and I know it well ...

So this is California.

This is Jen + Jamaica.

And these were the first two faces I saw when I got there. I'm pretty sure I jumped up and down when I actually met Jamaica. But I tend to do that. And her lovely friend Casey was so sweet to let me crash at her fab place in Laguna my first night there.

This was our delicious breakfast (of champions) and those are my Swedish pancakes with tons of berries on top.

This is my most excellent 'welcome to California' kit from sweet J.

This is 'the crane.'

And this was taken at The Lab.

Which brings us to the beginning of our adventures in downtown L.A.

And our stay at The Standard.

Which meant picking up Vee. (I jumped up and down when I first saw her, too.) Turning our duo into a group of three.

The rooftop view at The Standard was nothing short of spectacular.

As was the bathroom downstairs, by the photo booth.

(Oh yes! Our hotel had a photo booth.) We spent a lot of time there. But this is what we do.

The lounge/bar downstairs was full of these rad purple couches.

And an organ.

And this amazing yellow 24/7 restaurant.

Jamaica ate Ritz crackers, through the best of times and worst of times.

I danced and/or jumped a lot.

And Vee and I had our first official meal at In-N-Out. (It was really good.) I learned that Jamaica likes her fries extra crispy, and that they use something called 'spread' on their burgers.

The Dares girls (well, half of us) rolled up on CHA. And met the super sweet Elizabeth Kartchner. This is also where we get to hang out with Tina for a whole day.

We talked, we laughed ... we touched paper.

And we even spent a few minutes making something crafty at the Hambly booth with Allison.

But by the end of the day, we were spent. And so over the group photo thing.

So we ended the day with an iChat with Kristi.

Looking at these pics, I can't help but get all mushy and sentimental. These girls are something very special. I knew this trip would be good. And I knew that we'd totally mesh.

But I didn't know how much we would bond. And laugh. Get real. And just talk. We have this common thing of course, through the Dares. Which is a very cool thing. I wake up on Friday mornings (okay, now Wednesdays) and look forward to see how we've each spun the topic du jour; to smile and think about the long-distance craftiness, done separately but together. Hanging out with them in real life for a whole weekend was pretty much the best thing ever. Bordering on sisterhood. And I miss each one of these girls already.

I'm typing this while listening to Skinny Love and Blood Bank. Because the first time I ever heard Bon Iver was in Jamaica's car on the way to LAX on my way home. And that's just one of those things that sticks with you; I knew it would be the permanent soundtrack for this trip. To go right along with mental snapshots of these faces in the car.


  1. awwww, your recap was perfect!! srsly the best time ever, can't wait to do it again, like now! you know cha will actually be in LA next yr!! you are the sweetest person girl and love you lots and your meat glow! :) xo

  2. wow, that looks like a really fun experience. i'm so happy that you got to connect with them so much.
    someday i'll go to cha, someday...!

  3. awwww babe! that is sooo awesome! it makes me smile and it warms my heart! I love the stories and the photos and it makes me think of MY trip to LA (Louisiana.haha) just a few weeks ago.
    Love it, sweetie! So glad you had such a wonderful time and bonded so well with those amazingly crafty chicas!

  4. Oh gosh:) What a wonderful recap:) Perfect times for sure:) Glad you had a blast!!!!!

  5. aw man. I'm glad you had so much fun. Makes me wish I was there for sure.

  6. Looks like you had a great time! Isn't In and Out yummy?? And the "spread" is Thousand Island dressing!

  7. Why can't I find super cool scrap friends like you girls? All I seem to find in my neck of the woods are old ladies who prefer to gossip and complain rather than have fun and scrap! Can you tell I'm a little bit jealous?
    I'm so glad you had fun!!!

  8. guys had such a killer time!! that hotel is amazing!!

  9. !
    what a great wrap up!
    next time i wanna see you for sure! XO

  10. wow these are great pcitures and full of colour i like that. you have had a lot a fun I am jalous :-(

  11. Your hotel looks amazing! Looks like you had a really fun time.

  12. wow awesome photos, that hotel is amazing, also loving the you tube song off to find more of his stuff

  13. Jen you are so one of a kind and I love it, and everyone else does too!
    Let's have a staycation soon or a drink! Can't wait to see you in"calss" soon!

  14. what great fun photos, thanks for sharing :)

  15. So happy to hear that you had a wonderful time:) Isnt it just amazing how scrap booking has brought everyone together? That is why I hold it pretty darn close in my heart.

    In and out burgers are theeeeee best!!! I had a chance to have one when I went to California back in 08, yum.

    Ok I am off to do something with my friday night:) MISS YOU!!!!

  16. Looking at this reminds me that blogging can be so cool!

    That hotel looks amazing. Love the chandelier above the organ and the yellow restaurant.

    And oh, do you all have the grey chucks? :)

  17. ha! yes, we all have grey chucks! but i wore my vans a lot so we didn't match all of the time.

  18. All those bright colors in your photos really made me smile! Great update, looks like a ton of fun @ CHA. Someday, someday... ;)

  19. Maybe Steph should be a dare girl. So she can hang out too.


  20. dude. fun times. now that's what a girls weekend should be!

    also, i'm with steph on the being a dare girl thing. you know, for the hanging out 'n stuff. ;)



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