September 27, 2016 - No Comments!

Portuguese Beach

There are few things as calming to me as the Northern California coast. There is serenity and beauty to the foggy skies and dark green cypress. A weekend filled with brisk walks on the beach, eating good food with family and friends, and simply sitting in the hot tub while watching the fog roll by helped me slow down and feel refreshed.




September 13, 2016 - No Comments!

My new email newsletter: Hydeaway

Hi there!

Hydeaway is a private mailing list for updates on my personal life and my special project Hydeaway. This mailing list will receive photos and thoughts on design, art, travel, photography, interiors, and San Francisco. Hope you are interested, I have some exciting things in the works :)

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September 8, 2016 - No Comments!

A few Tulum photos

Tulum was absolutely gorgeous! I loved my time there, and will be writing more about it in my new personal project, Hydeaway Magazine. But for my family and friends, here are a few quick photos :)

July 30, 2016 - No Comments!

Design a Simple Life

Simple Flowers

Yesterday I decided to sign up for an email newsletter from No Sidebar about designing a simple life. In general, I try to do things to stay balanced, but it only seems to last a little while and then things go back to being the way they were: unbalanced. I find that something always wins, and something always suffers. I want to get out of this cycle and actually make some strides and progress towards designing the life I want and the way I want to be as a person. So along the way, I think I should write about how things are going, what I've learned, and where my journey is taking me. I haven't done nearly enough personal writing or journalling as I should lately. Why do things always get in the way? Maybe it's me making excuses, or maybe I don't make time for it. Regardless, I'm excited about this journey with No Sidebar and excited to see what happens. One of my favorite articles they published is called 5 Ways to Live More Intentionally, check it out!

Today, I got my first email, Day 1: You Are Enough.

Also today, I went to the SF MoMa with my mom. It was just so fun to go through the museum with someone who has fresh eyes and who hasn't seen any of the art before. She had strong opinions about certain artworks, which I loved. And even though I thought I had seen it all before, I came out of the museum with a fresh perspective and felt so inspired. My mom said, "If you don't come out of there feeling inspired, something's wrong with you." The art in there is spectacular. If you haven't been, I highly encourage you to go!


March 23, 2016 - No Comments!

There’s no place quite like here, there’s no better time than now—

Human as PossibleSo, this post is about kindness. I have been greatly inspired and influenced from the 12 Kinds of Kindness project that Timothy Goodman and Jessica Walsh have been writing/creating/learning over the past several months. I love the ideas and emotions they share, the basic "guide" of sorts they are putting out into the world to try to become kinder, more empathetic, more real, and essentially more human, people. I've thought it about a lot, and I do think I want to get my own personal feelings and struggles out there. Like Jessica and Tim have talked about, we live in a time of TMI, of Internet, of America, of self-indulgence, of self-absorption, of endless entertainment and instant gratification. I admit, I am a millennial and am definitely addicted to my iPhone and Netflix, and have been fortunate to grow up quite privileged compared to a lot of people in the world. Yet I have always been a cautious and semi-private person. Just like a lot of people, my Instagram feed is not full of my worst moments, it's basically a highlight reel of what I want others to perceive of me. I don't know if that's a good thing, but if it's just me promoting the "perfect" version of me, I'm not sure I like that. Why am I so afraid to confront myself? Should I be kinder to myself? Do people perceive me as a kind person?

Regardless, I have had quite a lot of change in the past year, and I haven't really ever made the time to truly reflect on it or even write about it. I don't keep a journal, this page on my website called "Journal" is about as much as I write personally. But seriously, if I want to grow as a person, as a creative, as a biracial young woman, I need to think about my life. I don't want to find the "best version" of myself, I want to just find myself. The raw, emotional, lost, crazy version of myself. This past year of change has been so jarring but at the same time incredibly rewarding. I want to make sense of it all, and ultimately I feel as though this kindness thing is worth a try. As I write this from my tiny San Francisco apartment, I honestly don't care if anyone reads this at all, this is ultimately for me and to see if I can get anything out of it. :)

I'm currently thinking about that song Stay Ready by Jhene Aiko and she sings, "There is no place quite like here, there's no better time than now." It's a random night in March. I'm just going to see where this goes.

MicaelaBe More KindArt from the 12 Kinds of Kindness Tumblr.

August 26, 2015 - No Comments!

Weekend Getaway


Last weekend my boyfriend Samir and I made our way down the coast for a weekend getaway in Carmel and Monterey. We had been wanting to do this for a while, and so we booked an Airbnb and were soon on our way! It was the perfect little break from work and school. We shopped and ate tons of food in downtown Carmel, did the 17 Mile Drive (of course), went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and got some serious R&R on the beach. The weather was perfectly overcast, which was great for me to step my Instagram game up! I love a white aesthetic, I always have and probably always will. I have tons of photos coming up that you can also see on my instagram: @micaelaballew. I couldn't pick just a few to share on the blog, so here goes all of them! Enjoy.


This was taken along the 17 Mile Drive, a beautiful drive I recommend to anyone visiting the Monterey Peninsula. You truly feel the ocean vibes with the roaring, tumbling waves and the sublime rocky shores. Along the drive, we stopped to check out the Lone Cypress (a good photo spot), and also paused at Pebble Beach Golf Resort to check out the 18th hole and tell our parents we were there haha. Samir loves to play golf, and he had fun exploring the grounds and seeing the awesome views straight from the course.


Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach


We spent a lot of time at the beach on Saturday, which was amazing. The cool breeze and ocean air was so refreshing, it really felt like we could stay there forever. We walked down almost the entire half of Carmel Beach, away from a lot of the crowds of people to our own spot on the rocks and near the golf course.


Carmel Beach

Ocean Beauty

Carmel Beach

Above is the view from our rocky perch. You can see Pebble Beach Golf Course on the left. So many people were walking their dogs on the beach, it made me wish Penny was with us! After a day at the beach and getting a delicious Italian meal downtown, we made it to the Aquarium on Sunday to see the jellies (my favorite) and the sharks (Samir's favorite).



The jellies are my favorite, they are just so beautiful. I hope you enjoyed all of these photos and definitely recommend visiting the area if you get the chance! It was just as wonderfully beautiful as I had hoped.

x Micaela


July 30, 2015 - No Comments!

Coffee Shop: The Mill

The Mill - SF

I recently went to a coffee shop I had heard about in San Francisco, called The Mill. Located on Divisadero near many other cute shops, it featured a bright and airy space that called for photo-taking and grabbing a latte immediately. A joint venture between Four Barrel Coffee & Josey Baker Bread, they serve not only bread but many other fun eats and toast, especially. I really loved the walls of the most beautiful white tile, as well as a wall of handmade ceramic pottery (almost bought a mug). My latte was delicious and while there was a lack of wifi, I felt quite at home writing and sketching in my design journal. Here are a few shots I took during my visit.

The Mill - SF

The Mill - SF

The Mill - SF

July 27, 2015 - No Comments!


Weekends Image

Ever since I started working full-time instead of going to school full-time, I have gained a deeper sense of appreciation for the weekend. It's been interesting, however, to discover how hard it is to make the most of those seemingly short two days. At first, I tried to have as much fun as I possibly could throughout the weekend, but eventually burned myself out with everything I was doing. I wanted to see as many friends as possible, make time for my boyfriend, and see my family (and dog Penny) all within the same weekend. It was pretty much impossible. And I would come back to work the next week exhausted.

I have come to realize that the weekend is for resting, for recharging and gaining back those bits of yourself that have gotten lost somewhere along the path of a long work week. Making time for everything I want to do and everyone I want to see is something I need to work on, but it's always going to be a work in progress.

"A Sunday well spent brings a week of content."

x Micaela