If I told you LA was home to a futuristic theme park would you believe me? Probably yes. And good on you because it’s true, and last night I got to experience just what that future looks like.
All I knew going in to check out this “tiny amusement park”, and “one-of-a-kind experience” was that it had a lot going on, it was heavily focused on interactive games, and that it was inside a 50,000 sq ft warehouse in the Downtown LA Arts District. It kinda sounded to me like a Dave & Busters, but the cooler, more fun, more “LA” version. I was almost spot on with that, but I had no idea just how cool this place actually was until I stepped inside.
It’s happening! Fall styles are officially in full swing! If you kept up with all of your favorite influencers in NYC last week, you caught a first hand glimpse of where Fall fashion is headed this year. We saw jewel tones, corduroy, western accents, knits, and two of my personal favorite trends – plaid and animal prints galore.
Raise your hand – or fluke – if you’ve been to Alaska. Now raise your hand if you hated it. (I guarantee no one is raising their hand because it’s impossible!) I’ve never been to a place on earth that more people in agreement over. Seriously. Everybody loves Alaska – myself now being included.
My parents and Tommy and I just embarked on a week long cruise through Alaska and it truly was the trip of a lifetime. I have never in my life seen a place so naturally stunning that it’s actually difficult to comprehend.
Now. I’ve always been honest about the fact that I’m not one for venturing too far out of city limits – the great outdoors is not exactly within my comfort zone. I’m not a camper, not even a glamper for that matter, but I knew Alaska was just one of those places in the world I needed to see. IRL.
Sure we saw a lot of the Alaskan great outdoors by way of a fancy boat – Silversea Cruises to be exact – but give me some credit, I am taking baby steps here! But thanks to said fancy boat, we were able to visit 5 cities within one week on our journey – Anchorage, Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan. Each city offered something new and had its own unique charm, and I am grateful to have seen so much. I’ll have to come back for a moose sighting as well as a Northern Lights show, but I figure those are both great excuses to do so.
Here’s a little of what we saw along our journey through the great Alaskan territory:
Well friends, it’s official. Love & Loathing Los Angeles is FIVE years old. I cant even type one freakin sentence without feeling a bit emotional.
I remember the day I called my mom, so excited to tell her I was going to write a book about life in Los Angeles. I was overjoyed that I’d finally figured out how to use my time wisely while I was in between jobs and trying to figure out who the hell I was and what the hell I wanted to do. I am indebted to my mom for suggesting the brilliant idea of working my ideas out by creating a blog first – that way I’d have everything I needed to write a book someday. (That book is still to come, do not worry.) I’ve always loved that my mom knew what a blog was before I did – she really is my hero.
When I first started, I had no idea what the heck I was doing. All I knew was that I needed a website, a name and a logo, some social media accounts for support, and that I just needed to start. I look back and think, “how in the hell did I do that?” especially in such a short amount of time. But the fact of the matter is, determination and desperation are powerful drivers. And every fiber in my being was focused on creating a community in Los Angeles, about Los Angeles, for Los Angeles.
I’ve always believed LA could be a picture perfect place, and I knew at the very least all it would take to see it would be open mindedness, the desire to discover, and appreciation for such incredible diversity – culturally and geographically – packed within 503 square miles. I wanted nothing more than to be even a small resource for anyone who shared even a fraction of my same beliefs. I wanted nothing more than to be that friend in LA to anyone who needed one.
I look back and crack up over how adorably “blissfully ignorant” I was stepping into this space. I always joke that I thought I was such a pioneer, that no one had thought about writing a blog about LA before me. Come to find out I am one of many, but I have found my own voice within the space, and I am honored to a part of such an incredible community of writers and bloggers. This city, these people, these platforms have inspired me, encouraged me, and have pushed me to keep going. It’s quite comforting knowing that I am not actually alone.
What I’ve learned over the past 5 years, what I still learn every single day, is that even as dedicated to this city as I am, I will never fully master Los Angeles. But boy do I love trying. And for that reason I will continue to embrace the challenge, keep learning, keep growing, keep exploring and more importantly keep sharing the beauty of journey, and thus hopefully inspire others to do the same.
A man I very much so looked up to and held the highest regard for passed away this year. He was one of my heroes, and if there were a perfect way to describe my sentiment towards the City of Angels, this would be it:
“If you live in Los Angeles you are used to having your city explained to you by people who come in for a couple of weeks, stay in a hotel in Beverly Hills, and take in what they can get to within 10 minutes in their rent-a-car. The thing that people find hard to understand is the magnitude of what’s here. The huge members of multiple cultures that live in the city that come together in this beautiful and haphazard fashion. And the fault lines between them are sometimes where you can find the most beautiful things.” – Jonathan Gold.
My heart is so incredibly full thinking about what Love & Loathing LA has become. And the truth of the matter is I wouldn’t be where I am without the unconditional support and love from every single one of you who take the time to read my posts, to visit my page, to watch my Instagram stories, send me emails, share your opinions, so on and so forth. From the bottom of my heart thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope Love & Loathing LA has made moments and memories for you that you’ll never forget, and that this space has given you more reasons to love LA than loathe it.
I think the most important thing I’ve learned in these past five years, years that have had their high highs and their low lows, is that success is arbitrary. But what’s undeniable is the measure of success is summed up by a person’s ability to persevere, to tough it out, and to never give up on what’s important to them. Success and failure are on the exact same road. Success is just further down that road. I have a lot of work left to do here with Love & Loathing LA and I hope you’ll stick with me to see it all through.
It’s ALMOST that time. That three to five day weekend time, where summer officially ends and the elicit fall wonders finally begin to take hold. I, like Leandra, love summer and hate everything else, although I will say Fall should be a sweet reprieve from the insane heat we’ve been experiencing. One can hope!
But in the meantime, if you’re like me, you’re getting out of town this weekend – or for a full week in my case.(HEY ALASKA!) So I wanted to make sure you had time to grab/do the last minute essentials so you have the best weekend possible.
The more I learn about the fashion industry, the more I am finding myself wanting to invest my money in goods made by local, ethical, and sustainable brands. It’s not to say I am not still a bit of a “hoo-er” (as I prefer to call it) for a few fast fashion brands like Zara, but I have been actively making a point of it to discover and support brands rooted in creating fashion consciously.
The incredible thing about living in a place like LA is that there are tons of brands, big and small, that are founded on doing good by their community – on a local and global scale. The cherry on top simply being that just because they’re ethical doesnt mean they sacrifice chic – au contraire. Here are a few of the brands I love right now that you need to be wearing yesterday:
Los Angeles has always been a bit of an oxymoron – in more ways than one. On one hand LA is a big city that promotes the quick pace of the hustle and bustle, but on the other hand it’s a city heavily focused on promoting slowing down and living that life of leisure. This juxtaposition actually happens to be one of my favorite things about LA. The fast life makes the slow life all the sweeter, and if there’s one thing I know about Angelenos… we hold “relaxation” in very high regard.
Besides the soothing sounds of the ocean shore, the feeling of the warm sun on your skin, or the sight of palm trees swaying in the breeze, there are tons of ways to relax in Los Angeles – as a matter a fact we’re a city obsessed with it. Whether it be a mediation class, a traditional spa, or a tranquil garden, here are a few of my favorite places around town to treat oneself and get a great mood refresher.
Puff sleeves might be one of those trends we look back on in 20 years and say to ourselves, “why oh why”, but ’til then I AM HERE for this trend. 2018 has been the year of statement tops and puff sleeves, and I love that these trends have been so versatile and applicable to any season. I have had so much fun this summer with bold prints and mixing patterns – Gingham, polka dots, and florals have been some of my favorite patterns to play with and adding a puffy sleeve has been the bonus accent to take a look from cute to chic. As we head into Fall these trends are on track to get even more “trendy”, so let’s go through a couple of the looks and styles I am loving right now!
All I keep hearing is, “Summer is almost over” and can I just be the one to say, no it ain’t? I feel like Summer has just begun! August, September and October always seem to be our warmest months and it’s the time of year Angelenos can finally take advantage of LA’s splendor. We can go to the beach in peace, we can dine al fresco as often as we please, and we can drink rosé – aka Summer water – on an extended timeline!
It’s no secret that I absolutely love hosting at my house, and my most recent gathering was arguably my most crowning achievement yet. I, with the help of my friends from Society6, hosted my very own “Rosé All Day” inspired cocktail party in my backyard and had the absolute best time doing it. I really went above and beyond with this one, but the good news is it really wasn’t all that difficult to pull of.
On this particular post I decided to partner up with one of my favorite girls – and especially favorite bookworm – to combine efforts and bring to you a list of books we’ve loved, or at least had our eye on this summer. Nikki Best is an LA girl, a creative, a copywriter, a yoga and coffee enthusiast, but most importantly the author of a book herself. A year or so ago she penned “Haikantwithyou” – a really fun and clever quick read that tells a tale of a modern relationship in haiku format. Plus it’s a great coffee table read for when you’re done – I would know, I have it.
So with all of that said, both Nikki and I have spent a lot of time this summer reading – and listening – and these are just a few of the books we hope you guys might enjoy as well. I also included the local book stores in Los Angeles that you can find them – along with their Amazon links just incase you’re not in LA. But if you are in LA, get your butt to your local bookshop and take in all those fresh book scents!