Friday, 28 September 2012

Weekly Love: Week 118

This week has been all about field trips and beginnings. I went up to Hollywood and down to Venice, and I attended my first ever class at an American university - it was so very different from the experience of attending classes in London, but I really enjoyed it. I've also been participating in something very exciting and oh so American, which I'm going to tell you all about when it is over! I also had my first Diddy Reese experience on Wednesday night - hands down the best ice cream cookie sandwich ever.
1. Fresh pressed Watermelon Juice in a Mason Jar from Local 1205 on Abbot Kinney in Venice. | 2. Visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame. | 3. Absolutely delicious seafood ramen at Ajisen Ramen at Westfield, Century City. The scallops were pre cooked in lemongrass which gave them the most incredible flavour. | 4. Sunset at Venice Beach. | 5.  All the recipes I've marked to make this year out of the Joy The Baker cookbook. Good god Joy is going to be to blame for making me very, very fat... | 6. Things from Kate Spade come in such pretty packages.

What have you been enjoying this week, and what have you got planned for the weekend? 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Madewell: My New Favourite American Store

The first time I visited Westfield in Century City, I know the store I was supposed to get the most excited about was J Crew. And I did, I got really over the top excited about it, but that was until I turned the corner and stepped into a Madewell store for the first time. I will forever associate their clothing with the blog Sincerely, Jules (not a bad thing by any standards), but I had no idea how 'me' the store was until I visited - I honestly think I have found my favourite place to shop on the American High Street. Basics in every style and colour you could imagine, cute stylish dresses, lovely shoes and awesome accessories all over the shop.
Striped Transmission Tee: $49.50, Noir Components Bracelet: $160, Braided Friendship Bracelet: $10, Honeycomb Sweater: $79.50, Washed Silk Boyshirt: $115, Solid Silk Boyshirt: $110, The Biker Boot: $248, H by Hudson Horrigan Boots: $285, Scallop Lace Top: $118, Flowerlace Shorts: $88 

I really want to try their jeans, but before anything else when I have a free afternoon I'm going to head over there for a serious shirt shop. I never used to wear button down shirts, but after I fell in love with the one Volcom gave me I resolved to wear a few more of them, and Madewell is shirt heaven with so many different colours and fabrics. I think you can tell from these graphics I'm very excited about all of the purple (my favourite colour) they have in store at the moment. I tried on this chunky purple honeycomb sweater in store and fell in love - once I'm actually convinced it gets cold enough for things like that in Los Angeles (I'm still not entirely convinced!) I might go back and get it. Also, I really want to try on this black lace top, and these black lace shorts. I've never really wanted to wear lace before, but I think I might have fallen in love with both!
Tailored Mini Dress: $148, Attic and Barn 'Erin' Skirt: $221, Wool Tap Shorts: $98, Softshade Sweatshirt Dress: $118, Countrystripe Songbird Dress: $109.50, Monograph Sweater-skirt: $68

While I may gaze longingly at this purple dress every time I go in the store (it also comes in a wonderful bright blue), what I think I really need is one of these brown skirts for every day (second from the left and first on the right). I also think I need to shrink down and carry around in my handbag whoever was the hair stylist for this particular look book shoot - just look at those amazing braids - I wish I could do my hair like that! 

Unfortunately at the moment they only ship to the US, Canada and Japan, but they're hoping to expand to international shipping soon. They have stores all over the US though, so if you're coming here on holiday any time soon, I'd pencil in a visit - I promise you won't be disappointed! 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Places To Eat In Los Angeles: Local 1205, Abbot Kinney Blvd.

Now Closed

Before heading down to Venice Beach, I decided to check out some of the artsy boutiques and restaurants on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, and ended up having lunch at the gourmet deli meets cafe Local 1205. It did look pretty awesome from the outside, but I was really on the hunt for the place people were getting the Mason Jars full of fresh juice people were drinking walking down the street. Everything tastes better in a Mason Jar.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Weekly Love: Week 117

This week I completed my UCLA orientation, and I'm really excited for everything to kick off next week. Aside from that, my week has been pretty chilled, and I've been enjoying the free days to really explore Los Angeles, including Santa Monica Beach which was just incredible. I've also unintentionally been becoming rather acquainted with the various restaurants, cafes, diners and take away places in my neighbourhood - our oven is broken so I have not been able to make myself anything hot to eat (the best so far has been In-N-Out!)
1. Lookout 15 on Santa Monica Beach. | 2. Three punnets of delicious strawberries for $5 at Westwood  Village Farmers Market (every Thursday afternoon on Broxton Avenue) | 3. An extra special Sunday morning breakfast of prosciutto wrapped melon served with iced tangerine juice from Trader Joe's. | 4. If you live somewhere hot you need Victoria's Secret's Makeup Primer & Setting Spray in your life. | 5. American diner food, breakfast for dinner at Denny's in Westwood. | 6. The Converse store on 3rd Street (Santa Monica)'s window.

What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I'm planning on trying to master the Los Angeles metro and head down to Venice Beach.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Welcome To Santa Monica Beach

I can't believe I waited a whole 12 days before heading down to the ocean. To be honest, I was pretty apprehensive about taking the bus (I find it confusing enough in London, and frankly the LA bus system defies all logic. If anyone is familiar with the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, please help me!), but a whole group of us decided to head down to, in my opinion what should be the first beach any first time visitor to LA should see first, Santa Monica Beach. If you fancy making a drinking game out of this post, do a shot every time one of my photos looks at all familiar, and don't blame me for how drunk you'll be by the end!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Weekly Love: Week 116

Greetings from Los Angeles! Today marks the end of my first week in California, and I must say it has been pretty amazing. Aside from settling into my new apartment with my amazing roommates, getting to know my neighbourhood and getting myseld orientated with the UCLA campus I've taken day trips to my local mall (we all know how much I love to shop!), Beverly Hills and another local neighbourhood called Brentwood which has some great food places and lovely indie stores. Also, I just wanted to thank all of you for your messages of good luck for LA and UCLA, and all your lovely messages hoping that I've been enjoying it so far - I cannot begin to describe how much it all means to me to hear from you guys, so thank you so much!
1. Look familiar? This is where I went on Tuesday. | 2. I adore this cute bear honey bottle from Trader Joe's. It really wins the awesome American find of the week award! | 3. If your name is Rachel Phipps all roads lead to Westfield. My new local is the one in Century City. I may have made a sneaky J Crew purchase there. | 4. I visited one of the Sugar Paper, Los Angeles stores - everything was so pretty! I picked up some cards for friends and family, and I took lots of photos in store - you can see them in this blog post here. | 5. Obviously I had to check out Rodeo Drive when I was in Beverly Hills. Think Bond Street where everyone is tanned and with a lot of palm trees! | 6. The totally delicious Kosher Hot Dog with Red Onion and Sweet Relish with Sweet Potato Fries and Chipotle Mayo on the side from Barney's Gourmet Burgers at Brentwood Country Mart - an amazing shopping area with some pretty cute indie stores, including the other outpost of Sugar Paper.

I'm going to try to do this a bit differently this season, and separate my picks from the Fashion Week coverage into a separate section of 'Weekly Love' - here are my picks from New York Fashion Week, expect dispaches about London and Paris to follow (I'm never really that bothered with Milan...)

What you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I think my weekend is going to be pretty chilled, as my orientation starts early Monday! 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Store Visit: Sugar Paper, Los Angeles

Back in July when I first featured the beautiful stationary created and carried by Sugar Paper, Los Angeles I just knew that their store had to be one of my first stop off points in the city to pick up some pretty notecards to send letters off to my friends and family back in England. I visited the store on the other side of Santa Monica Boulevard to Westfield, Century City, but aside from their online shop, they also have a store at Brentwood Country Mart (somewhere, incidentally, I'm also planning to visit soon!)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Places To Eat In Los Angeles: Sprinkles Cupcakes, Beverly Hills

Maybe with the exception of macarons, I love nothing more than a good cupcake, so obviously one of the first pilgrimages I had to make was to the famous Sprinkles Cupcakes bakery in Beverly Hills. For those of you who don't know, Sprinkles in Beverly Hills was the worlds first cupcake bakery, so it is a pretty special place to say the least, and I think it made a wonderful first foodie-come-cake addict stop for me in the city.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

10 Things I Love So Far About Living In Los Angeles

So, while it is Monday morning in the UK, it is still Sunday night here for me in Los Angeles, my wonderful new city I have just spent the first 24 hours in! After my new roommates collected me from LAX, we ordered in pizza and I collapsed in bed, I spent the weekend exploring my new neighbourhood, shopping for essentials and soaking up some sunshine! I'm almost settled, so expect to see a lot more LA posts soon!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Weekly Love: Week 115

This is the last blog post for a very long time which will reach you from England. In about and hour or two I'll be heading off to London Heathrow Airport to catch an afternoon flight to Los Angeles International Airport. If anyone has any late lunch recommendations at terminal one please leave them in the comments - they'll go to my Blackberry! Here are the last few snapshots from the last two weeks in England, which have included dinners with friends and family (I think I'm still full from the Thai meal my parents, my two best friends and I gorged ourselves on on Tuesday night!), and one last trip to London. See you all on the Golden Coast!
1. Yayoi Kusama statues in the window of Louis Vuitton in Selfridges. | 2. Another bunch of fresh cut flowers from the Pilgrims Nook gardens. | 3. Visiting The Goods Shed, a fantastic indoor farmers, market and food hall with a wonderful restaurant on the upper level, in Canterbury.  | 4. A starter of pan fried pigeon breast on a bed of lentils with chorizo at The Goods Shed. | 5. Pretty tie dye Keds with leather laces at their showroom in London, part of their upcoming collaboration with Urban Outfitters, coming soon in the UK and already in UO stores in the US. | 6. The awesome, Daily Prophet like monthly newsletter at The Goods Shed featuring wonderful articles and essays all about food.

I did not really get enough photos for a 'Places To Eat In London' post, but I just had to tell you about an incredible burger I had just North of Oxford Street last week. Tommi's Burger Joint is a tiny little goldmine in a fantastic location to either grab a lunch, or go for dinner if you'd been planning to at at Meat Liquor (just around the corner) but really could not be bothered with the massive queue. Just grap a table and grab a menu sheet, fill it out and take it up to the counter at the end. There is not a lot of choice, but everything on the menu is pretty fantastic anyway. If I were you, I'd take advantage of their £8.95 burger, crispy and golden French Fries and can of soda you get yourself from the fridge. It was the best burger I'd had in a very, very long time. The bun was lovely and glossy, and the burger was perfectly cooked, brown on the outside, but still a mouth watering pink on the inside. Inside your burger you also get lettuce, and the perfectly balanced combination of ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard. Londoners, if you don't get yourself down to try one of these beauties, you're seriously missing out!

Finally, I'm soon going to be launching a monthly newsletter, obviously with snippets of some articles you may have missed, but with a bit of exclusive content as well. Follow this link to subscribe so you don't miss out!

What have you been enjoying this week, and what plans have you got for the weekend? (Mine include opening an American bank account, settling into my new apartment, buying an iPhone and exploring my neighbourhood in Los Angeles!)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

What's In My Handbag: LHR to LAX Edition

Since people seem to love 'What's In My Handbag' posts, what was originally going to be my 'What To Pack For A Long Haul Flight' post has become simply a preview of what I have packed in my Hobbs handbag which is acting as my carry on for my flight to LA tomorrow (and anyway, I covered most of it in my post on 'How To Pack For And Survive A Long Haul Flight'. I know usually people take bigger bags, but I need to think about what I will need for the whole 10 months, and not pictured but inside the bag I'm going to take a tote bag for my laptop once I've through security, as I'm only allowed to carry it in its foam sleeve as it counts as a 'personal item' apparently. Also, the fact this was supposed to be a guidance post initially explains why there is an iPad in the photo. I wish it was mine and it was coming on the flight with me, but unfortunatly it belongs to my Mother...
While I won't have the iPad, as far as entertainment goes I've been stockpiling so I've got the two most recent issues of my two favourite magazines to read up in the air; Tatler and Nylon. Also, my iPod Nano, as well as all my usual music loaded with a brand new chapter of Gala Darling's Love & Sequins I have not yet listened to, and about 5 or size each back episodes of The Joy The Baker Podcast and The High Tea Cast I've been saving. I also love to catch up on movies while I'm flying, (on the way to San Francisco last year I made my way through Black Swan, The Social Network and Burlesque) as I rarely go to the cinema, so I've treated myself to this lovely pair of noise cancelling earphones from Sony

Beauty wise, my hairbrush as I've actually got to look recognisable at the other end when my new roommate picks me up from the airport. Then a whole load of mini beauty products because I've never had skin so bad as the last time I flew long haul without moisturiser. We have, an EOS sphere lip balm to help combat aeroplane chapped lips, Clinique's All About Eyes Serum roll on, Clinique All About Eyes eye cream, Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Eclat to bring me to life at the other end, and decanted into airport security friendly stackable jars I have Caudalie's SOS Serum, my favourite intense moisturiser, L'Occitane's Ultra Rich Shea Butter Face Cream and a little bit of Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream which basically solves every problem under the sun. 

Miscellaneous I have a pair of sunglasses as I always wear sunglasses traveling as they hide how tired you are, my Moleskine notebook and a pen for mid flight inspiration (I planned the blog redesign before the most recent one on the way back from the trip to San Francisco I keep banging on about), and a little taste of Britain: Marks & Spencer's Percy Pigs. Also my passport containing my American visa - better not forget that!

What is an absolute must for you to carry in your bag when you're traveling? 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Project LA: My New Column For The High Tea Cast

A little service announcement post today, to let you all know that this year while I'm living in Los Angeles I'm going to be writing a monthly column over at the amazingly funny and informative High Tea Cast website about my American adventures. My columns will be going up the end of every month, so make sure you subscribe to The High Tea Cast (they also have a hilarious podcast I love listening to on the train and I've been stockpiling for my flight out) so you don't miss a single one, or any of their other awesome columns and features. 


Monday, 3 September 2012

How To Make Your University Room Your Own

When you're away from home, it is nice to have your own personal space, something I have learnt at university and after 8 years at boarding school. So, I've teamed up with Joules to put togehter a handy guide to everything I have learnt over the last 9 years to help you settle in, either if you're heading off to university to live in halls for the first time, off to kit out a room at boarding school or moving into your own room in a new flat with either friends or strangers. I'm moving into a new apartment in Los Angeles at the end of the week, and as Joules now ship to the USA I might treat myself to one or two bits so I can really settle in! 

I have always found that the most important thing is having nice bedding, it has always been the thing I have spent the most on. Your bed will probably be the focal point of your room, and it will set the tone and theme of the whole room. Regardless of if you have a plain or patterned duvet, I'm big on having lots of different print and colour cushions and pillows on the bed to really liven them all up - they also help make it extra comfy! At home I have plain white sheets and patterned pillows, but at uni last year and in my last year at boarding school I have pale pastel purple and white patterned sheets with bright, mixed pillows in pinks and blues. Actually, I wish I had known that you could shop bed linen at Joules before I did my mail order for stuff for my new apartment, there are some pretty awesome designs in this collection I need in my life!
Yellow Horse Cushion: £40, Blue Throw Rug: £85, Floral Bird Print Cushion: £40, Yellow Throw Rug: £85, Blue Striped Pillow: £15, Tartan Throw Rug: £85

In most cases in a dorm room your bed will also double as your sofa and reading area, and even in a shared flat with your own living room or common area it is always nice to have a personal space to relax and read/ watch tv (usually on your laptop) to yourself! Usually, this ends up being your bed so whenever anyone asks me what is the one thing I would be lost without at uni I would say my cushions I litter my bed with to turn it into a sofa. Also, a lovely throw rug or artisan blanket looks amazing and homely on the end of your bed, and is amazing to snuggle up in during the Winter months after a long day and you just want to kick back and relax!
Pink Candy Striped Towel from £15, Blue Striped Towel from £10, Multi Coloured Stripe Towel from £10Horse Print Towel from £10

I was lucky my room in halls had an en suite bathroom last year, but at boarding school I had plenty of experience using communal bathrooms and shower rooms! Your towels basically become a fashion accessory, so the brighter the better! Also, I like them to match the theme of my bed. Joules home section is relatively new, and I really hope they start making bathrobes - I find they are the very best thing for comunal living. Also, as someone who has walked on a communal bathroom floor, after someone else has showered, I really recommend you pack a pair of flip flops to wear and and out of the shower. Also, it is an unfortunate fact of life if you use expensive shower products in a communal shower someone else will use them, so I recommend a plastic basket or something to carry your things too and from the shower room.

Finally, your desk. If you are a student especially, while you may not really want to think about it, you are actually there for work after all! I found my paperwork got everywhere, so storage drawers and boxes are a must to keep track of everything, unless you won't be able to find any of your notes when it gets around to exam time and you need to study. Also, notebooks are important, one nice one to take to class to write down assignments, and a little desk one that I find was indispensable for writing weekly supermarket shopping lists!

What are your hints and tips for settling into a new room, flat or apartment? What do you think are must haves to take to university with you?

This is a sponsored post. To read my policy on sponsored posts, please click here