travel diary: costa rica part 1

I just returned from my trip to Costa Rica, and we had the best time. A complete adventure from start to finish, which was right up my wanderlusting alley. Costa Rica is such a lush and beautiful country, with an exotic jungle landscape that runs right into the Pacific ocean surf. If you haven’t been there, you really need to go. We hiked to a secret waterfall, played in the ocean for days on end, read books while listening to afternoon rainfall, caught every sunset and ate delicious fresh seafood and plenty of tropical fruit. Wish I was still there….

tropical getaway

clockwise from top left: Madewell racerback tank, Baublebar drop earrings, Free People shift dress, OPI nail polish in ‘Tropical Punch’ and ‘Flower-to-Flower’, Westward Leaning sunglasses, Madewell tote bag and bracelets, J. Crew bikini, Madewell yellow sandals, J. Crew panama hat, Michael Kors shark tooth necklace

On Monday I am leaving on a tropical getaway to Costa Rica with 3 of my best girlfriends for 10 days. I couldn’t be more excited for our little adventure. We will be spending most of our time in the beach town of Esterillos Este on the Central Pacific Coast and then venturing out from there. I cannot wait for long days spent at the beach, surf lessons, fresh mangoes, tropical flowers, dining alfresco and hikes deep into the jungle.

Above is a little bit of what is inspiring my packing list. Packing for a tropical getaway is kind of tons of fun. As I’m thinking about what I will want to wear, I’m sort of imagining that I’ll be living in a Free People catalog for 10 days. They’re always so dreamy and romantic and seem to instill serious Wanderlust in me. Bring on the sunscreen and bug spray and let the wandering begin…

Images are from the March 2010 Elle magazine spread photographed in Costa Rica.

travel diary: chicago part 2

We spent a second 90 plus degree day in Chicago having a Sunday Funday in Wicker Park. When I asked friends what I should do and see and where to hang out in Chicago, they all pretty much agreed a trip to Wicker Park/Bucktown was a necessity. More of a leafy neighborhood feel with great shops and boutiques, restaurants and bars. We had the best time exploring and eventually settling in for the afternoon on the shaded patio of ‘Big Star’ for Margarita Hour and chips and salsa. It had been a long couple days of work and travel after all…

p.s. does anyone remember that early 2000s movie called ‘Wicker Park’ starring Josh Hartnett and a young Diane Kruger? I always loved that movie! And now I get where it took place. fun times!

travel diary: chicago part 1

I spent the majority of the past week in Chicago for work (and some play). I had never been there before and was so amazed by how pretty the city is – the river and the lake! My friend Kelly and I visited the Bean, hung out a bit in Millennium Park (prettiest gardens) and took the architecture river boat tour (I think Kelly was just in for the tan, but she was a good sport), which was pretty amazing. I love architecture and design and couldn’t believe a) how many skyscrapers there are in this city (who works in all of these?) and b) how many different architecture styles of skyscrapers there are – makes for a pretty awesome skyline. We dined on the river and took in some fun nightlife (hello sceney hotel rooftop bars) and even had a run in with one of my favorite tv actors – Matt from Friday Night Lights! Tomorrow comes pictures of our Sunday Funday in Wicker Park.

Where is your favorite place to visit and hang out in Chicago?

ranch hand



I spent Cinco de Mayo with friends at the beautiful Cooper family Monkey Ranch in Petaluma, CA (see our Fall trip here). We picked our food for dinner (little gems and fava beans!), explored the grounds (someday I want my own airstream, how country romantic), listened to some music in the Sunset Barn (the Easy Leaves), made margaritas and watched the ‘Super Moon’ rise into the night sky. A really lovely Saturday. Hope you all had great weekends, and now look at us, into the next week….

an L.A. dream (part 2)

Snaps from the Lucky Magazine’s Lucky Fabb (Fashion & Beauty Blogger) conference at the beautiful Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica. Had so much fun listening to great speakers on the business of blogging and fashion and mingling with fellow bloggettes and friends right on the ocean shore!

the outfit: Joie linen top, Trina Turk ‘Talia’ silk pants, Zara heels, Kooba ‘Camden’ purse, Ray Ban aviators, floral crown made by me

charming and hilarious Elizabeth Banks (check out her girl funny website here “I love things that make me giggle”) in an awesome Alexander McQueen dress and Jean-Michel Cazabat shoes

“I believe deeply in the power of resilience” -Zac Posen, great speaker and his business savvy is impressive

new gal pal Jenni of I Spy DIY (check out her new book here) and Kate Somerville on the entrepreneur panel- two girl power favorites

Mad Men’s costume designer Janie Bryant and BFF Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper), loved hearing about Janie put together the color palettes for Sally and Betty’s costumes this season (in contrast to each other as Sally rebels against her mother) and how much Kiernan loves Style Rookie

my childhood fashion idol, Soleil Moon Frye (aka Punky Brewster): “I truly believe there’s never been a better time for female entrepreneurs”

A Fine Frenzy performing for us

A great day and a great experience overall, thanks Lucky!

an L.A. dream (part 1)

outfit 1 black maxi: James Perse racerback maxi dress, Old Navy denim jacket (sim here), Kooba bag, floral crown made by me
outfit 2 yellow dress: H&M neon yellow maxi dress, Big Buddha multicolored clutch
outfit 3 pink dress: Old Navy pleated maxi dress (also worn here), vintage belt, Vince Camuto heels, Ray Ban aviators, Kooba bag

Some snapshots from my weekend in L.A. for the Lucky Fabb conference! A floral crown and dyed pink hair tips were my look for the weekend. I made the floral crown specifically for the trip, inspired partly by miss Lana Del Rey and an extension of my signature flower headband look from 2 years ago. It seemed just so perfect for a spring fashion weekend spent in bohemian L.A. I so love any kind of hair accessory (remember these?). I dyed my hair (washes out) with this – it works better on true blond hair but I liked the subtle, pastel effect I got with my blondish balayaged tips.

Fun for the weekend included Saturday pool and beach time with gal pals Krystal and Natalie, a Sunday blogger brunch (aren’t we all so cute?!) at the Viceroy where we stayed, dinner at the awesomely delicious ‘pop up’ restaurant  Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing on Abbot Kinney in Venice (where we sat next to the insanely good-looking Ian Somerhalder which was exciting to me only because I am a huge Lost fan), playing L.A. dress-up for a cocktail party at the Kelly Wearstler boutique on Melrose, and a trip complete with outfit pics to Opening Ceremony. More pictures from the actual conference coming tomorrow and I promise I don’t wear another maxi dress, ha. The floral crown, however, does make a repeat appearance.

see my other adventures in L.A.: here and here and here

wine country

old navy maxi dress, club monaco vest, BR cardigan, madewell scarf, ray ban wayfarer sunglasses, foley & corinna bag, vince camuto shoes

Miss Krystal of This Time Tomorrow – see her full outfit here

Us Northern Californians have it good. It’s just a hop skip and a jump on a party bus to wine country. Ten degree warmer weather, luscious gardens made for picnicing and plenty of wine to go around. Perfect Saturday birthday activity for my girl Heather. Happy Birthday H! xx

Hope you all had a Happy Happy Easter!


Wanted to share with you a couple of my latest and greatest favorite love of my life finds…

Jo Malone ‘Orange Blossom’ Body Creme

This body creme is like divine providence on your skin. Light, fluffy and not at all greasy. And this light scent (Duchess Kate’s favorite) just smells of Spring air.

Covergirl Lip Perfection in ‘Divine’, Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Fusion Gloss Lipstick in ‘Satin’

Lately I have been completely obsessed with purple hued lipstick and I can’t stop buying them. I have landed on these two as my favorites. I got lucky on a frantic Walgreens run on my way to an event a bit ago and found this great Cover Girl shade, which is amazing because it’s very layerable and actually dyes your lips and thus the color stays on forever (downside: it tastes super weird and takes serious makeup remover to get off). While browsing Saks, a shop girl turned me onto this gorgeous D&G shade, which is a richer purple and is very soft and glossy and comes in a super glamorous gold tube that I love pulling out of my clutch. I highly recommend both- lust & must.

Bumble & Bumble Texture Hair Creme

This hair creme has revolutionized my long hair look. I have fine fine hair and this gives that perfect amount of texture to create perfect unperfect, slept-in tousled hair. A look I happen to love. You can layer it on depending on how much texture you want. Try it.

Bobbi Brown Brightening Finishing Powder

This is the ultimate mid-day pick-me-up powder. You know, when you have that 3pm presentation or a 5pm happy hour and your face needs some refreshing and wakeing up without another layer of cakey powder. I’ve come to swear by this stuff.

Kate Spade Le Pavillion Large Maneula Cosmetic Case

My mom unexpectedly got me this KS cosmetics/toiletry bag for my birthday as she found that whenever I came to visit, my stuff was all over the place. At first I thought it was just far too big and I didn’t need it. And then I went out of town with it last weekend and guess what? it holds ALL MY STUFF! makeup, contacts, hairspray, nail polish, straightening iron, you name it. What a concept. Plus it lays really flat so it’s not too hard to pack. I highly recommend this bag to any moderately high maintenance girl who wants to bring a little organization (and polka dotted cuteness) to their travel routine.