5 Things to Do in Los Angeles

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1) Handboarding. Instead of surfing, next time you go to LA, try handboarding! One of the biggest handboarding companies and shapers is located right in Venice Beach. The company is called SLYDE Handboards and is run by the raddest couple – Steve Watts & Angela Ferendo. Steve, the founder and CEO of the company is originally from South Africa and has been shaping handboards for years. After traveling the world, he obtained a degree in product design and now is the leader of an amazing community of handboarders across the world. Their shop is located right off the Venice Beach boardwalk. They are always willing to initiate new people to the sport by taking them out in the water nearby.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI had the chance to get in the water twice with them, while I was in LA in August and it was one of the most enjoyable activities I’ve done in a while. It’s thrilling to be able to catch a wave and propel yourself into it, while kicking with your fins and letting yourself glide with the handboard. Hanging out with Steve & Angela, we also met other locals who are involved in the sport. There’s definitely a nice community of friendly handboarders growing in Southern California, Florida and other parts of the world. I am a big fan of their boards, all of their graphics are made with artists from around the world and the boards themselves are designed with the best materials. They also have boards for everyone from beginners to pros. Highly recommend stopping by their shop (you’ll also get to meet their beautiful dog Cowboy!!), getting in the water and trying out handboarding. Guaranteed stoke!

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2) Stay at The LINE Hotel. There are so many hotels always opening up in Los Angeles but I would say that one of the latest and greatest hotels that’s opened up in downtown LA is hands down The LINE Hotel. Located in Koreatown to be exact, The LINE Hotel is a new hotel collaboration between Roy Choi (the Korean American chef that create the famous Kogi food truck in LA), The Houston Brothers, Sean Knibb and Poketo. The hotel itself is located in a mid-century building that has been transformed to offer the coolest modern rooms with the dreamiest views of the Hollywood Hills. In addition to the amazing rooms, they have the nicest rooftop pool and restaurant called Commissary. I’ve talked about Commissary before in one of other blogs here. It’s special because it’s a little garden oasis in the middle of the busy cityscape. Pot and the Pot Lobby Bar is renown for it’s delicious Korean food. The customer service at the hotel is fantastic and the rooms are pretty affordable. I could wake up there every day…

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3) Explore the coast. One of my favorite things to do while in Los Angeles is exploring all the different little cities and neighborhoods in and around Los Angeles. I love driving around the coast, parking the car and exploring all the gems in the area. I’ve found so many amazing shops, restaurants and communities thanks to just wandering around up and down the coast. If driving isn’t your thing, you can also explore a lot of the coast by just renting a bike for the day. The Strand or The Marvin Braude Bike Trail starts at Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades and goes as far south as Torrance Beach, south of Redondo Beach. The 26-mile path can be done with a bike, skateboard, rollerblades or whatever your heart desires. It’s a beautiful way to get to know the area better. The view is just so incredible and it’s super freeing to ride a bike instead of being stuck in traffic with a car. Many people take The Strand to commute every day to and from work if they live close to the ocean.

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4) Visit the Sunset Marquis. Whether for a drink, a bite to eat, a day at the spa or even to just enjoy their two pools, the Sunset Marquis is a classic Hollywood hotel that just doesn’t go out of style. There are many things that still make the hotel so special. I personally love all the rock memorabilia and photographs that you can find all around the hotel. The Morrison Hotel Gallery at the entrance of the hotel is also filled with iconic rock photographs. Bar 1200 is a small and private bar that makes you feel right at home. They offer classic drinks and always have the best music playlist. Plus, they also have a super cozy patio at the front that is dimly lit with small candles. Their restaurant Cavatina is a great place for a lunch, a meeting or a mid-day snack. Their menu focuses on local California products and is creative but also affordable. Relaxing by the pool after getting a spa treatment is also quite special. If you’re willing to spend the cash, I’d have you know that the rooms are incredibly lush and comfortable. I haven’t slept that well in a hotel in a while!

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5) Shop at The Kooples & Anine Bing. It’s impossible for me not to mention my two new favorite stores in LA. The Parisian brand The Kooples, finally made it’s big west coast entrance this summer, which a luxurious and enormous marble-floored shop on S Robertson Blvd. in Beverly Hills. The shop is split into two sections, they have both their men’s and women’s collection in the store. I had discovered this French rock n’ roll band two years ago while in Paris and have been coveting every collection since. Shopping at The Kooples is a unique experience.

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Those who’ve been following my blog, know how obsessed I am with all-things Anine Bing. The lovely designer recently opened up her first shop in Los Angeles on West 3rd Ave. in Beverly Hills. It so happened that I was in town the day her flagship store opened and got to be one of the first ones to shop her new collection. It’s also always such a pleasure to see Anine, she’s such an inspiring woman. I have so much respect for what she does. What I love about her new shop is that it’s bright, modern and minimalistic. All of the items from her current collection can be found at the shop. I love Anine’s passion for flowers and candles, it adds a little personalized touch to the shop. Everyone at the shop is incredibly nice and helpful. An added bonus, it’s located right next to the FONUTS bakery 😉 If you want a nice personalized shopping experience and are looking for rocker meets bohemian threads, you’ve got to stop by the shop!

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5 Food Discoveries in Los Angeles

Here’s the first of a series of blogs I’ll be posting on my recent trip to Los Angeles. The theme for this blog is FOOD! If you’ve ever traveled to Los Angeles before, you know that there are always new restaurants opening up in every part of the city. One of the things I love most about traveling is trying out new restaurants everywhere I go. I’ve been vegetarian for over 12 years now and contrary to what most people think, I can eat just about everywhere (especially when traveling to California, where there are so many vegetarian-friendly dishes on all the menus!). I’d definitely say I’m an epicurean vegetarian! Here are 5 food discoveries I made while in LA earlier this month:

1) Fōnuts. Yes, there’s no typo here, fōnuts and not donuts. Fōnuts are donuts but better! Here’s why: they’re not fried, they are baked and/or steamed and come in so many incredible flavors, many of which are gluten-free and vegan. I first heard of fōnuts through Instagram and have been obsessively following their feed for the last couple of months, promising myself I’d check them out next time in LA. And that I did… not only once… or even twice, but three times! And boy was I not disappointed. I’d say, I became mildly obsessed with their baked goods while I was there. The thing I love most about them is that they use fresh and natural ingredients in every fōnut and they are made in-house daily. I love the “cake-like” taste & texture and the clever combination of flavors. They’re also not too filling as a result of not being fried and have a very different texture. Hands down my two favorites were the “Blueberry Earl Grey” and “Peanut Butter Chocolate“. A must if you’re in the Hollywood area. They’re located on West 3rd street, just at the corner of S. Crescent Heights Blvd.

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2) Gracias Madre. I had been meaning to go to Gracias Madre last summer and then on my trips since but each time, I ended up somewhere else. Gracias Madre’s is all about serving local, organic and vegan food. Three key words that totally attracted my attention when I had first heard of this amazing restaurant. Added bonus: it’s all Mexican food!! But not any kind of Mexican food, Mexican food done with a modern and clever twist. All of the food we ate at Gracias Madre was so incredibly fresh and flavourful! It was just the right amount of spice and all the dishes were very well balanced. The drinks were also so incredibly tasty. I highly recommend sharing a bunch of plates. My favorite appetizer: “Gorditas“, which are potato cakes accompanied by avocado and cashew cream. My favorite main: “El Plato” a dish with butternut squash, cashew cheese and chorizo mushrooms. My favorite dessert: their incredibly yummy “Fudge Brownie” made with salted mezcal caramel. One of the best parts about eating at Gracias Madre, was being on their incredibly beautiful outdoor terrace. It’s decorated with an outdoor fire place, beautiful lights, lanterns and is in the middle of trees and plants. Super romantic! You can make reservations through OpenTable, just make sure you reserve a little while in advance, the place is always busy.

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3) Sqirl. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a better brunch than the one I ate at Sqirl. Sqirl is a small cafe located in the Los Feliz area of LA. It’s packed with young hipsters, businessmen, actors, etc. who all come for their morning coffee, meetings or to just enjoy the incredible food their serve there. They’ve got a few seats inside but also have a great little alcove on the side of their restaurant with a bunch of chairs and tables. What makes Sqirl awesome is not only that everything is made from scratch in-house, including their jams, their almond milk, their hot sauce, etc., it’s also more than just a little cafe. They have an extensive breakfast/brunch and lunch menu that they make fresh in front of your eyes. Everything I tasted there was absolutely to die for! Things you NEED to try when you go to Sqirl: their vanilla bean lemonade, unreal! Also their open faced brioche with kale, tomatillo puree and fried egg. And finally for “dessert” their brioche with homemade jam and freshly milled almond hazelnut butter, WHA?! Take me back now!!

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4) Fig & Olive. A discovery that Offner made while looking for new restaurants to check out in LA. The restaurant has definitely become a city hotspot over the last little while. Located on Melrose Place in West Hollywood, Fig & Olive is a beautiful and classy restaurant. The decoration is sophisticated and so are the people that eat there (or they at least seem to be!). They’ve got a great selection of wine and an interesting choice of plates for dinner. Though a little bit more on the pricier side, the food is delicious, tasty and worth dishing out the extra cash. The fish “Paella del mar” seems to be a favorite among customers, including Offner himself. The thing that I also loved, was their incredibly well presented desert. Good times!

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5) Commissary. You’ll find this little oasis at The Line Hotel, located in Koreatown. The Line Hotel has only been open since the beginning of 2014 and is already attracting people from all over the world and incredibly hype (I will tell you more about the hotel itself on another upcoming blog!). Commissary is located in a greenhouse and is open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their entire menu revolves around fruits and vegetables. Though not exclusively a vegetarian restaurant, there are definitely many veggie-friendly dishes. You can either sit at the bar or at one of their beautifully presented tables. The drink menu is original and savoury and so is the food. Another thing that’s super unique about this place, their menu contains no words, just pictures! A clever idea by the one and only chef Roy Choi (founder of the LA Kogi food truck!)! Yup! He’s the one responsible for the remarkably creative menu & space. Totally worth checking out!

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Jean Paul Gaultier

I decided to do a men’s outfit special on the blog this week! Putting my outfits together every day is always a whole lot of fun but I’ve always wanted to style men as well. I’ve had the chance to do some menswear styling on music videos but thought it’d be a fun exercise to do for a daily outfit. I’m lucky because I have access to the perfect model, Offner, who probably has just as much clothes as I do. So this week’s outfits will be dedicated to menswear!

I’ve always had a thing for the rocker look. So for the first look of the week, I went for a Jean Paul Gaultier inspired outfit. I love a well-fitted leather jacket on a man and this custom made jacket from The Cast NYC has the raddest details and cut. It goes with every kind of outfit! The striped shirt is also a classic and a pair of bright slacks adds a nice pop of color to the look. For accessories, I added this badass Verameat necklace that we got in LA last year. I love Verameat’s designs because they’re unisex and are so versatile.

What do you guys think?

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Urban Outfitters BDG striped shirt

Cast Off Mens Bronx Motorcycle Jacket (get it here)

Levis burnt orange denim

Topman black suede oxford shoes with buckle (similar ones here)

Verameat Mermaid Sword Yes (get it here)

Springsioux Chief Ring (get it here)

Orchid

I have a thing for flowers… I’ve always had. Maybe it’s a girl thing, maybe it’s the fact that I don’t live somewhere where flowers grow outside all year round. I like their delicateness, I like their colors, I like their smell and all of their different shapes and sizes. Each flower represents something different to me, a different time or event in my life. As a kid, I would receive flowers after dance shows, figure skating shows, birthdays, school graduations, etc. My mother would always adorn our house with fresh bouquets of flowers every week. It was just something that made our house not only smell nice but also feel a lot more alive. My favorite flowers are definitely peonies (hence the tattoo), but I really love them all! My dream is to live somewhere where I can have flowers around me all throughout the year. In the meantime, I try to decorate my apartment with flowers here and there, those than can survive with little sunlight or throughout the winter. Happy to have brought this new addition home!

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Photos by @Offner

Zara white denim pants

M for Mendocino white tee

Anine Bing Bohemian black hat

Anine Bing boots with silver studs (get them here)

Bing Bang Wanderlust cuff (get it here)

Lionette Gilmore bracelet (to order please go here)

Vanessa Mooney With A Tiny Tender Kiss Charm Bracelet White(get it here)

5 Questions With: Vivianne Lapointe of Live FAST Mag

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Photo by: Janell Shirtcliff

On one of my recent trips to California, I attended an art show that Vivianne Lapointe also known as Ladyshark put on at a neat art space in Hollywood. Being a big fan of the ocean and having always been fascinated by sharks, I was really excited by this exhibit and fundraiser. From then on, I started following Ladyshark on social media and discovered that she was also the founder of an amazing magazine called – Live FAST Mag. Over the past couple of months, it’s become my go-to mag for inspiration – they always have such beautiful photos, travel and art features as well as so much more! Vivianne and her team recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of their very first annual issue. “A big glossy book with drool-worthy features that you can pick up a year or 10 years from now and flip through with the same pleasure,” she says. You can check out the campaign and what Live FAST Mag is all about here. I’m thrilled to present to you today my 5 Questions With Vivianne Lapointe.

1) Can you talk to us about your style evolution from your teens until now? How would you describe your style today? (you can provide us with photos if you’d like)

My personal style was a bit all over the place growing up – like I’d wear thick socks in fancy heels, and I remember people making fun of me because I’d straighten my hair only in the front and leave the back really messy. I was always into platform shoes, knee high socks and hats. Right now I spend a lot of cash on great lingerie and stockings, because somehow it makes anything I put on after sexier and more expensive. When I’m chilling at home or at the office I look like a tomboy – skinny jeans, oversized tees, snapbacks – but when I go out I like to feel like a sex pot. 

2) Who are your style icons?

Claudia Cardinale, Brigitte Bardot, Dita Von Teese and then a lot of my super stylish friends  like Janell Shirtcliff, Kelley Ash, Cyd and Dal from Stone Cold Fox, Leemor Rhodes and Chiara Ferragni.

3) What inspired you to create Live FAST Mag? What is your mission with the mag?

FAST stands for Fashion, Art, Sex and Travel – the best things in life. Think about it… you can really lose yourself in an amazing orgasm, the view you discover when you reach a mountain peek, a great book, staring at a painting, or wearing a gown in the most gorgeous silk. Life is so short! I hope we inspire people to live to the fullest and to do everything they can to stretch the precious time we are given on this earth.

4) What are some of the most memorable moments thus far with Live FAST Mag?

Our first Babes On Tour, when we documented our road trip from Los Angeles all the way up to San Francisco. That’s when I fell in love with the Madonna Inn and Big Sur. I’ve been back twice since. Another great moment is when the president of the NY Observer emailed me to tell me he is a huge fan of the mag! And both of my trips to Pow Wow Hawaii were pretty life changing. 

5) You’re a big fan of the ocean and of sharks, where does this passion come from?

It stems from fear and has come full circle since. I’ve written about it pretty extensively here.  

Best of luck with the campaign!

Flower Blouse #DailyOutfit

Happy Friday everyone! Excited for a relaxed weekend at home before the Canadian Music Week madness begins! I’ve been hiding from the rain all week watching all the latest episodes of Kitchen Nightmares and also the amazing new season of Anthony Bourdain‘s Parts Unkown. If you’ve watched some of his shows before, you know that Anthony Bourdain’s shows are beautifully shot, feature some of the yummiest food and some of the dreamiest locations in the world. The latest season of Parts Unknown is no exception. As someone with a serious case of wanderlust, watching the show just makes me want to travel even more! The latest episode on Lyon, a place I’ve had the pleasure of traveling to (I even ate at the same place at Bourdain – Comptoir Abel!) is magical! Also watching it with Offner, a Lyon-native made it that much more special. I’ve grown really fond of anything Bourdain does and highly recommend watching any of his series (No Reservations, The Layover and Parts Unknown). The first two seasons of Parts Unknown are available on Netflix. This Sunday – it’s Mexico!! Can’t wait!

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For today’s outfit, I’m dressing down a beautiful white flower silk blouse from Zara with black skinny jeans, beige ankle boots and a few dainty gold rings.

Stay tuned Sunday for a brand new 5 Questions With interview! Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend!

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Photos by @Offner

Zara white silk flower blouse 

Anine Bing Skinny Jeans Double Zipper Black (get them here)

Vanessa Mooney Little Ways Gold Bracelet (get it here)

Nixon mint green waterproof watch 

Target beige ankle boots 

Bing Bang Shard Ring (get it here)

Vanessa Mooney With A Tiny Tender Kiss Charm Bracelet White(get it here)

Lionette Gilmore bracelet (to order please go here)

Verameat vampire crown ring (get it here)

 

 

 

Headband Love #DailyOutfit

The last time I remember wearing a headband before this year must have been when I was in high school or maybe even younger. If you check Pinterest (here!) or you go on any fashion website or designer site (here!), you’ll see that headbands are everywhere right now. They are no longer just for Coachella flower girls or for working out, headbands are definitely more of an “every day” hair accessory now. When I received this rad leopard headband from Uranium, I couldn’t help my try to style it. Surprisingly, I didn’t look like a total goof (or at least that’s what I think!). What I like about headbands is that there are all sorts, some dressier than others and are a perfect way to add a little extra something to your outfit. Plus it’s perfect for a bad hair day! Are you a fan of headbands?

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Skylark Acid Wash buttoned up shirt (similar one here)

Zara scoop neck white tee 

Lionette Gilmore bracelet (to order please go here)

Vanessa Mooney Little Ways Gold Bracelet (get it here)

Anine Bing boots with silver studs (get them here)

Anine Bing Skinny Jeans Double Zipper Black (get them here)

Uranium pattern headband (get it here)

Karl Lagerfeld ’7′ Beveled Bezel Bracelet Watch (get it here)

Springsioux Lady Muerte ring (get it here)

New SoCal Faves

Last month, I was able to spend a few days in my favorite place on earth – Southern California. It’s always so lovely seeing all of my friends, discovering new places to eat and shop as well as spending time surfing at the beach. Didn’t do too much shopping on this past trip, so the following post will be more of a #foodporn post. Like I did with my last travel post (see here), here are some of my new favorite things about SoCal.

1 – Ace Hotel – When I went last month, the hotel had opened a few weeks prior. The Ace Hotel is a small chain of hotels, they can be found in New York City, Palm Springs, Portland and most recently Los Angeles. It is located in the historic United Artists building in downtown LA. I had the pleasure of going to their new bistro LA Chapter. Not only were the food and drinks incredibly tasty, the atmosphere was very chic yet also laid back and also we had the funniest waiter. The menu was original and fairly priced. After dinner, I took a tour of the hotel. I loved all the books and music in the lobby, everything about the building was absolutely beautiful. I highly recommend checking out the hotel, if not for a stay then for a brunch, lunch or dinner. You can make reservations easily via Open Table.

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2 – Urth Caffé – Alright, this place isn’t a new place but it’s become a staple when I’m in Los Angeles. I purposely plan my day around the different Urth locations in and around Los Angeles. Honestly, the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch and even dinner. It opens super early in the morning and stays open until late at night. Some of my Urth favs: Almond Milk Green Tea Latte, the Urth Salad, any of their croissants, the Coconut Pound Cake and their homemade granola. My mouth waters, as I write this post. I think I’ve developed an addiction to Urth Caffé!!

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3 – Veggie Grill – Is a chain of vegetarianvegan and gluten free restaurants that serve food cafeteria style. I knew one of their latest locations had just opened up in Carlsbad, so I took the opportunity to pay them a visit. They have a very extensive menu, great homemade drinks and pride themselves in only serving healthy food that is good for the mind and body. I ordered the Crispy Chickin’ Plate as well as a side order of their Mac N’ Cheese. Both plates were very filling and all tasted pretty good. You can get a good meal for under $15. My favorite was their cauli mashed potatoes!

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4 – Los Feliz – Is a new area I got to explore on this past trip located just west of Hollywood. It’s a beautiful neighborhood with lot’s of pretty homes as well as a little “downtown” area located on Vermont Street with plenty of super cute shops, bookstores and yummy restaurants. I checked out the French bistro Le Figaro for brunch. They offered all the best typical French specialties and also had a counter section, where you could buy baked goods and desserts to go. I wish I could have spent more time in the area, it’s definitely on my list of places to go back to on my next visit.

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5 – Laurel Hardware – Is a trendy relatively new restaurant and bar located on Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood. I met up with friends there for dinner one night. There are two rooms and an incredibly big patio at the back. The first room is quieter and has a more “dinning room” vibe where as the back room has a lot more of a “bar” feel to it. Lot’s of local models, musicians and young entrepreneurs have been seen flocking to this place. The night I went, the place was definitely filled with lot’s of young and beautiful people. Small but solid food and drink menu. The menu contained lot’s of sharing plates including many vegetarian options. I loved their open kitchen concept as well as the fresh flowers and candles that were on each table.

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All in all, another incredibly memorable trip with tons of new discoveries!

Till next time SoCal!

More Color #DailyOutfit

Apologies for the lack of updates these past couple of days. Right after spending a few hectic days at World MasterCard Fashion Week I left for NYC at the crack of dawn on Friday. I’m beyond thrilled to have attended the School Of Style this past weekend at the Ace Hotel in Manhattan. The coolest Christmas present! I’ll be posting a new NYC travel blog shortly with more info about the school. Can’t wait to continue my training with them this spring/summer and be able to get my diploma!

Speaking of spring, like most of you, I’m extremely tired of wearing dark colors. I’m currently listening to a lot of “spring” records including this rad new record from a band called Language Arts. Tracks like these definitely add a bit of magic and color to my day. What are your current spring favorites? What colors are you stoked about for Spring?

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Zara fabric wedge ankle boots

Zara TRF Basic Short Sleeve T-Shirt Terracotta (get it here)

Vanessa Mooney Little Ways Gold Bracelet (get it here)

Forever 21 Houndstooth print skirt (similar one here)

Vanessa Mooney With A Tiny Tender Kiss Charm Bracelet White(get it here)

Karen London Dream Weaver Necklace (get it here)

Vanessa Mooney Sweet Antiquity Bracelet Pearl (get it here)