Last Day in LA LA Land

At the beginning of June, I left Los Angeles and moved back to the East Coast. Here are some pictures from my last day in LA LA land. Thank you to all my friends who made my time in LA wonderful, and for the last hurrah.

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We headed to Venice after work, and went to Hotel Erwin‘s High Rooftop Lounge. We had heard that it was a great place to watch the sunset.

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The rooftop was a little crowded so we headed down to the beach to watch the sunset, and we saw some fun moves at the skate park.

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We started as interns together and now life has started to take us in different directions. But we will be friends no matter where we end up. Love you guys!

The Echo Park Craft Fair and Exotic Sausages

“Finally! A new post!” That’s what you’re thinking, right? My apologies for the delay, it’s been crazy these past couple of weeks with the whole move from the West Coast back to the East Coast. I have several posts in the works about the move, but for now here are some pictures from last month that have been waiting in my queue for awhile now.

Our group of friends went to the Echo Park Craft Fair last month. We were surprised to discover that the craft fair is not actually in Echo Park, but right next to my favorite LA pie shop downtown.

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Beautiful leather purses and cool earrings caught my eye….until I asked about the prices! I’m used to cheap craft fairs where you could walk out with an arm full of items for a couple of bucks. But be forewarned, “LA Craft Fair” is synonymous with some serious change! None of us ended up buying anything, but it was fun to look around.

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Flavored ice stand and cute picnic tables.

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The side of a building across the street.

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My friend Gabby had just moved to LA the weekend of the craft fair. So Mai Tai, Grumpy Cat, Madd Dogg, and myself welcomed her with this sightseeing outing.

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Poketo, an eclectic and fun store. It would be a great spot to visit when looking for gifts for friends.

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We stumbled across a cool, empty art gallery a couple of streets over. The art exhibit was inspired by and dedicated to all things mustaches. This gallery was a hidden gem where we cooled off from the heat, and goofed off a little.

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After the art gallery, we were feeling hungry. A restaurant across the street, Wurstkuche, always had a line out the door and around the corner, so we decided it must be a place worth checking out while we were in the neighborhood.

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A self proclaimed “exotic sausage grill” with lots of flavors to choose from.

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I decided to live daringly, because I didn’t know if I would get another chance to go back to Wurstkuche, so I ordered the Rattlesnake and Rabbit sausage. I was actually nervous waiting for my food! Was I going to regret my selection!? Nope, it was delicious, and I couldn’t even tell that I was eating an “exotic” sausage. I would highly recommend this restaurant if you’re ever in the Arts District. And live a little daringly, you’ll be glad you took the risk.

First Day of Summer

Yesterday felt like the first day of summer here in Cali! Madeline and I were finally able to have the pool party we have been talking about for weeks. Her backyard is beautiful and the perfect spot for a relaxing Saturday in the sun.

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I got a kick out of the vacuum, climbing up the side of the pool.

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How do palm trees not fall over when they blow in the wind?

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Soaking in some rays, and making our plans for the night.

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The water was very chilly, but had beautiful reflections.

We are hoping today is just as nice outside so that we can have another pool day. Happy Sunday Everyone!

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing Moms in the world and more specifically to my amazing Mom. I wish I could be with her today. But since I cannot, I will share how I prepped for Mother’s Day from 2,376 miles away.

One of the bloggers I follow hosted an event at Anthropologie this past weekend for Mother’s Day. Madeline and I headed over to Pasadena at 10am on Sunday morning to make a craft at one of my favorite stores.

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The event promoted the new flower line from Anthropologie. The store was beautifully decorated with this flower arch, and there was a breakfast spread set up for our event.

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We had delicious munchies – strawberries, scones, honey spread and fizzy drink with these cute striped straws.

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This event was hosted by one of my favorite bloggers; her name is Leah and she writes the blog freutcake.com. I have been following her blog for a little while now, and meeting her in person was surreal and very very cool. She taught us how to make these wonderful lavendar body scrubs for our moms.

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If you are curious for the recipe to Leah’s scrub, you can find it on her blog here. Also, there is great photo on her blog of Madeline and I laughing at the event. I was honored to be featured in her post!

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Our tables were decked out with really cute Anthropologie kitchen gadgets. I can’t wait to go apartment shopping and get some of these adorable new items for my place like this vase, these measuring spoons, and this mixing bowl. I also love the Weck Jars we put the scrub in.

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I had a great time putting together the gift box for my mom. I wrapped up the body scrub along with a scarf, bracelet, and book, Mom: A Celebration of Mothers.  I talked to my mom on the phone this morning while she opened her presents. Even though I was across the country today, I still felt like I was right there with her. Happy Mother’s Day Mom! I love you.

Cinco de Mayo

Happy belated Cinco de Mayo everyone! I spent the day with my LA bestie, Mad. We went out for Mexican food at Villa Sombrero which boasted the best margaritas in town. The food and drinks were good, but I would probably check out another location next time.

Actually last week, I went on a stairway hike in Echo Park with Mad and her aunt and uncle. We ate at Senor Fish beforehand, and that was some very good Mexican food. I would highly recommend it.

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The beautiful view from our booth at Villa Sombrero where we had tacos, guacamole, and margaritas.

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Cheers to great friends and yummy food.

After lunch we headed over to The York to hang out and see a different area. The York is a cool space– high ceilings, local art on the walls, and glass front windows.

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Mad swears that she has “seen those lightbulbs somewhere before,” which I got a kick out of.

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Now, the next part of the story you can choose to believe or choose not the believe, but here it is: At Villa Sombrero, Mad. spotted a group of bicyclists leaving the restaurant before us. When we were sitting at The York, Mad. points out the window and says that the bicycle gang just showed up outside! The bicycle gang comes in, recognizes us, and we point out that they are following us. The bicycle gang turns out to be a group of cousins and friends our age who are on their “first annual” Cinco de Mayo bicycle tour. We are initiated as unofficial (without bicycle) members of the group, and we pick the next spot and lead the way.

Long story short, this group becomes our new Cinco de Mayo BFFs, and we are invited back to dinner at their house. It turns out to be their Mother’s/Aunt’s birthday party, and their entire extended family is present for the celebration. We end up having Mexican food for lunch and dinner, and meeting 4 generations of this family. Thank goodness Madeline spoke Spanish, because she kept the grandparents well entertained. After eating till we were going to explode, we headed back to Mad.’s house.

It was one of those days, where you don’t plan anything, but you end up somewhere totally unexpected. We headed out with plans to get a taco for lunch, and we end up having dinner and celebrating a birthday with a bicycle gang and their extended Mexican family.

Till next year, bicycle gang, till next year. Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

Catching Waves in LA

Have you heard of a bucket list? It’s all the things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.”

So far my bucket list is:

  1. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon Ride
  2. Publish a Book
  3. Have a Biography
  4. Learn to Surf
  5. See Cirque de Soleil
  6. Go to the Cannes Film Festival

As you can see, this list is pretty short, but over time I’m sure it will grow. Well, I decided that it was time to cross an item off my list, and while I’m in California I must do as the Californians do!

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Learn to surf!

Luke was coming to visit for the weekend so I decided to secretly schedule a surf lesson to surprise him.

On Saturday morning at 10am, we met up with our surf instructor at Santa Monica Beach. We squeezed into our wetsuits, put on some sunscreen, and headed out to the waves. I wish we had brought along a friend to take pictures of us. Because the only evidence we have that we actually caught a wave, are these pictures of us in the parking lot in wetsuits.

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I was nervous when we were on the beach learning how to read the ocean, paddle out, and stand up. But once we were out in the water, it was so much fun! Our instructor Jonathan was amazing and so helpful. We caught some waves, but also fell off quite a few times.

The craziest thing about the whole surfing experience was how surreal if felt after we were done. Almost like it was a dream. Sitting on the beach, looking at the little dots that are surfers out in the waves, it was hard to imagine that we had been out that far in the water. I definitely want to get back out there in the future.

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*Wondering what surf school we used?

It’s called Zuma Surf and Swim Training. I would highly recommend them if you want to take a surfing lesson. They are great about setting up the lesson, the instructors are friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful, and it makes for a great bucket list experience. The $180 price tag for 2 beginners seemed high when I first signed up, but once you’re in the water and see how much work the instructor puts into helping you, it’s worth every penny.