BIRTHDAY DINNER TABLE

It's my birthdayyyy...table! This year I waned to do a little less then last year's full on beach party and so I settled on a pretty table at a nice restaurant for just myself and few good friends. And yes, my idea of "doing less" is decorating a table. Enjoy. 


The Place: there were many options, but ultimately Georgie's was at the top of my list! I've been for coffee and brunch at their adorable café setup, I also am obsessed with their blue and white plates. There were a few other places I considered but I was just so impressed by the immediate politeness and customer service I received when I pitched my idea of decorating the table, that made this the right place. Georgie's is a newer restaurant at the Montage Beverly Hills, replacing the former Scarpetta location. I must admit, my attraction started at the adorable decor and super girly ambiance, but I was thoroughly impressed by the delicious food and service. I ordered the salmon and we all shared the most delicious sweet and salty bread. Most of my friends ordered the dover sole and couldn't stop talking about it. But I must say, the martini cart was at the top of my list, so chic, just so incredibly chic. Thank goodness I had at least one friend brave enough to order a martini (or two) so we could have a cart experience! Two of my friends loved the Spring Meringue and the Georgie Gerber cocktails. I opted for a less sugary version of a Paloma, which was basically just tequila, soda and a splash of grapefruit juice and it was delicious! 


The Table: So this was, surprisingly, the very first table I have decorated! I wasn't exactly sure what look I was going for so instead I just bought a bunch of things I liked. Next time I will definitely make sure everything matches before I buy but I think it turned out pretty so no complaints! I knew the restaurant had blue and white plates and so I started there. I wanted to place a green palm leaf over the plate to compliment the blue and white, a color scheme I am quite fond of. I also knew I wanted pink flowers, unfortunately peonies are out of season and hard to find, so I settled for some pink roses and found these amazing little lavender pom pom flowers that I sadly can't find the formal name for. Instead of using vases I just spread out the lavender branches and placed the rose heads into the crevices. Then laid my battery operated copper light strings across the table. In hindsight, I would have opted for a transparent strand or mini individual lights so the copper wire didn't show but hey you live and you learn! For place cards I had this great idea of using miniature pineapples (they sell them at most grocery stores, mine are from Ralph's) and a mini flag. If you can't find a similar flag then I recommend just taping a toothpick to the back of a normal place card to mount it into the pineapple. I wrote (well my friend wrote as my handwriting is horrid) everyone's name on their flag with a metallic gold sharpie, and stuck the flag into the pineapple. Wallah, a super chic place setting is made!


The Treats: Per usual I ordered my absolute favorite marble cake from Susie's! This year I decided to have a Drake on cake - which for those of you who aren't hip is just a cake with Drake lyrics on it, made famous by this fabulous Instagram account. I had lots of options but ultimately choose the "feeling good, living better" because why wouldn't I haha. I am so absolutely happy with the way it turned out and of course, the consistent slice of heaven SusieCakes always delivers! The candles I found were perhaps my favorite detail of all! These blue and white marble candles are so chic and come in a few different colors. I just couldn't get enough! As a party favor I gave all my friends some yummy macarons wrapped in cellophane and tied them up with a baby blue pom pom fabric. As much as I liked the idea, I think that's enough cellophane for me and perhaps pairing baby pink and baby blue is a little too, baby. Not quite there yet! 


Cheers to #28!

Xoxo, 

-M
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SUMMER TRAVEL INSPIRATION


Have you heard... I'm going to Europe and Israel this summer and as you can imagine, I'm BEYOND excited! I haven't been back to either since college and despite the many other places I'd like to travel to, I just couldn't resist the urge to head back to some of the most magical spots in the world. Some destinations on the list: the Amalfi coast, Portugal, the French Rivera and Tel Aviv! In major anticipation I've been planning away sites to see, food to eat, places to capture some beautiful Instagrams, and of course, outfits. So many outfits. I've been shopping for quite some time, in search of some great embroidery, stripes, and gingham, cool linen fabrics and some chic night out ensembles so I can pass for a european jetsetter and not the over enthusiastic American that I am. Here are some photos to inspire! Buon divertimento! 
















Salute!

CLASSIC BASK

Summer, summer, summertime... is the best of all seasons, for many reasons (didn't mean for that to rhyme) some being, my birthday, the reliably warm weather, and endless beach days... unless you live in Los Angeles and STILL wonder how it manages to get so cold at night!? I've always loved swimming - well actually more so chilling by a pool or beach with an ice cold glass of rosé and a good read. And with that comes the oh so taxing process of finding a flattering swimsuit, and then the dreaded cover up. I have so many that really seem to double up as dresses, and that's why I got so incredibly excited about - get this - a toweling blazer. Basically a blazer made from terry cloth, to wear over swimsuits for those chilly breezes post swim, or for me, a chic way to sip rosè and look civilized in my bikini. Oh and did I mention the monogram? My new obsession, from BASK, comes in white and navy, which to be honest was a really hard choice, but I like to keep things beachy so I chose white, with navy piping, but I also love the white with pink, and navy with red. Perfect for those long days under the sun and certainly my favorite resort wear item ever created. It's like going to prep school but on the beach; and with rosè and nothing to study haha. As Town and Country Magazine appropriately quipped "if Gatsby wore a cover up." So long gone are the days of trendy, embellished sheer, flowy dresses for me. I think I've found myself a classic. Enjoy. 












Let's keep it classic. 

XX, 

-M

THE M LIST: AUGUST

{ photography by Danielle Heinson }

1. IT'S MY BIRTHDAYYYYYY!!!!

Enough said! Last year I went a little overboard, planning an all white beach soiree. It was lovely but since this month is going to be a whirlwind with work and my upcoming travels I think I am going to lay low this year, perhaps a nice dinner with a few close friends and a special someone. I will be turning 28 so I might as well start planning for a blowout 30th. But for any of you planning any size gathering, check out my pinterest board for some serious party inspo! 

2. Rich People Problems

Kevin Kwan's third novel since his debut Crazy Rich Asians, Rich People Problems is now the third addition to his infamous trilogy about the frivolity of the Chinese super rich. He had me hooked from the first page and I'm amazed how quickly he's pushed out this third novel, right after China Rich Girlfriend. Even more exciting, they seem to be making REAL moves on a full motion picture version of the novel in the series and I'M SO EXCITED! I also have a few other beach reads on my list currently Fake Plastic Love, The Commonwealth, Our Little Racket.  

3. Bon Voyage to ... Europe and Israel!

AND I JUST CAN'T WAIT... until my "to do" list is finally done. It's going to be quite the trip and I can't wait to see everything, bask in the sun and eat lots of yummy food (aka pasta). We are headed to Lisbon, the French Rivera, the Amalfi Coast and Tel Aviv. It will most certainly be a whirlwind trip and I just want to make sure I enjoy every moment. I just got my first professional camera and so practicing all the great shots is a top priority! Would love any recommendations for both the trip and how to use a real camera! 

4. Goodbyes and Hellos

So this past year I had the pleasure of mentoring interns while they complete their master programs in Social Work at USC. Unlike most internships, they have been with me the entire year and I must say I am going to miss them. I have learned so much being a mentor and supervising for the very first time in my career as a therapist. It's been quite a humbling experience and very cool to have a part in training people in my own field. The upside to saying goodbye, however, is that I will be getting four brand new interns right after! I can't wait to do it all again, this year with a little more insight and mentorship practice; more to come on that in a future post. 

5. Eat, See, Here

This weekend my cousin invited me to a really fun night in the park hosted by EatSeeHear, an outdoor movie company that puts on events every weekend around Los Angeles in the summer. I used to do this in Chicago and my mother always told me stories about the old school drive in movies (anyone know if they exist anymore?). So we packed a picnic, listened to some live music and watched a showing of Young Frankenstein under the moon and the stars. It was a really fun night, I highly recommend going ahead of time and trying some of the food trucks before the movie starts with friends. They were also super dog friendly, so that was a perk for the canine obsessed like myself haha. Next movie showing is Mean Girls in Pasadena (classic), then When Harry Met Sally, and more through September.  

Any other Leo's out there? 

Happy August, 

Xo, 

-M

BIRTHDAY GIFT GUIDE

{ birthday donuts via angel food }

Birthdays are so fun... albeit inevitable. I feel like everyone is always having a birthday, ALL THE TIME! Meaning lots of fun but also LOTS OF GIFTS! So many gifts. And while I love to celebrate and give gifts, I also sometimes think I need less friends... JK! Over the years of my little young adult life I have learned a few things, a few tricks of the trade, and while there are many a splurge worthy option on this list, I think what matters the most is the interest you show in your friend, acquaintance, family member, significant other, that matters the most. The gift option I really feel you can never go wrong with is something personalized. Monogram it, because it takes time and thoughtfulness and planning to give a gift like that. One of the best presents I ever received was handprinted stationery with my initials on it, handmade from a dear friend (shoutout to you Jennifer). I also absolutely loved the cheese basket my friend Emma gave me that had an assortment of cheeses handpicked from the grocery store, cheese plate serving accessories and a cute mini champs bottle. These were two great gifts that were probably the least expensive and most thoughtful gifts I ever received. I also believe that for some friends or acquaintances a bottle of rosé or some flowers go a long way. And under all circumstances, you must ALWAYS write a card! Preferably on some personal stationery, to make it stand out from the rest of the hallmark rift raft. A nice set of words in print is like a treasure trove, an antiquated tradition in the current day of birthday texts, cake emojis and Facebook wall posts. I also think that just like a wedding, any hosted party requires a gift. It's just that simple. I also happened to leave out experiential gifts on this list, but they are MUCH appreciated, whether you take a friend out for ice cream, an art class, soulcycle, brunch or to Hawaii (hint, hint); you can never return quality time spent with someone you care about! Remember, it's the thought that counts. And I really hope someone thinks I am worthy of these Aquazurra tassel pumps. Pretty, pretty, pleaseeeeeee. Enjoy!


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MAKE A WISH!!! For those donuts...dough

XO, 

-M
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100 THINGS ABOUT ME

{sunset in santa monica, ca}

And if you don't know, now you know ... I realize my blog is about my style and the things I get inspiration from, my creative dream outlet - but I wanted to maybe break down a little bit more about myself and my taste. So here we are, 100 things about me, this was so fun to do, would maybe be a nice dinner game with friends or serve as a fun ice breaker. Here we go! Hope you enjoy and maybe fill one out yourself or with friends!

favorite color: blue
time of day: sunset and dusk
childhood book: hopper
three things I love about my city: the ocean/mountains, the weather (duh), and the proximity to other beautiful places (Carmel, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara) 
profession: mental health therapist, i blog as a hobby on the side
favorite accessory right now: these tassel earrings in every color
greatest achievement: raising money for saving innocence
favorite meal: truffle cream pasta
celebrity crush: miles teller
rule worth breaking: eat the last slice of pizza


{my best cheese plate yet}

best thing i can cook: a gorgeous cheese plate 
city: london
charitable cause: CSEC (commercial sexual exploitation of children)
i can never have too many: dinners with good friends
place to shop: zara, luxury vintage shops, Bloomingdale, and yes, I will stop shopping at forever 21 when they stop making adorable things  
dessert: anything peanut butter and chocolate 
go to outfit: a blue and white button down and navy leather skinny jeans
style mantra: classic with a touch of glamour 
earliest memory: crawling in my parents living room in the early morning
dream travel: to spend a month living in the English countryside around christmastime, aka the holiday


{faena hotel in miami}

u.s. vacation destination: Miami
style era: 1920s
style icons: Olivia Palermo, Jackie Kennedy, Aerin lauder, Morgan Stewart, 
hostess gift: a coffee table book or bottle of rosé
prized possession: calliou, my toy poodle
top cuisine: Italian, Japanese, Mexican
most recent book read: a study in charlotte 
movie: black swan
blogs I regularly read: this is glamorous, la dolce vita, design darlingthe college prepster
favorite piece of jewelry: my pearl ring my family gave me when I graduated my masters of Social Work program

{the cypress tree in carmel by the sea}

weekend destination: Carmel by the Sea
disney movie: alice in wonderland
guilty pleasure: watching old seasons of real housewives and pinning on pinterest
museum: art institute of Chicago
hometown: Chicago
first blog i ever read: and still read-la dolce vita (found it after google searching olivia palermo's apartment)
ice cream flavor: cookie dough
drug store beauty product: maybelline telescopic lash mascara

{my little toy poodle caillou}

pet: an energetic and adorable white toy poodle who resides with his grandmother in Chicago because his mother was too selfish and moved to LA!
thing to do with friends: trying new restaurants
childhood movie: bye bye birdie
high school sport: cheerleading
astrological sign: leo
early bird or night owl: early bird
decor dream splurge: a navy blue velvet couch with thick white borders on each cushion (like tory burch's here)
flower: peonies, roses, hydrangeas

{peonies and some of my favorite coffee table books}

cocktail: I usually drink either a vodka soda with lime or a glass of rose to avoid all the sugar but I love a good French 75, Spritz, or Margarita too!
instagram accounts I obsess over: @juliahengel, @somethingnavy, @sophieschumacher0, @blarejune@whatwouldkikiwear, @margoandme, @leslieannebruce, @kjp@brookedujour, @bright_beautiful
snack: pretzel challah bread from whole foods with hummus
dream car: a vintage white volkswagen beetle convertible
workout: running, a hike or soul cycle
american cities i still need to visit: Charleston, Nantucket, Dallas, Nashville, Cape Cod
trend i'll never be over: blazer and statement necklace (e.g. olivia palermo on the city)


best thing about my apartment: my desk - bar cart is a close second though
coffee shop order: typically a black coffee with a splash of almond milk but as a treat, a vanilla almond milk latte, maybe with a yummy sugar cookie on the side
it's not a weekend without: my typical bagel and matzo ball soup breakfast from NY Bagel in Brentwood
if i became a billionaire: i would start a charitable foundation for women, travel half the year and continue therapy and blogging
worst habit: playing with my hair
food i wish had no negative health impact: cheese! cheese! cheese! pleaseeeeee
dream daily luxury: a personal chaffer



thing to do in the summer: drive with the top down on pacific coast highway
actress that would play me in a movie: jenna tatum, or so i've been told
season: summer, duh
holiday: chrismakuh 
scariest thing i've ever done: creating a position for myself at work
hogwarts house: ravenclaw
movie i never tire of: the holiday between the months of September and February 
mary-kate and ashley movie: passport to paris
nail polish: essie's haute as hello or sunday funday
most magical place i've been: verona, italy
best childhood memory: sleep away camp
pizza topping: mushrooms, truffles preferably 
store candy: tie between toblerone and butterfinger 



best outfit worn to date: a crisp white blazer, grey silk shorts, white silk tank top, pearl statement necklace and silver captoe pumps
first concert: n'sync
superhero power: to fly! i literally have consistent dreams about it
habit i'm trying to break: saying "i'm sorry" for minor things - like moving over for someone at the grocery store that bumped into me?
favorite real housewife: heather dubrow
if i could only eat at one restaurant for a year: mastro's, especially the alaskan crab truffle gnocchi! 
last thing i ate: salmon avocado sushi and garlic cheese pasta
as a kid i wanted to be: the president of the united states
board game: candyland
favorite kardashian: kris jenner, i respect the hustle
best piece of advice i've received: to not care what anyone thinks because they are already too consumed with themselves
skill i want to learn: equine therapy


{image source}

favorite place in los angeles: the fountain coffee room at the Beverly Hills Hotel
famous person i'd like to have dinner with: barbara walters
mcdonald's order: chicken snack wrap and fries
song i never tire of: chandelier by sia
my real housewife tagline: would you rather be happy or right?
person i want to trade homes with: gwenyth paltrov's brentwood home
biggest regret: not getting my first credit card until I was 25
best gift i ever received: a basket of cheese plate accessories including several cheeses!
dream photoshoot: a sunset picnic in provence 
childhood role model: fran drescher in the nanny
bachelor or bachelorette fan favorite: trista, the first bachelorette!
describe yourself in three words: self-deprecating, bold and empathetic

Okay now a quiz...

JK!

XX, 

-M