Category: Fab Finds

Hello everyone!  I hope you are having the most wonderful week!  Here in southern California, the summer sun has finally made its appearance and we’re enjoying gorgeous blue skies and warm temps.  Surprisingly, however, I’ve spent most of the past few days indoors, just getting geared up for an incredible July chock-full of gorgeous wedding plans.  🙂

Today I want to share a new fab find in jewelry with all of you, and then GIVE IT AWAY to one lucky reader!!

A couple of  years ago, I was introduced to Stella & Dot, a stylish jewelry company that sells their baubles via independent “stylists.”  Think of it like the Avon-lady of jewelry… without the cloud of rose-scented talc following her.  😉  My former client (Hi T!) was a Stella & Dot stylist and I was always complimenting her on her jewelry.  Every time I would say something, her response was the same — “You’ve GOTTA check out Stella & Dot!”

About a week ago, I received an email from a former bridesmaid from one of my weddings (yep, that’s right!  Not a client, but a client’s bridesmaid!).  She said she had been following my blog since her friend’s wedding (years ago) and wanted to offer one of my readers a chance to win a piece of Stella & Dot jewelry… no strings attached!  I was thrilled, of course, and asked if I could pick the piece to add a bit of a personal touch to the prize.  I had the hardest time picking the giveaway piece, because there are sooo many beautiful things in the shop right now… from coral and jewel encrusted bangles to chunky statement necklaces to delicate earrings.  I settled on one of the newest pieces (actually from the Fall line) — the “Renegade Cluster” necklace.  It is a fabulous gold necklace with floating charms that remind me of bullets… in a feminine-meets-edgy way, of course!!  The necklace is of excellent quality and came adorably packaged.  Anything that has “hello gorgeous” printed on the box is a winner in my book.  😉

here i am, “modeling” the necklace in 3 diff outfits — casual to dressier.  it goes with EVERYTHING and the chain has 3 catch points so you can wear it at various lengths.  i’m wearing it on the “tightest” setting.

Now on to the fun part!!  One of my lucky readers is going to win this fab find!  Here’s how to enter:

  • Visit Ellaine’s Stella & Dot page and tell me what pieces draw your eye…
  • Comment here on this post and let me know what your picks were.  I can’t wait to hear about your fab finds!
  • You have until Tuesday, June 28th, at 11:00 p.m. PST (8 p.m. EST) to enter.
  • Check back on Wednesday, June 29th, for the announcement of the winner!
  • **Remember that the winner will get the Renegade Cluster necklace as seen abovenot the fab find you comment about (unless it happens to be this necklace!  haha).

As a sidenote, if you find something that you *have* to have on Ellaine’s site, make sure to check out her Facebook page for info on a “mystery trunk show” she’s currently running through July 2nd.  Basically, each purchase you make earns a raffle ticket to win a Stella & Dot shopping spree!  woohoo!

Looking forward to hearing what you guys find on the site… As for me, that sunset bangle + paige enamel bangle are calling my name…

xoxo, Angel

**Please note that I am not affiliated with this company in any way, shape or form, nor am I being compensated for this post or giveaway.  Anything you see on my blog will always be 100% my thoughts — my opinions are not for sale.  😉  Ellaine is offering this giveaway for one of my readers with no strings attached — no purchase necessary!!

It’s time for another installment of my favorite random “lately-loves.”  🙂  Here are some of the things I’ve been enjoying lately, that are too good to keep to myself…

1.  siggi’s Icelandic style skyr (strained non-fat yogurt)

Say hello to my latest snack obsession.  I discovered siggi’s at my local Henry’s and was intrigued by the perfect packaging.  Looking closer, I was sold after scoping their unique flavors and impressive nutrition facts: no sugar (they use agave nectar instead), 120 cals, 17g of protein per cup!!!  But as we all know… the proof is in the skyr.  LOL  And it is diiiiiivine.  I highly recommend the pomegranate and passion fruit, grapefruit and vanilla flavors.  I also have read (but have not confirmed) that skyr is great for smoothies. Can’t wait to try them all!!

2.  cate blanchett’s givenchy haute couture dress from the 2011 oscars

I know I’m a week late on the obsession-train, but WOW.  I cannot get enough of the incredible pale lilac confection that Cate wore to the Oscars!!  I love absolutely everything about it, from the barnacle-like beading to the structured shoulders, to the delicate pleating to the pop of yellow.  Stunning and something I would wear in a heartbeat.  I was fairly bored by everything else the stars wore that night… but this dress, I can’t get out of my head!

3.  essie nail polish in “turquoise and caicos”

I think the best gifts are the ones you wish you could keep when you give them away.  😉  When I was wrapping up my Christmas shopping for Anna, I was on the hunt for a couple of nail polishes as “stocking stuffers.”  This cool turquoise was one that I snagged for her, and secretly wanted for myself!  I borrowed it this weekend and immediately fell in love with the playful, tropical color.

4.  vivité skincare

I have been LOVING my Vivite skincare products!  I was introduced to them by my sister-in-law Megan (who happens to own an awesome med spa in Pasadena — Elude!), as the products are made by Allergan…the same company that makes Botox and Latisse!  Everything is medical grade and full of powerful glycolic acid.  I can honestly say I’ve seen a difference in my skin in the couple of months I’ve been using the products.  I especially love the revitalizing eye cream and night renewal facial cream, while Meg raves about the vibrance therapy serum.

5.  nars lip gloss in “easy lover”

I’m always carrying around 2-3 lipglosses and this one hasn’t left my purse in months.  This hot pink gloss goes on fairly sheer and has great staying power.  Love it alone or layered over a peachy lipstick (like YSL Rouge Volupté #30).

6.  ra ra riot – “the orchard”

An album I still can’t get enough of…  I am all about a rock band with prominent violin and cello!  My favorite songs are “Foolish,” “Keep It Quiet” and “Shadowcasting”… but I really don’t think there’s a bad song in the mix.

And as a bonus, here are some other albums currently in my CD changer…

from left to right: mumford & sons, the decemberists, the morning benders

I hope you all had a terrific first week of March!  I am looking forward to a very special celebration this weekend, and will share all about it next week.  As always, please let me know if there is something you’ve been loving lately…  I love reading about your fab finds, too!!



Although my first wedding of 2011 is still a couple months away, things have been non-stop busy over here.  The post-holiday season is widely known as “booking season” in the wedding industry.  I always see a huge influx of inquiries in January and this year has been no different!  I’ve been having a wonderful time meeting with new clients and planning for some really fabulous 2011 events. As usual, there is lots of fresh and inspiring stuff cooking here at Love and Splendor.  🙂

I thought I better put up a little holiday re-cap before January slipped away!  I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into how I spent my Christmas, as well as the favorite items I found underneath the Christmas tree.  😉

at aunt frances’ house

Christmas Eve, 2010, at Erik’s aunt Frances’ home.

The view on Christmas morning.

{my favorite fab finds under the Christmas tree, 2010}

  • hunter original gloss wellies in violet (available at Zappos here)
  • new music from arcade fire, ray lamontagne and sufjan stevens
  • classic black blazer from Zara, with an adorable striped lining that peeks out when I roll up the sleeves 😉
  • hello kitty sigg bottle
  • vivité skincare (looooving this stuff so far!)
  • j. crew puffer vest in the most perfect deep taupe(i have a hard time not wearing it everyday)
  • LA philharmonic tickets (sooo excited to see gustavo dudamel in action!!!)

I’d love to hear about any fab finds you’ve discovered lately, too!  I hope you have a marvelous weekend~

xoxo, Angel

Hello everyone!  I hope you had a splendid weekend.  It’s official — summer has arrived!  I am absolutely loving the 80+ temps here in southern California and last weekend’s weddings (yep, two of them!) were made especially gorgeous with the presence of that quintessential California sunshine.  We had a wedding last Sunday that was right on the water in Malibu and the sunset was just sublime…

Here at Love and Splendor we’ve just wrapped up the most concentrated part of our season — eight (8!!) weddings in just seven weeks!  Can you believe it?  I think I kept telling people 8 weddings in 9 weeks, but when I double-checked my calendar I realized it was actually 8 in 7 weeks.  Just writing that down blows my mind all over again.  WOW!!  I have to give a shout out here to my amaaaaaazing sister, Anna, and utterly fabulous assistant Michelle (who may as well be our 3rd sister — we love her so much!! xox M!) without whom I could not do what I do!  Very grateful to have the support of two such intelligent & talented ladies!

Now without further ado, I wanted to share a new installment of fab finds… just in time for the summer!  Here are the things I’ve been loving lately~  As always, make sure you share your favorite finds with me in the comments!

1. Kate Spade Wellesley Neda Wallet in Robin’s Egg Blue

I have to thank my incredibly sweet (and generous!) clients, A&D, for this one.  They gifted me with this darling wallet the day before their wedding and I immediately transferred all my things into it.  How did they know I needed a new wallet??  Perhaps they had seen my (cute but tired) yellow Cole Haan wallet and got the hint?  😉  I love everything about this wallet — the size, the zip-around closure, the abundance of card slots and the too-adorable-for-words polka dot lining!  The color is gorgeous and not perfectly depicted in the photo above — it is more of a sea foam green/blue, which happens to be one of my favorite colors!  Thanks again to A&D for the perfect gift… I think of you two everytime I reach for it!!

2. Smith’s Rosebud Salve in a Tube

I’ve adored Smith’s rosebud salve for years in it’s “traditional” form — a cute little tin pot.  The problem is I have this (totally rational) issue with sticking my finger into pots of lip gloss or salve…  It grosses me out to no end.  When I discovered one of my favorite products, now in tube form, I was elated!!  This super-smooth balm has the subtle scent of roses and is the perfect lip gloss.  I use it every single day and will definitely be stocking up on more.  It can be found at many stores and boutiques; I pick mine up at Anthropologie.

3. Band of Horses

Band of Horses is a group I’ve loved for years and years, but the release of their latest album (Infinite Arms) has only rekindled my love for them.  I find myself listening to their tunes, new and old, on repeat  My favorite tracks from the new album include “Blue Beard,” “On My Way Back Home” and “For Annabelle.”  If you’re in the mood for some of their older stuff, check out, “No One’s Gonna Love You” and “The Funeral.”  Their sound is soothing and heartbreaking at the same time. If you know me, that is the recipe for my favorite music.  🙂  As always, the lyrics are what take me over the edge.

**Bonus fab finds: Other music I can’t get enough of these days: Broken Bells, Rosi Golan and Jónsi — a solo project from the lead vocalist of Sigur Ros (another fave group).

4. MAC Nail Lacquer “In The Buff”

I’m into interesting nail colors and this new shade, gifted to me by a client, is my new favorite!  I can’t get enough of this moody, grungy green crossed with taupe.  It’s like a split avocado that’s been left on the counter too long…  😉  I have received lots of comments (not necessarily compliments… but you know I don’t mind that!) about it and it is definitely an odd and intriguing shade.  I mixed it up last week using it as my “accent color” on two of my nails… the rest were hot pink.  I am still not over painting my nails different colors.  Tonight I’m re-doing my nails and will probably paint them all in this color.  In general I have to say I’m loving MAC nail polishes — this is my 2nd one and the quality is fantastic… better than OPI and very close to RBL!

5. Milkmaid braids

The lovely Miranda Kerr in a comfy chic outfit and sweet milkmaid braids!

If you’ve seen me in the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen me with this hairstyle. I’ve even worn it at a wedding or two!  The summertime heat is making it harder to wear my long hair down, so I love putting my hair into long plaits and pinning them up on my head for a look that’s positively Amish.  😉  It’s such an easy style that’s fun to wear.

That’s it for now!!  I can’t wait to hear about your fab finds this summer.  Fill me in on what’s been delighting you these days!

I have a wonderful week ahead, chock full of meetings and site visits.  The summer wedding season is going to be incredible…  Enjoy your week!

xoxo, Angel

Hello everyone!  Lately I have discovered some absolutely wonderful new products and favorites, so I thought I’d share another installment of fab finds.  😉 Here are a few things I have been LOVING this February…

1) MAC lipstick in ‘Lickable’ + MAC lipglass in ‘Hush Hush Rose’

Let’s ignore the obnoxious name of the lipstick, shall we?  The combination of this creamy, hot pink lipstick and shimmering fuschia gloss is absolutely addictive.  I have never been much of a lipstick lover, typically being drawn to juicy glosses and glazes (à la Stila’s lipglaze in grapefruit — my fave) instead. But this duo may have swayed me forever.  😉  Perfect for fresh, youthful, springtime pouts!  I think they would look stunning on a bolder bride, as well, if you’re not afraid of bright lips!

2) Clutches by AO3 designs

My sweet sister-in-law, Meg, bought me an AO3 clutch for Christmas and I adoooore it!  These handmade clutches (sold on etsy HERE and online HERE) come in an array of fabrics, shapes, sizes and styles.  Mine (seen above) is a bright and cheery everyday clutch, covered in vintage yellow floral fabric and adorned with a turquoise grosgrain ribbon.  I love the pop of sunshine it adds to any outfit, and it is the ideal size for running errands or going out for dinner.  I think these clutches would be darling gifts for your bridesmaids (or moms, sisters, girlfriends, etc.), too!  Pick a unique one for each girl, customized for her taste, and fill it with her favorite lipstick and a pair of earrings.  Perfect!

3) Fobots

from left to right: queen elizabeth, robozo, and jacob

My fascination with these quirky, one-of-a-kind, found-object robots (hence, fobots) borders on obsession.  Since stumbling upon them in an Anthropologie catalog last fall, I have been stalking Amy Flynn’s creations like mad.  Each unique character is fashioned from a number of vintage baubles and have a whimsical personality that is simply irresistible.  If I had the budget, I would scoop up a troupe of these figures and display them on a long shelf in my office.  I’m planning to adopt one soon, and will let you know if and when one makes its way to my office.  😉

4) MAC nail lacquer in “Gee Whiz”

I loooove painting my nails — this is a well-known fact to anyone who has read my blog.  (My last installment of fab finds made mention of the fabulous polishes by Rescue Beauty Lounge that I have come to adore.)  So, I am often on the hunt for new colors to add to my already-ridiculous arsenal.  You know how guests are always peering into medicine cabinets on TV shows and in movies?  I have never done that in real life — have any of you??  LOL  Anyway, if someone were to look into mine, they’d just find row after row of nail polish.  🙂  My latest acquisition is this fabulous color: a perfect fuschia-red.  It applies like a dream, has a slick shine, and alternates between looking like a brazen red and sassy hot pink depending on the lighting.  I adore it and am having a hard time not wearing it again this week (as I like to switch my polish color once a week…).  😉

*Although a part of me feels like I HAVE to have one more item to make this a nice, odd-numbered, 5-item list, I am going to end it here!  I would say we’ve definitely met the fabulousity quota.  🙂  I would love to know what YOUR fab find was for February; let me know what I can add to this list! Hope you all are having a marvelous week!

xoxo, Angel

Hello everyone!  I hope you are still basking in the excitement of our brand new, full of possibility (and opportunity and potential) year!  🙂  I know I am!!

I had a number of Christmas posts to share pre-holiday, but of course things fell by the wayside amidst the buzz and bustle leading up to the day.  I may still share those with you, but in the meanwhile I thought I’d share a little installment of “fab finds” highlighting some of the most fabulous things I found under the Christmas tree a few weeks ago!  If you are looking to treat yourself with a little special something, here are some wonderful candidates!

1. rescue beauty lounge nail polishes

grunge & bikini bottom

I have to thank (blame??  ;-)) my fabulous client, T, for introducing me to Rescue Beauty Lounge.  Tina knew (from reading my blog) that i was a nail polish junkie.  I love painting my nails!!  (I’m currently wearing OPI gargantuan green grape, if you’re curious.  It’s exactly the color of a melon bar, for you Korean dessert fiends out there!)  At our very first meeting, T brought me a Christmas present!  She wrapped up two of her favorite RBL polishes up for me in beautiful blue & white toile fabric. adorable!! RBL polishes have cult-status for their incredibly long wear, silky smooth application and impressive opacity. The two colors she brought for me are “grunge” (a moody lavender-mushroom-y color) and “om” (a mauve-ish dusty rose).  Both look fantastic on, and applied beautifully in one coat (although I have to do two coats because I’m OCD like that). Best of all, they wear SO SO well.  I went 7+ days without any chips!!  Crazy.  This coming from a girl who does dishes everyday sans gloves, peels labels off of boxes, etc.  I am very hard on my nails!

At $18 a pop, they are not as easy to swipe up without a thought, but for the long wear and fabulous colors, I think it’s a worthy splurge! The ones on my current wishlist are coral, bikini bottom (a springy light blue — from her sponge bob inspired collection!!) and stormy (dark gray).

2. boygirlparty mini notes

I love sending snail mail!  It delights me to receive it, so I like to take the extra care in sending it, too!  From hand-addressing the envelopes to choosing the ideal postage stamps, I love it all!  I received a cute stocking stuffer from my aunt in the form of these cute mini-notes!  The set comes with three note card styles and three corresponding envelope types.  at about 2.5″ x 3.75″, they are teeny and perfect for adding into envelopes with contracts.  🙂  At least that’s how I used the first few! Illustrations are by susie ghahremani of  Check out all of the adorable products on her site!  (p.s. her online shop is closed through january 16th but re-opens january 17th — make sure to check back!!)

3. domino – the book of decorating

I love interior design and enjoy day dreaming about how I might decorate a new house, a baby nursery, a library, a sun room… Since I was a little girl, I’ve loved poring over issues of architectural digest, elle décor and house beautiful. Erik picked up this domino book for me and I’ve already consumed it from cover to cover.  (It is from the makers of the now-defunct magazine and website… there isn’t even a site for me to link you to except this wikipedia article explaining the zine’s demise…)  It is filled with lovely inspiration photos and little tidbits on mixing and matching fabrics and furniture.  There isn’t a single picture that i would want to replicate 100%, but there also isn’t a single picture that doesn’t inspire me in some way. Great eye candy and a perfect coffee table book.

4. sonicare toothbrushes

Yeah… I’m listing a toothbrush as a fab find.  🙂  Before you leave this post laughing, let me just tell you that the sonicare toothbrush is an INCREDIBLE gadget.  Mom and Raj got them for us this year (along with some other fun gifts), and I, for one, was thrilled.  Erik and I both have never had a single cavity, and we’d like to keep it that way.  🙂  The sonicare leaves your mouth with an ultra-clean just-came-from-the-dentist feeling, and my favorite function is the 2 minute timer (with 30-second increment buzzers to let you know when to move from one quadrant of your mouth to another! ).  Genius!

5. versace versense perfume

If you know me, you know i love perfume.  I had an old favorite (Versace’s Bright Crystal) on my wish list, but my mother-in-law bought me this lovely fragrance instead.  I had never seen it (or smelled it!) before, so I was honestly a bit wary when I saw the box.  When I opened it up, however, I was delightfully surprised!  This was a serendipitous find!!  Versense is light, clean, fresh, fruity and floral, yet not cloyingly sweet.  Key notes include: bergamot, green mandarin, citrus, prickly pear, fig, and sea daffodil.  Yum yum!  This is one to try next time you’re at the fragrance counter!  😉

I hope you enjoyed this random rundown!  Feel free to share any of your favorite fab finds with me in the comments section; I looove making new discoveries!  If you’re in SoCal, enjoy this *rare* rainy day!  xoxo, Angel

I love to cook.  I love to eat.  Anyone that knows me knows this about me.  In another life I would be the next Food Network star, wearing vintage patterned aprons and chatting about organic produce while I braised some fennel.  Or something like that.  🙂  As busy as life gets, it is so therapeutic for me to wind down in the kitchen, stirring a pot of tom kha gai or mincing cloves of garlic.  I love trying out new recipes, creating my own, and watching the delight on Erik’s face as he bites into something extra delicious.  And of course, I love those moments when *I* bite into something and sit there, mid-bite, in awe…shocked that *I* could have made this tasty morsel!!

I experienced one of those fabulous moments last week when I made (for the first time!) this banana cake and passionfruit icing.  It all started with these two passion fruits I found at my local market.  I happen to LOVE passion fruit-flavored anything, but I had never eaten (or even seen!) a real passion fruit.  It was a fairly unattractive thing, all purple and wrinkled (apparently the wrinkles mean the fruit is ripe!), but the sweet perfumed scent of the fruit was intoxicating. It won me over.  I put two in my basket with no idea of how I might use them.

After scouring the internet and discovering a dozen recipes I’d never want to make, I read an article about bananas and passion fruit making an excellent flavor pairing. And suddenly, a light went on!  I looooove bananas. Banana milkshakes, frozen bananas, deep-fried bananas, banana cream pie!  If it has bananas, I’m all about it. Combining two of my favorite fruits of all time into one tasty dessert?  brilliant.  I set to work to tweak a few recipes I found online for banana cake, and then went to town. The result was phenomenal. Seriously, I’m allowed to say that because I am not suggesting that I am somehow responsible.  In some wonderful twist of serendipity, my banana cake with passion fruit icing turned out to be the most delicious cake I’ve consumed in recent memory.

If you like to bake, or if you want to try your hand at it!, give this recipe a whirl and let me know what you think.  🙂

sweet & simple banana cake

you’ll need…

  • 1 ¼ cup of flour
  • 1 ½ tsp of baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup of unsalted butter (softened at room temp.  don’t try to cheat and put it in the microwave… it will melt and get gross!)
  • ½ cup of white sugar  (i used turbinado sugar)
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup of buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup of walnuts (“optional” — i see them as essential)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix both types of sugar and softened butter.  Cream until well integrated and smooth.
  4. Add egg and mix.
  5. Mix in mashed bananas.
  6. Little by little, add a little of the flour mix, and then a little buttermilk, and then a little flour mix, and then a little buttermilk, until fully incorporated.  I like to do three “rounds” of integrating…  It’s one of my crazy kitchen tendencies.
  7. Add the walnuts and mix well.
  8. Pour your batter into an 8″ round pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Check at 20 and 25 minutes just in case…  Mine was done in exactly 23 minutes.

While the cake is cooling, make your icing!

tart & juicy passion fruit icing

you’ll need…

  • one “bar” of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup of icing sugar (aka powdered sugar, confectioner’s sugar)
  • 2 ripe passion fruits
  1. Rinse the passion fruits and cut in half.  Scoop out all the fragrant pulp and put into a small bowl.  Pour all the pulp into a fine mesh strainer and strain out the seeds.  Use a spoon (or similar tool) to get every last bit of juice from the seeds.  (Note: the seeds are edible but I prefer a smooth, seedless icing.)
  2. Make sure your cream cheese is COMPLETELY softened and at room temp.
  3. Mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, and all the passion fruit juice (your yield will vary depending on the size of the fruit and your elbow grease! ) until smooth and completely integrated.
  4. Taste and add additonal sugar to taste, if necessary.  (You will need more sugar if you don’t like a true cream cheese taste to your cream cheese frosting. My passion fruits were soooo ripe and sweet that their flavor took over and I did not need additional sugar.)

Once the banana cake is completely cooled, frost your cake and enjoy!  (Note: I like to keep my frosting separate and frost each slice as I consume the cake, little by little.  LOL.  It keeps my frosting fresh since I knew I wasn’t taking the cake to a party.  Nope… I am just eating this cake slice by slice on my own!  haha) **Update: the cake is now gone.  Come to your own conclusions.  🙂

The recipe will yield an 8″ round cake, but feel free to double the recipe and make two round 8″ cakes for a layered cake. There is probably plenty of icing for 2 cakes. I like to slather mine on, thankyouverymuch.  🙂

Hope you all are having a wonderful week!  Coming soon: vendor roundup for Jessica & Jeff’s wedding!

P.S. Happy Veterans Day! I am so grateful for the service & sacrifice made every single day by our service men and women. My father is a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran (who served three tours there in the Big Red 1) and he is a true example of an American hero.  Love you, daddy.



it’s time for another installment of fab finds — my recurring feature on all things fancy and fun, stylish and special, delicious and delightful! today i wanted to zero in on in a handful of VERY random things i love that happen to be local (within 20 minutes, anyway…) to me! if you’re semi-local as well, you are in luck. 🙂 take advantage of these wonderful things and thank me later! if you have a few more miles between you and soCal, i have to say the weather is fine and isn’t it about time you took a little vacation??

1) rA organic spa – burbank, ca

fab find #1 is a spot i’ve wanted to blog about for AGES. since discovering this discreet little oasis in downtown burbank, i have been altogether enchanted by it and proudly deem it my favorite spa in soCal. coming from me (a spa connoisseur, if you will… lol), that says a lot. i’ve been to all the ritzy and sprawling marble-clad spots you’ve heard of, as well as the humble (but still fab!!) korean day spas downtown. rA stands out to me because of three key factors: unique and calming atmosphere, excellent treatments and terrific customer service. rA is quite unassuming from the outside, and you could easily miss it if you were driving by. but once you step into the welcome lobby you are transported to an asian-inspired haven. you could never guess the size of the property from the outside — this place is quite large!! there are a variety of relaxation rooms, a sauna, private and group treatment rooms, and wonderful restrooms and shower facilities. everything is pristine, beautiful and pleasing to the senses. i’ve had two massages and two facials there in the past few months and all four treatments were sublime. if you are going for a massage, i highly recommend deep tissue or hot stone treatment with pa — she is insane!!! check out rA on a tuesday or thursday with a buddy, and each of you get $20 off your one hour treatments! OR, treat yourself to two treatments on a tues/thurs and you get $20 off one of them. everyone deserves a little blissful relaxation; enjoy!!

2) le grand orange café – pasadena, ca

photo by alen lin … who, interestingly enough, was an old friend of mine at cal! hi alen! 🙂

i have to thank michael & emi (of evoke photography) for introducting me to fab find #2. we recently joined them on a double-date at this cute little spot near old town and had a wonderful evening! we dined on the charming outdoor patio and enjoyed tasty bites like seared ahi and short rib tacos (my order — INCREDIBLY good with their homemade corn tortillas and guac!). erik ordered the burger (he judges most new restaurants by the quality of their burger, if they serve one) and deemed it delish. can’t wait for another visit! check out LGO on a monday or a tuesday night, when you can buy one entrée and get the 2nd for just $5! fantastic!

3) milt & edie’s dry cleaners – burbank, ca

yes, i’m actually blogging about my dry cleaners. 🙂 i absolutely love my fab neighborhood spot. you will NEVER receive better service at a dry cleaners. there is always an attentive host or hostess to greet you and summon an assistant to take your clothing. they are open 24/7. they can dry clean within two hours for no extra charge. they have free local pickup and delivery. they always have fresh coffee, freshly popped popcorn, cookies and other snacks available…gratis! they send me $10-off coupons when i don’t go in for a while, and another certificate for my birthday. they have 7 tailors on staff, 7 days a week, for instant alterations. they are eco-friendly! they repair buttons (secure or replace) and any seams for free…without asking! they just check for those things as part of their cleaning process! i seriously have nothing but praise for them. if you are even somewhat nearby, you need to check them out. love ’em! (p.s. since they are so close to all the studios, they do a lot of celebrity clothing and costuming. one time i picked up a jacket and the host asked if it was part of prince’s wardrobe. he wasn’t joking. i took that as a mega compliment. lol. will definitely debut THE jacket — an insane flea market find — when the weather allows!)

to round this post out, here are 3 more random “fab finds” that i recently picked up for myself. i actually had some gift cards to use up, so it was like Christmas in august!

jeanne by lanvin – my favorite perfume of the moment. fruity & feminine. notes include blackberry, peony, pear, citrus, freesia and amber.

kooba “jenny” bag in this yummy lime patent leather. i got it on sale at saks (score!) and i love everything about it: the asymmetrical front flap, funky geometric shape, silver grommets and hardware, side gussets and adjustable strap. it’s big enough for me to stash my old school ibook g4 inside, too!

my perfect converse. i love to live in chucks, and this quirky color combo is so so ME. if i were to customize my own pair, i’d probably pick just this trio of colors! cinder, raspberry and yellow. i had to search all over soCal to get a pair in my size, but am now contemplating buying 2 or 3 additional pairs because i know i’ll be heartbroken when i wear these puppies out. haha that’s justifiable, right??

that’s all for now! many more fun fab finds in the queue. 🙂 i’d love to hear my readers share one of their favorite “fab finds” with me. clue me in on something tasty, convenient, relaxing, or otherwise altogether delightful!

xoxo, angel

april showers bring may flowers, right? well we aren’t getting much rain here in sunny soCal (and that’s the way i like it!), but i can tell you that in terms of my “busy-ness,” it is POURING over here at L&S! i’ve been running around trying to stay dry in the downpour… readily armed with my too-cute lulu guinness umbrella, of course! 😉 i am so thankful for my job & my clients, especially in the current economic climate. but i am simultaneously sorry to not have as much time as i’d like to devote to my blog. i thought i’d FINALLY set aside a little time to play catch up here. here are some fun “general” fab finds that have brought me inspiration & joy as of late. they are more like random tidbits than fab finds, but i hope you enjoy! TONS of wedding posts in the queue, so know that your patience will be rewarded shortly!

1) THE one and only tarina tarantino posted a “tweet” linking to my blog!! yessss, you read that correctly. 😉 if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will recall that i am a major tarina devotee. well i guess somehow tarina came across the blog post i wrote about her delightful jewelry and she posted a link to it on her twitter account!! here is a screen shot, courtesy of my darling client J, who emailed me to let me know!

the top post is a link to THIS POST!

as you can imagine, i was giddy about the mention. 😉 i plan on marching into tarina tarantino’s flagship boutique later this week and seeing if i can leave a biz card for tarina. i’m pretty sure we’d be best friends forever if we met. seriously.

2) i saw weddingbee’s fabulous miss hot cocoa become a mrs.! yep, it is true. i had my 3rd “bee” bride last month and was soooo overwhelmed with joy and delight as she married her love of 15+ years! amazing. i cannot wait to share all of the utterly fab details with you. for now, here is a photo of mrs. h.c. and i at her posh rehearsal dinner at wolfgang puck’s chinois on main. they did a buyout on a friday night — sweetness!

for the interested fashionistas… my top is nanette lepore and mrs. h.c. is wearing badgley mischka. we are complete fashion twins and initially bonded over a mutual love for anthropologie. love this girl to the moon!!!

3) i cut blunt bangs! if you couldn’t already tell from the photo above… i decided to cut blunt bangs about a month ago. i actually had bangs all my life up until age 16 when i decided to go “crazy” my senior year of HS and grow them out. haha i remember being sooo nervous to grow them out! well i finally returned to my fringed hairstyle and have to say i love it. 😉 my fabulous salon gives free bang trims so i am there every 10 days or so. my hair grows like a weed!! bumble & bumble ‘straight’ is my magic product for smooth, frizz free bangs. here is a recent pic of me, my new bangs, and my kristin (of the treasured petal):

i’m wearing an anthropologie headband, urban outfitters vest (which i will admit, is slightly ridiculous… haha), and betsey johnson dress. kristin teased me that day for “wearing everything in my closet at once,” (you can’t see my leggings & riding boots…) but i know she loves me and my quirky style nonetheless. 😉

4) i scored some fantastic summery shades of nail polish… i absolutely love doing my own nails. it is a huge stress reliever for me, and i enjoy taking my time to make them perfect. 😉 i’d say i do my nails about once a week and i frequently joke around and say that if i wasn’t a wedding planner, i’d make a pretty great manicurist. haha i exclusively use OPI polishes after being positively freaked by the cancer warning re: essie polishes at my local ulta. i mean, seriously?? anyway, i recently picked up some great hues including ‘shootout at the OK coral’ (a perfect shimmery summer-time coral), ‘lincoln park at midnight’ (a shimmery deep purple… kinda scared of dark polish but am hoping to push my comfort zone), and ‘on collins avenue’ (a fun orange/red shade).

on collins avenue…

5) i booked an EXTRA special wedding that i can’t really talk about yet. no guesses, please. 😉 i promise i’ll share when the time is right! of course all of my clients are precious to me, but this one is a bit different.. and you’ll soon see why. thanking God for all the amazing opportunities He brings my way!

hope you all are having a delightful week so far! i have an elegant wedding this Saturday for a darling couple. black, white, platinum and pink! it is going to be insanely beautiful and dripping with details. cannot wait…

enjoy the rest of your week! xoxo, angel

hello, dear readers!!  thank you for your patience with my lack of posting.  😉  i have been very busy with a few secret projects that i will be sure to share with you all soon.  for now, let’s jump right back into the swing of things…

we are sooo overdue for another installment of fab finds. 😉 recently i’ve been chatting with a lot of my clients about personalizing their ceremonies by using unique, somewhat unexpected and completely custom-tailored music. although there is something very elegant about using the traditional tunes à la Wagner and Pachelbel, i love hearing something fresh as a bride walks down the aisle. it’s a fantastic way to infuse your wedding day with your personalities and tastes!

for my own wedding back in 2005, i used a fun mix of songs i love. the parents + bridal party walked in to “one hand, one heart” from west side story. i chose the ultra-romantic “all i ask of you” by andrew lloyd-webber (from phantom of the opera — my favorite musical of all-time) for my own teary entrance. we sang a beloved hymn during the ceremony: “be thou my vision.” after we had sealed the deal with a kiss, i fulfilled a childhood fantasy by recessing to “wouldn’t it be nice” by the beach boys. amazing and so much fun! although we had a string quartet play the show tunes + hymn, i opted to play the beach boys tune off of a CD. the lyrics are so sweet!

i have had the incredible delight of hearing many unique ceremony music selections throughout the years. i recall one couple that chose all beatles tunes for their ceremony. think “here comes the sun” and “all you need is love.” another bride walked down the aisle to the moody, “all i want is you” by u2. still another used coldplay tunes, including “clocks” for an upbeat recessional.

to get your wheels turning about some potential unconventional ceremony music choices, i enlisted the help of a dear friend in the biz — the fabulous ian gotler of red shoe l.a.

ian is hands-down my fave DJ: personable, eclectic and so much fun! anytime he is working with me, i know the guests are going to be packed on the dance floor all night. 😉 below ian offers a few of his favorites for various moments during your ceremony.

bridal party processional

bride’s processional


and just for fun, here are some of *my* personal faves for ceremony music. these are the tunes i’d use if i was going to do it all over again. 😉

  • “concerning the ufo sighting near highland illinois” by sufjan stevens
  • “the scientist” by coldplay (super sad, i know, but perfect for a love that has withstood the test of time & various trials. this is actually my favorite song of all-time and never fails to make me cry…)
  • “somebody loved” by the weepies
  • “childhood dreams” by nelly furtado

what do you think? did we mention any of your faves, or do you have some of your own? share your ideas in the comments section… i’d love to get a glimpse at your personality via your musical choices! xoxo, angel