Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weekend Getaways

The phenomenal Santa Barbara coastline

The view from an oceanfront room at Surf & Sand Hotel Laguna Beach

A great day on the slopes in Mammoth

While I truly adore Los Angeles there’s something wonderful about getting in the car on a Friday (preferably before there’s too much traffic) and heading out of town. Here are a few of my favorite escapes. While I am sure these will not be new vacation spots for you hopefully you will discover new hotels to enjoy them from. More to follow soon…

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara may be the perfect place on the planet. It’s just the right size – small enough to have a “small town” feel and large enough to have a Nordstrom. It defines charming. Santa Barbara is one of the few towns that look gorgeous from every angle. From having seafood on one of the piers to watching an outdoor concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl to visiting the Montecito Farmer’s Market you just have to smile when visiting.

Four Seasons Biltmore
A classic, gorgeous hotel in a perfect location. An added new perk - guests have access to the private beach club just across the road at Butterfly Beach.

San Ysidro Ranch
Charming in a rustic and intimate setting. This is a great place to sneak away to if you truly seek privacy. The fireplace cottages and suites are wonderful.

Santa Barbara Inn

This recently remodeled hotel is in a great location. The staff are helpful and friendly. Make sure to ask for a room with an ocean view.

Laguna Beach

Laguna is another quaint beachside town. I see a theme here. Yes – I adore water. Laguna has a true Southern California relaxed ambiance. There are wonderful cafes and countless shops selling original art. In summer The Sawdust Festival and Pageant of the Masters are quite popular.

Surf & Sand Hotel –
Casual and elegant – right on the sand. You will hear waves crashing from your room. I wish I could move in.

The Montage

If you are looking for a larger hotel The Montage is hard to beat. The view at Sunset is wonderful and the outdoor restaurant is terrific. You will need to drive to explore Laguna though.

Inn at Laguna Beach

The hotel is at the beach and within walking distance of great shops and cafes. The rooms are more than fine and the rates are reasonable for the area.


While Mammoth is further the ride is definitely worth it. If you are like me you think snow is gorgeous but are ready for the warmth of L.A. after two days in it. Mammoth is the perfect place to escape to as the “village” (as the town is referred to) receives snow almost every time it rains in L.A. There’s something magical about a town blanketed in fresh, white snow. Of course the skiing is great but next time you visit try my favorite winter sport - snow shoeing. It’s fantastic exercise and lots of fun. By the way – I have never been to Mammoth in summer but I hear it’s fantastic.

Mammoth Mountain Inn

A popular hotel at the base of the main mountain. You can stay here and never get in your car all weekend.

The Westin Resort Mammoth

The newest of the hotels in Mammoth. The Westin is a full service hotel and good for children.

Cinnamon Bear Inn

A quaint Inn that serves gourmet breakfast and wine and cheese every afternoon in front of a crackling fire. Each room is different – some are tiny so ask when booking.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Easy Being Green

During the fifteen years I have been planning weddings and parties I have seen many changes but the biggest change in recent years is GREEN weddings and events.

Green weddings and parties are becoming more popular with each passing month. In general people care more about the environment and are trying to make a difference. Most of my clients are simply concerned with paying more attention to the impact their choices will leave and making small changes. Other clients strive for 100% green events.

A few simple ways to make your wedding or event greener -

Choose Green Invitations.
I work with a wonderful new boutique invitation company - Copper Willow in Culver City www.copperwillow.com. Their custom letterpressed invitations and hand selected paper is gorgeous and eco friendly and their ink is vegetable oil based.

Purchase a "Green" Wedding Gown.
Hanna Hartnell in Sata Monica - www.hannahartnell.com designs all of her gowns at her lovely boutique. The gowns are made with 100% sustainable materials. Many styles are reversible and can be shortened and worn again. She donates her scraps to children's art centers and design schools. The actual building is certified green as well.

Select Your Menu Carefully.
Choose a menu based on local, sustainable food that's in season. An added bonus is that it's typically fresher, better tasting and healthier. .

Serve Organic Wine.
Wallys - www.wallyswine.com - offers many types of organic wine. They will deliver to your event and even take back unopened bottles.

Don't Waste Paper.
Give your guests linen cocktail napkins instead of paper. They feel so much better than paper and you will be reminded of your special evening every time you use them. Instead of paper seating cards choose a natural alternative such as hand painted river rocks or sand dollars.

Donate Your Flowers and Your Food.
Don't throw your gorgeous flowers away. You can make people very happy by donating them to a home for the aging or hospital. Let your florist know in advance that you will be donating your flowers.
The Los Angeles Regional Foodbank - www.lafoodbank.org - has an amazing program called "Extra Helpings". They pair donors with deserving charities and will often come pick up your food if you arrange it in advance.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Vera Wang Trunk Show

Vera Wang recently opened a gorgeous boutique on Melrose Avenue. They are having a wonderful trunk show of their 2011 collection - August 12 - 14. You can now now to schedule an appointment.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Oh My Darling

Clementine in West L.A. (just West of Century City) is the kind of place you discover on vacation and wish you had in your own neighborhood. It's charming and warm and has a bit of a rustic country feel. The food is comforting and fresh and everything is delicious. From their ginger-limeade to the deviled eggs, homemade soup and creative salads to their meatloaf and grilled cheese sandwiches - you really can't go wrong. Their sandwiches and salads are also great for The Bowl or a day at the beach. As you can see in the photo - the baked goods are impressive as well.