Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Blogtober: Travel Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone! If any of you had Columbus Day off, I'm very jealous - but I do thank you for making my commute only 1 hour (it's usually 2)!

I've skipped a few Travel Tuesdays and this one is barely 'travel' but when you stay at a hotel, I consider it travel! :)

via allisonanderson.com
This past weekend, Adam and I drove out to Long Beach, California for the Long Beach International Marathon. Obviously I wasn't running (I hate running!) but Adam was finishing his Beach Series Marathon event, where you participate in 3 beach cities marathons in 1 year. Since I couldn't score an employee rate at the hotels in the area, we booked at the Hyatt Regency by the pier. I love having mini vacations like that, don't you?

I'm kind of a horrible girlfriend because I won't wake up and cheer him on for the starting part of the race. But hey, I'm up at 8AM and at the finish line waiting for him by 9 so that's good enough! :)

The weather was absolutely perfect this pat weekend. Cool breeze, warm but not too hot. Ah, I can't wait to live by the beach someday! 

We hung out all day Saturday, eating carbs (good for the runner, horrible for me!) and enjoying the beautiful hotel room at the Hyatt Regency. Sunday morning was race day and Adam did such an amazing job! So proud of him for completing the Beach Cities challenge! 

Not a shabby view to wake up to!

So comfy <3

A Carnival Cruise view via the Queen Mary post Sunday Champagne Brunch! 

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Blogtober: 10 Reasons Why I Heart Fall

image via allisonanderson.com

I absolutely have no excuses as to why I haven't blogged in forever other than just being busy. I should be better about blogging and I respect all my blogger friends that are so good about keeping theirs current! 

I'm not into YouTube but for years, I've adored Allison Anderson's (@Amarixe) channel and blog. She's so mature, eloquent and put together. This month she's doing "Blogtober" where she blogs every day. I was inspired by it and thought I would join in although mine won't be daily - obviously, looking at my track record this year!

I. Love. Fall. It's probably my favorite season and it's too bad that Los Angeles hit 103 degrees a few days ago. Ugh, where are you, cool weather?!

1. Sweater Weather 
Not that I get to enjoy sweaters as much as I would like down here, I still do it anyway. V-neck cashmere, dainty gold necklace and a scarf. Perfection.  

2. Pumpkin everything! 
Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin decorations, Pumpkin Tart from Trader Joe's, Pumpkin Candles, Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from DQ. Get the drift? 

3. Fall Candles 
Bath & Body Works, I heart you. Fall candles are the best. My favorites from BBW are: Leaves, Pumpkin Apple, Tailgate & Cranberry Woods. 

4. Halloween 
I love Halloween. Halloween candy, decorations, costumes. I just adore it. Second to my birthday it's my favorite International holiday ;) 

5. Birthdays
My favorite International holiday is on November 5th and it's called Deena's birthday. This year is even better than usual because I'm off to the Aloha state for 5 days! I. Cannot. Wait. 

6. Fall leaves 
So pretty. Need I say more? 

7. Fireplace usage 
Is there anything more cozy than a fireplace? I think not. I can't wait to use ours (for the first time, haha)! 

8. Sleep 
No more A/C that dries my skin and throat, no more loud fan blowing at me, no more sunlight super early in the morning - I can finally get some peaceful sleep. I sleep best during the fall and winter!

9. Soup 
I love anything soupy. Miso, corn, stew...whatever it is, I love it but I am extremely against it during the summer. Can't wait to bring out the crock pot again! 

10. Wine Season
I mean, harvest season is the best season! As much as I would love a trip up to Napa in mid to late September, I also can't afford paying $500+ per night for a hotel room! Plus, red wine becomes so important in my life in the fall and winter. I appreciate the deepness more as I stop craving the roses and whites. Mmmm, I can't wait to explore more red wines this season! 

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Washington, D.C

Hi friends & family!

I'm a weekend behind but wanted to share my Washington, D.C trip! I was out there during the week for work and stayed the weekend for fun (what's a business trip if it's not fun, right?). I've been to D.C several times and it just doesn't get old. I'm in love with D.C, I would totally live there. In a freaking heart beat.

If you ever visit D.C, I highly recommend the Night Tour on the double-decker buses. I had never done that before but one of my colleagues from the work event wanted to and ended up tagging along. It was about $45 and totally worth it. It was about 3 hours long, you learned so much from the guide and was able to go around some distance during that time. Loved seeing the city through a different view.

I'm a huge brunch connoisseur; I think most of you know that. My friend Monika, who lives in D.C, took me out to brunch on Saturday at Founding Farmers. I've heard of them and was so excited. The food was amazing. I don't even know how to explain how delicious it was without getting sad that it's so far away from me. We had some beignets with three dipping sauces to start, some Intelligentsia french-pressed coffee and I got the stuffed Banana Foster french toast which was to die for! Monika had the blueberry pancakes (sounds simple but out of this world!) and shared some hash browns (soooooooo tasty).

Since I've been there so many times, I didn't end up doing too much touristy stuff. Monika and I visited the Air & Space Museum since that was the final Smithsonian I hadn't visited yet. We hit a bar, snacked on some falafels...so much fun! Thanks, Monika - it was great seeing you and catching up! :)

Like I said, loooooooooooooove D.C. Can't wait to go back!

I got picked up at my hotel (for the work week) by a limo to get to The InterContinental Hotel in D.C! Fancy!
The historical Willard InterContinental Hotel
My hotel was so cute! I felt like a princess from the 1800's.

The 'back' of the White House. There's my friend David taking a selfie, haha.
So beautiful. 
Love the monument. You can see D.C so perfectly from the base of it.
WWII Memorial
The 'front' of the White House. Obama was home! 
The Capitol Building. The lights nor the flags were up, which means that Congress is not in session. #FunFact
My FAVORITE in D.C. The Lincoln Memorial. 
Hi, Abe!
View from the Lincoln Memorial stairs. 
MLK Jr. Memorial
Founding Farmers brunch: the bestest bestest bestest brunch in the WORLD.
Gorgeous arrangements at my hotel; The Willard InterContinental Hotel. 

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Golden Home Bar

Golden Home Bar

Now that Adam's Bachelor Pad is finally (2 years later...) turning into a 'home', I'm starting to put my ideas together for a home bar. We have a wine fridge, rack and a variety of liquor and mixers for when we have friends over. The problem is, it's just crammed into the corner of our dining area. Since our dining area is fairly large, I'm thinking of creating a home bar on one side.

Our floors and dining table are dark brown and I'm obsessed with the combination of brown and gold. It gives off a warm yet classy vibe, which I love.

First of all, how sleek are those bar stools (similar)?  They would give such an amazing pop that's needed in my dining area right now!

Second, one of my favorite things in that set is the Pineapple Candle Holder. Aside from loving the fruit, the pineapple is the symbol for hospitality, which if you didn't know is my industry! Subtle personalizations are key to keeping your home unique!

Finally, my final favorite is the Imperial Glass Gold Decanter. How gorgeous is this? It's too beautiful I don't think I would be able to use it!

What do you guys think? Do you have a home bar already or have ideas?

A special thank you to Chairish for reaching out and giving me the opportunity to explore their massive, marvelous collection of home goods and letting me rave about my finds here on the blog! Make sure you check them out!

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Laguna Beach, California

Hi friends & family!

I'm in-flight as I type this, en route to Washington D.C! D.C is definitely one of my favorite cities in the world and was so happy when work decided to send me there. I haven't been back there for about 4 years - definitely due. That Travel Tuesday will come next week.

August 1st was Adam and my 4 year anniversary. He was out east for work, I was all over SoCal also for work and had agreed to a quiet night in to celebrate. On Thursday night, my other job demanded I pack for the weekend for a consulting appointment in Laguna. It might sound obvious to you but I honestly thought I was going for work. Little did I know Adam and my other job were working together for a surprise. Friday after work, I headed down to Laguna and checked into the Pacific Edge Hotel right on the beach. I walk into the room and was surprised by Adam hanging out on the patio with some champagne! He had been planning this for about a month! I'm very rarely surprised but I certainly was this time!

It was my first time in Laguna Beach and I'm still in awe. Yes, I admit I was obsessed with MTV's Laguna Beach back in the early college days (Team Kristin!) but it's actually a lot more beautiful than they portrayed (and they did a fantastic job!). The weather was perfect, Adam went all out on the hotel and room, people were friendly, the beach was gorgeous...I can go on and on.

I think it was the first time we actually relaxed during a trip. We always have this strict agenda we follow to maximize the experience but this time around, we truly were beach bums. We walked along the beach endlessly, played in the water, ate at local restaurants, shopped local businesses, visited the Sawdust Art Festival where I bought my first big-girl art photography piece, ate some more and kept the patio door open while we slept, listening to the ocean.

Seriously, a huge thank you to Adam. Even after 4 years together and 2 years of living together, he manages to surprise me and keeps things fresh. I had one of the best times I've ever had in my life this past weekend and it's all thanks to him. Looking forward to many more years of fun and adventures together!

This is a little nerdy of a topic but we couldn't help but check the real estate situation in Laguna Beach. Living in Laguna Beach is for the 1%. A 350 sq ft, 30+ year old, no A/C, no fridge studio apartment costs a whopping $2k a month. For that much, you can live in a newly renovated studio apartment in freaking downtown L.A - with some change! All the houses 'on the hill' (you know, where LC and friends lived ;) ) are at least $3 million up to $12 million!. Insanity. We'll settle for vacationing there for now...

Sunset view from our patio. So beautiful. 


The sand and water felt so good!

Happy 4 years, Adam! 

Best room in the house.

Loved our room. 

Again from our room.

Our friend, Walter. He visited every morning! 

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Redondo Beach, California

Hi friends & family!

I'm going to skip the "I can't believe I haven't written in so long" so, <insert whining here>.

This past week, I've been lucky enough to have stayed 3 nights in Redondo Beach, here in Southern California. It's about 30 minutes west of Los Angeles and it was my first time there. I was thrilled when my company decided to have a conference there! Living in L.A can get kind of lame when it comes to conferences and summits because they tend to 'bring' the events to L.A - and of course, since I live in L.A, I don't get to pack up and fly. I guess it's a form of a #humbebrag?

Anyway, since Redondo Beach happens to be quite far from my home and can be a traffic nightmare, I got the OK to to stay at the hotel where they held the conference. I. Was. Stoked. 3 whole days to spend in Redondo Beach - yay!

I had such a blast at the conference, too. My two bosses attended as well but we weren't seated together and I ended up meeting a ton of new people. I continuously feel blessed that I've been given this opportunity because every single person there was older and more experienced than I am in this position. I learned so much from them and excited about the new connections I've made.

I ended up not having that much time to explore the city but I was just happy to be by the beach. Who knew this city girl's heart gets tugged by the beach? I loved it. I never hang out on my hotel patio but I spent hours there this past week just absorbing the beach fragrance and view (our hotel was right by the beach).

I'm halfway through the busy work schedule. I'm mid-convention again that started Sunday until tomorrow and then I'm off to D.C the following Monday for a whole week. That will temporarily end my conference season - phew!

View from my patio

Evening stroll <3

Soooo pretty

View from my patio during sunset. Too gorgeous. 

We all got personalized snacks - how creative, right? Made my day! 
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Monday, July 7, 2014

Let's Go Wine Tasting!

Let's Go Wine Tasting

Friends ask me all the time what they should wear and/or bring with them to wine tastings and thought I would do a little introduction to this fun activity!

Above, I made a basic set of what I like to wear and bring with me.

Attire: Being comfortable is a must. I know a lot of people think of wine tasting as this outing where you need to make a fashion statement but please, not to the point where you're uncomfortable. During the summer, I love wearing dresses. Always, always bring a shawl or a cardigan with you. Most wine countries tend to get cool in the evening. 
Shoes: Flats! I roll my eyes at people wearing heels (#sorrynotsorry). I prefer sandals or flats depending on the weather. If you must accentuate your legs, go with wedges. You're almost always standing and consuming alcohol. You don't want to be in pain. 
Accessories: No bracelets. If you go wine tasting as much as I do, you realize bangles and bracelets become a nuisance. Cross-body bags are a must; Rebecca Minkoff's Mini Mac is my favorite - the goal is to be hands-free. Sunglasses and a hat. Some wineries will give you tours of their facility and vineyard; protect your eyes and pretty head! 
Misc: Lip balm because your lips get dry (especially from dark reds), water because you need to stay hydrated, mints & toothbrush for after your day of wine tasting and a notepad and pen (I'm old school like that) to take notes from all your favorite wines.

I'll get a post going soon on wine tasting tips & tricks, do's & don'ts soon!

Hope everyone had a fabulous and safe 4th weekend!

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