Have you ever felt like you have so much to do that you know you wont finish it, so you don’t want to do it at all? Well, that’s where I am right now. So in an attempt to set myself up to focus I poured myself a huge cup of coffee and then drank the huge cup of coffee. As I sit here shaking from too much caffeine, I’m using my nervous energy to create a list of my current spring obsessions.
Christian Louboutin Nail Polish: I have NO idea why this polish is set at the steep price of 50$ BUT the company did an amazing job at package design because for some reason I want a bottle. Look how cool it looks! Never mind the color inside, and that nail polish eventually goes bad. Having this piece of artwork on my dresser would just make me so happy:
2. TheCeline Nano: How cute is this bag? I die. I have a thing for tri color anyways (see photos of my dogs) so this would fit into my family very nicely. Not sure if this is a fad or a phase, but I truly covet this bag.
3. Chanel Espadrilles: I have to admit I may break my resolution (already) regarding buying things this year because I LOVE these shoes. With a price point of under 400$ for the canvas ones, considering they are Chanel, its easy to rationalize the purchase. I mean they will last (Chanel shoes are made particularly well), AND I can wear them traipsing all around Italy when MSM and I go on our adventure later this summer 🙂
4. Sun dresses:Lets face it, spring is just around the corner and I’m already craving some new sun dresses. To stay true to my goal for the year, I WILL only buy a few in exchange for consigning a few. I have some cute Parker sunnies that I’m ready to put to rest.
5. New Ear Candy:I mean OBVI the ear cuff is a fad, and I’m sure I can find something snazzy at Bauble Bar for a better price but I’m slightly obsessed with these at Saks:
I wonder if Danielle would approve of any of these things. I do have a gift card arriving soon….
Remember that Michelle Pfeiffer movie from 1996? To Jillian on her 37th Birthday? Well, I never actually saw that movie, but I like the title so….
My birthday month has come to a close. Such an amazing month it was! Especially the last week, when my actual birthday fell. It began on Monday night when the show I just wrapped had a premier party at The Parlor in West Hollywood (I’ll review that another time) followed by dinner at Summer Buffalo with some cast mates (another review for another time- but WOW that food was good!).
Initially we had planned on celebrating my actual birthday dinner (on my actual birthday) at Maude, Curtis Stone’s restaurant. At 300$/person (without drinks) for the “November Truffles” theme, we decided it would dip too much into our Italy fund, so, at my bosses recommendation, MSM decided to treat me with reservations at Spago, home of Wolfgang Puck.
Back in the day Mr. Puck revolutionized the Los Angeles food scene with Spago. He decided he wanted to create an affordable menu based on food that was indigenous to LA and fit the LA healthy lifestyle. So Spago was born and healthy contemporary LA eating was put on the map. High maintenance orderers finally had a place to nourish their souls! MSM and I had never eaten there before, so we were thrilled to try something new.
When you first go into Spago, you are in the bar. There’s a small lounge area with sofas and chairs and then the bar itself. Upon entering, the atmosphere feels rich but approachable. This area is nicely lit with dim over heads and candles. The hostesses are friendly but professional.
From what I could tell there were two main dining areas. The main room is a well lit indoor space with contemporary paintings decorating the walls. MSM mentioned in passing that he wished it was more dimly lit. I, however, was excited to be able to see the menu without using my phone flashlight (embarrassing age giver-awayer- I know, not a word but gets the point across). The other dining area is an outdoor garden which looked very romantic with trees and twinkle lights (my favorite!). I was a little jealous we weren’t out there, but whatever, where we sat seemed more tailored and luxurious.
Most of the patrons at Spago, I hate to say it, were probably around 70 years old. I’m sure this is true because the place has been around for 30+ years and was SO ridiculously famously popular back in the 20th century that those visitors are still meeting there thinking its cool. Why is that? Like how come some people get stuck on things? Same hair cut for 50 years or clothing. Lord don’t let that happen to me!
Hilarious story- As I walked towards the restroom one woman, she must have been about 75, grabbed my arm and said “honey! Could you get me a glass of water? My leg is cramping. I can’t make it to the bar.” I’m pretty sure she thought I worked there (due to the average minimum age). Of course I helped her! And I told her to remove her stunning Jimmy Choos’ because they were the cause of the cramp. OMG 5″ heels almost killed me at blankety blank, how the heck is she wearing those at 70?? (and please let me be able to do the same without the leg cramp!).
Even though we were most definitely some of the youngest ones there, there was a mix of ages ranging from 30-80 and it didn’t feel stuffy AT ALL. It was lively inside. Fun. Lots of laughter and joy. I can see why its still listed in the top 3 restaurants in LA.
What to eat
Answer: Everything. I can’t even tell you how AMAAAAZING the food was here.
We started our adventure with an aperitif shot of Wolfgang’s cream of mushroom soup. Hello! Can I have a carafe of that please??
Next we shared an appetizer of spicy ahi in a crispy cone; Mr. Pucks rendition of spicy tuna on crispy rice. OMG. There are no words. Seriously. One bite and we exchanged that look that only “that look” can describe. That “holy S*** this tastes amazing” look. It was like a symphony of flavor that all blended so well together yet stood tasty on its own as well; a symphonic poem of food.
After the heavenly tuna cones we shared an endive salad (delicious) and a Bolognese pasta that was TO DIE FOR. Both exploded with flavors; their own symphonic poems in our mouthes.
For the main course I was (sadly) underwhelmed. My favorite food in the world is Weiner shnitzel. No, NOT the hot dogs. The actual dish that originated in Austria. Now, the first time I had ever eaten Weiner Schnitzel was in Baden Baden, Germany, so I may be a bit overly critical when an american chef attempts to correctly make it. Back in Baden Baden I sat with my father under the enormous oak trees. I was 13 years old. Long wire-y haired dachshunds frolicked in the park across from us. As the kliener vogel (little birds) sang their songs and my dad and I laughed about our day, the waiter served us our Veiner Schnitzel. I remember my father exclaiming “wait til you try this, Jilly, its my favorite!” He taught me how to squeeze the lemon over the veal, and then stir the spatzel into the gravy. We each took a bite and I remember the moment it hit my lips and the flavor explosion that followed. So delicious. And we sat there, in silence, enjoying our food and Germany. So many unspoken moments with my father where I truly felt loved and accepted as me. I so miss him. Anyways, I digress…. They say food is experience, and I do believe that one reason I love this dish so much is because of that moment when I first tasted it. So back here at Spago, the chef had huge shoes to fill and I’m sad to say he failed. It was dry and not so great.
BUT….the desert resurrected my taste buds. Delicious combinations of citrus and chocolate…..HOLY COW it was yummy! And the four of us (my cousin and her hubby were with us) were serenaded by our waiters rendition of Happy Birthday. Of course our waiter was a dancer and an actor and a producer and a singer….the list goes on. We do live in LA, right?
What the heck do you wear to Spago?
So I was really nervous because I went here straight from work and had no time to do my hair. It was up in its usual work bun. It was to my relief when I walked into Spago and literally half the women there had their hair in a bun!
The dress is mixed. I mean I bet you probably could get away with wearing Jeans and gorgeous shoes with a swanky top. However, I would never. I think I would call the dress here upscale casual. I was excited to wear the new coat that I bought for my birthday. Danielle found this GORGEOUS gem ON SALE 🙂 YAY!
So began the my birthday week. Off to a great start! Next post- our trip to San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles wine tasting….
Bon Apetit! And thank you MSM for such a wonderful dinner! :*
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 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 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!
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.
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!
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 :).
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
Season 7 of my show has wrapped, and season 8 does not start for a minute so I’m currently technically off work. This doesn’t happen often so in attempt to embrace every moment of my freedom of time (a hot and rare commodity) I proactively wrote a list of local things I would LOVE to do, but am always too busy to enjoy. For the first ten days of my break I signed up for a morning ballet intensive. I left the afternoons to peruse the list and either imbibe in an adventure or relax on the sofa/at the beach/at a cafe and dive into a book.
Its day#4 of the ballet intensive and it has been rigorous, challenging, and FANTASTIC. I’ve already noticed improvement and I still have six more days to go! That being said, the four hours of dance, resistance training, and cardio definitely takes a lot out of us dancers, so I’ve mostly been relaxing after “camp”. Oddly I was less tired today than the previous three days (my body is adapting?) so I decided to begin my Los Angeles Adventure. What better way to get one’s mind off an achy body than a visit to the Chanel Boutique? Especially if your a lover of fashion!
I’ve lived in Southern California for 15 years and Los Angeles for something like 5 and I’ve never been to Rodeo Drive, let alone Chanel (a blessing from above for my wallet, I’m sure). As I drove the convoluted Mulholland Drive to my destination, I turned up the tunes and rolled down the window to feel the wind in my hair. I began to truly celebrate my new found freedom from schedules and deadlines.
Relaxed and happy, I pulled into the Chanel driveway. There is valet and no charge! Happy day because a. I hate finding parking in LA and b. do I ever carry cash? (answer: no). Upon walking in the store I was pleasantly greeted but no pushiness. Also, surprisingly, no attitude. I say this because I have been to other high end boutiques inside department stores (I wont mention names), and the sales people have been not so friendly/a bit uppity. Not true of Chanel. It was welcoming, light, and perfectly decorated with their own bags. Every bag is gorgeous and, as we know, well made. How one can make a choice I have no idea. Honestly, I can see why if you can afford it, you’d own one of each style and then some fashion bags and clutches. Downstairs was bags, jewelry, and makeup. Upstairs; clothes and shoes.
I first spent time with a sales associate named Gabby. I explained to her that I have a big birthday coming up, and I would like to invest in a Chanel handbag. Gabby was such a dear; at my request she took the time to explain the differences between and the history of each bag category.
Fashion bags are released every season and are a variation of the classics. Today I saw this charming pink velvet one that reflected the light oh so beautifully….it was really hard to walk away…..
The Boy Bag, fairly recently designed by Karl Lagerfeld, is considered a more “edgy” piece for the modern woman. This bag is square in shape and has chunky hardware.
The Classic, designed by Karl Lagerfeld in the 1980’s, is an updated version of Coco Chanel’s original handbag. Its intertwined chain and leather strap and famous CC lock and closures are indicative to this piece.
The 2.55 is Coco’s original design. This piece, first released in February 1955 (hence the 2.55) is deeply quilted with history. The interior burgundy flap represents the catholic school uniforms that Coco wore in the orphanage. The strap is made from the same metal the chains on which the nuns at her orphanage carried their keys. Coco was an avid tipper and preferred to have cash handy, so she designed a pocket on the back for tip money. There’s also a special pocket to hold lipstick (love!) and a “secret” pocket where Coco hid her love letters.The 2.55 dons a simple square clasp with the name Chanel embossed at the bottom. During an era when small hand-held bags were in fashion, Chanel’s design was the first handbag ever produced that could also be carried on the shoulder. The creation of Coco’s original was monumental to her. Each piece of history rooted into the bag was her way of saying “I’ve made it, but I will never forget from where I’ve come”. I hope that when purchased, the modern woman carrying her new Chanel also remembers from where she’s come. That the bag represents to her, and solely her, that she’s “made it” to a point that she can afford one of these beauties!
After learning the history of the bags, and trying many on in order to narrow down my birthday bag selection (wasn’t purchased yet, but, like a few of us- and you know who you are :), I’ve been saving up), I visited the second floor.
The Second Floor:
Here, I kid you not, I felt I died and went to heaven. The Shoe section! A square room with sliding mirrors and the most beautiful babies you’ve ever seen. There was a pair of grey textured booties that were beyond! And a pair of velvet oxfords I actually liked, and the classic black tipped nude with a chunk heel which was all over the runway and I’m currently obsessing over! I’m simultaneously surprised and relieved that I left empty handed!
The other two thirds of the top floor was dedicated to clothing. All gorgeous, as expected. I fell for a jacket and this amazing grey sweater. Something to dream about :).
I adore what I know about Coco. She was brave, non-abdicating, wise, and ambitious, and she seemed to treat everyone with respect and equality (Why didn’t I include her in my life&style role models???!) When I finally buy my bag, I will not only use it as a reminder regarding where I’m from, but I’ll carry it with pride to keep Coco’s spirit alive.
What to Wear:
In case your wondering what the heck to wear on Rodeo Drive, the following ensamble is what I put together for my visit. I felt comfortable and I think Danielle would be proud.
The love of my boots helped me feel good about leaving the lovely Chanel beauties behind. Success!
The other day MSM came up with the fantastic idea of a “before work date”. He sent me the link to an estate sale in Beverly Hills and said, “We should do this!” Having never been to an estate sale before, I was super excited. Especially since this particular sale was at the home of former Miss America (1959) and actress, Mary Ann Mobley (imagine the tiaras and handbags she must have!!!) and her actor husband, Gary Collins.
Visiting the company’s website PacificEstateSales.Com prior to the sale proved to be the most interesting and helpful to me. The website included a synopsis explaining whose estate this was, a photo gallery exhibiting featured pieces that were available for sale, and contact info in case there were questions about anything. When I called to ask about an Hermes handbag (it was a knock off), Pacific Estate Sales founder/owner, Diana Nichols, suggested we get there as early as 8:30 if we wanted first dibs on things.
We woke up super early, jumped into our cars and hugged the curves along Mulholland drive until we arrived at the beautiful estate perched on its own peak in the heart of Beverly Hills. We parked below the estate (a shuttle was provided to take us up to the main house). Surprisingly by 8:30 am there were already 45 OTHER early birds hoping to catch the proverbial worm. MSM and I both wondered which items the other people were after. We were looking for LP records, books, and artwork. Also we loved a set of chairs that had been featured on the website.
The Mobley estate was seriously gorgeous. Up the drive to the left was a beautiful plot of land that looked like its own park. Across the drive sat the “cute” yellow home, juxtaposed with the contrasting blue water of the front yard pool, all ensconced by a white picket fence. The home and yard seemed extremely inviting, with festive lawn furniture sprinkled around the area.
All that charm aside, apparently people can be so nasty and crazy when it comes to estate sales. First of all, I felt like I was at one of those wedding gown sales you read about. You know the ones- where your smashed against the window with 50 other people until the doors open and you get trampled? Secondly, no one, and I mean NO ONE, had read the bio explaining whose house this was. I honestly don’t think they cared. For me it meant so much that I knew she was Miss America and a philanthropist who, along with her actor husband, contributed so much to making the world a better place. Everyone else? They could care less. They just wanted “cool stuff” for “cheap” – and they made that very evident.
When we finally were allowed in the estate (they only allowed 5 people in at a time) we enjoyed walking around and looking at the architecture and interior design. She had the most incredible bathroom. It was painted a dusty soft blue, highlighted with beautiful white molding and a mirrored ceiling! We peaked in each room and enjoyed taking a moment to breathe in the atmosphere and think what it must have felt like to be Mary Ann and Gary.
What to buy:
The library was extensive, but no books that we really wanted. The record collection was fun- and all at 2$/piece so we picked up a few of those as well as a painting set that we had both admired on the website. No tiaras or handbags of significance (obviously her daughter took those- duh!). We really wanted the chair set but a. we weren’t equip with proper transportation and b. we had to run off to work! So we wrote down the name of the chairs- Marcel Breuer/Wassily, and ventured back into our reality.
During the day we both researched Marcel Breuer and the Wassily chairs. We discovered these chairs were iconic pieces of history and originals! Knowing the providence (and after speaking with my designer friend who said “we will find you a townhome to fit the chairs, GET THEM!”)- we decided they were the gem of the sale. So I called Diana and emailed her to let her know we wanted them and would pick them up ASAP. The sale was three days and Diana was gracious enough to hold the chairs for us 🙂
A word about Pacific Estate Sales:
I must take a moment to say that Diana was wonderful. She is so knowledgeable and passionate about her estate sales and the featured pieces. Going to her sale was like going back in time, and she was wonderful about supplying the historical information needed to really understand where we were standing. I also loved how honest she is (ex the Hermes was a knock off and she didn’t hide that). She was friendly, not snobby, which I really appreciate. Its funny how I’ve encountered so many stuck up self-entitled people that work with but are not actually part of the LA elite. And on the flip side- most of the LA elite I’ve met have been friendly and humble. I’m putting Diana in the latter category.
In sum the estate sale was a huge success. We enjoyed an early morning date that was like taking a trip back in time and amped our energy for the rest of the day. I would definitely visit another estate sale. Its a great way to find unique pieces for your home. Personally I’ll stick to ones that seem historically interesting to me. But hey- whatever floats your boat. If getting “cool s*** for a great price” is your thing- check them out! You can look at Diana’s site (link above) or visit EstateSales.net
What to Wear to an Estate Sale:
It was HOT up in the hills! And all those people in close proximity? We were drenched in our work clothes. Dress casually (I was way over dressed). Also – no hand bags or large over coats. Cash and checks are best. Keep in mind theres a 9% sales tax on all sold items, too.