Baby you can drive my car….

To-Catch-A-Thief-Grace-Kelly-and-Cary-Grant

Well, its March. Spring, with all its splendor, is just around the corner. A long time ago I had a fabulous car. My current car is also fabulous, but for different reasons. When I moved to California I came out here with just my car, my dog, and the (19inch) television that my mother insisted she needed binoculars to watch. Do they even make that size anymore? Sort of one step up from “phone” or “tablet” but below a traditional flatscreen? Anyways, I ADORED my car. It was a BMW Z3 convertible that my friends back home referred to as “the shoe”. As I said, this car was FABULOUS. SO MUCH FUN.

Z3
This car was extra special to me. It was the first car I bought with my own earnings (as opposed to borrowing my parent’s car). Once I picked it out, I brought my father to do a final look over (it was three years old, the previous owners 3rd car. He was 6’7″ and could only drive it with the top down, so in Ohio that was like three days a year). My father once had a convertible and loved it. He was so excited for me to have a fun car like this, and to start my new life (and business) in California. It was one of the last things he helped me choose. I loved getting his opinion on things. Not approvals, but opinions. He was so wise. 

When I first moved to Orange County I would take daily drives up and down the coast from Dana Point to Newport and back around. Top down, wind in my hair, salt air kissing my skin, and Janet Jackson on my radio. Paradise. I never got sick of or even used to those views either. The OC coast is probably one of the most beautiful in the world, in my opinion.

Laguna-Beach
From Long Beach to San Clemente, PCH hugs the coastline and offers some of the most spectacular ocean views that I have ever seen. 

I can’t say its been truly “winter” regarding climate.The weather is completely erratic here. Hot, cold, hot, cold. OR freezing in the morning, 90 degrees in the afternoon.  The weather channel is not one to trust for reliability, either. However one trait of winter remains true; darkness at noon is practically a reality in LA until Spring springs into town. Thank goodness its on its way because I have had enough with midnight and am more than ready for some sunshine.

With spring’s approach I’ve been thinking a lot about my little shoe and how liberating a top-down drive felt. In fairness, my thoughts may have also been persuaded by the 80’s rock icon/gym buddy whose been talking with me about his brand new corvette convertible (so exciting).

Along with the fun, there are some (first world) “issues” that arise when one drives with the top down. Namely:

convertableHair

How To Avoid A Hairtastrophy And Other Negative Top Down Ramifications:

  1. The Hair Wrap– First and foremost its imperative we classy women maintain hair integrity. Especially if the convertible joy ride is with a date! Plus HELLO, if your driving you have to be able to see!
LowBunHeadband
This low bun with a head band is so simple and classic beachy. A great way to go.
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I love the low bun wrap. This blogger said the one photographed is a pre-made wrap that she literally bought at CVS. She also mentioned it can be replicated using a tank top! I’m going to have to try that out. 

 

2. Don’t forget your SPF. Anyone in this day and age that does not use SPF is an idiot. I’m sorry to be judgmental, and I know a tan looks great, but its STILL better to use SPF and a bronzer. Protect your skin people.  Actually lets make this: DON’T FORGET YOUR SPF!!! 

My esthetician recommends these Sunblocks by MD Solar Sciences. They are all natural and approved by the american dermatological society as safe and effective.

SPF30
This mineral tinted cream contain’s skin nourishing ingredients. With its nice finish, it can be used as a primer under foundation or alone. SPF 30.

 

SPF50
This silky feeling creme is also full of skin nourishing goodies while simultaneously blocks all the negative affects of sun exposure. SPF 50.

3. Sun Glasses.  Protect your eyes too. Also because who doesn’t want to look like Jackie-O or Grace Kelly when going for a joy ride?

SunniesGivenchy
Danielle is recommending these adorable sunnies by Givenchy. I love how they have the peek-a-boo crystals over the top, so when you coyly lower your head and lift your eyes, your date is bedazzled by this little secret. I love anything with a secret :). Sunnies available via Danielleseligson_klein@s5a.com

 

dior
I also adore these Dior sunnies. They definitely are reminiscent of something Grace or Audrey would wear while looking chic in their head scarf with the top down.  J’Dore Dior 🙂

 

DiorDanielle
Danielle is obsessed with this Dior twist on the classic Ray Ban’s. These will be huge this summer and probably next.

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What The Heck To Wear To Go Cruisin’ In A Convertible:

Option A: Spring

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After much hemming and hawing (between two different sneakers) I am obsessed with these slip ons. MSM hates them but whatever. They are SO comfy but still have edge. LOVE! Jacket: IRO  Tank: Wildfox  Shorts: One Teaspoon  Sneakers: Mui Mui

Option B: Summer

ConvertableOutfit
I feel like this is cute for a summer drive. Shorts: Joie  Blouse: Equipment  Sandal option: Fendi  Sneaker option: Mui Mui

Here’s an idea- lets rent a convertible for a day! Its more affordable than buying one and allows an opportunity to feel the joy!

PS I also hope I get to go for a spin in Rock Star’s new ride. #bucketlist.

xoxo

QJ

QJ

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Abbott Kinney.

welcome2
Photo: Abbott Kinney website.

If your running out for some last minute holiday shopping and you live in the LA area, consider spending an afternoon walking the streets of Venice Beach. Particularly Abbott Kinney. MSM and I look forward to our Abbott Kinney walk every year, and this year was just as wonderful as the past.

snow
How cute is this little girl and her father? I have no idea how they did it but Venice Beach provided snow and hills for sledding, hot cocoa, carolers, and Santa Claus. It was a festive winter wonderland!

When we arrived we first spotted a Winter Festival- yes, in SoCal there was sledding and Santa and Carolers. So much fun! After enjoying time here we started to walk the shops.

gum
Theres something wonderfully nostalgic about antique gum ball machines (filled with not so antique gum balls and candy :)). From Bountiful on Abbot Kinney.

Burro:

Burro

This is a great shop for finding reasonably priced unique gifts that are actually useful, not kitchy like the stocking stuffers from Restoration Hardware.

healthrules
This book was full of uncommonly useful advice. I even took some notes as I flipped through the pages. An outstanding reference book to have on hand.
cuttingboard
I fell in love with this fabulous stone cheese/cutting board by Roost. Attractive but useful decor to spice up the kitchen a little. 

I always find something lovable at Burro. Its a wonderful shop for finding a gift for that person that really has everything- and you won’t leave there with an item they will want to re-gift or throw in a closet.

Intelligengtsia:

Intell

This fabulous coffee shop is home of exclusive chocolates and sodas. A strange gift? Maybe. But specialty chocolate and a superb wine could definitely be a winning combination.

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If you decide this isn’t the right place to buy a gift, take a break here over a heavenly latte paired with a delectable pastry- all made fresh in house. They also have an internet bistro table that seats about ten. Its funny to come into the shop and see the lineup of people typing away on their computers. Maybe they are each writing a blog!

coffee
Intelligencia has tasty gourment coffees and chocolate drinks.

 

Velvet by Graham and Spencer:

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I love the leather leggings on the right. Leather skinnies are so in the past few years. An homage to the 80s, but I feel like I can rock them. As MSM says, its all in the attitude that defines what you can pull of in your wardrobe. Besides, they would be perfect for our NYE plans!

This clothing store, originally known for its casual T shirts, is stocked with fantastic basics. Capes, tanks, sweaters, and basic blouses abound,  I was coveting a fabulous pair of faux leather leggings. I know, I know, some of you my put your nose up at the word “faux” but hey, they were sexy! Velvet by G&S also hosts great sales at Christmas time. Don’t miss out!

Local Artisans:

While walking Abbott Kinney one can take a peak into a nook and cranny or alley and find stand alone shops where local artisans sell hand crafted jewelry and, if your lucky, wonderfully unique fashions.

cape
I just adore this cape I bought from a local designer. It reminds me of something Judy Garland would have worn in Meet Me In St.Louis. Or of something the women wore skating on the outdoor rinks in Norman Rockwell’s world. PS I know Danielle would hate this, but I couldn’t pass it up. Can’t wait to wear it over Christmas break in Carmel!

What the heck to wear when walking Abbot Kinney?

life
Jacket: IRO  Jeans: Frame Denim (SO comfortable AND flattering!)  Top: Mossimo (yes, Target- its comfortable so sue me!)  Bag: Chloe  Boots: Stewart Weitzman

Its been unseasonably cold in SoCal. Let me rephrase; its been FREEZING (literally, 32 degrees at night) in SoCal. As per usual lately I decided to layer because sometimes, despite a chilly forecast predicted by the local weather man (do weather people still exist? Or is it all done by machines now?), when the sun peeks out to say “hello” it gets hot.

Hoping your holiday shopping is going well and your all having fun!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

 

 

 

Rompin’ around Oahu: Romper #5 and Nobu Waikiki

Nightlife in Waikiki.
Nightlife in Waikiki.

Romper #5:

I have to admit, I only own four rompers, so I was a little curious where I’d get the 5th one to photograph (Uh oh. Looks like next summer I’ll have to add a 5th to my wardrobe. Danielle…..). Luckily I met a friendly young lady in the bathroom at Nobu in Waikiki who was wearing a jumpsuit (close enough). As we bonded over both living in Los Angeles, she was gracious enough to let me photograph her outfit for my blog.

This adorable young lady allowed me to take a picture of her casual yet sophisticated jumper. I love how a jumper or romper can go from casual to dressy just by adding the right accessories and shoes. Makes packing so much easier!
This adorable young lady allowed me to take a picture of her casual yet sophisticated jumper. She said “this old thing” is from Aeropostle. I love how a jumper or romper can go from casual to dressy just by adding the right accessories and shoes. Makes packing so much easier!

Nobu, Waikiki:

image taken from google
Image taken from google

I’m rather lucky for a lot of reasons, one being MSM just happens to be a close friend to the general manager for Nobu. I’ve been blessed with the honor of eating at three Nobu locations; Hollywood, the old Malibu location, and now Waikiki. Anyone I know that has eaten at Nobu (anywhere) has loved it, but I usually have a hard time ordering because a soy allergy and Japanese food is oxymoronic. Nobu Waikiki was by far the best Nobu experience I’ve had.  I’m sure it didn’t hurt that Mr. Nobu himself was actually at the location the night we ate there :). As usual, the staff was more than accommodating and my waitress helped me figure out what I could eat without going into anaphylactic shock. What I ended up ordering was a fresh heart of palm salad (What a treat! Heart of palm is so hard to get fresh, its usually canned), yellow tail Sashimi, and then cooked scallops.

Nobu1
The presentation at Nobu, Waikiki is amazing. Everything was very balanced and appetizing.

The salad and sashimi were particularly tasty. The scallops, paired with jalepeno salsa and brussel sprouts, were better than average. I was craving something refreshing to drink, so the bar tender made up (on the spot) a beverage called the raspberry refresher.

The Raspberry Refresher.
The Raspberry Refresher.

It was the perfect mix of vodka, muddled raspberries, and lime. I usually don’t like sweet drinks served in Martini glasses (I’m sorry, but a Martini glass is made for something dry and sophisticated- with lots of  olive juice), but this drink was the perfect blend of clean, citrus, and a dash of sweet. Great job!

What to wear on a night out in Waikiki:

Resort wear to the max. I was surprised how dressy Waikiki gets at night. Maui, Kauai, and The Big Island are way more lax regarding evening dress code. Luckily Danielle knew better. I had a beautiful dress set for each night we ate out, each casually elegant and perfect for Waikiki! Here are a few examples:

This maxi by Haute Hippie is one of my favorite maxi dresses from Danielle.
This Maxi by Haute Hippie is one of my favorite dresses from Danielle and is perfect for Hawaii. Shoes: Stewart Wetizman Crossbody Bag: Gucci
I also love how flow-y and feminine this dress is. Its been really hard to find a nice summer maxi that fits larger busted women, and this dress worked perfectly even sans bra! Dress: 23th Street By Cynthia Vincent Sandals: Valentino
Cleverly nestled through a secret passageway hidden behind a revolving bookcase, “The Library” is the Lounge/Bar at the Hotel Modern in Waikiki. Its been really hard to find a nice summer maxi that fits larger busted women, and this dress worked perfectly even sans bra! I love how flow-y and feminine it is. I felt very pretty that night. Dress: 23th Street By Cynthia Vincent Sandals: Valentino
Walking around downtown Waikiki was the best cure for the food coma induced by Duke's. Dress: ALC Sandals: Chanel Crossbody: Gucci
Walking around downtown Waikiki was the best cure for the food coma induced by over eating at Duke’s. Dress: ALC Sandals: Chanel Crossbody: Gucci

So concludes my five day series on rompers on Oahu. It was such a fun trip. I had a little taste of everything the Island had to offer. Just enough to know what I want to explore when I return 🙂  Definitely surf again! Try more local food spots. Hike to some waterfalls. Revisit the North Shore. Kayak to Scylla and Charybdus.

Sunset beach, North Shore Oahu.
Sunset beach, North Shore Oahu.

Until next time Oahu, Mahalo and Aloha

xoxo

QJ

QJ

Rompin’ Around Oahu: Romper #4, Behold Lanikai beach

Lanikai Beach 

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The beauty of Lanikai is breath taking. Colors of blue exist here that I’ve only seen once before in the Cook Islands. I named the two islands, about a mile away, Scylla and Charybdis. For a moment we were going to voyage to the islands, like Odysseus. Unfortuneatly the current and waves were too strong the day we were there. Perhaps another time we will take a kayak, when the man-o-wars are gone. 🙂

My favorite beaches in Oahu were on the North Shore- Sunset Beach and Makapu. With all its beauty and glorious colors, Lanikai on the East takes a close second. The ONLY thing about Lanikai that poses a little issue- it was full of Man-o-wars, and I was afraid of getting stung. I’m not sure that’s an issue there year round….

They Portuguese man-o-war may look pretty- or you may only see the stinger and wonder
They Portuguese man-o-war may look pretty- or you may only see the stinger and wonder “whats that string?”. Whatever you do- do NOT touch! Photo taken from google images.

Regardless of man-o-wars, the beach was great for laying out, and to swim in (for those brave souls who weren’t worried about getting stung- because the waters weren’t over wrought with them. To be honest, even I snuck in for a few moments here and there.) Once the towels are down and your over the man-o-war situation, this beach is seriously gorgeous.

Here I am looking for Man-O-Wars before jumping in the water.
Here I am looking for Man-O-Wars before jumping in the water. Romper: Parker  Sunnies: Celine

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The greatest thing about all the Hawaiin beaches is that the water is a warm 80 degrees. Jumping in is still a refreshing break from the hot and humid air, but the water doesn’t bite you like it does here in LA. So many times during the year I sit at my desk and the memory of tropical waters will pop in my head and say “Hi, come back and see me”. I love the sea. The soft sand. The gorgeous blues and greens. Oh and don’t forget the lack of buildings over 8 feet tall (well, Waikiki has those, but outside Waikiki and Honolulu not so much). Although LA/Cali has some beautiful beaches, none of the water in LA kisses your toes the same way as the surf in the tropics.

We will have to come back and Kayak to
So happy I took many moments to really absorb what was around me. The warm sun, the soft white sand, the thick salty water, the lush greens. Paradise.

Tomorrow will conclude my week of rompers in Oahu. I will also be reviewing Nobu Waikiki…..

Mahalo,

QJ

QJ

Rompin’ around Oahu: Romper #2 and #3

Work kept me so busy yesterday I had no time to post. So today I will share with you two rompers:

Hawaii Kai:

Majestic Oahu.
Majestic Oahu.
A backdrop of Hawaii Kai, a small town  30min from Waikiki.
Taking a selfie with a backdrop of Hawaii Kai, a small town 30min from Waikiki.

 

Still loving this hat. Thanks Danielle!!
Still loving this hat. Thanks Danielle!!
This Equipment romper was perfect for hiking in Hawaii Kai and then crashing into bed for a nice long nap.
This Equipment romper was perfect for hiking in Hawaii Kai and then crashing into bed for a nice long nap. My Gucci cross body was the perfect companion on this trip. Small enough that it wasn’t in the way, but big enough to hold necessary items. 

Poolside In Pink:

Breakfast anyone? First one at the pool after the morning rain cleared out the humidity.
Breakfast anyone? First one at the pool after the morning rain cleared out the humidity. Tote: Givency.
Loving this Romper by Suno. Its so feminine. Its also cozy and flattering- which isn't always so true of rompers. xo
Loving this Romper by Suno. Its so feminine. Its also cozy and flattering- which isn’t always so true of rompers. Sandals by Valentino  xo
Nothing as great as reading poolside with no time limits, agendas to attend,  or places to be.
Nothing as great as reading poolside with no time limits, no agendas to attend to, or places to be. Sunnies by Ray Ban.
Love this cute pink hat I found in the shop by the pool.
Love this cute pink hat I found in the shop by the pool.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s romper!

xo

QJ

QJ

La La La Laguna.

Bubbles on the Beach.
Bubbles on the Beach.

This past weekend MSM surprised me with a spontaneous staycation in Orange County! He only gave me a few moments to pack and told me to not over think it 🙂 He knows me well.

What to wear:

I was excited to take my beautiful new Fendi Crocodile sandals for a test run before wearing them in Hawaii. Good thing I did, too, because by hour four my feet were bleeding (ah the price we pay to stay in style). Once the bandaids were in place, things were fine. They are actually very comfortable. Since I wore them all weekend, the leather softened so next wear will be great. Lesson learned- break in sandals only a few hours at a time.

Coffee at Downtown disney. Notice the fab sandals pre bandaids. Chaneling Peter Pan's Crocodile?
Coffee at Downtown disney. Notice the fab sandals pre bandaids. Chaneling Peter Pan’s Crocodile?
Close ups so you can see. Shoe image pulled from Saks website
Close up so you can see. Shoe image pulled from Saks website

For all you beach goers, I have found (via Danielle) the most AMAZING tote. It fits everything, does not get too heavy even when packed to the rim, is comfortable to carry and is GORGEOUS! The leather is coated so it will last for many years too. Its well worth the price. I love it for the beach and will use it as a carry on when traveling.

This was my first time wearing a sun hat (this one is spf 50). I felt so lady like.

Tote
^ Greatest tote on earth. Love!  Hat by Eric Javits. Both available via @styledbydanielleklein.

Hat

Despite the hat, don’t forget your sunscreen!

Bon Apetit!

We had a fabulous lunch at this quaint little restaurant called Anastasia’s. When I first saw it I thought “the eyebrow bar has a cafe now?” But they are not related. If your are ever in Laguna I highly suggest this place. The owner- I assume named Anastasia- walks around and talks/jokes with the customers. She’s lovely and has a great sense of humor. She is also very familiar with the area and can suggest other options regarding restaurants as well as where the night life is lively. They specialize in sandwiches, salads, and breakfast foods. Everything was fresh and I assume organic. They even custom make juices with fun names which unfortunately I didn’t write down, so I don’t remember (other than The Vampire, which I ordered).  The line to the counter was long but the food was well worth the wait. Delicious!

Eggs, Sammies, Salads, and custom made juices (I had the Vampire, which was delish!). The food at Anastasia's was divine.
Eggs, Sammies, Salads, and custom made juices (I had the Vampire, which was delish!). The food at Anastasia’s was divine.

Laguna Night Life

Despite living in OC for so long, I had never attended the local Sawdust Festival. Its an arts and crafts fair that I had heard about for years and always wanted to see. Ends up its really fun! We enjoyed wine and quesadilla while listening to live music and then walked around to see the art booths. One crafts woman created comfortable earrings for people with ears that aren’t pierced. I have to say – this is no easy task. This artist also has a sense of humor; she named her company Hooker Earrings.

Fun! These earrings hook onto your ear rather than clip. They are very comfortable. For more info visit http://www.hooker-earrings.com
Fun! These earrings hook onto your ear rather than clip. They are very comfortable. For more info or to purchase, visit http://www.hooker-earrings.com 

We ended our night with the Electric Light Parade at Disneyland! So much fun!!!

Until next time, Cheers!

Quintessential Jill

QJ