New year, new ideas. After spending some glorious holiday family time between South Carolina and Seattle, I returned to my cozy LA beach abode this past weekend. I swiftly plopped myself on the sofa and rejoiced in knowing I will not step foot on another airplane for exactly 22 days (the longest duration of no air travel in over 13 months!). Daydreaming set in and I floated into frequent notions of driving through the canyon roads of Topanga, moon roof wide open, breezy sunshine bursting in. A few small bits of world wide webbing later, I found myself glued to looking at photos of tipi glamping and promptly declared this the year of why not?
The authentic 18 foot tipi lives on the grounds of a Topanga, California area farm house, furnished in genuine aboriginal decor of the past, according to Airbnb.
Enjoy the experience with up to three of your favorite people, evening soaks in an outdoor hot tub, and the general fun of sleeping in a kitschy tipi…because why not? For information on costs, availability and more, check out this link.
Cheers for a holiday season full of goodness, calmness and over-the-rainbow moments. If you’re like me, you have a few items left to buy and give. Once a last minute shopper, always a last minute shopper! Below is the JBD version of a blogger’s gift guide. Definitely unconventional and clearly a sprinkling of things close to my heart. Merry wishes to you!
Eastern Medicine may feel foreign to a first-timer, yet it is one of the greatest gifts we may give ourselves. My two favorite healers are in Los Angeles and New York. I’ve written about the magic of Erin at Radiant Heart Acupuncture here and now introduce you to Erica of Mind & Body Acupuncture. Heal yourself, heal the world.
If you like dogs, perhaps I may convince you to fall in love with corgis, too? Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue specializes in saving and rehabilitating the more difficult dogs to adopt, always taking a methodical approach to adoption. Your donation can help a corgi like lovable Simon get the medication he needs or pay for food to keep these low riders ready for any adventure.
Astrology 101 anyone? Contact Sandra Sitron of Strong Eye Astrology for a thoughtful, intuitive astrology consultation. I had my “chart read” earlier this year and it was a ton of fun. Her creative insight is second to none.
In the new year I’ll be sharing details of an exciting partnership with The Her Initiative, an organization which offers access to clean water and specific health and hygiene curriculum to women in the developing world. In the meantime, please consider making any donation and join us in providing safe water to the 800 million people who still need access to it.
Image via Wo and We
Two weeks ago I vacationed in Playa Maderas, Nicaragua and shared a bunch of moments here. The experience hit my reset button. I woke up to the inner light within, surrounded by old and new friends. Surf, boating, yoga, community, thoughtfulness and more await you. We lived in a jungle tree canopy at Maderas Village. Three words: go there now.Direct flights from the United States can be found out of Houston and Miami. Upon landing, be prepared to drive two and a half hours to reach this piece of paradise (100% worth the drive). Family-style dining encourages new (lifelong) friends, howler monkeys are a daily alarm clock and if you’re down for some tunes or yogis you are in luck as Maderas Village is home to on-site recording and yoga studios.
Sunrise and sunset surf before or after a day on the sea. The living is easy. And breezy.
We met new local friends who day tripped us out to Playa Hermosa. A 45-minute drive from Maderas, it is equally mind blowing. All of it was an escape that brought me back in touch with the reality of being alive. Radical, heart-beating jungle beach living.
Image Credits: Jenny Graham
At five o’clock the morning of the Summer Solstice I ballooned for the first time. The experience was a Yellow Brick Road in the sky. Mother Earth illuminated. A group of us glowing bright in the pure reflection that is, simply, a new point of view. You can hit up more of my Albuquerque experience this October or hitch some hot air in your hometown.
Image Credits: Jenny Graham (+a few more here)
Wandering around the sister I’ll now call Santa Fe, her sunlight captured my soul. Impossible to resist the moment, here’s a bit of bright bitten from my iPhone.
Image Credits: Jenny Graham – all unedited.
Mermaid School. This is my dream school. AquaSirène in Montreal offers a one hour initiation class to unlimited mermaid membership. I came across a blurb in a magazine about “Aqua Mermaid” and thought this cannot be real. But it is. And I want to go. Mermaid tails are made of stretch fabric and worn up to the waist, monofin attached for your graceful kicking pleasure. What more could a gal need?
Image via AquaSirène
My high school French teacher, a multilingual Jackie O.-chic mother, wife and world traveler, Madame Musacchio, once told me: “Jennifer, you will adapt the things you love no matter where you are.” She was continuously sharing wisdom, especially with a small circle of us 11th grade girls. It was after traveling with her and studying in Poitiers, France, at the ripe age of 16, that I began to practice her sage advice. Moving back and forth (and back and forth again, and yet again) across the United States, I am adapting the things I love no matter where I am. We are all in motion. The moon changes, the earth orbits the sun, we are in constant adaptation. On your journey, wherever that may be, choose to cultivate an acknowledgement of you. Yup, simply your very own existence. Close your eyes and breathe in and then out. Feel your feet firmly on the ground. Straighten out your spine. Breathe again. What is it in this wild life that you see for yourself? What do you want? What is the place you want to be a part of? It is all actually possible. Creating something from nothing has been going on since the beginning of time. Adapt the things you love wherever you are today. Linger into your beautiful future. It’s bright.
Image Credit: Jenny Graham
Please join me in making a donation in an effort to send any little bit of help and hope to the people of and in Nepal. OrphanGift, Circle of Health or The Red Cross are each a way to begin. Sending love and light to all on the planet, and especially those affected by Saturday’s devastating earthquake.
Dearest and beloved JBD’ers,
Bonjour from the City of Angels.
It has been one month since I’ve settled back into West Coast living. I do not miss a second of the New York City lifestyle, alas my heart feels free and wild once again. I do, however, still adore Paris and I’ve been plotting my next visit. Diane Ratican authored a book which illustrates a parallel between the city of love and the city of angels. A visionary approach, indeed, the balance of daily life between these two metropolises is highlighted. Full-color artwork is featured by Eric Giriat and Nick Lu. Join me in celebrating and embracing opposites, similarities and eccentricities. Two questions remain for your right brain: Why LA? Pourquoi Paris?
Images found here.
Yesterday, after writing a detailed email of what-one-must-do-on-their-first-trip-to-Iceland for an adventurous colleague of mine, it hit me: damn, I love Iceland. It’s on my mind, it’s in my heart. I can count on one hand places on the planet where my feet have touched the sea or salted earth and I have known this is my home. A year ago this week, I returned from my first trip to Iceland, toting mass memories and a brand new romance. Said romance turned into my Icelandic long-distance boyfriend. Yup, you read that right. We jetted back and forth, forth and back, across the Northern lights. It didn’t work out in the end, whatever the end may really be. The sweetness is, I still love Iceland. And while I’m saving the romance for my book, I’m not sparing the share of spots that you need to see. A sensational spa that sometimes plays second fiddle to Reykavik’s Blue Lagoon should not be ignored. High tail it to Laugarvatn Fontana. Just call it Fontana. Fantasyland Fontana…
The power of the elements will balance your energy. It may have been the coldest winter I’ve ever felt, but Fontana’s geothermal pools sent me to a happy place. The panoramic views elevate the mind’s eye while the soothing water and steam calm the soul. It’s as dreamy as it sounds, it’s as dreamy as can be.
Images via Laugarvatn Fontana