Voila! Penny’s Playground

Joel and I decided that our new kitten needed a place of her own within our apartment to play, but we weren’t thrilled with the boring, beige scratching posts available in stores. Our girl needed something special, so we put our DIY skills to work this weekend to create something we’re pretty happy with. We did our materials shopping at Home Depot (wood, artificial grass, carpet, nails, l-bracket, rope) and Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts (paint, sponges, wooden shapes and cutouts). Then we spent all day Sunday at my parents’ house, and the four of us put it all together in the garage. After several hours of measuring, cutting, paints, stapling, etc., there was a whole lot of smiling.

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The first step was to cut the wood into the appropriate sizes. Painting the bottom of the second and third floors was the next step before carpeting the other sides of the wood pieces. The bottom floor is covered in artificial grass so that it looks like her yard. This is where we will put her food. When she looks up, she can see the blue sky and clouds and play with the hanging sun. We found these cute little animal cutouts and thought they’d be a nice touch to the overall look, but when we found the picket fence there were audible squeals. Her house is on the second floor (painted yellow with a large “P”), which has tassels hanging from the entrance that she already likes to swat at. There’s also a circular hole at the top that she can use to climb out when she’s bigger. That floor has a night sky with stars, a hanging moon and an owl and raccoon. We used a wooden round as the top perch to add a contrasting shape to the structure and wrapped the supporting posts in rope and artificial grass. Because she’s too small to jump directly to the second floor, we made a little ramp with steps. Voila! A customized cat house fit for our little one. Hope you like it as much as she does!

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Better Latte Than Never

Sometimes I feel so lucky to have found someone like my husband. I read this New York Times article that claimed America’s best iced latte came from a small coffee stand in Los Angeles. An iced macadamia almond-milk latte getting rave reviews only a drive away? I informed my husband that we had to try it.

So, this weekend we forged traffic, bypassed the parking lots with flat fees and found a lone metered space a couple blocks away. Then we realized we didn’t have change. We scoured the seats and found a few random coins; enough to afford us 28 minutes. That’s plenty of time for a quick coffee run, we thought. Until we stood in line for 25 minutes to get our order. Iced mochas are actually my drink of choice, so we strategically ordered the one we came for as mine and the tried-and-true for him–just in case. After one sip of mine, I made the switch, and my dear, wonderful husband just shook his head and accepted his new beverage.

It was actually our first time at the Grand Central Market in LA, and it’s a shame that we didn’t have more time to walk around. There were tons of food options and several menus were definitely calling out to us. But, our time was slipping away and we had to get back to our car. We then drove another 25 minutes to scope out the venue of a conference I am going to in a couple weeks. He circled around until he could point out exactly where I would have to go to park, and then we went back home. After we arrived in Orange County, we realized we had just taken a 3.5 hour trip, with a total of 28 minutes not driving–all for an iced latte that I didn’t end up liking. Then we looked at each other and laughed.

He then informed me we will be going to San Diego in a couple weeks for a baseball game.

Lots of Lovely: Flamingos

Maybe it’s because warm weather brings out a playful side in us, but flamingos are definitely having a moment lately. I’m not complaining. They’ve shed their reputation as a tacky lawn ornament and now their unique looks are being embraced. C’mon, I dare you not to smile at the sight of them, with their legs tucked in their bright pink bodies. There’s something beautiful in their oddness, and they bring a bit of whimsy to any outfit or home.

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1. Seedpod Flamingo 2. Lele Sadoughi Charm Necklace  3. Piamita Kate Maxi Dress  4. Alice + Olivia Hale Middie Skirt  5. J. Crew Girls’ Sweater  6. Minimum Men’s T-Shirt

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Lovely Blooms

My husband and I went took a day trip to Carlsbad to see the famous flower fields. With all the vivacious colors, it’s impossible to be there without feeling cheery and in awe of the beautiful, abundant blooms. When we stood at the top of the hill, we could even see the entire field, plus the ocean in the distance. I think I stopped every five steps to snap a photo. Can you blame me? The day was topped of with some delicious BBQ for lunch and some serious deals scored at the outlet shopping center nearby. Spring is officially here!DSC_0105 DSC_0108 DSC_0111 DSC_0119 DSC_0124 DSC_0130 DSC_0137 DSC_0170

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A Warm Winter’s Day

Yesterday was such a beautiful day, so my husband and I decided to take a walk on the beach. Since he is from the Midwest, and often talks about us moving to his hometown, I like to take these moments to ask him what the weather is like there. It helps when we’re driving with the top down in February. These playful back-and-forth sessions are a regular occurrence for us, and I will admit that I am impressed by his unwillingness to ever admit any city is superior to his hometown. Even when he is forced to name stark contrasts that you’d think might change his tune; his overall perspective remains the same. I think his fierce loyalty bodes well for our marriage, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. As long as we can still go to the beach whenever we want.

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Lots of Lovely: Lace

Perhaps it’s all the Valentine’s Day romance in the air, but I’ve really been gravitating toward lace lately.  Today I’m wearing a lace blazer to work and I feel like I should take a moment to enjoy some afternoon tea or some other Victorian lady activity. Isn’t it funny how an outfit can affect your mood? Even if it’s on a casual piece like a crop top or maxi dress, the delicate embellishment adds some sophistication and oomph to any ensemble. Today’s lace is not your grandmother’s–it’s everywhere now, especially in bright colors, and I suspect it’s not going anywhere for spring. For this Lots of Lovely collection I gravitated toward more neutral tones for a soft, dreamy feel with a cool modern edge. I don’t know about you, but those Anthropologie shorts are going on my wish list ASAP. Enjoy!

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1. ASTR Sequin Lace Layered Tank
2. Rhyme Los Angeles Alice Striped Lace Tank
3. Anthropologie Scalloped Lace Shorts
4. Free People Lace Bomber Jacket
5. ABS by Allen Schwartz Bust Collar Lace Dress
6. ASOS Jarlo Sienna Maxi Dress with Lace Hem

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New Orleans

Last week I took a business trip to New Orleans. I’d been there before, and the thing I was looking forward to the most was definitely the food. I remember even the street hot dogs tasting like heaven, so the thought of trying out some new restaurants was pretty exciting. Here are some of the dishes I ate and places I visited:

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I liked Port of Call because it was away from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter, and it looked like a place locals frequented for burgers.

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Lots of Lovely: Black and White

This week I was watching the Golden Globes when I was inspired by Zosia Memet to create my next Lots of Lovely collection. Aside from her amazing new haircut, which I think looks great on her, her Reem Acra gown really stood out to me for its classic look. Black and white is simultaneously timeless and modern, and I think it’s always a good answer to the “What should I wear?” conundrum we all face from time to time.

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1. Carolina Herrera
2. Madewell sweatshirt
3. Dolce & Gabbana Miss Sicily
4. Paul Andrew Zenada Pointy Toe Pump
5. Vince Camuto watch