An evening of old world charm.

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Evening view of the fabulous foyer at the Hotel Casa Del Mar.

When in doubt or in a sad mood, there’s no better cure than going for a visit to the The Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica. No need to book a room, as they are very expensive (unless you want to!). Sometimes all you need is a little dining or lounging get away. One of my favorite things to do in those situations is visit this hotel and, upon arrival,  pretend its actually my own personal palace. Hee hee. What better way to placate the inner-princess??

The Hotel

The hotel is situated just off center from the heart of Santa Monica. Perched on the strand, there’s a view of the ocean from almost every window. When approaching the entrance, one will be greeted by the friendly doorman who saves each guest the burden of opening the voluminous front door. As the door opens, behold the glorious foyer; soaring ceilings, floors coated in extravagant tile, and lavish foliage freckled around the permitters. Two gorgeous staircases beckon the guests onto the second floor.

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The palatial grand entrance of the Hotel Casa Del Mar.

 

Consequent to the ascent, the guest arrives into a library with towering book cases and causally elegant coastal themed decor. Just beyond the library sits the parlor. Decorated in a more elegant coastal theme highlighted by a 180 degree view of the pacific, this room has old world charm. It is spotted with inviting sofas and sophisticated cathedras, a unique coffee table assigned to each area. Here guests may relax and converse over port after a delicious meal, sip pre dining aperitifs, or, if preferred, choose this area to enjoy their edibles. Usually on Friday or Saturday night the parlor comes to life with hotel hosted live music that ranges from lounge singers or a quartet to a small orchestra…it varies each weekend.

 

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Afternoon in the parlor would be the perfect setting for High Tea. Photo: Lisa Romerein

An ornamented bar sits in the center of the grand open room, separating the parlor from the dining area. The dining area is another step up from elegant, not falling short of stunning.

A Palatial Fantasy:

The other night, as MSM nurtured his brolationship with his BFF at an Opeth concert, my friend Catherina (the wife of the BFF) and I decided to go the classy route and meet for cocktails and tapas at Casa Del Mar.

Since I was playing the “this is my own palace” game, when I arrived I waved “hello” to the door man as if I’d known him for years. We chatted briefly and he took some photos for me. Then I sat in the library and relaxed over a coffee table book while I waited for Ina.

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The Library at Hotel Casa Del Mar is cozy and casually elegant.

Once I welcomed Ina into “my home” (hee hee), we chose to eat in the parlor where a lounge singer roared, the room filled with her voice. The menu was small but the choices were all divine. Their wine list was vast and full of phenomenal vintages.

 

What to Order:

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The menu at Terrazza (the parlor restaurant at Casa Del Mar) is full of delicious options. I tasted the Jalapeño Salmon roll, which was exquisite (not pictured). We also loved the Kale Salad with a light lemon vinaigrette. Last,  who can go wrong with a fabulous charcuterie? (apologies to any vegetarians out there). We paired our choices with a grenache Rose from France (Ina) and an Argentinian Malbec (me). YUMMM. SOO GOOD!

What to Wear:

 

Prada

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I love this little skirt that I purchased on Gilt.com. It’s so feminine. It’s been hard to find appropriate places to wear it because it’s so puffy! I was excited to wear it to Casa Del Mar.

Skirt: RedValentino  Top: H&M  Shoes: Prada  Handbag: Chloe

The atmosphere in the Casa Del Mar is luxurious, so your dress should match. Think cocktail attire, and you will fit right in albeit slightly overdressed. Men wear suits with ties and women tend to be in dresses, not pants. Definitely no denim.

Ina and I had so much fun talking and laughing. It was like going away on a European adventure without the 16 hour flight. I say Europe because this hotel somewhat reminds me a tiny bit of my favorite place in on earth (in conjunction with The Ritz Laguna Niguel and, of course, Disneyland/Disneyworld); Hotel Du Palais.

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Enjoying our wine and conversation. We had such a wonderful time.

Happy thanksgiving everyone! Remember to count your blessings (like wonderful friends, and good health). Enjoy yourselves! And Bon Apetit!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

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Lets browse some brows.

BROW

My heads a little all over the place this week. Who knew that wearing 5 inch heels could throw a persons back out?? Oh the pain! But they are such cute booties! There MUST be a resolution. I can’t just put them out forever into the great wide shoe pasture  (ie consignment). I’m just not ready for that….

As I try and think of solutions and wait for the Advil to kick in, lets discuss the eyebrow.

Back in my past life -26 years ago – when I was first learning how to be a hair/makeup artist (my erstwhile claim to fame) I was taught that an eyebrow can “make or break a face”. Since I know my teacher at the time was not the original oracle to speak this expression, I’ve googled “who was the first person responsible” for making this statement and alas, no answer. I didn’t make this up though, nor did my teacher. Its legit. In fact, its SO legit there are apparently countless numbers of articles floating around  internet space containing the exact same words. Nothing says “oh no!” like a mis-aligned brow. Alternatively, with the right brow, every face can be fortunate in the looks department.

What can the right eyebrow shape do for you?

 

Browhaus eyebrow makeovers
If the eyes are the window to your soul, the brows are the curtains. They shouldn’t take a lead role, front and center, but they should support the overall look of the face. Being the supporting actress is tres importante. We need to give them more credit, and special attention. Camilla Belle’s brows perfectly exemplify a beautiful brow. Photo: Google images

When eyebrows are shaped correctly not only can they  enhance or brighten the face, they can also make a person appear younger (cheapest and least painful facelift ever!).

If you play around with brow shape you will notice that a very small change can make a huge difference. I had a friend in college that tried a few different brow shapes before picking one that she felt revealed the true her. Even early on, before I knew I’d be doing hair and makeup, I was intrigued by how different each look was, and how it so greatly changed her appearance. I remember her telling me “eyebrow shape reveals character.” At first I questioned the healthiness of her vanity, but as I watched her work and change, I noticed she was correct. Each shape manifested an entirely different person. I had learned the power of the brow.

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Lilly Collins looks stunning with her thick brows. They fit her face and are well balanced to compliment her beautiful eyes. Photo: google images

With all this in mind, don’t necessarily choose whats momentarily in fashion for the brows (back in the 1990s, thin was in. 1980’s, thick….the fashion changes). Its best to go with a shape that makes you look like the best YOU you can be. This is especially important because there will come a time, if you pluck and shape over years, the hair wont grow back. Trends come and go, but sadly, eventually eyebrow hair does not.

 

Some guidelines for shaping the best windows:

  1. Uni-brow: If you have a uni-brow, follow the inside corner of your eye/tear duct directly up. This is where your brow should start. Any further away from center will look like an unnatural chasm, and who wants the Grand Canyon between there eyes?? Some may argue that a uni-brow gives character, so why not keep it? Sorry friends, unless your Freida Kahlo, The Mona Lisa, or a cave-man, please pluck.
  2. Scarce Brows:   A. If you need to fill your brows in (most of us do past a certain age), don’t match the color exactly to your hair color. If your blonde, feel comfortable going a few shades darker. Dark hair? You can go a little lighter. Red? Use a warm color a bit off from the one on your head. This will appear the most natural. B. When filling in your brow use short strokes as if you are literally drawing pieces hair onto the brow. This will help you avoid those thick penciled in brows that look obviously drawn in. Unless that’s the look your going for- in which case, more power to you. To each her own.

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    Megan Fox. Another example of gorgeous brows. Hers are filled in here, but there are still some imperfect hairs that make the brows appear natural. With brows, keeping a little imperfection is key to making them appear natural and not look completely drawn in. Photo: Google Images
  3. Don’t over pluck: I wish I had believed my mother when she told me to be careful with my tweezers. Luckily I feel I usually gave myself a good shape so I’m basically left with a favorable brow that only needs a bit of filling. Just be careful. Mom was right on this one. As stated early, eventually the brows stop growing or thin out.
  4. Test drive a brow: I’ve never done this before but a safe way to try on new brows for size- grab some eyebrow putty. This allows you to cover your brows and draw any shape you want so you can test drive some looks. Could make for a fun evening? Eyebrow Plastic
  5. Correcting a mis-pluck: When I was in high school this boy, Dott Deigle, lost control of the electric razor and accidentally shaved off half an eyebrow. I was so traumatized by this that I’ve never forgotten. Never mind asking how the H someone was capable of doing something so imbecilic, he looked like an alien! The good news- it grew back! I’m adding this to this section in case you mess up on your brows. EVENTUALLY they don’t grow back, but that takes years. So don’t fret if you make a mistake. Click here for some good instructions on how to draw in a brow (I’d explain myself, but this has photos, which helps): http://www.wikihow.com/Hide-or-Fix-a-Shaved-off-Eyebrow 

 

OMG the BEST product for filling in brows:

Dior Brow Styler: By far, without thinking, this is my favorite. It comes in two colors, universal brown and universal dark brown. This pencil is easy to use and literally, it universally looks good. Available at most department stores.

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Anastasia powder (use her brush with this): This is my second favorite and is what I used in my makeup kit when I was pro.  In my opinion a powder is more difficult to use but this one is very nice and comes in a plethora of natural shades. Use the brush at an angle at the base of your brow and push up. The brush is the perfect size to create a brow. Confused? I’m pretty sure you can buy stick on stencils from Anastasia. I loved those when I used them.

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When searching for a photo of this product I stumbled upon this super easy photo tutorial on how to naturally fill in a brow. Photo: Google Images

Lessons in Brows:

Back when I was attending the make-up academy (yes, this exists), I read this amazing book: The Eyebrow: by Robyn Cosio. If your looking for some fun, light reading, I suggest you check this out. I get nothing from this. I just really love the book.

I have not read this book, but it looks particularly interesting as a guide to your perfect brow and how to shape it: Beautiful Brows  

All right, thats all for now. Happy brow playing!

 

xoxo

QJ

QJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

I dream of Shoe-sies

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Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to whip up some Manolos with a blink of the eye?

What woman doesn’t love a great pair of shoes? I honestly don’t know one. Even the ladies I know whose fashion is “anti-fashion” (you know, those birkenstock clad women that wear pants that unzip into shorts from REI?) love shoes. It must be in our DNA.

Lately I’ve been obsessing over shoes and this particular season I splurged a little too much. So I want to share with the world some beauties that I must refrain from buying either because A. they aren’t Danielle approved or B. lets face it, my shoe budget has reached E for the season.

My current dreams:

I adore these over the knee boots. They are gorgeous! I love the soft suede. The color is so light and airy they are almost angelic. I would feel like Claudia Schiffer circa 1990 with these on my feet. But alas, these babies by Gianvanto Rossi are Tres expensive.

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These shoes remind me of something I would wear if I was I princess. They just look so soft and lovely. They remind me of A Midsummer Nights Dream. OR….I would also wear these if I wanted to feel like Grace Kelly. I can picture pairing these with a fluffy ball gown, dancing with MSM across the floor in a lavish hotel dining area, a big band in the background blaring Duke Ellington.

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These lovelies bring me to a more current time. Like right now. I think these would look so sexy with skinny jeans or a pencil skirt and an oversized sweater. I don’t know, I just love them. Danielle hates them. And its for the best because they are Louboutin and unfortunately I equate that with EXTREMELY uncomfortable (never mind the price). Whats with these designers loosing quality as they become more popular? As I’ve mentioned before, my first pair of designer shoes, the Loubs I bought nine years ago, are SO comfortable I can practically run in them. My newer ones? Ouch! (oh the pain we go through for our shoes).

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Ok these are my favorite favorites. I’m seriously obsessed. I’ve had these plastered on my pinterest board for a while. I have no idea why, I just love them. They are “me” to the core.  In these I’d be quintessentially Jill 🙂

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Ugh. Love! Be still my beating heart.

Why do we love our shoes so much??

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I think its sort of summed up above. Shoes are a fun easy way to change who we want to be for a non committed moment. I usually pick my outfits based on what shoes I feel like wearing that particular day. Granted my shoe pick is usually based on how sore my feet are from Ballet or the heels I wore yesterday, but a shoe CAN make you feel like a princess, or a bad-ass, or a rocker, or a hippie. Yes, sometimes they are just what pulls together the outfit, and sometimes they are just there to protect our feet. But usually shoes are beautiful accessory that is easy to change up painlessly.

This is a fun article I read about the psychology of shoe obsessions Women And Their Shoes. The author, Alyssa Siegel, pretty much confirms my guesses above. She also talks about this amazing shoe exhibit I would have LOVED to have seen!

The way to a woman's heart is through her feet. Engagement shoes? Not a bad idea....hmmm.....
The way to a woman’s heart is through her feet. Engagement shoes? Not a bad idea….hmmm…..

That is all for my shoe obsessions of the moment. Any one else have a favorite pair they are dreaming of?

xoxo

QJ

QJ

Lessons Learned from Legacy: the truths revealed through consignment.

This is how I pictured my walk in closet one day. Look at all the lovely Chanel's.
This is how I pictured my walk in closet one day. Look at all the lovely Chanel’s in various shapes and sizes. Its a purse version of our universe. Photo: Google Images

So I learned a HUGE lesson this past weekend.

I told Danielle I wanted to get a Chanel for my blankety-blank birthday in a few weeks, and she’s been really pushing me towards the Boy bag. I like the little ones that have some oomf to them- a gold trim, maybe hot pink velvet, or an interestingly textured fabric in the center. The plain Boys just do nothing for me. And the bigger they get, the less I like them – on me. I DO like them in photos and on Gigi Hadid. But for myself, I had my mind set on the 2.55- mainly because of the history behind the bag. Honestly, though- I don’t love the bag as much as I love its history. My good friend Noreen said “if you love the history, get a coffee table book about the bag, not the bag!” I mean that would save me 5500$, so may actually be a great idea.

Anyways, even thinking of buying a Chanel has proven to be quite stressful. I already own a “simple” Chanel- the zippered one with the cloth interior they sell at a significantly lower price point. My bag is a beige caviar leather jumbo and I do love it. The classic flap and the 2.5 and the boy bags start over 4k, which on my MPA (major purchase account, interest free for a year) would basically be more than my car payment. I drive a luxury sedan, so I’m not talking inexpensive here. As recommended by a good friend, I decided to visit Haute Seconds, a consignment store in Santa Monica. I was told they have a lot of pre-owned Chanel bags at good prices.

This store was really great. There were some amazing barely used designer clothes at reasonable prices.
This store was really great. There were some amazing barely used designer clothes at reasonable prices. 

Haute Seconds:

I walked into the store and indeed, right before me, there sat a plethora of used handbags. I’m using the word “used” as opposed to “pre-owned” because most of these bags looked USED. As in WORN OUT. Shapeless lumps of amorphous patinated oxidized leather. It was sad, actually. Nothing against the store at ALL. The women working there were beyond sweet and helpful in making my journey fun. The designer clothing that hung around all looked immaculate and worth a rebirth in the hands of a new owner. And not ALL the bags were bad. In fact, the Louis’ were amazing. The Louis’ looked practically brand new, as did the Gucci’s and the one Hermes (which was still 12k – so that bag better survive a zombie apocalypse). There were two “vintage” Chanel camera bags from 1995 that still looked amazing that I did like, though according to Danielle, the style is dated. Vintage but not classic, unfortunately. I’ve also seen a few Chanel evening bags/clutches from the 1980s that have stayed in great shape.

I really liked this Chanel camera bag from 1995. However, with its 1k price point, you can buy  brand new Gucci camera bag. I get it though, the whole point is its a Chanel. And since this one predates Jan 2000, I feel the quality is probably there.
I really liked this Chanel camera bag from 1995. Going vintage is always fun. Who wore this bag before? Where has it been and what has it seen? I actually would love to have this bag but Danielle said no, its dated :(.

A little side note- apparently “vintage” is anything 20 years or older. Anything more current is not considered “vintage”, just old. haha.

Lesson learned:

So what is the point of all this? Don’t buy a brand new Chanel handbag. Not for 5600$ anyways. It appears that pre Millennium Chanel bags were well made, but after- not so much. The newer used bags just didn’t hold up to time. And in my opinion, and I hope I’m not offending anyone, why spend that much on a bag that wont last forever? I mean I was thinking this was a bag I’d leave to my niece one day- the heritage bag.

DO, on the other hand, feel comfortable searching for and purchasing a Chanel made pre 2k – the older the better. I can attest they will not only last longer but they will look better than the more current used ones.

I adore Alma. She was the first designer bag I bought. I dreamed about her for a few years, saved up, and then got her. She still looks amazing. I guess I'm a Louis girl. Photo from Pinterest.
I adore my angel pink Alma. She was the first designer bag I bought. I dreamed about her for a few years, saved up, and then got her. She still looks amazing. I guess I’m a Louis girl. Photo: Pinterest.

Also- I learned that Louis Vuitton and Gucci still make quality bags. I love and have always loved my Louis Alma. She may not be the most hip or trendy bag, but she’s classic and special to me. So I guess she will be my heritage piece.

Its about Coco, not the bag:

With all this being said, I still have so much respect and admiration for Coco Chanel. She went against the grain and followed her heart. Post mortem, none of the decline in quality could possibly be her fault. The reason I wanted a Chanel bag was to remind me to be like Coco- stay strong, stay true to yourself, contribute to making the world a better place. As per my friend’s suggestion, I think I will get that coffee table book after all.

This book looks like the perfect addition to my library. It tells all about the house of Chanel over time and has gorgeous photographs. Love.  And at 31$, I'm saving a bundle!
This book looks like the perfect addition to my library. It tells all about the house of Chanel over time and has gorgeous photographs. Love. And at 31$, I’m saving a bundle!
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Its definitely not about the bags for me. I just love this ensemble of clothing and shoes and accessories. Perfectly juxtaposed and photographed, this model looks like a piece of art. I would feel so sassy in this outfit.

xoxo

QJ

QJ

Dancing to the beat of your own drum (and other ways to alleviate stress)

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The Getty Villa

There aren’t a lot of places to find peace and solitude in Los Angeles, but it definitely exists at The Getty Villa. Forgive me in advance, I am about to post a lot of pictures- mainly because this place is just so beautiful it was hard to pick which to cut.

As I walked onto the property at the Getty Villa I was happily overwhelmed by lush greens, herbs, and flowers. The first garden I saw was reminiscent of Monet’s Giverny, ponds and waterlillies included. Moved by the resplendent beauty, a tear of joy gently cascaded along my cheek. I could finally feel the sense of relief that I had been craving for so long.  As I turned around to face the west, the breath taking view of the ocean framed by silhouettes of diverse trees embraced my heart. I was surrounded by calm. I felt calm. Its so hard to find this within the urbanity of Los Angeles, yet this is right there on the edge of Malibu and Santa Monica. My only regret is that I hadn’t come here sooner.

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This just reminded me of a mini Giverny. Love!
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This garden also reminded me of France, a mini Tuileries.
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This woman looks so peaceful reading her book. Next time I will bring a book and stay a little longer.

One thing I realized as I perused the grounds; one can only find inner happiness by following his/her own passions. Sometimes its difficult to make a choice that is right for you, just because by doing so you may possibly hurt someone else and/or pick something against the grain of the majority. Just know that’s ok. Its important, though cliche: “to thine own self be true”. Ultimately it will give you an empowering inner strength. You will be able to do even more to make the world a better place this way.

In representation of staying true to myself, I decided to dance all over The Getty Villa. I did pirouettes through the gardens, and glissades around the statues. I probably looked like a nut, but it felt amazing. Dancing silences my mind and the chaos of the world around me. I can feel the music and become part of something bigger. Here on the grounds of the Getty I could feel the wind through my soul. There’s just something so magical about combining art with nature. I can’t put my finger on it, but its definitely the fastest way for me to feel  inner peace.

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Tendu. Photo: Docent
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The architecture here was absolutely exquisite! Photo taken by museum docent. 
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Photo: Juliette Zanfardino
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Pirouette in the park. Photo: museum guest.
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Photo: Museum employee
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Photo: Self timer 🙂

The set up of the museum is magnificent. Guests can weave in and out of gardens and rooms exhibiting artwork from Odysseus’ time. Well written text explains each exhibit. I loved learning that at one time the Greek had pet bears! It was also interesting reading about the woman’s position in ancient greek society. Opposite of today where we hear so much about the socially elite via the media, back in the hay day of Greece the women who were considered the most socially elite were heard of the least by the rest of society. My mind was blown by the drawings of humans and how they look just like us. Its crazy to think we’ve been on this earth for over 200 years, and we still basically look the same!

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This is a statue of a pet bear! I can’t even imagine! The Grissley Man was born in the wrong era!
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OK so the art work is a little “Napolean Dynomite” but still- we still look the same. This could have been painted yesterday!

The museum has an interactive room where guests can draw hieroglyphics on pottery and/or put on a shadow dance/show. Interactive is always fun!

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Kids must love to play this shadow game. There is a large selection of props and different images that are projected onto the screen, setting the stage for an interactive play. 
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Guests can see what its like to draw stories on ceramics.

Other Stress Coping Mechanisms:

Someone told me once that extreme stress can be caused when there’s a chasm sized gap between expectations/desires and reality. Obviously we can’t have it all all the time. Even billionaire celebutaunts are not impervious to stress; You can’t buy love, and you can’t buy peace. It’s imperative to bring little bits of our dreams into reality, and it’s up to us to do this. Make a list of things you dream for, and then figure out how to bring just a little piece of it to life. Here’s some examples from my list:

Dream/Longing: my childhood back yard and Ohio’s metroparks

Solution: 1.  find great places to hike in LA, go at least once a month

2. Put plants in your apartment.

Dream/Longing: Travel all over the world

Solution: Start with day trips or weekend trips around california while you save up for the big trip. Do this at least once every few months.

Dream: Walk in Closet

Solution: Find an affordable place where you can turn the extra bedroom into your closet.

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A list towards inner peace:

Its good to have a list (mental or written) of activities to do when you need to find some inner peace. I find my list prevents me from stress eating chocolate or something else loaded with fat. My list may be totally and completely different from yours, but maybe it will give you some ideas or at least get the gears moving:

  1. Go for a walk
  2. visit a museum or garden
  3. bake something – then give it away
  4. read a good book
  5. take a bubble bath
  6. sip hot tea
  7. Write in journal
  8. meditate- I’m learning this now.

What to wear to the Getty Villa:

It was a warm breezy day here on the West Coast. Most of the museum is out doors, so its wise to bring layers. In the summer, wear SPF. And I sort of wished I had my sun hat.

In theme of this post, Danielle does not love these ballet flats but I wear them anyways- because they are totally me! Shirt: Joie Skirt: ALC Shoes: Chloe Bag: Chloe
Leap! In theme of this post, Danielle does not love these ballet flats but I wear them anyways- because they are totally me! Shirt: Joie Skirt: ALC  Shoes: Chloe Bag: Chloe

Here’s to liberating your soul and dancing to your own beat!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

Jermaine Jackson Jr and the Asa Kaftan fashion show.

Untitled Number Eleven, 2011 by Gilles Bensimon, the first fashion photographer I ever loved.
Untitled Number Eleven, 2011 by Gilles Bensimon, the first fashion photographer I ever loved.  Click here to browse some of his work: Gilles Bensimon 

Once upon a time, a million years ago, when smog was not a worry,  children didn’t have to wear bike helmets, and there was no such thing as auto correct, a shy 13 year old girl (me) discovered Seventeen magazine. She read each issue back cover to front, taking in all its photographic glory, reading every article including the letters to the editors. As the images permeated her imagination, she could escape into the fantasized fairy tales. She was on the other side of the looking glass, wearing the beautiful clothes, running amongst the nymph models through alternate bewitchingly created universes. Also the articles provided sage advice and funny anecdotes. Her love, or obsession if we dare, with fashion was born.

A few weeks ago my friend Emily invited me to a fashion show benefitting City of Hope, an LA based cancer research and treatment hospital. Since I was on my work hiatus, I could excitedly RSVP “yes”, despite the event being held at one in the afternoon on a Friday. I don’t watch much reality television, so the fact the event was being televised on The Shahs of Sunset meant nothing to me- other than heavier than usual makeup and an immaculate outfit. How exciting! My first fashion show!

Asa’s Kaftans for City of Hope:

The Four Seasons Beverly Hills is nothing short of fabulous.
The Four Seasons Beverly Hills is nothing short of fabulous.

The event was held at The Four Seasons Beverly Hills. Wow this venue is beyond gorgeous. The Penninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills is one of my all time favorites. It’s posh but feels somehow approachable. It’s sort of like a little bit of a dream brought to reality. The Four Seasons, alternatively, is a little slice of heaven. Lush greens with well groomed gardens ensconce the hotel. Soft flowing lavish fabrics hanging from colums, dancing in the wind.

Traffic was terrible- who knew so many people would be out and about at 1pm on a Friday? I mean it is LA, I guess. Home to the rich and famous who don’t, apparently, need to work- or at least don’t need to go to the office to work. Anyways, I digress…..as I was saying, traffic was awful and I arrived not so fashionably late- 73 minutes late, to be exact.

I was signed in by a very gregarious man who explained he was one of the producers of Shah’s of Sunset, and then escorted me to the party. Luckily, as commonly expected in television production, everything was running behind. I hadn’t missed a thing! There was a silent auction table including wonderful items like a Skinny Girl libation basket, stunning pearl earrings, and a day trip to a world renowned spa. I put bids on the Skinny Girl and the Earrings. Little tip when it comes to silent auctions- be careful of what and how much you bid. Choose wisely. Three years ago I bid on 6 items at the Junior League of LA’s Harvest Boutique and I won every single item, totaling well over a thousand dollars! I mean yeah, it was for a good cause but that was  a lot more than I wanted or had expected to spend!

I love how lately I've been seeing a lot of fruit infused water offered at parties. They look so pretty and add just that little touch of flavor to tickle the palette.
 Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of fruit infused water offered at parties. They look so pretty and add just that little touch of flavor to tickle the palette. Very classy. 

I knew no one attending the party, only my friends Emily, Victoria, and January- who were working the party. I took a deep breath to get a grasp on my courage and began to tour the “room” (it was an outdoor patio area) and start conversations with a bunch of strangers. I met two women that own a PR agency and seemed to really love their jobs, a lovely editor in chief of a celebrity lifestyle magazine,  and a  group of well dressed co-eds.  I did glance around the room and noticed that Latoya (I thought it was Janet) Jackson was there. Cool!

It was such a pleasure meeting and speaking with the stunning and gracious Ms. Mimi, Editor in Chief of Celebrity Style Magazine. I adore her, and her outfit! xo
It was such a pleasure meeting and speaking with the stunning and gracious Ms. Mimi, Editor in Chief of Celebrity Style Magazine. I adore her and her outfit, particularly this necklace. So pretty! xo
Guests waiting for everyone to be seated. Typical LA, most are killing time on their cell phones- or booking their next appointments. I definitely feel like I know this man from somewhere....
Gift bags underfoot, some VIP guests wait while everyone else is seated. Typical LA,  killing time on their cell phones- or booking their next appointments. I definitely feel like I know this man from somewhere….and I LOVE that woman’s pink hair!

Finally the fashion show was to begin. The party progressed onto the adjacent lawn, resplendent with sunlight and brilliantly saturated greens. How gorgeous this area was! I could imagine a princess getting married here. Emily and Asa both stood and spoke for a moment, explaining the event. As the music played, the models amusingly walked by, the fluid fabrics flowing behind as a light wind took grasp of the kaftans. Asa’s Kaftans of multitudinous colors perfectly contrasted the green setting. I appreciated the designer picking models of all shapes and sizes. They walked with such confidence. I could tell everyone was having fun.

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I just loved the colors of the Kaftans, and how well the fabric flowed. They look so luxurious. I can imagine someone wearing one in Santorini. I told that to Asa's mother who exclaimed
I just love the colors of the Kaftans, and how well the fabric flows. They look so luxurious. I can imagine someone wearing one in Santorini. I told this to Asa’s mother who exclaimed “There is one named Santorini!”. They are made NOT of silk- so easy to care for, but appear to move like silk. They look and feel luxurious. If your interested in purchasing one, I’ve included a link below.

After the fashion show I spoke with Emily and met a very attractive colleague who was introduced as Asa’s “soul mate”. He was kind, spiritual, and very intelligent. I asked if he worked in fashion as well. He mischievously smiled and answered “No, I work in music. Mostly on the business side, but I’m working on an album.” We discussed the significance of music and music therapy amongst other things. When we parted ways I told him “good luck on your album! I hope to hear it and see it sometime!” Later I found out he was Jermaine Jackson Junior. Ha! I hope its a good thing I never know who anyone is prior to meeting them! (AKA I’m totally embarrassed).

What the heck to wear to a benefit Fashion Show held in the middle of the afternoon:

I seriously had NO clue!  I mean for me this event was at the oddest time of day. Cocktail attire seemed too dressy, business attire too casual. Plus I knew friends of the fashion industry would be in attendance, so I wanted to make sure my outfit had edge and was a fair player. And on top of that it was to be televised!

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Blazer: Theory Top: Alice and Olivia Skirt: Stella McCartney Shoes: Christian Louboutin (the first pair of designer shoesI ever bought! I will keep them forever). Not Pictured: Handbag: Celine Handbag Karlito Charm: Fendi. <because you can’t go to a fashion show without Karlito!

Danielle definitely pulled through. I’m not sure why, but I’m always impressed when she throws out an outfit idea without looking through my wardrobe. How does she remember what I own? This time she really surprised me because she suggested a pair of shoes I bought nine years ago. A pair with which she’s never truly admitted are acceptable! I guess fairy godmothers remember everything :).

My friends and I after the show.
My friends and I after the show. As mentioned previously, I will never get rid of these shoes. 

I had a fantastic time at my first fashion show. I look forward to hopefully one day attending another! I ALSO look forward to watching this episode on Bravo. It will be fun to see if I made it in the cut!

Asa’s family and friends were all so lovely. I hope her line sells exquisitely. If you are interested in purchasing an Asa Kaftan, please click here: Asa Kaftans

If you are interested in learning about or donating to City Of Hope, please click here: City Of Hope

{PS} Happy November everyone!

xoxo

QJ

QJ