Friday, December 30, 2011

All's Well That Ends Well

As 2011 draws to a close, I can't help but let out a sigh of relief. Of course, the year wasn't horrible-it included a host of travels, some minuscule career-wise progress, and lots of little adventures; but in the end it was also a year of depression, very unstable income, and confusion that I am want to forget. So at the risk of 2012 ending with the wholesale destruction of humanity, I'm ready to say ta-ta to 2011. But not before looking back at a few of the photographable (i.e. mostly superficial) highlights:

Finding a restored telephone table from Eagle Rock's Sniveling Sibling, to satisfy my love of the nostalgic.
Our first "real" piece of furniture, this Broyhill Brasilia midcentury credenza with which I am in deep, ardent love.

Balloons for any and all occasions, this one Valentine's.

Miraculous eBay wonder of a lifetime: Rick Owens motorcycle jacket that I wear like a second skin, mraaaowr.

Making a find of the Vivienne Westwood devil horns tiara.

Relaxing at the Parker Palm Springs, amongst cotton-tailed bunnies and fabulous decor.

Mini ponies and mini donkeys in Solvang.

The glorious tackiness of the Madonna Inn, as seen in the dining room. 

Sitting outside at the Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur, with the sun on my face and a view of the Pacific Ocean below.

The 50th anniversary craziness at the Tiki-Ti.

Returning to Israel after 8 years away.

Visiting Madrid, even if it was with my less than enthusiastic dad and brother.

LA Rising and the regenerative properties of live music when it's as good as Muse.

Volunteering at Sante D'or and finding happiness in caring for kitties and pups.

Finn finally allowing me to pick him up for up to five whole seconds without squirming.

Getting my British on at Claridge's super fancy high tea.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Let It Shine

The holidays and holiday parties call for glam, merriment, and the wearing of multiple shiny, glittery articles of clothing. Sorry, subtlety and demureness are obviously not my forte. These newest light-bending items are souvenirs from my recent trip to London., does that store own me. It's a good thing for my closet there isn't one in LA yet. Though, seriously, when is Topshop coming to LA!?!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Longest Night

orange sliver of sunset

Today is the Winter Solstice (i.e. the shortest day of the year). I have to be honest-while I love cooler weather, I hate the short days that winter brings, and the lack of energy I feel to do much once the sun sets, so I am not exactly celebrating today so much as acknowledging it begrudgingly. I suppose thinking of it as the longest night is one way to make it worth celebrating, though. Especially when it means more time to celebrate!

Image by Paul Moody via Flickr

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chappy Chanukkah

What is up, my Jews? Who's ready to spin your dreidels?

For those of you who are gentiles and don't know, Hanukkah starts tomorrow. While everyone in America basically thinks Hanukkah is the Jewish Christmas, it's really not, and actually isn't even all that important in the almost unending procession of major Jewish holidays. But when you're a kid and collecting presents each night of the eight- or want to fit in with all of your tree-decorating, Santa's lap-sitting friends- who is going to complain about the semantics? Hanukkah to Jewish kids is the most important holiday in that sense, so I'm going to continue to celebrate it even though now I know better than to make it a big deal. After all, it's a lot harder to whip up a guide for that rollicking good time known as Yom Kippur anyway...

Right now I'm using an old menorah from my dad's house, but I don't love it. In fact, I hate it. I don't know that I've ever seen one I truly love 100%, but this menorah would probably be in my home if I had major funds to throw around right now.

I do have this collection of antique hanging oil menorahs that I display year-round and which are pretty special to me. Mark's inner pyromaniac wants to light them, but I'd rather not burn down the apartment building.

The most beautiful dreidel I've ever seen, available here in blue, clear, and orange. I would love to buy a few of these and scatter them across a mantle full of various decorations and menorah. 

The all important sufganiyot (jelly doughnut). So much better when homemade and eaten warm, here's a recipe to try if you're feeling ambitious. After growing up with a mom who would make them for us, I can't even bother with bakery versions.

Menorah via DesignSponge

Friday, December 16, 2011

Reconnaissance Work At Trader Sam's

For months people have been asking Mark if he's checked out Trader Sam's the new(ish) tiki bar at the Disneyland Hotel. So finally, we had a proper chance to check it out so the mister can regain his street cred as a tropical drink-pouring bartender. The verdict: I love the decor and the fun kitsch of it all, which feels perfectly "Disney," right down to the friendly bartenders who throw water and ice at you if you order a drink like the aptly named Shipwreck on the Rocks. The drinks we tried were a mixed bag. Some were amazingly good and really refreshing (Mosquito Mojito), while some would have given me diabetes had I finished them (Shrunken Zombie Head, which would have been lovely if the touch of passion fruit had been a little lighter). We tried the ahi poke after I realized I was otherwise going to be on the floor thanks to the mid-day booze, and we both really enjoyed it.

A happy little tiki on the door welcomes us.

Just slightly off-kilter after a few cocktails...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dreaming of A Multicolored Christmas

After a debacle last year in which opting to flock our Christmas tree pink (yes, my boyfriend is beyond accepting of my nonsense) resulted in a more than week long wait for the tree to be delivered and Mark finally having to go pick it up at midnight, we decided to go simple and get a natural little tree that we could immediately haul away ourselves this year. I can't say the black flocked tree topped with iridescent sparkles wasn't calling my name, though...

Trees from the lot in the Vons Supermarket parking lot on Hoover St. and Sunset Blvd.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

One Semester Away!

...from getting my Master's degree. I can't say this has been the toughest semester of school, but it sure has been the most stressful and I'd be lying if I didn't say I am just so glad I only have one more course to go. I have no idea how I did grades-wise but sometimes, when you are like me and going through a bit of a quarter-life crisis, you just have to say fuck it, I don't really care (even though I really do). Hurray! Time to enjoy the remnants of what has been a stormy year and celebrate that it's almost over.

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Stone Age

My absolute favorite store in Los Angeles is New Stone Age, on that strip of 3rd St. west of the Grove and Farmer's Market that basically is heaven for both gift shopping and grubbing. The shop has got tons of little curios, unique kitchen and desk accessories, and the most fabulous jewelry section for special everyday wear. I visited it yesterday because with the holidays coming up and a trip to the Glendale Galleria shortly after Thanksgiving confirming that I refuse to enter a mall until 2012, I had some little gifts to buy. So I ended up getting some things for myself as well. After taking a peek at what they carry, can you blame me?

Top three photos from the New Stone Age website

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Back "Home"

Whelp, I'm home. Coming home from a vacation is so anticlimactic, and this time was no different. I want to live in London! Sigh. Here are a few photos of the adventures and some of the items I lusted over while in the land of VAT-inflated prices.

A peacock in Holland Park, where at least half a dozen of the birds roam free. 

Harrods, I declared to Mark, is the kind of place that makes you feel bad about yourself by showing you tons of things you will lust after but never be able to afford. I literally had to leave after a quick run through. 

Carvela Kurt Geiger flats that should be on my feet. They were also available in royal blue. 

Apparently honey badgers support Occupy London. Have you seen this crazy video?

Minestrone soup at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. The Guinness brown bread was ridiculously good. I could have eaten a whole loaf.

A hot salt beef bagel from London's 24-hour Brick Lane Beigel Bake. 

My favorite outfit color combo.

My favorite stall at the Spitalfields Market.

From the same stall.

Tibetan shawls and scarves. 

Pastries left over from a decadent "festive afternoon tea" at Claridge's Hotel, which included champagne, endless tea and tea sandwiches, special Christmas cakes and more sweets than even I could consume.