create4725: our spring 2016 collection of hand painted cards, crafted with love in Oakland

As a kid, I was good at two things in school - English and art. As an artsy (read: weird) and disgruntled 14 year old, I envisioned being able to live off my art and writing as an "adult", *LOL*. Cute, right?! Well, reality settled firmly in, along with a career in marketing after a brief foray into the fashion industry. However, the creative fire still burns brightly through my hobbies (hello blogging!) and now my create4725 store.

Terrarium hand painted watercolor card

After selling the odd watercolor here and there from my late teens through to my early 20s, until fairly recently, my watercolors lay dustily ignored in a draw. But call it whim, or call it boredom, something lead me to clean them off and attempt to paint again. I forgot how lovely it was to while away a few hours creating something. How relaxing, surprisingly fulfilling and fun it is. Especially when something goes horribly awry and you're left with a really f'd up, funny looking little drawing.

Abstract palms hand painted watercolor card.

So f' ups aside, here is our first collection of hand painted cards for spring, and totally available for sale. We hope you enjoy our little creative outlet. Feel free to follow create4725 on Twitter and Instagram, oh and we totally take custom requests if you so desire, xoxo.


4725mag travels: a woman's guide to spring training

After my utterly British rejection of all American sports I accidentally discovered, through a sports enthusiast of a boyfriend, that I in fact love baseball. And with their underdog spirit, beer prices under $10 and the best chicken fingers in town (not guilty pleasure) I love my Oakland Athletics.

You know what else I love? Winter sunshine. Enjoying a cocktail in a hot tub or pool after October but definitely before April is one of my favorite things. Ever. As is getting that first dose of sunlight on my SPF slathered legs (I'm 32 and making up for many a tanned year in my teens and 20s) after a few months under an array of different styles of denim + the odd pair of tights.

You know what combines these things? Cactus league Spring Training. Just a short plane ride from Oakland, California to Phoenix, Arizona.

So ok, I know you're probably a little confused right now. And, to be fair, that's ok. This does seem pretty out of character from the usual seasonal style coverage and the flogging of my vintage wears. But, if you are willing to drop a couple of PTO days on baseball and like us, you only travel in style but on a budget, with the promise of a least one good hike, pool time + good food and drink. Play ball! Or, read on for a woman's guide to Spring Training.

Roll short distance travel into a day of activities: 
I booked us a ball buster of an early flight from OAK to PHX. The bonus of doing that? This totally Instagram worthy desert sunrise below thrown in for free! But seriously, using one fewer beloved and hard earned PTO day with this technique is not only practical but totally worth it. Losing a couple of hours of sleep is nothing a large coffee and even larger pair of sunglasses can't take care of anyway. 

Ditch the soulless, over priced chain hotels + motels:
My boyfriend and I took the motel route a few years ago and regretted it, it didn't even save us money. So this time around I sourced a killer Adobe style single family home on Airbnb, which turned out be more economically friendly and it had a gorgeous pool + hot tub, established landscaping (read: huge Saguaro cacti everywhere) and was situated in a quiet neighborhood surrounded in nature vs. the cinderblock wasteland of the built up Phoenix area. WIN.

Take a breather:
Yep, the whole point of this trip is baseball. But, gone are the days where I can go from commitment to commitment for days on end without a little restorative R+R. Especially when I'm on vacation and within a stones throw of a pool, damnit! Our "baseball day off" was spent checking out the well manicured Pinnacle Peak trail as well as the more secluded, rustic trails of Brown's Ranch where we spotted a Javelina before heading home to enjoy the sun setting from the hot tub, see below. However, you can use your off day however you damn please. It is yours after all! Just make sure to get a day where you're "off schedule", it does wonders for the relaxation levels.

Moisturize and hydrate:
Within a couple of hours of being in the desert, I pretty much become part reptile. A skin shedding, scaled reptile. Le Labo oils are the savior of ashy arms and legs while Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask is the only thing to restore glow after a day of reapplying typically drying and matifying sunscreen. Skin moisture levels aside, we are unabashed when it comes to our love of a good cocktail. And if you're anything like us, when we're on vacation, we are of course enjoying a couple more than your average day. So with that in mind - not to mention the fact you're in the freakin' desert - hydration is key. No, vital. We like to match each adult beverage with a glass of water, and there is no science there, just an attempt at being a sensible, grown up woman.

A girl's gotta eat: 
This may be a baseball trip, but we ain't gonna fill up on sodium filled, mystery meat hot dogs. May we recommend pre-game Chilaquiles from Habanero's in Scottsdale and getting an A+ steak and Martini dinner (this is vacation, don't freak. Green juice will be back in the rotation on Monday) at Durant's after a day of baseball and sunshine. 

With a little planning and a woman's touch, Spring Training doesn't have to be just a boys weekend. Happy travels!