Ari’s Cali Edition

 

A Golden State of Mind…..

So the time has come to recap both of our magnificent trips to the golden state, California! I (Ari) have visited the cities of Sacramento and San Francisco before and my sister Gwen had never been. Both of us embarked on the journey to the west coast for some birthday celebrations and all around good times with friends. Below is a compiled list of some places I thought were worth checking out if you are ever in the Los Angeles area. Stay tuned for part two where Gwen covers San Diego and more!

Grub:

California foodies did not disappoint! Here were some eateries I thought were yummy.

  • Grand Central Market- This plaza is extremely popular for some famous eateries like Egg Slut and Ramen Hood but don’t count out any of the others! “ress brothers juicer”gives you the pick me up you need after the long flight to Cali from the east coast. “Saritas Pupuseria” and “Tacos Tumbras a Tomas” both give you a taste of the local latin flair for those who are money savvy and want the most bang for their buck!
  • In and Out– Need I say more?
  • Candela Taco Bar & Lounge- Located on La Brea avenue this place offers great food including specials and promotions like “margarita mondays, tango tuesdays and taco wednesdays. With live music and performances you cannot beat the authenticity and price of this special bar.
  • Cj’s Cafe– With its seemingly small exterior it might be easy to miss this cafe, but it could be hands down one of the yummiest casual spots yet! Cj’s serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and fresh juices!  The menu ranges from traditional american fare to mexican and beyond. The staff was extremely accommodating and friendly and the food was delicious. Try the huevos rancheros for breakfast and watermelon/ cantaloupe fresh juice the morning after a night out.

fullsizerender-2

Tourist Attractions

  • Lacma– Known for its popularity amongst bloggers, you can’t help but at least admire the instillation and relax with friends on a chilly evening amongst the lights.
  • Griffith Observatory-This free attraction is amazing for panoramic views of the city including the Hollywood Sign. You can also visit the planetarium and explore the exhibits during regular hours.
  • Venice Beach & Santa Monica Pier– These are must sees anytime you go to LA. They both represent the quintessential Cali lifestyle and leisure we all know and love, surf sand beach!
  • La City Hall Observation Deck– Although most may not know it, if you go to city hall and get a free visitors pass you can go to the top of the roof where they offer amazing views of the city from a different perspective. Its free and easy!

Night Life

  • Sunset Blvd- Bar hopping galore! “Fiesta Cantina” was a great spot to grab a drink. Not for the faint of heart, “Flaming Saddles” is a Gay bar catering to scantily clad men in tightey whitey underwear- yes please!
  • The Arglye Hollywood Nightclub- This swanky spot is perfect to get dressed up and sexy with your girls to dance the night away.img_7063

This was just a short list as I’m sure LA has so much more to offer. Stay tuned for my sisters secondary post on her favorite spots in other cities.

XOXO -ARI

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Big Three O! 

 
Well my friends the day has come, the birthday with the massive stigma behind it, the one where you start questioning life and what is to become of it. 30. I know it’s only been about 24 hours since my birthday but I wanted to shed some light on the fear of getting older and some encouraging tips for anyone (no matter what age) who feels a certain way about the way life should and should not be. Lets see if I’ve gained a bit more wisdom in the last day.

Where you are in life shouldn’t impact who you want to be: Often times we can find ourselves feeling defeated before we even try. The whole “woe is me” mentality kicks in and we tend to look at the big picture and become fearful or doubtful instead of focusing on the small steps it takes to actually get there. So repeat after me : You’re never too old, too far behind or too inexperienced. Anyone can begin anywhere.

Happiness is truly up to you: The kind of day you have is completely in your hands and you alone have the power to change that. I myself find it very easy to sulk and moan about everything that’s going wrong but, how you react and your overall perspective on life will make or break any situation. I feel that waking up each morning with a fresh outlook can also make a huge difference. Whether you have a journal or declare it out loud, starting your day with an open and grateful heart will surely start you off in the right direction. Lastly, Enjoy the little things, they are what end up shaping your life.

Its ok to say no: This is a tough one for me, I am the ultimate people pleaser, I love to everyone happy and it truly brings me joy to helpothers. These are all great qualities to have but not at the cost of your sanity and happiness. Repeat after me again: NO!

I haven’t figured things out yet: Lets just face this fact right now, it will take you almost your entire life to “figure things out”, the best any of us can do is to take each day as it comes. With a little humility, honesty and happiness, life can be a little simplier.

I am of a certain age but haven’t accomplished as much as (insert whomever here): Comparing your life to someone elses only makes it more difficult to focus on ourselves. Feeling unbalanced or stuck in a “rut”?  pin point out the problem and go from there. Then ask yourself if youre happy in that specific area and begin to take the steps needed to work on it. As written above try not to focus on the end goal so much and work on each baby step needed. We all know that prior to a baby walking it needs to be able to lift its head, roll over, sit up, crawl, pick itself up etc… and with each milestone there is always a celebration (if you have children or are around them you know what I am referring to) give yourself praises for accomplishing that one step, move on to the next one and “up the ante”.

I hope these were of help for those needing a little boost of encouragement. Not to contradict my “just say no” policy but I “said yes” to some pretty amazing things this year which in turn made me a much more happier, grateful and braver person. Here are some of them…

I said yes to moving to England for 6 months and had the most life changing experiences ever!

I said yes to a solo trip to Paris and it was the most magical time of my life!

I said yes to trying new foods (this might actually be a problem)

I said yes to meeting new people and put myself out there and in turn met some amazing new friends.

Today I say yes to embracing this new chapter of life. I encourage you to do the same! 

P.S I also said yes to roller skating in Brooklyn bridge park last night. Which resulted in tumbling to the ground. Oh the joys of being 30. (This was prior to falling when I thought I was cute)   

xx, Gwen 

#Madereal 

Its been a few days now since I’ve been back in NY settling in and sorting out the awful jet lag. Since arriving, I’ve been trying to get into the swing of blogging again and figuring out what summer events I will be attending. It just so happened that Ari tagged me on @yoli_stylista’s instagram post advertising the Madereal event. I quickly rsvp’d, as I was sure it would be a great one. 

 “Wearemadereal” is a group of women who work together to empower and inspire other female entrepreneurs. Through hard work, dedication and sacrifices they have collaborated together creating a Vodka, called Made Real. It is designed to bring together driven women, offering a casual and relaxed vibe for those occasions where ideas are being exchanged. 

  

These women live by the motto “We inspire, and get inspired”. I am always glad to be a part of a female dominated movement. It is important that we support each other in all endeavors whether it be blogging, styling and Vodka making. 

The event was a pre Vodka launch, held at the Rooftop at the McCarren Hotel in Williamsburg. Three separate booths were set up, one for nail painting, another for hair styling/ braiding and the last booth had post cards you could write a note to a woman that inspires you and the team would mail it out for you. Such a great idea! The best part of it all was of course the Vodka tasting. My favorite drink was the “Mint Condition”. Here are a few photos I was able to snap (I was enjoying myself a little too much and wasn’t able to capture it all but I hope you all get my drift)        

    
   

So there you have it my friends be sure to follow @wearemadereal on Instagram and stay tuned for more upcoming events. Also be sure to support and purchase a bottle here: Madereal . I am one who isn’t a huge fan of Vodka but I could honestly say it was the smoothest I’ve had in a long time! 

xx Gwen 

A love note to London 

  

Here I am laying in my room enjoying a cuppa tea (how English of me). Six months ago I arrived in England and I now leave an honorary Londoner (if you’ve been reading my posts lately you might have noticed a bit of a change in my vocabulary). Time has just flown by and strangely enough I have never felt more at home, than well at home.

Walking down the streets during my final days here, I take in the now familiar aroma of your hazy air and reminise on when I first arrived, a fresh-faced American ready to take on a new adventure. I remember how mysterious your gray skies were and how your perpetual clouds never ceased to fill me with hope (hope of a sunny day that is). I welcomed the inevitable rain everyone but I seemed to moan about, that is until I experienced your massive droplets wearing nothing but a jumper, you cheeky London. 

In your little pubs, I found warmth and comfort. Their home cooked food and rustic environment left me craving more every time.
You will never know what you’ve done for me. You have turned me into a complete outsider, drained my wallet with your currency system, tested me with your dry humour but I fell in love with you just the same.
There is beauty everywhere your eyes turn from gorgeous parks, to street markets booming with people and an extensive array of foods. I have fallen in love with all of it! 

So, here’s to the drunken nights with the wonderful new friends I’ve made which funny enough are all Austrailians living in London (Insert Aussie & British joke here). Your underrated pastries in local coffee shops (which I have unashamedly had loads of). Here’s to the beautiful strangers I met the gaze of on the tube. Here’s to the amazing history that took my breath away time and time again. Here’s to you London! 

I will never forget this amazing time we spent together. You helped put a sparkle back in my eyes and I will now return to the big apple with a new sense of pride and accomplishment. I am so lucky to have been able to call you home, if only for a mere six months.

I don’t believe I ever mentioned why I was in London, But I’ve been a nanny to a little girl for the past two and a half years and her family asked me to come over with them to help with the transition period. The biggest thank you goes to them! And to that wonderful cheeky little girl who will always remain in my heart! 

So it is with a massive sigh and images of “look left”, “look right” & “Mind the gap” all fluttering through my mind that I must bid you farewell. London, It’s been brilliant! ❤️  

xx Gwen 

London Eats 

For this post I thought I’d switch things up a bit and mention a few of my favorite places to eat in and around London. It is now coming down to the wire my friends (1 short day left) such a bitter sweet feeling, but anyways on to the delicious food.

Before arriving lots of people warned me about how “bad” the food is in England but let me inform you that it is not! I mean you can’t go wrong with fish and chips, a Sunday roast because who doesn’t love meat, potatoes & Yorkshire pudding? If you don’t fancy typical English dishes hop on the tube to any of the food markets and you’ll find a huge variety from all over the world! Here are a few of my favorites! 

The Bolingbroke (Clapham) – Sunday Roast  

Granger & Co. (Notting Hill) – Ricotta hotcakes, banana & honey comb butter. 

Borough Market (London) – Beef Curry & Paella (yes I mixed the two because why not?)

Camden Market: (Camden) Gluten free Tacos & Horchata/ Agua de coco   

Kettners (Soho) –  Afternoon tea 

The Regency Cafe (London) Easy Peezy English Breakfast (only thing missing is black pudding but I am not a fan)  

Fish and Chips (Camden Lock)   

Bangers and Mash (prepared by my boss) 

  I also want to mention The Black Swan (Pub located in Surrey) for the best Sunday Roast outside of London! 

I also want to mention that the Indian food in England is the best I’ve ever had, so good that I’ve never had the chance to take a photo of it.  An amazing place to go to is Tayyabs in London as well as Aladin on Brick Lane rd. 

I know this is outside of our normal posts but I could not pass up on sharing some of the wonderful places my mouth has had the pleasure of meeting. Hopefully this didn’t make you all too hungry. Maybe this could be of help for anyone traveling to England in the future. Take care lovelies 

xx, Gwen