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Cali Corner: The Best Kids' Museum in LA


I wouldn't necessarily say that the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History is a kid's only museum or that you have to have a child with you to go, because I love this place. It was my favorite as a kid and remains one of the best museums in Los Angeles in my adult opinion. When I was in elementary school, my class went here for a field trip and somehow my mom didn't know about it until afterwards. I remember her being so crushed that she wasn't able to chaperone, so when my daughter's school field trip came up I felt like I was making up for this oversight 30 years later. It was an absolute blast to experience this wondrous place through my kiddo's eyes. 



The museum is in the heart of Los Angeles in an area called Exposition Park, easily accessible by public transportation and fairly close to the airport. It is nestled in between the legendary Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (where the Los Angeles Rams and USC football teams play) and other museums such as the California Science Center and the California African American Museum (here is a list of all of the Exposition Park attractions). It is also adjacent to the most vast rose garden that makes you forget you are in a concrete jungle. This was a beautiful place for us to wander around while we waited for the rest of the school to arrive via bus.






Other outdoor spaces attached to the museum are the Butterfly Pavilion and several nature gardens with water features to cool off in and plenty of organic structures to climb on. Who doesn't want to be in a giant enclosed area with hundreds of butterflies fluttering about? It was an extraordinary experience- especially when one landed on my flower tattoo on my arm!




But the best memories are made inside the cool, marble hallways of the massive natural history building. Iconic staples of my childhood are the North American and African Halls with the incredible dioramas and the full-sized dinosaur skeletons in center, reminiscent of Night at the Museum. There are plenty of exhibits for the dinosaur lover or the insect enthusiast. They have incorporated so many hands-on stations for the kids and some fun photo ops.



Overall the LA County Natural History Museum is a true Los Angeles landmark and a beautiful piece of architecture that's not to be missed. There's enough to do in the Exposition Park area to keep solo adventurers or families busy all day. The general area has also had a major facelift in recent years with lots of safe eateries nearby. They also have summer music nights and rotating exhibits. In November they are opening an exhibit on the History of Tattoo- you know I'll be back for that!




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Cali Corner: The Best Female Owned Boutiques in LA



This article was originally featured as part of a another great collaboration I did with Dazey LA, an art apparel & accessories company based here in Los Angeles.  Its creator is extremely talented lady boss who believes in supporting other female business owners. Give her site a looksy here. You'll find some great T-shirts, product collaborations, and the Dazey Zine, which features articles from other creatives, tutorials, and other inspirational goodness. 

If you've taken anything away from browsing the Dazey LA website, it's that Dazey ladies love to support each other in their creative passions and professional endeavors. Building a business is no small feat and even in a city as big as Los Angeles, women can make the time to support each other. So for this article, we sought out boutiques that we adore, that also happen to be owned by some badass lady bosses.  



5028 York Blvd. 
Highland Park

This adorable store was like medication for my OCD tendencies. A place for everything and everything perfectly in its place. Everywhere I turned there was no shortage of colorful rows and containers of office supplies (another obsession of mine) and beautiful paper products. I love a place where I can indulge in all things girly and still feel like I'm purchasing items that will ensure my productivity, while promoting a sense of female empowerment. Shorthand was all of that, wrapped up in a very neat, colorful, perfectly-shaped bow.


Shout and About
1547 Echo Park Ave.
Echo Park

I was pleasantly surprised to find this sweet little shopping district tucked into an Echo Park nook. Shout and About is distinctly Californian and makes you want to spend your pennies on adorable little cactus pendants and, "Oh hey these cactus dessert plates match!" There was an impressive selection of original artwork and beautiful wrapping papers as well as more functional items like water bottles and blankets, all in beautiful bold colors.




2205 W. Sunset Blvd.
Silver Lake

Entering Nico & Bullitt is like stepping into a rad time warp where you want to try on everything and just kind of hang out for awhile. There so much to look at that it's difficult to keep focused! The decor is amazing, and the fashion is exceptional, especially for ladies who love the Dazey look. Aside from some great graphic tees, I had my eye on the candles and ceramic mugs; the necessities of life!


Myrtle
2213 Sunset Blvd.
Silver Lake

Located a few doors down from Nico and Bullitt, Myrtle is like the more responsible older sister. The shop is definitely a reflection of how I aspire to dress; classic clean lines with a sprinkle of patterns and charming details. The more you browse, the more you view the depth of the inventory here. Lovely printed dresses and funky neon jewelry feel quite comfortable next to each other in this sophisticated space.





Friend Mart
970 N. Broadway #105
Chinatown

Friend Mart lies in the center of Chinatown in a shady little courtyard. But the neon logo sign hanging on the wall is like a ray of sunshine once you step foot into this cheeky shop. There are virtually endless rows of patches, enamel pins, and apparel adorned with cool pop culture imagery.  You can also find hotel room keychains, hair clips shaped like dogs, and butt-printed socks. But the real highlight of this unique shop is the embroidery station. You can bring in that boring denim jacket (or whatever) and get lettering and graphics embroidered right there in the store. 




Twin Peaks in Pictures


I totally get that this is going to be a niche blog post for some very special fans of a certain cult TV show. With the return of our beloved Twin Peaks after 25 long years and the 2017 Twin Peaks Festival happening in about a week, I thought it was time to take my readers to the area of North Bend, Washington in the Pacific Northwest in order to share some of my favorite images of the area where the show (old and new) and movie were filmed. I attended the Twin Peaks Festival in 2005 when it was just a few of us coffee & cherry pie loving nerds in a small, intimate setting. If you are attending this year, I am jealous for the excitement that it will carry unlike any year prior, since we are all watching the wonderful and strange world together again. 


Ronette's Bridge
The Roadhouse
What's left of the mill
Teresa's motel in FWWM
The Salish Lodge aka The Great Northern
View from Salish Lodge guest room
Twede's Cafe aka the Double R









Quick Post: Keeping fit this summer with Aaptiv


This summer I've been inspired by the Aaptiv fitness app. I have managed to use a variety of their workouts to get more activity in my days even during this crazy LA heat. Aaptiv has a clean, sleek interface and offers an abundance of workouts without feeling overwhelming. I usually end up giving up on fitness apps for one simple reason- the trainers drive me nuts! Somehow, I have not found one Aaptiv trainer that annoys me. There really is something for everyone on this app from meditation to training for a full marathon. Here are some of my favs:

I have been starting my mornings with the Good Morning Yoga Wake Up from the Fit for Summer collection. I can set my alarm 10 minutes earlier than usual and get in some activity first thing in the morning. 

They have a Walking collection-Yes! Both outdoor walks and treadmill walks. I like to take a walk in the evening after dinner and the Energizing Beginner Walk workout completely taught me how to walk properly and did not make me feel stupid while speed walking. I also love the music in Ray W.'s Incline Walking Will Make You Sweat for the treadmill.  It's all in the title!

I really can't say that I've mixed up my workouts this much in a long time and variety is key for me in EVERYTHING. I get bored way too easily. I love the stretches (and I love that complimentary stretches or workouts are suggested after you finish a workout) and the meditations have been great for those breaks in my office during a long day. They even have maternity programs

You can get a week long access to everything for free right now if you sign-up. Give it a try this summer! 

Maui Eats

Koa's in Lahaina

As promised, here's your guide to eating in and around Kihei and why I love these places. 




Kihei Caffe- If you want epic eats for breakfast in a casual setting, head here. I'm pretty sure we ordered one of everything including the incredible Loco Moco (substitute fried rice under that meat and egg). They also have a daily iced coffee that won me over with notes of coconut.

Cinnamon Roll Place- This little storefront is tucked under a stairwell in a strip mall, but is a piece of heaven in paradise. Be nice and get up early, grab a box for the whole family and enjoy on your deck. We went for traditional frosting and macadamia nut covered cinnamon rolls. My brother put it best when he said the entire roll tastes as good as the center of most other cinnamon rolls.

Donut Dynamite!- Think of this place as the cuter, younger sister to Voodoo Doughnuts; not as crude but still sassy and tasty. This is a bit out of the way (nearer the airport) so plan accordingly because they close when they sell out. And they are closed on Sundays.

Akamai Coffee Co.- As mentioned in my previous post, my go-to for coffee would have to be this coffee shop that reminds me a bit of being at home in LA. They roast their own beans and have a great space, complete with swimming basket chairs! I had a lovely iced lavender coffee and a turkey and cheese croissant that keep me going for a drive up the volcano.


Three's fish taco


Three's Bar & Grill- This was our first stop once we got into Maui and we made the effort to make our way back to happy hour later in the week. There is indoor and outdoor seating available (depending how much humidity you want served up with your meal). Each visit, we demolished fish tacos, pork nachos, panic sushi rolls, and ramen.  Everything on the happy hour menu is more than enough to share and delicious. This was also the restaurant that catered our sunset cruise!

Coconut's Fish Cafe- You'll be happy here for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They are famous for their huge, fresh fish tacos, but I had a wonderful poke bowl here. Everything is really good, but it seemed even pricier than most places in town. Having said that, we went here three times during our stay. I'm just excited that they are opening one in DTLA soon!

Fred's Mexican Cafe- A favorite from Southern California, Fred's is a solid place for Mexican food with a view. The homey, structure has a wrap around porch and lots of indoor/ outdoor seating with a view of the beach (and better yet the sunset!). The Cadillac margaritas and the calamari tacos during happy hour had the best reviews from our hungry group.

5 Palms Restaurant- Are you starting to see a happy hour theme here? Well, hang on to your forks & chopsticks because this is the mother of all finds in Kihei for that magic hour. Order yourself a Wicked Arnold Palmer and try to not loose your mind over the amazing treats to pick from on the happy hour menu.  Dinner looks fabulous here, but I don't know why anyone in their right mind would not have one of everything on the HH menu. We were there for hours eating sashimi, calamari, crispy brussels sprouts, and BBQ ribs. Honestly, some of my best memories of this trip are of sitting on this patio, laughing with my family and new friends, in the most beautiful of settings.

Here are a couple of extras for those of you who make it up to Lahaina. Enjoy!

 


Koa's- A gorgeous and tasty lunch on an upper deck, overlooking the ocean. Good photo ops here and even better Bloody Mary's. 

Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice- The quest for the perfect Shave Ice can be lost in all of the shave ice stands that line the streets of Hawaii, but Uluani's is among the best.  There is one in Kihei too. 

Dole Whip Maui- I was so excited to get a Dole Whip pineapple float on an extremely hot day in Maui! Nothing is cooler than soft serve pineapple ice cream with pineapple juice.




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