ojai getaway

A group of girls and I went up to Ojai for the weekend to celebrate our friend Tamara’s birthday, and we had such a good time. Ojai is such a special place – it’s this completely beautiful little town surrounded by mountains with orange and olive groves growing on them, and it has a casual hippie vibe to it. It’s so nice to have somewhere that feels so different from LA that’s just a little over an hour’s drive away.

We rented a house this time which was fun, though the last few times I’ve been there we’ve stayed at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa which is one of my favorite hotels. Justin and I actually got engaged there – fun fact 😉 We didn’t have a ton of time up there for this visit but we did make the most of the time we had. We went for a nice walk into town and hung around at Topa Mountain Winery’s tasting room, which had a Christmas market and live music, with food trucks for snacks and cozy blankets for keeping warm once the sun went down after Ojai’s famous ‘Pink Moment’. On Sunday we had brunch on the patio at Noso Vita before checking out their sprawling farmers’ market where I picked up some local olive oil, flowers and veggies to take back with me.

Here are a few iPhone snaps from the weekend. Let me know if you ever go and need any suggestions on what to see and do!

paris photos

IMG_0996 (1)I’m back, if anybody missed me! I’ve been completely MIA from the blog for a couple of weeks, and I’m not really sure why…I guess I was just busy with work and traveling, but I think I was also feeling a little uninspired. To get back into the groove of things, here are some photos I took while we were in Paris a few weeks ago.

We were only in the city for two days but we managed to fit in a few museums, tons of wandering and lots of really great food. We stayed at Le Grand Pigalle in the 9th which I highly recommend; it’s this super chic little hotel with comfortable beds, gorgeous bathrooms, and a really great bar on the ground floor in lieu of a traditional lobby. A few of the restaurants and cafes that we visited that were particularly great were Buvette for a delicious brunch, Bistro Paul Bert for a very traditional French bistro dinner, and Pain Pain, a beautifully decorated bakery with great coffee and plenty of Parisians lining up for baguettes and croissants. We also spent a long, leisurely afternoon people watching and drinking wine at Cafe de Flore, which is a must visit, even though it’s very touristy and doesn’t have the best food – it’s just such an institution that you have to go.

It was a short and sweet trip, and I’m already itching to go back – Paris is one of those cities that you can just never get enough of, isn’t it?

Have a good day!

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IMG_9926 (1) I really loved Athens, though a lot of people warned me that I wouldn’t and said to not even bother stopping in the city en route to the islands. Granted, we were only in the city for about 15 hours altogether and it wasn’t high tourist season so maybe that had something to do with it. My girlfriends and I arrived late on a Friday night with just enough time to check into the New Hotel (which I highly recommend, it was chic and affordable and very central) and headed to a nearby restaurant called 2Mazi for dinner, where we ate incredibly fresh seafood and had some surprisingly tasty Greek wine.

Unfortunately I think those are the only names that I remember of the places that we ate because other than that we had breakfast and lunch at random little spots that we came across that looked cute – though one thing we attempted to do but went at the wrong time was to have drinks atop the Grand Bretagne Hotel which has really gorgeous views of the city, so please do that if you’re ever in Athens!

We wandered around the city and visited the Acropolis which was such a neat experience, it’s amazing to actually see the things that you learn about in textbooks. Isn’t traveling the best? After that we really just took pictures and walked around to explore and kill time before hopping on the ferry. Here are a few of my favorite photos from our quick visit, I’m sorry I don’t have that many great recommendations for where to eat or what to do!

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daytrip to the cotswolds

IMG_0586My mom and I took the train out to the Cotswolds from London on Tuesday for a quick visit, and had such a great time. Justin and I visited the area a year and a half ago and I absolutely fell in love with the Cotswolds and had been dying to go back ever since. I’m happy to report that the area and the two places I wanted to revisit were just as amazing as I remembered.

Our first stop was The Wild Rabbit, the cutest little inn and pub, where we ordered some coffee and settled into cozy chairs to play scrabble by the fireplace for an hour or so. After we finished up there we started the thirty minute walk along a kind of scary country road (there was probably some sort of cute pathway through a farm that we just didn’t know about) towards Daylesford Farm, where we had lunch (cottage pie for me and a lamb tagine for my mom) and browsed the market and flower shop and oohed and aahed at their gorgeous cookery school. I’d love to spend a few days there, checking out the spa and taking cooking and flower arranging classes, wouldn’t that be fun?

After we finished up with lunch we grabbed brownies to go and headed back to London on the train, happy from a perfect (but too short!) afternoon spent in the country. I have some London photos to share in the next few days as well, so stay tuned. Have a good day, and I promise to be a better/more consistent blogger again soon!

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santa barbara photo diary

IMG_9134Justin and I spent Easter weekend in Santa Barbara, and it was a pretty perfect little getaway. We stayed at the Belmond El Encanto which is perched on a hilltop overlooking the city and the ocean, and has the cutest little cottages for rooms and really gorgeous gardens and landscaping. We spent most of our time just lounging and being lazy by the pool (they made really good margaritas) but we did venture into town one afternoon for a little sightseeing. Our first stop was Butterfly Beach in front of the Four Seasons (which is the most gorgeous hotel, you should pop in and look around if you haven’t seen it) which is dog friendly; it was so funny to see Penny testing out the ocean for the first time. She was pretty apprehensive at first but then ended up loving it. So cute!

IMG_9155 IMG_9128 After the beach we got our sandy pup loaded into the car (which is such a disaster now…like I mentioned here she gets a little motion sick!) and headed to downtown Santa Barbara’s ‘Funk Zone’ for some wine tasting. We sat on the little patio at Oreana, before heading to Au Bon Climat (we bought a bottle of their Pinot Noir which was really good) and finishing off at Grassini Family Vineyards which was tucked back in a cute little area next to a delicious looking restaurant that I want to try next time.

We meant to have a late dinner at The Lark but ended up just ordering food in the hotel bar and heading to bed early. Overall it was such a fun and relaxing little getaway. Hope that you had a fun weekend as well!

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