Category Archives: LA Love

L.A. Hidden Gem: Copenhagen Pastry

Copenhagen-Pastry

 ShuGar Fix Mondays is a weekly inspiration series because Mondays deserve an extra dose of pretty. For more ShuGar Fix Mondays, click here!

Happy Monday to all! Hope you had a restful weekend. I wish I could say we did, but Mister Camden has decided to wake up every hour at night. I need a new word for tired.

I’ve got a special “treat” for you today. Literally. Back in the day when Mr. ShuGar and I had more free time, we used to enjoy exploring L.A.’s hidden gems. L.A. is full of special places to discover. Emma Powers from RelayRides contacted me about wanting me to write a post about one of L.A.’s hidden gems. Perfect! My post will be linked on Pinterest, where she is collecting hidden gems from all around the country. I love writing about how much I heart my city, so I agreed. Emma works for RelayRides, which is a company that operates similarly to AirBnB, but for cars. Basically, if you want to rent a car in a city, you can “share” someone’s car and you’re good to go! Pretty neat, dontcha think?

So, what’s the hidden gem I chose? It’s delicious!

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A Week in the Life: Week 8

 Spread-Love

A Week in the Life is a photo inspiration series to document every day moments in my ShuGar life.

Hello, sweet loves! TFIF! Thank you for sharing all your comment love for our baby bump photo session. I can’t stop staring at those amazing photos and gushing over them. Oh, and how rad to hear your thoughts about surviving a broken heart. It helps to know love can come into your life once again.

The following photos were taken when anything inspired me. They demonstrate beauty in urban life.

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A Week in the Life: Week 4

Window-Fun

A Week in the Life is a photo inspiration series to document every day moments in my ShuGar life.

Happy Friday, friends! This week was filled to the brim with activities. I’m happy the weekend is finally here, although we have a bunch of activities to do as well. Most importantly, we are taking our very first baby class. Woohoo! I can’t wait to get schooled on all things baby. I am ready. I find that the more I read or learn about baby, the less I feel stressed. It’s the unknown that scares me. I’ll share more for next week’s Mommy’s Corner.

Let’s do some pictures, shall we?

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Some LA Fall Things

 

It ain’t no secret that Los Angeles isn’t really known for its change of seasons. Mr. ShuGar says this is the one thing that he misses from growing up in Michigan. Nonetheless, there are some LA fall things which I cherish, even though they may pale in comparison to the rest of the country’s beautiful changes of color.

 

  • The Ocean Air Smells Different – I live a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean and it has its distinct smell every season. For Fall, it’s crisper and stronger, especially in the morning. The marina fog stays longer these mornings and you can actually “see” the fall ocean air. When you leave for work, it hugs you.

 

  • LA Fall Fashion – I know it may not be colder for most, but for me I can certainly feel it. This calls for me to bring out my cute scarves and hats. They don’t keep you too warm because, after all, it’s not that chilly. Yet, you see LA fashionistas bust out with their version of Fall fashion and it’s fun to see. Scarves and hats are the perfect accessories to welcome this LA season.

 

  • Night Walks – The average Fall night looks so beautiful and serene. We take occasional walks late night to enjoy the quiet of the city. There’s a deeper darkness in the sky. It’s mesmerizing.

 

  • Movie Nights – It’s as if the weather tells all of us to go see movies. This time of year Mr. ShuGar and I make a point of going to the movie theater and seeing the latest flick. It’s no coincidence that the Oscar-worthy films are out at this time. It’s so much fun to begin to see the contenders. Angelenos take their movies very seriously, at least in the theaters we go to. People clap, laugh, recite lines…it’s quite the movie-going experience! I jump at the chance of seeing The Shining in any public venue!

 

  • Blue Blanket Time – Mr. ShuGar and I unwind every day by watching some TV in the evenings. I’m sure everyone has a similar routine. Something I love to do in the Fall is cuddle up next to him with my fuzzy blue blanket while enjoying trashy TV. We only unveil this blanket when Fall comes and I love how it feels against my skin, so soft & cozy.

 

  • Halloween Neighborhood Fun – I am so impressed with my neighborhood’s Halloween spirit. Mr. ShuGar and I drove around last weekend and stumbled upon some rad Halloween decorations. Check out my instagram to see what we saw. It was scary good! I love seeing people really take Halloween seriously. We always get a bunch of cute trick-or-treaters and it’s one of my favorite days of the year.

What do you love about Fall in your city? How does it make you feel?

I send everyone a warm, Fall hug!

Photo credit: Sweater Weather

Pasadena Day: The Norton Simon Musuem

Even though I haven’t lived in Pasadena for years, I still consider myself an East side gal.  Pasadena has the perfect combo of small town feel with still tons to do and only minutes away from central L.A.  For those of you not familiar with the L.A. area, Pasadena is about twenty minutes east (without traffic) from downtown L.A.  They’ve filmed many movies in the city, so you’ve probably seen in without even knowing it!

When our two-year anniversary was coming up, Mr. ShuGar and I both decided we would do a stay-cation. It didn’t take us long to decide we would have a Pasadena Day to celebrate our two years of marriage.

To start off our Pasadena excursion, we decided to explore the Norton Simon Museum.  I used to frequent it often when I lived nearby, but Mr. ShuGar had never been.  It was an easy choice!

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Some Things: LA summer weekend

One of my blog crushes is Lovely Indeed, a sweet blog about life and lovely things. I love her feature about lists and thought it would be kinda fun to do something inspired by my own top things.

Since the weekend is upon us (yay!), I’d like to share some rad things happening in LA that you can check out.  If you don’t live in LA, even more reason to visit one day! I love my city mainly because there is so much diversity. For more on my LA adoration, read here.

So, here goes…some of my picks for a fun LA weekend are….

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I heart LA: Wilshire Boulevard

Wilshire

There are not many streets in LA that cut through the city from east to west with so much diversity as that of Wilshire Boulevard. Starting from Grand Avenue in Downtown LA to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, Wilshire Boulevard is eclectic, gentrified, bustling, a bit dodgy at times and one of the many reasons why I heart my city. Where else can a street have all of this and end mere blocks from the beach?

I stumbled upon this rad infographic on Pinterest. I am currently obsessing over infographics as they really do a great job of communicating raw data in a digestable format. This Wilshire Blvd. infographic is taken from the website: good.is and is filled with all sorts of other informative goodies.

When people outside of LA think of LA, they certainly don’t conjure up images of Wilshire. Instead, tourists believe Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards exemplify LA. I beg to differ with the tourist masses; Wilshire Boulevard is LA. If you take a closer look at the infographic you can see why.

Allow me to share my love for Wilshire Boulevard.

Before I do so, I’d like to provide a disclaimer. I am well aware that Wilshire is heavily congested and is a pain in the neck at times. I experience that every day since I take it as part of my commute. However, there’s so much more to this street than traffic jams and bumpers almost kissing other bumpers.

Let’s start driving in Downtown LA

My first job out of college was in the heart of downtown right off of Wilshire and Figueroa. Before that job, I thought downtown was dead all the time – a place where the homeless walk around and harass pedestrians. This is so not the case, especially during the day! There is so much great, bustling energy when you work downtown – lunch is a big thing in this area. I loved spending my lunch time break outside the Central Library. So gorgeous!

Next Stop: Koreatown

As fate would hate it, another job that brought me to the streets of this uniquely special part of Wilshire. The only thing I ever knew about Koreatown growing up in LA was the LA riots. Boy, was I wrong! This is by far one of my fav places for food – so much yummy variety of authentic ethnic cuisine.

The Korean food is divine and there are so many cute boutique shops! I actually bought my wedding dress (for really cheap) blocks away from Wilshire. I’d like to highlight one of my ultimate favorite Korean food eateries: BCD Tofu House.  Every time I go, I order the Soon Tofu seafood soup – a (scalding) hot bowl of goodness made with chunks of tofu and fresh seafood, served with rice, lots of Korean spices and other delicious side dishes. On a cold LA day, there is nothing like a bowl of Soon Du Bu!

Park & Explore the Miracle Mile

Love, love, love this area! It’s the artist in me that wishes I lived here. Museum Row is where I want to spend all my day– so much art in this one block. As a kid, I used to visit all the time because my parents took us to La Brea Tar Pits. Boy, did I love seeing the fossils of the dinosaurs and trying to pull that metal pole from real tar – so hard! I bet many people don’t know that LA has tar beneath it.

But, by far, my favorite thing to do in the Miracle Mile is explore LACMA. Mr. ShuGar and I have spent so many weekends going to film screenings, like seeing Jackie Brown and having Mr. Quentin Tarantino himself and the members of the cast show up at the end for Q & A! Surreal! LACMA always has the coolest exhibits from the most talented artists, such as Tim Burton’s Halloween exhibit or the current Stanley Kubrick exhibit (read my Kubrick post here). As I said before, LA is art and The Miracle Mile is proof.

Cafes, Restaurants & Shops…Take a right or a left!

You really don’t have to venture too far from Wilshire Boulevard to find things to do – it’s the center of many tasty treats & fashion finds. Although it doesn’t directly hit Wilshire Boulevard, Sawtelle Boulevard is not too far away and its mini-Japantown is worth the drive. It’s a small version of downtown’s Little Tokyo but the quality of restaurants is just the same. Some of my favs include: Chabuya (ramen…yummm), Seoul Sausage & Beard Papa’s cream puffs.  Pure decadence in a one mile radius! (Thank you to my friend Angela for introducing me to this area!)

Last Stop: West LA & Santa Monica

There is nothing more quintessential LA than this final stop off of Wilshire. As luck would have it, I am now working in West LA off of Wilshire Boulevard because I just seem to gravitate towards Wilshire jobs.

The movies always capture this part of LA and you can see why. It’s so trendy and has the beauty of the Southern California beaches within walking distance of great restaurants and shops. One place that I still like to go to even though it can be crowded is Literati Café. It’s a great place to just chill, enjoy a cup of coffee and work on your laptop. What I especially like is that the place is filled with both students and artists – a perfect combo to inspire you to hang out there and people watch.

I am proud to live in a city that has a street like Wilshire – it may not always be picturesque, but it is infused with LA character. The eclectic, urban landscape of Wilshire is one of the many reasons why I heart LA.

My LA LA land

Image

To go to the beach, take either the 10 westbound or 405 north or south, exit and go west. To visit Disneyland, take the 5 or 405 south. How do you get to downtown L.A.? Easy! Take any of the following freeways: 10, 110,or 101. If you’re in the mood for mountain views, take the 210, 405 or 10. If you’re lucky, you might even see snow. Of course, there’s always Hollywood and numerous ways to get there – 101, 10, Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard, Highland Avenue etc.  In my city of Angels, there’s a little bit of everything. LA is crowded, eclectic, congested, diverse and, most importantly, it’s my home.

Recently, I’ve had to explain my love affair with LA LA land. After all, “There’s so much traffic there! How could you live in such a city where parking is a rare commodity?” I have 5 reasons why I heart LA.

(1) As mentioned above, there’s so much variety in the L.A. area. We have beaches, mountains, skyscrapers, wine country, suburbia and the capital of the entertainment industry. Hop on a freeway and you can get to any of these places fairly quickly; traffic permitting, of course.

(2) Contrary to popular belief, LA is not for tourists. We don’t have the greatest public transportation and there really is not much to do on Hollywood Blvd. To get around, you definitely need a car and a GPS. Even then, the best places are hidden – only accessible to those that live in the city and know where to find them. A street like Franklin Avenue or Abbot Kinney can have the cutest boutiques, the tastiest cafes and restaurants and not a tourist in sight. These places are for our eyes only. You have to work to find the hidden gems in LA, but when you find them you are rewarded.

(3) Purple, red, blonde, black, brunette, pink – spend a day driving around LA and you will probably see people with all the aforementioned hair colors. In my city, we have people of all different colors, shapes and sizes. The diversity is endless and we appreciate it. We have festivals to honor different cultures and restaurants serving food from all corners of the world. Do you want to know how food from the Himalayas tastes like? Try the Tibet Nepal House. Oh, and the Mexican food, to die for! My absolute favorite is La Barca.

(4) LACMA, The Norton Simon, The Hammer, The Fowler, Annenberg Space for Photography, Natural History Museum, Huntington Library – and these are just museums I can think of off the top of my head. There are tons more. We are a city that appreciates & adores art. We flock to movie screenings of movies from another time, like Sunset Boulevard,  or cult films like Mulholland Drive. We have Sing-A-Longs and fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl. Art is LA.

(5) LA welcomed my family – a family who immigrated from Mexico and created a new home in a foreign land. My parents learned English in LA. They built their professional careers in LA. They were able to buy a house in LA (which is not an easy thing to do!). We are a city filled with people from all over the country and world. We are all different, but yet the same. Our city embraced us.

LA LA land is an urban jungle with a cacophony of sounds that harmoniously work together in the most congruous way. There’s no other place on this planet I’d rather be.

(Photo credit – Ashley Rose Photography)