Los Angeles

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James and I had such a good time visiting Andrew in Los Angeles with my parents a few weekends ago. It’s always such a treat to soak up the California coast with all of my five senses – taking in the rich hue of the ocean, inhaling the salty breeze, exploring new neighborhoods on foot, listening to street musicians, and, of course, tasting so many delicious treats. Andrew moved to Culver City in the spring and it was our first time visiting him in his new ‘hood. He works downtown L.A. and it was fun to have him give us a tour of his favorite spots around his office, especially since the downtown area of Los Angeles has been revitalized so much since I moved away from Santa Monica five years ago.

James and I arrived in Los Angeles super early on Friday morning, and Mom and Dad had come in the night before. We checked out our digs at The Culver Hotel and waited for Public School 310, the cute restaurant across the street, to open for lunch service. We enjoyed tons of good bites before heading to the beach to soak up the sunshine and watch the waves crash against the sand. It was a bit of a trek to make it out to the water, thanks to the notoriously bad L.A. traffic, but it was so, so worth it. The four of us just sat on a bench on the pier for a good long while, gazing out at the water and nearly nodding off as we relaxed in the sun.

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While waiting for Andrew to get off of work, we had cocktails and appetizers at the hotel. The menu at the hotel is fantastic and the quality of the food and beverages is so, so good. We loved the popcorn, the ahi tuna, the hummus, and every delicious drink on the bar menu. We met Andrew at his apartment for homemade happy hour (round two), and we walked down the street for dinner at a sushi restaurant that had a bustling outdoor patio. It was so good to all be together!

On Saturday, we slept in before heading out on an adventure to downtown L.A. Andrew took us to so many cool spots, like Grand Central Market, Guisado’s, his gorgeous office building, and Pershing Square. We peeped into the Ace Hotel, Aesop, and Bottega Louie along the way, taking photos and scoring treats at the French bakery for a mid-afternoon snack (think dreamy bites like macarons, lemon tarts, and chocolate chip cookies). Andrew then took us to Perch, a beautiful bar that overlooked the whole city. It was so cool to sit amongst the skyscrapers, relaxing under umbrellas with ice-cold drinks as a light breeze cooled us off.

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From there, we made a pit-stop in Koreatown at The Line Hotel and, well, you know how I feel about our time at The Commissary. Oh my, it was magical.

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The Commissary

Totally stuffed to the gills, we opted against a formal dinner. Instead, we invited my best friend Karli and her husband Nick, who are also Culver City residents, and Andrew’s best friends, Tanner and Taylor, to have snacks and sips with us at The Culver Hotel. It was so, so much fun to catch up with Tanner, Taylor, and Nick (who I hadn’t seen since our wedding!) and to cozy up with Kar to catch up on all of our recent adventures, including her amazing five-year anniversary trip to Europe.

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The next morning we brunched at Akasha and the food and atmosphere were both divine. As an aside, a word about pumpkin spice season: I know it is totally overrated and overdone, but if you find yourself breakfasting at Akasha this fall, please do yourself a favor and order the pumpkin spice latte. It is so dreamy. From there, we went to one of my favorite spots on the West Side: Abbot Kinney Boulevard. We browsed the perfectly curated shops and paused for photo ops, lingering over our last few hours together with refreshing lemonade and lots of laughs.

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There you have it! What a wonderful family weekend – our first with James as an official member of the crew! Until next time, sweet, sweet Los Angeles…

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Week & End

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It’s Friday, yay! Do you have big plans to celebrate the first weekend of fall? Of course, I’m always a bit sad when summertime draws to a close but it’s a good thing that it gives way to autumn, my second favorite season. James’s best friend, Joe, and his wife, Katie, are visiting for a few days, so we have plans to take them to some of our favorite Dallas spots, like Good 2 Go Taco and Meddlesome Moth, and we may even brave the crowds to check out the opening weekend of the Texas State Fair.

Have a good one, and enjoy some fun links from around the web!

I snapped the photo above while strolling down Abbot Kinney Boulevard during our visit to Los Angeles last week. We went to several spots that I love – Urbanic, Firefly, Lemonade – and found a few new treasures, too. More on that to come!

Each fall there’s a contest at the State Fair to determine the best new fried foods of the year. Take a look at this year’s finalists – which treats would you try? I’d like a bite of the Sriracha balls and the fried sweet Texas.

This Fort Worth-based home tour is so inspiring to me – it captures so many elements that I would like to incorporate in our house someday. It has such a pleasing mix of neutrals, plants, pops of color, and remnants from travel adventures. I love!

Speaking of Fort Worth, there are two reasons that I need to trek out there for a day trip soon: the Faces of Impressionism exhibit (featuring pieces from my favorite museum in the world, the Musée d’Orsay) is starting next month at the Kimball Art Museum and this cute ice cream shop is calling my name.

Aren’t these white ceramic cups lovely? I love how neutral they are, and I think they’d be equally great as drinking glasses or as succulent planters.