Happy 2014!!! I hope you’ve been in high spirits even though the holiday celebrations are officially over. Since ours was celebrated a tad later than normal, and Greg’s parents are also visiting from out of town, our “vacation” has been extended by a few extra days. Greg is working of course, but having Selah’s grandparents around sure makes the days more fun and somewhat easier since I don’t have to constantly entertain Selah. I love my little buggaboo but getting a breather in the daytime feels glorious!
My mother in law just adores Selah, so instead of the traditional wrapping and bow kind of gift, we took a family photo session for Selah’s first Christmas! We had our photo session with Heather Kelly, who is a professional photographer residing in the South Bay area. We loved working with her because she has such a cool and comforting demeanor and made us feel extremely relaxed, which is essential for a successful shoot since we all want to avoid that awkward tension with family, particularly if everyone is camera shy and gets super critical about themselves when it comes to pictures.
You know that whole, “c’mon smile biggggg! show your teeth! I am smiling big….” dialogue, haha!
Photo credit: Heather Kelly—a sneak preview of the pre-edit, via her phone. BTW, we unintentionally wore too much blue
It was so much fun to experience this together and I felt inspired to practice my elementary photography skills even more. Now I’m excited to choose the final photos and get them printed out!
Having my in-laws here also means more husband+wife time, yay!!! They’ve been so kind to us, and a few nights ago they offered to watch Selah through the night up until the next day. That meant that we needed to get away somewhere within a short driving distance but removed enough from the hectic city life. So Greg booked us a room at the Inn at Playa del Rey—a gorgeous bed & breakfast spot near the ocean and pretty much next to Los Angeles. The interesting thing about its location is that the city life of LA and the small town of the inn are separated by wetlands, so there’s a chunk of land that separates the two.
As soon as we got our room we got settled in and couldn’t stop marveling at the beautiful, simple, and inviting décor. Everything here is beach and ocean themed and I loved the fact that we got the “beach house” room.
If you have ever been to a bed & breakfast then you’re probably familiar with the hospitality of the hosts. I mean, this location provides fresh pastries throughout the day and as soon as you walk into the breakfast room you see a basket full of goodies. They also have a plate with gigantic cookies waiting for you at the room you stay in as a warm welcome. I don’t know how they make the atmosphere so cozy and inviting, but they’re pretty darn good at it!
It’s kind of like walking into a page of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
In my opinion, a cute piece of old furniture and a stack of books can sometimes make the best kind of décor. Simple and cute.
And as much as I used to hate full sized mirrors because they freaked me out whenever I would pass by one (surprised by my own reflection thinking someone else was there, hahaha), I’m kind of starting to love them because it’s easy to take OOTD pictures!
Here I am wearing the ankle boots and studded shoulder sweater that I got for Christmas. You better believe I was excited to rock my new outfits, heh!
I wanted Greg to sleep in that next morning, and since I can’t do that anymore for the life of me thanks to my morning routine with Selah (hello biological clock), I headed downstairs to the living room and documented these for you. I just can’t believe how open it felt there! Thanks to the multiple windows I was able to photograph its beauty with no problem whatsoever.
I’m telling you…everything about this place provides some sort of inspiration whether it is related to food, doing up your home, or hosting an event for your loved ones. You see, I have always wanted to be one of those girls who can keep a spotless home, decorate like these talented women, and invite a bunch of people over for gourmet food. But the truth is that I’m slowwwwwwly working towards that goal because it isn’t necessarily one of my strengths.
My heart is there, I promise! I just have to practice and get better at putting those things into action.
I may not exactly be gifted in that area--though I love to have people over and make them feel at home—but I’m working towards that one bit of inspiration at a time.
And that is, by dipping my toes in different environments such as this wonderful bed & breakfast!
Now, don’t let the picture above fool you because there were some young people hanging around as well, and if it’s of any credit to this b&b, they also offer free bikes for you to ride around the little town of Playa del Rey, which I figure would be an appeal to young people since I doubt most 70 year olds would take interest in it.
As you can see, their breakfast buffet is super fresh and totally homemade! Being the fruit lover that Greg is, he opted for a huge plate of fruit and donut muffins (muffins that taste like healthier donut like this one), while I helped myself to uhhhhh….pretty much everything?
Their egg souffle was pretty tasty, but the star of the show were the muffin, fruit, and crockpot oatmeal. As you can already tell, I love oatmeal so much that I can’t seem to not eat it if it’s in front of me, hah!
On the night that we arrived at the b&b we walked down to Cantalini’s Salerno Beach Italian Restaurant. It is a rather small restaurant with extremely dim lighting, hence the lack of food photos, and although it seems like a quaint eatery from the outside it is actually romantic due to the candle light atmosphere. The best part about it is their fresh homemade ingredients!
Oh my goodness, you guys. Do you remember that one time (long ago) when I said that I usually use gnocchi dishes as the caliber for how good the food is? Well, this time I ordered their Gnocchi Salerno and it was deeeeelicious! The texture was extremely tender yet chewy, and the prosciutto paired perfectly with the creamy garlic sauce.
It was a real blessing to get away for the night, and now I’m just wishing that I could keep my in-laws here with us! Is that selfish of me or what?
How did you spend the end and beginning of the year?
Have you been to a bed and breakfast? If so, what was your experience like?
How do you get inspired for creativity? Do you have the gift of hospitality and hosting people?