Getaway with Bota Box

New Darlings - Palm Springs Getaway - Dome in the DesertNew Darlings - Palm Springs Getaway - Dome in the DesertNew Darlings - Palm Springs Getaway New Darlings - Palm Springs GetawaySummer, for us, has always been about getaways, friends and recharging.  Since we were kids, as many families do, we would look forward to that special summer vacation.  Growing up on the East coast meant lots of trips to nearby cities, down the coast to Florida, and of course, Disney World. Our families were very similar in that way.  They worked hard, but always made time for that one big trip every year that really helped us as kids to understand reward, and what it means to step away from the comforts of home and try something new.

We’ve only been living in Phoenix for three years, but feel pretty grateful for a good group of friends here that we truly care about and love spending time with.  We like to think that we’ve continued those old traditions of getting away for the summer, even for just a few days, and recharge.  These people have become our family, home away from, and getting away with them for a few days was just what we needed recently.
New Darlings - Salvation Mountain - CaliforniaNew Darlings - Sand Dunes CaliforniaNew Darlings - Salvation Mountain CaliforniaNew Darlings - Palm Springs Getaway - Imperial Sand Dunes CANew Darlings - Bota Box - Palm Springs Getaway
A few weeks ago, we planned a fun trip to Palm Springs with our Arizona family, packed up the car and took the five-hour drive.  Of course, we stopped a few times along the way to explore some new spots, pick up a few snacks, and take a few photos for our collection.  The highlights were definitely the Imperial Sand Dunes and Salvation Mountain.  It was hot, no doubt about it, and the sands may have burnt our feet (just a little), but the six of us made the best of it and laughed the whole time.  We joked around the whole ride there, listened to a lot of Beatles, and sweat it out together.  Exploring Salvation Mountain was pretty amazing.  We had first heard of this place when we watched Into the Wild a few years back, and were so thrilled to finally see it in person.  “This is a love story that is staggering to everybody in the world.” Regardless of what one’s religious beliefs may be, there’s no denying the incredible artwork of Leonard Knight.  We could definitely all learn a thing or two from him. Every inch of that place was just so special and definitely worth a visit if you are near the area.
New Darlings - Dome in the Desert - Palm SpringsNew Darlings - Palm Springs GetawayNew Darlings - Palm Springs Getaway with Bota Box
When we arrived to our Airbnb in Palm Springs, we were pretty stunned.  It wasn’t your ordinary house.  It was a dome!! But not just any dome. It was a dome on five acres of land, surrounded by towering windmills, and decorated with some pretty funky furniture.  We all freaked out about it for a few minutes in the best way possible, geeking out over the design choices and architecture in general, before we started snapping photos and videos of the property.  It was pretty amazing and we’re so glad we picked such a beautiful place to spend a few days at together.  It was so private and only 15 minutes to downtown Palm Springs, so we really got the best of both worlds.  New Darlings - Palm Springs GetawayNew Darlings - Bota Box - Palm Springs Getaway
New Darlings - Bota BoxNew Darlings - Palm Springs Getaway
We packed the essentials for our trip…comfy clothes, bluetooth speakers to sync up with our Spotify playlists, chairs made by our friends at Tremaine Ranch, our guitars, and of course a little travel wine by our favorite, Bota Box.  We were excited to partner with Bota Box recently, as they have been our go-to for getaways and trips with friends all summer long. Plus who doesn’t want to treat their friends with some tasty treats, corny singalongs, and a little wine? We love that they’re portable and 100% recyclable, while not sacrificing quality.
New Darlings - Palm Springs - ACE HotelNew Darlings - Palm Springs GetawayNew Darlings - Palm Springs - ACE Hotel
We spent equal parts of this trip hanging out and relaxing on the property and wandering around downtown.  We enjoyed happy hour at the ACE hotel and an amazing farewell dinner at the Parker.  Palm Springs in the summertime isn’t for everyone.  It’s hot, pretty empty, and some businesses don’t even open, but we love it.  It feels like we have the city to ourselves.  We were out and about quite a bit on this little getaway, as some of the group was experiencing Palm Springs for the first time, but it’s pretty safe to say that our favorite part of the trip where the evenings where we gathered outside, shared stories, and made up some ridiculous songs.
New Darlings - Sand Dunes CaliforniaNew Darlings - Bota Box - Palm Springs GetawayNew Darlings - Palm Springs GetawayNewDarlings-BotaBox-31New Darlings - Palm Springs GetawayPalm SpringsNew Darlings - Palm Springs Getaway
Palm Springs never gets old…it’s the perfect little adventure while not going too far from our own backyard.  The mid-century homes, beautiful hotels, and vintage shops are always fun to check out and it reminds us of why we moved out west and fell in love with the desert.  We’re glad we are just a car ride away and can’t wait for our next trip.  Until next time, Palm Springs!

 

 

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This post was made in partnership with Bota Box. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

May 20, 2016 |

San Francisco, CA

New Darlings - Travel - San Francisco, CA New Darlings - Travel - San Francisco, CALast month we spent a few days in San Francisco, exploring the city.  We’ve been wanting to share this post for a while now, but we took hundreds of photos on our trip, so it took longer than usual to get them all here. 🙂 Our San Francisco trip flew by, but we had the best time celebrating our anniversary, hanging with friends, and walking waaaay too much all over the city.  We have been talking about taking a trip to San Francisco for years.  It’s one of those cities that when you tell people you haven’t visited yet, they look at you like you did something terribly wrong and then begin telling you the million reasons why you should have already been there.  We’re not sure why it took us this long, but we are so happy we finally made it happen.

New Darlings - San Francisco, CA - Travel - Painted LadiesNew Darlings - Travel - San Francisco, CA New Darlings - San Francisco, CA - Travel New Darlings - San Francisco, CA - Travel What a charming place!  For a city that really isn’t very big, they really found a way to pack all the good stuff in.  Even the touristy things were cool.  The cable cars, the Painted Ladies, the Golden Gate bridge…it felt like someone made this place up.  We stayed at the cutest Best Western boutique hotel in the North Beach area.  If you follow along with us on Instagram or Snapchat you might have seen some of our breakfasts in bed which we got way too used to doing while staying there.  We love to cook, but sometimes you just can’t beat a buttered croissant and a bowl of fruit that someone else lovingly prepared for you ;).  We spent many afternoons walking from the hotel into Little Italy for our pizza fix (and some of the best gnocchi we ever had, but more on that in a bit).  Lucky for us it wasn’t a far walk!  Huge thanks to the Best Western team for making our stay so enjoyable and to Nelson at the front desk for always saying “hey guys!” when we would either come or go.  We loved it!

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April 27, 2016 |

Celebrating 3 Years

NewDarlings + ExpressToday is our three year wedding anniversary and we are so lucky to be celebrating in the beautiful city of San Francisco. When you have been with someone for almost twelve years, you might think these anniversaries lose their charm, but that could not be any more untrue. We still celebrate our dating anniversary, but our wedding will always be the most important day to us. It was 2013 and we were planning two of the biggest moments in our life at the same time.  READ MORE

August 31, 2015 |

Moorten Botanical Garden

Moorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsMoorten Botanical Garden - New DarlingsThe 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.

His: Levi’s button down (similar), jeans c/o Dstld Denim, Rainbow sandals
Hers: Free People dress (sold out — similar here and here), Steve Madden sandals (similar)

August 28, 2015 |

Our Palm Springs Getaway

New Darlings Palm SpringsIf 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!

New Darlings - Retro Palm Springs GetawayNew Darlings - Retro Palm Springs Getaway
New Darlings - Retro Palm Springs GetawayNew Darlings - Retro Palm Springs GetawayNew Darlings - Palm SpringsNew Darlings - Retro Palm Springs GetawayNew Darlings - Retro Palm Springs GetawayNew Darlings - Retro Palm Springs GetawayNew Darlings - Retro Palm Springs GetawayNew Darlings - Retro Palm Springs GetawayNew Darlings - Palm SpringsThanks 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:

MATCHBOX PIZZA
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!

New Darlings - Palm Greens CafePALM 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!

New DarlingsNEW DARLINGS - PALM SPRINGSREVIVALS
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!

http://www.yelp.com/biz/dazzles-palm-springsNew Darlings Palm Springs GetawayNew Darlings Palm Springs GetawayNew Darlings Palm Springs Getaway
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.

New Darlings - Ernest CoffeeNew Darlings Ernset CoffeePalm SpringsPalm SpringsNew Darlings - Ernest CoffeeERNEST COFFEE
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.) 😉

http://www.kofficoffee.com/index.htmlPalm Springs - New DarlingsPalm SpringsNew Darlings - Pink Door HouseNew Darlings - Palm SpringsNew Darlings - Pink Door HouseMID 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.
New Darlings - Palm Springs
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.

New Darlings - Palm SpringsKOFFI
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 usNew Darlings - Palm SpringsNew Darlings PolaroidsHope 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!

 

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January 22, 2015 |

San Diego, CA

New Darlings-WindmillsNewDarlings-SanDiego-3 New Darlings-Coffee and Tea CollectiveNewDarlings-SanDiego-6New Darlings-Pigment ShopProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetNew Darlings- San DiegoNew Darlings-Street Style-Black SwanNew Darlings- San DiegoNew Darlings - Coffee and TeaNewDarlings-Before I Die WallNewDarlings-Before I Die Wall NewDarlings-SanDiego-CoffeeCupNew Darlings-MissionCoffeeCupNew Darlings-Betty&June Sweater-FreePeopleNewDarlings-La JollaNewDarlings-La Jolla

For a few months now, we have been itching to take a trip to southern California.  With work and other commitments, we always found a reason to put the trip off, but finally last week, we decided to just go!  So early Saturday morning, we loaded up the car, stopped for some coffee and tea, and hit the road for San Diego!  The five hour drive was half the fun! It was nice to have some alone time, singing along to some of our favorite songs and chatting about the most random things.  We found ourselves in some pretty funny conversations over those hours, laughing way too hard, reminiscing about “old times”, and pulling over to snap a few photos along the way.

We tried to cram in as much San Diego as we possibly could.  We filled those two and half days with a ton of amazing food, coffee shops and boutiques!  We even squeezed in an afternoon at the San Diego Zoo and some time in La Jolla by the water.  Oh, and some pizza in Little Italy, which was definitely the closest thing to “NY style pizza” we’ve experienced since living out west!  San Diego is definitely one of the most beautiful places we’ve been to.  Although we’re not really beach people, there’s something about the fresh, crisp air that rolls off the ocean and we couldn’t get enough if it.  It felt so good to just be able to walk hand in hand down the streets and explore the city together.  It was a much needed getaway in what has felt like a crazy start to the new year.

Thank you so much to everyone who offered us recommendations, via instagram, on places to eat and visit!  We checked out so many of them and now have some favorites to go back to on our next trip to California!

His: Outfit 1: Urban Outfitters buffalo plaid button-down (similar), Levi’s jeans (similar), boots c/o Minnetonka
Outfit 2: CPO button-down, Top Man jeans (similar), watch c/o Daniel Wellington, Top Man boots (similar)
Outfit 3: J.Crew button-down, sweater (similar), Levi’s jeans (similar), Herschel Supply Co. back-pack, Timex watch

Hers: Outfit 1: Urban Outfitters dress, crystal pendant necklace, Elizabeth and James eyeglasses, watch c/o Daniel Wellington, bangles c/o Tiffany Kunz
Outfit 2: top c/o Black Swan, Urban Outfitters shorts, opaque tights, Hinge booties (similar), Free People necklace
Outfit 3: Free People hat, color-block sweater c/o Betty and June, Free People  jeans, Sam Edelman booties, Madewell bag, Nars lip color in “New Lover”

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