California love…

Hi  my loves! For all of you regulars to the site, you know I haven’t been on my game when it comes to posting. My daily posts morphed into just a few a week, which I need to put an end to! Despite how it may seem, I have been doing everything but taking a break. In actuality, the blog has never been busier! I’ve been traveling so much and doing so many collaborations that by the time I finish the long hours my brain is too tried to write (I know, terrible excuse!).  But you can always follow me at @prettyconnected on instagram for all of my latest adventures and event coverage and beauty discoveries. I’ve been back for a week now in NYC but I wanted to recap my 10 day trip to LA, since it was such an amazing experience. And I’ve been considering moving there for some time now!

Pretty Connected photo shoot
On set with and Carefree

I came out to LA for a shoot with, sponsored by Carefree. We shot 3 videos: How to pack to pack for a weekend trip, How to get ready in 5 minutes in the morning, and How to organize your lingerie draw, and it was so fun! All of the tips in the videos are mine so I’ll be sharing those over the next few months as they launch. The shoot took play in Pasadena, which is a beautiful suburb of LA. In all of my 10+ times to Los Angeles, I’d never been to Pasadena (and it’s only about 15 minutes for Downtown). langham hotel pasadena

I stayed at the Langham Hotel, which is a beautiful 4 star hotel that has an amazing spa and work out facilities. The experience was absolutely perfection — except for the turndown service. Usually they happen around 7pm at most hotels (it’s when housekeeping comes in to turn down your bed and put chocolates on your bed). Only I checked in at 8:30pm and was in bed by 9pm since that was the equivalent of 12am in NYC and I was so tired from my flight and had an early call time for my shoot. Not realizing their turn down service comes at 9:30pm, in my snoozefest I thought someone was breaking into my room and you’ve never heard anyone yell louder (so be sure to put the “do not disturb” on your door if you want to avoid that mishap).

I spent two nights at the Langham, day 1 being the shoot and the second day I had time to explore Old Town, which is their main shopping district. It’s a lot of the same shops you’d see at most shopping centers, Zara, H&M, Apple store… but it’s completely charming and full of great coffee spots and restaurants.
W3LL people Shirley and Lara Eurdolian

After my stay in Pasadena, my lovely friend Nick took me into his spare room in Culver City, which is a really great up and coming area that’s a logistical dream. I was going all over LA from Hollywood to Venice Beach so to be so central helped (especially when you factor in LA’s crazy traffic).

While perusing Facebook, I saw that my friend and makeup guru, Shirley Pinkson was making an appearance at Beauty Cirque. She’s the founder of W3LL People, an amazing, toxin-free, eco-lux cosmetics line. Shirley and I go WAY back. We both used to work at NARS back in 2006, when I was in International and she was one of their top artists. From their she left to start this line so getting to surprise her and get a makeover was so necessary. Everything I’ve tried from the line, I’ve loved, but given as I was a shiny mess in LA, I couldn’t leave the store without their signature Altruist mineral foundation. It’s lightweight and evens me right out!

Veev VitaFrute's Coconut Colada

While I wasn’t trying to recreate my crazy NYC event schedule in LA, I did want to stop by some industry events to check out the LA scene and meet some of the amazing bloggers and PR people I’m friends with over social media and email. I’ve been to a been a bunch of Veev events in NYC, but seeing as they were launching their new VitaFrute Coconut Colada in Malibu, I jumped on the PCH and headed to the launch party. The event came complete with hula dancers and a special appearance by Brooke Burke. The last time I interviewed Brooke was probably 4+ years ago and she was the first to introduce me to Coconut Oil and it’s amazing benefits on your hair — so it seemed fitting to be reunited at a launch of a coconut event.

The outside deck at Toms Flagship Store
The outside deck at Toms Flagship Store

After my stint in Malibu, I headed to Hollywood to finally meet one of my favorite bloggers, Jamie Stone! Who, with just my luck, was throwing a NYers in LA party (which was for all NYC transplants to LA, but since I was a transplant for the week, I qualified). There, I got to meet a bunch of pr people and bloggers, which only further helped me feel that much more at home (and wanting to move). We relaxed on her lovely roof, talking shop while sipping on LVP Sangria.

Pixi by Petra

The next day, I stopped by the Pixi by Petra event for the launch of their fall collection. Now this event warrants it’s own post since their collection is amazing and I’m still working my way through the line. What I can say is I finally got my hands on their infamous Glow Tonic (which up until now was only available in the UK) and it’s awesome! With Aloe Vera & Ginsing it’s my new staple toner. I also finally got to meet their founder, Petra Strand, who I’m pretty obsessed with (anyone that’s met her knows what I’m talking about. She and her team are so welcoming and knowledgable, it was an inspiring community of beauty professionals to be around.

The Grove, LA

I then of course had to make some of my favorite tourist spots. The Grove for starters which is hands down the greatest outdoor shopping compound I’ve ever been too — they play jazz and have a movie theatre and pretty fountains (and of course some of the best shopping in LA). They also house the best Barnes & Nobles on the planet — that weekend Stan Lee and Danielle Fishel (aka Topanga from Boy Meets World) were doing book signings!Culver City Steps

I also finally conquered the Culver City Stairs, which is an outdoor staircase with trails leading up to the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. We took the stairs up and the trails down. It’s great exercise and offers a killer view all the standing points. I’ve heard you can do a similar hike on the Hollywood Hills, which I need to do next time I’m in LA.Venice Beach adventures

I then spent the majority of the rest of my trip riding bikes around Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Of course the Third Street Promenade is a popular Santa Monica destination. With blocks of outdoor (and indoor) shops that spans a series of blocks, it’s filled with great people watching and street performers. It wouldn’t be a trip to LA without stopping by, but frankly I was shopped out and considering I was experiencing some rare free time, all I wanted to do was be on the beach and explore different coffee shops to work out of. So I found myself hanging out mostly in Venice Beach either on the water or on Abbot Kinney and Rose Street.

Cafe Gratitude, Moor Juice

Rose Street used to only have a few restaurants but now it’s quite the happening spot. I had breakfast at Cafe Gratitude, which is probably one of the most tagged restaurants by people that go to LA in my feed. Either it’s super popular or I just happen to follow a lot of people that are into vegan food. (Or both.) Everything is 100% organic, vegan (plant based) and delicious. I had the FANTASTIC raw crepe which was like nothing I’ve ever tasted. And after I went across the street to try my first Moon Juice. I’ll tell you what, it was delicious but nothing makes me feel more like a yuppy then spending $9 on a juice.


Abbot Kinney on the other hand has been a destination for quite some time now, but it gets cuter and cuter, every time I visit. Great restaurants, and boutiques, and if you’re a coffee shop workaholic like myself, Intelligentisia Coffee and TOMS Flagship Store are the two best coffee bars with wi-fi on the block. Some of you only know TOMS for their shoes (where for every pair you purchase, one gets donated to a child in need), or sunglasses, which is also a category the brand has grown with. Well in the past year, they have made headlines for the launch of their TOMS Roasting Co. which is proudly served at their coffee bar inside the flagship location.
Bespoke hats

For my final weekend, I did the equivalent of what most New Yorkers do when they need to get out of the city and go to the Hamptons, I went to Palm Springs. And much like going out to the Hamptons, it can take you 2 hours if there’s no traffic, or 5 hours if there is. But halfway through the trip I got to stop by the Bespoke warehouse, which was super fun for me. Known for creating custom hats which they cut and sew custom, I got to see all of the fabrics and skins and play with a million hats. It was awesome!

palm springs

And because no trip to LA is complete without going to In -N-Out Burger (or no road trip without fast food…), I did make it their for their fries. And an hour later, it was smooth sailing into scenic, calm Palm Springs. A bunch of our friends rented a house and we pretty much didn’t leave the compound the entire weekend — And with good reason. When you have a big house filled with great people, a pool, hot tub and a fridge full of beer, what more can you ask for?

Until next time LA…