Wednesday, July 30, 2014

BFFs are your best accessory

While on vacation in California, my best accessory wasn't my new yellow leather handbag or favorite espadrille wedges -- it was my BFFs. When you keep company with smart, fabulous ladies who make it a point to be gorgeous -- inside and out -- it naturally ups your fashion A-game.

We had a grand time in Palm Springs (poolside sipping pina coladas and working on our tans) and a few weeks later dined together at a vaudeville theater-turned-restaurant in Silver Lake (if you live in LA you must visit Mohawk Bend -- my new fave!).

Going out with these gals is the best. And getting ready to go out is even better. We review and edit each others outfits. Try different shades of lipstick. Survey each others make-up routines. Share hair tips. Trade nail polishes. Ooohhh and ahhh over sparkly baubles and fancy heels. I am filled with so much joy during moments like these.

Forget diamonds. Best friends never go out of style. 

BFF style. (Refinery29)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fashion prodigy: the red head

Izzy was having a red head moment when I snapped this pic. She absolutely adores the wig from her Halloween costume (from the Disney movie Brave). "I think my hair would look best with a black dress," she mused. So she snagged big brother's pajama top and wore it backwards. 

Of course a LBD would not be complete without statement jewelry. Several strands of beads later, Izzy's masterpiece was complete. Look at that intricate body chain. 

What fashion inspiration! 

The original LBD.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Walking in heels (in Vegas)

What's a girl to do when she wants to enjoy a night on the town and kill it in heels? This is the dilemma of every woman who has attempted to sashay her way down the Las Vegas Strip. 

My friend and former colleague Nicole Levine was recently in Vegas seeing shows, lounging by the Bellagio pool, losing money at craps and "discovering the obscenely indulgent miracle that is the fois gras candy bar."  

When in Vegas, do as everyone does -- people watch. Nicole couldn't help but enjoy observing as girls stumbled, wobbled and tottered along in dangerously high stilettos. She wrote a hilarious post on her Facebook page and I just had to share it with you here.

Which walking strategy would best describe yours? I think I've been a repeat offender of the "F These Shoes."


What I Learned in Las Vegas
By Nicole Levine

What I learned in Las Vegas: I will only wear shoes I can walk in. You think that your shoes are so fabulous, that no one will notice you clearly want to die trying to walk in them. That is untrue. Sky-high platforms are a thing right now, and they are lovely -- but I saw maybe three women in 100 who actually managed to rock them and walk in them.

I identified the following five walking strategies. I have occasionally been guilty of some or all of these:

The Hunch and Lurch
Often accompanied by skin-tight dresses, the technique is to hunch the shoulders forward, bend slightly at the waist and CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP with the occasional teeter. This one is particularly fun to watch when they try to walk fast.  

The Pigeon Toe
Many girls tried turning their toes in extremely far and this was occasionally accompanied by the hunch and/or lurch.

The Hold On For Dear Life
Walking along, sometimes using a combination of the above, with a death grip on a concerned-looking husband, boyfriend -- or a girlfriend in a similar predicament.

The Slow and Steady
Taking fairly perfect steps, but at a snail's pace. Some of the subjects I observed Saturday night leaving the hotel elevator might be close to reaching the casino floor by now.

The F These Shoes
Kick 'em off and carry them.

So, next time I am shopping for fancy shoes, I will try to remember these rules and buy something I can walk in. Or, not and provide amusement to everyone.

Painting by Kelly O'Neal. (Culture Vixen)

Friday, July 18, 2014


Rocks. Sand. Surf. 

Just another day in the gloriousness that is Santa Barbara.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

This week's obsession: argan oil

We've been in California for a few weeks now and while it's been wonderful for my tan, I'm afraid my hair will tell you a different story. 

Relaxing poolside (read: overexposure to chlorine) and that fierce and often unforgiving California sun are frying my locks. My hair feels crunchy and the highlighted parts resemble hay. Definitely not a good look.

"You need this," my cousin Cindy said as she handed me a small bottle of organic argan oil. I've been using this for a week and I love it. My hair feels soft and it looks so much healthier. And I've been slathering it on my skin, too. 

Argan oil has been enjoying a lot of attention in recent years. Originating in southwestern Morocco, the oil comes from the nut of the argan tree (which is endangered and under protection under UNESCO). The tree's specific growing area and the painstaking techniques used by local Berber women to extract the oil from the argan kernels make argan oil one of the rarest in the world. 

A little goes a long way. I use a small handful (about 1 tbsp) and comb it through my hair with my fingers (the key is to use it on dry hair). Put on a shower cap and let the oil work its magic for 30 minutes. Then shampoo and style as usual. You'll notice a difference right away.

Try it and let me know what you think!            

10 beauty tricks with argan oil. (Mind Body Green) 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sather Gate, UC Berkeley

Two decades ago I walked through these gates for the first time, a wide-eyed freshman full of hope and anticipating an adventure. Glad some things haven't changed.

Go Bears!

Remember the Naked Guy? I went to school with him but didn't realize his sad fate. (The New York Times)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Golden Gate

Caden's view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Land's End. "How do you feel?" I ask. "Glorious!" he says.

Six interesting facts about the Golden Gate Bridge. (History Channel)

Friday, July 11, 2014


You'll find the best ramen in LA at this little hole in the wall in Little Tokyo. I've had a lot of ramen in my lifetime and can say without a doubt that Daikokuya is super oishii. I mean, look at that photo of the husband and son. It's a sort of, "Hurry up and take the picture so I can start chowing down on this bowl of steaming ramen" kind of look. 

You'll probably have to wait in line for a table no matter what time of day but it's totally worth it. The noodles are always a perfect al dente, the broth is full of wonderful flavor (never bland and not too salty) and the slices of pork are just heavenly. Slurp!!

Using ramen to gain insight into Japanese culture. (The Japan Times)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Legoland California

In the Big Apple (er, Legoland California) with my boy. 

Miniland USA is my favorite part of Legoland. Did you know it took 20 million LEGO bricks to construct iconic landmarks like the Las Vegas Strip, New Orleans' French Quarter, the Space Needle in Seattle and the Golden Gate Bridge? Totally amazing. 

The early history of LEGO. (Mental Floss)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Best burgers in California

As a California girl living "abroad" I always crave In-N-Out at least once a month. If you've had the privilege of tasting one of these mouth-watering hamburgers then you know what I mean. If you've never had one, you must plan an outing if you're ever in the Golden State.

Delicious and absolutely divine.

21 things you didn't know about In-N-Out. (BuzzFeed)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Laurel Canyon Blvd

We were in LA the other day and did a "dream drive" through one of our favorite neighborhoods along Laurel Canyon Boulevard. As we made our way along the teeny tiny windy streets, we caught breathtaking views like this one.

Even that thin line of smog is beautiful.

It's been 23 years since the movie LA Story came out and it's still so good!