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.

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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.

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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:

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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!
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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

 

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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 🙂

 

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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

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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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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.

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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

Back to the future. Literally.

Midwest summers were a magical time for me. Hot humid days with an underscore of crickets and refreshing evenings lit by fireflies. No obstacles to deter my unbounded imagination.
 Midwest summers were a magical time for me. Hot humid days with an underscore of crickets and refreshing evenings lit by fireflies. No obstacles to deter my unbounded imagination.

This year, 2015, marks the 30th anniversary of one of my all time favorite films, Back To The Future. I remember the first time I ever saw the movie. My best friend Charlotte and I spent all day swimming and playing at the Oakwood Country Club. We started by laying out poolside, dousing ourselves with Bain De Soliel #4. We had lunch at the “Snack Bar”. Followed by 40 minutes or so of watching MTV for an air conditioned break in the club’s “Living Room”. Then more lounging poolside, including many moments of jumping in the water and splashing around while talking. Ahhh life as a youngster was so great.  Around 5 PM my mom asked if we would  like her to drop us off at a movie. That’s when we decided to see Back to the Future.

I’ve always enjoyed movies, but Back To The Future is particularly special to me. It was after that night I concocted this cockamamie idea that I would one day move to LA and mary Michael J Fox. Hahaha.  But it wasn’t just  a crush on him. The movie was so well done that I call the viewing date a “red letter date” in my history (to quote doc brown). I had been transported into another world and lived an adventure that normally couldn’t have been lived (I think this happens more easily for us overly-empathetic folk).  The seed had been planted. I knew I wanted to somehow be involved in making films like these. Films that offer an escape, inspiration, education, and most importantly, Magic.
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Last Saturday night the Michael J. Fox foundation and Cinespia  (one of my favorite summer activities- outside air and movies?! I mean can it get any better??) joined forces to throw a benefit double feature screening of  Back To The Future and its sequel, Back to the future 2 (don’t get me started on that one :P). There was no way I was missing out on this.

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Ventura Spirits is an LA based company that distills unique foods into Vodka. At this event, specialty drinks were made with vodka distilled from strawberries. It was very sweet. I actually preferred the 1.21 Gigawatts drink- somewhat like a moscow mule, but less sweet. But I love how this company makes creative vodkas :).

The whole night was like being transported back to 1985. It was our own journey of time travel 🙂 and it was SO MUCH FUN. The DJ was awesome. On the lawn we bumped into old friends and work colleagues. We danced to songs from the movie soundtrack and fun hits from the 80’s like New Edition’s Cool It Now and a newly mixed rendition of Human League’s Don’t You Want Me Baby. We had our picture taken in a DeLorean. The open bar was delish. And since we were in the VIP section MSM and I were gifted soft and warm 30th anniversary Back to the Future blankets, which I love.

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I always love new throws. So soft and cuddly. They came in handy as the night air kissed the sky and a cool thin layer of condensation  draped our skin. Futuristic fun glasses were also a gift for us (pushed up on my head). 

Once the sun set the entire lot of us situated ourselves on large blankets that enveloped the lawn. We picnicked and relaxed under the stars as we watched the films. Its amazing how the movie still holds up. The humor plays, the acting is incredible. Yes, MJF and Christopher Lloyd are great but as a kid I never realized the incredible talents of Krispin Glover and Emma Thompson. The movie felt like it ended right when it started. The pacing is perfect. The editing was so strong I literally was sucked into the story, re-living the adventure. The best news? While we were having all this fun, $100K was raised for The Fox Foundation/Parkinson’s research to find a cure!!!

At the end of the night we were all transported back to 2015. I love how watching that movie made me feel like I took a time machine to 1985 (omg! Hot Tub Time Machine! Another great one!).

What to wear to al fresco movie screening?

Answer: LAYERS!

Even when its 102 degrees during the day, it gets cool at night. Believe me.

Hello DeLorean. Are you a time machine? There were only a few of these made before they were taken off the market. I'm not too sure about the actual history. There were four at this event. Three we could sit in and one that was dressed to look exactly like the one in the movie. The latter DeLorean was used for the photo booth where a professional photographer lit and photographed the guests for take home prints.
Hello DeLorean. Are you a time machine? There were only a few of these made before they were taken off the market. I’m not too sure about the actual history. There were four at this event. Three we could sit in and one that was dressed to look exactly like the one in the movie. The latter DeLorean was used for the photo booth where a professional photographer lit and photographed the guests for take home prints.

Shirt: Generation Love  Denim Shorts: One Teaspoon  Chunky Heeled Booties (not photographed): Chanel  Sweatshirt (not photographed): Wildfox Bag: Givenchy

In case you are interested in donating to or learning more about the Micheal J Fox Foundation, here’s a link to their website: https://www.michaeljfox.org

To read about Cinespia, or purchase tickets, click here: CINESPIA Scroll to the bottom of the home page to read all about the organization.

Thanks for reading!!

xo

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.

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

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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