I went home last weekend for Mother’s Day, and on the plane ride, I read a charming little post called “On Going Home” over on one of my favorite blogs, Cup of Jo. It put me in the right frame of mind, and got me thinking about all the things I miss and don’t miss about home. Though I grew up in Albemarle, North Carolina, I think we North Carolinians really like to claim the whole state. This August will be my 18th anniversary of moving to LA, and though it’s become part of me now, I think all my Southern friends out here would agree—the South never really leaves you. And that’s a good thing.
Last Sunday we escaped to Venice for a change of scenery, and because I was craving pizza from Gjelina—the mixed mushroom will change your life! While many would argue Venice has become too gentrified, it’s still as colorful as ever with one of the most vibrant food scenes in LA. From the very popular Rose Cafe to Venice Beach Wines, there’s no shortage of cozy spots to grab a coffee or glass of wine and people watch. Pull up a chair, and let me pour you a little taste of the Westside.
Huntington Gardens, Pasadena
So I know I have written about my favorite place, Huntington Gardens before. But brace yourself—I have literally never seen it this spectacular in my life! First of all, the extensive renovation is in its final phase, though I had no idea until I looked online that it wasn’t complete. Phase one was the addition of the Chinese Garden that you will see pictured below, and phase two is a $24 million project that includes new pavilions, art gallery, boat pavilion, stage and courtyard and so much more. If that weren’t enough, all the rain we’ve had has made the roses this season something other worldly. To quote The Secret Garden, there were “curtains and fountains of roses.” This landmark is now world-class, and an absolute must-visit if you are in the LA area. I only wish my photos were scratch and sniff.
I used to think that I couldn’t wear hats—not realizing that the problem was that I needed a smaller size. Though I don’t feel cool enough to just casually throw one on around town, I love to bring one out for an occasion—you know like sitting by the pool. Or yachting in the South of France (a girl can dream!). Wherever you find yourself this summer, your going to want an accessory that provides both form and function—like this great straw one from Lack of Color. Shield that beautiful face of yours with these great styles, and let the adventure begin!
Whenever anyone asks me what neighborhood I love the most in LA, it is without question the neighborhood where I live and work—Hancock Park/Larchmont. As long as I call myself an Angeleno, I hope I never have to leave this side of town. Bordering Hollywood, Hancock Park, and Korea Town, historic Larchmont Village is within walking distance of my house and office, and is one of the most charming little streets in LA. While it’s grown tremendously in the last few years—gaining larger high-end brands like Diptique and Trina Turk—there are still great independent boutiques and a Farmers’ Market every Sunday morning. For any out-of-towners, put this on your list for a local experience, and scroll down to see my favorite spots to eat, drink + shop:
In warmer months, I live in espadrilles—so much so that I have to replace them every year. I love that they are comfortable, casual, and perfect for travel—but don’t scream American tourist if you’re traipsing around Europe. When I found these cheeky Soludos x Ashkahn Smoking Slippers, I had to have them. You can seriously wear them with anything. From stripes and animal prints (flamingos, anyone??) to lace-ups and wedges, you should definitely have a pair of espadrilles in your closet—and your carry-on. Here are some of the best styles that will take you through the summer season.
It is with so much excitement and great fanfare that I introduce to you my first official “Stylish Stay,” a new editorial showcasing my favorite stylish hotels mixed with fashion. Hotels in this category will have high standards of excellence in the following categories: attention to detail, service, design, and style.
It’s no secret that I have a thing for luxury boutique hotels—after all, my very first blog post nine years ago was on the luxury boutique hotel The Cranley in London quickly followed by the Duc du St. Simon in Paris. But it seemed only fitting that I begin this story in my own city of Los Angeles. So without further ado, I present the Culver Hotel, a very stylish stay.
My partner-in-crime Christi from Wanderpants and I check in.