HowAboutWe for Couples Brunch Cruise Date

HowAboutWe Brunch Cruise Marina Del Rey Dock

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 10 years since Christopher and I started dating – our anniversary is actually next month! After being in a relationship for such a long period of time, the need to take time and go on dates is extra important because nights watching movies on the couch can get old, you know what I mean? So when HowAboutWe for Couples launched here in LA recently, I was excited to give it a go as they make planning dates as easy as a click of button.

What I love about HowAboutWe is that they curate dates that you and your significant other can do around your city, with new additions each month. Who wouldn’t want to go on a Guided Japanese Whisky Tour, an Exclusive Bicycle Taco Tour around the city? Or what about a Hiking Yoga in Griffith Park? And of course there may be days when you want to stay in so they even have dates for you and your beau to do right at home! I’m dying to get this Make Your Own Cheese Kit or I’m actually hoping I can convince Christopher to get crafty with an At-Home Piñata Kit!

HowAboutWe Brunch Cruise Food

Anyway, for our first HowAboutWe date, we decided to go on a brunch cruise around Marina Del Rey. Even though we’ve lived in the neighborhood for nearly 3 years we’ve never actually been on the water. It was a beautiful Sunday morning when we arrived on the dock over at Fisherman’s Village and boarded The Entertainer. After greeting us with a glass of champagne, they showed us to our private table located near the breakfast buffet. Coffee, OJ and champagne flowed freely ( hello mimosas! ) while we dined on an herbed egg scramble, fresh seasonal greens salad, crepes, french toast, roasted country potatoes, fresh fruit, an israeli couscous salad and pastries just to name a few. Everything was delicious and needless to say, we were completely stuffed after a few servings.

HowAboutWe Brunch Cruise Upper Deck

After our brunch indulgence, we headed up to the top deck to bask in the sun and enjoy to sights as we toured the Marina. It was nice to see everything from a different perspective and take in the fresh air. The Fisherman’s Village seriously looks incredible from the water. Plus, there’s just something about being on a boat that makes you slow down for a moment and enjoy the company you’re with. Which is basically the whole point right?

HowAboutWe Brunch Cruise Marina Del Rey

Since the brunch cruise we’ve also made our way over to Anaheim for an Angels vs. Dodgers game with VIP seats. Seriously the best view! I also just booked an afternoon for us to bike down to Hermosa Beach for some tacos and craft beers. At $24 that’s a total deal. Oh yeah – you get a nice little discount when you’re a HowAboutWe member, not to mention a free date each month. Sounds great right? If you live in LA, Seattle, NYC, Chicago or SF sign up here for $50 off your first date – promise it’ll be memorable. Other cities – they’re coming soon!

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*This post is a partnership with HowAboutWe but all thoughts and opinions are my own. I totally dig their curated dates. Mmmhm.

Detoxing: The Juice LA 3-Day Cleanse

The Juice LA lights

It’s no secret that I love juice. Nor is it a secret that I’ve attempted several times to do juice cleanses – twice in 2013 I think – and I never lasted more than a day. I start off strong then get a major case of hanger (hunger/anger), eventually caving in once I see everyone else eating. Well that was 2013, and 2014 is a whole new ball game! With all the craziness of the holidays, my birthday, and the traveling I’ve been doing in the early part of this year, I began feeling sluggish and unbalanced. The solution? A juice cleanse of course – and this time, sticking with it. I’ve been a huge fan of The Juice since they opened last year in Atwater Village. I can honestly say that The Juice creates the most delicious juices in all of LA, which is quite a bold statement, especially with juice bars popping up literally on every corner these days. What really sets The Juice apart is their dedication to freshness + quality, using only organic produce, and cold pressing them daily. Oh, and can we talk about their flavors? My favorite is their #12 which is a combo of red cabbage, apple and lemon. I had no idea that you could or should juice red cabbage!

The Juice LA 3 Day CleanseNow onto the #thejuicelachallange – I ended up choosing to do the 3-day decrease cleanse – a three day process of elimination as they describe it. What really made the difference with The Juice was understanding what each of the 6 juices I drank daily was doing for my body. They go into depth on their website which is incredibly informative. Each morning at 8 am, I started off with their #11 which helps get rid of excess water in the body. Oh, the power of the tiny cranberry. Next up is the #12 (my favorite) which is the last of the sweeter juices. During the middle of the day and early afternoon come the #3, #4 and #7 which are full of greens… and ginger. That triple ginger is extra spicy = extra good for you. The day finally ends with an almond milk, sweetened with vanilla and dates – the perfect treat after a day of cleansing which also nourishes.

Day 1: Pretty mellow and easy. Perhaps it was the excitement of trying something new? I was really excited for the almond milk, then went to bed early to avoid any food temptations.

Day 2: Things got a little difficult, and also really got to know my bathroom. Let’s just say that the green juices got my body to “eliminate” things I didn’t even knew were in my body. Went to Umami Burger to meetup with friends and didn’t eat. Can you believe it?

Day 3: Last day! I was feeling lighter and actually began craving the juices! Spent a little less time in the bathroom compared to Day 2 but still lots of movement. Full disclosure: after a day of thrifting + hunting with Chris, I ended up having a veggie burger just after my 5th juice.

Ingredients The Juice Cleanse So I did it! Even though at the very end I did end up eating, I’m actually looking forward to trying out a 5-day cleanse before summer comes around. The one thing I really took away from this experience was a new knowledge of what certain foods do for me. Since my cleanse I’ve been trying to incorporate more of the following foods in my daily/weekly diet:

Kale - High in fiber and filled with antioxidants, detoxing the body.

Red Cabbage – Abundant in Vitamin E, it boosts the immune system’s ability to produce more antibodies, promoting DNA repair.

Lemon - Aids in digestion + liver cleansing, enhances the immune system + fights infection.

Ginger - Promotes digestion, detoxifies and boots the immune system.

Dates – High in fiber, regulates bowel movements.

Note: One thing I didn’t discover until after doing my cleanse was this great guide with tips for cleansing success + raw recipes from co-founder Liz Halpern. I can’t wait to try the green soup!

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*This post has been a partnership with The Juice LA, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. They really do have the best juice around!

HURRA! Danish Art + Design

Hurra Danish Pop Up Venice Abbot Kinney

They say that Abbot Kinney is the “coolest block in America” and with pop-ups like HURRA! I’d have to say that they actually may be onto something. The well-curated pop-up gallery and shop sprung up at the end of November, and while it was only supposed to stay through the end of 2013, HURRA! has extended their stay until the end of this month – hooray! The two brains behind the immaculate space filled with Danish art + design are Sharin Foo and Camilla Hjerl, a musician and graphic designer. Perhaps you’ve heard of the band The Ravonettes? Yes, it’s that Sharin – so cool right?

Hurra Pop Up Shop Venice Goods

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(Stitch and Heart Series by Gry Fager)

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(Gry Frager for Normann Copenhagen)

The only thing cooler and just as beautiful as the owners themselves are the artisanal goods they carry. From Danish staples like Hay and Normann Copenhagen, to emerging artists + designers like Studio Arhoj and Signe Schjøth, be prepared for an onslaught of the most heavenly eye candy you’ve ever come across. Oh, did I mention the abundance of art adorning the walls, and practically every nook and cranny of the gallery? I am obsessed with everything. Seriously.

Diamonds and shelf at HURRA LA

(Porcelain diamonds by Signe Schjøth)

HURRA Art Gallery Venice

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Japanese Shinto Ghosts

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(Ghosts by Studio Arhoj)

Work Diagram by Kia Utzon-Frank 2

(Work Diagram by artist Kia Utzon-Frank)

Work Diagram by Kia Utzon-Frank

Kia Utzon-Frank

Kia Utzon-Frank 2 side

(I Like it, What is it? by artist Kia Utzon-Frank)HAY printed adjustable pillows

(Pillows by BALlab)

HURRA pop up clothing

Meet The Maker / 01: Melanie Abrantes

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Meet Melanie Abrantes. A designer and maker by trade, the bubbly Texas-native is one of Los Angeles’ rising talents – a real hidden gem! Trust me – she’s one to watch for! Charming, perpetually happy, and just a complete pleasure to be around – Melanie has an energy about her that translates into both her work and craftsmanship. The idea of quality and taking time to hand make something worthy of passing down through generations, is the premise behind her thoughtful creations. A true labor of love.

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Over the past year at the studio, I’ve watched Mel hone her skills in woodworking with the first cake stand that she made for a secret santa gift exchange, and now explorations into cork-based pieces – a material that has roots in her Portuguese heritage. After debuting her California Tree Series in Crafting Community’s One King’s Lane Artisanal Sale last year, Melanie is now selling her one-of-a-kind bowls, vases, planters and stands alongside local LA makers Hedley & Bennett and Dominik Woods on the much-coveted marketplace now through Jan 31st.

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1. As a product designer, what drew you to work with wood and cork as materials? I loved the look and feel of both materials. You get such rich colors in the grains of wood and such a simplicity in the cork. I am such a tangible person, and being drawn to the feel of an object is always something that entices me. I am also the first one to get kicked out of a museum because I always have the urge to touch the sculpture, I KNOW it’s wrong….but I cant help it!

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2. What’s it like living + working in a creative hub like Los Angeles? Living in Los Angeles means that everything is at your fingertips. I have access to a community woodshop, but I also have access to a foundry if I wanted to pour bronze. I am lucky enough to have many creative friends who I can always bounce off ideas and create new adventures with.

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3. You recently began teaching wood-lathing classes – what do you enjoy about it? I love seeing my students succeed! They always come in very timid and scared at the beginning of the class but they leave with a beautiful object made by THEM! It’s awesome to see someone making things.

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4. Who are some of your favorite makers/artists right now? Two in particular that I love are Coco Flip and Daniel Emma Design, who are based in Australia. I am currently really in love with Australian designers, if I could go on a plane right now to go on a studio visit with them, I would do it in a heartbeat! Everything they make is so fun and colorful!

Coco Flip Puku Ottoman

Daniel Emma Designs Vessels

5. Okay, now for some fun! What is your spirit animal? Hands down a llama! Have you seen my instagram handle? Haha it’s @prancingllamas. They just know how to be weird and have fun.

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 6. Favorite kind of donut? A chocolate old-fashioned, especially from Randy’s Donuts!

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7. How do you stay inspired? Very cliché, but the Internet lets my inspiration be limitless, you can find new or old designs, the sky is the limit.

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8. Top 5 places to eat/shop/hang in LA?

Proof Bakery, Atwater Village: Everyone is someone on a Saturday morning at Proof but watch out for those terrible lines!

Scoops Ice Cream, Highland Park: The most delicious ice cream I’ve ever had and it’s only $2 a cup!

Sunbeam Vintage, Highland Park: Just found this gem in my neighborhood and it is definitely the go-to place for vintage mid-century modern furniture!

Twig & Twine, Silverlake/Koreatown: Cutest little floral shop on Virgil. I go there and always get the most beautiful bouquets for my home. Plus its right next to the delicious Sqirl!

Wolf & Crane, Little Tokyo: A new bar that opened up in Little Tokyo, it has beautifully designed interiors and great cocktails. Their logo is also adorable!

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Photo credit: Sarah Shreves / Follow Melanie’s adventures in woodworking and more on her blog + shop her OKL Sale here.

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