Category Archives: Places to visit

Daily meditation with Oprah and Deepak Chopra

Oh Hello loves,

Join me in this free daily audio guided meditation by Oprah and Deepak Chopra! It started yesterday (Monday, April 10th) but you can also start today.

It is 21-Day Meditation Experience called “Hope in Uncertain Times.”

This is a great way to start your day off with a clear mind and a positive, focused mindset. I am new to meditation (as the closest I’ve gotten is savasna at the end of yoga class) but I have to say so far I love it. We all need to be present and take a break from our daily cluttered chaotic lives. The daily audio will be available for you to listen to it up to 5 days after each day and it will not let you move forward until into the next day (so you can’t read them all at once).

Here is a short description:

Renew a sense of trust and optimism about your life and the world around you. Connect with your personal power in a way that lets you embrace uncertainty as an opportunity to grow and evolve. Harness strength and centeredness, to move beyond conflict and judgment towards more love, peace, and acceptance.

Your journey starts today! Here is the link to access it. It’s time to connect with yourself so you are able to connect better with the outside world.

Breathe in, Breathe out.
Namaste. ūüôŹūüŹĹ

Natalie

Mykonos, Greece

10 amazing places to enjoy a cocktail & watch the sunset in Southern California

There are many beautiful places in Southern California to have a cocktail and watch the sunset. Here I have listed 10 for you to try when visiting any of these beach cities.

VENICE BEACH

My fave place to watch the sunset in Venice Beach is the¬†High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin, the only place with¬†360 degree views of Venice, Santa Monica and the ocean. You want to make a reservation for a table in advance and¬†before sunset. You can enjoy drinks and apps in a comfy booth but bring layers since it can get chilly at night (or ask for a¬†blanket). Order a few appetizers like the hummus, crab dip, guacamole & chips and lamb sliders <– these are WOW.. sooo good. If you don’t have a res, no worries, you can go to the bar, ask for a delicious moscow mule or spicy margarita, walk to the end of the roof and¬†drink your cocktail while gazing into the ocean. You can come casual or dressed up to this place.

Hotel Erwin High Rooftop Lounge Santa Monica

High Rooftop Lounge view Santa Monica

SANTA MONICA

If you plan to stroll over to Santa Monica, Onyx, the rooftop bar at the Shangri-La is another hotel with good drink and apps and you can see the ocean and Santa Monica pier from the top. The rooftop is pretty small. Although there are fire pits, the wind funnels through there closer to the evening so I definitely recommend a jacket. There is also a cool inside portion of the bar (no views there). This is also a beach vibe you can come casual or dressy. People tend to do both. I recommend the fish tacos, they are in a crispy shell, not soft (and spicy). DELISH.

 

View from Shangri La Santa Monica

Shangri La Santa Monica
Photo source: Joey N.

If you want a sunset view but want to be warm inside, I recommend The Huntley Hotel. They also have a beautiful view as it sits high up on the 18th floor. You’ll want to dress up to this place though, it’s more of an upscale vibe and not at all beachy. You can have dinner and enjoy the upscale decor or cocktails at the bar or in a separate sitting area with comfy seating. On the weekends they have a DJ and dancing starting Thursdays at 9pm.

Huntley Hotel Santa Monica
Huntley Hotel Bar Santa Monica

A spot closer to the ground that I enjoy is Loews hotel. Have a drink in comfy seats outside directly facing the ocean.

Loews Santa Monica

This place is beautiful and open and outside near the pool area. They also have an inside bar with a view. When my aunt visits from Northern California, she likes to stay here because the rooms are reasonable for this ocean front property. Prices are in the mid 300’s vs. the other beachfront hotels in Santa Monica that are $500+. Aside from the fact that it is a beautiful hotel.¬†

Loews Santa Monica

MALIBU

Blue Lounge at Moonshadows in Malibu has a super cool swanky vibe and it sits on the water. There are pretty lights lit up everywhere at night and this place has cool energy. You will want to come dressed up to this trendy place. On the weekends they feature International DJs and hand picked music Thursdays 7-midnight, Fridays and Saturdays 7pm-1am and Sundays 3-9pm. You can also come during the day to view the gorgeous views and eat some seafood.

Moonshadows Malibu

Moonshadows Malibu at night
Photo source: Julie D.

Nobu Malibu is another very popular place and people from all over the world come here while in Malibu. This place is very upscale. Enjoy some amazing Japanese food and nicely crafted drinks. They have tables and also comfy outside seating right in front of the ocean. Great for people watching. Reservations are encouraged, especially in the busy summer months as far in advance as possible. My faves on the menu are the lobster ceviche on limestone lettuce, oysters, tiradito, king crab tempura with amazu, yellowtail sashimi with jalepeno, shishito peppers, crispy okra with garlic ponzu, Kaya toast (if you come earlier for brunch.. it’s amaziiing!) and mini lobster, wagyu or tuna tacos. The cod is very very popular there but I am not a fan of cod fish.

Nobu Malibu
Nobu Malibu dining

Carbon Beach Club at Malibu Beach Inn is my most favorite beach side hotel in all of SoCal. This is a very small and intimate hotel and if you stay here, every room has an ocean view. The rooms are very expensive in the summer. I could just sit out on the balcony of my room all day here. They have a nice restaurant called Carbon Beach Club directly over the ocean so you are much closer to the ocean and sand. They have tasty food and the best ingredients which are locally sourced for their land and sea menus. They have an exceptional wine list from around the world. You can come any time of day for breakfast or lunch but for dinner and a drink you want to come not too late. This is more of a relaxed vibe, not a scene. This place closes at 10pm. I just had to post this on the list because it is my favorite place to get away. Look at the website for more amazing pictures.

Malibu Beach Inn

NEWPORT BEACH

Javier’s is my favorite place for dinner and drinks in Newport Beach. The restaurant¬†is upscale with impeccable decor. People dress to impress. If you are into cars you will see a Lamborghini, Bentley or even a Rolls-Royce parked in front of the restaurant. This is one of Newport’s most popular night spots. Make a reservation a week or 2 in advance to get a good time for dinner and ask to sit on the side patio and mention you want an ocean view. If not, ask to sit near the front of the restaurant so you are in the ambiance of it all or in the front enclosed patio with comfy seating. Come early to enjoy the bar and people watch. You can come with no res but you will wait a while.

Unlike other high end Mexican restaurants, the food and drinks here are authentic with very high quality ingredients and seafood. You can always tell a lot about a Mexican restaurant by just tasting their chips and salsa. It is very good here (latinos will approve) and spiiicy.¬†The drink menu is amazing with plenty of tequilas and margaritas to choose from. I love the tamarindo margarita. To eat, recommend the seafood enchiladas and the fajitas. They are the best I’ve had! The fajita meat is so tender and flavorful it is almost like having filet mignon! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. LOL

Javiers Newport Beach

Javiers Newport Beach

Javiers Newport Beach

Natalie Wilson & Friends at Javiers Newport Beach
Above: Friends & I sitting on the front patio.

LAGUNA BEACH

The view here tops all views.. it is AMAZING. The Montage Laguna Beach is one of the finest hotels in all of California. When you walk in you can see the pool and ocean down below and when you walk outside you can see the cliff and ocean view off in the distance. It looks as if you are in a different country (Europe). This place is so pretty. Enjoy a specialty cocktail and watch the sunset in the Lobby lounge which has inside and outside seating with panoramic views. If you would like to also come for dinner, eat at The Loft for creative American cuisine or Studio which is 5-star and more high end with modern fine French food with California Influences. It is in a bungalow style building at the edge of a 50 foot bluff over looking the ocean. They also have a great wine selection.

The chef also does tasting menus and private dinners at the Chef’s Table. Fresh herbs and vegetables are picked outside Studio’s doors in a private garden and are used throughout the restaurant. Both of these restaurants also have ocean views and both inside and outside seating to watch the sunset. If you come earlier in the day I suggest you visit Mosaic Bar & Grille for casual beach fare and views of the Pacific. The seating is first come, first serve. This includes seating by the pool (or you can reserve a cabana) up until 4:30pm.

Montage Laguna Beach

Montage Laguna Beach View

Montage Laguna Beach water

LA JOLLA 

Ocean Terrace¬†at George’s at the Cove restaurant is a must when in La Jolla! Park at the bottom in front of the ocean so you can walk along¬†there first and look down at the ocean and seals¬†then walk your way up to the restaurant. La Jolla is about 2 hours¬†south of the Santa Monica Beaches, close to San Diego. My boyfriend took me here and I’m very thankful he showed me this place. I came in the summer and walked up to the ocean terrace to enjoy a¬†beautiful view. There is a very nice vibe at the bar; you feel like your on vacation (maybe since a lot of people that go here are on vacation LOL). It is open and airy. Come for lunch or dinner for fine cuisine at a fair price. It is an upscale vibe but you can come here dressy or casual.

The food is scrumdidlyumptious and you MUST try the soup (George’s famous soup). The soup is so flavorful, one of the best if not the best I’ve had. My boyfriend had me try it even though I wasn’t in the mood for soup and once I did I was hooked. Others that have come here under my recommendation also love the soup. Just get it as an appetizer. All the food I’ve had here is good and the seafood is fresh so you can’t go wrong. I enjoyed my cocktails too. The bartenders and servers are very friendly.¬†If you want to eat at the actual restaurant (George’s) it is on a lower level and more of an upscale vibe and the views will not disappoint!

Terrace views:

George's at the Cove La Jolla

George's at the Cove Terrace

Restaurant view:

George's at the Cove view
This area is a little ritsy (as you will notice if you walk around the shops. This is totally off subject but check out my friends National Geographic fine art gallery while you are there in La Jolla. They have beautiful blown up art (national geographic images) from around the world. This is one of several of their locations and the concept is totally new.

It doesn’t get too cold in Southern California (average of 70 degrees year round) so you can pretty much visit these spots any time. That is one of the reasons why I don’t ever think I could move away. I used to live in between LA and San Diego (Mission Beach). Now I’m just in LA but I may be doing both again here soon. ūüôā I just love the beach life and in San Diego it is much more of a laid back friendlier vibe than LA beaches. Don’t get me wrong, I like the fancy places and dressing up too.. once in a while. ūüėČ

I hope you have enjoyed this post and that you get to visit some of these lovely places while visiting SoCal.

xo,

Natalie

 

Minimal Bathing suits in Venice Beach

There are so many bathing suit lines these days and we are seeing the “minimal” bathing suit becoming more of a trend. Minimal bikinis are¬†barely there thinner tops and bottoms with no padding or lining. Although I wasn’t sure at first how I’d feel in such a “barely there” bathing suit, I actually love it. They are more natural looking and sexier in my opinion. They show a lot more skin.

I had the pleasure of meeting one of the founders of this bathing suit line I’m wearing in Venice Beach. She was visiting from Canada and was very sweet. I opted for the black two piece. The suit is quite comfy and if you like, you can bring the sides higher up on your waist.

Do like those Brazilians do and show off those cheeks! LOL

Tommy Cuellar shot these photos in Venice Beach, a cool place near Santa Monica Beach, California if you’ve never been. There is lots of¬†funky street art, souvenirs and performances on the boardwalk. You can stroll over to Main St. shops and restaurants¬†or Abbot Kinney Blvd. for the same thing but more trendy.


Ciao for now!

Photography by Tommy Cuellar

What I wore:

Bathing suit: 437 Swimwear / IG

Fitness in Pioneer Town

I have been obsessed lately with fitness gear and working out a lot. From circuit training at the park with my boyfriend, to pilates, to yoga, to bootcamps, to lifting at the gym with my trainer friend Sirem, to bar class, to hiking, to you name it. I buy a lot of fitness clothes and love trying new brands and practically live in them. I recently visited Pioneer Town which wasn’t on the agenda but was on the way to Joshua Tree, our destination. ¬†Pioneer Town is in Yucca Valley which is in the Morongo Basin (East of the San Bernadino Mountains and north of Coachella Valley). It is located within the Mojave Desert and in the High Desert region of Southern California. It was a little over a 2 hour drive from Los Angeles. After we got off of the exit, it was a 4 mile scenic drive down Pioneer Town Rd. full of joshua trees, shrubs and the little mountains made of the largest rocks I’ve ever seen.


The town was a live-in Old West motion picture set built in the 1940’s and was a place for actors to live and film. When we arrived it was a ghost town and there was literally no one there.¬†It definitely felt like I was in another time period or in one of the¬†old western movies I grew up watching with my dad. It was an interesting experience. Walking down Main Street you will see a jail, bathhouse, an old bank, a pen with real live chickens inside (you can put a quarter in a machine to get corn kernels to feed them with), livery stables, a saloon and many other western places. It was pretty cool to see. So we decided, why not take some shots here?

Hello chickeeeen!

It was super windy and¬†not hot as I imagined (in fact it was freezing oddly enough, not warm like LA and definitely not 10 degrees warmer as I thought it would be. It¬†totally messed up my blow out, LOL). My hair was a mangled tangly mess but I was like well, it’s a fitness shoot so it will work.

I wore sporty black leggings and a work out bra top. I wear these as regular leggings a lot in addition to working out because they are super comfy. I believe mine are the low rise version. If you purchase these, make sure you wash on the delicate cycle and do not put them in the dryer, it is best to hang dry these (as I do with all my work out gear so they last longer).

My shoes I purchased from my favorite shoe store and I wish they had more. I am obsessed with bright sneaks and completely solid colored ones. These are mens shoes, believe it or not. They also had some bright yellow ones I wish I had bought but it looks like they are still available! Click the link I listed at the bottom of this post.

When you get a chance, you must visit Pioneer Town. I believe the whole set is open on weekends (and the stores / adjacent bar). Right next door¬†is a little Pioneer Town motel which looks super neat. Also within the lot is Pappy & Harriet’s¬†which is should also be on your list to visit. It’s a large BBQ restaurant & bar¬†that was really¬†packed once it opened at night (otherwise I wouldn’t have thought a single soul existed in this town) and it was such a fun place!!! Live music from locals (kind of like a mini concert) and oddly, they feature other singers from around the world and all types of music! When we were there, there was a rapper from China and singers from Sweden, kid singers, adults, you name it. Luckily we got a table right in front, facing the performers. It was an interesting mix of tourists, trendy hipsters and western / southern looking folks. I went the weekend after Coachella so I’m not sure if it is a busy time but they have amazing reviews on yelp and it definitely felt like a popular place.

Welp, that’s it for this post. I hope I have inspired you to work out and also to visit Pioneer Town with friends or your significant other. It will definitely be fun and like nothing you’ve experienced. I plan to go back with my boyfriend. Sadly, I won’t be working out for a while since I am recovering from a complex foot surgery I had a week ago, but luckily I still have some content to post. I will get back at it once I am on my feet.

Y’all have a good day and make sure y’all¬†come back now, ya hear?

Photography by Tommy Cuellar 

xx, Natalie

 

 


What I wore: 

VS Bra Top

VS Leggings: Low-Rise & High Rise

Shoes: Asics Tiger Gel Kayano Trainer

Sunnies: Ray-Ban

Visiting LACMA art museum in my favorite white jeans


These are my all time favorite jeans. Well ok, you caught me, they aren’t exactly jeans. They look like it, but they are actually called “The legging ankle (super skinny ankle).” In today’s world they would be called jeggings (jeans but actually leggings). That might be why they are so soft and stretchy, lightweight and feel like a second skin.

With this look, I am wearing a few of my staple pieces. Pieces I can wear interchangeably with almost anything. I love this cropped black tank and long grey sweater coat I throw on with jeans, leggings, shorts, a dress, even black yoga pants and sneakers.

The coat is warm, light,¬†soft and also very comfortable. The store I got it from is one of my favorite places in West Hollywood, if you’re into fashion, you must go. It is called “The Library” on West 3rd Street. I believe it’s technically Los Angeles but it is the trendy Weho (West Hollywood) area with tons of delicious restaurants, cool fashion shops, juice bars, etc. I love this area and I frequent it quite often as I love all the stores and food choices. I used to live walking distance to there. This store literally has everything I would have hand picked myself from clothes, the hottest sunglasses to accessories. They sometimes have a rack outside with clothes on sale. Check¬†it out if you are ever in the¬†area.

Back to what I’m wearing, on my feet¬†are camel booties, which I love that deep camel color and the richness it brings to the outfit. The clutch ties it all in and matches my shoes although I don’t usually match my shoes and my purse as I’ve mentioned before. This I was ok with since the clutch is leopard print with several different colors. Matching your shoes and purse is in most cases too cookie cutter or too “boring” for me. LOL


So that’s all folks! Invest in these jeggings if you want a nice pair of jeans that are flattering to your curves and yet so comfy. Great for spring, summer and actually year round. Show off that figure of yours and look and feel fabulous! Or use these as motivation to hit the gym, then do that! ūüėÜūüėČ

Moriah Yex Photography  Unknown

LOCATION: We shot these photos at LACMA ¬†(Los Angeles County Museum of Art) in Mid-City Los Angeles (known as Miracle Mile or Mid Wilshire). Another cool place to check out if you haven’t been or if you plan to visit¬†LA soon. I am standing in front of “Urban Light” which is a large-scale assemblage sculpture by Chris Burden (2008). It consists of restored cast iron street lamps from the 1920’s & 1930’s. Most of them from the streets of Southern California once upon a time. The lights are solar powered and switch on at dusk. So pretty in person to see day or night. You can come get a day pass to view the art galleries and exhibitions for about $15 (cheaper for seniors and free for kids) and they also have a cafe and good restaurant onsite for food and drinks.

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What I wore:

Tank: American Apparel

Jeggings: AG Jeans; below

Coat: Fiction | similar

Heels: Prada | similar | similar below

Lips: Nars; below

Clutch: similar 1 | 2 | 3 |4 | 5