A Long Weekend in Carmel-by-the-Sea

20th May 2014

In a previous entry, I wrote about an exciting trip that David and I were taking as part of a writing assignment I received. The destination: California’s Carmel-by-the-Sea, a tiny, European-inspired village nestled against the Pacific’s white sand beaches. It was a much appreciated change of scenery from our desert dwelling and we were so lucky to have our accommodations and dinner covered by the Hofsas House, a Bavarian-esque, family owned and operated B&B.

You can see more about my trip at this blog post I wrote for the Somewhat Simple blog, which I’ve been writing at for some time now.


I also did a nail tutorial on xoVain inspired by the sights we saw on the 17-Mile Drive:



I wanted to share some additional photographs here. Why not?! Consider it a story-by-way-of-pictures. :)

DSC_0022Cottage of Sweets

DSC_0030The White Rabbit

DSC_0036The White Rabbit

DSC_0042Hand selected cheese in our room. :)

DSC_0046And local wine!

DSC_0102Breakfast guest

DSC_0085Pretty Carmel Beach

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetGreen?!

DSC_0095 copyBedroom fire (two nights in a row, even!)


DSC_0187Oh, yeah!

DSC_0124The Lone Tree on the 17-Mile-Drive.


DSC_0127 copy

DSC_0139DSC_0196Lots of wine…! We even spoke with local wine makers, which was a blast!



Horse Shoe Bend, Colorado River and More

18th May 2014

OK — one final installation from our trip up to Page, Arizona. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t found much time to edit photographs. I finally got through the rest of the photographs from that trip, though, and I wanted to share them here. Enjoy! :)

DSC_0321It’s hard to do Horse Shoe Bend justice in a single picture, but it’s a pretty magnificent sight. Clearly, it gets its name from the horseshoe like shape created by the Colorado River.

DSC_0330To view Horse Shoe Bend, you need to climb up a steep-ish cliff (part of which is covered in super fine desert sand — that is a workout!) and then you can peer over and down. There were all sorts of cool rock formations all around the area, including the above.

DSC_0311I’ll never get sick of cacti. :)

One of our nights in Page, David and I decided to go to a scenic overlook to watch the sunset. We had lots of time to pass, and we were the only ones there, so we really took it upon ourselves to run around and explore. We found sweet flowers, collected pretty rocks, and took a photograph with the Colorado River stretching out and melting into the desert behind us.

DSC_0399Pretty desert flower peeking through the rocky earth.

DSC_0408Does anyone know what kind of rock this is?






Coal Mine Canyon in Northern Arizona

1st May 2014

Following our departure from Page, Ariz. — where David and I navigated the stunning Antelope Slot Canyon — we decided to take a detour to Coal Mine Canyon on our way back to Phoenix.

Coal Mine Canyon is located on private Navajo Indian Reservation land just beyond Tuba City. You’d never, ever know it existed if it weren’t for wanderlust bloggers who’ve previously visited the area. Even when you’re mere feet away from Coal Mine Canyon, it’s hard to see it because, well, it’s a canyon!

When we arrived, we were the only ones there. Well, there were a few cows grazing nearby, but I suspect they weren’t as into this hole in the ground as much as we were. In a way, I found it to be both terrifying and freeing to stand in front of such a massive, gorgeous canyon all by ourselves.

Fortunately, we arrived just in time, as one of the nastiest dust storms I’ve ever experienced was rapidly brewing. That could have been why it was so windy at the canyon, but I suspect it’s always windy there. David and I played in the wind, as best as you can do so, by running back and forth and leaning into the ground while the wind pushed against us. Liberating, to say the least. :)

I did manage to capture a few snapshots. Enjoy!






Obligatory “It’s so windy!” shot:

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset


Lower Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona

7th April 2014

Last weekend, David and I drove up to Page, Arizona to explore more of what the Great West has to offer. Page, located just 10 minutes from the Utah border, is a place we’ve been meaning to venture since moving to Phoenix in 2010.  The tiny Arizona city is about a four and a half hour drive from Phoenix — one that takes you straight through Flagstaff — and is quite pretty.

My original pull was the grand “Wave,” also in Page, but after doing research, we discovered it is practically impossible to see it. The Wave only allows 20 people in per day and they have a lottery system set up where you pay for a chance to go. You have to literally win The Wave lottery to even see it! Maybe someday.

Anyway, another geographical pull to Page, if you will, was Antelope Canyon. My Aunt Clara had spoken of the impressiveness of this natural wonder shortly after we moved here and I’ve been meaning to explore it ever since. Nearly four years later…


Stunning, right? Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon made of soft sandstone. The nature of this stone — and its location on the Navajo land — has made it particularly susceptible to water/sand erosion over the years. That’s what causes its notable soft twists and turns.

AntelopeCanyon2AntelopeCanyon3DSC_0218Antelope Canyon has two “sides:” an upper and a lower. For some reason, the upper is more traversed and, as a result, more expensive. I think it has something to do with the way the light shines into the Upper Antelope Canyon, but the Lower Antelope Canyon supposedly has more photographic opportunities in terms of twists, bends and coloring. It’s also brighter. We only explored the lower, and oh my heavens was it beautiful.

I brought my camera with me, naturally, and opted for the “self guided photographer’s pass tour,” which costs about $60, but is worth every penny.

It’s easy to get trapped behind your camera, but I made a concerted effort to bring the camera away from my face and view my surroundings through something other than a viewfinder.

DSC_0045If you ever pass through northern Arizona — or if you’re looking for a destination that makes you feel a certain awe — I highly recommend a trip to Page, Arizona and, specifically, Antelope Canyon.

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures, including my favorite one from the day shown first in the below series:

AntelopeCanyon7AntelopeCanyon8AntelopeCanyon9AntelopeCanyon1DSC_0138 DSC_0183 DSC_0199 DSC_0276

Antelope Canyon wasn’t the only thing we explored on our visit to Page. Stay tuned for some more pictures!




Spring 2014 Beauty Products

3rd April 2014

Hello, again! I’m back! This time I’ve got a quick plug for an article that went live on the Somewhat Simple blog today, where I’ve been writing a monthly beauty feature for nearly the better part of a year, now. The group of creators and bloggers there is so creative and truly talented! I love being amongst them.

Speaking of Somewhat Simple, I’m in the process of working on a really exciting project for the blog that’ll come to fruition the first weekend in May. I’ll give you a hint: it involves travel to a coastal city in California. Stay tuned!


Anyway, this month’s Somewhat Simple beauty feature features a round up of five of my most favorite products I’m using this spring. Some of them are brand new to the world (such as Tocca’s Simone or Doll Face Beauty goods) and others are just new to me (such as the Tony Moly Cristal Blusher in Milky Violet).

Head over to Somewhat Simple what I have to say about the above products and more!



Maneki-Neko Mani & Snail Slime Facewash

1st April 2014

Last week on xoVain — a beauty website I’ve been writing for nearly a year, now (my, how time flies!) — I wrote two different pieces that ventured into the realm of Asian beauty. I’m super excited about both of them, so I figured I’d talk a little bit about them here!


First I wrote about this new face wash I’ve been using from Mizon. It utilizes genuine snail slime which supposedly gently moisturizes, heals and cleanses the face. You can read all about my thoughts here.



The second post was a tutorial on how to create Maneki-neko nails! This was a manicure I came up with last year, but only just put it into tutorial form! For those who don’t know, Maneki-neko means “gesturing cat” and it’s a good luck token! Get the full tutorial here.

That’s all, lovelies!



Hello and welcome

26th March 2014



Hello! My name is Wendy and I’m a former blog addict who’s decided to rekindle the my affair with the e-journaling world. I’m a freelance writer and photographer with a primary focus on fashion, beauty and happy living. Some call this the “lifestyle niche,” but you can call it whatever you want. I love to go on wild adventures around the globe with my camera in hand.

I grew up in a small, Amish/Mennonite town in northern Indiana called Middlebury and have since moved on to travel the globe (five continents) and I even live abroad for a year (Seoul, South Korea). I’ve settled down in the dry, but stunning, desert a la Phoenix, Arizona.

In addition to being a wanderlust, I try my hand at gardening, baking, crafting and, of course, beauty and fashion.

PS. “Wendybird,” as you might have guessed, is from Peter Pan. It’s a nickname my mother’s called me since I was a wee thing and close friends also refer to me as the same. You can call me Wendybird, bird or just Wendy. ^.^

xo, Wendy