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Cali Day 2: PCH

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Thursday, day 2, was another spectacular day with LOTS of shopping. We started out the day pretty strong with some Ramen. Not the broke college kid ramen but like REAL ramen.

IMG_7967 Ramen Yamada in Culver City is serving this awesome, REAL, ramen with hand-stretched noodles! I got the Tonkotsu Spicy. They spice it with fresh chili paste so the entire bowl turns bright red. They’re actually so proud of what they do that they actually post it only wall… look.

IMG_37870CD29CA0-1I subbed chicken for pork as my meat, just because I’m not a huge fan. It was still so amazing. Chop sticks are the standard utensil and fresh garlic is the standard seasoning. The garlic makes it like 20x better so if you stop by don’t turn it down. It’s so  authentic and fresh ingredients only intensify the authenticity – 10/10 would HIGHLY recommend to a anyone I know.

A244A4EA-970D-4915-A370-B34B4E955209This post is gonna have EXTRA pictures because this was probably the most beautiful side of planet Earth I’ve seen in my brief 19 years. We got Rita’s as a dessert then hit the road, or should I say the PCH. My uncle had the rockin idea to visit Malibu ((because like who says no to that ??)) so we hopped on the PCH {Pacific Coast Highway} and made our way there.

IMG_6421One thing I must say is that evolution has disadvantaged the view of North Carolinians. Driving along the roads of California, whether it be the highway or the PCH, there is so much COLOR. It’s everywhere, it’s almost contagious, semi-inspiring even. I mean oranges and purples EVERYWHERE, flourishing in the dry desert soil, complimented by the flood of color the ocean brings to this celestial canvas. It’s nature’s masterpiece ((no filter)).

IMG_6175Before you think I am just being melodramatic: Yes, i am fully aware the tropics exist; No, I will not stop talking about it because it’s amazing to ME. Literally I felt like I was in nirvana.

IMG_6418On my left all can I see is an ocean that goes on for hundreds of thousands of miles and an army of yachts elegantly floating in the marina. On my right are palm trees atop rocky hills with little flowered splashes of color. Straight ahead, some miles up the road, are hills filled with houses from Architect’s Digest and it feels like heaven. Like knowing exactly where you want to be everyday for the rest of your life. The sun, the warm dry wind, the top down on the Jeep. I could live in that moment every day.

So as I carry on gawking due to sensory overload we continue making our way down the PCH. We made a brief excursions into a neighborhood but only for the view ((I mean have you seen the view)). Then, once we’d finally found our spot, we just sat. Simply pondered how glorious it must be to wake up everyday and drink your morning coffee looking at that.

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This was probably one of my favorite memories from the entire trip. Just the aesthetic, the vibe… it was all perfect. As you can see below I couldn’t help but add just a small clip of our view. The architecture was INSANE. Modern, minimal, victorian, New England,  you name it, we saw it ALL. And all of it worked. Every style, color, theme. It worked. It was stylish and sometimes edgy but it never looked out of place. It was like everything was in its proper home.

IMG_6177Shopping

In other less surprising news the traffic was awful by the time we got to Santa Monica so we went to the nearest exit: the 3rd street Promenade. If California has taught me anything – these people love Promenades. Like legit we went to two or three but I personally saw eight to ten. It was insane ((but most certainly not a negative because your girl loves to shop))!!

This Promenade was not just any promenade. This was like casual Heaven. Expect the normal mall stores ((Abercrombie, Lulu, Lucky, etc)) but on a different scale. The stores were either HUGE one story shops or huge 3 story shops. The latter was the case for Abercrombie, Forever 21, and ZARA. Speaking of Zara – being that I was recently introduced – I love it. A couple steps up from Forever 21, better in-store aesthetics, but accompanied by the convenient pricing of everyday fast fashion ((a college kid’s dream)). I must personally say it is not as popular in Charlotte as I feel it was on the west coast but that small facet of information could come in pretty handy.

1E53835D-621B-496F-A0A2-9C5EA71975C0Unfortunately my phone died so I didn’t get to take pics of the promenade but you can’t really blame me because I was shopping! It was just your everyday outdoor mall, casual view of the ocean, no biggie. We hit Levi’s ((because denim rules)) and they had a surprisingly larger selection  than i had ever seen in store so I was highly inspired ((the Levi 501’s will be making a return to my closet this fall and winter)).

44009a03-7508-497e-a163-1a7d99a6210e2.jpegOur last adventure of the day was our trip to see the Batman sign. Unfortunately the late Adam West, the original Batman, passed away during our visit so they hosted a ceremony to remember him at Town Hall. We arrived a couple of hours after the ceremony began but the traffic was so awful we couldn’t even park and get out. We literally had to take pictures of the bat symbol from the comfort of our vehicle, which wasn’t as inconvenient as it sounds. It was amazing to see all of the people who came out to share their support. It was also pretty interesting to see people who probably shouldn’t be dressing in black pleather during their midlife crisis dress in black pleather, so it was an all around show.

Outfit

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This look was definitely one of my favorites! I loved coming up with it and wearing it all day – especially since it was sort of an accident! My GB Gianni Bini top was from Dillard’s – love the CLT SouthPark Mall Dillard’s because I can always count on them to have great deals. I also must comment on how amazing the GB brand is. The fit, quality, reasonable pricing – I am a LOYAL customer and you will be seeing some more of them. My shorts were American Eagle but I actually got them for practically nothing at Marshall’s and they have become one of my fav pairs of shorts. SUPER great for summer country concerts ((the blue with some boots and a white top?? YES)).

IMG_936F794F4D45-1.jpegSunnies are one of my fav accents in an outfit so I paired mine with some oversized, yellow tinted aviators from Forever 21 for a little spice. The gold rims flowed into
the gold accessories. I layered 2 chokers – both dainty – with a longer, dainty body chain for an exaggerated look. I then added some very dainty, gold earrings and vwahlaaaaa – an outfit ((unfortunately you can’t really get a great view of my jewelry in this pic)). I again slipped on my casual Tory Sandals, my go-to’s.

b05bc0d9-11d3-4d9c-8c48-63ba9264bef22-e1498691437684.jpegI felt the look overall was very retro and I loved everything about it. The yellow lens probably iced the cake for me. They are a statement but they’re very bright and casual which makes them easy to wear whether it’s day or night.

au revoir xx hayhen

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LA Day 1: Venice

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The ONLY thing keeping me alive during this vacay was a central line of processed sugar and good vibes ((the second being more effective than the first)).

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But the photos I got were gorgeous and I kinda found my own little piece of nirvana in California, I literally fell in love with LA.

Manhattan Beach

FFE0E7EE-4D73-452E-8B74-4F72454361FDBeing that our stay was limited to 6 days while the list of sights to see was endless we hit the ground running. Our lovely hosts (( my sweet aunt and uncle)) made reservations at Strandhouse for lunch. Honestly I don’t know what was better – the food or the view.

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 The restaurant overlooks  Manhattan Beach and the Pier, not to mention it’s entirely ocean view; the three story, modernized minimalist styled facility is entirely glass on the front so no matter where you are the view is AMAZING. only grabbed a snapshot of the view we had while we ate but it’s so gorgeous!

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I threw away the whole vegetarian thing for the trip and had the Lamb Dip sandwich with abnormally insanely wonderful fries ((which means a lot coming from me because I have a PhD in fry economics)).

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Then my aunt ordered this rockin’ appetizer ((who’s name i do not recall)) made from is raw Japanese yellowtail atop an avocado slice with this spectacular orange colored sauce drizzled on top. Let me tell you, it puts any sushi I’ve ever had to shame. The texture, the contrast of flavors, the presentation… wow.

IMG_6144The Manhattan Beach Pier was right outside so we hit that after lunch. It was beyond gorgeous. Like 1999, Beverly Hills, 90210 gorgeous.. okay maybe that’s a little much but it’s still perfect. To natives it’s probably nothing but for an east coast girl who LOVES the beach, it’s huge: the water.

A5E02BF8-F42C-4165-8112-6A8B9695FF8A 2It’s not the dirty myrtle icky can’t see my feet shade of brown but more of like a deep aqua; it’s nothing as exotic as the tropics, but it’s spectacular in its own right. It’s sort of like my soul found heaven on Earth. I must say, the shopping is wonderful, with a wide variety of styles and prices you can literally find the coolest stuff anywhere you look!

Abbot Kinney Street / Venice

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Next we hopped over to Abbot Kinney Street in Venice to do a little shopping and grab some ice-cream.

IMG_0811Some people have oxygen, others have ice cream ((I am that other)). We went to Salt & Straw Ice Cream for some unconventional cream and it was pretty freakin awesome. This day in particular, their ever changing menu included, but was not limited to: Goat Cheese and Black Olive Brittle, Honey  Lavender, Salted Malted Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Vegan Silencio Black Tea & Coconut Straticiella, and Roasted Strawberry & Toasted White Chocolate Ice Cream. Judging by the bite this innocent lady was taking in the picture to the right, the ice cream isn’t half bad lol.

img_6161.pngThey of coursed had some flavors on the simpler side like Triple Fold Vanilla or Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons but what fun would that be? I tried the Avocado and Strawberry Sherbet ((since I couldn’t commit to the Goat Cheese flavor for a whole cone)) and it was way groovy, not to mention the colors were pretty fun!

Shopping

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If you love stylish athletic wear you’ll love this – Lorna Jane . It’s an active living brand, totally comparable to Lulu Lemon, created some 27 years ago by a yoga teacher ((Lorna Jane)). It has grown to become the number one brand of its kind in Australia, as well as becoming a west coast favorite . The pieces are so adorable and so unique, there is a noticeable differentiation between their brand and the Lulu brand ((which I personally love – since everyone is always attempting to mimic their style)). I snagged a couple of pieces so and I’m so ready to test them out!

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Another darling boutique we visited was Hyden Yoo. I absolutely loved the uniqueness of the shop – it was just different. From knick knacks to men’s wear they had everything well displayed in such a tiny, adorable little space. I snagged a pair of Chinese Laundry sneakers from their awesome shoe collection and I’m currently planning to wear them until they’re considered vintage… so yeah ((btw that was before I even discovered how insanely comfortable they are)). The Chinese Laundry brand has adorable items within a very reasonable price range so that is another thing I love about them! Hyden You also gives you a cute little tote with any purchase,  saving the environment and staying chic all at once – perf, God bless the Queen.

In n’ Out Burger

AB49130F-3C38-4E78-9E7F-9A04B5EF18F6It’s a west coast classic and taunts every east coast burger lover… You guessed it – In n’ Out Burger. The famous burger that’s apparently like the holy grail of burgers. Way insane, so good, amazing,for sure dug it. The special sauce is so solid, personally haven’t ever had a Big Mac but if that special sauce is anything similar McD’s may be seeing me soon.

IMG_6162One kind of weird fact: they don’t have pickles… at all ((I love pickles so there was some minor disappointment but the fries were consolation)). It was also kinda awesome that they have bible verses on the bottom of all of their containers. The cups have John 3:16 and the fries have Proverbs 24:16 ((awesome right?)).

Randy’s Donuts

xfs_1024x680_s100_randys_donuts-1aThe last of our stops on Day 1 was another icon. It’s been in a thousand movies and you probably thought it wasn’t real either, BUT IT IS: Randy’s Doughnuts. Every true Southerner knows Krispy Kreme is the best donut… like ever. It would be blasphemous to admit ((aloud)) anything trumps the Kreme, but it does. Randy’s is WAY better than Krispy Kreme, even my grandparents, born and raised Southerners, were shocked.

IMG_6461Randy’s is just better, just is – no denying it. No hot light needed, it’s insane. Like donut induced coma good. They’re chewy and sweet and perfect and really big and yea I could go for another one ((or five)) right now. Current ragrets include not getting a couple dozen for my flight.

Outfit

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My outfit was nothing special, just something comfortable and versatile since we were doing a little moving and shaking. A simple blush colored tank (Abercrombie & Fitch), one of my fav Pantone SS17 Colors, to compliment my navy tie dye tassel shorts (Marshall’s) and my fav slip on Tory Burch sandals. I added a sweater (Hollister) incase it got chilly on the flight but ended up wearing it off of the shoulder most of the trip since the weather was so wonderful. I also brought along my most trusted cross body, my fav Tory (Monkee’s Boutique of Lake Norman) that doubles as a clutch with a built in wallet. I literally take it everywhere I go and it came in so handy this vacay.

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Although I kind of only really included the food we ate in this post the shopping was amazing. Abbot Kinney Street had almost everything you could imagine ((the original TOMS shop is actually on that street as well)). From country western to minimalist chic you can find anything!! The weather was rockin’ our entire trip, no June Gloom! The good Lord truly has his hand on the west coast because when I tell you they don’t know anything about humidity they don’t know anything. I was sitting in the valley ((which I will get to later)) in the 90 degree California heat, on a cloudless sunny day, and I didn’t break a sweat… no sticky skin, nothing. God is so good.

fashion

Denim: she got a facelift.

DENIM. The mother of all fabrics. One can never have too many pairs, right ? No – simply because it is perfect for absolutely every occasion. The staple of the all american woman: simple, flattering, and unbelievably effortless. The plain old skinny, S(uffocating)UPER skinny, straight, and bootcut are no longer what they used to be… so clean out your closets and check your local denim doctor because it looks like mother got a facelift.

The possibilities are an infinite combination of washes, cuts, holes, frays and patches. The (iconically) plain skinny jean that got us through 2012 is simply obsolete, too understated. Designers have given denim a full fledge facelift and she looks good. “Clean”– undistressed, monotone wash denim is boring, not obsolete, but very boring. Designers have made washes more vibrant, texturized, and distressed. If jeans lack distress the statement is compensated for with a unique, frayed hem. It’s no surprise that the “crop” look remains a staple in today’s trends but it certainly has evolved from the the classic rolled cuff. Statements like straight crop to crop mini boot, to crop hi-low, cropped denim with a textured ankle bootie has become a staple that will be staying around for seasons to come, so don’t play timid. Celebrities alike have embraced the trend, some of my personal style favs being Kylie Jenner and Bella Hadid playing with the crop mini boot.

HEMS. Say goodbye to simple hems and plain crops. Distressed, stacked, hi-low, patched, frayed, there are a million different ways to wear it. But the modern woman throws on her crop, frayed denim with ease; pairs them with an edgy sneaker or bootie and carries on about her way, flawlessly as ever.  Simple and understated, effortless and fashionable. Now don’t fret – your ankles won’t freeze; especially being that socks are also making an  appearance at this year’s trend party. Play with lengths and cuts – let your denim be a reflection of your mood, express yourself!

NEW. One of my personal up and coming favs is the black lace up jean and the black leather pants. The freaks and geeks 90’s goth chic has been resurrected along with the fashionable all black ensemble. Pair it with your most miserable Doc Martins and small spectacles for the “tortured youth” look or pair it with a chunky black bootie for a Spice Girls revival in 2017. ((Clearly bella didn’t impress with her style choices or anything! )) I love the commitment to the look: adding mesh, fishnet, or dark lipatick really intisfies it, ithe beauty is in the details.

 

CAUTION: the next look is so hot it might burn you… the flaming hem. Making appearances on the streets of New York and Paris this fashion week the trend is so hot it may burn you. I love the whimsical style of the jeans, these would be an adorable trend to see transitioned into summer on some high rise cut offs! The 1970’s rock and roll revival is taking over in the denim world!

In searching the internet for style inspiration I ran across a company designing these flaming jeans! Designer G. Schwan creates these one of a kind jeans and they look like something straight off of a 1970s Dare Devil!