Music: Uniting Generations.

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This is such a pretty mural that I found here while searching for a headline photo for this post.

When I was ten years old my father took a business trip to Florida. I remember one day during his time away, as I sat diligently with my homework, the phone rang. It was my dad. He was SO excitedly beside himself!

Dad: “Guess where I am, Jilly?!”

Me: “Hi dad! I don’t know. Where are you?”

Dad:”I’m on a pay phone* right outside the convention center. Can you hear this?”

Me: (picturing father holding phone out at arms length) “No. I can’t hear a thing!”

Dad:”I’m at the Hall and Oates concert!”

I love my dad so much. I love that he felt so hip because he was seeing Hall and Oates. And how excited he was to share it with me, because we had a common love for music. Yes, I TOTALLY get that Hall and Oates has NEVER been hip. Nor have I necessarily ever loved them. They were more in the “I can deal with them until the next song comes on” category. But after that call from my dad- I love Hall and Oates. And every time for whatever crazy reason I hear them on the radio, I immediately re-live that wonderful moment with my father. He was such an enthusiastic vitaphile (is that actually a word?).

*dating myself

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My family has always loved music. All kinds, from Classical to the Beastie Boys. Apparently my grandmother was a concert pianist and my aunt an opera singer. Yes, my mom walking around the house with her “Tab” soda rapping “slow and low that is the tempo” actually did happen….often. The only music we didn’t really love were National Anthems. Those I hardly ever heard played at home- if ever. We would often visit concert halls to hear The Cleveland Orchestra play some rendition of Tchaikovsky, the Yale Whiffenpoofs (my dad’s favorite barbershop quartet), or The Singing Angels. Sometimes, with picnic basket in hand,  we would head out to the Blossom Music Center for an al fresca concert. These ranged from Van Halen to Itzhak Perlman. Almost every evening after dinner my father would sit at his piano and play. I think it was his way of unwinding. My dad’s piano songs are now some of my favorite. At the time I, of course, thought nothing of it. But now that he’s gone its a totally different story. During a barre stretch a few weeks ago the pianist played one of my fathers songs. I cried as I stretched. I couldn’t help it. I could feel my dad there with me. It was so wonderful.

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My dad, being a Yale Alumn, was practically required to love the Wiffenpoofs. I actually was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed their A Cappella shows.

My brother took me to my first rock concert when I was 14 years old. We went to see John Cougar Mellencamp, and had nose bleed seats WAY far in the back- but who cares? How cool of my brother to take me to a rock concert??? (He also was the first to let me drive a car- but more on that later).While JCM rocked out on his guitar belting “I was born in a small town”, thousands of  leather jackets danced around me. A tiny little cigarette circulated the audience. This my brother insisted I not smoke! “Just pass that on!” I had no idea what it was hahaha. Oh the innocence! It was really exciting to dance and sing with all those other people. Back at school the following day I suddenly became like 10x cooler.

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JCM circa 1984. He was a hottie back then. Look at that hair! I swear, every guy I know now would kill for those thick locks!

All this being said, spending New Years Eve at Motely Crue’s final performance was a TOTALLY apropos way to bring in 2016!

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Motley Crue, first formed in 1981, is an internationally loved and iconic hard rock band. Though the band members may be considered “veterans” of rock, their songs are still used currently for films and TV shows, and probably on most people’s….how DO people listen to music anymore….phones?

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There was a spectacular dropping of streamers and balloons when the clock struck….well, 12:05- because Tommy Lee getting stuck in that drum machine caused a time lapse in the schedule. But this is ROCK and ROLL time we’re on here!!! 

Its often sad to witness the “final” something of anything, so when the opening song “Goodbye-Farewell” from The Sound Of Music started to play, I’m not going to lie, I cried a little (give me a break, I’m sensitive, ok?). I mean its the end of an era. A chapter in the book of my life. Luckily, things turned around from there and what a fun and entertaining show it turned out to be! I first saw Motely Crue four years ago in Vegas on Vince Neil’s birthday. That show was RIDICULOUS it was so good! I literally felt like I had taken the hot tub time machine to 1984. Crazed fans were so excited, making the energy  vivacious and fun. This show was entertaining but not as crazy exciting. Lots of heart felt good-bye speeches from the band members- laced with comedic anecdotes, a great solo by Tommy Lee (who also got stuck upside down in his drum machine for 20min!), and an exceptional acoustic rendition of Home Sweet Home to end it all.

What To Wear To An 80’s Hair Band Concert:

Obvi! Lots of leather. Or pleather….whichever you prefer, and metal- of course!

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Bomber Jacket: Stella McCartney  Ripped T: IRO Metal and Suede Clutch: Chloe  Leather Jeans: Rag and Bone  Booties (not shown): St. Laurent.

 

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I found these super cool rings at, of all places, Charlotte Russe. Haha. They were litearlly 3$- TOTAL. Disposable costume jewelry can be fun for events like 80’s hair band concerts :). The X midi ring, on the other hand, is by Michael Kors. I just love it! Classic with a touch of edge. Midi rings seem to be trending now.
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Hells yeah! Nothing says “rock n roll” like these awesome edgy booties by YSL! Love!

And on THAT note….Coming soon….leather vs pleather, is it worth it?

xoxo

QJ

QJ

 

Euclid.

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The breath-taking Palisades Park. I can’t believe this is my back yard!

A few years ago I learned that cities rename their 13th street “Euclid”. At that time my friend Victoria decided that she would call the year 2013 “two thousand Euclid” and she bid it farewell. I survived a lot of craziness in 20Euclid that continued well into 2015. But towards the end of this year, the craziness started to dissipate, thank the lord and the universe.

Today I went for a jog along the path of the Palisades park in Santa Monica. There’s no way to describe the beauty of this run. Fresh ocean breezes and glorious azul reflecting a cleansing bright light makes one feel so liberated and free. As I ran against the backdrop of blue ocean and palms, I decided to leave behind 20Euclid and all that it dragged along with it. From this point forward I choose to believe that any other baggage is just due to PTSD. Therefore my mantras for 2016 will be the following:

A. But what if it doesn’t? No more negative projections. No more “but if I do this, (_insert something awful_) will happen. Honestly whats true is in the now and anything in the future has a 50% chance to to be negative or positive. So why not live in the truth that is now and choose to dream the future in the positive. If I hear my mind going to the “but I can’t do this because what if (something negatives) happens?” BUT WHAT IF IT DOESN’T? WHAT IF THE OUTCOME IS GREAT. No more fear of success. Lets grow and move forward.

B. The anxiety you feel now is real, but is not related to the current situation. Many people who suffer PTSD try and push aside their anxiety via rationalization. But guess what? We are not neurotic. The fear we feel is very real, and denying ourselves that feeling and calling ourselves nuts is only going to exasperate the situation. Tell yourself  (out loud) “yes, I know what you feel is coming from a real place, and thats ok. But it most likely isn’t related to the situation at hand.” I know this seems like it wont do anything- but it actually totally works. It placates the fear by accepting it. Then we can take a look and decide if the situation at hand is actually something to be nervous about or if we are negatively projecting something.

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For 2016 I hope more people are able to recognize their inner beauty and are able to easily recognize their life blessings.

FYI this is NOT a New Years resolution, I totally don’t believe in those (because the desire to do them usually doesn’t last past six weeks into the new year) but rather a lifestyle attitude change.

This is the last day of 2015 and honestly its been a great year. Lets reflect on that a bit. I worked on a feature film that was released in three major cities and is currently on the short list for an Oscar Nomination!!! I moved in with MSM into his small but cozy abode in one of  the best cities in the world. I took up ASL, which challenged my mind in ways I didn’t know possible. I made new friends and attended really exciting events. I’m still in love. My pups are happy. I look forward to next year and all that it may hold. Hopefully it will include salsa lessons with MSM, traveling to exciting far away places, learning new things, cooking up a storm in the kitchen, a return of my fur babies to my own home, and more success with this blog!

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The loves of my life (other than MSM). This pic is a perfect Xmas card for next year! Stanley looks so regal and Abby so happy with her Yoda ears :). Love.

What The Heck To Wear in 2016:

So another fun but challenging goal I have for this year is to dress with what I have. My new wardrobe from 2015 is AMAZING, thanks to Danielle. I have great basics, staples, and statement pieces. Since not shopping is a ridiculous unobtainable goal, I want to continue my fashionista training by learning how to be creative with what I have. I will allow myself new staples if my old ones become frumpy (ie. jeans tear, T shirts fade…etc) and every quarter a new statement piece could be fun. Otherwise, for this year I am challenging myself to pay down these credit cards and get creative with fashion! Let the self-discovery begin!

WholeFoods
I couldn’t wait to wear this outfit so I threw it on to go to Whole Foods in Venice Beach- where I was surprised to see I wasn’t over dressed! So many decked out west-siders in Venice! Booties: Prada Leggings: From Paris (so mad I didn’t buy more! They were 12$ and I LOVE THEM) Sweater: Sonia Reikel Denim Jacket: Current Elliott Scarf: My mom (literally) Bag: St. Laurent.

Happy New Year to everyone out there! May we have a fabulous and exciting 2016 full of growth, prosperity, love and laughter! Good Bye 20Euclid, bring in the new! What are some of your goals for 2016?

Off to Motley Crue’s last show! haha. More on that later…..

xo

QJ

QJ

 

 

Red Red Wine.

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Every time I take a trip to the central coast (of California) something inside me sets back to zero. I mean this in a good way. Like my internal compass re-aligns and I suddenly feel balanced and grounded.

This year is the first year I ventured north during the autumn and I was happily surprised by the colors of the changing trees. Mustards, chartreuse, and vibrant oranges brilliantly complimented the clear blue sky, mottled only by the sporadic cloud. The air up there is crisp now, and clean. At least I assume its clean because my deaf nose was able to smell again (the smog in LA has taken a bit of a toll on my sinuses).

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I am reminded of a time when driving meant uncomplicated moments to gather thoughts, a time to reflect and dream of new endeavors.

Our final destination for some needed Thanksgiving RnR was in San Luis Obispo, but, as per usual, we took a pit stop in the quaint town of Santa Barbara. We both adore SB. Its just fun. The people are friendly and the shops are unique. The beach is gorgeous as well.

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I just got this sweater by Rag and Bone from Danielle. Its so soft and cozy and reminds me of something Diane Keaton would have worn in the movie Something’s Gotta Give. I love how its casual but still sophisticated. 
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The Sand Bar in Santa Barbara makes a damn good Bloody Mary. I’ve been searching for the best Bloody Mary’s on earth and this one is definitely ranking towards the top of the list. 

The drive from Santa Barbara to SLO is breathtaking. There are two routes- a coastal route, and a just as pretty “inland” route that I’ve named the painted landscape route, or the PLR. The latter is the road less traveled. I actually prefer the PLR because it feels like an escape into a different time-space continuum. The PLR somehow acts as a reminder to leave my stress behind, to take a deep breath and enjoy some time to replenish the soul.

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This exemplary photo was captured while exploring the hikes and beach paths around our hotel. Notice the copious amounts of color. The whole area reminded me of a European countryside. Doesn’t it bare resemblance to the house in The Holiday (such a great film!)? So peaceful and down to earth. A perfect respite for a tired elan vital.

Where to stay? The Sycamore Hotel:

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A town home at the Sycamore. These were spotted all around the property. I think Bob Ross would have named them “Happy yellow houses”.

MSM found this AMAZING little (ok not that little) hotel called The Sycamore. The hotel property is divided into three areas, town homes, cabins, and an area of natural hot spring hot tubs that can be rented. Each town home and cabin has a unique name, like “joy” or “serenity” We stayed in “fulfillment”.

The suites here are nothing short of amazing.  High ceilings and happy yellow walls will make anyone smile. Each town home suite boasts king sized beds (ahhhhh), a fireplace (ahhhh), and, lucky us,  a private natural hot spring hot tub! With hiking trails abound and a centrally located yoga center, there is enough to do here for a week! It kind of reminded me of a lavish summer camp. I was in heaven.

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In contrast to our tiny cozy abode back in LA, I adored having a king sized bed and vaulted ceilings. Ahhhhh. Breathing space!! However, my sister is convinced Queen beds are better for relationships.They are so small they make it virtually impossible for a couple to go to bed angry. 

We arrived early in the evening on Thanksgiving, just in time to rest before partaking in the magnificent hotel-prepared feast. A feast deserving of a write-up in Town&Country. Our palates were prepped with a heart warming potato leak soup followed by a traditional Turkey Day dinner; roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans (with home made crispy onions – not the nasty canned ones), and a choice of pumpkin or apple pie for desert. All this paired with our choice of local wine.

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What is it about this that makes me feel like it should be in Town&Country magazine? Our Thanksgiving dinner was so upscale yet cozy. It was wonderful.

After our meal MSM and I decided to snoop around the hotel’s property. This adventure lead us to a gated chef’s garden that was (probably mistakenly) unlocked. It was fun to see the origin of the herbs and vegetables that made up our prior meal. After exploring we retreated back to the room where we did absolutely nothing but relax and plot out our activities for the next day. It was perfect.

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It was so much fun exploring the Chef’s Garden. We discovered different varieties of squash, legumes, and herbs. And oddly, we also found some interesting old chandeliers. 

A day of wine tasting:

First of all, if you decide to stay at the Sycamore, you MUST set your alarm for an early wake up to hike the crest trail. The reasons this is so awesome are threefold. 1. you will burn off the meal from the night before 2. THE VEIW!!! And 3. The dogs! So many cute pups to pet and friendly people to meet. Its amazing how nice everyone is here. I can see why SLO was voted the happiest place in the US. Interesting fact- its ALSO in the top three areas of the world for the most centenarians with outstanding quality of life.

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This is the gorgeous view of Shell Beach from the Avila Cliffs hike. We could almost see my sister’s beach house from here! I wonder if binoculars would have helped. hee hee. 
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We met this adorable little guy named Luke on our hike. Luke looks just like Harry- the dog from one of my favorite childhood books, “Harry by the Sea”. Love!

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After a challenging but invigorating hike, the perfect denouement is wine tasting. San Luis Opispo and its neighbor, Paso Robles, host a plethora (I want to say 600 but I’m sure that can’t be right) of vineyards. Knowing how much I love learning about local wines and going wine tasting, MSM had planned to take us for a special birthday picnic at the vineyard where my favorite wine is made- Justin.

On the way to the vineyard we stopped in the heart of SLO to pick up some picnic sandwiches at the adorable High Street Market and Deli. OMG possibly the best sandwich and in-house made pickles I’ve ever had!

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The quaint High Street Deli is world famous. Ok maybe not WORLD famous, but it should be. BEST SANDWICHES EVER! Yum!
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The decor inside the High Street Deli is fun vintage art and posters. 

It took forever to get to Justin. An hour, to be exact. If you go to Justin you should know its actually in Paso Robles, NOT SLO! But it was well worth the wait. Besides, driving through rolling hills painted with autumn trees and cute cows and deer is relaxing. By the time we arrived at Justin, I felt at ease, and ten years younger.

JustinSign

Justin2
Seriously, no words are needed here. The views at Justin were just incredible. 

JustinGardenAfter getting our buzz on at Justin we decided to do a wine and cheese tasting at Jada. I had never done a pairing before. Wine, Cheese, Wine, that is the order. The wine here paled in comparison to Justin. But the cheese was amazing! Especially the Irish Porter Beer Cheese. Who says you can’t mix wine and beer?

Jada
My first time experiencing wine and cheese pairing was at Jada. That odd looking chunk of brown to the left is Irish Porter Beer Cheese. SO good! I need to look into ordering some of this. I feel like it could potentially make great mac and cheese!

Novo:

Our day of wine tasting ended with a wonderful dinner at the romantic Novo in San Luis Obispo, where we partook in a fabulous seafood linguine. We are always happy with the food at Novo. This restaurant is truly worthy of its own review – so thats all I’m going to say about it for now.

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If your wondering where to eat in San Luis Obispo, I can’t say enough about Novo. Great for a girls night out, a family reunion, or a romantic dinner for two, you just can’t go wrong here. For more info, click here: Eat at Novo  Photo: from Novo Website

After a delicious dinner we enjoyed the hot tub one last time before settling down in bed to marathon watch “Younger”. Have you ever watched that show? Its me in a nut shell. I read somewhere recently that its actually healthy to lie about your age. So I decided that I am reclaiming the last ten years. I am no longer blankety blank. Instead, I just turned ten years younger!

What the heck to wear in Wine Country California:

Central Coast California in the fall has a wide range of temperatures. Even within a day the weather can swing from 80 degrees in the afternoon to 45 at night. I’m feeling redundant, but…..layering is essential. I packed for this trip with no help from Danielle, and I’m not truly confident in my pairings. But I’ll post them anyways:

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In the Chefs garden under a sky full of vintage chandeliers. Jacket: Sandro  Sweater: Rag and Bone  Jeans: Rag and Bone  Boots: Stuart Weitzman Bag: (Old) from Gilt.com/pre Danielle
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Warming by the fireplace before our Thanksgiving dinner. Dress: Thakoon Addition  Boots: Stuart Weitzman  Necklace: Tiffany (a gift from MSM)
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Sassy after one too many. haha. Sweater: Helmut Lang  Black V Tee: J. Crew  Jeans: Mother  Scarf: Splendid  Boots: Stuart Weitzman  Tote: Givenchy
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Bundled up for our al fresco dining at Novo. Jacket: Sandro  Denim Jacket: Current Elliott  Scarf: Made by  my mom (literally)  Sweater: Chloe  Jeans: Mother  Boots: Stuart Weitzman Bag: (Old) from Gilt.com. Slouchy beanie: H&M Paris

With replenished souls and a new lease on life, we headed back to Los Angeles. I had a wonderful birthday/Thanksgiving weekend, with a newly attained knowledge of so many things for which to be thankful.

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Blowing kisses to MSM after our tasting at Justin. What a fun weekend we had!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well. What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving memories?

xoxo

QJ

QJ

To Jillian on her blankety blank birthday

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Happy birthday to me! Flowers and card from my beautiful cousin.

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!).

Spago

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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.

Ambiance

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“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman” – Coco Chanel

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.

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My Cousin, Katherine, and I enjoying our first visit to Spago. I am so grateful Katherine and her husband could join us. I love spending my actual birthday with family. Its so important to me. 

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!).

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Once seated, the waiter brought us each a shot of mushroom soup. Delicious and soul warming.

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

AHi
The most ridiculously amazing spicy tuna on crispy rice I have EVER had. Eye popping good!

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.

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Every single appetizer, salad, and first course that we tasted at Spago was incredible. A starburst of flavors in the mouth!
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I was SO excited that the special on my birthday was Veiner Schnitzel! It was as if they did that just for me! The breading was a bit dry, but the presentation was gorgeous. 

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.

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Desert was so yummy. Triple chocolate with raspberry sauce and lemon gelato. It looked so good we didn’t even stop to take a photo!

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!

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Coat: Red Valentino  Booties: St. Laurent  Skirt: Chloe  Top: ALC

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! :*

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

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.

singleWalker ThreeWalk

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!

myOutfit
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

Coco.

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!

The Adventure:

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.

The luxurious Chanel Boutique on Rodeo Drive.  Photo from google images.
The luxurious Chanel Boutique on Rodeo Drive. Photo from google images.

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.

I die for this bag. Its even better in person. Photo from google images.
I seriously die for this bag, an example of a fashion boy bag. Its even better in person. Photo from google images.

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 Classic comes in various types of leather and sizes.
The Classic comes in various types of leather and sizes. Photo from Google images. 

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!

A fantastic photo of Coco with her original design, the 2.55. Photo from
A fantastic photo of Coco with her original design, the 2.55. Photo taken from Vintage District. This blog article is extremely interesting as it further discusses the history and differences between these bags- confirming much of what Gabby told me earlier today.

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 :).

Love.
Love. Photo taken from Chanel website.

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.

Top: T by Alexander Wang Skirt: Alexa Chung for AG Bag: Givenchy Booties: Prada
Top: T by Alexander Wang Skirt: Alexa Chung for AG Bag: Givenchy Booties: Prada

The love of my boots helped me feel good about leaving the lovely Chanel beauties behind. Success!

xo

QJ

QJ

Summer in Fall: What to wear when the calendar says “Autumn” but the weather says “Summer”

Nothing says Autumn like a spiced apple cider with a side of apple fritter.
Nothing says Autumn like a spiced apple cider with a side of apple fritter.

For some reason, as the autumn wind gracefully escorts the salty scent of summer into the horizon, two things have been on my mind. 1. If I could bring anyone back from the dead, this week it would be Michael Jackson (I mean his music is just really universally good. I’m curious what else he would compose). 2. How the heck do you dress for these first month of “fall” in LA?

Orange County/Lantern Bay Park in the Autumn. Its hard to find those beautiful fall colors in LA, but they are in the sunsets year-round.
Orange County/Lantern Bay Park in the Autumn. Its hard to find those beautiful fall colors in LA, but they are in the sunsets year-round.

The vibe of the whole city is definitely Autumn. The Santa Ana Winds bring with them that je nais se quoi that is Fall. School busses lace the early morning freeways and one can sense the days shortening. The smell of Halloween is just around the corner. There’s just one problem. Its 102 degrees in the Valley and 97 at the Beach. Every year this confuses me.

In the Northern hemisphere the hottest months are supposed to occur during the Summer- late June-August, cooling off with the Autumnal Equinox (late September). So WHY is it so hot NOW instead of then?? OR, if the hottest months are actually supposed to be Sept through November then WHY is fall fashion full of hot boots, cashmere sweaters, and layers?? Are we supposed to wear shorts, tanks, rompers, and sundresses well into November here? I mean believe me, I am NOT complaining. I absolutely adore summer and the clothing that comes with it. But when I smell cinnamon in the air and the nights descend upon us at 5pm, my biological clock is telling me a. to eat apple fritters, and b. to pull out my favorite sweater. When does fall fashion really start to get its moment in Los Angeles?? I’m totally confused. Its technically fall, but the weather is screaming for summer clothes.  Whats appropriate?

Danielle says that in these situations its best to wear the summer outfits with booties and maybe a thin sweater for nighttime, in case the air gets a bit chilly. Also trading in some  pastel items for jewel tones or autumn tones if you can pull off burnt orange and khaki (not everyone can). Light weight midi skirts can work wonders in the heat.

Here are some examples I found on Pinterest:

Even though this outfit is all white, paired with the grey booties brings a little fall into the mix. The sweater is so light weight, its probably fine in the heat and still helps in the overly air-conditioned office.
Even though an all white outfit usually screams “summer”, pairing it with these little grey booties  brings “fall” into the mix. The sweater is so light weight, its probably fine in the heat and still helps in the overly air-conditioned office.
Opposing the all white ensemble above, this all black ensemble is the perfect combo for Summer in Fall. Its a perfect example. Love.
Opposing the all white ensemble above, this all black ensemble is the perfect combo for “Summer in Fall” Short sleeved top and light weight midi skirt. Its an excellent example. Love.
Here Vanessa Hudgens dones and impeccable
Here Vanessa Hudgens dones an impeccable “Summer in Fall” outfit. The cool and breezy lace top paired with an autumn colored skirt and black booties- Tres Bien. 
Another great example of a lightweight midi skirt with a loosely fit short sleeved top.
Another great example of a lightweight midi skirt with a loosely fit short sleeved top. I love how her shoes are almost boots. Enough open space for air flow in this heat, but still look perfectly autumn. 
Maybe this outfit that I wore in France last year could work great as a potential
Maybe this outfit that I wore in France last year could work great as a potential “summer in fall” ensemble? Sans jacket its just a comfy crisp white T with a lightweight midi skirt and sandals. I’m starting to catch on.

If anyone out there is reading this, what are your thoughts on this subject?

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 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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

Lanakai3

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