Dreaming of La La Land

“Why did you move from California to Chicago?” is a question I have received 100+ times. My answer has remained consistently the same: The energy in Chicago is different than anywhere else and you never take a beautiful day for granted. Now that I don’t live in California, I never take a pretty day for granted there either.

I was so excited to be in Santa Monica/ Venice Beach for work and I was able to stay the weekend to visit my family. I was able to squeeze in a few things here and there whether it was get a workout in, grab a yummy coffee, walk around the Venice Canals, check out Abbott Kinney Blvd.. it was all so fun. There is so much to do and see in Los Angeles. The next thing I have on my list when I return is to get in more hiking, drive up the coast from San Diego to San Francisco, and see wine country in NorCal. My bucket list just keeps getting longer and longer! What’s on your bucket list and upcoming travel schedule?

Below are a few pictures + outfits linked from my very own La La Land- and I can’t wait to go back ❤

XO.

Lex

 

Shorts: Express (Similar HERE) // Shirt: Styles for Less // Backpack: TUMI // Sandals: Nordstrom

Bathing Suit: Victoria’s Secret (Similar HERE!)

Until we meet again, La La Land ❤

Travel Guide: What To Do in Venice Beach

Oh LA sunshine how I have missed you. I am excited to be on the road for work and staying the weekend to visit my family. (Summer time is one of the busiest seasons at work!) Of course when I found out I was going to Venice Beach for work, I could not resist finding a few hot spots to check out during my travels!

If you ever find yourself in the beach babe mind set, biking down the board walk, or just need some sun in your life, here are a few of the places I have in mind to check out.

  1. Venice Canals: I came across this by mistake, but it brought pure happiness when I discovered it! You are sure to see a few photos on my Instagram from here. Cannot wait to see all of the cute houses and boats!

Photo by @TheVeniceCanals

  1. Blue Bottle Coffee: Because when you have early morning meetings or need that afternoon push to get you through the day, Blue Bottle Coffee is a Southern California classic. How can you NOT love their coffee?!

Photo by: @deviljulin

  1. Barry’s Venice Beach: Oh you bet I am stopping in for a full body workout at Barry’s Bootcamp over the weekend! Cannot wait to get my workout in and do the occasional run on the boardwalk too!

  1. The Penthouse Restaurant, Santa Monica: Because everyone needs to have a classy dinner with killer views am I right or am I right? Located in the Huntley Hotel with plush white interior and fancy cocktails, you can’t go wrong getting lost in the beauty of the sea with a cocktail in hand.

Photo by: @dailycherie

  1. The Butcher’s Daughter: I love the vegetarian options The Butcher’s Daughter has available! You won’t even realize you are eating all plant based foods! Fresh food on a sunny day: winning.

Photo by: @gettinavocontrol

Any other recommendations while I am adventuring in Venice? Comment below with your recommendations and follow along my travels on Instagram!

See you in the sunshine!

XO.

Lex

Pretty in Pink: Wedding Season Fashion

Dress: Topshop *On sale!* // Shoes: Charles Jourdan // Earrings in PINK: Bauble Bar // Clutch in BLACK: Nordstrom (not pictured but cute to go with!)

‘Tis the season for weddings and there isn’t anything better than celebrating a forever love over a glass of bubbly. I had the most wonderful time celebrating a friend’s marriage in sunny Orange County, California. My dear friend has nothing short of great taste, so I knew it would be stunning. The venue was at the Monarch Beach Resort and if you ever have a chance to stay there, I would highly recommend. Ocean views and amazing hotel amenities? For those who are stuck in this chilly Spring gloom, I will leave it at that.

My favorite color has always been pink and I love that it is a popular color. I hopped around Nordstrom and luckily found most of my outfit in one place except my shoes from Nordstrom Rack (Nordies clearly has my heart…). I kept it simple finding a pair of tassel earrings I could wear with a messy up-do, and black heels to compliment the black bow in the back of my dress. The up-do was in part that I didn’t want to overheat in the sunshine and I wanted to show off the cute little bow. To top it all off, I was feeling fabulous with my lashes done by Amazing Lash Studio Chicago in Streeterville. I love this dress so much I might sport it for the Kentucky Derby with a black hat and black gloves… thoughts on it being cute or more so aspiring to be Audrey Hepburn? 😉

I hope you get to go to a wedding and celebrate love soon, too! ❤

XO.

Lex

Travel Guide: New York City

As I mentioned in my earlier post, there is something about New York that appeals to me in a way that I find too hard to explain sometimes. I wanted to share a few of my New York go-tos, which I would highly recommend for you to try too!

Day One

Hotel Chantelle

Our first stop after a lovely tapas style dinner at Beauty and Essex was Hotel Chantelle. Downstairs you will find nightly burlesque shows and upstairs is a rooftop that reminds you of an adorable park with cute benches as seats, white fences, and light and refreshing cocktails.

New York CityNew York City

 Top: Zara // Jeans: TopShop // Boots: ALDO

Day Two

Cha Cha Matcha & Cafe Henrie

Cha Cha Matcha is all the rave in NYC, and I can see why. Buried away in little Italy neighborhood is a pink awning and a few spots to sit down and enjoy a matcha drink. I had the coconut matcha latte and it was a great jump to my day. We also had brunch at Cafe Henrie, keeping it retro but classic with eggs, toast, and mint tea. From there, we walked to the Flat Iron building, strolled through the nearby park, and walked to the highline! Needless to say, it was a heavy walking day!

New York CityNew York CityNew York CityNew York CityNew York CityNew York CityNew York CityNew York City

Top: Bloomingdale’s (similar!) // Jeans: Joe’s Jeans @ Bloomingdales // Boots: ALDO

Day Four

Ludlow Hotel & Street Art Adventures

You may have noticed I skipped a day because day 3, Tina and I headed over to Brooklyn, which you can check out my travel guide here! Tina and I stayed in a cute AIRBNB the first three nights in NYC and fell in love with the SOHO neighborhood. Not to mention frolicking on the fire escape was a cool experience and added bonus. On our last day in the city, we stayed at the Ludlow Hotel in East Village. This area reminds me of west loop, Chicago, with it’s industrial appeal, hidden shops, and different cuisines making the streets come to life with city goers. They have an incredible rooftop (with a gym!) that is calling my name in the summer. You can overlook the city with some cool views while you get a good sweat in.

We stopped for coffee at Ludlow Coffee Supply and I tried the Bourbon Vanilla Latte (SO good) and then walked around the neighborhood until we decided to check out Grand Central Station, Milk Bar, and ended at Central Park. Since we had a very early flight the next morning, we stayed nice and cozy back at the back at Ludlow Hotel where we reminisced on our trip in the garden patio over a glass of wine. NYC was truly one for the books and I can’t wait to go back soon!

 

Thanks for joining me on my adventures!

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Sweater: H & M (similar and $4!!!!) // Jacket: Free People // Jeans: Joe’s Jeans @ Bloomingdale’s // Booties: DSW // Backpack: TUMI

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XO.

Lex

Travel Guide: A Day in Brooklyn

I am so excited to share my travel guide while I was in New York City. One of the many hot spots I checked out was Brooklyn and I was pleasantly surprised during my time there. I always thought of Brooklyn as a beaten up part of New York City- almost a place where people don’t want to be associated with. I was very much so wrong as it is a youthful and vibrant place where I think many people enjoy the fact that they can get away from the rush of Manhattan. Brooklyn reminded me of a cross between Balboa island in Newport Beach, CA and the Wicker Park neighborhood in Chicago. It has a bunch of both mom and pop shops and trendy stores that attract millennial New Yorkers.

The Unicorn Latte

Tina, Brian and I took the subway over to Brooklyn (we went through a underwater tunnel.. woah!) and ventured around Williamsburg neighborhood. We started off by going to The End where I found the beautifully crafted Unicorn Latte. It is noted as a vegan wellness latte with a bunch of different ingredients that are all natural (think beetroot and blue algae). And yes, even the sprinkles are vegan. Their drinks are aesthetically pleasing and taste as good as they look. If I could have tried every drink I would have, but I guess it just means I will have to go back soon.

 

The End Brooklyn The End BrooklynThe End Brooklyn The End Brooklyn The End Brooklyn The End Brooklyn The End BrooklynThe End Brooklyn

Street art and style

On our walk to East River State Park, there were the cutest streets and wall art I had to snap a few pictures.. Tina joined in on the fun too.

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Skyline Views

Afterwards, we ventured to East River State Park where some of the best views of the city are. If you want to feel how it is to be “on the outside looking in,” this is the place to go. It was a perfect day to be outside and take in the breath taking views of the city. I had fun dressing up for the day, as a New Yorker does, and wore a simple neck scarf with a sweater and my black ripped jeans. I bought my shoes from DSW and they helped me get through all my walking while I was in NYC. Tina and I averaged walking about 6.5 miles a day.. compare that to my average of 1.5-2 miles (without exercise) in Chicago. I was so excited to be adventuring the streets of Brooklyn with my friends. We ended the day going for cocktails at Wythe Hotel and grabbed a bite to eat at a restaurant we randomly came across with the best crispy chicken burger at Allswell. Hanging out in Brooklyn is on my top 5 things to do when it comes to traveling to NYC. Also a part of my travel guide is to learn a little more about the NYC neighborhoods and find all its hidden gems.

 

Brooklyn Brooklyn Brooklyn Brooklyn Brooklyn Brooklyn Shirt: Forever 21 // Neck Scarf: Banana Republic (similar here!) // Jeans: TopShop // Booties: DSW

XO.

Lex

Photos taken by Brian De Los Santos

NYC Trip: So much to do, so little time

NYC

New York has had a special place in my heart from the moment I started performing in musicals in 5th grade. At the time when my dream was to be a Broadway star, I knew New York was the city I needed to be in. Fast forward 14 years later and while I still have no shame in bringing out my inner thespian, I developed new interests: fashion, beauty, fitness, a lovely cocktail and public relations. Even today, I still have that same flame in my heart for New York. And whenever I have the chance to go, you can guarantee I am there.

I am going to NYC this week to meet my best friend Tina for a girls weekend and boy do we have some fun things planned. Tina and I are both coffee addicts, so you might see one or two (or three or four..) insta posts in a coffee shop. No shame in our coffee game. Along with bougie dinners, shopping, and really just adventuring and seeing what mischief we find ourselves in. We are going to have so many memories!

I wanted to share a few places cafes, coffee shops and dessert spots where we will for sure be going , and I can’t wait to write future posts reminiscing on my trip!  If you have any Insta-worthy NYC recommendations, please please please share! I am so excited to go on a little getaway! Thanks for joining me on my adventures <3.

 

XO.

Lex

 

Coffee Shops

Cha Cha Matcha

This matcha/ coffee shop is too cute for words. I have my pink outfit planned for this occasion!

CHACHAMatcha

 

Happy Bones

White aesthetic, bright and casual. Perfect for a cold snowy day, no?

PC: @julesdenby

Happy Bones

Food & Cafes

Cafe Henrie

Pink. Healthy. And all the yummies.

PC: @tashjol

Cafe Henrie

Golden Unicorn Restaurant

The little pigs. Need I say more?

PC: @cindnguyen

Golden Unicorn

 

Beauty and Essex

Hidden behind the doors of a pawn shop lies the most fabulous, bougie gem of NYC. Cocktails please?

Beauty and Essex

 

Sweet Indulgences

Creamline

Chelsea neighborhood’s sweet little treat!

Creamline

Weekend Trip: Denver

Welcome to Denver

Happy New Year. I was reminiscing this morning about one of my weekend trips to Denver and how fun it was and how I have to start planning another quick weekend getaway. I found a round trip ticket to Denver for $80 flying United and American Airlines. No joke, it was round trip. I didn’t do anything special other than play around with Google Flights – highly recommend starting here first when looking to book a flight!

I had my lovely friend show me around Denver (thanks Taylor!) and we had a wonderful time. From checking out the kitten cafe (so many cuddles),  to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, the cutest little town of Boulder, the champagne bar Corridor 44 and more! Try taking a weekend trip to visit a friend or take a friend with you! Pack light, be open to everything, and have fun! 

 

Denver
Sweater: Free People // Jeans: Citizens of HumanityDenver
Denver
Shoes: Nike // Leggings: Lulu Lemon // Sweater: Lou & Grey // Hat: Nordstrom

Champagne in Denver
Denver
Top: The Loft // Jeans: The Loft // Shoes: Steve Madden // Coat: Burberry
Denver
Denver
Coat: Free People // Scarf: Burberry // Dress: Forever 21 // Shoes: Sam Edelman // Shades: Ray Ban

 

XO.

-Lex

How to Celebrate Your Golden Birthday: Vegas Style

Golden birthday

Each birthday only happens once.. So why is your Golden Birthday special? In case you don’t know what a golden birthday is- it is when your age is the same as your birth date. This year, I turned 24 on the 24th and what better way to celebrate than a weekend in Vegas?! The last time I went I was 21 so it was great to go back with my boyfriend and our two closest friends. Thanks to SLS Las Vegas for an amazing time and helping me celebrate my golden birthday!

If you ever are going to Vegas– a few tips for you!

See a show. Other than the nightlife being fun, the shows are AH-mazing! My all time fave is the Beatles LOVE show by Cirque de Soliel. But hey you can never go wrong with Britney Spears, Celine Dion, or a comedy show!Party in Vegas

Find a restaurant with a city view! The weather in Vegas is always amazing– find a rooftop to see the blinding city lights and get some fab pics! I would recommend The Voodoo Lounge on top of the Rio hotel for an evening dinner and Serendipity 3 for a HUGE brunch!
Vegas Night Life City View

Golden Birthday = Golden Balloons. Need I say more? Start the birthday off right by getting balloons and a chilled bottle of champagne! Cheers to you and whenever your golden birthday is! I encourage you to share what your perfect Golden Birthday would consist of… cheers!

Golden Birthday in Vegas

 

XO.

-Lex

What To Pack: Las Vegas

My perfect trip to Vegas does not include what you might think…late night trips to clubs, bottle service…or anything people really go to Las Vegas to experience for that matter. Instead, I plan on visiting the Neon Sign Museum, checking out Pizza Rock, scoping out the pastries our hotel’s french bakery has to offer, and finding the quietest spot near the pool that I can to catch up on summer reading. Sprinkled in with dragging my boyfriend to all of the amazing restaurants Las Vegas has to offer.

With a trip, of course, comes packing a mini wardrobe to suit your every need. Much like my perfect trip to Vegas, my outfits will vary greatly from what one would expect. So, here I present, the classy girls guide to dressing in Vegas.

While club dresses are not, and never will be my thing, I do enjoy a great outfit that make me feel good. A great matching crop top/skirt combo is the way to go. The high-waisted skirt makes the look incredibly forgiving and flattering. Although this version from Milly is my favorite, I found a great set at Express for much less.

 

classy guide to vegas #

 

guide to vegas #2

1. Black crop top and skirt, Express. 2. Floral crop top and skirt, Express. 3. Nude heels, Schutz. 4. Hello & Goodbye clutch, Karen Walker. 5. Tye-Dye silk dress, Tbags Los Angeles. 6. Black bikini, Rachel Pally. 7. Minimergency Kit, Pinch Provisions. 

Best of San Francisco: A Guide By Kate O’Regan

 

Kate O’Regan, founder of Mulberry Lane Blog & and fashion maven, is giving the rest of us an “it girl’s” guide to San Francisco. The last thing we want to do when we travel, is look like a tourist, and this guide will give you a local insider trip to the city. Kate has traveled the world, but always comes back to where she grew up. With so many fun places to explore and the natural beauty of the Bay Area, who can blame her? Check out her top spots to visit in the city!

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Best of SF:

Breakfast/Brunch: 21st Amendment

A pub & restaurant that is an all time favorite! It’s located in SOMA, just two blocks from where the SF Giants play making it the perfect spot for pre or post game drinks too. They pour their own handcrafted beers & make a mean huevos rancheros.

 

Lunch: The Grove

With multiple locations in San Francisco, The Grove on Fillmore Street is one of the best. Located steps away from great shopping, (Joie, Jigsaw & Jonathan Adler) the Beet salad with crumbled goat cheese is the perfect Sunday afternoon pick me up.

 

Happy hour: Sens

Down by the water on the Embarcadero, Sens has one of most delicious happy hour menus including goat cheese, chicken wings & lamb sliders. With reasonably priced drinks & a fantastic view of San Francisco, it provides a fun date night spot or relaxed vibe to catch up with friends.

 

Dinner: Prospect & Park Tavern

Prospect: Prospect provides a modern environment with amazing ambiance with exceptional food. My personal favorites are the heirloom tomato salad (the best burrata cheese ever!) with the NY Strip Steak. The bar is the best part of the whole place though, looking like something straight out of the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love…if only Ryan Gosling would really be sitting at a bar stool next time I walked in!

Wayfare Tavern: Located in the FiDi on a quiet street makes the whole vibe of the restaurant so quaint. Perfect for dinner, it serves up everything from organic fried chicken to burgers to seafood. There is a wonderful brunch menu too!

 

Rooftop Bar: 620 Jones

A reasonably priced spot, its decor makes the interior decorator in everyone swoon. It has wood, concrete & copper features with an indoor bar & an outdoor rooftop patio with heaters & fireplaces. Food ranges from chicken wings, crab cakes to pizza. Drinks include wine, beer & signature cocktails.

 

Coffee: Blue Bottle

Located throughout the Bay Area, NYC & LA, the Oakland based coffee company is known worldwide. I first found out about it when it was located around the corner from my internship in Oakland. My every once & awhile coffee trip turned into a daily morning & afternoon routine…it got dangerous being that close! Now days, my favorite location is in the Ferry Building. I love being able to sip on my favorite hot chocolate while shopping the farmer’s market!

 

Sweat: YogaWorks

I’m partial to this because I am obsessed with my yoga, Pilates & TRX classes that YogaWorks provides. Some other places that I’ve heard are incredible sweat sessions are: SoulCycle, BodyROK, & Studomix.

 

Savor: Miette & Arizmendi

Miette: With so many delicious treats like cookies & cakes, my favorite from Miette is their fleur de sel caramels. They are huge & a bit pricy but worth every penny.

Arizmendi: Before I was gluten free, I would crave Arizmendi’s shortbread because simply, they are perfection. With hints of rosemary & fleur de sel, you won’t find anything better!

 

Healthy Juice Shops: Project Juice & Pressed Juicery

Project Juice: Project Juice has some delicious fruit & veggie blends perfect for sipping on throughout the day or for a juice cleanse. It is the perfect mid day pick me up & are so delicious!

Pressed Juicery: Pressed Juicery provides a great grab & go snack. There are a few locations throughout the city & I find myself stocking up on a few quite often. It’s perfect for detoxing bodies or simply enjoying a delicious drink.