Two weeks ago Chris and I were able to attend the annual Lavender Festival at Highland Springs Resort. This has been on my LA Bucket List for about five years now, but I always somehow manage to miss it. This year, I was not about to let it sneak by me again. I am so happy that my handy dandy planner (I use this one!) kept it on my radar and we were finally able to partake in the festivities this year.
To say that this place was beautiful would be a huge understatement. The blooming lavender stretched on and on, with winding trails to explore and get great photos. The day we visited the lavender farm it was 112 degrees. Yes, you heard that right. Since I sometimes have the attention span of a two-year old, I completely forgot to apply the sunscreen that I so responsibly packed in my purse the night before. I had planned to lather up in the shade once we got inside the resort, but the gorgeous lavender fields were right when you walked in. Like moths to a flame we made a bee-line toward them and started taking photos right away. It wasn’t until we got back in the car that I realized I’d forgotten about it! I did learn a lot about how to heal it quick and make a bad sunburn more bearable….let me know if you guys would want to see a post on that!
They had lavender everything at the festival. From lavender infused olive oil to lotions to lavender lemonade and ice tea! Both were delicious by the way, and I might need to put that on my recipe post list soon! It’s also a great place for kids and the whole family. There was a petting zoo, great food, live music, and even a craft booth.
We bought this beautiful bouquet of fresh lavender to use in the photos, and they said it should keep it’s scent for 3 years. Um, score! I’m so excited to have the house filled with lavender, plus it looks so pretty on our family room shelf. You’ll also get a glimpse of one of our engagement photos next to the lavender where we look soooo young. We were finally able to get some new photos taken of the both of us a few weeks ago, and I can’t wait to show them to you guys next week!!
Also, this maxi dress is so incredibly soft, I am now in love with this brand! Anything that feels like pajamas while making you look dressed up is a 10 in my book. Am I right?! Plus the low back adds in some drama, and the ruffle in the front lets you go sans-bra worry free 😀 I am definitely hooked.
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for some great ways to relax if you are feeling stressed out!
Maxi Dress: TART via Nordstrom (sold out, but more of their comfy dresses HERE)
Lavender Bouquet: 123 Farm at Highland Springs Resort
10 Ways to Relax and De-Stress
Lavender everything. Just toss me in fields of it and I’ll be happy. (Ignore the fact that I forgot the sunscreen and am now paying dearly for it!) The smell in these fields was honestly heavenly. Literally… I imagine heaven to smell like these lavender fields. I’ve always loved the scent of lavender. We have lavender cleaning supplies, lavender essential oils, and now dried lavender thanks to this amazing festival. Growing up, my room was covered in lavender wall paper- not just the color purple, but actual drawings of lavender. It was the same with my bedspread (Shout out to Laura Ashley Bedding! 😀 ) . Lavender scent plugins and candles from Bath and Body were also a staple at that time in my life. It was amazing. Now that I’m married, I can’t be that over the top with it, but you can bet I still use as much of it as I possibly can!
2. Take a bath
I used to think I didn’t have time for baths, but think about how much time you spend watching TV after work. I know what you’re thinking, you don’t want to trade your favorite shows for a boring bath. Well how about combining the two with the magic of a portable laptop?! Yeaaa, that’s right….best way to de-stress ever. Bonus points if you add-in some epsom salt and a glass of wine. (Just to be clear…keep the wine in a glass, don’t poor it in the bathtub lol)
3. Get a Massage
Whether it’s from your hubby, best friend, or a professional, getting a massage does wonders to relieve stress. Even a small foot massage can release your stress in an instant! If you are in the LA area, check out The Now. They offer a variety of options that are more affordable than your average spa, ie: Burke Williams. You can opt for just a foot massage, just head and shoulders, etc. The place itself is so adorable with clean, simple decor and a trendy boho vibe. I went with the girls a few months back and it was so relaxing- exactly what we all needed!
4. Focus Zen App
My good friend, Jessie, tipped me off to this one. She said it’s great for when you really need to focus and be a total boss. The app is an engineered playlist that actually helps you study, work, you name it with a clear mind that let’s you become more productive. You can get the app HERE, for free!
5. Sweat it Out
Sometimes I’m just too antsy and fidgety to “relax.” In that case, I’ll hop on the treadmill or do some sort of cardio to clear my head, re-focus, and get my blood pumping. You don’t even have to push yourself too hard, just get a nice sweat going and you’ll feel better and more clear-minded in no time. A nice, hot shower afterwards is also the best. Now dry off and tackle your day!
If you don’t have the time or energy for a full workout, you can get a lot of the same benefits from a 5-10 minute stretching session. I love to do this before bed, it really calms you down and is the perfect way to wind down your mind and relax your muscles for sleep. IF you have a foam roller, those do wonders for sore muscles as well. (You can purchase one HERE).
I mean, do I even need to explain this one? I didn’t think so, now go enjoy your chocolate.
This may be more of a band-aid fix rather than treating the actual problem, but it works doesn’t it? lol Sometimes you just need a pick-me-up and shopping has a warm and fuzzy reward feeling that can make you forget about whatever is currently on your stressed-out mind. Some great places to start are LuLu and Georgia for home decorating and ShopBop sale section for clothes and accessories.
9. Watch a Sitcom
After all these years, it still rings true. Laughter really is the best medicine. Your body physically lowers it’s cortisol levels (cortisol is a stress hormone) when you laugh out loud. It will also rev-up your endorphins which will quickly improve your mood! My favorite go-to shows are Friends (obviously), The Office, Parks and Rec, and Raising Hope. Any of these can make me genuinely belly laugh despite the fact that I’ve seen every episode a million times.
10. Make a List
When you are overwhelmed beyond belief, the best thing to do is to sit down and make a list. Make a list of everything you need done, when it’s ‘due’ (isn’t it funny that even after school, life keeps giving you deadlines?) and then start to plan out the order in which you are going to check these off. Nothing feels better than crossing off something you’ve completed from your ‘to-do’ list. I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes I make lists just for the sweet satisfaction of checking things off that list. Am I a crazy person? Probably :D.
On a separate note……
Do any of my fellow bloggers or photographers out there have any issues with your photos not looking as sharp or clear on WordPress? Mine are all the correct pixel size before I upload them, optimized for the web, etc. But lately I’ve been frustrated with them looking a bit ‘blurred’ online as opposed to sharp and crisp while in Photoshop. It also looks like some of the whites/highlights have dulled as well. Any suggestions for me? It’s driving me CRAZY!!