The wind farms outside of Palm Springs are some kindof gorgeous.
Sometimes in life you’ve got to stop and smell the roses. These, in a yard along the canals in Venice, were amazing- they reminded me of the roses in my bridal bouquet. Sure, I’m wishing I was enjoying springtime in the Italian Venice, but Californian Venice has its own special beauty. The paths and bridges are shared by locals and visitors on foot and bike, and it’s a lovely place to go for a wander.
We spent some time in Venice after a tsukemen ramen stop, showing one of my college besties around. It was kindof shocking how it was broiling hot and sunny leaving our house in the valley, but cool and very windy out closer to the water and near the canals. The neighborhood is always so pretty though, that the weather matters not.
I’ll admit I was over-anxious to wear this dress. I picked it up at Anthropologie, and am a bit obsessed with the raw edge of the midi skirt and the slash pockets. But I was in between sizes, and opted up; this denim number has a far more flattering fit now that it’s been nipped around the waist and bust, and doesn’t have a saggy kangaroo pouch ?.
I’ve been so into changing up my jewelry game as my hair color evolves, and Rocksbox has been perfect for that. I put these Kendra Scott earrings and wrist chain on my wishlist, and was excited to see them show up in my mailbox! My stylist sent them with this sterling Gorjana lariat, and I was kindof in love with all of it. I couldn’t help myself- I kept the earrings when I sent the Rocksbox back yesterday! The deal was just too tempting. The retail is $85, Rocksbox price is $68, and monthly shine spend discount dropped them another $10, and so I added them to the collection. If you like jewelry, or mail, or free stuff, you should probably use my code RAVAYNAXOXO for a month of free designer jewelry signing up for a Rocksbox delivery.
I could spend hours in a good museum. The Broad is a very very good one, and it’s free to boot! It seems like I made our reservation to visit the Broad Museum a lifetime ago, but it just finally rolled around. In the typical mayhem that is my life, I had an early flight, landing at LAX just in time for David to pick me up and for us to head downtown for a morning of art appreciation.
I don’t fancy myself some great art critic, but I’m educated, open minded and appreciative of the artistic spirit. It may not speak to me, but I’m interested in it regardless. My view can be too literal for some modern art, but that wasn’t the case at the Broad- the collection is incredibly well curated, one of the best of contemporary art I’ve come across. Even the most absurd of exhibits had accuracy.
I adore art that really impacts- that makes you think. Some of the seemingly simplest works of art pull me to introspection. The installation of FEMA propane barrels was so intricate up close, and the Katrina kid in me will carry that with her always. The graphic art was almost pointed. I love when I want to inspect a piece of art up close, when it engages me that way, and the Murakami portion of the exhibit did just that.
I’ve been super-inspired by negative space lately, in design and art, so admired this divided embrace piece for a little while. It’s far larger than the picture depicts, with the green aspects the size of doors.
We’d seen Jeff Koons’ Tulips when it was on display in Las Vegas, but I’d only seen his other works in print. They are just giant, much bigger that I anticipated, pretty much embodying all things glossy shiny prettiness. Total picture bait too- we had to be patient to get these shots while there were high school field trips in house. Teenage girls are very vocal in their admiration of my hair, for what it’s worth.
I love how fun modern art is, and how truly creative it can be. Don’t get me wrong, I can spend hours among the Impressionists, but sometimes it’s just really enjoyable. After flying, and LA rush hour traffic, I was tired and cranky when we reached the museum, and it managed to turn my mood around quickly. And David loves museums a lot less than I, but we both really had a good time at the Broad.
The Broad is beautiful inside and out, but in a really approachable way. I enjoy the art in the random, like cleanly designed administrative offices (yes, I peeked). I swore every other person on the escalator was taking a selfie, then realized why when I stepped into the tunnel. And I loved the little voyeur window into the vault, an art exhibit in itself.
It’s probably the New Orleanian in me, but I always find myself enraptured when beauty and breakdown combine in art. Both Julian Schnabel’s The Walk Home and Urs’ Fischer’s untitled melting lamppost really drew me in.
Our tickets were for just after opening, so we were early enough to secure a spot to see Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room. There is a separate ticketing kiosk inside, for 45 second slots within the exhibit, but it normally reaches capacity for the day about 1 pm. We were paged to the exhibit about two and a half hours after we ticketed. An undulating LED light show in a dark mirrored chamber, inspired by the artist’s hallucinations, it was stunningly beautiful, stimulating and exhilarating, and over way too soon.
“Art is a humanitarian act. Art should be able to effect mankind, to make the world a better place.” -Jeff Koons
Walt Disney said it best, “Disneyland is a work of love.”
And when spring flowers are in bloom and the sun is shining bright, it’s hard not to feel the magic in the air! A few weeks ago (when I was still a brunette), we drove to Anaheim for a weekday Disneyland date, and it was a super fun time.
We’re fortunate enough to go to Disneyland several times a year, since we live only about an hour away. We’re no fans of theme park lines (like anyone is?) so we also wander, people watch, and eat. And when it comes to Disneyland food, Dole whip floats (pineapple soft serve and pineapple juice) are my absolute favorite.
I’m generally pretty flexible about which rides we hit- I’m up for whatever lines aren’t too obnoxious. But I’m a total five-year-old at heart, and I have a total weak spot for the teacups. It’s a must-ride, every time. David spins it so fast, and I love it!
And no day is complete without some shenanigans. No luck at hitchhiking in Cars Land, but some skipping and dipping made me giggle.
We had our cute friend Nicole join us, and we had such a good time with her- we always do! When she wasn’t cracking me up, she was behind the camera for the majority of this post’s images. But we were Minnie twinning, so I made sure to have David grab some shots of us, too.
We made sure to instagram a shot of our ears, to help raise funds for the Make-A-Wish foundation. Every hashtag of #shareyourears garnered a $5 donation, in honor of Disneyland’s 60th birthday. A total of 2 million dollars was raised to grant wishes for terminal kids, and it’s nice to have played even the tiniest part.
I am such a sucker for something sweet- I swear I could eat desserts all day long. And if delicious treats are prettily displayed in a lovely location, I’m smitten. That’s how I’ve felt about Bottega Louie since the first time I stopped by.
Now we go often- sometimes I just grab goodies to go, but it’s also perfect for brunch with girlfriends or almost any occasion. It’s so gorgeous there! David and I stopped in for an afternoon pick-me up after a full day of errands downtown.
I always want to take home so many treats. Their chocolates are luscious and their pastrywork is exquisite as well as stunningly gorgeous. But I would go broke in there without serious willpower, so I have to keep it to just a few.
Macarons are one of my favorite pastries, and while nothing will ever equal Pierre Herme for me, Bottega Louie’s are delish and beautiful. I love the gold flake accent on the earl grey, and the fresh strawberry is especially yummy when they are in season (like now).
After leaving Bottega Louie, we headed to the Standard for a spontaneous happy hour with friends visiting from Ohio. I got distracted by the organ and shinyness at first, but we made it up to the rooftop eventually. And when we did, the cocktails and company were both on point.
Vintage dress (similar and under $2o!), Zara kids flats (similar), Kate Spade purse (similar), Rifle Paper Company iPhone case, Charming Charlie earrings, Kendra Scott bracelet, Forever 21 sunglasses.
Over a dozen years after we first got together, I still take dating my husband pretty seriously. What I mean is that I love claiming a mutually free chunk of time and declaring it a date! Let’s be real- I’ll buy into any excuse to get a bit fun or fancy, eat good food, and steal smooches. While I was on the road this summer, I had long-term major cravings for tsukemen (dip) ramen. The best in the city is hands down at Tsujita LA– my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Since I’ve dragged David all the way across the city for several recent dates, I wanted to share our typical Sawtelle Japantown date with you.
The crowd at Tsujita can be insane, so we try to go at off hours. If the wait is still long, I kill time by crossing the street to shop at Daiso or browsing Asian skincare and beauty products at Make Asobi. (Much, much more on my Asian skincare routine coming soon.) Fortunately, service is brisk once seated and food arrives before I get hangry.
I always, always get char siu tsukemen. Other menu items are yummy, but that is my spicy savory dream. And romance goes out the window when this ramen is in the picture- I won’t even share it with David! It’s too delicious to let away from my greedy little fingers- to have and to hold, but get your own bowl.
The same goes for dessert. I’m significantly more interested in any outing that involves sweets of some sort, and Blockheads Shavery is just around the corner. They serve snow cream there, ice cream shaved off big blocks into light fluffy frozen deliciousness.
I love treats of all kind, but especially get excited about more unusual, less-sweet flavors. At Blockheads, I dress my black sesame snow cream with red beans, rice cakes, and condensed milk, and am a happy piggie. David likes his dessert properly sweet, so he covers his coffee malt snow cream with brownies, fudge, and sliced almonds.
With full bellies and full hearts, we head off into the sunset… And by that I mean head off to sit in traffic on the way home. LA traffic is perpetually blech, but it’s more pleasant when your sweet husband is driving you home after a date. I’ll take what I can get!