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Fall in Los Angeles: Fashion, Food and Fun!

Despite the current heat wave in LA, fall is here! In between the ninety-plus days, there are moments of a cool breeze, colorful leaves and other reminders to embrace fall. Fall is one of my favorite seasons—not only does my birthday fall in the autumn months, but this is also the time to break out cozy sweaters, comfort food recipes and pumpkin everything! In honor of fall finally being here (hooray!), I’m sharing my fall fashion, food and fun!

Fall Fashion:
I will admit that I’ve been on a bit of a shopping hiatus recently as my fiancé and I are saving for our wedding, but I did make one recent splurge. When I think fall fashion, I picture cozy sweaters, tights and boots and plaid…lots of plaid. I’ve been on a hunt for a comfortable, plaid button-up shirt, that doesn’t look too western, but still rustic…and I found it! The “Flannel Ex Boyfriend Shirt in Bainbridge Plaid” from Madewell pairs perfectly with jeans and boots for a casual style, and tucks into skirts for a more polished look. I’m so pleased with my purchase, and know that I will be wearing this piece into the forthcoming cooler months!
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Fall Food:
As soon as summer comes to an end, I start thinking about the fall recipes I’ve put away for hibernation. As I leaf through my fall favorites, I begin salivating over fall flavors—apple, cranberry, cinnamon, sage, pumpkin (lots of pumpkin!) and butternut squash. Pasta is a “special occasion” dinner in our household these days (hello wedding diet!), so this week, I deemed Monday a special occasion so I could have an excuse for Spaghetti with Creamy Butternut Leek Parmesan Sauce. My fiancé and I gobbled this dish right up (not before putting some aside for the next day’s lunch!) and gushed about the creamy deliciousness that filled our bellies!

Oct25_image4Fall Fun!
There is much fun to be had during the autumn months…haunted houses, hayrides, pumpkin carving, apple picking, just to name a few! Last year, I ventured to Oak Glen, CA for a day of apple picking, and had such a blast that I wanted to do it again this year! Unfortunately, apple season ended earlier that I expected, but after a bit of research I learned that in addition to apples, you can also pick fruits, berries and pumpkins!

With a great deal of excitement my fiancé and I, and two dear friends headed up to Oak Glen for a handpicked day of fun! As we drove the 5-mile loop of Oak Glen, we were surrounded by rolling hills, open fields and orchards—for the day we felt transported out of LA and into the countryside! We picked pumpkins, pressed our own apple cider, and enjoyed tasty treats (apple cider mini donuts!) as we journeyed from farm to farm! Our day felt full with fall! As we drove home, reminiscing on the enjoyment had, we all agreed that we’d back in the Springtime for a berry-picking!

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What are you doing to celebrate fall? Please share your fall favorites with us!

LA: Summer Style

With mid-summer finally here, I am enjoying maximizing the sunshine and warm outdoor weather of Los Angeles. Although many would argue that LA has great weather all year round, there is something extra special about summer! Maybe it’s the emotional weightlessness of the season or the special events that travel to the City of Angels, but there sure is something special about summertime in LA!

There is so much to do in LA, especially during the summer months, and it isn’t hard to make a summer day special. Whether you’re enjoying an afternoon of volleyball at the beach, strolling through fashion-inspiring shops, or marveling at architecture and art on Museum Row, it’s easy to discover something new and exciting to do in this dynamic city. Here are three of my favorite activities for summer in Los Angeles.

(1) There is no shortage of hikes in LA. From the backyards of Hollywood to the mountains in Malibu, there are trails of all lengths and intensity throughout the city. Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to experience quite a few of the notable and undiscovered paths, and I look forward to exploring more! One of my favorites is the Hollywood Sign Hike in Griffith Park. It’s a rigorous climb to the top, but once you’ve made it, the views of the city and valley are breathtaking. Although you can’t touch the sign, you get pretty close to this famous landmark!

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(2) Outdoor concerts are quintessentially summer to me. While there are many outdoor arenas in LA, the Hollywood Bowl is iconic. I’ve been lucky enough to see some of my favorites in this landmark venue—Mumford and Sons, Florence and the Machine and Ed Sheeran this summer, and each time I’m excited to be a part of this celebrated experience! There is an indescribable energy in at the Hollywood Bowl—visiting the Bowl is an experience it and of itself and visitors are in joyful spirits. Bring a picnic, sit back and enjoy the music under the stars!

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(3) Cinespia is a little under the radar, but one of my summer musts. Cinespia sponsors outdoor movies in the legendary Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Once you get past the idea of sitting in a graveyard (embrace the ambiance!), lay out your blanket and get ready for a fun evening! I suggest going with a group of friends—plan a potluck style picnic and enjoy! You’ll have plenty of time to nosh of your favorite eats, socialize with friends and experience the atmosphere before the flick stats! Tip: it can get chilly at night, so I suggest bringing cozy socks and layers to stay comfortable.

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Los Angeles is one of the world’s most exciting cities. Each neighborhood and city pocket offers something special. This summer I’ve spent much time embracing the excitement of Hollywood, and I certainly will remember it all! Even though I’ve been in LA for over 10 years, I still feel the thrill of exploring new adventures!

Embracing Fall: Apple Picking in Los Angeles

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. The changing colors of the leaves. Spiced apple cider. Scarves and boots. Pumpkin pie. Fall marks the end of hot summer days and sets the stage for the winter wonderland ahead.

Being a Northern California native, I have many memories of experiencing the changing of the seasons as a child through my young adult years. Although I love the amazing Los Angeles weather much of the year, I do miss the crisp essence of Fall in the air. In an effort to make it feel like Fall in LA to me, I’ve been bringing as much Fall as I can into my life. I’ve been wearing jeans and boots (with short sleeve shirts, of course), making pumpkin pasta, and hitting the local pumpkin patch for pumpkins and gourds. This past weekend, one of my best friends from high school, Whitney, came to celebrate my 31st birthday in LA. In preparation for her visit, we racked our brains for the perfect Fall activity. And then it hit us: Apple Picking!

Instantly our Google searching began. To our surprise, there are actually several apple orchards and fruit farms under two hours away from LA in Oak Glen, CA. As we began to plan our u-pick itinerary, we also started channeling the recent fashions of J. Crew, Ralph Lauren and L.L. Bean for the perfect outfit.

Whitney arrived in LA on Saturday and by Sunday, Whitney, my boyfriend and I were bursting with excitement for apple picking. The drive to Oak Glen was picturesque with rolling hills and open land. When we arrived in the heart of “Apple Country” we drove the windy road passing many orchards with an abundance of apple trees in full bloom.We stepped out of the car at Willowbrook Apple Farm into the fresh, crisp air, and felt as if we had been transported to the East Coast.

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Willowbrook Apple Farm is a family run farm that is loaded with charm – trees filled with apples, u-press cider mills, a barn filled with apple treats, and other seasonal delights. We were quickly oriented with the apple picking process at the farm, and off we went! Using a claw device attached to a long pole, we filled our bags with apples as we explored the orchards.

Nov5_image3We made sure to stop picking from time to time to savor the scenery around us and enjoy the chill of the air. We walked through the orchard to say “hello” to the pot belly pig and miniature horse in the farm. We also captured the many special moments with Instagram and Facebook pictures.

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When our bags were filled, we headed over to the u-press apple cider mill. We took turns loading apples into the mill and pressing out the juice. The result was a gallon of fresh apple cider.

Nov5_image7That evening we warmed the apple cider with a stick of cinnamon and a dash of Bourbon and recalled the adventures of the day. It was the perfect LA daytrip to embrace the Fall season. And now that I have a bag of apples on my kitchen counter, I think I see an apple pie or apple crisp in the week ahead!

Thank you Willowbrook Apple Farm for giving us a taste of Fall.

Nov5_image8What are your favorite Fall activities, apple picking tips, or apple recipes? Please share them with us!