Summer Days in Los Angeles

My birthday is smack dab in the middle of the summer and when I was a kid, I just hated the fact that all my friends were away on vacation when my big day came around. It made for a lot of family filled birthday events – I guess it helps that I have FOUR siblings.

Keeping with the family theme for birthdays this year, I planned a trip to visit my sister in L.A. Usually when I visit, I stay on the west side (UCLA area) and stay with her and my lovely nieces and nephew.  This time, I still spent lots of time with her, but S and I wanted to check out some stuff in other parts of L.A. We booked a gorgeous little airbnb in Silverlake – our hosts had two sweet pitbulls and a lovely patio area for us to hang out on. We spent a lot of time between Silverlake and hollywood.

Our trip was so fantastic – I want to share my favorites with you!

The best coffee in Silverlake was Dinosaur coffee by far – they had delicious almond milk lattes for S and I am an iced coffee or iced mocha girl and all were perfection. The pastries were also just to die for – the strawberry croissant just took me to a new level. I also loved my rice bowl from Sqirl – a hearty and filling breakfast at this hip brunch spot.

Of course no trip to LA is complete without a visit to Lucky Scent’s Scent Bar where I sampled lots of delicious perfumes and bought Kilian’s Imperial Tea which smells like sticking your nose into a big glass of iced tea (and it was my wedding day scent!) – perfect for a summer night.

There was record shopping at Amoeba Records and browsing for tchotchkes at Wacko/Soap Plant. My favorite dinner of the entire trip was the vegan mexican food at Gracias Madre. The patio was perfect and the food was unbelievably good (and with a hot queer chef to top that off!)

I also experienced the largest Forever 21 plus size section I’ve ever been in while at the Ontario Mills Mall – I highly recommend a trip if you’re anywhere in the area.

OH! Also I chopped off my hair! Fat girl pixie cut and silver toned 🙂

Gray hooded dress – 2x – Forever 21+
Necklace – Forever 21
Glasses – SEE eyewear
Bag – Rebecca Minkoff

White/Black shirt – 3x – Forever 21+
Black skinny jeans – 18 – Torrid
Silver sandals – Sam Edelman
Glasses – SEE eyewear
Bag – Rebecca Minkoff

Farmers Market and Striped Maxi Dress

I’ve been a vegetarian for several years now and one of my favorite things about spring is that the farmers markets finally start up again in Chicago and I have access to loads of gorgeous fresh fruit and veg. My favorite market is in Logan Square on sunday mornings.  I usually meet up with a friend or two for coffee at one of the many coffee shops in the area and then head over to buy delicious foods. 

This week I bought a new squash plant and some lettuce and spinach. My lovely pal M bought a giant loaf of sourdough that I wish I had also purchased because I’ve been thinking about it ALL week. That is on my list for this weekend for sure.

I decided to wear this lovely sheer striped maxi from eShakti over some shorts and a cami with my birkenstocks.  It was a perfect choice for the windy but warm weather – I love nothing more than a breeze blowing my maxi dress around me. I feel like I’m conjuring up something fun – hah! 

Sheer Striped Maxi – eShakti – Sz 20
High-Rise shorts – City Chic – Sz 18
Cami – St. Eve – Sz 1X
Braided Belt from Nordstrom
Gold Moon earrings – limited edition top shop
Black Diamond Necklace “Sylvie” – Dana Rebecca
Backpack – gift
Strappy Birkenstocks via zappos, Sz 41
Glasses – SEE Eyewear

Plus Size beach and resort wear – aka My Honeymoon in Tulum and Akumal Mexico

I haven’t really ever been on a beach vacation, so some plus size swim and resort wear was necessary for me this trip.  My first stop was swimsuitsforall for a new suit. I picked out the mega-patterned Junglebook underwire.  The pattern reminded me a little bit of a Mara Hoffman pattern and I just salivated for such a cute suit in plus sizes. I paired it with a dip-hem lace coverup that I purchased from city chic over christmas and of course a big floppy hat to keep my skin from burning.

Of course I also needed some pretty clothes to walk around town. Tulum has beach on one side and jungle on the other.  The jungle side has lots of mosquitos, so I was glad I brought a pair of jeans with me. I paired my skinny jeans from Target with a loose tank and floral chiffon top from Forever 21.  As with all my outfits for the most part – I had to wear some beachy shoes.  These lovely birkenstocks were absolutely perfect for all our adventures.

My other favorite find was an amazing patterned coverup from Asos Curve. I absolutely adore the colors and it worked great over my bathing suit but also as a piece to wear into town over my black shorts and black cami

It was such an amazing trip. We stayed at Vista del Mar in Akumal – a sleepy little town with some great restaurants including La Buena Vida and Turtle Bay cafe. We also enjoyed some of the best massages of our lives at the Budah Day Spa off the main drag. Akumal is great to just rent a bike in and get around. We took our bikes to the beautiful lagoon Ya-kul to look at turtles and fish in the breathtaking surroundings (the area is filled with beautiful bronze sculptures). After a few days there, we drove down to Tulum – and stayed in the gorgeous Coqui Coqui hotel and parfumerie. We chose the Eucalyptus/Cedar scent for our room – it was a perfect choice. The hotel had great beach seating and a beautiful boutique and restaurant. It was also across the street from the famous restaurant Hartwood, which we enjoyed on our last night (and we bumped into Maggie gyllenhaal while we were there). One of our favorite excursions was to Coba to see the huge ruins – but we also just enjoyed the drive there which was through several really cool little towns. It was a beautiful place. The town of Tulum was vibrant and filled with lots of “off the beaten path” sort of folks (I kept calling it “Burningman beach”).  Of course we came home to cold Chicago, but we are filled with sun and happiness and cannot wait to return.