Ace Hotel Palm Springs: A Mini Tour

Ace Hotel Palm Springs

Ace Hotel Palm Springs

Ace Hotel Palm Springs

One of the places I look forward to visiting every year is the Palm Springs location of the Ace Hotel. There’s a two-fold appeal to me: first, it’s impossible to be in a bad mood when it’s perpetually sunny. Secondly, I love visiting places that feel suspended in time. Even though the Ace has been lovingly revamped, it still has the roots of its previous incarnation, a midcentury-modern motel once known as Westward Ho.

Ace Hotel Palm Springs

As an added bonus, its main restaurant, King’s Highway was once home to a Denny’s. With a farm-to-table focus, it serves breakfast, lunch and dinner along with Stumptown Coffee. You can check out the full menu here.

Ace Hotel Palm Springs

Ace Hotel Palm Springs

Ace Hotel Palm Springs


The grounds feature communal outdoor fireplaces, a spa and a dog park. I love that the property is pet friendly — Rocky definitely approved!

Ace Hotel Palm Springs

Ace Hotel Palm Springs


By day, when I’m visiting the Ace, I revert into total relaxation mode and spend most of my time eating, lounging by the pool or even better, doing both at the same time. And by night, I order drinks from The Amigo Room and sit in the hot tub. It’s a pretty perfect existence to embrace for a few days.


Ace Hotel Palm Springs

The rooms have polished concrete floors so you never have to feel guilty about dragging in sand or knocking over a drink. And the slat walls feature some of the coolest posters I’ve seen — the best part is that you can pick up your own copies right here.

Ace Hotel Palm Springs

The grounds are a creative’s paradise with awesome type specimens spread throughout. But the most iconic type on the property is the A C E right by the pool entrance.

Ace Hotel Palm Springs

Trees full of citrus fruits line the property — they’re always such a novelty to me as a lifelong resident of the northwest.

Ace Hotel Palm Springs

I’ve been home a little over a week and I’m already dreaming of another trip down south. Luckily, my next visit is only a few months away.

Ace Hotel Palm Springs

All photos taken by me at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs, September 2013.

The Week In Pictures: 10.4.13




I arrived home late Sunday night after four glorious days in Palm Springs, ready to settle in for three weeks before hitting the road once again. As usual, I thought I could just pick right back up where I’d left off the week before but instead, I fell asleep twice on my office floor on Monday. Haha.


It’s been an interesting few weeks of transitions, going straight from returning from Europe and New York to turning 32 to launching Branch. I’ve accomplished a lot of the things I’ve wanted but with that also comes a lot more responsibility. I’m still adjusting and finding my way on a daily basis. What I’ve realized is that we can read as many business and self help and how-to guides as possible and while knowledge IS power, there are still a lot of things we just have to figure out as we go. I’m still fine-tuning what works best for my lifestyle while squeezing time in with friends and family between all the madness.

Being home for the first full week in what feels like ages, I’ve been working hard to de-clutter my office, my email accounts and finally set up spreadsheets, calendars and all the “boring admin stuff” I never took the time to do before.


While traveling is one of my favorite hobbies, I tend to make some pretty bad food choices on the road. At first, it seems like a dream eating day in and day out at restaurants but it wears me down after a few days. I’m used to having a vegan husband who does all the cooking along with a well-stocked fridge of fresh, healthy choices at the bottom of the stairs. So I’m trying to pick up new routines like eating granola with plain yogurt and berries for breakfast instead of everything bad I seem to grab on the road.

Over the next few days, I’m looking forward to lunch and dinner plans with people I don’t see nearly enough of, cuddling with Rocky and digging into a new batch of blog posts about places I’ve recently visited. I’m very much enjoying this string of quieter days. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Link Love: 10.3.13


• I am beyond excited to see that Domino Magazine is back in print!

• 13 tips from Breaking Bad for startups.

• Here are the top 7 online marketing trends that will dominate 2014.

• My longtime friend Amelia Arsenic just relaunched her blog. Check it out and show her some love!

• 7 ways to stay inspired and avoid blogger burnout.

• Here’s why you need to consider independent publishing.

• Justine Musk just turned 41 and these are the 41 things she knows for sure.

• When it comes to your life, surround yourself first and foremost with positive relationships.

• The Vivant has 101 awesome travel tips!

• I caught up with the always inspiring Kathleen Shannon at Designer Vaca over the weekend and loved reading her recap of how it impacted her.

• In case you’re wondering, here’s how the economic machine works.

• Lotta Agaton has one of the coolest shops I’ve ever seen. Wow.

• When it comes to business, here’s when to say yes. And no.

• Here are some tips to style your bookshelves.

Photo: Harper’s Bazaar.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.

Branch: An Inside Look at Starting A Creative Business

We Are Branch Boutique Design Studio Branding

Last Monday, Branch went live. Less than two hours after flipping the switch, I rushed off to the airport to fly to LA for some client meetings and from there, straight to Palm Springs for Designer VACA. I barely had time to catch my breath, let alone explain the brand in more detail. Today, I’m sharing more insights on how I came up with the concept of the business, along with the nuts and bolts of the branding.


As I discussed last week, I knew that it was finally time to reach out and ask for help when it came to running my design business. In the year leading up to Branch, I’d co-launched The Blogcademy with Kat and Gala, was receiving many more freelance inquiries than I could possibly handle and struggling with the work/life balance on a daily basis.

I’ve always been tight with my immediate family — every time I talked to my mom and told her how I was having trouble keeping up with emails and scheduling, she’d offer to help me manage the administrative parts of my business. My brother, also a graphic designer, was beginning to see his photography career take off and had already been helping me shoot projects. I’d been working alongside Star since 2007 on web design projects. Joey had been doing paste-ups and print production since the late 90s. Everyone I needed to help me was already there, I just needed to put the wheels in motion.

We Are Branch Boutique Design Studio Branding

Continue reading

What I Wore: Sailing In Santorini


As I’m sitting here at my desk, glancing outside my office at rainy Portland, these photos taken a few weeks back in Santorini, Greece are providing me with a great sense of comfort. Traveling has always been a huge passion of mine but if you’d told last year that I’d have the opportunity to be on a sailboat cruising through the Aegean Sea, I’d have responded with, “there’s no way in hell.”


But, it happened and I loved every second of it. When you’re soaking up island life, it’s necessary to hit the water at least once — and no, hotel swimming pools don’t count!


On our first full day in Santorini, we began researching boat trips. Most of the ones we came across were 1. 80 to 120 euros on catamarans and 2. completely sold out for days in advance.


Not content to just give up, we kept searching, walking up and down the main street in town where all the travel agencies were clustered. Finally, we wandered into one and found the deal of the century: a five hour ride on a sailboat for only 25 euros! We’d actually been hoping to find a less modern-looking boat anyway and this was right up our alley.



Our time on the boat was priceless: the looping soundtrack of smooth disco-inspired dance beats was taken up a notch by lyrics sung by the equivalent of a deep-voiced Greek Barry White. We made the most of it, dancing across the top deck, spinning like maniacs. This trip was in honor of Gala’s 30th birthday and I wanted to make sure she didn’t forget it for as long as she lived!


As we cruised along the Aegean Sea, sipping champagne and watching the sun set, I felt grateful to have the opportunity to travel to places I never thought I’d see. This year has been pretty imbalanced when it comes to how much I’ve been traveling and working but I wouldn’t trade any of these experiences for anything.



A little over a week after this boat trip, I turned 32. These photos will always remind me of this time of big changes mixed with a whole lot of adventure.


I Wore:
Stripe Skater Dress, ASOS (it fits true to size and the quality is fantastic!)
Sunglasses, Dries van Noten (very old)
Lace-up sandals, MOMA (very old)
Hat, borrowed from our villa!

Photos: Shell de Mar Photography
Co-conspirators: Gala Darling and Kat Williams