STAYCATION ALL I EVER WANTED

{ Staycation at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel }
Staycation all I ever needed! I had always heard the term "staycation" and chuckled at the frivolity, but to be honest, secretly wanted an excuse to indulge. I do live in Los Angeles, one of the most desirable cities after all. So when the opportunity arose to spend a night of fun with a group of girls I don't get to see often, I went for it. Lucky for me, my friends found a place just five minutes from home! 

The Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel is tucked away behind lots of lush greenery, right on the border of Brentwood and Bel-Air. The property is pretty well hidden, with only one small sign on the North side of Sunset Blvd, positioned right off the 405 freeway. The grounds are hilly, green and quiet, with a secluded pool area and a nice view of the Getty Center. 
Our plan for the staycation was to relax and celebrate the going away of my friend Jennifer, who is unfortunately moving away to Kansas with her hubby. We wanted to have more time then allotted at our standard monthly brunches and recreate the fun night we spent in Sacramento during graduate school. It was basically the equivalent of a girls sleepover, but with the wonderful addition of cocktails. 

The weather was perfectly sunny that Saterday afternoon when we checked in and so I headed straight for the pool, bikini clad and ready to order some poolside fries and margaritas! I felt so relaxed lounging by the pool, definitely a staple staycation amenity!
{ 1.Grease } { 2. Grapefruit Joia Soda } { 3. Veuve Cliquot } { 4. Mason Jar Drinks via Brit + Co } { 5. J. Crew Beach Tunic } { 6.  Venus Block Print String Bikini via Calypso St. Barth } { 7. Gap Stitched Fedora } { 8. Justine's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups } { 9. Extra Crispy Oven Baked French Fries via Layers of Happiness } { 10. Cheese Board via Joan's on Third } { 11. Williams-Sonoma Pop It And Top It! Cheddar Popcorn
Once everyone got their proper dose of vitamin D, we headed back to the room for some unhealthy snacks and beverages, my friend made us the cutest Mason jar drinks complete with handmade name tags! Since one of our friends is Vegan, we made sure to bring lots of yummy snacks, including a cheese plate (with a vegan option sold here) and the BEST vegan dark chocolate peanut butter cups my friend Melissa makes! But we made sure to make it back to the pool just in time for sunset and a little night swim! 
{ The Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel }
Our one night stay was just what we needed, a little sun, a little relaxation and lots of quality time with each other. I think since we were at a hotel and had the whole night we were truly able to relax without anyone playing host or worrying about driving far to get home. It was really refreshingly simple and I'm so glad we all went! Definitely would love to do it again sometime and would recommend going with your significant other, family or friends like I did. Here are some more spots in Los Angeles I find highly worth considering (below). 
{ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 }
Almost left out the BEST part about any stay, hotel robes & room service!!! #myheaven! 
Staycation, got to get away!!!

Cheers, 

Xx, Monica

HOTSPOT: DAY IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES

{ Downtown Los Angeles }
Well, Monica made it Downtown, thank goodness. Living on the Westside of Los Angeles has made me somewhat immune to everything else, DESPITE the fact that I drive all over the city for work! It's just so easy to miss new territory when you're stuck in a car, battling traffic, hiding from the sun and ready to get to where you need to be. I have to admit I love spending time being a "local" on the weekends, walking places and avoiding my car and the potential for more traffic, BUT, the opportunity came to spend a Day in DTLA (after volunteering for an AWESOME cause) and so I took it! Here's what I loved, enjoy!
{ Ledlow, DTLA }
But first, coffee... If you're a caffeine addict like myself, or just love a good decaf latte al fresco, Ledlow hits the spot. It's actually a really good restaurant too but has a little cafe booth inside with everything to get you going. They also have one of my favorite italian cocktails, Aperol Spritz and a hard to find French 75!
{ The Last Bookstore }
Caffeine supply in hand I headed straight to an iconic spot in DTLA Iv'e heard so much about, appropriately titled, The Last Bookstore. How sad is it that bookstores don't make much business sense anymore? Call me old-fashioned but I can't read an entire novel from a screen and I really hope this place really isn't THE END....
{ The Last Bookstore }
A tad dramatic, but this really is the help desk. How cute?!
{ The Last Bookstore }
Aside from the store's charm, some of the displays felt like a scene out of The Pagemaster, the inventory is pretty vast with intermixed used and new books for sale, including an entire section with $1.00 only books. Loved the color coding (above) and super cool entrance (below). The store also has a few shops with art and various items alike. 
{ The Last Bookstore }
{ The Last Bookstore }
{ Bar Ama }
For lunch I stopped by Bar Ama and had THE BEST mexican food ever! That might sound a bit overdone, but I can honestly say it was the most delicious green enchilada i've tasted in Los Angeles. So delicious, that I completely forgot about the margarita I ordered. And I love my margs. I went during lunchtime, so they only had an earlier menu, but I will make sure to return at night with more people so I can try more! This one's a MUST TRY!
{ The Los Angeles Athletic Club }
The Los Angeles Athletic Club is a members only sports and social club that I've had the opportunity of frequenting as a guest several times and to be honest would totally join if I lived anywhere near downtown. I believe the facility has a dining room and bar open to the public which I would highly recommend as an after work happy hour spot for any single ladies looking for a sporty businessman, the place is crawling with them! 
{ The Los Angeles Athletic Club via Creative Commons }
What sets the club apart from a gym is the East coast, gentlemen's club decor, very old school feel that is just so different from the rest of Los Angeles. The place is most known for its' squash courts and beautiful pool (above). My favorite floor is the one with the squash courts since they have a casual rec room with a pool table, couches, TV's and a snack bar you can order burgers, salads, shakes, fries, etc, and of course my favorite grilled cheese, at before your workout. They also have an adorable private room you can rent out for parties and ballroom/hotel accommodations perfect for weddings.
{ Bottega Louie }
After a good walk around downtown I had to head back to one of my favorite restaurants Iv'e found in DTLA, Bottega Louie, to satisfy my sweet tooth and obsession with macaroons... Aside from all the delectable desserts on a perfect display, the food is delicious too, I highly recommend coming for a dinner! This place is perfect for large groups since there is so much space and high ceilings. 
{ Bottega Louie }
{ Bottega Louie }
I came here with an old friend visiting from New York and of course she knew where to take me in my own city. The space itself was so open and I think it used to be a big bank back in the day. I felt like I was in another city entirely, like New York, Boston, or even my hometown Chicago. As much as I love Los Angeles, I still really miss the old architecture I grew up with. Luckily DTLA has some of the oldest buildings in the city, can't wait to explore more!
{ Ace Hotel, DTLA }
Since my friend from New York, a fashionista and lifestyle blogger living in Brooklyn, was staying at the Ace Hotel, we of course had to have a drink on the infamous rooftop at sunset. I was extremely excited to see my favorite cocktail, a French 75, on the menu (as mentioned earlier at Ledlow too). I usually have to google the recipe and hand over my phone to get them at bars and restaurants I frequent in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, and Santa Monica because for some reason NOBODY HERE has heard of them! Apparently downtown knows what's up and I am happy to have found some like minded individuals. Hope you've enjoyed my recounting of DTLA. I'm sure I will find more to share again soon!

Cheers, 

Xx, Monica