Marfa Texas shop now open sign dollar shopMarfa Texas El Cosmico lobby poster artMarfa Texas El Cosmico airstream trailer pink towel guy showerMarfa Texas airstream trailer father hippy Marfa Texas outside with baby ReformationMarfa Texas Airbnb rustic modern

These photos are from a previous trip we took to Marfa back in spring. Husband and I were en route to Santa Fe from San Antonio (both of our hometowns), and stopped in Marfa as our halfway spot there and back. Marfa is about 5.5 hours from San Antonio and about 7 hours from Santa Fe… if you keep a good pace! We have grown quite an affinity for this place! When I was growing up in Texas, I only knew it as “Home of the Marfa Lights” – ie place of ghost stories and alien lore galore! But when we got here, it did change us a little in some immeasurable way…

How does one describe Marfa? It’s just some dumpy little town in the Middle of Nowhere West Texas, but man, is there energy here. Creative abundance. You can feel it simmering below the seams. The busted up concrete and adobe buildings framed by giant agave plants withering in the hot desert heat. The contemporary and modern art galleries nesting in hidden, seemingly decrepit shops down by the town square. The only grocery store in town with one checkout register selling recycled bamboo toothbrushes and organic goat milk cheese. The dirt, the sky, the cowboy hats…

We are back in Marfa right now for the Trans-Pecos Festival. A festival of jammy border-inspired garage music, DIY workshop love, and hippy hipsters camping out together in tents, drinking Shiner, Dos Equis, and frozen rosé (or Frozé! Clever…) Tonight Neko Case and Calexico play. Pretty chill, lots of cool. I called it early last night to put the baby to sleep in a bigass tent with a cowhide carpet, but tonight I plan on trolling the amazing vintage vendors and getting down to some some funky desert music.

Also working on some exciting things………….!!!!!!!!!!! Feeding of the Marfa ghost/light/energy/music/cool……………………….

Lots of love guys! Here is a Spotify playlist from 2016’s Trans-Pecos Festival.

    July 2016 Monthly Reads: A Brief History of Seven Killings, Beautiful Ruins, The Sympathizer

    Maybe I should rename this series to “Eventual Reads” instead of “Monthly Reads.” Now that I have a baby, reading even one adult book a month seems like such a luxury and achievement! As does doing anything grown up! Funny how that works. I’m almost finished with Beautiful Ruins though, so I’ll go ahead and give myself a preemptive pat on the back.

    In the July 2016 Monthly Reads lineup, we have A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, and The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. All 300+ pages. Good travel reading material.

    Beautiful Ruins is the story of a 1960’s movie romance/love quadrangle (I suppose you could say) set on the ocean cliffs of Italy… and that romance’s aftereffects. The cast of characters includes a slightly emo Italian innkeeper, a newly discovered blonde American actress, drunk fuck Richard Burton, the ghost of Elizabeth Taylor as she stars in Cleopatra, an alcoholic WWII vet/author, and a rebellious-yet-aging lovechild/musician. Oh yeah, and some film production people in present-day Hollywood. All of their stories end up intertwining. I still have about 1/4 of the book left, so we will see how everyone fares in the end. Fun read, not too taxing. I’d recommend it for the beach.

    A Brief History of Seven Killings is a hunk of a book. Has to weigh a solid five pounds! Those books are always the best though, right? A Brief History of Seven Killings is a multi-decade romp through corruption, crime, and politics in Jamaica, set off by a failed assassination attempt on Bob Marley, aka “The Singer.” Apparently fact and fiction mingle here, which sounds nice and juicy to me! This book has won multiple awards, most recently the Man Booker Prize in 2015.

    Lastly, The Sympathizer, which happens to be the 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction, is about an undercover Vietnamese spy during the Vietnam War. He is eventually captured, and the story is cloaked as a confessional. There is also some Hollywood movie action in this book as well. Notably, this book has been commended for giving a really powerful look at the Vietnam War and American culture from a non-white perspective. Out of the three books, I am most excited to read this one because my educational background is in international relations and I studied a fair amount of political/war/Asian history at one point (which seems like lifetime ago).

    Yep! So we will see how far and fast I can get through these books! Bought a book light today from Barnes & Noble, so this should increase my available reading time at night when I’m posted up with the little guy. Hopefully baby will inherit my love of literature! His papa and I have been stockpiling children’s books, and I think we have all equally been enjoying them. We read three of baby’s books today (Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? and Such a Little Mouse (thanks Monica!)) and baby calmly (mostly) paid attention the whole way through (yay!) and then took a nap. Glorious!

      Lula Vida Most Wanted July 2016: Warby Parker, Cold Brew Carafe, Current/Elliott Jeans, Beats by Dr, Missoni Espadrilles

      1. Warby Parker Chelsea Eyeglasses in Grapefruit Soda. 2. Primula Cold Brew Carafe Coffee Maker. 3. Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless Headphones in Rose Gold. 4. Current/Elliott Stiletto Skinny Jeans. 5. Missoni Espadrille in Blue Multi. 

      Topping my Most Wanted list this month… probably a three-way tie between the cold brew carafe, the Warby Parker pink glasses, and the Missoni espadrilles. Thoughts:

      I’m obsessed with cold brew in general and would drink it every day if I could. In Texas it’s too damn hot to drink regular coffee during the summer. And have you had a coconut black tie? OBSESSED! (*See basic Coconut Black Tie recipe below.)

      The Warby Parkers – I’m currently really only down to one pair of glasses (Gucci black & gold bamboo frames – which I love! perfect look/fit), but a girl always needs options and I have wanted some clear and/or pink frames for awhile.

      And finally, the Missoni espadrilles are literally the perfect summer shoe. I have some in orange from a couple of years ago and I have literally worn them in almost every situation – gardening, rain, road trips, brunch, neighborhood walks, etc etc and they still look relatively great and the fit is still spot on. Definitely my go-to every day summer shoe. I would recommend them over pretty much every other pair of shoes I’ve ever owned!!!

      Jeans – always looking for a good pair. Headphones same. Husband has those Beats by Dre Solo2’s in gold and apparently the sound quality isn’t amazing and the bluetooth situation is annoying when the battery runs out, but he is also used to professional headphones and speakers, so maybe his sound bar is set a little high. Can’t deny the rose gold is cute!

      Enjoy some coffee until next time! Lots of love! xo

      *Coconut Black Tie Recipe

      1. Put ice in glass.
      2. Add some sweetened condensed milk.
      3. Add coffee!
      4. Add a bit of coconut syrup (to taste IMO, I don’t like it too sweet).
      5. Add a splash of half and half.
      6. Stir as you drink! Half the fun is enjoying the different tastes as everything blends together.
      7. Enjoy!

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        Baby Is Here

        My last post was six months ago. Wow time flies quickly! As you can tell, baby came! He’s changed everything. He’s the most beautiful creature I have ever seen and more wonderful than I could have ever imagined. He is quirky and squiggly and curious. His hair is so soft and slightly mohawkish and he has the most amazing dimples when he smiles. When he laughs his mischievous little belly laugh and his eyes light up, my heart implodes and then expands infinitely like a galaxy made of love particles being born. His name is unique and lovely, his style is so badass, and he’s already traveled more than I had ever traveled at all pre-21. Baby is definitely the coolest person I know! Yes, we are obsessed! (And sleep deprived. I am at least. He’s five months in three days, and I haven’t logged a longer stretch of sleep than four hours (happened once) since he came into this world. Don’t worry, I sleep in bits and pieces overnight and just conjure up images of our ancient ancestors out on the plains of Africa or in the caves of Europe waking every hour to make sure their young haven’t been gobbled up by nocturnal predators. Worth it.)

        So, now that things have settled more around these parts since husband and I have become more at ease at being parents, Lula Vida will pick up pace again! I am excited. It brings me joy and sanity to write and create. I have a lot of post ideas on deck and several adventures already lined up. For instance, this month we will be heading to Santa Fe by way of Marfa… and of course baby will be in tow (along with various art supplies and cameras)! Husband and I will also be moving into a studio space at some point in the near future, so expect all sorts of creative projects to make their way onto Lula Vida. As for style, don’t think for one second that once you’re a mom that you’re bound by some invisible mandate to wear sweatpants forever and never curl your hair again. Wrong wrong wrong. My Reformation dresses have already seen the sunshine and I’ve got a hair appointment next week! (AND I’m drinking a glass of wine right now as I type! Hot damn!)

        Thank y’all for sticking around with me! I hope y’all continue to enjoy what I do on Lula Vida. The tone may change a little, but the content will be just as juicy. And if you don’t like it, well you can f*** off! I kid, I kid! (Literally. Lololol.) Stay tuned! Wink wink. -XO-