WHO: James Zimmerman, Actor/My Seriously Adorable Boyfriend
WHERE: Here and There
WHEN: Saturday

1. Lake Hollywood Park. I spent half my life growing up in Northern CA. Those of you familiar with our northern neighbors will know that frisbee is more a way of life than a sport. I can't think of a better way to start my day than by driving up the windy hills of Hollywood to partake in a excellent game of ultimate frisbee at the Hollywood Reservoir Park. (I know the ladies love this blog so I feel obliged to mention that the game is coed)  The Park is hidden away, halfway up the mountain. If the Hollywood sign wasn't looming majestically over your head, you might not know you were in LA at all.

2. Nat's Early Bite. After the rigorous workout that is ultimate frisbee (no joke)  It's off to Nat's for the best chilaquiles I've ever had!  Its not just the fact that they cook the tortillas to perfection, or that they make the most delicious breakfast salsa you've ever had. It's just a great old fashioned coffee shop, where they bake their own muffins, and folk are just that - folk. 

3. Secret Headquarters. The Guardian(UK) published a top 10 list of the world’s most beautiful independent bookstores. The only American shop to make the list is the next stop on my ideal day in LA - Secret Headquarters. I realize that I mentioned frisbee earlier and now I'm talking about comics. I'm cool though, I swear. Like many of the boutiques that line the Sunset junction, the design aesthetic is top notch. Walking in you feel like you're in some sort of English lord's private library- A library filled with comics and art books. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, and they routinely host gallery events that highlight great artists and writers. How can you not love a comic shop that makes you feel sophisticated even though you're there to buy books with pictures in them.

4. Umami Burger. No day in LA would be sweet enough without a stop at your local Umami burger. I cannot stress enough how good these burgers are. All I can say, is that you must go immediately! It's a good thing I moved in with the lady because it was starting to be a problem living down the street. I personally recommend the Hatch burger, a glorious blend of house made American cheese (better than you think)and green chiles. And for those of you that like more spice, the Diablo Blue is always available even if it's not on the menu. I'll let you figure out whats in that one on your own.

5. New Beverly Cinema. I realize part of "Sweetest Day" is about cuing people into the little secrets we all have about LA. I have a secret- I'm in love with the New Beverly Cinema. The tickets are always $7.50, the popcorn is excellent and it's always a double feature. What really makes the New Beverly though, is that it's owned and curated by Quentin Tarantino. As one can imagine, the calendar is peppered with wild grindhouse cinema, cult classics, and midnight showings of Pulp Fiction- all of which play with the original trailers of the film's release. There are many many super cool talk backs and events that take place here, so it's good to check ahead in the calendar. But what I love most about the New Beverly is that, like me, everyone who goes here genuinely loves movies- even the bad ones.

{photo of james by me, burger, secret headquarters, new beverly}


Who: Kate Danson, Actress/Photographer and one of the most stylish ladies I know
Where: The Westside and Hollywood
When: Friday

In truth, my sweetest of sweetest days would probably sound pretty uneventful if I were to write it all down… avocado toast in the morning at my favorite restaurant, my kitchen, then a long bike ride at the beach with friends, and to cap off the day, we would all return to my house where my husband and I would cook a big dinner for everyone and we’d end the night playing running charades (trust me when I say that it’s the best game you’ll ever play.) But for our purposes, I am treating this day as though I am taking a dear friend from out of town on a tour of some of my favorite places to SEE, EAT, and SHOP in LA!

1. Gjelina Take-Away. To start off our day, we would wake up relatively early and head over to the newly opened Gjelina Take-Away where we would grab an egg sandwich and cup of tea to fortify ourselves for our big day. Second to my kitchen, Gjelina is my favorite restaurant in LA and now that they’ve opened a take-out restaurant next door, I’m so excited, I’m not sure what to do with myself.

2. Tortoise General Store. Tea in hand, we’d take a walk down Abbot Kinney to Tortoise General Store, where they sell the most beautiful miscellany for the home, the best pens and notebooks, and green tea, just to name a few of my favorites, all of which is made in Japan. If ever I’m looking for a unique gift, this is my first stop. Plus, the people who own and run the store are so sweet, it’s always fun to pop in and say hi.

3. The Getty Center. After that, we’d head straight to the Getty Center and find a place in the garden to enjoy it. Having been born and raised in Los Angeles, I love getting the chance to feel like a tourist in my own city. Every time I go to the Getty Center, I can imagine what it would feel like to see it for the first time. My favorite thing to do is have lunch there, see one of their always changing photo exhibits and check out the panoramic view.

4. Creatures of Comfort. After a few hours at the museum, we would head to one of my favorite clothing stores in LA, Creatures of Comfort. I never have any trouble getting into trouble here! They have all of my favorite designers… Isabel Marant, Rachel Comey, No. 6, to name a few, and the best selection of shoes.

5. Largo at the Coronet. To top off our very busy day, we would end the night at Largo to see the always entertaining and oh-so-talented musician, Jon Brion, perform. Largo being at the top of the list for me. Alone on the stage, he is able to create the is a small theater in Hollywood that has really amazing shows, Jon Brion sound of a full band by looping all of the instruments onto one track. It’s just something you have to see to understand it! And he always has an amazing surprise guest come on stage with him. The first time I saw him, Fiona Apple performed a few songs with him! It was incredible.

6. The Roger Room. And just to add a cherry to our already perfect day, we would head next door to The Roger Room for a well earned nightcap! To quote my father, "heaven!"

**kate just launched a photography website. she has such an amazing eye- make sure to check it out here.

{photo of kate by Juan Iglesias shoes, getty, jon brion}


Who: Aviva Farber, Actress/Artist and Mom to St. Bernard Oscar
Where: NoHo and Hollywood
When: Saturday

1. Hike Fryman CanyonI've got to get my hit of nature in the city. This is a great hike because there is parking, shaded areas with lots of vegetation, multiple paths, scenic views, and it's dog friendly.  It's not unusual to run into really famous people who stop to pet your dog 

2. Fruit picking at Sky Meadow Farms. This pick your own fruit farm is so sweet. It's owned and run by an elderly couple who will talk your ear off if you have the time. It's the perfect place to take a loved one/best friend. Bring a camera! I like to pick a bucket of whatever is in season and then bake pies at home.  They make great gifts and if people are trying to eat healthy so does the left over fruit.

3. Lunch at Sweet Salt. This lil' sandwich shop is yummy. You may recognize the owner from "Top Chef". He's created a delicious menu with daily specials as well.  My man's favorite is the bacon- marshmallow- peanut butter- chocolate sandwich. There's almost always a vegan soup. Make sure to save room for dessert!  Seating is limited so be prepared to join other foodies at the community table.

4. Iliad Bookshop. I could spend hours and hours in this used bookstore. The staff can answer just about any question on literature you can come up with.  You can also sell/trade them your used books. It's the Amoeba Music of bookstores. They stay open late and are located right next to the Chandler bike path.

5. Cinespia. Movie screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This is such a unique experience for anyone new to Los Angeles. Pack a picnic, you can bring booze, and there's a Dj afterwards. This weekend is Hitchcock's Vertigo. The place can get packed so show up early and mingle. It's a cool way to meet new people. It's always a different crowd depending on the movie.

{photo of aviva by ken baumann, books, apple}


Who: Kerry Carney, Actor/Writer/Professional Matchmaker
Where: Eastside and Midcity
When: Saturday

1. Village Bakery. My ideal, sweetest day would start off where I live in beautiful Atwater Village on a sunny, Saturday morning.  My boyfriend Joel and I would get up and walk a few blocks to our favorite breakfast spot, Village Bakery.  It is never too crowded, and the vibe is warm and friendly.  We always order the same thing, The Atwater Special, there is never a need to try anything else. It is an amazing concoction of eggs, mashed potato and bacon served a fried cheese crisp thingy that is absolute heaven!! After that we would walk off breakfast with a stroll through the hood for an hour or so, probably cutting along the LA river, and ending up back home to shower and start the day.

2. Playclothes. Once refreshed, we would probably part ways for a bit so I could do some vintage shopping.  My favorite store is Playclothes in the Valley.  You can really get lost in there, and the staff doesn't care if you hang our for ten minutes or three hours.  The store is huge, and they have clothes, accessories and home goods, so it is easy to spend an hour or two looking for a find.  I happen to know the costume designers from Mad Men rely on this place as a go to favorite.  It is easy to see why.

3. Jetrag and Jessie's House. Although they are far apart, I can't hit Playclothes without also going to Jetrag.  I have the BEST luck here, and there vintage is so affordable.  I usually have to get creative and have their stuff altered, but I always walk out of there with something great.  I would take the scenic route, over Laurel Canyon to get there.  I have loved that drive since I first moved to LA.  I feel like a Bond Girl/Racecar driver every time I take it...even if I am in my little Hyundai:)After JetRag, I would probably swing by my friend Jessie's house (you may have heard of her).  She is just around the corner and I like to pop in when I can and have a cold beer on her delightful little porch and catch up on life.

4. The Gorbals. After that, home to change into whatever I bought that day (hopefully nothing needed to be hemmed) and spruce up for the evening.  Making sure my heels aren't too high, we would park near the Vermont Subway stop, meet some friends and take the subway into Downtown for dinner.  Our favorite spot of late is The Gorbels.  The food is delicious, the drinks are amazing, and it is located in this really cool, old hotel.  I DO NOT recommend the pig face.  Go with your instincts, nobody should eat faces.  It is not surprisingly good, it is, expectantly terrible.  Just a heads up for the adventurous. 

5. Bar 1642. We would head back towards home, stopping in at Bar1642 for a glass of wine and some good conversation.  This place is a little hole in the wall on the eastside that has delicious wine and microbrews, a great atmosphere, and is reasonably priced.  I had my birthday here this year, and it is quickly becoming our favorite neighborhood spot.

{photo of kerry by erin gibson, playclothes, my porch by me, the gorbals}


Who: Phil Donohue, Writer/Director/Iced Tea Aficionado & boyfriend of Miss Figueroa-Kulp
Where: Greater Los Angeles County
When: Thursday
1. Philippe’s. As a general disclaimer I feel that it would be a bit disingenuous of me to refer to my prospective day as my “Sweetest” for nothing I will be partaking in will be the least bit sweet. So, for the sake of accuracy, I would like to dub this My ‘Savory’ Day which will begin at the leisurely hour of noon. I will wake from my modest adobe here in lovely South Pasadena and take a brief ride on the Gold Line to Philippe The Original, the purveyor (and in my humble view originator) of the French Dip sandwich. Philippe’s embodies what Los Angeles once was and I what I like to pretend it still can be. My order in perpetuity is the hand carved Leg of Lamb with Blue Cheese, double dipped in Au Jus for maximum saturation, a side of Potato Salad, and two Iced Teas, which will be the first two of many to help sustain my life force throughout this most savory day. Since it’s Thursday I will be perusing the L.A. Weekly to mentally catalogue the possible festivities of the upcoming week.

2. South Pasadena Farmers Market. I can only enjoy a day as decadent as this one will prove to be because of my weekly pilgrimage to my local Farmers Market. Unlike any other Farmers Market that I am aware of, the South Pasadena incarnation does not end before I wake and stays open until roughly 8 pm. One Miss Figueroa-Kulp will join me in the picking of fresh produce that will hopefully cleanse my body with the only semblance of nutrition my insides have just recently begun to see. After this decidedly green act is complete I would like to sit out on the patio of Nicole’s to share a bottle of  Etienne Dupont Organic Cidre, a newfound favorite, while soaking in that famous So Cal sunshine through the particle polluted air.

3. The Sunken City. In my perpetual state of wanderlust, part of the joy I get out of my love/hate relationship with the city is attempting to uncover gems buried within the various municipalities in this sprawling clusterfuck known as Los Angeles. Lately I have been gravitating to the harbor towns of San Pedro and Long Beach and one of the standouts of all of my urban-exploratory endeavors has been the Sunken City. Although most popularly known as the backdrop where John Goodman spreads Donny’s ashes onto the face of The Dude in The Big Lebowski – for me, the Sunken City most encapsulates the beauty, and wrath, of nature combined with the thrill of trespassing. In its most literal form, the Sunken City is a stretch of the San Pedro coastline that inexplicably sank into the sea below. What is left are the jagged remnants of homes, road ways, and street car lines adorned with graffiti that concretize a more objectively accurate definition of “street art”. Although not particularly legal (you have to jump a small concrete wall at Point Fermin Park before sliding through a small hole made under a metal fence) nor particularly safe, I will be damned if there is a better place to enjoy the setting sun.

4. Joe Jost’s. The Dive Bars in Long Beach have an unsullied reputation for being actual, un-ironic dives. The only downside to this is many base their patronage on the likelihood of whether or not they will be stabbed – a thrill for some, a deal breaker for others. One establishment you have a pretty strong chance of not being stabbed is Joe Jost’s. Not unlike Philippe’s, this bar embodies a by gone era – a true blue-collar watering hole (sharing its namesake and building with a bait and tackle shop for Christ’s sake) is one of the oldest continually operating bars west of the Mississippi. The bar snacks also hearken to a nearly, and for some gladly, forgotten era; Pickled Eggs served with Hot Sport Peppers with a dash of pepper on a bed of pretzels or Joe’s Special – a Polish Sausage stuffed with a pickle spear topped with a slice of Swiss Cheese with Mustard on Rye Bread. These may not sound all that appetizing on paper but are hard to avoid while drinking down a slightly less than delicious Busch Draft.

5. Beachwood BBQ. I am mostly likely overextended at his point but I will not let that thwart my final act of decadence. Beachwood BBQ in neighboring Seal Beach has become an unlikely choice for my frequent visits as per its proximity to my home. Yet, unlike most restaurants, where I tend to return on the basis of re-experiencing my favorite dishes, the entire menu of Beachwood is so indulgently delectable I have hardly scratched the surface. With that being said artery clogging delights I have yet to try such as the Tater Tot Casserole; a dish served with Porcini dusted Taters cooked in Duck Fat and topped with Smoked Cheese Curds and Duck Gravy, would be the appropriate dénouement to this most savory day. After a dish like this it is unlikely I will be able to do much anything but be filled with regret and look forward to a much necessary detoxification regimen. 

{photo of phil by james zimmerman, sunglasses, camera, sunken city, philippe's}


WHO: Holley Fain, Actor/Constant Seeker or Low-key Environs
WHERE: The East Side
WHEN: Friday
1. Coffee at Intelligentsia. My boyfriend and I live in Eagle Rock, on the east side of LA. We love that we're pretty much equidistant between Silver Lake and Pasadena, but still get to enjoy the uniqueness and "rough around the edges"ness of Eagle Rock.  It's a nice mix. We are both actors and if the day is not filled with jobs or auditions, we like to take our time getting coffee (for the boy) and tea (for me) at Intelligentsia in Pasadena. Nicest/best dressed staff you'll ever meet! Their space on Colorado is gorgeous, so we'll grab a seat at one of the beautiful wooden tables and read, or set up shop by the huge windows towards the front and people-watch. They also serve delicious muffins from Cake Monkey- the banana wheat germ is my favorite (it's amazing, I swear!)

2. Bikram Yoga. In the afternoon, I'd head to a Bikram Yoga class. It's a brutal 90 minutes of heat and sweat and self-discipline but no other form of exercise has done for me what Bikram has. I go to the Bikram Yoga Silverlake studio in Atwater Village, where every single teacher is lovely and a joy to take class from. They all have such a warm, inviting, not-at-all-intimidating vibe there. I try and make Ashley's class whenever I can...I always leave feeling a little stronger than when I came in.

3. Read on the Porch. After yoga, I'd come home and sit in the rocking chair on our front porch and read for at least an hour. We're perched up on a hill, so late afternoon/early evening provides a peaceful time to take in the breathtaking, unobstructed view. It's such an interesting combination of nature and city life- mountains, highways, brightly colored houses nestled in hillsides. Our neighbors across the street are about the sweetest family you could imagine, so getting a wave or two from them is always a nice plus, too.

4. Dinner at Blair's. Dinner would be at Blair's in Silver Lake. My absolute favorite. My boyfriend and I go there for any occasion we can think of, from our 2 year anniversary to just a boring midweek evening in desperate need of a pick-me-up. The restaurant is cozy and candlelit, with a waitstaff that is consistently polite and attentive. I pretty much always order the truffle mac and cheese, the kale salad, and the salmon. Then if my boyfriend just happens to get the french fries with jalapeno ketchup well, then...of course I help him out. It's a large portion, you guys. I do it for love.

5. Drinks at The Black Boar. After dinner, we'd head back to Eagle Rock for drinks with friends at The Black Boar. This is our new favorite spot! It's got a really great lodgey feel to it- a fireplace, stone walls, wooden beams overhead.  It's a perfect place to have one too many beers and laugh late into the night with a big group of friends. 

{photo of holley by Jordan Matter, mugs, eagle rock}


WHO: Annie Eckhart, Receptionist/Aficionado of all things cozy
WHERE: The Eastside
WHEN: Sunday

1. Brunch at Local. Sunday is my sweetest day because it’s the only day of the week my man and I both have off. We usually sleep in and lounge in bed before getting up and heading over to one of my favorite brunch spots…Local. I like to meet friends there and drink cup after cup of their amazing coffee and sit in their cozy outdoor patio. They have the nicest staff who are super knowledgeable about the food they serve, which is of course all “local”. Whether I am feeling like a vegetarian or a carnivore this is a great spot to go.

2. Atwater Village Farmer's Market. After our yummy brunch we drive to my favorite farmer’s market in Atwater Village. It’s not too big, not too small and the vendors have a wonderful selection of produce, flowers, tamales, coffee, nuts, honey, etc, etc! We stock up on some fruit, veggies, beautiful flowers for the house and last but not least… greens (my hubby is quite the Vita mix guru and we juice all week long). I’ve lived in LA for over a year and a half and each week I am still pleasantly surprised about the amazing produce that grows here year round.

3. Huntington Botanical Gardens. After the farmer's market, we’ll head home and put the produce away while packing a quick snack basket and some Pellegrino. Then we are off to Pasadena and the Huntington Botanical Gardens. This place is over 200 acres and has more than 14,000 different varieties of plants. I love to walk along the paths until I need a rest and then I lay down a blanket on the lawn, read my book, snuggle with my guy and snack…

4. Dinner at Malo. After we’ve soaked up some sun- we head home to change clothes and then over to MALO to meet friends. We love their tacos and I enjoy a margarita or 2! They also have the yummiest chips and a chocolate salsa that arrives to the table warm, mmmm… enough said.

5. A Walk Around Silver Lake Reservoir. Once filled up on tacos, we are ready to go home and take a stroll (across the street) around the Silver Lake reservoir to walk off all of the day’s great food. The cool night air feels so good and the smell of the flowers is so pungent! After the walk, we get cozy on the couch and drink some Kukicha tea…I wish every day was a Sunday!

{photo of annie by charles eckhart, flowers, plants, malo sign}


Who: Kristina Gould Duncan, Creative Director for Barbie/Mother of newborn Arlo James
Where: The Westside
When: Saturday

1. Palisades Park. Because I work crazy work weeks, my favorite day is definitely SATURDAY. My husband and I live in Santa Monica and start the day with a nice long walk along Palisades Park overlooking the ocean. Both of us grew up in New England, so the novelty of walking along the Pacific in the early morning sun with a big cup of tea never seems to get old!

2. Santa Monica Farmer's Market. On Saturday mornings we change up our route to walk up Arizona Ave so we can peruse the Santa Monica Farmers Market. One of my favorite things to make is big salads with fresh veggies and herbs, so stocking up on local greens from the Coleman Farms’ stand is a must. It’s a great opportunity to strike up conversations with the vegetable vendors and learn new and interesting ways to prepare their veggies. We also love to buy local honey, dates, and olives here.

3. The Malibu Kitchen and the Beach. Once home and unpacked, we love to drive up the coast for a day outdoors in the sunshine. With a quick stop at the Malibu Country Mart to get a picnic lunch from The Malibu Kitchen (we both usually set out to get something healthy, but both walk out with the pulled pork sandwich – it’s just toooo good!), we head to our favorite beach, El Matador. It’s just north enough from the city that it’s rarely crowded, and it feels like a real escape. It has gorgeous rocks to look at and nice long stretches for walking

4. Dinner and a Movie. At night, I love love love to go to the movies. Not only do I try to support our favorite local Santa Monica theater, the Laemmle on Santa Monica and 2nd, they always have something interesting playing. It’s also one short block away from the Blue Plate Oysterette. A tall glass of white wine, a half dozen oysters, a lobster roll and a slice of key lime pie to split is our typical order!  It’s great to sit outside on the patio at sunset with a big cozy sweater and then walk over to the movies to top off a perfect day on the west side of LA.

{photo of kristy by catharine anderson, berries, figs, projector}


Who: Lauren Siebert, TV Talent Booker and Producer/Lover of all things pop culture and pop music
Where: Here and There
When: Sunday

1.  The Hollywood Hills. I wake up and take a drive up into the hollywood hills to see my favorite view of the city and my "future house" up in the Doheny Estates. I like to keep my eye on the prize.

2. Massage at Westfield Century City. I head to the Century City mall and get a 30 minute for $30 massage by Kevin, my favorite masseuse. Kevin and his masseuses are set up right below the movie theater. It is the greatest massage I have ever had, time and time again. It truly is life changing.

3. The Beach. After feeling relaxed, renewed and ready to take on the day,  a group of friends and I head up the PCH. We stop to pick up sandwiches, snacks and cocktails from The Country Kitchen and The Country Liquor Store and then off to the beach. There is a beach entrance by Carbon Canyon that looks private, but it is available to the public. It's a narrow path between two stunning beach houses. That particular beach is so clean and I usually only see a couple of other people there. I love the breath taking view of the coast line and the dream homes that line the beach.  There is something about the view, breeze and fresh air that makes me love being here and taking a break from my neighborhood of West Hollywood for the afternoon.

4. Dinner at The Reel Inn. After the sun starts to set we head back down the PCH and have dinner at The Reel Inn.  The Reel Inn is a great place for fresh seafood, pitchers of beer, and no one minds you walking in sandy from the beach. They have picnic tables large enough to fit our whole group.

5. Drinks at The Woods. After everyone gets ready for the night, we all meet at The Woods to finish off our sweet day. I love the dim lit atmosphere, wood trimmings and it happens to be right around the corner from my apartment. It is small, but not too small and I have such cherished memories from there. And what's better than creating lasting memories with amazing friends.

{dream house photo by lauren, beach umbrella


Who: Alisha Erin Blanchard, Photographer/Mother of Milla Luna
Where: The Westside
When: Friday

1. Bread and Porridge. My sweetest day starts earlier than I'd like but hey that's life with a 2 year old! I hear my daughter happily yell "good morning" at 7am & a pitter pattering of feet running in to cuddle with us. Since this is MY sweetest day & not just an ordinary one I let daddy make breakfast for the wee one while I luxuriate in the shower & wait for the babysitter to arrive...heaven!! At 8am when the the epic sitter arrives my husband & I head out to our fave breakfast spot in Santa Monica called Bread & Porridge & I order the most delsih latte on the westside & the super Florentine omelet. After slowly enjoying each bite & quiet uninterrupted conversation (never will take that for granted again!) with the hubby we head out for a hike.

2. Hike. I must say LA gets a terrible reputation for smog but when you're up in the hills the air is as fresh as any untouched part of the world (or at least it feels like it). Our favorite spot to hike, even up to my 9th month of pregnancy was Los Liones, It has an incredible view once you've made it to the top. We start slowly but the coffee kicks in so we make it midway quickly & stop to rest & take in the stunning 180 degree view of the pacific & our beloved city. There's a great bench to sit on & ponder the view. Then we take the trek to the top to burn off our breakfast.

3. Abbot Kinney. After the hike, we deserve a massage! We head over to Lamai Thai Massage on Abbot Kinney where the old Thai ladies walk all over you (literally), stretch and bend you like a pretzel all for $40 bucks! After leaving in a relaxed coma we walk over to Jin Patisserie for a snack & tea. I love the outside garden where you seem to be away from it all. We nosh on little snacks & decide to take home a truffle or two for later. The husband is reluctant when I go in to Principessa boutique for some much needed quick retail therapy. They have a great selection of the basics and an edited version of trendy items.

4. Nap on the Beach. Its time for a nap! I'm reading a great book but never get to read more than 5 or so pages so we decide to relax on the beach. How lucky are we?! We drive down to the Marina Del Rey where the beachfront along the alphabet streets offer the most serene environment for napping. We spread a blanket out & plop down just close enough to hear the lapping of the waves. Ahhhhh.

5. Piccolo. It's time to go home & shower and cuddle with my girl. After getting ready & hearing about Milla's adventures with the babysitter we're off again! Our last stop is Piccolo to meet our nearest & dearest and chat over lots of wine & yummy food! They serve up authentic Italian homemade pasta & dishes that foodies love. The best part is that its cozy & right on the beach. The night ends early and of course were in bed by 10....tomorrow starts early after all.

{photo of alisha by me, abbot kinney}



Who: Lauren Spencer King, Artist, Grad Student and Blogger
Where: The East Side
When: Monday

1. Flower Mart. Monday is the only day that I don't have class. So, it is nice to take the day and do things that make me happy, inspire me, and refuel my creativity. I start my day out early and head Downtown. I have recently discovered the LA Flower Mart. It can be a little overwhelming, but I love to just wonder around and see what there is to see. I love the abundance and kinds of flowers in all possible colors grouped together in buckets, row after row! I have made it a ritual the past couple of years to always have flowers next to my bed. I think of it as a small, kind gesture I can do for myself, something that makes me happy every time I see them. And those little things are so important. So, I pick out a little bunch that calls my name.

2. Natural History Museum. Next I head to the Natural History Museum, and make a bee line straight for the Hall of Gems and Minerals, where I will spend the next few hours. They have an amazing collection that includes minerals, rocks, gems, ores and meteorites from all over the world. My grandmother always had these huge chunks of amethyst in her Japanese Garden and my mother was a silversmith, so I grew up around these objects, they have very significant importance to me. And now I collect them and draw much inspiration from them for my own art. I make sure to spend time with the flawless crystal ball, and visit the gem collection in the vault. The sparkles, colors and shapes take my breath away!

3. Philosophical Research Society Library. Then I head to my secret spot, The Philosophical Research Society Library, shhhh - don't tell anyone {wink}. This is my dream library; they house some of the rarest books and manuscripts in the world. Lately I like to check out books on Alchemy, Magic and Divination, and Healing. You have to read all books in the library, so I settle in at their big oak table and spread my things out. I bring my notebook to jot down some quotes, and ideas. It is so quiet and peaceful; I love it and usually stay until they close.

4. Elf Cafe. My last stop is Elf Cafe in Silver Lake, my favorite local spot. I meet up with my boyfriend and close friends and share amazing food and tons of laughs! Elf so cozy, it's like you are in your best friends home. They use fresh ingredients for their vegetarian fair, and it is always delicious! My current favorites are the Roasted Flatbread Shawarma, Roasted Beet and Braised Fennel, and a Rosewater Lemonade. YUM!

5. Home. At the end of the day I love coming home, taking a bath, and making a cup of tea. Then I cuddle up with my sweet pup, Ava (who is always oh so excited to see me), and watch my favorite movie about this city, LA Story!

{photo of lauren by me, gem, flower photo via the paris apartment}


Who: Afton Figueroa-Kulp, Student Majoring in Psychology/Obsessive Lover of Vintage
Where: Here and There
When: Saturday

1. Brunch at Canelé. This cozy French-Mediterranean restaurant immediately radiates a communal vibe as soon as you walk through the door. With it’s perfect blend of rustic charm (exposed brick walls, wooden dining tables) and urban nonchalance (chalkboard menus, exposed kitchen), Canelé is exactly where I need to be in order to begin my sweetest day. My habitual brunch order is a two-parter, to start off, delicious house-made ginger ale and a decaf coffee (from LAMILL), French baguette toast and house-made strawberry jam. Now, for the pièce de résistance, I order my absolute favorite item off the brunch menu- the always cooked to over-medium perfection, egg in a hole. 

2. Creative Pursuit at MOCA. I absolutely love inspiration, whether it’s creative, moral, or epiphany producing, preferably all three at the same time, I love it; I’m an inspiration hoarder. On this specific day, I’d recommend the MOCA. The Museum of Contemporary Art at the Pacific Design Center is hosting “Rodarte: States of Matter” on March 4–June 5, 2011. The exhibit will feature garments, in a stationary and kinetic display, which Rodarte designers, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, have designed for fashion and/or film. Anticipation commences.

3. Lunch at Fiore Market Café. I am a South Pasadena native, born and raised, and to describe my happiness about Fiore’s opening, is, well, going to be verbal lack luster. South Pasadena is three and one half square miles and when something extraordinary opens, I want more than anything for it to become a place of permanence. In Fiore’s case I assume I’ll have no anxiety about its permanence because it is perfect. Fiore seems to want to emulate the familial vibe of a small town café in Italy. It airs towards gourmet fare that is as delectable as it is accessible.

4. A sunset walk to Buster’s coffee shop in the Mission District. After a food-filled morning and early afternoon, I usually like to take a walk (yes, even after the rigorous calisthenics of a museum stroll) around the small city of South Pasadena. I love sitting alone outside of Buster’s at sunset with a decaf Mexican Mocha, and the Weekly’s (L.A., Pasadena) in hand. It’s beautiful, sabroso, and informs my week all in one sitting.

5. Dinner and Drinks at The Open Door. Monterey Park is the epitome and epicenter of “tasty” Asian cuisine. Whether it’s amazing Chinese food at Tasty Garden, or ramen and dumplings at Daikokuya, Monterey Park is where the MSG-free food reigns. While Tasty Garden and Daikokuya’s cuisine are both authentic and delectable, The Open Door is my favorite in terms of food and aesthetic. I recommend enjoying a Hitachino Nest, Truffle-butter Edamame, and short ribs served with a savory sweet gravy and roasted potatoes. Also, due to the fact that it’s “open” till one a.m., this gives me the opportunity to ride out my perfect day into the next.

6. Karaoke at All Star Lanes in Eagle Rock. Last but definitely not least. I’m the kind of lady that likes to prolong a perfect day and night into the next day… and if It’s meant to be, most likely I’ll end up watching friends and my lovely significant other serenade me with Michael McDonald hits and misses, at this lovely bowling alley/karaoke bar. Now, that is what I call sweet.

{photos by phil donohue and me. microphone}



Who: Lilly McDowell-Walton, Actress/Owner of Nell's Compass Candles, and as of this week blogger
Where: Venice
When: Friday

1. Hike. I am a big fan of hiking but I am so fair and can't be in bright sun, so early morning hikes are my favorite. I drive up the coast 10 minutes to Paseo Miramar (off Sunset), continue up the road 1 mile until it dead ends.  The views are instantly spectacular; on a clear day you can see for miles and miles up and down the coast. It's a steady incline, and to the mesa outlook and back it takes about 1 1/2-2 hours. It definitely gets my heart pumping!

2. Gjelina. After a stop at home to shower, I head to Gjelina where every Friday at 1pm I meet up with a close group of friends (aka my Venice family) for a long lingering lunch.  My husband and I look forward to this all week! We kick off the weekend with good food, good friends and lots of laughs. I've been loving the kale salad and we usually split some pizzas (I love the blanco and mushroom w/ truffle oil).

3. Nell's Compass. After lunch I walk down the street to my office on Milwood Ave. I own a candle company called Nell's Compass, so my daily tasks include catching up on emails, shipping orders, contacting potential buyers, and as of this week-blogging

4. Hotel Erwin. Next I'll ride my bike over to Hotel Erwin where you get a 360 degree view of Venice on their rooftop bar. It is a great place to enjoy a bottle of wine and watch the sunset. It can get chilly up there but they provide heat lamps and blankets to keep you cozy.  I just discovered this place and I can't wait to go back.

5. Taco Truck. On my ride home I'd stop at my favorite old school taco truck La Oaxaqueña, on the Southwest corner of Rose and Lincoln. You can't beat a $6.00 dinner and their tacos always hit the spot.  After a long hike and a great day of eating and drinking with friends, it's time to take a bath and turn in. My day was as sweet as could be!

*** I am such a fan of Lilly's candles. People always comment on how amazing my house smells and it's all to do with Nell's Compass. Plus for every candle sold, they send $2 to Heifer International which is a phenomenal charity. Love that! Lilly just started the Nell's Compass blog this week and I couldn't be more excited.  She has the sweetest taste, so it's sure to be a favorite!

{photo of lilly by christine daley, paseo miramar photo}


Who: Persephone Bott, costumer for TV and Movies/U.K. to L.A. transplant
Where: Hollywood
When: Saturday

1. Working in Costume for TV and movies, if i get a Saturday off it is sacred to me! After sleeping in a little to let my body get over the shock of 6am call times, I would wander slowly in the sunshine of So Cal to Cafe Audrey on Las Palmas in Hollywood. This is a really cute little place inspired by everything Audrey Hepburn. Everything is black and white and they even have Audrey quotes on the ceiling! I am not much of a coffee drinker but would order a little brunch or one of their amazing soups. Just across the street is the hotel where Julia Roberts lived in Pretty Woman and seeing that hotel always makes me smile.

2. Next is Out of the Closet thrift store on Sunset Blvd. Although I shop a billion times a week for my job, there is something about this particular thrift store that i love. I have to go there regularly to see what bargains I can find. I came across this place because of work and some of my bargains include a Catherine Malandrino dress for $15, Spiewak Puffa jacket for $12 and a gorgeous little black Ralph Lauren dress for $4!!!! I am a slave to a bargain.

3. After all that shopping i need a bit of an outlet- I head to the Blackbird Dance Company on Sunset and Highland and hit my Zumba class! I have got into Zumba for fitness and i love it, It is a mixture of aerobic exercise and Latin dance and it is the best workout! There are so many places doing Zumba now and it makes me feel great. It also allows me to indulge at my final spot.....

4. Miceli's...The oldest Italian restaurant in Hollywood. This place is just a classic for great Italian food, i love the spaghetti and meatballs, so simple but so good! The ambiance is wonderful here, subtle lighting, good wine and live piano with your server known to belt out a tune too. Old school and nothing pretentious about this place which i love when all i want on a Saturday night is to enjoy a great bottle of wine with my man and think about how much i love LA and all it's offerings.

All these places are all within walking distance which I also find so valuable in a city where everyone is convinced they have to drive everywhere. I can even walk there in my heels....!
Good times in the land where dreams are made!

{photos by me, shopping bag}


Who: Teissia Treynet, wedding planner/founder of Firefly Events and lover of the great outdoors
Where: The Westside
When: Wednesday

1. I'd start out having brunch at Fig Tree's Cafe on Venice Beach. They have the best smoothies and the people watching is one of a kind.

2. I love renting beach cruisers from Daniel's Bikes in Marina Del Rey and biking to Hermosa Beach. I rent from Daniel's because he'll let you keep the bikes after he closes, as long as you lock them up when you return. Then you can stay out as long as you want- just make sure you're ok riding back in the dark. The ride is nine miles along the coast, with a great ocean view the whole way.

3. I like to stop right before I get to the pier in Hermosa Beach to lay in the sand and play a little volleyball. 

4. Then I would head to Hennessy's Tavern for dinner and cocktails. Hennessy's is my favorite bar on the pier because they have a roof deck perfect for sunset viewing.

5. I'd ride back to Marina Del Rey, change clothes and head over to Harvelle's in Santa Monica for some live music. My friend's band plays soul/funk/r&b every Wednesday night. The cover is $7 and worth every penny. The music is not completely my style, but it's always fun and gets me dancing.

what you'll find in my bike basket: 
  • sunscreen {which I never use} tisk tisk
  • water
  • watermelon lipsmackers {can't go anywhere without it}
  • beach towel
  • warm clothes for the ride home {it gets chilly after darK}
  • ID
  • cash/credit card
  • change of clothes for later 

{photos by me & Fisher Bike}


Hello there sweet things, I'm launching  a new weekly column  tomorrow called "My Sweetest Day" and I am awfully excited about it. Each week I'll feature one of my favorite people  and ask them what their "sweetest day" in Los Angeles would be like. Where would they go, what would they do? And just maybe they can give us all a little insider info into this incredibly amazing, vast city of ours. 
The first will be from wedding planner extraordinaire Teissia Treynet of Firefly Events. See you back here tomorrow!