Sunset Magazine Travel Awards

sunset magazine travel awardsA few weeks ago I had a chat with Bruce Anderson, deputy editor of travel for Sunset Magazine, to talk about their first annual Travel Awards, and of course talk about something we both have in common, our love of travel and of the Western region. As an expert on travel, he gave me some insight on the area I’ve always called home. There have been quite a few firsts in the West. The first motel was in San Luis Obispo. The first theme park was in Southern California and Yellowstone Park was established as the first National Park in 1872. And now, Sunset will have its first Travel Awards.

Sunset Magazine has been showcasing the best of the West since its first issue in 1898. Sunset Magazine started out as a promotional magazine for the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in an effort to debunk the stories about the wild west and California stereotypes. Since its first issue hit the rail stations, and train coaches, it has succeeded in conveying life in the West. Now, as the publishing world gets smaller and we move into a more digital space, Sunset is keeping up with the rest of them and providing digital issues, online content and up-to-the-minute social media news. But why start an awards series now?

“We’ve been doing this since the first issue,” Anderson told me, “We’re reverse-engineering and taking what Sunset has done and consolidating it.” There seems to be three pillars to every Sunset story: honor, excellence and innovation. And this is what they’re looking for in the award winners. There should be an aesthetic, a new innovation and be particularly Western. Each winner will receive recognition both online and in the print cover story with a short write-up. In search of the West’s standout travel destinations, organizations, and businesses, Sunset will issue awards in 33 different categories. Awards submissions are due by October 31st, so you’d better get yours in soon!

As we continued our conversation and chatted about our love for the West, Anderson noted that the reason travelers are drawn to this area is because of the diversity. We have the mountains, the cities and the beaches. Everything is within reach. When covering a destination, Sunset writers look for what’s new and different, which is also part of the magazine’s core mission. The Sunset Travel Awards will help steer the magazine’s six million readers to the best destinations to match their taste, budget and interests. It will narrow down these new hot spots and old favorites into a comprehensive resource guide. If you’re a winery owner, tour guide, hotelier, or restaurateur, you want to be on this list.

Talking with Anderson revived my love of travel and California. With so many noteworthy locations it’s hard to narrow down who I would nominate for the Sunset Magazine Travel Awards, but I would have to nominate Santa Barbara as the best beach town. It will always have my heart.

Note: Want to submit a nomination? Send a tweet to Sunset Magazine at @SunsetMag or post to Facebook ( #sunsettravelawards.

Safari Inn

Safari Inn

It’s always fun taking pictures in a different location. My friend Danni wanted to take me to this retro motel to take pictures before we headed out for the day. It made for an amazing backdrop and fun to take pictures in a completely different location than where I’ve shot before. Whenever I have guests come from out of town I go to places that I normally don’t get to all the time. L.A. has so many great areas and I tend to stick to the same spots. I eat at the same restaurants, shop at the same store and take the same streets around town. But having the chance to step out of the box, even if it’s not very far, is always nice. After our photo shoot we went shopping on Melrose, which I rarely do. I love vintage and secondhand shops, so it was great to pick through the clothes and try to find some goods.

Retro Motel LA Safari Inn BurbankLos Angeles Fashion BloggerNatalie Zimmerman Natalie Notionsretro pink sunglasses

Banana Republic Sweater, Splendid Pants, Steve Madden Heels, Vintage Pink Sunglasses {similar}, J.Crew Necklace, J.Crew Bracelet

Note: I’m inspired to wear more retro fashion.

Appreciate the Small Things

Fashion blogger

Lately my stress levels have been on an up and down roller coaster. One day I feel stressed out of my mind with a to-do list that will never get finished. Other days I feel at ease with the fact that I don’t need to accomplish everything. I’m usually stressed because I’ve put too much on my plate. I always want to do too much. It’s been this way since I was in high school, and with the responsibilities of adulthood it’s just that much more stressful to get everything done. And I don’t even have kids! But on the days when I’m not stressing and actually enjoying life, I’m able to appreciate the small things. The warm sun. The laughter of loved ones. A relaxing breath in yoga class. Often times when my mind is rushing back and forth, I forget about these little things. I forget to enjoy the moment, and that’s when I need to remind myself that not everything needs to get done today. Those are the days I relish. Those are the days I crave.

J.crew blouse and pants orange blouse movado watchNatalie notionsfall colorsvintage sunglasses

J.Crew Blouse, J.Crew Pants, Movado Watch, Versace Shoes {similar}, Vintage Sunglasses {similar}, Gold Stud Earrings, Rebecca Minkoff Purse

Note: Appreciating the small things is easier said than done.

Vintage Australian Gifts

vintage games

My friend from Australia is visiting me this week while she’s in the U.S. for work. She’s an amazing singer-songwriter with the kindest heart. She knows how much I love all things vintage and sweets, so as a gift from Australia she brought me vintage games and pantyhose {because the box was cute} and chocolates. It was the perfect mix of goodies. I need to decide where I’m going to display the pantyhose box, it’s quite fashionable in it’s own right. It’s funny how you can not see someone for years {it’s been 3} and yet they understand you like no time has passed and you pick up where you left off. I’ll be showing off my beautiful friend next week right here on the blog, but just wanted to first share these cool vintage gifts she brought over.

Note: I can’t wait to tell you more about my friend Danni! Xo

Homemade Applesauce

homemade applesauce

I love homemade applesauce. Not only is it really easy to make and is the perfect cozy fall treat, but it also pairs equally as well with pork chops as it does with vanilla ice cream. Homemade applesauce always reminds me of my old neighbor growing up. She was the sweetest little old lady that would always knit us blankets and make applesauce. I didn’t have quite enough apples for this, so I used the two pears that I had instead. Pears will make the applesauce a little sweeter, so you don’t need to add in the extra sugar at the end.

homemade applesauce
4 apples (Any type but green apples)
2 pears
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3 lemon rinds 
2 tablespoons lemon juice
homemade apple pear sauce
1. Peel, core and quarter the apples and pears. Place them in a large pot. Add in the water, cinnamon stick, cinnamon, sugar, lemon rinds and lemon juice. (so add in all of the ingredients). If you don’t like a lot of sugar, add in half and add the rest in later to taste.
2. Bring to a boil on high heat. Then lower the temperature, cover the pot and maintain a low simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the fruit is tender and cooked all the way through.
3. Once they’re cooked remove the pot from the heat. Remove the lemon peels and cinnamon stick. 
4. Use a potato masher to mash the cooked apples and pears in the pot to make chunky applesauce. For a smoother applesauce run it through a food processor or blender. If you do use a blender, add in batches. 
5. Add more sugar to taste or lemon juice if it’s too sweet. Serve hot or chilled. It also freezes well and will last a year in the freezer.
applesauce in a mason jar
Note: This also makes a sweet fall housewarming gift.

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