My (new) LA Story

Ok. So you’re about to get my recent LA trip photo-recapped real quick like.  Why? Because it’s Friday and I’m ready for a beer, followed by a lot of sitting.  If you follow me on Instagram (do it! we have fun there), you saw a couple things already, but right here’s about to be all that I gotcha!

Flight garb:

  • Stretchy, bell bottomed cords from Target (always wear stretchy bottoms on long-ish flights).  Products here no longer available (sorry).
  • Loose white sheer cotton tank – Target (always wear light and loose tops on flights… and make sure they don’t wrinkle).
  • Turqoise/brown sandals -Target.
  • Jewelry – boutiques and gifts.
  • Tried new nail polish to test vacation durability- Shown above is Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Wine Stock (click that link to buy from Amazon at a discounted price).
  • Also, tried new lippies to test vacation durability- shown above is ‘Milani’ Amore Matte Metallic Lip Creme in ‘Mattely in Love’ (#6).  I only brought that product in various shades with me on this trip.  And I purchased mine from CVS, but click HERE for Amazon possibilities.

Also, shown below on both me and my little lady (shot grabbed from Instagram) when she was helping me work before I left…

Both products promise to last through most anything and I was about to see if we can trust them… stay tuned.

Here we go!!

So, I always get a pic on the plane before takeoff for my closest family and friends.  Always.  And always send text love to them before I takeoff.


First stop after plane landed, bags still in the car, was to Tavern, owned by my old bosses.  They happened to actually be there at that exact moment, which was a hell of a shock to all of us.  Those ladies are the ones to thank for so much of what I do.  If you saw my Instagram post about it, you got a glimpse at a little more detail on that.  Mama was craving beer somethin’ fierce, so I blindly ordered a local beer: Angel City IPA.  It was so. damn. good.  So good, that we bought some and shipped home.  I do not PLAY with my IPA’s, y’all.  Also, the fact that I didn’t let ex-boss / Somm. Caroline pick a bubbly out for me shows how badly I needed that beer.

medium bodied but quite bold, extra hoppy – just how I like it

Ordered old, beloved favs- The bacon wrapped, parm stuffed dates with the beer as soon as we sat down (still incredible):

salty, sweet, cheesy perfection. seriously one of the best bites ever.

Had Tavern Cobb with Salmon-  (very light and fresh and exactly what I wanted and needed after a lot of sitting in recycled air):

butternut squash, beets, avo, chickpeas, heirloom toms… also their bread has gotten even better than before… perfect crust with tender middle… along with Irish butter and sea salt. YES.

Post-lunch hotel pool sitting with a free G & T:

So… we asked for minis of the Nicolas Feuillate (a.k.a The One Fo(u)r Quarter Bottle) and the dude couldn’t find it in his computer.  Then tried to charge us $100.  Nope.  We asked for two glasses of the sauv blanc they had on their list.  Dude couldn’t find it in his cooler.  We stood there for… 15 minutes waiting?  Thus the free gin and tonics 😉

Too busy for an outfit pic of the first night… we were starting to feel the time difference at this point, and then the lyft ride was lulling me to sleep… so I stayed active playing with shadows and stop light glow…

on lips is another Milani matte metallic lip creme, this one in ‘chromatic addict’ (#1). it’s a really beautiful gold.

Had dinner at Here’s Looking At You in K Town.  Super fun place with killer cocktails (lots of tequila and bourbon)… had a very enjoyable meal, however the Pork Belly dish was literally one of the best things I have ever, EVER eaten.  (Please tell me you understand the magnitude of that statement):

horrendous photo, terrible lighting, doesn’t do it justice, but this helps me taste it with my mind.

It was braised in coconut milk, served with a key lime amba, with charred pineapple, topped with crispy shallots and palm sugar, cilantro and Thai basil… that’s all that I know.  Guys.  I’m not joking – one of the best dishes EVER.  All the moans.

Ok. So. Initial Reason for (secret) LA visit:

HOORAY!!!!! To surprise Other Brother at his birthday party.  He had zero idea we were coming and the surprise was incredible.  It was fully worth every hoop jumped to get there.  Seeing the pure shock on his face, followed by an immediate love tear welling up in his great big blue eyes will forever be a part of my mind.  The party was amazing, and seeing a room full of people who love him, including lots of personal old friends, was equally so.

LOVE YOU, BRUTHAAAA!!! Miss you already!!! x

Day 2 / First full day in LA / Valentines Day / First EVER V Day alone after babies:

Woke up to the love of my life and my favorite heart.  The man who makes mine beat.  The best partner I could have ever dreamed of.  My beautiful man. xo

First things, first.  Visit back to our memory’s best coffee in LA (a.k.a Kings Road Cafe):

wearing new fav shirt to workout in -my deadpool tank from Target. no longer avail 🙁 .  also note the hair that has started to become l.a. kinky…

Each cup of coffee is made to order, (by French press, we’re told).  There are no cup refills.  It is it’s own thing.  You want another cup, you buy another cup…

Still the best.  It is so rich and dark and it coats your mouth like it’s a dessert.  Absolutely held up to what we remembered.  Just look at that thing of beauty!  (Also note the nails still holdin’ up 😉 )

Drove up the hills to Runyon Canyon for a hike, just like old times:

Perhaps you saw the video on Instagram?  On a two hour hike / uphill sprint / rock climb event, it pays to get creative.  Plus, running is just way more fun that way anyway.

Such a good workout, and sooo much fun.

Stopped by the market for some hotel room essentials (we like to keep healthy snacks and waters in the mini fridge when we travel), and got ahead of the hotel bartender with a bottle of Taittinger:

Perhaps it would have felt naughty to be drinking such a classy house out of plastic hotel paper cups… but it didn’t even occur to me to feel anything other than bliss…

them’s my special valentine glasses. they’re so old, but i wanna say they probably came from target. and i’m wearing the milani lip in ‘devotion’ (#14)… this one isn’t metallic, only matte, and it’s a very deep purply-red, very intense, but perfect for the day.  Also?  nails after rock climbing/ hike?… check.

Got ready for fancy Valentine’s Dinner:

bodysuit by hm, no longer available. skirt from amsterdam. shoes from target, no longer available. clutch from hm, no longer available.

Wanted to feel princessy.  Wanted to feel like I could twirl and float my way to dinner.  I did.

Ate at Spago in Beverly Hills.  It’s been there for years and we never went when we lived there.  Nice meal… they were running a prix fixe for the night…  The chestnut / mascarpone agnalotti was the standout.

Went on a street run the next morning, found a park.  Improvised some workouts.  Here’s my hulky hubby doing his thang on IG (I, however, was not tall enough to ride the ride 🙁 )

Got ready quickly for a business day in Pasadena…

bodysuit – marshalls (good luck digging and finding another). jeans – amsterdam from pull and bear (can’t get ’em here). army jacket from hm, bag also. shades from payless shoes when they did such a thing

Quick messy hotel room pic to send my girlfriend who gave me this bodysuit…. that I am obsessed with.  Thanks, love! xo


Also, peep the hair.  What?  I’m a wavy head in la la land!  (I’m wearing the Milani in ‘over dramatic (#13)‘ It’s a really pretty golden rose color.)

Also, also?  Peace be with you all. Apparently.

Tried new kombucha while working / writing outside. (This was found in a gas station.  Like, not a swanky gas station.  But, like, a 76 station on the corner of nothing and nowhere.  I shouldn’t have been surprised.  That’s what I love about it there):

Humm Kombucha– Strawberry Lemonade flavor shown above… not local, made in Oregon.  Good stuff, a bit too sweet and not as tart as I prefer, but still good.  Hit the spot.

Pasadena sushi lunch at SugarFish, which was awesome.  Very classic, no frills, exactly what I want in a sushi spot.  Best handrolls of life eaten there- toro hand roll that was merely toro, rice, and lightly toasted nori.  The combination of temperatures and textures was insane.  So simple and so well done.

Then coffee stop around the corner at Philz Coffee.  THE BEST COFFEE I HAVE EVER HAD.  Not to knock Kings Road, that’s its own thing.  But this?  THIS!  I told him how I liked my coffee and he picked the beans based off my words and made a pour over (mind you, I regularly do not enjoy pour-overs), then asked how I liked it (splash of cream), which he did himself, and handed me my paper cup and lid and sent me on my way.  Ya’ll!!!  So good.  We both drank the Single Origin Red Sea Ethiopia Natural, a blend of three different coffees surrounding the Red Sea.  We are going to be buying some of these beans.  And doing it again.

No pics of any Pasadena edible and drinkables… apologies.

Snagged another bottle of bub for the pool.  This time settling on a chilled bottle of Mumm Blanc de Blancs from Ralphs.  Not bad.

Perhaps you saw my multi tasking video on Instagram…?

Got ready for last meal of the trip.  This time got to go more casual:

top – vintage found at fifi’s fine resale in cornelius. jeans -hm ‘shaping skinny regular waist’ jeans (super good product- tight stretch), same target shoes from previous outfit, clutch from ‘pink & blue’ at northlake mall. earrings – hm, bracelet – vintage from fifi’s.


Went to a place called Animal, after grabbing another local beer across the street on N. Fairfax.  Can’t remember the brews we had, but they weren’t as good as Angel City.

So, guys.  This is the Animal menu:

We let our friend (also our server) just order for us.  And here’s what we ate (use the menu above for any details I may leave off)…

  • Chicken Liver Toast
  • Hamachi Tostada
  • Bone Marrow . Chimichurri . Caramelized Onions
  • Marrow / Short Rib / Chuck Burger on Rye Toast (not on menu)
  • Poutine
  • Fois Gras . Biscuit . Maple Sausage Gravy
  • Tres Leches Cake


hands down.

Sure, the Pork Belly from ‘Here’s Looking at You’ is one of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten, but Animal was the most consistent and most amazing from start to finish.  So much fun.  Such a balls to the wall meat party. Honestly. It was just fantastically magical.  Even though I lost one of my favorite rings down the sink hole, I still look back on it fondly…

Back to the hotel for a glass of wine in bed so we could turn in early for our departure the next morning…

We ordered 2 glasses of pinot… got 2 bottles of pinot:

I mean… holy crap.  Look at those jammers!  Look, we loved our stay at the hotel, but those bartenders didn’t know what ta heck they were doing.  And you know what?  They are forgiven.

But yeah, we barely scratched the surface on those puppies.

Woke up super early for our flight the next morning.

There is no photo of such a thing.  I looked like I ate at a place called Animal.

Made it to the airport on time, despite a few mild concerns.

Selfie love messaged my people:

i generally travel home in the same outfit i wore there… hm army jacket kept in carryon def. needed on returning flight back east

Touched down in Dallas with just enough time (barely though) to grab a quick lunch and beer before the connecting flight:

Another local one, this one from Deep Ellum in Texas.  It was fine.  But I was too thirsty and plane-y to care much.

Pre-flight pics:


Why does he always look so dapper and smooth and I look like a looney tune?

Touched down on home base.  Good flight.  Super ready to be home to my babies.

tired traveler



So. In short, for those of you who are highly concerned on the cosmetic matter…

^^comes off easily… used a base coat plus 2 coats of the color, plus one coat of the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat (hours after the color dried!!! DO NOT put the top coat immediately over the color, or it will all chip and peel over very easily)

^^I mainly have colors in the matte metallic line, but have tried one pure matte.  BE SURE TO ONLY APPLY ONE COAT IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. Applying more will cause flaking.  So use caution when applying and be sure to stay in the lines!  It goes on like a gloss and quickly dries to feel like a paint.  The metallics still look shiny!  They stayed through lots of bites and sips the whole trip.  *claps*

^^It’s my go-to for long days.  I love the coverage (thicker than a tinted moisturizer but not as thick as a true liquid foundation), I love the sunscreen part of it, and it goes on with a matte finish, and never, ever, comes off until I wash it off.  I buy it from Target, but find it HERE at Amazon if you’d rather.

^^It’s a loose powder and you use a kabuki brush with it for incredible full coverage.  Sometimes if it’s a busy day on a trip, to save time I have to use it on top of the daytime makeup (which, yes, double makeup never feels super great… ammaright, ladies?) and it still never looks too done.  Love it.  I tend to get it from Sephora, but you can also order it from Amazon HERE.  It’s probably the most expensive makeup item I own… y’all know I love me some drugstore makeup, but it’s better for your skin and one container lasts a long time!

  • I’m in between testing mascaras at the moment, and will let you know when I have full results 😉

Awww…. guys.  We had such an incredible time back in LA.  It made us remember what we loved about it in the first place so many years ago.  Anything you could ever want is there.  Everything is possible.  Amazing food at every corner.  The weather!  We instantly fell back in love with the city that was our home after we became husband and wife.

But then, being able to come home to those two tiny reasons why we left LA all those years ago… is something I just can’t put into words.  Maybe one day we’ll combine the two, move back with our babies… but for now, being able to sip this North Carolina beer on my couch with the sounds of my babies playing upstairs and my husband cooking dinner in the other room is just sweet southern perfection.

I feel great.  I feel lucky.  I feel loved.  I feel thankful.  I feel complete.

Love to all of you.  Thanks for reading!  Enjoy your long weekend. xo

Special thanks to my amazing mama and papa for taking care of my babies while we had the best trip!!  I’m a lucky girl to have such support in my family and we couldn’t have made this happen without them.  Thanks, mommy and daddy- I love you more than beer.

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