Archive for the ‘top articles’ Category
We’ve moved back down to Southern California and are loving the “winter” weather here! We’ll still be covering San Francisco and our favorite international destinations (of course!), as well as more Southern California goodness. Best of all, our new HQ, just outside Los Angeles, has got it all: opulent chandeliers, leopard skin carpets, computer controlled smart home features galore, and a secret garden filled with roses, meandering paths, citrus fruit, and climbing vines filled with flowers! More photos to come once we get everything organized and designed out. But for now, this tiny garden snippet. Have a great weekend Culture Vixens!
For my son’s first birthday, I wanted to bake something special. This was the result – a rainbow cake that somehow turned out looking like one of my paintings. This photo was taken from the top of the cake, when it was fresh out of the oven and not yet frosted. To make it I mixed 6 bowls of batter with dyes and drizzled each bowl of batter in splatter layers à la Jackson Pollock. Yeah it took 2 hours, but it was totally worth it! The result was pure rainbow goodness, very San Franciscan!
2015 marks our 8th year here at CultureVixen, and it’s been one big adventure! In 2008 we started out as a small culture blog highlighting art and design. A couple years later we expanded into an online magazine highlighting travel, culture, food, art, and design—in other words, la dolce vita. From there things spiraled and we were eventually able to quit our day jobs and embark on an around the world journey—which we affectionately dubbed “Operation Nomad”—finally realizing a lifelong dream of exploring the world on our own terms, without having to squeeze our growing wanderlust into the customary 2 week window. Donating most of our possessions and living out of a suitcase, we made our way across 6 continents and over 50 countries, selling our writing and photography to offset our travel costs and using our savings to cover the rest. It was both one of the most challenging and most liberating experiences of my life—hands down one of the best things I’ve ever done—which I would highly recommend to anyone even considering this path.
As you may have noticed recently, we’ve shifted gears from a focus on writing to a focus on photography to showcase our adventures and our passion for travel and culture. We’ll be highlighting our favorite destinations mainly in this way from here out, drawing from our massive photo library which now includes around 100,000 photographs (and counting!). Coming from a fine art and photography background, this is something we’ve always wanted to focus on, but it was previously logistically impossible to do from the road for so many reasons, including severe time limitations, limited storage space, lack of time spent at the computer (or even in one place for that matter), painfully slow upload speeds, moving on to the next destination on a daily or weekly basis, and flaky, unpredictable internet connections from region to region, just to name a few. We’re now finally able to focus more on imagery, and we hope you enjoy these little snippets from the road!
On a more personal note, near the end of Operation Nomad opportunity came knocking, and we relocated to San Francisco, which was perfect timing since we wanted to start a family. The change in pace and focus on the website over the last year also reflects our second big journey—the arrival of our son, Storm, who is now one year old.
I wanted to take a minute to share what a momentous and life changing experience becoming a mother has been for me. One year later, I’m still just as in love as I was the moment I laid eyes on my little son for the first time. I never would have guessed how strong this feeling would be…it’s truly a gift to feel your heart swell and overflow with so much love. If I were to try to describe what motherhood is like to my curious pre-baby self who was always a little uncertain about the whole thing, I would say it’s the chance to experience the greatest, most encompassing love you will probably ever know. It’s feeling connected to the core of the human experience that pulses throughout art, music, philosophy, literature, science, history and all the driving forces that make our world spin. It’s finding the love of your life, and falling in love over and over again. It’s growing as a person in leaps and bounds. It’s a beautiful mess, but gazing at your baby’s face will make you feel that you are looking upon an angel—a pure and innocent being who is the most beautiful creature you’ve ever seen in your life. When you look at your child you’ll often be overwhelmed with emotion and your heart will melt when they smile or laugh—you’ll never have seen anything as perfect. You’ll get an idea of what miracles are made of and you’ll constantly feel blessed. Everything is awesome and some days the world seems to be overlaid with diamond-encrusted rainbows. That’s a little slice of what it’s like, or at least that’s the best I can do to convey it in words.
So readers, we hope your year is off to a fantastic start and will be filled with incredible journeys. We want to thank you for sticking with us over the years! We hope you’ll continue to enjoy watching our wanderings unfold, and as always we love to hear from you—get in touch anytime!
Happy Travels Culture Vixens!
What do you get when you give street art a cozy knit twist? That would be yarn bombing, aka yarnstorming, graffiti knitting, or grandma graffiti. Found here and there around the globe in the most random places, this knitted graffiti art softens the most urban of concrete jungles and just makes everything cozier. First spotted in the Netherlands, the idea has since spread across the globe, as witnessed in the following striking images.
Fashionable dresses made of paper? How fun is that? These adorable creations were designed by one talented little 4 year old girl and her mother. Created out of construction paper, tissue paper, wrapping paper, and gift bags as well as silk scarves, tulle, aluminum foil and whatever else is lying around the house, the dresses are then put together with clear packing tape or glue. This mini fashion designer, who goes by the name “Mayhem,” also likes to re-create red carpet dresses, giving them her own unique paper spin.
York is one of England’s most picturesque and historically rich cities. Situated halfway between London and Edinburgh in Yorkshire, York has more miles of intact medieval city walls than anywhere else in England and also boasts what is said to be the oldest shopping street in Europe. The Romans, the Saxons, and the Vikings all left their mark on York, and now it’s also one of England’s biggest university towns with a plethora of pubs as well. Budget two days to delve in and explore this dynamic city.
Zurich is a really cool city. This was my second time here, although the last time was 15 years ago, and only for a day. (Definitely not enough time to do the city justice.) Not surprisingly, this time around I found the city to be completely different from what I remembered. Grand and bustling, Zurich has all the trimmings of a financial powerhouse capital for sure, but also has quiet old town streets that feel a million miles away from all that. The train station is one of Europe’s grandest, filled with modern art on the inside and classical European architecture on the outside. Leading off from the station is Bahnhoff Straße, the grand street that runs into the heart of town.
Napa wines are famous the wold over—and for good reason. Having recently moved to San Francisco, I was dying to head over and check out what all the hype is about.
Napa valley consists of a string of tiny towns located along Hwy 29, with Napa, California at the southern end and Calistoga towards the northern end. This glamorous stretch of farmland just an hour from San Francisco is famous for cabernet sauvignon, star chefs, and volcanic mud baths. Compared to California’s other wine regions, Napa Valley embraces an almost disneyland-like commercialism, catering to tourism on a grand scale. This means more wineries and more fantastic eateries, but it also means more people. Most wineries also require reservations (due to strict zoning laws that prohibit drop-in visitors), so the best way to go about wine tasting is to book one wine tasting and plan your entire day around it, keeping your winery count to 3 or less per day. Those seeking a quieter experience will also want to check out neighboring Sonoma Valley, or Southern California’s wine jewels: Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley wine country.
The Dorchester is in a class of its own. One of the best hotels in all of Europe, this five-star hotel in the heart of London’s Mayfair district overlooks Hyde Park, and is the perfect destination for an extra special occasion, or just an ultra luxury retreat. Read on to find out why The Dorchester has earned our vote as 2013’s #1 hotel in the world.