Wild Wild West
Check out her life and style blog, The Western Wild at: www.thewesternwild.com
It’s 7 am as I open my eyes to the dim light of winter in Malibu. At the base of the canyon in which I live, direct sunlight doesn’t reach the house until around midday, so it’s with a gentle touch that each new morning wakes me. At this time of year, as the warm Santa Ana winds whip through the trees, down into the backyard and finally out to the ocean just beyond our home, there is truly nothing like it anywhere else in the world.
The shower is running in the bathroom, and my boyfriend darts across the room with a towel wrapped around his waist, clicking on “Good Day LA” as he passes by the television in front of our bed. He’s got a day of meetings and filming in town, and I’ve just finished a big collaboration for my blog Western Wild so after he leaves, I’ve got the day to myself.
I’ll skip a shower for now. A girlfriend is taking me out at in 20 minutes. I’m up. I saunter to the bathroom, brush my teeth and wipe away some leftover mascara that’s created dark circles beneath my eyes. I make my way into the closet across the hall. Every bikini I have is geared a bit more towards minimal tan lines than activity in the water, so I just throw on the first one I find. I pull my wetsuit off its hanger and walk out to the kitchen where I see my boyfriend has beaten me to letting the dogs out, and drops of water from their bowls litter the wood floor.
One of my favorite winter drinks is lemon tea, so this morning, as I dodge puddles across the kitchen, I fill my teapot with water, turn the stove up, squeeze half a lemon into a giant “Wake the F*ck Up” mug (which was one of my boyfriend’s contributions when we moved in together), mix in a teaspoon of Vermont maple syrup and, once the pot is whistling, truly start my day.
A few sips and a quick kiss goodbye later, I am speed walking to my Jeep. I’ve already got a surfboard in the back. The beach is just up the road, so it’s a quick drive, and I’m pulling up along the PCH shoulder to park, cars whizzing by on one side, calm water, glittering with sunrise, on the other. While I only get out in the water occasionally, it’s such a peaceful, calming place to be.
An hour later and my friend has to get to her job in Santa Monica. I am headed into town in a bit for my self- proclaimed “Me Day, ” but first a stop at my favorite smoothie bar:
THE VITAMIN BARN
23823 Malibu Rd, Ste 600 Malibu, CA 90265 | 310.317.4833
I visit the Vitamin Barn in Malibu practically every day. Chalk full of nutritional supplements and superfoods, when I’m not at Vitamin Barn for a nutrient-packed shake or ginger shot, I’m shopping there for healthy recipe additions.
THE SHAKE: My shake of choice is called The Pamela, and yes, it was named after Pamela Anderson who used to order it regularly.
THE INGREDIENTS: The smoothie consists of strawberries, coconut nectar, ginger, Choline Cocktail (for cognitive clarity and energy), glutamine, flaxseed oil and acidophilus (a probiotic). It’s also delicious and will serve as my breakfast for today.
It is a sun-filled morning in Malibu, and as I make my way into town, the light pouring through my windows keeps the car perfectly warm. I have just arrived at my favorite, and, let’s be honest, just about the only truly chic nail salon in Beverly Hills.
OLIVE & JUNE
430 North Canon Dr Beverly Hills, CA 90210 | 310.247.0500 www.olivejune.com
I still find it bizarre that no one but Olive & June has capitalized on the fashion forward, uber-trendy, mani/ pedi-obsessed market that is Los Angeles. I looked high and low when I moved to the city, not because I’m a nail salon snob or aficionado, but because each place I tried was either a dive or a snooty day spa and I just wanted a cute salon where I could actually enjoy spending an hour of my day and not worry about developing a cuticle infection after the fact. Olive & June was the answer to my prayers. It’s so darn adorable.
TRY THIS: Select The June off their menu of services and you’ve got yourself an express mani/pedi for $48, or luxuriate with the all- organic beauty products and extended massage of The Margot.
With my nails in ship shape, I head to lunch at A.O.C. in West Hollywood.
A.O.C. WINE BAR
8700 West 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048 | 310.859.9859 www.aocwinebar.com
The cozy brick courtyard out back, with its trickling water fountain, reminds me of a New York City bistro. I’ve chosen bacon-wrapped dates, Dijon chicken salad, and brioche with prosciutto and melted Gruyère from renowned chef Suzanne Goin’s selection of small plates. They are nothing short of spectacular – the quality that I have come to expect at A.O.C. I stand up, gather my purse from the seat beside me, and take one last bite of that savory, cheesy crostini before making my way back across the courtyard, through the rustic indoor dining room and out to Third Street.
One of my favorite clothing boutiques is just two blocks from here on Robertson. I’ll walk. The Santa Ana winds don’t seem to draw much warmth to this side of the city. The cooler air is refreshing though, and
I take my time to stroll the length of Third. In a matter of minutes I’ve made my way through the door of Paul & Joe, a Parisian clothing brand with only one U.S. boutique location.
PAUL & JOE
138 S Robertson Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90048 310.270.4620 www.paulandjoe.com
Per usual, their current product selection is ultra feminine and ultra French. I fall in love. Again. I find a pair of patchwork, high- waisted denim that I fear I cannot survive without, as well as a luxurious coral sweater.
The saleswoman, whose sister-in-law is the founder and designer of the brand, shows me a beautiful dress made from a print of small Beagles (yes, the dog breed) that cinches at the back. It feels a bit much to be head-to-toe in dogs, so I pull on an oversized sweater. The dress becomes a skirt, and I think we’ve got another hit outfit on our hands!
Is it really 2:30pm? I’ve just remembered that I need an outfit for a party I have coming up, but Paul & Joe won’t really be edgy enough in this case. I’ll have to make another stop before going home, and I better hurry because I don’t want to hit traffic heading home to the beach! As I squeeze out the front door of Paul & Joe, hands now fully-loaded with shopping bag handles, I see it, and I can’t resist it. Georgetown Cupcake.
143 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048 310.271.2171 www.georgetowncupcake.com
When I lived in Boston, I use to go every Sunday to Georgetown because that was the day they baked my favorite flavor: Chocolate Coconut. It has been months since I’ve indulged – therefore, I am overdue. I struggle a bit with the door to Georgetown as my bags, now twisted around my wrist, are nearly too wide to fit between the open door and the railing out front. A man at the entrance awkwardly pretends to try to hold the door for me, and I thank him for his faux effort, assuring him “I’ve got it.”
One Red Velvet cupcake later, I am dashing back up Third to pick up my car from valet. My next stop is a boutique I often rely on for their matching skirt and top sets as well as their long, flowing dresses. In fact, I’ve just recalled that the most recent dress I bought from their online store was described as, “something to float around in.” Love that.
8253 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90048 | 323.852.0005 www.thereformation.com
This boutique, Reformation, opened in 2009 and consists of a line of vintage clothing scraps that designer Yael Aflalo reinvents with a modern twist, rather than let them go to waste. It is sustainable clothing – plus, it’s beautiful. I find a long sleeve, black velvet dress that will do perfectly, and they’ve got it in my size. Perfect. I have 20 minutes to get from West Hollywood to Santa Monica!
I make it to Blowouts by Benefit on Montana Avenue in time for my appointment – the traffic gods must be on my side today.
BLOWOUTS BY BENEFIT
1210 Montana Ave Santa Monica, CA 90403 | 310.458.6800 www.benefitcosmetics.com
This place is all the beautiful ambiance of a Benefit cosmetics store, but even cuter – come to think of it, I really need this wallpaper in my office at home! My stylist greets me and walks me back to the sinks where I’ll have my hair washed. There is just about nothing better than a head massage at a salon, and this one is no exception. By the time I am walking out of Blowouts, my bob is full of volume and loose beach waves – just the right vibe for dinner this evening.
I make my way down the California incline and back onto the PCH. The sun sits low in the sky already, but I hope to watch the sunset from dinner. I am meeting a girlfriend at Malibu Roadhouse.
26025 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu, CA 90265 | 310.456.8900 www.theranchatsolsticecanyon.com
It only opened a few months back, but it has quickly become a favorite of mine. I arrive at the restaurant ahead of schedule, and while I wait for my friend, I think I’ll catch up on some emails. An entire day away from work will have left me with quite a bit to catch up on.
The waiter brings an espresso to keep me company while I work. After what I’m convinced is the best bruschetta in California (and possibly beyond), and an exceptional sunset over Latigo Beach, I make the trek back up the hill to home. Pulling into the driveway, I see my boyfriend has also just made it back. He waves from the garage as he positions his motorcycle in its spot. I park, and he meets me, throwing his arm around me for the walk back into our house. The dogs’ collars jingle through the window as they wake from napping to greet us.
What a perfect day.