Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Just Say "No"!

Do you ever have those moments when you're considering a purchase and you ask yourself: "Is this either really cool or really stupid?" I am not afraid to admit that I have those moments every so often when debating if I should purchase an item of clothing or an accessory. In theory, if you are doubting a purchase it might be best just to say "no" because you'll save yourself some money, not to mention valuable real estate in your closet. If the price is right, however, why not take the gamble?

Clearly, this was the case with my quirky "No" bag from Zara. When it first came out this winter it was priced at $39.99 and I was on the fence about whether or not to get it. I was drawn to it because it was sort of fun and quirky, but at the same time it is not something that would probably get a ton of wear. Also, I knew my husband would make fun of it. (But seriously, when has that ever stopped me?) When it went on sale for $19.99, I knew instead of heeding the "No" warning emblazoned on the bag, I should just say "Yes"!

These pictures were taken in Culver City at one of the coolest parking structures that I have ever seen. Whoever approved of the dripping rainbows definitely said "Yes" to some major color! Personally, if I were to have designed this, I would have made the color drip all the way down so that it would be easier for bloggers to take photos at this particular location, but what do I know about architecture? Regardless, it's a pretty cool sight to behold, not to mention the perfect place to show off a bag that makes a statement that's as bold as the colors.

Sweater: J. Crew here, similar version for spring here
Pants: J. Crew "Martie" here
Bag: Zara similar here
Shoes: J. Crew similar here
Sunglasses: Celine similar white sunglasses here

Monday, February 20, 2017

Strolling Down the Yellow Brick Road

Today I'm channeling my inner Dorothy, which is appropriate because in my last post I wrote about the Culver Hotel where the cast of The Wizard of Oz stayed during filming. As you can see, this blue and white gingham skirt is reminiscent of the famous dress Dorothy wore in the film. I don't know how much Dorothy paid for her dress, but my blue gingham skirt was a deal at only $15! Now all I need is Toto, which makes me think that I should have used William in this shoot, although he's much bigger than Toto and most definitely not as well behaved!

One of the other reasons I got this skirt, in addition to the fantastic price tag, is that I knew it would be the perfect complement to my new Dolce & Gabbana Sicily bag that I picked up in Las Vegas this winter. I love the fact that this bag channels the aesthetic of rustic, hand painted Italian ceramics. I actually have a collection of these types of dishes from my travels to Italy (and Home Goods!) and now I want to start a collection of these Sicily bags, including some of my favorites that you can shop below.

When my husband saw this outfit laid out on the bed, he commented that I was mixing two countries together: Italy and France. Italy, obviously because of my bag and France because of the writing on my sweatshirt. As you can see from previous posts, this sweatshirt gets a lot of use during the winter because it's a great way to make a skirt look chic during the cooler weather we've had here, while still keeping warm as I travel down the yellow brick road!

Skirt: c/o SheIn blue gingham skirt here and shorter version here
Sweatshirt: Banana Republic similar here, here and here
Shoes: J. Crew similar red pointed flats
Bag: Dolce and Gabbana Sicily similar bag here
Sunglasses: Celine similar white sunglasses here

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Cavorting Around Culver City

Culver City has it all: history, theaters, restaurants, museums, shopping and, of course, colorful walls! It should be noted that this was not my first sojourn to Culver City. I've traveled to the city at a few times before to attend some of their many theaters, mainly the Kirk Douglas, however I didn't realize that this city had so much more to offer until I started to do some research, which was mostly prompted by my desire to see the famous "love wall" before Valentine's Day. Anyway, I planned a trip to this destination in Los Angeles last weekend complete with an itinerary of things to do and see. Although I didn't get to everything that I wanted to, which means some day there might be a followup to this post, today I am featuring some of the highlights of Culver City along with the things that I'm going to save for my next visit.

The Culver Hotel is located in the heart of Culver City and is a must see for anyone who likes historical architecture, the movies, or just good drinks. The hotel was built in 1924 and has been a cherished city landmark ever since.

If you were wondering about the hotel's connection to movie history, look at the picture above and below for a couple hints. If you noticed the doll of Dorothy in her famous blue and white gingham dress in the window above and the frolicking cowardly lion below then you're heading down the yellow brick road to the correct answer. The Culver Hotel is the site where the cast of The Wizard of Oz stayed while filming the movie. I heard some salacious rumors regarding the going-ons of the filmmakers, Judy Garland and various cast members, including the Munchkins, from a few women in the bathroom of the hotel, but I won't retell those here!

We looked around the hotel to soak up some more history (it was also rumored that Charlie Chaplin who once owned the hotel lost it to John Wayne in a poker game) and then grabbed a couple of drinks during happy hour. I had a lavender collins that was very good, not to mention refreshing. Next time I would love to try their high tea, which we wanted to during this visit but there were no available reservations.

Another fascinating aspect of Culver City is that many old movie studios that still reside in the city. Culver Studios is one such studio and although it was not on my list of things to see, we stumbled upon it walking to one of our destinations. I love that fact that this particular studio looks to the unassuming eye like just another palatial estate, but it's actually the location where classics such as Gone With the Wind were filmed, although this structure was not used in the film.

Next up are the walls, which have so much color! 

The wall featured here is part of a thing called "The Platform". I don't know how to describe what "The Platform" is but it's described on their website as "a collection of the world's most innovative merchants, chefs, and creative companies located on the Hayden Tract." Basically, it's just shopping, dining, and office space. 

Below is a mural by Jason Woodside, which is located at Rapt Studio. At first I thought that Rapt Studio was some sort of music studio but it's apparently "a creative work space for design." As you can see "creative" is the operative word in Culver City! However, if that results in more colorful walls and spaces, then bring it on!

Of course, there is also the love wall, which was the impetus for our Culver City adventure. If you would like to read about my humorous odyssey to this wall for Valentine's Day, you can find my post detailing the adventure here.

Last of all, there was some interesting shopping, like this clothing boutique that I took a picture of while channeling my own artistic spirit. Clearly, Culver City is a muse!

I have no idea what this store is but apparently they will sell ladders for rabbits when they open? This is something I am going to have to follow up on for my next visit! Whatever it is, it looks super cute!

Another place I want to see on my next visit is the Museum of Jurassic Technology. I don't know exactly what this museum is about and apparently they won't tell you if you ask a staff member, but it looks like fun.  As previously mentioned, I also want to have high tea at the Culver Hotel and I will add to my list more vibrant street art like the California Dreaming Mural at the Chinese Laundry headquarters. That should be more than enough to fill another fun day in Culver City!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Red on Pink With a Cherry on Top

I hope everyone had a fantastic Valentine's Day! My husband and I kept it casual by having dinner at home. Dinner consisted of filet mignon, lobster tail, mashed potatoes, asparagus, and a nice bottle of wine. Now that I think about it, my husband and I have never actually dined out for Valentine's Day, which is fine by me because neither of us is one for crowds or making a big fuss over things. Plus, dinning at home means that our dog, whom we both claimed as our "furry Valentine", could be part of the celebration. (Essentially, this meant that William sat staring at us while we ate our delicious steak, uttering the occasional whine!)

This post features is what I wore to work on Valentine's Day. I hope you're not overloaded with red and pink! If you are, I'm sorry, but it's too late to look away. Anyway, I decided to go for a "lady-like" look in red and pink, which is a fun combo to try if you select the right shades of the two colors. This was also the first time that I wore my new cherry skirt from J. Crew. The cherries made for a nice break from so many hearts, yet still echoed the Valentine's Day spirit.

Skirt: J. Crew cherry print midi here
Sweater: J. Crew Tippi similar here
Coat: J. Crew similar here
Clutch: J. Crew satin envelop clutch here
Shoes: Christian Louboutin similar here and here
Necklace: Bauble Bar similar here
Sunglasses: Prada Baroque here

Monday, February 13, 2017

Spreading the Love, One Wall at a Time!

So there's this wall in Los Angeles (Culver City to be more precise) that reads "love" all over it.  Last weekend I thought it would be fun to go to said wall and take some pictures for Valentine's Day. Well, it turns out that half of Los Angeles also had this exact same idea! There was literally a line of people waiting for their chance to stand in the wall's limelight!  I always like to share the odyssey behind my wall hunting and some of the humor behind the experience because, despite what my husband thinks, yes, I realize it's absurd to travel someplace just to take a picture in front of a wall. You can read about the odyssey of the love wall below!

So when my husband and I pulled up to the wall, we were lucky that there was only one party in front of us, which  turned out to be a very sullen eight year old and her mom. The eight year old was posing in a way that seemed a little seductive for her young age, but who am I to judge? After that, we were next and I threw the camera at my husband because people were pulling up left and right clad in red and hearts by the truckload. After a few shots, I noticed that there was the most adorable Corgi waiting for his picture! Because of my love of dogs and especially Corgis, I let him go ahead of me because that's what Queen Elizabeth would have done!

The most endearing part of the experience was that after we were finished taking our photos, a couple came along and my husband asked them if they wanted their picture taken. They said, "that would be great because you look like a professional!" I think this impression was formed on the basis of our camera (we were the only ones there with a DSLR) and that my husband was asking them questions like "do you want it portrait or landscape?" I told my husband that I was so proud of him because he's made it to the ranks of professional photographer, but I am also so proud of him and grateful for him because he's willing to put up with taking all my photos, even those in obscure (and extremely busy!) locations like this one. He's quite the catch!

Shirt: Zara here, similar hear styles here and here
Pants: J. Crew similar here, here
Bag: Gucci similar here
Shoes: Christian Louboutin "simple" pumps similar here
Sunglasses: Celine similar here and here

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Puppy Love

I've always been a dog lover. As proof of this, I can vouch that my first word as a baby was "dog". Additionally, I tear-up during just about any sappy dog commercial or movie. In fact, I can't even watch the trailer for A Dog's Purpose without crying! Even though I am a lover of all things canine, I don't really have a lot of dog-themed items in my wardrobe. I do, however, have a few like this cute puppy sweater that I purchased last year from the J. Crew Factory.

I thought this puppy sweater was the perfect complement this new red and blue houndstooth skirt from J. Crew. To top it off, the skirt also matches this cobalt blue, or as its officially called, Casablanca blue bag. To spice up the bag a little bit I added a tassel charm that I just picked up on clearance from J. Crew for only $2.38. The deal was so enticing that I purchased three of these tassel charms, all in different colors!

I consider this outfit to be a semi-Valentine's day inspired look because of, obviously, the red heart-shaped sunglasses that the dog is wearing. (That reminds me that I have to get something for my canine Valentine, William! I wonder if he would like a pair of heart shaped glasses? That would make for quite the picture, but if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love to dress William up, so it just might happen!)

Skirt: J. Crew pintucked pencil skirt in houndstooth here
Sweater: J. Crew Factory similar dog sweater here, here, and here
Bag: J. Crew Edie bag in Casablanca Blue similar here
Bag Charm: Target similar style from Target here
Shoes: J. Crew similar here
Sunglasses: Prada here