What I want, need and love on my wish list this week …
See anything you want, need or love for your wish list?
See anything you want, need or love for your wish list?
All roads lead to the islands at Central West End’s newest restaurant — Yellowbelly St. Louis. The sea inspired eatery opened with a splash on September 17 and has been packed for dinner ever since. Recently they started serving lunch with several new menu items from the Spicy Udon Noodle Bowl to the Lobster Enchiladas. Want to know what to expect on your visit? Here’s some moments from my delicious and unforgettable meal.
Yellowbelly St. Louis was created by the team at Retreat Gastropub — Travis Howard and Tim Wiggins. They enlisted the help of Top Chef: All Stars champion and celebrity chef-consultant Richard Blais. Known for his molecular gastronomy style of cooking, he designed a creative seafood focused menu.
1. For drinks, I tried the Snap Pea Soda (non-alcoholic). They freshly juice snap peas (yes those tiny little green pods), create a syrup, and add ginger beer. It was so refreshing with a light spice from the ginger. For something a little fruitier, I also tried a passion fruit, mango, and coconut drink with Coco Lopez syrup and mint.
2. For snacks, I devoured the Sea Biscuits. The waitress compared them to Red Lobster cheddar biscuits. Frankly, I think that comparison does not do them justice because these were on another level. You can really sink your teeth into these pillowy biscuits. I sat there trying to figure out what the smoky flavor was that permeated each bite; it was white cheddar. I could seriously snack on these every day.
3. My favorite dish of all had to be the Spicy Udon Noodle Bowl. There was something in that sauce that gave me so much comfort. The flavor was tangy, yet smooth and the spice didn’t overpower it. I’m already making plans to go back and enjoy this again.
4. The most beautiful dish had to be the Avocado Toast, topped with salmon chunks, radish, cilantro, and a mango-juice filled yolk. While the yolk looks like an egg and breaks like an egg, it is in fact not an egg. The yolk was so much fun to pop and try because of the unexpected sweet flavor. Who says you’re not supposed to play with your food?
5. The most decadent dish had to be the Lobster Enchiladas with all that cheesy goodness on top. You’ll want to share this one because it’s so rich. The corn tortilla, the cheesy topping, and lobster filling seems over the top for lunch, but that’s why it’s so fun to order.
One of the things I always look out for when trying a new restaurant (like Vicia or Hello Juice) is if it’s a cool place I’d want to bring my friends. At Yellowbelly, bright and bold island inspired murals are balanced with light and airy décor featuring modern touches. Teals, yellows, greens, and whites bring a hip new vibe to the urban landscape of Central West End. You’ll want to sit back and relax for a while and enjoy the colorful atmosphere.
Lunch is now open at Yellowbelly St. Louis Wednesday to Sunday from 11am – 3pm. Check out the Yellowbelly lunch menu here.
It’s never too early to start shopping for the holidays. Finding the perfect holiday gifts for this friend or that can be tough. So here are some great ideas to help get you on the right track all under $50.
2 / Pom Sleep Mask
On the other hand, perhaps your budget is a bit bigger. Or maybe you like to shop like I do – something for you…something for me. In that case here’s further inspiration for the shopaholic in all of us!
Remember, holiday shopping is not a sprint, but a marathon. Although it’s way more fun to shop ’till you drop! Shop more gifts in my Holiday Gift Shop.
When it comes to shopping designer collaborations, I look for quality over quantity (i.e. how much I can snag). Is the piece something I’ll wear often? Or will it become dated once the collaboration dies down? I recently shopped the Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific collaboration and wanted almost everything. But I knew there was one item that would get the most traction in my wardrobe: the double breasted wool pink blazer. It’s a classic and versatile piece that I can style multiple ways. Here are 3 of my favorite pink blazer outfits inspired by the collection.
This Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific Bow Front Pleated Blouse was one of the collaboration’s most popular items. Dainty details peppered the collection. Three velvet bows adorn this pleated blouse with big beautiful pearls in between. I dressed down the elegant top with jeans and contrasted all that pink with leopard print flats.
Where to Wear: Sunday brunch with your crew
The flattering silhouette of the Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific Stretch Ponte Dress immediately caught my eye. I adore the way it slims my figure. The dress is cut so well that you end up looking like a million bucks.
To be honest, I just wanted an excuse to wear the uber chic wide belt. I don’t think this dress would look as good without it. But I probably would’ve bought this dress anyway since I’m a huge fan of pink dresses.
Although the dress doesn’t come in petite, I find that high heels do the trick. Drape the classic pink blazer over your shoulders and the look is complete.
Where to Wear: When you want to impress new clients at work
This wool pink blazer is a bit heavy. If you want to layer a sweater underneath, choose something lightweight.
Rainbow sweaters are having a moment right now and this Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific Shimmer Stripe Sweater has a fun hint of glitter. Metallic thread complements the pink blazer’s gold buttons perfectly.
Where to Wear: Job interview at a creative company (when a full business suit is too stuffy)
There’s no surprise that the Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific collection was a popular one. Some of the pieces sold out quickly, but are now available again. I woke up early to shop online, effort I hadn’t put into a designer collaboration since 2011 with Missoni for Target.
I still remember the excitement from Missoni for Target. I woke up at an ungodly hour with my well researched list of items to add to my cart. When the sale began, there was such a frenzy that I made a mad rush to get every item whether I needed it or not. Perhaps the dash was what I enjoyed most because you better believe I returned at least half of it.
In the end I learned that there’s only so much chevron a person can handle. And that your choices for such a popular collaboration should be strategic.
Ask yourself 1) Can it be worn more than one season? (i.e. is it too trendy?) 2) Do you love it? (i.e. can you live without it?) If the answers to these questions are both yes, then add it to your cart without guilt because you shouldn’t need therapy for your retail therapy. Am I right?
My favorite piece from the collection was the pink blazer. What’s yours? Were you disappointed on missing out on anything that sold out?
This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. I was paid for this post and received the included home goods as compensation.
Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to start thinking about winter holiday décor. I shopped Kohl’s November Home Sale to demonstrate a few affordable ways I like to bring holiday cheer to the bedroom. Since the bedroom is a place for relaxation, small touches go a long way with your holiday bedroom décor. These tips are for those who want chic, yet subtle seasonal elements they can mix into their existing décor.
To combat the winter cold, layering with a blanket and throw will give you more options to stay warm as temperatures fluctuate. Throws can also add color and texture to your bedding. I’ve paired The Big One Supersoft Plush Blanket with the Cuddl Duds Jacquard Sherpa Fleece Throw. These two will keep you warm whether you feel like a light blanket or need to double up. Plus, the adorable moose print on the Sherpa fleece adds a fun seasonal element to your holiday bedroom décor.
To keep my bedroom décor on trend beyond Christmas, I’ve chosen a chic wintry cabin vibe. Earthy tones like khakis and greens are classic and suit the evergreen holiday aesthetic. That’s why I selected the Cuddl Duds Microfiber Sheet Set. The forest critters motif brings the outdoors in and the light neutral hues complement the elegant white and gold tones of my room.
Your pillows may lose their shape and fluffiness over time. You should replace them every 6 to 36 months depending on the quality and fill. Since I’m a side sleeper, I chose the Serta Down Illusion Firm Bed Pillow. Not sure what type of pillow you need? Kohl’s guide will help you find the perfect pillow. Bonus: Add an extra wintry touch with a warm and fluffy faux fur pillow you’ll want to cuddle with.
Your bedroom is your sanctuary and thus should be a place you can easily unwind for the night. Since holiday colors are usually vivid and bright, I like to keep holiday accent colors to a minimum. Playful holiday hues here and there in bedding and décor are a treat for the eyes. But they shouldn’t overwhelm the senses.
Thoughtful seasonal touches to update your bedroom will help get you in the spirit. For example, I adore snow globes this time of year. Set one on your nightstand. If it’s the first thing you see in the morning, you’re bound to start the day with the holidays on your mind. For the evening, a holiday scented candle will create an inviting bedroom atmosphere and calm you before bed. And of course, don’t forget to wear your holiday pajamas. This adorable Cuddl Duds Pajamas-in-a-Bag Set is super soft.
Things pile up over time from shopping bags and shipping boxes to suitcases and laundry baskets. Clearing out these extra items will not only clear the space but also your mind. It’ll make room for fun holiday essentials like a mini tree or mistletoe.
Want to get this chic wintry holiday look for your bedroom? Shop Kohl’s November Home Sale (11/7 – 11/18) for quality home essentials at amazing prices. Find deep discounts on top bedroom brands like The Big One, Columbia, Cuddl Duds, and Serta to update your bedroom for the holidays. Do you have any other great holiday bedroom décor ideas? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
Disclosure: My blog may contain links to other websites. I am not responsible for the privacy policies of those other websites. When you click on a link, your information may be collected by those websites, so I encourage you to read their privacy policies. Any affiliate links are not associated with Kohl’s.
5 / Takeout Bag
See anything you want, need or love for your wish list?
From snakeskin to leopard, I’m wild about animal prints. While I’ve already highlighted some of my favorite leopard print fashions this season, today I’m focusing strictly on the finishing touches — accessories! Even if you’re print shy, a pop of animal print is a great way to take baby steps with your wardrobe. And since these prints can act as a neutral, animal print accessories usually go with everything.
Snake print is the new black! From boots to bags, this print is making its way across the style spectrum. I’m partial to the classic black and white look. But I also love when they color block the print with other hues.
When you think of animal print accessories, you probably don’t think tiger first. But don’t dismiss this surprisingly chic motif. You’ll definitely stand out in this print when everyone else is wearing leopard or snakeskin.
Probably the most popular of the bunch, leopard is currently one of the hottest prints this season. There are plenty of options to choose from with this classic print. Don’t be afraid to choose a colorful version for a bolder look.
So what’s the difference between cheetah and leopard print? Cheetah print features solid black spots while leopard print has a brown background with black shapes that resemble a horseshoe or circle. Even retailers get it wrong, often labeling cheetah print as leopard. But you can’t go wrong with either.
I like to think of zebra as the wild child of the bunch. The contrast of the print and color is stark. If you like to rock zebra print, chances are you’re not shy about your style. Zebra is such a fun print and as an accessory it can add such an unexpected element to any look.
While you’ll always find tortoise shell eyewear, lately I’ve been seeing a ton of tortoise shell box clutches. They’re an affordable and stylish option. Plus it’s a classic clutch that will go with everything. I love matching my accessories in the same color or print family, like the earrings and clutch above. It’s a great way to turn an animal print into a neutral.
I’m a classic girl so I adore leopard for my animal print accessories. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of that print. What’s your favorite animal print to rock?
See anything you want, need or love for your wish list?
LA is the 7th largest city in the US. With 87 neighborhoods to choose from, it can be difficult for anyone to select an itinerary for a week, let alone a weekend getaway. Good thing I’ve narrowed it down for you! I’ve planned a few days of delicious food, great shopping, and the most beautiful spots to hang. Here’s my LA travel guide to getting the most out of a weekend in LA.
Where do you begin with a sprawling city of over 4000 square kilometers? By choosing a few nearby neighborhoods, it can focus your options tremendously. I’ve chosen to highlight the best places to hang in Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and West Hollywood, all conveniently located within 15 – 30 minutes’ drive of each other. Rather than battling traffic, you’ll be able to make the most out of your weekend in LA.
I recommend making Santa Monica your first stop and home base. It’s central to all three neighborhoods and has the best range of hotel options. A view of the Santa Monica Pier and its iconic Ferris wheel is a great way to kick off a classic SoCal experience. I always like to spend an afternoon at the Third Street Promenade to shop, snack, and people watch. If I have time, I’ll venture east of the beach for a less touristy experience.
If you wish to indulge, luxury hotels like Viceroy, Shore, and Shangri-La may start around $350/night, depending on the season. I stayed at the Shangri-La in Delhi, India and it was heaven. For a less expensive option, boutique hotels like Palihouse, Huntley, The Ambrose, and The Georgian tend to start around $250/night. To save the most money, reserve an Airbnb or similar vacation rental.
This spot is perfect for family or for making memories with your friends. The famous solar-powered Ferris wheel is a must-see. After you’ve ridden the wheel, enjoy the rest of the attractions at Pacific Park, including an aquarium, arcade games, and souvenir shops. I like to grab a stick of cotton candy to complete the cliché and always enjoyable fair experience.
If you want to avoid the crowds of the pier, head toward the Pacific Palisades side. Palisades Park overlooks Santa Monica beach. Relax under the trees with a picnic, enjoy a local food truck, or admire the art and sculpture on the grounds.
Already seen the pier? Spend the day instead at the Third Street Promenade. Brand name stores and restaurants pepper a pedestrian stretch of four blocks. Coming from out of town, I like to visit stores we don’t have like Zara or stock up at larger versions of my favorite stores like J.Crew and Topshop. There are plenty of spots along the way to sit and relax or enjoy performances by local street artists.
If you want to get an early morning workout in the next day, visit the Santa Monica Stairs located on 4thSt and Adelaide Dr. It’s a popular spot for locals and celebs to tone their lower body.
For a brunch spot away from the boardwalk’s crowd, head to The Gables. I love a restaurant that’s so pretty, I never want to leave. Full of natural light, the restaurant’s colorful patio first catches your eye. Patterned blue tile and hanging greenery sandwich a chic set of tables, perfect for dining alfresco. Try the Devil Toast for a flavorful, yet healthy breakfast option. If you’re in the mood for lunch, opt for the Kale Caesar or the Patty Melt.
With bright turquoise walls, this Mexican cantina is full of cheery beach vibes. If you’ve got a craving for Mexican, Tallula’s has guacamole, ceviche, fish tacos, enchiladas, plenty of grilled meat, and margaritas.
Order the Organic Fried Chicken Sandwich or Dad’s Pancakes at Huckleberry, a popular breakfast spot that usually has a line out the door. Or try one of their sweet baked goods, which may make you want to get back in line for more.
Indian steet food goes modern and flashy at Tumbi. You won’t find samosas here. But you can order Pani Puri shots, a farmer’s market mushroom dosa, Butter Chicken crepes, and more inventive and flavorful fare.
Venice Beach may be my favorite neighborhood of all on this LA Travel Guide — the place I’d settle in if I had millions of dollars. The locals are cool yet laid back even though tourists are around. This beach is a popular place for people watching, considering the number of street performers and artists. But it’s also got one of the coolest streets that locals love to hang out on – Abbot Kinney Blvd. And of course you can’t miss the Venice Canals.
Look for the Venice Beach sign and you’re steps away from the walk. You’ll find great people watching opportunities. Last time I visited, there was a crowd of people witnessing street performers try to jump a line of people. I also saw talented artists working on commissioned murals. It’s fun to walk around because something is always happening.
A short walk from the beach is Abbot Kinney Blvd. Named one of the coolest blocks in America by GQ, the street offers a seemingly endless array of boutiques, trendy restaurants, and artsy galleries. I like to wander from end to end, stepping in and out of shops or spaces that catch my eye. You’ll also find fun murals here and there and plenty of places to grab a snack or drink. If you’re there on First Friday, you’ll have the chance to try food from the dozens of popular food trucks that stop by.
If you’re looking for a tranquil spot amidst the craziness of Venice Beach, you’ll love exploring the Venice Canals. Walk around three blocks of man-made canals, located within South Venice Blvd, Pacific, Ocean Ave, and Washington Blvd. Each canal has a bridge that cuts across it, perfect for picture taking and admiring the houses along the water. It’s easy to imagine the slow life people enjoy there. I saw someone take out their paddleboard (although it was a short strip of water), and another group enjoy drinks on their makeshift floating dock. What a life! I just need to develop a multi-million dollar app so I can buy a place and retire there.
Every LA travel guide needs a visit to a rooftop lounge. To get a great view of Venice Beach, visit High Rooftop Lounge atop Hotel Erwin. It’s the only rooftop bar and lounge in Venice. If you’re looking for a fun night out, this spot has a locally inspired menu and great nightlife.
Every surface of the Mosaic Tile House has been covered in ceramic tiles, glass, mirror shards, and other found objects over the last 20 years. You’ll need to make an appointment to see this unusual and stunning space, open on the weekends.
Set in the middle of Abbot Kinney Blvd, The Butcher’s Daughter offers healthy vegan-friendly fare. You’ll love the Margherita or Mushroom & Arugula pizza. The cheese actually tastes like cheese. And the delicious smell of the truffle oil from the mushroom pizza is strong enough to get a contact high. Try and get a seat on their shady patio during Happy Hour for more fun people watching.
There’s something for every mood on the menu at Gjelina, a rustic chic spot. The dim lighting makes it a perfect date night spot. But it’s got a solid brunch menu too. Open since 2008, it’s a popular and reliable staple on Abbot Kinney.
Need a quick sugary pick-me-up? Reward yourself for all those steps around LA with a brioche doughnut from Blue Star Donuts. Choose from crazy fun flavors like Valrhona Chocolate Crunch, Blueberry Bourbon Basil, or Horxata Glaze.
This luxe café features two patios, a bar, and a bakery with all-day Californian fare. Whether you want Shashouka in the morning, Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe for lunch, or Wakame Noodles for dinner, there’s a diverse array of cuisine to choose from at Rose Café.
Eggslut was recommended to me by my sister and is close to Ocean Front Walk. Egg sandwiches are the star of the menu. You’ll want to try the Slut: cage-free coddled egg on top of a smooth potato purée, poached in a glass jar, topped with gray salt and chives, and served with slices of baguette. The space is small though, so you’ll want to grab a quick bite.
West Hollywood is a great place for a different kind of people watching. You’ll see celebrities, models, and other beautiful people walking around West Hollywood. While it can be intimidating, it’s also fun to see who you might run into. There is no shortage of pretty places to eat or shop, especially if you like designer boutiques. After you’ve shopped till you drop, watch a performance on the legendary Sunset Strip or enjoy the fabulous nightlife.
Whether you’re looking for designer or vintage, you’ll find endless options on Melrose Avenue. Shoppers love to frequent Crossroads Trading Co. for vintage, Fred Segal for an eclectic mix of current styles, or Decades for glamorous vintage gowns. There are also plenty of glam home stores such as Kelly Wearstler or Design Within Reach. On Sundays you can shop the open-air market for vintage clothing or antique goods at the Melrose Trading Post. There’s also plenty of cool walls to snap for your Instagram from the famous pink wall by Paul Smith to the Made in LA wall by Cisco Home.
Not too far from Melrose is The Grove, an outdoor shopping mall filled with high street brands like Topshop, Anthropologie, Nordstrom, and Banana Republic. Spend the day padding your closet, picking up sweet bites from Dylan’s Candy bar or Ladurée, or grabbing a bite at Blue Ribbon Sushi. There are lots of fun activities including pop-up shops, celebrity hosted events, and more depending on the day.
If you love millennial pink, you’ll love visiting this cute tea spot, the sister store to Alfred Coffee. Choose from 28 teas on the “Fancy Pink Tea List” as well as matcha, boba, and on-tap drinks. Alfred Tea is prime for Instagram moments. I went for the Golden Drink tinted yellow from turmeric. Feel free to be extra by ordering the Raspberry Dipped Rose Croissant.
This super fashionable café and patio features modern California farm-fresh fare with a European influence. The menu includes house-butchered meats, fresh baked goods, specialty coffee, and craft cocktails. Enjoy your meal on the outdoor patio at BBCM shaded by olive tress, or indoor in one of their bright yellow banquettes.
This garden inspired rooftop restaurant is a feast for the eyes with breathtaking views of the city. Nosh on Asian inspired seafood and sushi as well as vegan options. And enjoy celebrity sightings because you never know who you’ll see at Catch. It’s the place to see and be seen. Get here early if you want to grab a table or know someone who knows someone.
This upscale West Hollywood restaurant makes you feel like you’re inside a lush greenhouse that just happens to serve modern Peruvian cuisine. Dishes are meant to be shared at Rosaline. Start with the ceviche (there’s a whole bar for it) and work your way through the extensive menu from snacks, to grill meat, seafood, inventive salads, and plenty of dessert options.
If you can’t hit up the rooftop lounge at Catch, Mama Shelter also has a space in the sky. Enjoy foosball tables, outdoor movies, and day beds in case you need a mid-afternoon nap. Good food and movie-themed cocktails round out the experience.
Any LA Travel Guide recommendations or neighborhood spots I’ve missed? Where do you love to go when you visit LA?