Out and About: Newport Beach Edition

Looking to get away for one day of your weekend? Can’t afford (time-wise) to fly to Hawaii for just a day? Well, you are in luck. Just a few miles down the Pacific Coast Highway is the eclectic coastal city of Newport Beach. With an abundance of shopping destinations, dining experiences, day trips, and unique activities, Newport Beach is a memorable shift from the hustle and bustle of our lively LA homes. 

 

Morning

PLUM’S CAFE

Start your morning with a twist on brunch at Plum’s Cafe. Order mimosas or Bloody Mary’s and the coconut french toast for a classic spin on a local favorite. Don’t forget to make a reservation, seating fills up quickly. For a full weekend brunch menu, click here.

SIDECAR DOUGHNUTS

Walk across the street for a sweet bite from the original Sidecar Doughnuts location, for novelty flavors like maple bacon, or meyer lemon and thyme. Flavors are updated each month, for a full list click here.

BALBOA ISLAND

Bordering the Newport Beach Harbor and homes of celebrities on the water, Balboa Island offers a relaxing breezy atmosphere to all its visitors. Walk the circumference of the man made island, which is only accessible by ferry or bridge, to the historical Balboa Island Ferry which has taken passengers from the island to the Balboa Peninsula for over 100 years.

 

Board a Whale Watching Boat Tour, grab a quintessential frozen banana from Dad’s, plan a Duffy rental with family, or bring the kids to visit the Fun Zone.

 

Afternoon

RUBY’S ON THE PIER

 

For a kid-friendly lunch, walk to the end of the Balboa Pier to enjoy Ruby’s on the pier. With surfers and fisherman bordering both sides, your little one will surely be entertained with the beach city excitement.

LIDO MARINA VILLAGE

 

 

For a different ambience, travel up the peninsula to the Lido Marina Village for a roll of sushi from the daily happy hour at Nobu, or visit Malibu Farms for a fresh alternative.

Admire the view of the yachts in the harbor, the photogenic scenery, and the freshly picked flowers by French Buckets

Evening

FASHION ISLAND

 

Spend your afternoon with an elevated shopping experience found at the epitome of Newport Beach elegance, Fashion Island.

Stop at one of the finer dining locations Fashion Island has to offer. Then attend a film in the reclining leather chairs of The LotTo close the evening, walk through the koi pond and sit near the fountains. Enjoy the view of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean and Newport Beach Harbor.

 

 

 

 

 

LA Eats: Los Angeles Farmers Markets Edition

Fresh fruits, homemade soaps, local sweet honey, eggs straight from the farm to crisp vegetables! Los Angeles has farmers’ markets all over the metropolitan area for your shopping convenience! Check out this list we put together by area for you!

Valley

Calabasas

When: Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm

Where: 23504 Calabasas Road, Calabasas, CA 91302

Encino

When: Sundays from 8 am to 1 pm

Where: 17400 Victory Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Northridge

When: Wednesdays 5 pm to 9 pm

Where: 9301 Tampa Ave, Northridge, CA 91324

Sherman Oaks

When: Tuesdays 3pm to 8 pm

Where: 14006 Riverside Dr. Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Burbank

When: Saturdays from 8 am to 12:30 pm

Where: 101 N Glenoaks Blvd. Burbank, CA 91502

Westside

Melrose Place

When: Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm

Where: 8248 Melrose Pl. Los Angeles, CA 90046

 

Beverly Hills 

When: Sundays from 9 am to 1pm

Where: 9300 Civil Center Dr. Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Century City

When: Thursdays from 10 am to 2 pm

Where: 10100 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90067

 

Hollywood

When: Sundays from 8 am to 1 pm

Where: 1600 Ivar Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90028

Santa Monica

When: Sundays from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm

Where: 2640 Main St. Los Angeles, CA 90405

Marina Del Rey

When: Wednesdays from 11 am to 3 pm

Where: Vía Marina &, Panay Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

Los Angeles 

Historic Downtown

When: Sundays from 9 am to 2 pm

Where: 209 W 5th St. Los Angeles, CA 90013

 

Pershing Square

When: Wednesdays 10 am to 2 pm

Where: 532 S. Olive St

 

Crenshaw

When: Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm

Where: 350 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

Central Avenue

When: Thursdays from 10 am to 3 pm

Where: 4301 S Central Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90011

 

Echo Park

When: Fridays from 3 pm to 7:30 pm

Where: 1146 Logan St. Los Angeles, CA 90026

 

 

Home Tips: 8 Ways To Elevate Your Thanksgiving Tablescape

What makes a Thanksgiving table memorable to the guests? At first you may think it would be the turkey or other holiday fixings. However, it really is in the atmosphere you create. A traditional Thanksgiving consists of the standard foods: turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, ect. You have a similar meal year to year. To make it a memorable one, elevate your tablescape and create a unique experience for your guests. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a formal affair, with each plate flanked by a platoon of flatware. Instead, your table can highlight your personal style. Choose colors, textures, and patterns to set the scene in a welcoming homecoming for your loved ones.

Indigo Table Setting

Take a break from fussing with formal floral centerpieces and display wispy dried branch stalks in different vases instead. For a snow-kissed look, lay them on paper and spray them with white floral paint before arranging. Block-printed linens are costly to buy but surprisingly simple to make using little more than textile paint, muslin fabric, and woodblock stamps.

Dried Flowers Table Setting

The key to keeping your Dried Table Setting breezy yet modern is to stick mostly to one variety per vase (the mashup of white stoneware also stands out nicely on a rust tablecloth), and line them up loosely. The spare palette will work all winter; for a change of scenery, just swap out the vessels.

Fall Harvest Table Setting

This is debatably the easiest and most eye-catching, wilt-proof centerpiece. Simply place candles on small glass dishes, and cover them with curvy lamp chimneys (which you can find for dollars at hardware or antiques stores). Fill in spare spaces with fruit and foliage. When guests arrive, light the wicks and bask in the glow.

Cozy Rustic Table Setting

Feelings of gratitude come naturally in autumn, peak season for ethereal light, rich colors, and happy homecomings. This Thanksgiving, play up those elements with a simple yet special table that celebrates great food and close-knit company. Pull up a cushioned bench to a spread of easy earthly delights.

Soft Metallics Table Setting

In this Soft Metallics setting, glints of gold and silver play off of soft pink and yellow colors throughout . Positioned on and around the mantel, arrangements of carnations, mums, scabiosa seed heads, and grasses bring natural beauty to the setting. Especially… without crowding the table.

Bright Yellow Table Setting

Working with a golden yellow palette, the look was anchored with a table runner made with metallic glazed linen. The mix of old and new pieces of ceramic vintage dinnerware are all shades of creamy white, which makes for a unique tablescape.

Pattern Play Table Setting

Botanical dinner plates were the starting point for this table. A fresh color palette pulled from the floral pattern—yellow, lavender, brown, and gray—ties everything together. Sleek gray side plates are a contemporary counterpoint to the vintage pattern on the dinner plates.

Richly Colored Table Setting

Sometimes, simplicity is key. This was the thematic vision from Deputy Creative Director Ayesha Patel on this Thanksgiving table, which incorporates natural materials and textures: burlap for place mats, a leather tie for the carafe, and block-printed napkins.

 

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.

LA Eats: Best Asian Restaurants

If you’re in the mood for something seriously flavorful, you can’t go wrong with Asian food! Whether it’s Chinese sweet and sour orange chicken, Indian spicy creamy chicken tikka masala or Japanese salty-sweet teriyaki chicken; we’ve got every corner of Asia covered in our list of top 10 Asian restaurants in Los Angeles!

Tasty Noodle House
Location: 8054 W 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90048

The San Gabriel Valley’s Tasty Noodle House has been making a big push westward from West Third on to Lomita. There may be no better place on the westside for the restaurant’s signature made-to-order Shanghai pork bao!

Yang Chow Restaurant
Location: 819 N Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90012

Chinatown classic Yang Chow is a hit with the tourists and anyone needing a nostalgia kick! This place does classic Chinese- American dishes with swift, friendly service—including the iconic and addictive slippery shrimp

Bombay Palace
Location: 8690 Wilshire Blvd Beverly Hills, CA 90211

With dishes like tandoori prawns, deeply flavored curries (including the fiery chicken vindaloo and a wonderful plate of bhindi dopiaza)  and fresh okra with onions and tomatoes pack some serious star power. Another star attraction at Bombay Palace is the clay tandoor oven that chef Harman Singh has been using to expertly prepare meats and seafood since day 1!

Avara Thai Cuisine
Location: 6245 W 87th St. Los Angeles, CA 90045

The extensive menu is plenty solid, and its faithful Westchester clientele appreciates an experienced kitchen that’s quick to accommodate various dietary requests. Who can’t love the Thai Iced Tea? We love this drink from the bottom of our hearts, and at only $2 you’ll be asking for seconds and thirds!

Soban Restaurant
Location: 4001 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Soban has an amazing array of banchan to start the meal. The menu features raw crab in one of two forms: a garlicky soy sauce or thick spicy red pepper sauce. This restaurant excels in all things seafood! Ask for the special squid tossed with julienne vegetables if they’re available.

Jun Won Restaurant
Location: 414 S Western Ave Los Angeles, CA 90020

The classic restaurant serving a wide range of Korean food is in a bright new location along Western Avenue. The menu is essentially the same, with possibly the best bossam and spicy braised black cod in town to go along with stellar banchan.

All India Cafe
Location: 316 N Brand Blvd Glendale, CA 91203

After a decade of serving Pasadena residents, All India Café relocated to Brand Boulevard in 2018 and is still serving its tried and true menu of masala dosas, samosas, chapati and tandoori dishes.

Lal Mirch
Location: 11138 Ventura Blvd Studio City, CA 91604

This restaurant’s friendly owners and attentive staff bring out flavorful plates of Southern Indian food including naan, korma, biryani, sag paneer, and masala! If the timing is right, freshly made chai tea might be on the menu! If you can’t find at the Studio City restaurant you’re not out of luck because Lal Mirch is also located in Agoura Hills.

Chateau Hanare
Location: 8097 Selma Ave Los Angeles, CA 90046

Traditional Japanese modern, sustainable California flavor at this intimate bungalow on the edge of Chateau Marmont. Restaurateur Reika Alexander shaped her Sunset Strip restaurant into a whimsical, low-lit hideaway. Here you can choose a la carte items such as delicate sashimi, A5 wagyu, and Japanese fried chicken; build your own bento box with items like truffled tofu and miso black cod.

Inn Ann
Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Take the elevator all the way up to the top floor of the Hollywood & Highland shopping center just off the Walk of Fame and, wedged into a front corner, you’ll find Inn Ann. The restaurant perches over Hollywood’s sprawl, with long, spanning windows that peer out onto the twinkling lights of Los Angeles.

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.

 

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.

LA Eats: Top 10 Gluten-Free Restaurants

Satisfying your hunger isn’t as easy as going to your local sandwich shop down the street to grab a bite to eat when you’re following a strict gluten-free diet. So, my fellow gluten-free people, we put together a list just for you! With all of the gluten-free eateries we found in Los Angeles, you’ll have difficulty deciding where to get that sandwich sushi or pizza fix! Our list includes gluten-free donuts. Yes, you read that correctly: Gluten-free donuts!

1.Kitchen Mouse

Location: 10889 Lindbrook Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Quinoa salad, rice cakes, and pesto bowls are some of the fan favorites at Kitchen Mouse. This restaurant is located in Highland Park, and there is a play area for the little ones! Mickey’s Chilaquiles are a must-try! This dish consists of corn chips covered in enchilada sauce with black beans, cilantro sauce, pepitas, vegan cheese sauce, serrano slaw, and avocado! Hungry yet? See the menu here

2. Crossroads Kitchen

Location: 8284 Melrose Ave

The upscale Mediterranean restaurant makes it one of the more popular destinations in that area. The trendy spot is run by famed chef Tal Ronnen and is a restaurant where vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores happily dine together. The menu at Crossroads Kitchen is comprised of small plate items perfect for sharing and allows you to try many more dishes. Full plate meals are also offered and consist of assorted soups, salads, pastas, and “comforting classics”. Click here for the menu!

3. 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria

Location: 10889 Lindbrook Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024

This pizza joint claims that your pizzas are cooked within 60 seconds, sounds like a pretty sweet deal! With classic meatballs, cheese bread, topped with garlic, mozzarella, parmesan, and truffle flavored Boschettos al Tartufo cheese, wood-roasted broccolini with garlic, snappy Calabrian peppers and olive oil you won’t want to miss out on a delicious pizza pie. The most important feature of this pizzeria? The gluten-free crust! See the menu here

4. M Café

Location: 7119 Melrose Ave, Hollywood, CA 90046

This healthy spot in Beverly Hills has a number of gluten-free dishes, including crispy rice avocado toast, grain bowls, sandwiches and salads that can be prepared with gluten-free ingredients. This spot specializes in plant-focused and minimally processed food, staying away from artificial ingredients. Tip: make sure you also grab a free turmeric refresher shot on your way out. Click here for the menu!

5. Flower Child

Location: 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

Just steps away from the Santa Monica beach this stellar gluten-free eatery is Instagram photo-worthy every way you turn. In close proximity to the hustle and bustle of the Promenade, this is the perfect pit stop on your Saturday shopping trip in Santa Monica. The menu is loaded with rare gluten-free items you won’t find just anywhere, like gluten-free mac & cheese, pitas, and cookies. Get the menu here

6. Mendocino Farms

Location: multiple

That hearty sandwich fix can’t be found just anywhere when you are on a gluten-free diet. Good news! We found your new sandwich spot! Mendocino Farms has got you covered with gluten free bread for most of their subs. The tasty long list of their vegan banh mi, a steak BLT, the modern tuna “almost a melt” and a caramelized Kurobuta pork belly. These sandwich shops are just about everywhere from Marina Del Rey to Sherman Oaks, so you won’t have to worry about driving too far in the dreaded LA traffic. Click here for the menu

7. Fōnuts

Location: 8104 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

FOMO over Krispy Kreme no more Fōnuts is here! This little west Hollywood donut shop has a full slate of gluten-free options from churro to strawberry buttermilk. All of their donuts are baked and/or steamed and never fried. Tip: don’t wait until the end of the day, donuts start selling out towards the late afternoon. Get the menu here

8. Hugo’s Restaurant

Location: multiple

A mix of comfort food, healthy salads, and hearty sandwiches can be found at Hugo’s. This joint has been in West Hollywood since the ’70s and has expanded with shops in Valley Village and Agoura Hills. Take one look at the menu and you’ll see that almost everything at Hugo’s is free of gluten. Want mac & cheese? You got it!  Click here for the menu!

9. Shojin

Location: multiple

A vegan and gluten-free Nobu, not exactly but close enough! This plant-based and gluten-free sushi joint serves the most creative rolls in a dimly lit setting. Everything on this menu is irresistible, including the dessert menu! Matcha Green Tea Cake is a sweet tooth’s dream come true! Get your gluten-free sushi fix at Shojin’s two locations in Downtown LA and Culver City! Get the menu here

10. Blue Jam Cafe

Location: multiple

The popular Melrose Ave eatery (also in Tarzana) offers several gluten-free menu options that are so tasty that this will become your new go-to brunch spot! Take your pick between numerous unique scrambles, chilaquiles with corn chips, or fresh greens like the strawberry salad. Click here for the menu!

LA Eats: Top 10 Coffee Bars in LA

Now that the days are getting colder, a delicious cup of coffee to warm you up sounds really nice. The ambiance of the coffee shop is just as important as your cup of joe. We selected 10 coffee bars in the Los Angeles area that we feel will not only get you the best coffee in town but also that homey autumn vibe that makes us all feel warm and snug this time of year!

1. Coffee Commissary
Location: 3121 W Olive Ave, Burbank, CA 91505 (& six others)

The Burbank location is the only branch that has a full kitchen, meaning you can find fried chicken sandwiches, breakfast burritos and impressive house-baked goods on a daily basis! The growing chain now keeps studio workers well-caffeinated throughout TV, film, and radio production. It roasts mostly West Coast roasters and serves all cups with foamy panache.

 

2. Eightfold Coffee
Location: 1294 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

This coffee bar looks like it is was made to appear on lifestyle blogs. The kind you just want to cozy up in with a book and a cup of joe, especially on these cold autumn days! The airy space, sports white walls (including white brick), a tile-backed marble bar, and wood-bench seating. Baristas brew Heart Coffee in vac spots, with a La Marzocco espresso machine. The cold brews are served in glasses big enough to keep you awake for two days straight!

3. Espresso Cielo
Location: 1431 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Espresso Cielo has two locations, each just a few blocks from the beach. With an antique clock, marble countertops and sky blue styling this will quickly become your new coffee oasis.

4. Intelligentsia
Location: 3922 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

The coffee is roasted in nearby Glassell Park, the quality remains good given the high volume, and the signature Angeleno beverage is as popular as ever, featuring a quadruple shot of espresso shaken with milk, agave, and ice.

5. Rubies & Diamonds
Location: 6115 Sunset Blvd #150, Los Angeles, CA 90028

LAMILL co-founder Jean Shim went solo in 2015, debuting her fashionable coffee bar in Hollywood’s Columbia Square complex, in a space that features blue-grey and red walls lined with art and two elaborate chandeliers, including one crystal and another that resembles spaghetti. This coffee bar promotes BKON vacuum processed RAIN technology for coffee and tea, and they have nitro drinks!

 

6. Verve Coffee Roasters
Location: 8051 W. 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90048 (& two others)

This Santa Cruz import made a great first impression, with its first LA shop brightening an emerging part of downtown, and others popping around the city. The mid-city outpost on Third Street is the most ambitious to date, with a round copper and marble bar, exposed wood rafters and a Farm-level Bar in the back featuring rare coffees that showcase “ethics & excellence”.

7. Woodcat Coffee Bar
Location: 1532 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Reclaimed wood, box seating, and red walls give life to this neighborhood favorite. It also helps that this place brews expertly roasted beans from San Francisco’s Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters on their sleek Faema espresso machine.

8. Bar Nine
Location: 3515 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90232

The owners of this coffee joint work with Ninety Plus Coffee Agents to source coffee beans from Panama and Ethiopia, and then roasts them in house. Bar Nine’s baristas use the shop’s high-tech Modbar system with Chemex coffeemakers to get the precise cup of joe. It’s all about the little details, too. You can’t help but “aww” at the adorable to-go glass jars with lids. Try the creamy hazelnut milk latte, and don’t forget about breakfast!

9. Paramount Coffee Project
Location: 456 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The concrete and wood space features a multi-roaster lineup that rotates beans from American coffee powers like Heart and George Howell, plus coffee from roasters back home. The food program is more ambitious than most coffee bars, featuring plates like a burrata that’s accompanied by pistachio dukkah, kale, and eggs; and a Superfood Bowl that comes with quinoa, candied beets, lebni, blueberry, and cocoa.

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10. Alfred Coffee & Kitchen
Location: Beverly Grove (& other locations)

Alfred’s iconic sign “but first, coffee” is Instagram post-worthy and reinforces the shop’s core focus: pumping out plenty of espresso drinks and cold-brew coffees, all using Stumptown beans.

Home Tips: 14 Fall Harvest Decorating Ideas for Your Home

When summer fades, many of us are ready to welcome the fall season. Pumpkins, gourds and other decorative squashed are in abundance this time of year! Why not use them as inspiration for your fall harvest decorating project? Browse our best fall harvest decorating ideas over the years – they’re made to last from the first changing of leaves through the Thanksgiving feast.

  1. Wheat Wreath with Wooden Beads

A wreath is a lovely way to welcome guests into your home. This wild wonder owes its elegant good looks to the natural materials that embellish its standard straw base. We added wheat stalks laced with wooden beads and sculptural bleached seedpods.

 

  1. Corn Husk Garlands

At the front door, visitors to your home will marvel at this outdoor display. Decorative Indian corn is a farm-stand staple at this time of year and can be used in all manner of home décor projects: dye them, bath style, in a rainbow of dye colors or braid the husks to create a seasonal garland that drapes around your doorway.

  1. Pear “Welcome” Display

Once inside, guests will be greeted with a friendly, fragrant greeting using the season’s abundant Forelles and Anjous pears. Simply arrange seven pears on a mantel. Then, with a fine-tipped washable marker, write letters on the front of each pear. Press whole cloves into the flesh along the lines and the sweet aroma will be as welcoming as the message itself.

  1. Lamp Chimney and Candle Centerpiece

Many people say grace at dinner, but you’ll feel thankful well before if you prep the table with this easy yet eye-catching centerpiece. Incorporate the lamp chimneys at varying heights for a high-low look and better ease for guests to converse across the table.

 

  1. Wheat Centerpiece

Summer flowers may have wilted with the changing of seasons, but wheat stalks – with their delicate, golden form – are long lasting. Arrange an armful of tall stalks into a vase, cropping the ends and fluffing the tops, and display your glorious autumnal bouquet.

  1. Squash-and-Pumpkin Flower Arrangements

Squashes and pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes, and when paired with seasonal blooms, they add character to your table. Combine a large greenish Hubbard squash paired with bittersweet branches and a white “Baby Boo” pumpkin with bright orange mums for a unique floral display.

  1. Turnip Votives

In a season of abundance, make full use of those richly colored vegetables that flourish in the transition from autumn into winter. Amid a set of gray-washed baskets on the table, turnips – in varying sizes – can be scooped out to hold votive candles that provide a soft glow.

 

  1. Cabbage Bowls and Cups

Bring in new colors and textures to the dinner table with heads of cabbage. Hollow out whole cabbages with a paring knife and spoon and use them to hold appetizer dips. Then, wrap the remaining leaves around glasses to hold crudités, cheeses, and breadsticks.

 

  1. Sprout Napkin Ties

Small Brussels sprouts and sage leave combine to make a charming addition to each guest’s place setting. For each napkin tie, sandwich one end of a ribbon between a sprout and a pair of sage leaves. Use a sequin pin to secure, pinning through the leaves first, then the ribbon, then into the sprout. Repeat on the opposite end of the ribbon, and tie it around a napkin in a loose knot. The sage leaves aren’t just a pretty addition – they’re fragrant, too.

 

 

  1. Hanging Basket of Fall Flowers

Assorted pinecones, pods, acorns and other natural decorations all make for a wilt-proof wall hanging. Treat them with a few coats of golden yellow paint, then hot-glue them to dried twigs gathered from the yard.

 

  1. Glittered Corn Centerpiece

A few organic elements, touched with a bit of gilding, evoke fall’s abundance. For an eye-catching centerpiece, turn a glass compote into a horn of plenty with glittering Indian corn and squash.

 

  1. Tabletop Baskets

Baskets are good for more than bearing fruit! Make use of them on the dinner table as centerpieces, salt and pepper cellars, or and added touch to your guest’s place settings. For each place card, cinch a napkin with a waxed cord and tie the ends around the basket’s handle.

  1. Bar Cart

Pumpkins, gourds and another harvest bounty need not be limited to the front porch or dinner table either – try interspersing them throughout your home, as shown on this rolling bar cart. It doubles as both a way to greet your guests with cocktails and a decorative statement.

 

  1. Cornucopia

For the piece de resistance of your fall harvest décor, why not consider the universal symbol of bounty? The cornucopia, that is. This raffia cornucopia lined with a bed of dried wheat stalks holds an abundance of golden squashes, apples, and pears. This is a natural Thanksgiving decoration that radiates good fortune!