Highlights

Happy Good Friday and a good Friday it will be.

After a rather hectic week of “fighting the man” in various areas of my life, I’m so looking forward to the next three days off to recharge. I’m the kind of person that will fight when things need to get done and I won’t let it go until it is (I don’t care if it’s over a dollar – it’s the¬†principle!). While I always try to retain a level of diplomacy and politeness – I have no problem calling, emailing, stalking, and generally speaking my mind when something needs to be addressed. One of my pet peeves in life is when another’s personality is quite opposite to this and they’re not being responsive. I like people who get *crap* done! (I really wanted to use the other word, but want to keep things PG here). ūüôā

As clich√© as this statement has become, I’m a spiritual rather than religious person. Easter as a young child usually involved a huge¬†Easter¬†basket and a special homemade dinner where preparations started¬†earlier¬†in the day. I also recall watching parts of ¬†“The Ten Commandments”¬†on afternoon TV – not fully understanding what the heck I was watching because it was so long and they “spoke funny.”

Sadly, as an adult, I don’t have a ritual for this weekend, but totally respect those who do. It’s always nice to take time out to celebrate and reflect on what you believe in. If I had a choice, perhaps I would tackle watching “The Ten Commandments” again (with the subtitles on for clarity) after a¬†leisurely¬†Easter Brunch at Cafe Midi.

Have a great weekend and whatever your beliefs, I think this is a good time, as ever, to reflect on them.

My¬†week’s highlights as we bid goodbye to March…


TREAT| gelato

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{Indulging in a few bites of my guy’s gelato. You get the treat without the guilt!}


EAT| cafe midi

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{Finally, I had brunch at Cafe Midi – it’s¬†my favorite new place.}


SPRING| flowers

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{My first floral purchase for Spring  // The Spring Project is now underway.}


SHOP|¬†farmer’s¬†market

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{I’ve been on a serious farmer’s market kick lately. I enjoy starting out my Sunday mornings¬†visiting¬†a local farmer’s market and stocking up on fresh produce for the week.}

(This week: Studio City.}


EAT| lunch

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{I was so proud of my homemade lunch concoctions this¬†week (lots of salads),¬†thanks to my farmer’s market visit.}


SHOES| sandals

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{So my Audrey Brooke Wedges were too narrow for my feet (the risks of online shopping).  I went in-store to exchange them for these adorable Unisa Lenni Glitter Sandals.}


DVD| zero dark thirty

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{A sweet gift for my DVD collection from the BF and one of my favorite movies of 2012.}



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|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

I‘m¬†a firm believer in spring cleaning. Being that I’m very slightly O.C.D., I’m more the type to try (and sometimes fail) to keep up on this throughout the year because I¬†absolutely, with a passion, hate (HATE) clutter. This season, I’m committed to really doing a hardcore spring cleaning cycle. I have clothes in my closet that I need to part with for your typical reasons. Jewelry in my¬†jewelry¬†box that I bought at Forever 21 years ago that now looks like it’s from Forever 21 (cheap). And of course, there’s a storage closet and old paperwork that could use a good sift through. I‘m by no means a pack rat. I‘ve even been told that for a grown woman I don’t have much stuff, which is how I prefer to keep it during my younger years. It means I can pick-up and move with the flow of life or to Europe at any time. Either way, we can all use a good purge. It not only feels amazing when you let go, but makes room for what the new season brings. One week until Spring!


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


|| How to rock the statement necklace. ||


|| Steve Madden Rise Wedges in mint. ||

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|| Ice Cream Lab // The new liquid nitrogen futuristic ice cream parlor opening this Friday in the 90210 // Read more here. ||

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|| Decadent tree houses. ||

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|| Gratitude. ||

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|| D.I.Y. – From picture frame to table tray // Read more here. ||

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|| Lavender maxi dresses. ||

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|| Peanut butter, strawberries, bananas and granola wrap // Healthy options on the go // Recipe here. ||

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AXE Restaurant

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Location: 1009 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice

Abbot Kinney is one of my favorite boulevards in all of Los Angeles. A short strip of quaint clothing shops, home decor boutiques, stationary stores, restaurants, bars, and cafes; fused together by a much more laid back L.A. vibe – thanks to the pacific ocean just 1 mile away.

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Near the tail end of the boulevard, I recently spent a Sunday afternoon with 9 of my friends to celebrate a birthday at AXE (pronounced¬†“ńÉ ‚ÄĘ shay” I later learned). The menu is all about clean eating; using fresh, local, organic ingredients. The dining space promotes simplicity with a salute to earthiness. I have to give it to them when it comes to their intention with the design of the space and thoughtfulness in developing the menu, read more here.

For brunch, I went with the 9 grain pancake and a side of the crispy potatoes. One of the girls brought a bottle of champagne to share with the table to toast. Talk about Sunday Funday! I can’t think of anything more awesome than champagne and pancakes on a Sunday afternoon.

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{Hello champagne.}

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{9 grain pancake.}

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{Crispy potatoes.}

Pros: Great atmosphere, awesome location, organic food, surprisingly not too pricey.

Cons: Took forever to seat our group¬†despite¬†our reservation (after waiting 30 minutes I went in and complained – lo and behold our table was ready); I was happy with my dish but the food wasn’t anything super special; service was slow, and the wait staff was pretty¬†nonchalant and unwelcoming, with no sense of urgency at all, it took forever to get our food.

Overall: I enjoyed (as always) adding a new “been there, done that” to my LA restaurant list, but due to the vibe from the wait staff and food that was just okay it’s not someplace that I feel the need to ever return to. Especially, when my favorite place, Jin Patisserie, is a 5 minute walk down the boulevard.¬†AXE really needs to work on service and their unwelcoming attitude. Oh, and I can’t¬†believe¬†a place like this would give a table of 9 a hand-written bill that was hard to read. I’m all for being more earthy, but get a machine to tally receipts. It’s 2012!

American Rag Cie

Location: 150 South La Brea Avenue, Mid-City

American Rag. This place is bittersweet for me. On the one hand, I love the idea of killing some time sifting through vintage clothes looking for that perfect one of a kind piece that I can throw on and say, “look what I found!”

Unfortunately, the handful of times I’ve been to American Rag I usually kill some time sifting through the clothes thinking, “I can’t afford this crap!”

Don’t get me wrong, I admitted it’s a love hate relationship with this shop. The place screams “trendy” just in the clientele that’s perusing the aisles next to you. It’s pretty clear that stylists from all over town are looking for special outfits for that next photo or film shoot; while you’re¬†simply¬†looking for something that you like, can afford, and actually fits. If your wallet doesn’t quite expand so far as to justify spending $100 for a shirt, the best times to visit this place seems to be when things go on sale. What fun it is to try on sweaters during the hot sticky summer days to save 30% on something you can’t wear for another three months anyway.

Unfortunately, a notorious reputation looms over American Rag¬†(and I share a somewhat similar¬†distaste) with some of their staffing choices. At times, it’s been great, no problems.¬†Hooray! Other times, that LA hipster vibe is alive and well. I recall buying a belt once and the guy at the register acting like he was doing me a favor because I was shopping in the almighty American Rag and got to leave with something.

As with any vintage shopping trip, the key is just to decide to head in and look around but for not anything specific. You might find something that appeals to your fancy, you might not. My experience has been the latter here and it has much more to do with the over-pricing versus the selection.

I have consistently better experiences when I wander next door to the connecting Maison Midi boutique. Still expensive, but ultra-cool to take a peek in if you’re looking for something on the home front. Awesome perk? Seeing huge plates of food walk past you from their in-house cafe. I’ve never eaten at¬†the¬†Midi Cafe, but not to worry, it’s on my bucket list and you’ll be the first to know when it happens. Stay tuned.

As for American Rag, take this place and its hype with a grain of salt. It can be a great experience or not. Either way, you’ve been warned.

Highlights: The Weekend

It was a complicated couple of days for me this weekend. Suffice to say I went through a myriad of emotions, for a myriad of reasons. (I think the ladies can understand this feeling every once in a while :)).  As the weather decided to be a bit kinder this weekend, so did my take on everything that was happening around me and within me. I managed to keep an eye on the sunshine! Here are a few highlights that brought many smiles to my face:

{FILM}.
Movie marathon on Sunday. Instant mood booster. We even covered three genres. Sometimes you just need a completely lazy day in bed watching movies.

{FOOD}.
The simplicity of grabbing my two favorites from Starbucks: an iced grande, soy, toffee nut latte & a cranberry orange scone.

My sweet boyfriend bringing a big bag of my favorite candy (don’t judge!)

{FUN}.
They say money¬†doesn’t¬†buy you happiness. In¬†this¬†case, I beg to differ and tend to do so when it comes to flowers. $5.00 well spent!

Breakfast in Bed

What makes me feel like I’ve finally arrived into adulthood? It’s not the college degree that I’ll be paying for until I die. It’s not even the fact that I get up every morning, get dressed (in something fabulous!) and drive to work. It’s those times when you realize you can do those odd-ball things you like to do simply because you want to and you can. You don’t have to run it by anyone, ask your mom, or justify yourself. The situation is completely within your power. In essence, it’s the liberation from that power.

Recently,¬†I was home one afternoon craving breakfast and some R&R after having¬†spent¬†the morning running errands around town in 100 degree weather. I sat, looked at the clock, thought about making something more appropriately lunch-like, and thought to myself, “why not?”

I promptly got up and made myself some bacon, eggs and french toast. Okay, I just reheated the french toast you buy from the frozen section at Trader Joe’s (these are delish by the way and it does still count as cooking!). I poured myself a glass of orange juice, pulled out my breakfast tray and set it up in bed. I turned on a DVD and for the next two full hours played the adult card, savoring every minute of it. It was a small pleasure but the older I get, the more I really appreciate these moments. Since everyday cannot be about big events and large-scale happenings, it’s these moments that add up to bring more smiles, happiness, and glitter to my life.

Urth Caff√© on a Saturday

Location: 8565 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood

I’m one of those people who doesn’t mind being alone. Don’t get me wrong, I can be quite the social butterfly when I want to be, but I do like my own company where I can just be. I frequent movies by myself, love to window shop solo so that I can go at my own pace without feeling like I’m dragging anyone around, and sometimes I’ll even take a book and sit at a restaurant.

Over the weekend, I took advantage of a little stag time and headed over to Urth Caffé in West Hollywood. I grabbed (or rather fought) for a seat outside to enjoy the gorgeous day and ordered myself a delicious and well-presented Spinach & Mushroom Quiche (proof below).

Major Pro: You pay before your meal is served. No fighting/terse conversations over who spent more or threw $15 on the table when they clearly don’t understand the concept of tax and tip in addition to the cost of the meal when the check comes. (Ugh. These people are so annoying by the way). Also, they serve their own organic coffee for all you pesticide conscious nuts out there!

Major Con: This place can get crowded and beware that the venue isn’t very large so the tables are pretty close together. I can almost tell you the entire conversation of two aspiring actresses sitting next to me, and trust me it was as cliché as it can get. So keep this in mind if you’re into a more private dining experience and don’t want to whisper over your lunch. As such, I’d strongly advise against meeting an ex here to have that deep closure conversation to your relationship.

Overall, definitely a great place to come solo to grab lunch or a latte; or to meet up with a friend in a casual, yet trendy atmosphere. The Hollyood Tour bus even drives by with tourists snapping pictures of you while you’re mid-chew, making all who sit there a bit more confident in their choice of eatery.