September's installment of 'Behind the Scenes' highlights one of my favorite ladies, Laurie, a graphic designer at Dum Blondey Designs based in LA. Laurie and I met in London, of all places, two summers ago. We bonded over a harrowing experience with our other besties (Sara and Marisa) on the Metro in Paris (ooh la la).
Collects Anything Crafty especially vintage brooches and buttons
Admires Strong independent women, Gwen Stefani is my girl!
Daydreams To travel all over
Guilty Pleasures watching really bad Lifetime movies. Simply Fabulous!
Weekend Pursuits as little as possible
Libation of Choice White Russians are pretty fantastic
Coffee or Tea Coffee but only the fancy Starbucks variety
Blooms of Choice Peonies and orchids
Favorite Book This is so hard because there are so many for so many reasons. The Great Gatsby always stands out
Where I’d Rather Be At the beach especially Cannon Beach
Lipstick or Gloss of the Moment I wear lip Gloss most, I really like the Clinique Chubby Stick in Two Ton Tomato
Nail Polish Du Jour I am a nail polish connoisseur. I'm obsessed with any O.P.I color. I have over 50 colors
Scent I love Stella by Stella McCartney
Style Icon Sara Jessica Parker (classic) and of course Gwen Stefani
Can’t Leave the House Without My Phone and lip gloss
Pending Vacays I wish I had some... Hopefully New Orleans
Social Media of ChoiceInstagram, Pictures are always the best way to tell a story
Crushing On Ryan Gosling, Chris Hardwick and Prince Harry. I know I have eclectic taste in men
In addition to being at the helm of her own design company, Laurie is also a head maven over at Newport Cottages. Their Beverly line of furniture is TDF, so posh.
I am beyond obsessed with the British reality show Made in Chelsea. I first discovered it when the Style Network started airing previous seasons a few years ago. Unfortunately they only aired a few seasons before that was that. After literally scouring the interweb, I discovered where I can view past and current seasons. The show is so over the top in the very best of ways. My favorite character though by far has to be Mark Francis. He always spouts out the best gems.
I've been reminiscing of late about the good times had in Los Angeles last month. Since a proper post about the trip was never written, I thought this as good a time as any. The trip was a reunion of sorts with a group of girls from Southern California that my friend Sara and I met while traveling in London and Paris a few summers ago. We bonded as a group over some rather hilarious (after the fact) predicaments we got into while abroad. We had intended for this reunion to take place much sooner, but life got in the way, as it's want to do.
Literally we went straight from a pickup at LAX to Beverly Hills. And after a quick bite at Nate 'n Al's (bagel & lox) it was on to Sprinkles Cupcakes AND Sprinkles Ice Cream, which happen to be side by side to one another. It was all about the cupcake ATM. Literally the most brilliant invention. I saved the maple bacon cupcake I snagged from the ATM for the next morning, but the salted caramel ice cream in a red velvet cone had to be devoured on the spot, obviously. Both the cone and cupcake were beyond.
Even though a couple of the girls live in Southern California, we decided to book a vacation rental through Airbnb (house porn) in West Hollywood. It ended up being a central location and gave the girls a chance to have a staycation. Though the buildings exterior of the vacation rental we selected wasn't exactly what I envisioned, the interior of the apartment was accurately represented and turned out to be the perfect size for our group.
Oh, and while in Beverly Hills I posted a photo on Instagram of a wall of succulents at a juice bar near Sprinkles and Jessica Alba not only liked the photo but left a comment too! So I had a definite moment over that occurrence. That evening we had dinner at El Coyote, an establishment Heidi and Spencer were known to frequent in their Speidi heyday.
At the start of each new year I like to take a look back at where I ventured throughout the previous year. 2012 predictably took me back to Savannah, twice. Then unpredictably took me across the pond to England and France for a whirlwind ten day experience abroad. Then it was back home via Toronto and Vancouver. I'm starting 2013 off with a trip to Salt Lake City, UT and Park City, UT for Alt Summit and Sundance respectively. Then on the agenda for the rest of the year is Savannah (naturally), NYC, LA, and...? One of my resolutions for 2013 being to travel more to new destinations.
Le Pont des Arts (“Bridge of the Arts”) in Paris is a lovely pedestrian bridge crossing the Seine that links the Louvre's Cour Carrée ("square courtyard”) and the Institut de France. It is also commonly known to Parisians as Le Pont des Amoureux or Lover’s Bridge. Couples have taken to attaching padlocks to the bridge then throwing the key into the river below, as a romantic gesture. So it's fitting that Le Pont des Arts is the bridge where Carrie and Big rendezvous in the final episode of Sex and the City. Though I haven't yet finished describing the London leg of my European adventure, here's a little taste of Paris.
Even though the end of summer doesn't officially arrive until the 22nd of September, Labor Day does unfortunately mark the UNofficial end of summer. So though I'm holding strong to my insistence that it is still summer, I do like to use this holiday to reflect on the previous months. This summer went by at warp speed: there was the jaunt to London + Paris at the start of the season (recap of the rest of the trip to follow shortly), Spot Prawns on the deck, the King Tut Exhibit viewed, novels + Lillet (along with other types of delicious summer cocktails) enjoyed in the sunshine, an alfresco tea party followed by croquet, a 3 1/2 hour hike to reach the infamous "beach glass beach", a Jess Walter book reading attended, many a sunsets observed, copious amounts of salmon consumed, mini road trips taken over hill + dale, many successful finds acquired while "antiquing", saw the actual Versailles then returned home and viewed the "Queen of Versailles", had an abundance of wildlife sightings (deers, whales, raccoons), attended a dear friends wedding, many a blackberry picked and subsequently made into crisps, a successful season spent avoiding gluten (with very little slips), attended the Anacortes Arts & Crafts festival, became obsessed with pilates reformer sessions, secured tickets to Alt Summit, attended business classes, enjoyed a screening of the Princess Bride under the stars, and... only more to come, since there's still EIGHTEEN days left of summer!
You'd think the massive London Eye would be easy spot from anywhere in the city. Not so much. It took a little traipsing here and there before locating it. The Eye was a solo adventure for me as Sara was hesitant, not of the heights, but of the ferris wheel aspect. She having had a bad reaction to a ferris wheel rather recently. I soldiered on and took the ride alone. The only other solo passenger being a German gentleman who kept asking me to take his picture. The pods, as I like to think of them, are massive. What fun it would be to not have to share it with strangers. This I found out can be done, for a price. Taking in all the monumental sights from that height and vantage point was spectacular. A highlight of the trip.
A good chunk of the rest of the day was taken up getting lost. We stumbled upon Shakespeare's Globe theatre by subtly following some other tourist who were heading in the same direction. Apparently one can attend a performance at the theatre on the cheap by purchasing groundling tickets (otherwise known as standing only). We didn't have the patience to take the official tour, but a wander around the exterior and a trip to the gift shop sufficed.
At that point in the day we had wasted so much time attempting to get from one destination to another. Eventually getting so fed up with not being able to find our way, that we headed back to Tophams to pick up our luggage and high tail it to our next hotel. We had a prearranged dinner date that we couldn't miss. What I wouldn't have given for a chauffeur that first full day in London.
After a lackluster dinner, we headed out to a nearby pub for Pimm's Cups and to catch a little "football". Obviously the football was an afterthought, it's just that it was impossible to focus on much else as all other eyes and attention were on the match. By the time we left London I had practically drowned in Pimm's. I couldn't get enough of the concoction.