Monday, September 15, 2014

A Day Trip to Dreamy Santa Barbara.

One Saturday this summer Jordan and I took off on a spontaneous road trip to Santa Barbara, just a couple hours north of LA. We started with a visit to the Santa Barbara Mission, established in the 1700s and full of old Spanish California charm.

For lunch, we visited Cold Spring Tavern, housed in an 1860s stagecoach stop in the hills above the city. I've heard about this place for years, and it was well worth the windy, narrow drive.

Next we visited City Hall, mostly to climb to the top of its tower for the stunning views of the city and ocean.

^Blankets set up for an outdoor movie behind City Hall.

^Bringing twirling back if it's the last thing I do.

After City Hall, it was off to the tire shop for a new tire (we picked up a nail somewhere along the way), and a stop for the city's famous McConnell's ice cream and the most giant double scoop I've ever been served, and then back down the Pacific Coast Highway to LA!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Exploring LA: Broadway and books.

LA doesn't always exactly give off a historic vibe, but we *do* have Hollywood history. With that come the massive, decorative movie theaters from the old Hollywood days, when studios built theaters to show their own films. My good friend Mayreen invited us to see Back to the Future at the the old United Artists theater at the Ace Hotel on Broadway, which has been beautifully restored and fully modernized. My pictures don't do it justice because of the dim lighting, but everything from the lobby to the bathroom to, of course, the theater itself is covered in elaborate carved details. It all felt very glamorous, hearkening back to the days when people actually dressed up to go see a show (clearly I was born in the wrong decade). While the theater no longer shows current films, it does still show classics every now and then, allowing us to see Marty McFly on the big screen.

^Us with Mayreen's sweet daughters, Kate and Becca, whom I used to babysit a decade ago. They seem so old to me now! Becca is now almost a foot taller than I and knows who Banksy is, so, yeah, times have changed.

^They brought back the real DeLorean for the event! PS Neither of us had seen Back to the Future since we were kids, and it was hilarious to watch as adults because we actually caught all the jokes this time. Do yourself a favor and rewatch it--you'll thank me.

Thanks for the invite, Mayreen!!


In further downtown explorations, Jordan and I visited The Last Bookstore. This place was my kind of heaven, especially the top floor, the Labyrinth, a maze of 100,000+ used books. A few photos (again with the dim lighting and camera not doing it justice thing):

^Color-coded shelves, definitely a page out of my book (#punny).

^A tunnel of books! An actual tunnel MADE OF BOOKS!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Au revoir, grocery store flower arrangements!

Really the point of this post is to document that for ONCE in my life I did not just buy a couple bouquets of grocery store roses, trim the stems, plop them into a vase, and call it a day. Here, in all of its glorious beauty, is my first, actual flower arrangement, created at the DesignLoveFest flower arranging workshop in downtown LA. I made that. I made that!! With the exception of the brown fuzzy tentacle at 11:00, I think it's pretty perfect.


Thanks to Bri, whose blog I have adored since college and who has a similar outlook toward doing her hair as I do (i.e. rarely), for hosting the workshop, and Kristen for leading the workshop and showing us her jedi ways of flower arranging!

Exploring LA: Abbot Kinney (and a tour of Honest Co.!)

Venice is another area of LA that I've only dipped my toe into, primarily in the form of buying stupid t-shirts on the Venice boardwalk in high school. Just a few blocks inland from the beach, it turns out, is where I really should have been shopping all along. Abbot Kinney Boulevard, dubbed by GQ "the coolest block in America," has such a fantastic collection of boutiques--clothing, antiques, home goods--that it took me almost three hours just to make my way down five blocks. Any street that has a store where I can buy a sweater emblazoned with both parrots and kittens is a street for me.

^For anyone with an addiction to cake stands (guilty), Bountiful is the store for you--literally stacks and stacks of 'em reaching to the ceiling.

That same day, I was also able to take a little tour of Honest Co.'s headquarters in Santa Monica. It was basically what I imagined it would look like--cutely designed product literally everywhere, a play area for children (of all ages), inspiring quotes painted on the walls and stairs, and Jessica Alba welcoming me in with freshly-made organic/vegan/soy/lactose-free/sugar-free chocolate chip cookies. Okay, fine, made that part up--no sighting of Honest Co.'s founder, tragically, but plenty of cute hipstery employees buzzing around! A few photos:

^#DiaperDecor--it's all the rage.

Anyway, I likely would have appreciated the tour even more if I were a mother, since the company is largely devoted to creating eco-friendly, healthy products for little ones, but it was still such an inspiring space and atmosphere. And the truth comes out...the real reason I went was to hopefully get a chance to speak with a woman there named Ashley King, whose career I covet, covet, covet. I didn't manage to catch her, unfortch, but if you're out there, Ashley, you have a fan!

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