Highlights

Laguna Beach_ ATG FINAL2{Laguna Beach, January 2015.}

2015 thus far has been kind to me. I’ve spent the last few weeks tackling little projects that I’d put off for far too long. It’s made all the difference, making the new year feel quite productive. Two big things I’ve crossed off my to-do list: de-cluttering/reorganizing my pantry, and finally backing-up all the data from a former laptop that gave out on me (over a year ago!).

That being said, I encourage you NOT to wait until your pantry gets so out of hand that you didn’t notice food that expired a year ago (yuck!) happily stored on your shelves. I would also encourage you to back-up your computer…regularly. Naturally, this is a pretty “duh!” statement. And yet, I didn’t. If you recall, my laptop of 7 fruitful years broke up with me in the Fall of 2013. Let’s just say that it took until January 2015, to finally haul ass to Fry’s to have them extract the data from it. I can now officially move forward from that relationship, the baggage from it (the kind you actually need) in hand.

Then there are those projects that I thought I’d channel my inner “D.I.Y. Martha Stewart” side that went totally awry, not making me feel the least bit productive. Case and point: I have an old-ish vase that currently holds a bamboo plant in my apartment that needed a little sprucing up. I won’t go into too much detail so as to not completely embarrass myself, but I thought the vase would look amazeballs in metallic gold. I was right. The color was/is gorgeous. However, I should’ve practiced my spray painting skills on something beside the actual vase first. I clearly used way too much paint, that effectively dripped liked crazy and dried as such. Needless to say, Martha Stewart would be extremely disappointed in me. I did everything but spruce the vase up.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a Highlights post and there have been quite a few memorable happenings since we last caught up. Three of which definitely deserve a shout-out:

  1. I finally made it to the Hollywood Costume Exhibition in the old May Co. Building on Wilshire (the same place that hosted the DVF show last year). Movie costumes galore! It couldn’t have been a better way to spend New Year’s Day.
  2. I struck gold when I came upon a new spot for my caffeine fix, that will undoubtedly double as my go-to brunch spot in the Valley, Sweet Butter. As trivial as this “highlight” likely sounds, yes, it makes me giddy. Extremely.
  3. It was my boyfriend and I’s 4-year anniversary last weekend, which found us hanging out in Laguna Beach on a day so perfect it was insane. I highly recommend Nick’s if you ever find yourself hungry in the O.C.

Full posts to come fleshing out both the costume exhibit and Sweet Butter in the coming weeks on the blog. As you know, it’s my happiness in life to explore new places, try new things…and then give my two cents.

Another weekend is upon us. I hope yours is just fabulous.

See you next week! x

Blog Signature Official_FINAL


Stay in Touch: Facebook Twitter Bloglovin

Advertisements

What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

Blend{Click image to enlarge.}

I know some people don’t like to fall into the trap of or even believe in New Year’s resolutions; but I’ve always liked the idea of working toward goals. And yet, I haven’t taken the time to sit down and formally write my list of resolutions for 2015. I can’t say that I will at this point either.

Admittedly, I meant to do this over my holiday vacation, but other things got in the way. Rather than beat myself up about it, I came up with a very simple idea for how I wanted to approach 2015 in such a way that negated the need to write this long list of things that I would likely never get to because…you got it…life got in the way. Instead, I simply told myself that I wanted to have something to look forward to every day. I think this is a much more realistic and manageable way to deal with life at the moment. The great news is that it doesn’t have to be anything big. In fact, it will likely be the small things most days: a latte from my favorite café, heading home to binge watch Girls (my current obsession), meeting a friend for lunch, or curling up with a good book and my favorite candle burning nearby (see #3 below).

I haven’t sworn off New Year’s resolutions entirely – but I’m giving it a break this year. I will share that there is one main area of my life that I am aiming to make a big change at this year, that will require some thought and course of action; but really, I just want to spend more time being present, enjoying the little things.

As such, I’m lovin’ things that embrace small pleasures, things that aid in my goal to have something to look forward to each day. Below you’ll find a few ideas that I have in mind – be it the perfect bath after a long day (#7); a DIY project to sink my teeth into (#6); trying a new, healthier recipe (#8); planning a date night with my guy (#2); or treating myself to a little bling (#9). There’s always something to look forward to, and for once, I want to take it day by day.

Here’s to small pleasures and that one big change in 2015. I’ll keep you posted on how things come along. Here’s…

Blend 3

 1. A fresh take on why we’ve got “happiness” backwards. | Enlarge to See Full Quote.

2. Where to go when you need a date night. | The 13 Best Date Spots in LA.

3.  The best smell in my apartment as I type this. | Bella’s “Midnight Orchid” Soy Candle.

4.  In case you thought you were doing everything right on the skin front. |  20 Skincare Mistakes That Are Damaging Your Face.

5. A quick reminder of your birth-given power. | 7 Things You Don’t Know About the Power You’ve Always Had.

6. Inspiration for what to do with all those damn coffee mugs taking up unnecessary cabinet space. | DIY Pallet Coffee Cup Holder.

7.  Everything you need to turn into a prune from the comfort of your own home. | Crafting the Perfect Bath at Home.

8. What to do when you perpetually have avocados and tomatoes ripening faster than you can eat them. | Avocado Quesadillas.

9. Feeding your minimalist jewelry binge. | Bar Drop Necklace.

10. Because winter reeks havoc on your skin…and it won’t win.  | Eau Roma Water (a personal favorite at the moment).

Blog Signature Official_FINAL


Stay in Touch: Facebook Twitter Bloglovin

Highlights

Road Trip Home ATG FINAL{California, through a car window.}

It occurred to me just as I sat down to write this, that though I’ve had the pleasure of technically being on vacation for just over a week now, it feels as if it officially starts right this moment. Christmas has come and gone, along with all the craze (but fun!) that comes with it; the road trip to and from Santa Cruz is behind me; my gifts are safely stored in their new homes; my laundry is done; my fridge is stocked; a new book is on my Kindle ready to be devoured; I just put on a pot of coconut vanilla tea (my current obsession); and my mind is slowing. In other words, I can physically feel myself relaxing some – finally!

I suspect that while I adore the time spent looking out a car window at the many facets of California for 6 straight hours, spending time with my boyfriend’s family for Christmas, then taking a day trip into San Francisco, it’s hard to truly decompress when you’re not in your own surroundings. At least, it is for me. Though I always love travel, a change of scenery, a hiatus from the day-to-day, I always seem to miss home. I’m happy to be back in La-La-Land!

I smile often as I look back over this first week of my vacation and Christmas Day. “Santa” was extremely kind this year and I’m happy to have gotten to spend some time getting to know my boyfriend’s family more. Yet, I’m reminded about why one must be careful over the holidays. It’s easy to get caught up in the “stuff” and forget that all the build-up, while delightful, can often lead to a sense of….what’s the right word? Disappointment? Sadness? People spend weeks and weeks gearing up for one day. I’ve often heard that once the gifts are opened, you’ve gained a few pounds thanks to the amount of food readily available, and your loved ones head home and back to their lives, there’s a bit of a deflation in spirit the day after, which is understandable.

Perhaps it’s because I knew I was coming home to 2 more weeks of restfulness, doing nothing, tackling little projects around the house, thinking about my goals for 2015, and spending time with friends and family in-between, I wasn’t completely deflated in spirit, but looking forward to why I took an extended holiday this year: a chance to recharge after an exhausting 2014. And that’s exactly what I intend to do…

…but not before sharing the highlights of life lately! x

Packed for XMAS Vacation ATG FINAL

{road trip ready.}

Blogging in Hotel ATG FINAL

{A little Christmas Eve blogging from our hotel room.}

Ipod Nano Xmas 2014 ATG FINAL

{You guys – Santa gave me the gift of music this year! I’ve been DYING without my old nano since it broke up with me last summer and this made me SO happy! Those CDs that have been collecting in my car for half the year have met their match…once again.}

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream ATG FINAL

{A day in SF found me back at The Marketplace Ferry Building enjoying Humphry Slocombe’s Malted Milk Chocolate ice cream w/ hot fudge.}

{p.s. It was as good as it looks!}

Scarlet Mare Earrings ATG FINAL

{The gift of bling from Scarlet Mare Studio won’t go to waste.}

Blog Signature Official_FINAL


Stay in Touch: Facebook Twitter Bloglovin

Highlights

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree ATG FINAL 3{My little ‘Charlie Brown’ Christmas tree courtesy of my boyfriend. It makes me smile.}

Quite honestly, I don’t really have much more to say other than…

HAPPY 1st DAY OF VACATION TO ME!

I’ll leave it at that…and perhaps mention that I think I’ll take myself to a matinee to see Wild today, that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and here are a few other highlights from the week.

Have a nice weekend! x

Love Actually ATG FINAL 2

{It’s not officially Christmas-feeling until I’ve watched Love Actually. Done!}

Mixtape Stocking Stuffer ATG FINAL

{Putting together a little stocking stuffer for a friend.}

Christmas Cards ATG FINAL

{People don’t get enough handwritten notes in the mail. I decided to send Christmas cards this year.}

Substantial Coffee Quote ATG FINAL

{Stopping in for coffee at Zeli’s in Pasadena. If I ever needed an excuse to keep that coffee addiction alive…}

Blog Signature Official_FINAL


Stay in Touch: Facebook Twitter Bloglovin

Highlights

75854707_4558d71552_b

I don’t know about you, but right around this time is the beginning of what I think of as “end of the year burn-out.” It’s around the time where you might start to mentally check-out in certain areas of your life. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that the year is winding down, the holidays are gearing up, and people are just ready for a proper breather after 11 months of whatever life happened to throw at them. I’m grateful to be in a position where work pretty much shuts down for the holidays and since I’m not really one to take vacations or extended amounts of time off through-out the year, I tend to wait until the holiday break to tack on some additional vacation days to make it a lengthy one to really decompress.

And the great news is that I’m 4 DAYS away from 3 WEEKS of holiday vacation bliss!

Oh, the fun it will be. After a little road trip and a change of scenery to spend Christmas with my boyfriend’s awesome family (Hi Marilyn!) for a few days in Santa Cruz, it’ll turn into a much-needed LA staycation. I can already see myself sleeping in, making blueberry pancakes for breakfast on a random Tuesday morning, reading books, getting through my never-ending Netflix queue, taking naps (just because), and going to the gym or taking a dance class anytime I feel like it (which I hope will be at least one…or twice). I also foresee a lazy afternoon roaming around a museum to check out a new exhibit and spending a late morning in my favorite cafe working on my blog over french toast.

I’m also desperate to spend some uninterrupted time thinking about how I hope 2015 will shape-up. I realize the trap with New Year’s resolutions, but I can’t help but be excited by the whole “fresh start” aspect when a new year arrives. But, as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s still lots to wrap up before my 3 week break from life (as I’m calling it), but I’ll keep my eyes on the prize.

As I think back over this week, I have to say, it was a good one. A chilly Tuesday night found me at an advanced screening of Chris Rock’s new film, Top Five (a great laugh, but you can wait for Netflix if money is tight) and an even chillier Wednesday night at book club to discuss our December read, Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher (which you can skip). Is it okay to mention that the grilled cheese on sourdough that I ate over our discussion was probably the biggest highlight of the week? Man, sometimes a gal just needs a grilled cheese sandwich to get by. How did I forget this basic staple when needing a little pick me up?

A huge tropical storm is paying LA a visit as you read this, but should clear up on Saturday just in time for the remainder of the weekend. Given that mine broke up with me (for lack of use I’m sure), this would probably be a good time to buy a new umbrella. We might actually have a rainy winter ahead. It’s rained twice already this month…must be a record.

Naturally, the one Friday night I have plans, clear across town no-less, it’s raining cats and dogs, but should be fun. I’m headed to a holiday dinner party with my boyfriend tonight hoping to find similar ecstasy like that grilled cheese, but haven’t a clue what’s for dinner. Otherwise, the weekend will find me uncharacteristically anxious to get through it and then past the next 4 working days….so I can take a break from life. 🙂

Have a lovely weekend! And stay dry. x

Blog Signature Official_FINAL


Stay in Touch: Facebook Twitter Bloglovin

 Image credit: “Christmas Lights at Night” by Thomas Quine used under CC BY.

What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

As we make our way toward the climax of the holidays, I find myself drawn to find small and simple ways to incorporate the magic of the season: festive manicures, cozy scarves, and frequent sips of a warm beverage. It should be no surprise then, that I was more than thrilled to find inspiration on how to spice up all three of these areas, in particular. Below you’ll find a unique take on the classic french tip with a red and silver holiday twist; the perfect scarf to guide you through the colder months ahead; and my personal favorite, taking the epitome of the cozy weather beverage and adding a little something to take it to a whole new level. These goodies, along with a few others are making me smile big at the moment. Here’s…

Blend 3

1-Blend

 1. The best holiday mani inspiration I’ve seen so far. | Red and Silver French Tip Nails
2. A rustic approach to showcasing those jewels. | Jewelry Organizer
3.  Pretty in pink, year-round. | Tom Ford’s “Flamingo” Lipstick
4.  A unique and oh-so-chic way to keep those books upright.|  DwellStudio Gazelle Bookends
5. A quick approach to up the ante on bad hair days. | Runway Ready Low Ponytail
6. Fashionably bundled. | Holiday Plaid Scarf
7.  A hearty meal inside, during a chilly night outside. | Slow-Cooker Classic Beef Stew
8. Dressing up the windows to the soul with a flourish. | Bolded Eyes with Sparkle
9. Coffee to-go and in-style. | Pike Place Tumbler
10. A classic beverage made even better. | Lavender Hot Chocolate

Blog Signature Official_FINAL


Stay in Touch: Facebook Twitter Bloglovin

Highlights

The GROVE TREE ATG FINAL{Where Angelenos go for Christmas Cheer, The Grove, for the 100-foot tall tree and lights everywhere!}

December is off to a chaotic start to say the least, but luckily I’m only 2 weeks away from some much-needed downtime. It’s been helpful to lean on the holiday season to make my way through. Christmas music does wonders during chaos!

LA had its first real bout of rain in ages this week. It’s been so long since we’ve had this much rain, that I’d completely forgotten how much my hair doesn’t like it! I’m willing to be a trooper about it though…in the name of our drought situation. I enjoy the rain – especially when it happens to arrive on a day that I can stay home and curl up with my Kindle or my Netflix queue and a cup of tea (as opposed to having to deal with the eternal nightmare that the 405 becomes until the roads dry again). The caveat to all of this, is that whenever it rains for more than a few days, I can also feel myself emotionally changing. Aside from my hair not being a fan of the rain, I also forget how much my body thrives on Vitamin D. It’s a stern reminder that I’m a total SoCal gal. If I don’t get some sun after a couple of days, I can feel my mood take a complete nosedive. As such, it pretty much solidifies that I won’t survive many other places in the world with actual weather. I’m stuck here.

Unfortunately, the holidays have become a rough time of year for me as I’ve gotten older, but I do still try to channel as much of what makes this season special. Aside from Christmas music, it’s always helpful to head to The Grove to walk around marveling at how they transform a simple shopping center into a stunning holiday oasis (pictures don’t do the place justice). This was certainly a big highlight since we caught up last.

Another highlight had to be a rainy Tuesday night in North Hollywood. If you’re looking for a great film out right now, I saw Whiplash earlier this week with a girlfriend and it blew my mind away. It’s aptly titled, given that you literally feel like you have a case of “Whiplash” when you leave the theater after following Andrew’s harrowing musical journey. It’s one of the most intense films I’ve seen in a while that stays with you days later. It will certainly be in my top 10 films of the year. Bravo to everyone involved!

The weekend ahead will be low-key. I don’t have any plans as of writing time, and that’s a-okay with me.

Have a great weekend! x

Bo Nuage ATG FINAL

{Admiring the pastry case at Bo Nuage…}

Bo Nuage Red Velvet ATG FINAL

{…then indulging in their Red Velevet Meringue Cake. Yum!}

Whiplash ticket ATG FINAL

{It’s been 3 days and I still have “Whiplash.”}

Dalai lama Quote ATG FINAL{The writing on the wall (literally)…in a public bathroom. I loved these words.}

 

Blog Signature Official_FINAL


 Stay in Touch: Facebook Twitter Bloglovin