{show & tell} LA souvenirs

The best part about traveling? Coming home and unloading your loot! I've had my mind and eyes on a few things so I took advantage of being in LA to tick them off my list. And here they are....

The Old:

An antique hourglass from my mama that she dug up when we went through her storage. Joe always played with it when he was at my folks' house so she let me bring it back for him. Aawwwww...

An old brass bottle opener in the form of a Pre-Columbian figure from my grandpa. The last time I visited him in Colombia I asked him to take me to wherever they sold "old stuff". He thought I was crazy but now he gets me.

Plastic Plates from POKETO that Joe bought for me when I moved into my own apartment (oh how I loved my DTLA studio!). Now they'll be perfect for our BBQ meals by the pool and if you like them, they're still in stock!

The New:

I was so excited when Everlane launched their collection of luxury basics several months ago. Not just because everything is under $100 but because most (if not all?) items are made in the USA. They don't currently ship internationally so I ordered a tank for me and a t-shirt for Joe but I really should have stocked up!

It's still bikini season where I am so I was on the look out for a new suite. I found my perfect set at Undrest by the Sea in Venice. Since the bikini was on sale I splurged on the shorts. I love the knit fabric and the Brazillian cut - and they're each made in LA so extra extra brownie points, had to support! I think the swimwear sale is still happening online so hurry, click click click!

I recently got new Moo business cards so naturally I needed something to put them in. The EAYSRLEE wallet is perfect in design, quality, and function. I've completely ditched my big wallet for it since I can stuff it in my pocket and go. I bought it through Of A Kind so you just know that it's 100% indie-designer goodness.

Chunky or statement necklaces are what I'm good at collecting but sometimes a girl needs something simple. I've been searching for a small pendant that I could wear every day and I fell in love with this golden nugget necklace by Timka Jewelry. She has a table on Abbott Kinney in Venice and is there every weekend selling her designs at 30% off. SOLD!

And last but not least, my new travel companion: the awesome upcycled leather passport holder by ECO PARTY MEARRY purchased at POKETO's new shop in DTLA's Arts District (see, here's proof that I was there!) I've been wanting one easy place to keep my boarding pass stubs and receipts while traveling and this one does it all in style!

The new case will come in handy tomorrow when Joe's packs me in his suitcase for a business trip to London (eeee!!!) I can't believe that we get to go back to visit our other home city - it's going to feel so great. Better dust off my sweaters, polish those boots, and, of course, make sure to save some room for more souvenirs ;)


friday pic & pin

friday pic & pin 17 It's been a great week of catching up with friends all over town and getting local things done. I've literally been all over the map from orange county to the valley and Sunday will take me to the westside for a brunch in Venice. Each area has different memories and associations for me so it's almost as if each chapter of my life is a different zip code and I'm flipping through the pages as I drive along.  It's a trip.

We'll see what stories are created this weekend.

Have a good one!

(image left: Downtown LA skyline from LA State Historic Park by Ana Maria Muñoz, right: Pin via Delovely Arts)

weekend we

donut shopdonut shop donut shop donut shop views of DTLA from Perch views of DTLA from Perch views of DTLA from Perch bday at Shareen Vintage bday at Shareen Vintage Anchorage, AL snow sculpture Anchorage, AL I see a moose! Anchorage, AK walking on a frozen pond living out my figure skating fantasies

Hello from Anchorage, Alaska! We're here visiting Joe's parents for a few days and so far I'm loving it. It's such a different world from LA or London but it definitely has its own charm...snow sculpture competition, walking across a huge frozen pond, spotting a moose, and pretending to be a figure skater - yes, please! It was crazy to get back into our boots and coats when just the day before we were in our flip flops getting instant tans simply walking around town. The wonders of air travel, right?

It was my birthday weekend and I felt totally spoiled by spending tons of time with my dearest friends, indulging in yummy donuts, sharing some great wine and views at Perch, and celebrating the big 27 with my favorite gals at my favorite vintage clothing store, Shareen. I got everything I wanted and more this year - I love you, friends!!!

Now....off to look for more moose, I'm totally obsessed ;)

meet me at union station

Union Station Los AngelesUnion Station Los Angeles Union Station Los Angeles Union Station Los Angeles Union Station Los Angeles Union Station Los Angeles Union Station Los Angeles

While not nearly as robust and extensive as public transportation options in other cities and countries, LA does have its very own subway and rail system. I love riding the Metro and even though it has its faults, one of the pleasures of forgoing a car is getting to pass through Union Station in Downtown. I was so happy to have the excuse to take the Gold Line there yesterday for a lunch date with my girlfriend Erin. It's such a special place.

happy friday! + LA architecture month

stahl house, los angelescastle green, pasadena gamble house, pasadena heritage square, los angeles downtown la skyline

AIA and the City of Los Angeles have declared October Architecture Month. Since it begins on Sunday and I'm not there to take part in their many events, I'm going to celebrate by sharing some photos from my archives.

There's not hiding it. I. Love. LA. It is my home, my heart, and it will always be the best city in the world to me. As a native it's interesting to live outside of LA and hear what other people think, say, and ask. These are usually my responses...

Yes, there's traffic but you have it too and just as bad.

Yes, there are celebrities but no one cares about them.

Yes, it's "SO big" but it's got something for everyone and every mood, hobby, interest.

No, we don't decorate palm trees for Christmas, we get pine trees just like you do.

No, Santa Monica Beach is not littered with busty blonds. Sorry.

... I could go on but I'll spare you.

My point is that a lot of people, visitors and those who live there alike, never stop to take a look at the real LA. They simply trug along the Hollywood points of interest or are too jaded to appreciate what's right in front of them. That's why I love that AIA and the city have devoted an entire month to highlighting the Architecture of LA. Though it seems that they're mostly promoting modern and future developments, I'm going to champion what we already have. Sure our buildings are not as old as other cities' but they're ours and they're special too. For example, we have the epitome of an American Craftsman in The Gamble House, preserved Victorian homes at Heritage Square, a Downtown with layers upon layers of architectural history, and perfectly executed mid-century homes like the Stahl House. Each one of these tells a story about the history of the city and there are many more just oozing with beauty and intrigue if you take the time to look past the stucco strip malls.

So, for this weekend, I'm going to remind myself to be inspired by the buildings that surround me in my new home. Any detail, any sign, even if I've walked past it a hundred times, I may actually see it for the first.

Have a wonderful weekend!

This week's three one rad links ( it's the only one I really want to share) ... • Walking tours of Downtown LA by the LA Conservancy. I did one and wish I would have done the others too. Choose from Art Deco, Theater District, Modern Skyline and more.

(almost) goodbye, LA

It finally hit me. I'm moving. I'm leaving my beloved Los Angeles.  It all came to me while at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, a quintessential LA locale.

As excited I am for the adventures - and even trials and tribulations - that await in London, I'm really going to miss LA. I'll miss towering palm trees lining the streets, the Downtown LA skyline that I grew up admiring and then called home for one incredible year, reliably delicious In-n-Out cheeseburgers (add pickles), and putting on my baseball cap to cheer for the boys in blue.

I requested a window seat for Thursday's flight. I want to savor every last bit of the city, even if from a birds-eye view. I love you LA.

::photos via Instagram, follow me (AtotheM) for more::

Car-less in LA

While sitting on the Metro Gold Line and flipping through a magazine I saw a car ad that read...

the car you drive says a lot about you. the car you don't drive may say even more.

After getting over how ridiculous the ad was , I realized that I hadn't shared the news of my new car-less life!

What's that? Impossible you say? Not at all. While having a car at your beck and call makes things easier, it may not always be necessary.

I moved to Downtown in December  '09 and that's when my car began to sit idle 90% of the time while I still forked out the cash for parking, insurance, maintenance, and gas on a monthly basis. I was paying for the convenience of knowing I could get in my car and "go".  With the decrease in driving, my tolerance for it also took a dive. All of this combined with a desire to save money and I knew I had a decision to make.

After getting better acquainted with public transportation and signing up for a local car share program, LAX CarShare, I was ready to let go and let someone else take the wheel.

It's been incredible to not own a car. Sure it takes some more time and planning but when the need arises, I simply rent one by the hour through the car sharing program. Otherwise, there's the Metro (rail and buses) that gets me to most places I need/want to go, my bike is great for quick trips, and I get more exercise by walking.

I used to think that being car-less in LA was impossible and that I didn't have time to spend on public transportation. However, I find myself with much more time than before. I can read, do emails, or simply relax. No need to pay attention to the road. Plus, its nice to be connected to the world and other people rather than sitting in your own bubble.

Admittingly living Downtown makes the option more convenient (as does having a boyfriend you're always with anyhow) but it ultimately comes down to choices. I'm very happy to no longer pay attention to ads promising a better life with a purchase of a car. Sometimes not having those luxuries can have the same effect.


Buying and creating - a Saturday well spent

The upside of living in the Fashion District is that fabric buying trips are so easy. Just a walk down street and I can browse the latest offerings at The Loft, a space where remnant and overstock fabrics are sold. I picked up some denim swatches there and scraps of super soft yellow leather from another store across the street.

When I got home I was extremely motivated to get some design work done so I laid out muslin fabric and began to draft some ideas for a tote bag. I love my clutches but I need to make something that I can use everyday too! There will be several sample trials but I'm excited to figure it out. Hopefully we'll have new bags and more easy gift accessories online by November :)

Down the street

The boyfriend won tickets to a show at The Mayan Theater and since neither of us had ever been, we were excited to check it out.

The venue was about a ten minute walk from my place and though we didn't love the headliner too much (we left early), we did enjoy feeling like we were on an Indiana Jones set. One of the openers, Everest, had a giant disco ball and we joked that it was going to come loose and roll into the audience!

En route back home we got a night cap at Broadway Bar, one of my faves in the neighborhood and another spot with amazing decor...a blend between art deco and art nouveau.

With a taco truck dinner added to the mix, it was a perfect night in the neighborhood.

Haute Olive Boutique opens in the Fashion District

Haute Olive Boutique is nearly two weeks old and it's quickly becoming a local favorite - some designers have already snatched up pieces to knock off for future collections. What's old is new right?

When I walked into the quaint space, owner Amara was still merchandising the floor and unpacking accessories out of boxes. Even though she obviously had her hands full she instantly made me feel at home and we chatted the entire time I shopped. Turns out that she moved the boutique from Echo Park after being there for a few years and she had been eying the downtown space for just as long.

Very happy that she made the move to the neighborhood but I know that I'll have to be careful.  As a former model she really knows how to sell her style along with everything in her store! I was good though and walked away with one blouse that I'm excited to wear this weekend at Unique LA.

Save the Date: Unique LA Spring Show 4/24-4/25

It's not really a show, you dont need to be an industry buyer to attend.  You can actually buy direct from the artists/designers and lucky me, ANAMU will be a part of it!

The second annual Spring Unique LA will once again be held in the penthouse floor of the Cal Mart building in Downtown LA. Shop, eat, drink, create, and lounge ... all with a fab view and happy warm feelings because you are supporting local and independent talent.

Hope to see you there!