If you haven’t noticed, I have a bit of a shoe obsession. It’s actually become a bit of a joke that rather than a travel blog, I have a shoe blog since I feature them so much. But I know you—you love shoes as much as I do! And let’s be honest, when you’re walking around a city, designer heels aren’t going to cut it—sorry, Carrie Bradshaw. From sneakers to boots to espadrilles and sandals, here is my Memorial Day shoe sale edit and the looks I’m coveting for my carry-on.
A little note, the Joie Slip On Sneakers pictured in the feature image run small, so go a 1/2 size up.
Right in the heart of Solvang, arguably a cheesy Danish town thirty miles north of Santa Barbara, lies The Landsby hotel—a paradox of elegance and sophistication, a modern Nordic breath of fresh air. I have always preferred Santa Ynez Wine Country over Napa—less crowded, and a shorter drive from LA—but it has been severly lacking in great hotel options. Not only is The Landsby where you want to stay while visiting the area, but it is a reason alone to travel there. It is my next Stylish Stay, and in short—I’m in love.
Last weekend we attended a dear friend’s wedding in Santa Ynez Wine Country. The wedding festivities were private—meaning the bride and groom requested no photos or social media to ensure that guests remained present for their big day. While I so desperately wanted to snap a shot of the insanely spectacular venue that looked like something out of the English countryside, I did have to admit it was nice to hang out with friends who weren’t distracted by their phone. I also chose this occasion to splurge on a lace dress by Self-Portrait, a brand that I have coveted for so long. From their beautiful blouses to their one-of-a-kind dresses, to me, nothing comes close to the craftsmanship and stunning lace detail that has become their signature. A little tip—The Outnet and The Real Real carry Self-Portrait, so check those sites frequently for deals.
We spent this past weekend in Solvang, California, which is a Danish village right in the heart of Santa Ynez Wine Country. Our hotel was Modern Scandinavian in design, and I cannot wait to share the photos with you this Thursday—it’s my next Stylish Stay!
I first fell in love with Nordic design from my Swedish friend Ulrica Wihlborg, who spent years in Los Angeles before moving back to a small coastal town in the south of Sweden called Karlshamn about two hours east of Copenhagen. She has the most incredible eye for design, and both her home and her yoga studio make me want to pack my bags and move in for the summer season. I love the simple elegance and light tones. I love the merging of clean lines with cozy cushions. I love the laidback California vibe she incorporates into her new life—a bit like a promise that we haven’t been forgotten. Don’t you breathe a little easier just looking at these photos?
This is your daily moment of Zen.
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.