LA Travel Diary: Newport Beach

If you guys are visiting LA and are looking to spend time by the ocean side, we would highly recommend Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas. We rented a 2-bedroom villa for our stay here, and it was just perfect for our family. Each villa comes with its own kitchen, a dining area, a living room and a bathroom for each bedroom, so we had plenty of space to all have breakfast together and for family game nights. Our favorite part by far were the balconies that opened up to stunning views of the Pacific Coast. This was the perfect spot to catch a California sunset, sipping wine and enjoying the crisp ocean breeze.

The resort was super family friendly, which worked out great for our group of ten. We would start the day with a game of tennis in the mornings, followed by some time in the pool. In the afternoons, we would play volleyball, basketball and miniature golf, and end the evening by roasting marshmallows by the large fire pits. The girls loved being outdoors and having the whole family take part in the activities.

During one of our days in the area, we took a short drive over to Balboa Island. It is a charming little island community, with cute boutiques, beautiful vacation homes, and our favorite feature – frozen bananas! Naturally, our first stop was Dad’s Original Balboa Bar where we picked out our favorite dips and toppings for our frozen bananas. After strolling through the little shops and boutiques, we made an obligatory stop at Starbucks to refuel, and continued our walk along the picturesque boardwalk that wraps around the island to burn off all the calories!!

    

The houses along the docks are so beautifully designed, we could have easily wondered here all day. Balboa Island boasts one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country, and looking at some of these houses that is not at all surprising. Although, we’re fairly certain that if they ever close down the frozen banana shops on the island, home values in the area will plummet…just saying.

Linking some Newport Beach appropriate styles for your shopping enjoyment!

LA Travel Diary: Warm Weather Vibes

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We started our LA getaway with a day in Manhattan Beach. It was late October, so we wanted to take advantage of the high temps and sunshine while we still could (although we later found out that there wouldn’t be a shortage of them!). It was a beautiful day to be at the beach. We relaxed on the sand, played some rounds of volleyball and chit-chatted while flipping through magazines.

When we took these photos, a strange midday fog descended over the water creating this ethereal background. It cleared out as quickly as it started, and we were back to clear skies and sunshine before we knew it.

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img_2833-1We love visiting Manhattan Beach when we are in LA. It has a great combination of a relaxing oceanside environment, beautiful views, and a cute downtown area with little pubs and boutiques that have a very European feel.

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Also, meet Brock, the cutest little pug that we miss so much since we left LA!! He is the most laid back little dude and just so lovable. He was not terribly amused by the sand, but he was a trooper. He found a cool shady spot under the tent and laid there, perking up his head whenever people walked by or when he would catch a glimpse of his box of treats.

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A few days into our vacation, we took a drive up to Santa Barbara and stayed at a charming little cottage near downtown. In the morning it seemed slightly too chilly to lay by the oceanside, so we strolled down State Street, grabbed some coffee and did a little bit of shopping. The weather warmed up later in the afternoon, so we gave in and went for ice cream at McConnell’s and enjoyed the sunshine.  In the afternoon, we returned to the cottage and did a quick barbecue in the backyard, watching over the kids as they splashed around in the jacuzzi. After having way more food than we’d like to admit, we headed inside for games with the family until we fell asleep one by one.

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Are you heading somewhere warm soon? Here are some getaway essentials that we are loving right now:

 

LBD Refresh: The Slip Dress

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The slip dress has made quite a comeback this year, and we are loving it. Kate Moss originally made the trend popular in the 90s, and it has come back with even more momentum in the last few months. It is a tricky and daring piece for sure, but there are actually quite a few simple ways you can incorporate it into your every day wardrobe.

  1. You can throw a blazer or jacket over it, as seen here, for a sharp and clean look.
  2. You can pair it with a loose cardigan and booties for a more casual look. An example here and a variation of it here.
  3. You can wear it over a simple t-shirt, which might seem unusual at first, but check out some convincing examples here, here and here.
  4. You can let it shine in all its glory and simply pair it with low booties for a daytime look, or a minimalist high-heeled sandal for an evening look.

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For this particular look, I have gone with the fourth option. I added a neck scarf for an edgier look, which actually proved practical when it got slightly windy during the day.

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Another reason I love the slip dress is that it is a great Summer to Autumn transition piece! The dress is great by itself for warm end-of-summer days, but it can also easily be combined with layering pieces as suggested above, for cooler Autumn days. Any piece with that kind of versatility is a winner in my book!

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Outfit Details:

DRESS: Whistles UK (shop their dresses collection here), shop similar dresses in the links below

BAG: Phillip Lim | BOOTIES: Similar style from Acne Studios here (in love!) | SCARF: Givenchy

SUNNIES: Linda Farrow, similar pair here

 

Light and Airy at Hampton Court

 

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This past weekend we spent our Saturday at the Hampton Court Palace, an absolutely beautiful historic landmark here in London. Since the weather held up fairly well, we decided to spend most of our time outside walking through and exploring the breath-taking gardens. It was such a serene and relaxing environment. I highly recommend adding it to your sight-seeing list if you are visiting London, or even if you live here!

This Self-Portrait dress was just perfect for the day. It has such a light, airy feel and was ideal for strolling through the meandering pathways.

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I kept my accessories pretty simple, but opted to go with this statement Saint Laurent ring for contrast. You can find similar styles from the latest collection here and here. Saint Laurent never fails in creating stunning jewelry season after season.

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We snapped these before I gave up on my platform sandals and changed to flats for the rest of the day! The nice thing is that this dress goes well with both!

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Shop the links below for these and similar items.

DRESS: Self-Portrait (on sale!) | BAG: Lanvin, similar from the latest collection here | SHOES: Marni (oldies but goodies!) similar here and an alternative here | SUNNIES: Ray-Ban faves | RING: Saint Laurent, similar here and here

Thank you stopping by! Let us know some of your favorite destinations in London in the comments!

White Vest and Stripes

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A tailored white vest is one of the most versatile pieces you can add to your summer wardrobe. This baby goes with almost everything! You can dress it down with destroyed denim and pumps for a casual evening out, dress it up with tailored pants for the office, or even throw it over a jumpsuit for a sophisticated look. During hot summer days, when you cannot fathom putting on a blazer (i.e. every day in Los Angeles), a vest is the perfect alternative to add structure and dimension to an otherwise simple outfit.

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For this look, I paired my white vest with striped J. Crew shorts. Nautical stripes are another timeless classic for the summer in my book. I cannot get enough of them! They can be paired with simple white or navy pieces, or combined with pops of color like yellow or poppy red for a more fun look. Again, another versatile piece for the summer that you can bring back year after year.

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On a sidenote, can we talk about these beautiful, tall trees for a second? We love our palm trees in Los Angeles, but anytime we see tall trees with full greenery, we get seriously impressed!

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Since I kept the clothing fairly low-key for this outfit, I added statement accessories like this lariat necklace and braided belt for some pizzazz. These nude lace-up sandals finish off the look. I love how this particular pair have a nice leg-lengthening effect, which is always a welcomed bonus when wearing shorts.

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Shop these and similar pieces in the links below!

VEST: Zara (similar here and here) | TOP: similar here | SHORTS: J. Crew (similar here)

NECKLACE: Love this and this | RINGS: Gorjana (cute alternative) | CLUTCH: Asos (similar) | SHOES: Steve Madden

 

Fall Thoughts, Summer Weather

 

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This weekend was a scorcher in Los Angeles. The sun was out in full force and the beach was calling our name! We would have been wise to heed the call, but alas, social commitments and weekend errands prevailed.

Ironically enough, in the middle of this 95-degree weather, I received the September issue of InStyle, which is always their big Fall intro. Now, I should say that I love Fall fashion. It is my absolute favorite season. Sadly, we never really get Fall weather in LA. Summer drags on well into October, and before we know it, it’s Christmas… So, I always browse the big September issue with a tiny bit of melancholy, trying to ignore the fact that those beautiful wool coats with the OTK boots are not really a practical choice for this LA girl!

 

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So, I put Fall on hold for the time being, and I went back to my summer pastels for this little weekend outfit. I pulled out this eyelet skirt from Ann Taylor that had been hanging in my closet since earlier in the summer. I paired it with a white button-down shirt (all part of my Carolina Herrera complex…) and added a jean jacket for a more casual feel. I kept the shoes and accessories muted in soft grays.

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Shop the links below for these and similar pieces!

 

Anyone else feeling anxious for Fall fashion yet?? Or are you all still in full summer mode?

 

Vacation Style & Off The Shoulder Tops

 

Summer Vacation Outfit Inspiration

Ah, to be on vacation! Palm trees and the ocean breeze – yes, sign me up, please!

Here is some outfit inspiration for any vacation plans you may still have as summer is winding down. Vacation style is all about striking the right balance between being comfortable and looking put together. That means, cute flats and sandals (always start with the shoes!), airy dresses and tops, and on-point accessories for polish.

I’ve centered these outfits on off-the-shoulder tops as they are definitely having a moment this year and really seem to capture the essence of vacation style. They exude a certain romantic flare and care-free spirit which you can only truly feel while you’re on vacation mode. So, go ahead, pack up your bags, bare your shoulders, and head off somewhere amazing… lucky you!

 

 

 

Let us know where you’re heading off this summer and what your summer essentials are in the comments below!

London Summer: Easy Breezy Dress

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A sunny day in London is not something we take for granted. We had some much-needed sunshine this past week, so we took the opportunity to be outdoors and enjoy it. The girls played tennis to their hearts content and I enjoyed cheering them on from the sidelines.

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This easy chambray dress was perfect for the day. I love the balance of comfort and chic. I’ve found some similar styles herehere  and here.

If you are on the hunt for summer sandals, Ancient Greek has an amazing collection. I am wearing the Alethea Sandal (Greek for “truth”, fun fact), and I just love how comfortable and versatile these are. They are the perfect pairing to any summer outfit. You can browse more Ancient Greek options here.

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