Stranger Things Have Happened.

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Calvin Harris orchestrates the room. 

Well, I can’t believe it but I actually managed to pull it off. I stayed up for 24 hours. Not only did I plow through it, I genuinely enjoyed myself. I’ve heard that Vegas hotels pump oxygen into the air, which I am sure aided me in my all night excursion. Too bad most of the positive benefits of all that extra O2 is negated by the amount of cigarette smoke swirling in the atmosphere! I always view Vegas as a great check back to whats really going on in the rest of our country, since LA seems to be a microcosm of attractive actors and rich people who pay a lot of money to look 20 years younger. There are “normal people” here as well- obviously- like me and my friends. But the ratio weighs heavier on the handsome folk.  Alternatively, Vegas attracts many different types. Albeit some are gorgeous, but the ratio seems more of an actual representation of the “real world”, and I am just amazed at how many people smoke! Ew. Just gross.

Last weekend we were in Vegas to join 17 of MSM’s closest friends in celebration of Darren’s birthday (Darren as in Ugly Sweater Party. See Ugly Sweater Party ).

Night 1 

was a Nobu catered feast, followed by dancing like rockstars into the vampire hours at the Omnia nightclub in Ceasar’s Palace. Sadly, no sighting of Stefan, Damon, or Edward. But there WAS sighting of Calvin Harris. Right in front of us, in fact, because we were honored with VIP “seating” in the DJ section! Not gonna lie, the view from the top was amazing.

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MSM and I agree that Calvin looks like he could be Ryan Gossling’s brother. Lucky Taylor Swift. Hopefully she doesn’t mess this one up.

Omnia was nothing short of spectacular. Inside feels like The Fifth Element meets Cirq Du Soliel – except the patrons are actually in it rather than viewing it. Theater of the round is the theme, with the DJ smack in the middle. Gymnasts hang from ropes and dancers stand on columns, inspiring moves for the crowd. Multiple levels and areas allow for plenty of patrons to enjoy themselves. Despite ample space, the place gets PACKED. I didn’t even dare leaving our coveted booth to go to the restroom. The DJ area was comfortable with plenty of space to dance :). If you’ve saved up enough for a bottle service area- I would highly recommend it. The drinks were delicious and they kept them coming- with plenty of water to restore and hydrate. Some shots of the inside:

Omnia_Cover

Night 2

was more mellow. Pool and Pizza in Darren’s suite followed by some table play in the casinos. I had never been to a penthouse suite in Vegas before and this did look just like in the movies! Yep, the pool table was in the room and the view was divine from every window. It was FREEZING last weekend, and raining- both rare for the area, which is why we all decided to stay in. After dinner we went down to the MGM casino to play some craps. I made it through one round of the Wheel of Fortune slot machine and was ready for bed by midnight. I guess one night of Vampire is all I can handle. So far….Once bitten I am sure it will get easier ;).

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Goofing around with birthday photo props. 

What the heck to wear in Vegas in April:

Airplane-wear

Okay boys and girls. Enough with the sweat pants and velour jogging suits. We are not 70 years old and Juicy Couture is out of business. I’m not saying we need to dress up like in Pan-Am (the show), but I want to 86 the sweats. Unless they are tailored somehow. On the opposite end, WHY do some women insist on wearing high heels to the airport?! Honey’s, your feet SWELL on planes. Don’t do anymore damage than you need to. Designer sneakers are in now. Take advantage. Also they are easy to slip off and on before and after the security check. AND they are easier to run in – in case you have a connecting flight you have to catch 30 seconds after your delayed premier flight lands. Just saying.

airportAttire
Jacket: Maje Hoodie: American Apparel T (not seen): J Crew Vintage V Jeans: J brand Sneakers: Adidas (so comfy!) Bag: Chanel Luggage: Rimowa (love! its the best. A bit pricey but well worth it)

Vegas Night Club

So even if the dress code says “business casual”, in Vegas that is a lie. Cocktail attire. And nothing fit-n-flair unless it has some “vegas umph” to it- meaning sex appeal. Cut outs, spaghetti straps…something. We saw this girl in a gorgeous fit in flair dress with a scoop collar and short sleeves. The top was sequined and the bottom was white and flirty. Very pretty! But more appropriate for her nephew’s bar-mitzvah than a club in Vegas. I have noticed that we can get away with things in Vegas that would feel inappropriate anywhere else (other than the Playboy Mansion, may it RIP). If you wear something that is considered sexy in LA, in Vegas you will feel over dressed. And by over-dressed, I mean too much coverage.

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Jacket: Maje  Dress: Michelle Mason  Bag: YSL  Shoes: Stewart Weitzman 

 

Casual Night in Vegas/Freemont Street ware

We had planned to go to Freemont Street, the “original” strip. I was super excited because I have never been there. Unfortunately it was just too damn cold! But this is what I had planned to wear, and as far as I know- is totally appropriate.

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I had so much fun loosing at pool. haha. Top: Chaser (old)  Leather Pants: Rag and Bone  Shoes: Prada
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Peek-a-boo.

A beauty product addendum

Partying like a rock star takes tolls, one of them being huge under eye baggage. I discovered (in a gift with purchase of all places!) the most AH-MAZING dark circle concealer! Maestro Eraser by Armani. I used #5, which at first I assumed would be too dark but it wasn’t. Its magic ya’ll. Magic! See for yourself.

before
Before: Yikes! I was tired. I mean granted we pulled an all night-er and this IS at midnight. But still….exuding exhaustion.
After
After: Image not retouched. Armani’s Maestro concealer is so amazing. It’s the exact right color to take away dark circles and has light reflective qualities that basically erase wrinkles (from a certain distance. I mean obviously in an extreme close up, those little buggers are still there). Makeup artist hint: I also dabbed a little over the outside of and between my brows. 

 

Lesson Learned:

Party on dudes! Sometimes staying young means fake it til you make it. I was nervous about pulling an energetic all night-er, but prepped my mind to just go with the flow and not only did I have a blast, I realized A. I’m not as old as I thought I was. Age really is mind over matter.  B. Its healthy to let loose every so often- no matter what age.  C. That armani concealer!!

PS Its taken me all week to recuperate. But I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it again ;).

xoxo

QJ

QJ

 

Satellite.

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Its weird how a song or a photo or a song with a photo can totally transport a person back in time. It reminds me of those time travel love stories like The Time Travelers Wife or About Time. I wish time travel could be more than in our minds via photos or music or whatever takes us back. I don’t need to stay, nor do I want to stay- though if I went I’m not sure I wouldn’t be mesmerized into staying. Stuck from a strong magnetic-like pull. Like when I visit my dogs. I can’t wait to see them but when I have to leave its so painful and then I’m cranky or sad or both for an entire week. I have a love back in time. If I went back, would I be able to leave him? Maybe it would get easier knowing I could always time travel and go back to visit some more? Its just hard because I have no photos or videos. My mother threw them out. And I had letters and cards but she threw those out too. I’m sure she was trying to help. Figured it would push me to move forward rather than relish on the past but now I only have the memories in my mind to remember him and us. I know  that how I feel about MSM feels similar. I remember that from the beginning. Not the day we met, but the day I knew there was something there. It felt beautifully familiar. Different, but something similar. That’s why I could never let it go. I knew it was a gift. Something special that shouldn’t be taken lightly.  And  I can remember that moment clearly too – as clearly as the moment I am thinking about now with Dave Matthews Satellite playing and the carnival swings photo in the back ground. I remember him sitting on the floor holding the CD with that same cover, telling me how much he loved that song. How his friends were outside but I had had a long day and was resting in bed so he came in to keep me company. He was so young back then but he seemed so mature, since he was five years my senior. And still, right now, he sits there on the wooden floor of his bedroom in his parent’s house, legs crossed in his brown cotton pants and plaid short sleeved shirt. His brown eyes smiling up at me. Bushy eyebrows and tan skin, he’s 29. More than five years my junior now. When my mind goes back and sees him he’s just a boy and I’m more mature, more experienced, more weathered. I still miss him. It doesn’t hurt as much or as often but sometimes when I hear a song or see a photo there’s a pang. Maybe my mom did me a favor after all, though I’m not sure I can forgive her for throwing those things out. Knowing her she saved everything to give back to me later- when she felt I was healed. But now she’s older and her memory is not so great. I’m sure she may not even remember who he is let alone where my pieces of him have been hidden. I wonder what he would say to me now. What advice would he have for me? How would he handle our life? Is he happy for me or hurt or maybe even angry? He was so kind though. Always saw the best in everyone- just like who I am with now. Gregarious and genuinely kind. Non judgmental. When he left he said he was going to be ok. I know it sounds crazy but I do believe I saw his spirit. And I had a dream in which he told me not to smoke. His last words were my name. I’m not sure if he was telling me he loved me or if he was scared or in pain. I think he knew. I really do. At that last moment. He knew because he said my name. This is the first time I’m writing about this. It certainly isn’t easy. But maybe one day it will be a book. A love story. It will help him live forever.

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And speaking of time travel, some time ago my mother and I put some things in a time capsule that will be unburied soon. I must have been something like 5 or 7 years old. Probably five because don’t most things like that happen on a 5 or a zero? I could be wrong….maybe I was 7 or 11.  I remember that my mom sent me a box of basically crap a few years ago, but in that box of nothing was the golden ticket. The paperwork for the time capsule. I was excited to see that it was A. going to be opened in California and B. I hadn’t missed it/had quite a few more years to go before it will be opened.  I just need to find the papers so I can put it in my calendar. How exciting! I wonder what it will be like?  Will I remember or recognize the things we put in there? Will I think “so THATS where that’s been all this time!”? Will it feel like I went back in time? Maybe there’s a note from my mom or dad…..This is definitely something to which I look forward!

What the heck to wear when you travel out of your own place and time?

TimeTravel
Jeans: J brand  Boots: Rag and Bone  Blazer: Theory  Shirt: C&C California (old)

I suggest something comfortable and classic, so you don’t stick out. I feel like a blazer is one of those closet essentials that will always come in handy. They can dress up an otherwise casual outfit and they can professionalize (is that a word?) a dress. I love this one by Theory. It has leather on the collar to add a touch of interest. It’s worth the extra dollars to spend a bit more on a truly well made blazer. They last forever and never go out of style. Walking boots are another great staple. A little bit of a chunky heel is best, according to my podiatrist. He says flat shoes are actually just as bad for your feet as stilettos. True fact!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

 

 

 

When Thursday is Friday

Today,  in celebration of the final mix of season 7,  our friends over at Mutato Muzika spoiled us with a rooftop lunch including Pizza and Champaign. I have a hard time turning down pizza. Its definitely one of my “red flag” foods. Its so high in sodium and fat but its so seriously delicious that if its around, I can’t seem to help myself to a slice or three. Today was no different, so I chalked it up to a Titanic moment (refer to my old post here ) and indulged. In lieu of Champagne, I decided to visit my inner child and  do a taste test between Vanilla Root-beer and Regular Root-beer. Maybe its my deaf nose (since smell holds a lot of clout regarding defining taste), but there were no differences between the two. Why is root-beer just SO good with Pizza?  Its acutely rare for me to drink soda but today, for some reason, I did. Perhaps the combo reminds me of the Laurel School Summer Camp Days when Charlotte and I would have that fabulous lunch of pepperoni and turkey sandwiches with Doritos and Dad’s Root Beer.

I’m not sure why the universe is denying me a salad, but it is. I’ve been trying to have a salad for a week now. I was sorely mistaken thinking there would be a salad served with the pizza. A nice chilled crunchy lettuce mixed with shaved carrots, maybe some pea pods,  purple cabbage topped with a small portion of some fantastic home made vinaigrette just sounds SO refreshing and delicious. I’ve been wanting to sink my teeth into this since last Friday. Friday night MSM and I went for a walk about to find a place for dinner. Every restaurant we pass has NO salad on the menu. I mean there’s salad but they’re all totally complicated- like fried pork belly or candied eggs – like nasty gourmet bullshit when all I want is a salad. Plain and simple. We end up going to some wine bar where I had 3 glasses of wine for dinner and apparently took photos with my phone that I have no recollection of taking. The weekend passes- no salad. MSM, bless his heart, did the grocery shopping for us yesterday. I get home SO excited for that fresh bag of salad. FINALLY. I open the fridge- spinach. NO SALAD. Whyyyyy? He forgot. I forgive him. Today I get into work and am reminded of the pizza party. I’m super excited because Pizza at work ALWAYS comes with salad. FINALLY. I’m gonna have my salad. I even text MSM telling him how excited I am. Yes, I’m jubilent over this salad. I run up to the rooftop deck- two GIGANTIC boxes with pizza and there it is….just above them to the left on the bar, that beautiful aluminum rectangle with salad. I can’t even stand how excited I am. But I notice the tin looks smaller than usual and wait….. there’s no big cups with dressings and spoons. Not that I wanted dressing, I actually didn’t. I just want salad. So I go over to look and sure enough, right there in my oblong aluminum bowl of  “salad” is a HUGE MASS OF CHICKEN WINGS.

Tonight I will walk to the local Chop Shop and get a salad.

 

What The Heck To Wear To An Afternoon Rooftop Party:

GigiInspired
Whoever Gigi uses as a stylist is amazing. This outfit looks TOTALLY comfortable for running around the city yet still so chic and en trend. I adore her (and her stylist). Though I’d never “cheat” on my fashion fairy godmother, I am starting a folder of outfits that I can copy using similar pieces that I own.

Lately I’ve been really hooked on the way Gigi dresses. (Hadid– in case someone is reading this from far far away or in twenty years from now). Even her casual pieces are so well put together. So today I was inspired by Gigi in Adidas. I love these shoes! They are just so much more chic than a pair of Asics. And every woman needs to have a day to rest her feet. Thank goodness for fashion sneakers! I’m proud to admit that I bought the superstars before they became a big deal. Everyone had the Stan Smiths and I wanted something a little unique. I started a trend :).

 

Adidas
Kicks: Adidas Jeans: JBrand
SimpleFlapChanel
Chanel Simple flap bag. Looks just like the Classic but the liner is canvas not leather and theres no secret lipstick pocket inside. 

 

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Top: Rag and Bone Jacket: Maje

 

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I’m ready to kick off the weekend early! 

I’m excited to share that today, Thursday, is my Friday. Tomorrow I have a paid day off. MSM and I are going on an adventure to shop in my storage unit. Sort through things, decide what to donate, what to keep in storage and what to take. Should be interesting. Then we will head down to Orange County for some needed RnR.

Have a great weekend everyone!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

 

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

MUS400MusicIsTheUniversalLanguage

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.

Wiffenpoofs
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.

JohnCougarMellencamp
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!

Crue_FInal_Marquee

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?

MotleyCrueNYE
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.

 

rings
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.
YSL_RockerBoots
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

 

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.

Walk1
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.

TC
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.

chefG
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!

HSD
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.

novo-patio
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

All in for Autumn.

PDetail2I don’t miss much about living in the mid west but I can admit that I do miss the one week in Autumn when the beautifully colored leaves paint the sky, reflecting water-color like portraits onto the lakes. Air that is crisp and fresh but not bone chilling, bracing just enough to rejuvenate the soul.

The Pacific Palisades Pumpkin Patch:

This year is the first time in FOREVER that I have gone to a real pumpkin patch. Well, as real as one can find in Los Angeles. With a backdrop of trees and hills and the glorious sounds of children laughing, the YMCA Pumpkin Patch in the Pacific Palisades most definitely delivered. There was a maize maze – albeit a short one (but who can complain? It was the perfect height for my inner child :)), hay bundles with scare crows, faux spiderwebs, and, most importantly, a brilliant selection of pumpkins!

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What to wear to the Pumpkin Patch:

I took this opportunity to break out my new favorite fall pieces, recently delivered by Danielle. The sweater is the ideal weight for a cooler day in Autumn or any day in an LA winter (yes, it does get cold here). The high waisted feminine flow-y skirt is so comfortable and will look cute with crops and regular length tops. I love how these five pieces can be re-arranged with other basics in my wardrobe in order to create a zillion different ensambles. They are the perfect statement pieces for Fall.

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How cute is this chloe bag? No offense to the “Drew”, I am loving the uniqueness of this one. It can be dressed up for a night out or dressed down for something as casual as the pumpkin patch. AND…its the perfect size!
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I love this hat by Rag and Bone. I’ve never been into hats before but I can see this coming in handy on those days I don’t want to fuss with my hair. Plus its just a fun accessory.
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Hat: Rag and Bone Sunnies: Celine Sweater: Chloe Skirt: Maje Boots: Vince Bag: Chloe All available via Danielleseligson_Klein@s5a.com

I have to admit, BD (that’s Before Danielle) I would have never thought to wear this to a pumpkin patch. I think going in cute jeans and a fun T or even a halloween costume would also be acceptable. Definitely lower shoes or booties. But it was a great excuse to wear my new items. Thanks Saks!

Finishing the Pumpkin:

MSM and I learned a very important lesson today at the pumpkin patch. Jack-o-lantern pumpkins are NOT, I repeat, NOT baking pumpkins! hahaha. Though most pumpkin patches ALSO sell baking pumpkins, make sure you get the correct pumpkin for your needs 🙂

Doesn't this look DELICIOUS!
Doesn’t this look DELICIOUS!?

The word “foolproof” is in this recipe title. Click the link in case you want to try and bake your Jack-o-lantern: Foolproof Pumpkin Pie

In memory of Autumn:

I’d like to dedicate this post to Autumn Radtke. Ironically I met Autumn at a Summer BBQ in Beverly Hills held at the Sharon Tate Estate, home of the Manson Murders. Though the party itself was festive and bright, theres just something so eerie about the estate.

Autumn and I bonded over her adorable bull dog and our common zest for life. Though very slender, she was  Rubenesque and completely unaffected or possibly unaware of her beauty. She was a cosmopolitan xenophile advanced beyond her 24 years. Her courageous sense of ambition was contagious. It was one of those moments that I’ve mentioned before, where you never know how much one person can affect another – even in the most random and slightest way.

Over the years Autumn and I would sometimes touch base via Facebook, particularly around Halloween- she was an avid fan of costuming. I hadn’t heard from her for a long time so I decided to check in on her page and was horrified to find that she has passed away. Too young to be taken, may her soul revisit the earth via the winds of her namesake, inspiring all of us to live life to the fullest!

Happy Harvest everyone!

xoxo

QJ

QJ