Darling Retreat, Carmel

Have you been to Carmel? I tried to explain it a few times but decided it can't be done well, by me, so just...go. You really should go and if you do, eat at a place called The Treehouse and ignore the awful early 2000's decor and get the baklava.

Jenn Sanchez | Darling Magazine

A couple months back Darling Magazine had a creatives retreat at this insanely beautiful property in the Carmel Highlands on the south end of Carmel, closer to Big Sur. In some rooms of the main house (as in there was a main house and a "greenhouse" which was just an all glass structure with bedrooms in it) you would look out the window and the ocean was inches away, crashing against those picturesque mossy covered rocks. The grounds were also unbelievable as you stepped down several steps of old wood stairs, brushed through hip-high reaching ferns, and walk back up a cobble stone path to go between each of the houses. I wish I captured more of the place in its entirety but in those moments, my head isn't really on straight. I got sort of lost in the beauty, which I don't regret. This first photo is my favorite, it really captured some of the serenity of this place.

Jenn Sanchez | Darling Magazine
Jenn Sanchez | Darling Magazine

This was the first time I have taken a trip by myself before. I admit, I was nervous at first. I really enjoy my alone time, which I am sure to schedule in on a daily basis, but I also am a true extrovert. Eh, what I mean is I have thought that about myself for so long and that is probably what made me nervous about it. Turns out, I really enjoyed it. Only negative, being alone at night. So I just went to see a movie each night at the latest possibly showing so when I got back to my adorable-yet-eerie-after-dusk cottage I was too tired to be scared. It's a wonderful tactic and I recommend it. What I don't recommend is Hail, Ceaser because it was boring.

The lighting the whole week was pretty magical, primarily because it was foggy at all times. I have been more diligent about bringing my cannon with me on any and all events. You can't rely on other people to capture your work and when you are putting out work you really want to be hired for, it's a major missed opportunity to just take some iPhone shots.  I've learned that the hard way (eye-roll emoji). Some things I have also learned recently:

  • Use more flowers that I am drawn to, regardless of reputation. Some flowers have been typecasted as the cheap-o's or just fillers and that's dumb and sad.
  • Less is more. I will forever be learning this.
  • Stop getting McDonalds on the way to the flower mart. This is not a normal food selection for me, at all. Why do I do this? What does it mean?
  • Learning a lot about color and feeling embarrassed looking back just a year ago and realizing I knew just about nothing.

I typically get bored very easily with things, which is a sad but true thing, but this owning a business thing keeps me on my toes. So many moving parts but it really is a hoot to see things come together.

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Jenn Sanchez | Darling Magazine
Jenn Sanchez | Darling Magazine

Placed an arrangement down to take a photo and of course there was a real life mushroom specimen on the rock. I went with it and thought, maybe styling with mushrooms is my next thing. Anemones are also my next thing. If you hire me you will need to be specific about not wanting them because it will be assumed they are a go unless otherwise stated. Kinda like onions in guacamole (so you know I am for onions, not against). 

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Jenn Sanchez | Darling Magazine
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