Goat Yoga, The BH Art Show and Jurassic Park | Weekend Events May 14-16

Don’t miss out on this weekend’s best events! It’s a jam-packed week in the city of angels, so we’re sharing the best things to do in L.A., the westside, and the valley. From finding your zen with goats at the Gamble House to the bi-annual BH Art Show. Enjoy all that your community has to offer with these family-friendly activities!

Los Angeles

BH ART SHOW, Goat Yoga, Outdoor Movies
Goat Yoga at Gamble House

When: Until July 10, 2021

Where: Pasadena

What: You’ve probably already heard of the goat yoga craze, well now you can take part in it at the famed Gamble House. Get your zen on while a trip of goat’s throat around during this relaxing series on the front lawn of one of SoCal’s most beautiful homes. Presented by Pasadena’s Arts and Crafts, you’re invited to get in touch with your inner yogi through stretch and practice. Oh, and did we mention you’ll have 15 minutes for petting and pictures with the goats in attendance.

Hildur Guðnadóttir Gallery Talk

When: May 18

Where: Virtual

What: Hildur Guðnadóttir, the Oscar-winning Joker composer, joins Academy Museum curator Jenny He to discuss her work. Join them in conversation about Guðnadóttir’s compositions and her approach to designing the museum’s composer’s inspiration gallery.

The Beverly Hills Art Show Online

When: May 10 – 16, 2021, 24/7

Where: Virtually 

What: The BH Art Show goes virtual this year for the bi-annual event. Enjoy interviews with artists, painting instruction, and more! The virtual online gallery will provide the chance to view artwork from over 200 artists from around the country. As in previous years, the BH Art Show will showcase a selection of art, including painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, and more. Also, like in previous years, artists will have artwork for purchase as well.

Westside

BH ART SHOW, Goat Yoga, Outdoor Movies
Ai Weiwei: Trace

When: May 15-Aug 1

Where: Skirball Cultural Center

What: Chinese artist Ai Weiwei brings his Alcatraz exhibit “Trace” to the Skirball Cultural Center in this limited engagement. The exhibition displays portraits of activists and prisoners of conscience made from millions of LEGO bricks. Ai Weiwei was inspired to create this installation after being imprisoned in Beijing due to his political activism.

 

Rooftop Cinema Club – Final Dates

When: Until May 31, 2021

Where: Santa Monica and El Segundo

What: Everyone’s favorite outdoor cinema experience has just a few more showings left before summer officially kicks off. The masters of alfresco rooftop movies have a range of flicks that you can catch outdoors on the big screen, from Mean Girls to Grease. Choose between the Santa Monica drive-in and a new rooftop in El Segundo for your weekend movie fix.

 

Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins

When: Until August 16

Where: Getty Villa, Pacific Palisades

What: Take a trip back in time, a few millennia, to be exact, for the Getty Villa’s latest exhibit. View ancient jewelry, sculptures, and cuneiform writing from the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians. The objects on loan from the Louvre are broken up into three galleries. Because tickets must be timed for social distancing purposes, be sure to book your spot in advance.

 

The Valley

Street Food Cinema Presents Jurassic Park

When: May 15

Where: King Gillette Ranch, Calabasas

What: Let’s all head to the movies! Enjoy outdoor movie season at the drive-in with Street Food Cinema. The beloved summer series has made some friendly-socially-distanced tweaks for their current schedule. You can bite into this weekends showing with Jurassic Park and their range of delicious food trucks. 

Old Town Newhall Farmers Market

When: May 15, 2021, at 8:30 am

Where: Old Town Newhall Library

What: If you are searching for some of your fresh market favorites, look no further than this weekend’s Old Town Newhall Farmers Market. Specialty food purveyors and California farmers come together each Saturday, rain or shine, to bring you the finest in fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables. At this local event, you’ll also be able to pick up baked goods, flowers, herbs, cheeses, and prepared foods.  The Market offers locals a chance to come face to face with their food source. And the parking… it’s free and plenty.

We Rise 

When: Until May 31

Where: Various locations

What: Don’t miss the  ‘Celebration of Wellbeing’ for May’s Mental Health Awareness Month.  Taking place at various locations throughout the Valley and Los Angeles, you can participate in various activities and information related to mental health. 

David Ruggeri: Call of the Wild Exhibit

When: Until May 31, 2021

Where: San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center

What: ‘Call of the Wild’ and exhibit by artists David Ruggeri is in its last two weeks at the San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center. This installation, SCORE (Southern California Open Regional Exhibitions), celebrates the artistic relationship with flora and fauna in nature. 

Sound Mind Mental Health Music Festival

When: May 20, 2021

Where: Ventura County Fairgrounds, Ventura

What: While this event is not taking place until next Thursday, we wanted to give you the heads up so you can reserve your spot. Enjoy music from artists like All Time Low, Fitz, and the Tantrums, lovelytheband, and Charlotte Lawrence for this drive-in concert. Taking place at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, proceeds from the event support the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ventura.

Out & About | Staycation in Solvang

Out & About | Staycation in Solvang

Windmills, delicious pastries, and a charming main street in a picturesque Danish town. You won’t need your passport for a staycation in Solvang. “A little slice of Denmark in Southern California,” the city of Solvang certainly makes for the perfect local getaway. Located in the Santa Ynez Valley, this historic Danish town is perfectly situated in Santa Barbara Wine Country. Depending on where you are driving in from and, of course, LA traffic, you’ll be whisked away by the charm of this city within a 1 ½ to 2-hour drive. So what exactly do you do once you arrive? We’re sharing a few of our favorites ways to stay, eat and play in California’s favorite (and only) Danish village.

Stay Awhile
Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort

Located on a 10,000-acre private ranch, the Alisal is ideal for those seeking a dose of western culture. Considered a world-class resort, the hotel is considered one of California’s premier guest ranches. During your stay, you can enjoy horseback riding, (2) 18-hole golf courses, tennis, or even fly fishing. 

Hotel Ynez

If you would like to add a bit of the french countryside to your danish excursion, Hotel Ynez serves as an excellent choice. The hotel, which opened earlier this year, is as tranquil as it is stunning. Located on two private acres, Hotel Ynez is the perfect escape from the urban hustle and bustle/ The property features lush gardens, bonfire pits, a pool, and an inviting outdoor pavilion where you can take in a night under the stars. 

The Landsby

If you prefer accommodations with a modern touch, The Landsby is ideal. This beautiful boutique hotel offers contemporary designs with the ambiance of Scandinavian aesthetics. Moreover, their remodeled guest rooms are bright and open, with comfortable hand-crafted furnishings and breathtaking artwork commissioned by regional artists.

Hotel Corque

A Triple AAA – Four Diamond awarded hotel, Hotel Corque is one of Solvang’s newer properties. The hotel features a modern and rustic design that highlights the relaxed nature of wine country. Hotel Corque is located in downtown Solvang, placing you steps away from all that Santa Ynez Valley has to offer.

Wine Valley Inn & Cottages

Located in the quiet downtown neighborhood, Wine Valley Inn & Cottages offers the quintessential ambiance of Solvang. With 56 spacious guestrooms, 6 charming individual cottages surrounding a private garden, and one grand suite, you have a range of options to enjoy your stay. The inn is also within walking distance of wine tasting rooms and a short drive to Santa Ynez Valley’s best wineries. 

Dine and Sip
Olsen’s Bakery

At one of the two major bakeries in Solvang, you’ll enjoy delicious kringles, cakes, cookies, and breads at Olsen’s. The bakery has been turning out delicious treats since 1970. Just make sure you arrive early if you want to grab a pastry for breakfast. As one of the town’s main attractions, they are known for having lines that stretch around the corner.

Mortensen’s Bakery

One look at the website for Mortensen’s will have you making a drive to Solvang just for their Bear Claws. The other beloved bakery in town (there are over five authentic bakeries), Mortensen’s, is another must. In short, you can’t go wrong with choices like their Pistachio Square or Danish Butter Cookie. 

Actors Corner Cafe

A family-run eatery, the Actors Corner Cafe makes for an ideal evening destination. The charming eatery and boutique wine pairing restaurant serves upscale Italian cuisine made with locally sourced, organic ingredients. Their dishes are seasoned with the flavors and spices of old Europe, and they are open Thursday-Friday only. 

Mad & Vin

If you are staying at The Landsby, you won’t have to go far for Danish dining. Mad & Vin is the hotel’s charming, elegant wood-clad food and wine bar serving a seasonal menu of wine-country-inspired farm-to-table fare prepared with regional ingredients.

Aly’s by Alebru Restaurant

Featuring exquisite wine country cuisine, Aly’s has all that you could want in fine dining. Serving a seasonal menu of market-driven fare, their dishes feature local ingredients such as fresh seafood, prime beef, and housemade pasta with from-scratch sauces. 

Stroll and Play
Shopping

Treat yourself and browse through 150 boutique shops for unique treasures.

Wine Sampling

Enjoy the region’s best and sample wine & beer at 20 downtown tasting rooms offering the products of over 125 area vineyards.

Discover Danish & American Culture

Take in the culture of this quaint Danish town. Explore any of the following local museums: Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, The Wildling Museum of Art & Nature, Hans Christian Andersen, Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum, Old Mission Santa Inés, plus Amber Museum & Hall of the Danes.

At Home Entertainment: Public Library Edition

What’s Online at the Public Library? Free Movies, Music and Books! 

Don’t close the book on Los Angeles area public libraries. Their doors may be shut due to the coronavirus, but online, their resources remain open. And that includes movies, audiobooks, ebooks, and music – all available for free when you sign up online. Just go to the website and click through for an ecard (at the L.A. Public Library) or 90-day digital library card (at the L.A. County Public Library). Here’s a rundown of some of the materials and apps you’ll discover:

MOVIES

With your card, you’re a member of Kanopy, an on-demand streaming video platform for public libraries and universities, boasting a catalog of more than 30,000 films. As you might expect, the selection should delight documentary-lovers, but they also have plenty of popular Hollywood fare on tap, ranging from Lady Bird and Moonlight to Memento and Donnie Darko. Members can also access Kanopy Kids, which features children’s programming. Hoopla is another service included with your card that allows you to stream entertainment content. Two things set Hoopla apart: you can temporarily download what you want and view it offline, and there are no waitlists as all their content is available 24/7. While their selection includes educational materials and documentaries, they also curate blockbusters like E.T. and Liar Liar.

AUDIOBOOKS AND EBOOKS

With the Overdrive app, you can download everything from bestsellers to graphic novels to YA fiction. One caveat: because copies are limited, you may have to place a hold on what you want and wait for your turn. But in the meantime, the app offers available alternatives to occupy you.

MUSIC

With a collection of more than 15 million songs, Freegal Music lets you download or stream music on any compatible device. They also have curated playlists to suit whatever mood you’re in. And once you download a song, it’s yours to keep and enjoy offline as you please.

HOMEWORK AND ONLINE LEARNING

Online research and homework tools for readers of all ages include searchable databases, live tutors, instructor-led courses and Lynda.com, which provides more than 3,000 courses as well as 150,000 video tutorials.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

A basic digital subscription to the Times costs about $10 a month, but with an L.A.-area library card, it’s free. Just go to the website and follow the instructions. But remember, the number of daily NYT access redemptions are limited, so it may take a little work to snag one. If the Times doesn’t appeal to you, there are dozens of other magazines and newspapers to sample as well.

Out and About: 6 Eclectic Escape Rooms in Los Angeles

Los Angeles has much to offer when it comes to entertainment. It comes as no surprise that Los Angeles is known as the “Escape Room Capital” of the world. These LA-based escape rooms are created by prominent set designers, storytellers, industry creators, and most importantly… their entertainment-loving customers. If you enjoy what Hollywood has to offer when it comes to immersive entertainment based experiences, then you can’t miss these.

We have compiled a list of Escape Rooms that will satisfy any of your “puzzle-hungry” needs. Check them out!

Lab Rat – Los Angeles

Voted #1 by Escaperoomtips.com, Lab Rat by Hatch Escapes is a staple in the LA escape room scene.

The gist: Your group plays as human test subjects held captive by Timothy Ratkenstein, a maniacal researcher who is willing to do whatever it takes in order to complete his dissertation. Every part of this escape room is unique, with immersive storytelling, impressive engineering, a custom soundtrack, and a plethora of unforgettable moments.

Magical Kingdom – Koreatown

If wearing wizard robes (yes, they do provide them) and living in a Harry Potter-esque world is your thing, then don’t miss Maze Room’s Magical Kingdom.

The gist: Watch a cozy bedroom slowly transform into a clockwork fairylike escapade. The technology is immersive, and the payout is worth every penny. The Magical Kingdom set is very well-made, encourages and rewards curiosity, and comes with several fun surprises.

 Doggy Dog World – North Hollywood

Have you ever been curious of what is it’s like in the day and life of your four legged friend? Doggy Dog World allows you to live out this fantasy, while integrating thought provoking puzzles along the way.

The gist: This escape stands out as a real treat especially if you are looking to experience an escape room with the whole family. The age policy is 12+ (with parental supervision), and any child younger than 12 is allowed if you reach out via email them beforehand. The games are private to respect the privacy of your children and family as well.

Murder Co – Upland

For any fans of the Clue Universe, Murder Co is as good as it gets.

The gist: The actors of Murder Co exhibit performances that are masterful and make this escape room top tier when it comes to immersive theatre. The actors will interact with you, frighten you, and direct you, all with a fairly dark sense of humor. It’s a fresh take on the escape room genre, melding “immersive theatre” elements into the room. The adventure is exhilarating, entertaining, and more of an action/adventure rather than a bone-chilling experience.

A.I Tech Integration – Monterey Park

Dive into the digital unknown with A.I by Exit Game.

The gist: A corrupt A.I. has taken over the room, and you have to fight for control before getting permanently “deleted”. The room itself has an atmosphere of a Tron-like world. The advanced use of technology in this digital space leaves the player with a sense of immersion that they may have never experienced.  A.I. Tech Integration offers an overwhelming densely-packed assortment of puzzles with a fun futuristic atmosphere.

Zoe – Fullerton

Zoe gives the horror fan their gruesome fix.

The gist: This haunted house inspired escape room provides an arsenal of horrific puzzles. It does not help that the cast of actors are dedicated to scaring the daylights out of you.  Zoe is known as the “scariest escape room” in LA. Proven to not disappoint even the bravest of souls. Each confrontation within the incredibly detailed set is different than the last. The maze is paced in a way that will keep you on your toes.

Weekend Events: November 15 – November 17

From tubing on snow in Elysian Park to Ice Skating in Perishing Square to a Wine Walk in Burbank, we have got you covered as far as cold-weather welcoming events go in the city! Take a peek at these events, grab a friend, get outside, and celebrate the coming holiday season!

Friday November 15th, 2019
Snow Day LA Tubing in Los Angeles

 Snow in L.A.? Yes, thanks to Snow Day L.A., a tubing park located in Elysian Park. The wintry pop-up packs acres of festive features, with synthetic snow and snow tubing, and trees decorated with icicles, snowcaps and lights. Just remember: This is still Los Angeles, so expect something that sort of resembles a snowy winter and not quite a full-blown Alpine experience. (Sourced from Timeout.com, Photograph Courtesy: Snow Day LA)

Time: 6PM – 10PM

Location: Elysian Park, 835 Academy Road, Los Angeles, CA

Tickets: HERE

29 Rooms – Expand Your Reality Tour

The Expand Your Reality Tour is the latest 29Rooms experience from Refinery29 – a space where you’re encouraged to step into the art, wear the art, touch the art, and connect with others (and yourself) in the process. Created in collaboration with innovative talent, visionary artists, and your favorite brands, 29Rooms pairs the joy and play of exploration with the pulse of current events and culture.

Time: 1030AM, 130PM, 530PM, 830PM

Location: 4315 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Tickets: HERE

2019 Bai Holiday Ice Rink in Perishing Square

The Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square offers the quintessential winter activity in the heart of beautiful downtown Los Angeles. Surrounded by art, lively activity, and the impressive city skyline, our outdoor ice rink lets you enjoy entertainment and ice skating under the sun and stars.

Time: 1130AM to 930PM

Location: Perishing Square – 532 S Olive Street

Tickets: HERE

Saturday November 16th 2019
Burbank Winter Wine Walk

The Social Event Of The Year is coming back to Downtown Burbank. At 4pm The Wine Walk will get started! You MUST be 21+ to join the wine walk. Your ticket will get you samples from Wineries and Breweries in your favorite Downtown businesses. Each guest will receive a tasting cup and a map of the participating tasting sites in Downtown Burbank. Each tasting site will have a designated area set up for Wine Walk guests to sample the amazing wines or beers! Wine tasting will end at 7:00 pm. As you stroll through Downtown, you will be surrounded by a winter holiday ambiance of live entertainment, beautiful holiday lighting and snowfall from 6:45 pm-8 pm at the Main Stage!

Time: 4PM – 7PM

Location: Downtown Burbank (check-in address given when purchasing ticket)

Tickets: HERE

Explore the Culinary Jewels of Downtown Los Angeles on a Walking Tour

Savor the sights, sounds and flavors of Los Angeles on this fun food tour. Your knowledgeable tour guide will lead you on a leisurely three-hour walking adventure through this extraordinary downtown area, sharing stories of the city’s early settlers, Hollywood’s heyday, architectural background and the transformation of L.A.’s culture and food scene. Along the way you’ll get to enjoy tastes from unique eateries, including the best bakeries, authentic ethnic restaurants and renowned establishments currently creating a buzz in the foodie universe — six stops in all. By the end of the tour, you’ll be able to impress your friends with your vast knowledge of the city and its hidden culinary gems.

Time: 11AM

Location: Sidewalk Food Tours of Los Angeles – 5454 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tickets: HERE

Los Angeles Opera – The Magic Flute Opening Night

One of Mozart’s most enchanting operas, this supernatural tale, accompanied by his fine score has enjoyed much success since its premiere in Vienna in 1791. A popular draw since the 2013/14 season, this production, directed by Barrie Kosky in collaboration with British theatre company ‘1927’, is back for 2019 to inspire and delight audiences of all ages with its heady mix of hand-drawn animation and live performance. Get tickets now to immerse yourself in the art that is the opera.

Time: 730PM

Location: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion – 135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012 

Tickets: HERE

Sunday November 17th, 2019
Water Lantern Festival

Los Angeles Water Lantern Festival is coming up on November 17, 2019! Voted #1 Best Cultural Festival by USA TODAY! Water Lantern Festival is a floating lantern event that is all about connections. Magical nights in cities across the U.S. include food, games, activities, vendors, music and the beauty of thousands of lanterns adorned with letters of love, hope and dreams reflected upon the water. As the sun begins to set on the evening sky, Water Lantern Festival begins to shine with the launch of the lanterns onto the water as we Light The Water together. Watch your unique lantern drift out into the water as it joins other lanterns carrying hope, love, happiness, healing, peace, and connection. It’s a night that you’ll never forget. Tickets are selling fast.

Time: 4PM – 9PM

Location: Whittier Narrows – 750 S Santa Anita Ave, South El Monte, CA 91733

Tickets: HERE

Autumn Festival

Delve into the arts, cuisines, cultures, and marine environments of Asia during the Aquarium of the Pacific’s eighteenth annual Autumn Festival. Autumn Festival highlights the traditions and cultures of Japan, China, Korea, and the Philippines through a weekend of learning opportunities and family entertainment celebrating the rich diversity of Asian and Asian-American cultures.

Time: 9AM – 5PM

Location: Aquarium of The Pacific – 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

Tickets: HERE

“ASSSSCAT” Comedy Improv Performance

Every Saturday and Sunday, the UCB franchise’s longest-running, most beloved showcase “ASSSCAT” starts when a base cast of the theater’s current top-brass—including founding UCB members Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts—takes the stage. Then they introduce the surprise celebrity alumnae and friends who will be joining them (think Horatio Sanz, Ben Schwartz, Adam Pally). And finally, another special guest takes the stage, a non-improviser (think Flea, Cat Power, Rebel Wilson, Lena Dunham) who opens the show with a personal story, that’s deftly mined for laughs by the players. But you have to go to find out who’s there—that’s part of the fun. Looking for a cheap night out? Sunday shows are free, but seating is first-come, first-served, so be sure to arrive early. (Sourced from Timeout.com, Photograph Courtesy UCB)

Time: 7:00PM

Location: UCB Theater Sunset – 5419 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles 90027

Tickets: FREE! First come first served.

 

Out and About: Brentwood Edition

Those most familiar with LA will know that there are few areas as affluent as Brentwood with it’s quaint shops and lush greenery, it’s no wonder it ranks as one of L.A.’s most idyllic neighborhoods. Amongst the perfectly tailored lawns and architectural masterpieces is a day full of art, culture, sites, and bites.

Take some time to step outside your neck of the woods…

In the morning hours…

Mornings are best spent starting off with a perfect caffe au lait, in Brentwood there is no shortage of options. Stop by Caffe Luxxe and get your morning pick-me up within the historic Brentwood Country Mart.

Caffe Luxxe

The eatery picks and roasts their own coffee giving new meaning to hand-crafted. Select from freshly baked delights courtesy of Red Rooster Bakery and be on your way.

After your AM charge, explore some of Brentwood’s architectural masterpieces for a light dose of dream home FOMO.

For afternoon reprieve…

George Sturges House

Between the Hunt, Sturges, and Nesbitt house, you’ll have quite the day exploring these post-war artfully designed properties.  A Paul R. Williams design, the Hunt Residence was built in 1921 with elements of the Regency Revival style. The George Sturges house, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1939 features Wrights Usonian style.

The Getty Center

After geeking out on home design of the retro times, venture off to see a different style of art at the Getty Center. A wonder on the scale of both culture, art, and design, the 24-acre Richard Meier designed campus boasts panoramic city views and renowned collections. Once you reach your afternoon craving stop point then have a seat in their lush garden for a midday picnic. The Getty Center boast exceptional dining options and a plethora of seating choices.

Farmshop

If one prefers to head back into town for their afternoon meal, the Farmshop is the perfect destination. Founded by Chef Jeff Cerciello, the eatery is a staple of the Brentwood Country Mart. With imaginative recipes and locally sourced ingredients, its the best afternoon pick me-up.

Your evening adventure…

Skirball Cultural Center

Once, day turns to night, a show at the Skirball Cultural Center is almost a given. Just north of the Getty, the center explores heritage, culture and ideals through permanent collections, rotating exhibits, film screenings and live performances.

Tavern

Finally, we recommend for your evening conclusion to dine as locals do, at Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s acclaimed Tavern. The destination restaurant features a tastefully prepared seasonal menu with a who’s who of patrons.

Home Tips: 10 Home Décor Crafts to Turn Your Home Into an Autumnal Oasis

Transforming your home into an autumnal oasis could be as simple as focusing on the small accents you’re bringing into each room of your home. When it comes to the changing of seasons, there is nothing more exciting than when summer fades into fall. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling down, and your coffee order changes from iced to hot. Fall is a time to put your beach towels back in storage, and get back into regular routines. Thus, making it the ideal opportunity to return to your crafting room with these 10 Fall DIY crafts in mind.

1. Fabric Pumpkins

Fabric pumpkins are a fresh way to display seasonal gourds. You can pair sewn faux pumpkins among real ones (some of which you can spray or sponge paint) during this fall season. Imagine — spare branches, scattered leaves, and these pumpkins displayed in your home. Autumnal oasis dreams.

Home Décor Craft: Sew linen, silk, and velvet into adorable faux pumpkins that can be displayed and reused every year.

2. Wheat Cluster

For an easy, lightweight decoration that still evokes the glorious fall harvest, try these dried wheat bundles.

Home Décor Craft: Begin by bundling together three to ten stalks of wheat. Then, wrap the stalks of wheat together in twine. Leave about three feet of twine hanging off the bunch in a tail. Next, cut the stalks to approximately three-inches in length. Repeat for as many bundles as desired. Then, push the separate tails on the twines through a chosen bead, loop all at the end, and tie it into a knot. Hang it upside down on your front door as a creative way to say hello to the fall season!

3. Rustic Woven Lanterns

Thinking of dressing your dinner table with fresh center pieces this holiday season? Look no further with this eco-friendly and chic way to upgrade your dinner table.

Home Décor Craft: Upcycle old mesh placemats by cutting & rolling them into tubes and stitching them along the seams. Place cylinder shaped votives around candles. Wax, soy, or electric candles – your guests won’t be able to spy the difference! Candlelight will gracefully flicker through the loose weave of the hurricane lanterns as you entertain over dinner.

4. Soft Seats

With this DIY craft, dinner isn’t going to be the only warm thing at your table. With these simple slipcovers, you can instantly reinvent dining chairs at your formal dining table over the holidays.

Home Décor Craft: To start, simply drape a finished sheepskin over the back of the chair before securing it with Ultrasuede-tape or cord. Extra fall points for choosing a contrasting cord color. Next, finish securing them to the chair by threading the tie through the sheepskin on each side with a tapestry needle (that will help you create a cuff over the chair’s top). Knot the ends and let them hang loose. Voila!

5. Gingham Knit Blanket

Believe it or not, you don’t need to be an expert knitter to tackle this DIY project; you can make this cozy throw blanket with quick-to-knit strips.

Home Décor Craft: Gather scarves in the colors you want, and sew them together. That’s it! Below, scarves of alternating stripes are sewn together to create a unique gingham pattern.

6. Harvest Branches

We love how easy these fleeced branches are to put together. Specifically how they have the power to add a touch of warm color to any setting you place them in.

Home Décor Craft: Simply pull a bit of fleece roving off a ball, and then press the end of the fiber against the branch. Start wrapping tightly, gently pulling the fleece apart (without tearing it) as you go. Wrap the branches until the piece of fleece runs out. Add more fleece as needed to cover the branch. When adding, wrap over the last inch of wrapped fleece with e.

The friction of your fingers on the fibers and the natural oils form your skin help the fleece stay on the branch and adhere to itself.

7. Pumpkin Spice Scented Candles

If you’re among the camp that counts down the days until you can sip a classic pumpkin spice latte once again, these homemade candles are for you. Poured into orange-tinted mason jars, they throw off an especially autumnal glow in any area you might have in mind.

Home Décor Craft: Hot glue candle wick to bottom of festive colored jar. Bring water to a boil in a pot (filled half way). Reduce to a simmer. Place a different jar with broken up candle wax inside into the pot of simmering water. Water should be about 1/2 way up the side of the jar. When the wax becomes liquid add a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice. Mix. Carefully pour the liquid wax into the festive colored jar. If the candle wick starts to tilt, secure the wick between two sticks or pencils. Set aside to cool overnight. Trim the wick. Light it up!

8. Nut Wreath

Celebrate fall’s abundance of almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts with this festive decoration. Use any hard-shelled nuts, including acorns you gather from your own backyard.

Home Décor Craft: Gather all your nuts, small and large. Begin hot gluing the large ones together to form the shape of your wreath. Add in the small nuts as you go to fill in the spaces. Let cool, and hang on door. Ta da!

9. Embroidered Throw Pillows

Upgrade a pair of store-bought wide-weave cushions by tricking them out with bright neutral yarns sewn directly into the weave.

Home Décor Craft: Grab some of your favorite colored yarn and sew in fun patterns and fringe with a tapestry needle. That’s it. Truly. 

10. Block-Printed Linens

Block-printed linens are costly to buy, but surprisingly simple to make. With some textile paint, muslin fabric, and woodblock stamps, you can create linens that are exclusive and unique.

Home Décor Craft: Begin by layering a paper towel on top of a foam sheet; lay pre-washed muslin fabric on top, and smooth out any wrinkles. Then, pour your choice of textile paint on a plate. Next, dab a sponge in the paint and smooth it evenly onto a wooden printing block with a unique pattern. Stamp it on the muslin fabric. Let dry. Pictured are indigo shades, but you can substitue for any color of your choosing.

12 Halloween Costume Ideas for the Whole Family

When trying to come up with ideas for a group Halloween costume, it is best to start with a theme! Costumes that have things in common can also work well together. The good thing is that they can be modified to fit your family size. You can easily and quickly put together a family costume with these ideas.

 

Sloth and Tree Costumes

There’s no trick-or-treater too small for Halloween. The trick to this duo? We used a baby wrap carrier to disguise a smiling little one as a sloth slinging from a tree branch. To create this costume, print the template onto 8 ½ by 11 inch paper and cut out. Use the template to cut out felt shapes, then glues the pieces together and pin them to baby’s wrap and hat. Mom can wear brown and tuck leaves in her hair.

Bluebird and Birdwatcher Costumes

As an avid birdwatcher, your little bird is never far from sight with a pair of binoculars. Other than the hat and a canteen (available at camping-suppl stores), this costume can be assembled entirely from clothes from your closet. Choose an outfit that consists of neutral, outdoorsy pieces, such as the safari-style jacket and brown pants shown, and don’t forget a pair of sensible shoes. For the bluebird costume, use our pattern and basic sewing supplies to create a pair of detachable wings.

Under-the-Sea Costumes

For a family of little ones, the ocean still holds a depth of mystery and awe. Designate one of your kids as the Mermaid, encouraging her to make her own whimsical accessories like a seashell crown and a tail of satin, tulle and metallic trim. Meanwhile, the rest of the kids can dress up as their favorite undersea creatures: a goldfish, a snappy Lobster, an eight-legged Octopus or a Jellyfish. You can even join in the fun as a scuba diver or an ever-watchful lifeguard at the shore.

Three Musketeers Costume

All for fun, fun for all! A night of trick-or-treating awaits the dashing Three Musketeers. If you’re a family of three- or have three little ones – then why not embody the legendary literary trio? Give everyone a pullover vest, a collared cape, and a Fleur-de-lis insignia – and the evening will be full of swashbuckling adventure and candy treasures.

Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf Costumes

Embrace the charm of classic storybook characters with these easy-to-make costumes for Mom and Dad or son and daughter. For her, a gown and namesake hood are cut and sewn from a length of crimson jersey and tied with a wide ribbon at the waist. For him, the dapper wolf wears a suit with a red cravat, and his fur is styled from two shaggy wigs. (To make the wolf head, cut 2 large triangular sections – as ears – from one wig and hot-glue them in place to the second wig.) Faux fangs are the only sign of his true nature.

Storm Chaser and Tornado Costumes

As siblings, they can have an admittedly stormy relationship at times, but they complement each other well as a storm chaser and tornado. A younger sister can be a great storm chaser with some hair gel and a flipped umbrella. All you need is a tornado and that’s easy enough to create with a tomato cage and tulle.

Lion and Gladiator Costumes

They tussle in roughhouse play as it is, so why not personify their sibling rivalry? Dress one as the stalwart gladiator and the other as a courageous lion. Construct the gladiator’s costume using hardware store supplies: museum board, a window shade, and prong fasteners. Similarly, the lion’s costume is a clever assembly of fringe garlands and a hoodie. For both, there are no sewing skills required.

 

Napoleon and Josephine Costumes

For a sibling costume that is simple, as the French say, “incroyable”, pair brother and sister together as Napoleon and Josephine. He may not have learned his French history yet, but a boy would love dressing up in Napoleon’s regalia nevertheless. And, similarly, a girl will love dressing up in Josephine’s glamorous Empire-style gown with period jewelry and a fancy updo.

 

Lamb and Chicken Costumes

This funny farm duo – a chicken and a lamb – pair up together in the cutest costume idea for siblings, cousins or even best friends. Both costumes use wearable patterns in simple soft materials to ensure that the kids feel comfortable for a night of trick-or-treating. A parent can keep a close watch over the flock as they make their rounds through the neighborhood as Old MacDonald.

Tulip and Rose Flower Costumes

A blooming crepe-paper tulip cap and rosebud headband – each in pastel hues turn a mother-daughter dup into a sprightly pair.

Superhero Costumes

Every kid is a superhero and parents can join in as well. Start with t-shirts and leggings as the base for the costume. Then add headbands and belts and other accessories to make your own unique superhero.

Out and About: Trick or Treating in LA

Trick or treating can be tricky, especially in a massive metropolitan area like our very own Los Angeles. We’ve handpicked the best neighborhoods to get your favorite treats! Gather your little goblins and ghouls, witches and princesses, Batman and Wonder Woman and get ready for buckets of delicious chocolate, candy and sweets!

1. Walden Drive, Beverly Hills

Walden Drive in Beverly Hills is the best spot for family-friendly trick or treating! The owner of the famous storybook “Witch House,” Michael Libow continues a decade-long tradition by handing out 5,000 custom-labeled chocolate bars.

2. Carroll Avenue and Douglas Street, Angelino Heights

Known as the Haunted District, Angelino Heights is the perfect setting for a spooky Halloween night. The street is lined with antique craftsman bungalows and Victorian mansions making it a great destination for families to go door to door to fill their buckets with candy!

3. Brentwood Glen

The Westside of Brentwood Glen, the walkable neighborhood is a slice of Americana. Residents are generous with their candy and their Halloween spirit, making it the ideal spot for little trick-or-treaters who are new to the tradition. Beware the spookily decorated homes and glowing carved pumpkins!

4. Grand Hope Park at the Fashion Institute of Design Merchandise, Downtown

Downtown is not the easiest place to go trick or treating, but the local community knows how to throw a great event! The Annual Halloween Party at Grand Hope Park is a fun-filled evening for the whole family! Bounce houses, caramel apples, “trick-or-treat-doors” and lots of candy! The event will be held October 31st, from 5 pm to 8 pm and tickets cost $8 in advance, $10 day of.

5. Dell and Venice Boulevard, Venice Beach

The canal neighborhood of Venice Beach goes all- in every Halloween. Take your little zombies and witches and walk around the bridges, soak in the spooky decorations and twinkly lights!

Home Tips: 10 Spooky Décor Ideas

Your front door is brimming with Halloween décor potential – all you need is a little imagination. Decorating your door requires a bit of creativity, especially if you’re hoping to forge a festive but sophisticated entry display. Here are ten somewhat spooky Halloween front door décor ideas that don’t sacrifice an inch of style.

1. Knock Knock

For a stylish, but a slightly spooky way to greet guests this season? This aged iron owl door knocker will be a real hoot with trick-or-treaters on October 31.

2. Spooky Greeters

A little lighting goes a long way when it comes to decorating your door to Halloween. This bat-clad light-up wreath is composed of rattan branches and features glowing LED lights for added eeriness.

3. Welcome to the Bat Cave

Out your current doormat for a festive style to welcome visitors on Halloween. This spiderweb-inspired half-round mat is mad of black coconut husk bristles so it’s every bit as durable as it is creepy.

4. Bat Attack

For a foolproof way to bring an unexpectedly spooky element to your front door this Halloween? These easy-to-use vinyl bats cling to the glass of windows and mirrors and don’t leave any residue behind.

5. Beetlejuice Inspired Banner

Your Halloween door décor to make a statement? This sleek-but-spooky banner will do the talking for you on your front door this season.

6. Pretty Pumpkins

Said Halloween décor can’t be chic has never seen these hand-punched ceramic pumpkins. Place a couple of these terra-cotta candleholders on your front porch to create a warm, ambient glow on All Hallows Eve.

7. Enter at Your Own Risk

Underestimate the impact of a creepy front door wreath on Halloween. This eye-catching metal wreath is decorated with dozens of individually crafted and welded black bats – with red eyes to boot.

8. Halloween Charm

For a wreath that captures the playfulness of Halloween? This nostalgic wreath made of natural air-dried maple leaves comes clad in vintage-inspired ghosts, candy corn and jack-o-lantern ornaments for added charms.

9. Go with the Classic

You can always count on pumpkin-shaped planters to make a festive statement at your front door on Halloween. These faux pumpkin planters are composed of weatherproof plastic so they’ll look great on your porch all season long.

10. The Witch is in the Details

Spooky scary goblins, spiders and bats aren’t your thing, keep your décor classy with a fun little message for visitors.