3 Practical Summer Totes

9 Aug

We’re approaching the dog days of summer, but there’s still time to squeeze in another road trip or three. For every other season, I love a good luxe handbag. Clutches, crossbodies, hobos, shoulder bags… I’m flexible! For summer though, I’m all about a big tote or straw bag. Something you can pile everything in, throw over your shoulder, and basically stick in the sand without care.

This summer, I’ve been primarily switching off between a few practical styles.

FOR PLAY…

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I’ve taken the Carmen Sol Angelica Jelly tote with me on picnics, to the beach, to Palm Springs, and to Ojai. It still looks brand new – and has kept its rose scent. All the Carmen Sol accessories (adorable sandals!) are water-resistant, smell like faint roses, and are made in Italy. The baby yellow color makes me happy + I get stopped a lot by people asking where they can get one, too. Here’s WHERE.

FOR WORK…

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For all of my work gear, I’ve been using a huge vegan leather toe by Be Brilliant Bags. First I’ll go on record and say that I’ve yet to find a vegan leather bag that goes the distance. My last favorite work bag was from Working Cute. It even had wheels. It was the perfect carry-on. And it lasted a year before starting to flake all over my shoulder and hands. RIP Working Cute bag. And company.

It hasn’t been a year, but my Be Brilliant bag has traveled well so far with a laptop, iPad, multiple cords, notebooks, shoes, makeup bags, and more. The inside is lined with moisture-wicking neoprene. Think: wetsuit material. It also has a special removable compartment to carry wet stuff. Awesome for a bathing suit, post-swim. I remain hopeful on its lifespan. Shop HERE.

FOR WHATEVER…

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I love traveling with an extra bag on hand. I keep this perfect cotton canvas tote folded up in my purse to use for things I pick up along the way on a road trip, or carrying hiking shoes, bottles of wine, and shopping local farmer’s markets. The brand is known more for its letterpress stationary, but Sky of Blue Cards carries adorable gifts, too. Shop HERE.

And John Muir had it right… When the mountains do call, I’m outta here.

xo

 

 

 

 

What’s an Angel Shot?

22 Jul

I’m probably late to the party here, but it can’t hurt to overspread the word. Consider this a public service announcement for all the single ladies. If you’re dating online, or just good ol’ fashioned dating, odds are you’ve been in an uncomfortable situation at least once.

Hopefully this messaging will find its way into every women’s bathroom in the city – and beyond. The sign below has all the details, but the gist is to order an Angel Shot if you’re on a date and need some assistance. An Angel Shot isn’t an actual drink, but a signal to the bartender that you need his/her help.

Whether you need an Uber or the police, or even if you sense someone else might be in trouble – this is a system worth trying to implement.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need an Angel Shot. But city life isn’t perfect and we’ve gotta take the good with the… assholes.

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xo

Girl Heads North: Carmel Road trip

17 Jul
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Hyatt Regency Monterey

This one’s kind of a two-parter, as I made two stops on a recent road trip up north.

First I met a fellow group of writers up at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. I’ve never stayed in this area before. It’s inland a bit so there aren’t any immediate ocean views, but the hotel golf course provides a peaceful backdrop. And the course is beautiful. To me, most are – but the trees here give it an extra oomph of serenity. Truly the best part of this hotel is the staff. From the front desk to the wait staff, everyone goes above and beyond to ensure your satisfaction.

They made sure we took a field trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. A treat for any sea life lover – and just minutes away. Honestly, I could sit and mediate on the jelly fish tanks all day long. They’re mesmerizing.

We were also introduced to a local artist – Patricia Qualls. We had lunch at her airy studio in Carmel Valley and learned about the inspiration behind her work. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend stopping by. Her pieces are exquisite, and she is about as warm and lovely as a human gets.

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Back at the Hyatt, the food is surprisingly good. I enjoyed every bite during my stay. And I took a lot of them! Especially dinner. Everything, down to the salads is prepared with taste and aesthetic in mind. Like most restaurants in the area, it’s a farm-to-table feast. Very family friendly. Even the honey is locally sourced. Originally created by a 10-yr old boy for a school project, Carmel Honey Company is now a burgeoning business.

The hotel rooms could use some updating. And some style. They’re average at best. I’ll leave it at that.

It’s a big property so there’s parking available in front of each building. Very convenient. As much as I adore valet, there’s something to be said for being able to come and go without having to call for your car or wait in line.

 

My next stop took me back toward the coast to another Hyatt property. It’s a spot I’d been once before, and will always look forward to returning.

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Hyatt Carmel Highlands view

 

As I sit here overlooking the great Pacific, silently reveling in my Rosé and Brussels sprouts appetizer, I am filled with an awestruck appreciation for this 100-year-old hotel. It’s perfection. The Hyatt Carmel Highlands is like so many beautiful women we know – aged, elegant, resilient, and always evolving… if you pay close enough attention.

Celebrating her centennial birthday this year, she is still as relevant and adored as ever. Her vaulted ceilings, stone columns, and windowed walls are truly timeless. But the deck has been updated since my last visit – and it’s been acquired by the Hyatt. There’s new sparkling glass with modern tables to take in the sunset. And I hear other dining room upgrades are in the works. Something to look forward to for my next trip.

Some of The Highlands’ rooms are mid-renovation. But I’m in a townhouse-style room and it couldn’t be more comfortable. All the kitchen necessities of home, but with a modern fireplace and out-of-this-world tub.

Perched atop these cliffs and cypress trees with the waves crashing and foaming below, it’s easy to forget about everything else. But somewhere in between all the letting go-ness, unexpected new perspectives and realizations are woven.

Life makes sense. We are where we should be. And wherever that is, we have ourselves to thank.

This week I did good.

xo

 

Beauty On-the-Go in Los Angeles

22 Jun

I’ve recently been introduced to a few places in LA that I’m excited to share with you. Whether by design or not, they all cater to customers on-the-go. Meaning it’s not a whole day thing just to get your roots done.

Because sometimes you want a day of lux pampering… and sometimes you just want to get in and out.

 

Get radiant skin at The Hall Center

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Stephanie Snowden, N.P. | The Wall Center

We’ve heard a lot about Microneedling lately, and the truth is – it’s worth trying. The treatment is basically a collagen induction therapy used for improving firmness, pore size, sun damage, melasma, wrinkles, and more.

It’s done by Stephanie Snowden, N.P. at The Hall Center of integrative medicine in Santa Monica. She uses an electronic device called the MicroPen Elite to create hundreds of “tiny pinholes in the top layer” of your skin. This isn’t surgery or an invasive procedure. In fact, you can do it on your lunch hour! Just expect some redness.

 

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In Stephanie Snowden’s chair

Stephanie uses Platelet Rich Plasma (your own blood!) to speed up the process of your skin healing itself. She’ll talk you through every step, offer you numbing cream (accept it!), and tell you as much or little as you want to know. She’s awesome.

Read about Microneedling benefits here.

Call 310.566.6688 to make an appointment.

 

 

 

Get late-night color at the Brighton Salon

Smack in the middle of the Beverly Hills triangle is Brighton Salon. Not your typical BH experience, this is more of a barber shop-salon hybrid. It’s a relaxed vibe. They’re welcoming. The receptionist is on top of her stuff.

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Brighton Salon

Pro(s): They have extended hours every Tuesday and Thursday: Open until midnight! No other salon in the area does this.

Con(s): Clients don’t look apologetic when they’re screaming on their cells, and your stylist might answer his phone mid-blowout.

Brighton Salon offers blowouts, cuts, styling, waxing & threading, hair color (organic avail), nail services, and hair extensions (tape, bonding, sew-ins).

Need color? You’re in good hands with Walid.

Call 310.247.2221 to make an appointment.

 

 

Get a spa-quality massage at The Now

Last time I got a massage after reading a “1-HR $40 First Timers” sandwich board, I vowed never to do it again. She basically played patty cake on my back for an hour while sipping soup. And when it came time to turn over, I noticed the door was left wide open the whole time. WTF? Heads up to anyone else who sees that enticing sign next to the Larchmont Farmer’s Market.

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The Now | Studio City

Since then, I’ve opted for hotel and spa massages. Always wonderful, though not very purse-friendly on a regular basis.But a few weeks ago, I was invited to The Now. Problem solved! Walk in anytime, no appointment necessary. Choose from experiences like The Energy (energy balancing), The Stretch (sports massage), The Glow (pregnancy massage), and more. You can get a professional massage for a reasonable price in a totally zen environment, with no soup in sight.

Learn more at thenowmassage.com.

 

 

xo

 

 

 

Father’s Day Grooming Gifts

13 Jun

There are more options than ever to find good skincare for men. In Los Angeles, we even have grooming bars and salons sprinkled throughout the city. As Dad’s Day is coming up this weekend, these are some of the coolest brands for protecting and preserving male complexions.

image006Kiehl’s has always offered skincare for men, but they’ve recently evolved the line to include 6 new Grooming Solutions products for every unique facial need. Beards included! Shop online HERE to choose which products will work best for Dad.

NOTE TO ANGELENOS: Next Thursday, June 22nd, Kiehl’s will be opening in Westfield Century City. Customers will receive a complimentary full-sized Ultra Facial Cream with any purchase on opening day! 

HESA10.jpgDid you know It’s a 10 haircare has a special collection for men called He’s a 10? Despite the odd brand name, I use their products on the regular. Great for de-frizzing and smoothing! I hear the Men’s Miracle Pliable Paste is great.

Get 15% off He’s a 10 products through June 21st with the code: fathersday. Check out the collection HERE.

cc5a7be517cf259084c18e1aebee270fc9d5aab4Look into Harry’s for men’s shaving tools. It was created by one of the Warby Parker founders, and it’s basically a step up from the better-known DSC. Opt for a single set or sign up for a Harry’s plan HERE.

For other cool ideas, InStyle created a great list of their favorite Men’s Subscription boxes. Read it HERE.