shop small, give big!

Gift giving is one of my favorite things. In a sense, I do it selfishly because I love love love seeing my friend’s expression when they open their gift. If you’re like me, you’ve done some shopping-but still need to fill out the rest of your holiday presents. My guide below features gifts from some of my dear friends, all of whom are running their own companies. I am not only so proud of them, but they have fantastic products. I hope this makes your shopping a little easier, and more unique: shop small, give big!

allie logan boutique

Miss Allie Logan is not only a dear friend, but my future roommate and I cannot wait to host dinners with all her goods. She has created a curated home goods boutique that will take your entertaining to the next level. I love all of the etched glassware–hello bar cart up grade! And all of the handpainted Gorky dishes can make for an easy art display if not being used.

promouse the code SANTASLIST at checkout for free shipping. act fast! the offer only applies to the first 10 customers.

box fox

This is a one stop shopping destination! The talented ladies behind Box Fox have made it soooo easy to create a custom gift box for anyone in your life- they have men’s products too! Think of it as an amped up Birchbox with notecards, candles, even spiced honey for the foodies in your life.

promo: use the code FREESHIP11 for free shipping on your first BOXFOX

cabi clothing

So I’m definitely biased because my mom sells this clothing line- but I kid you not, some of my favorite go-to pieces are cabi. What’s even more exciting, is this year you can shop with them online. Although if you do want to book a show in your home, invite over your ladies etc. my mom, Sue, will be happy to set that up!

promo: not sure how you want to dress for the various holiday parties coming up? or maybe you need some wardrobe staples- set up a free call with Sue by contacting her at suepelletier@comcast.net

#Hashtats

Started by Melinda of the Curated Cool, her temporary tattoos kick ass. Not only can they be applied on your skin, but I love how you can customize your phone case, laptop, flask etc. More tattoo designs will be up on her shop shortly, but feel free to email shop@curatedcool.com for more information

promo: buy 3 sets, get $3 off, buy 5 sets get $5 off, buy 10 sets, get $10 off. no promo code necessary!

Photos by Michelle Mishina Photography @mishinaphoto

my baby olive juice

I met Jody of My Baby Olive Juice last year when I took her intro to calligraphy class. While I’m by no means a pro- she is!! Her mugs will make your mornings brighter.

promo: use the code Natalie10 at checkout for 10% off your order! Expires Christmas Eve. 

the ripped bodice

Bea and Leah of The Ripped Bodice in Culver City have certainly decked out their store in holiday style. Their romance novel book store is one of a kind. Before this year, I had never read one–now I’m hooked! Pop in and don’t be scared to ask for help. They are super friendly and knowledgable. Great for secret santa gifts too!

brick and mortar location: 3806 Main St, Culver City, CA 90232

saor perfume

When Patty, founder of Saor, first introduced me to her scent I kept lifting my wrist back up to my nose to smell it. It’s such a yummy fragrance. It’s easy to travel with AND it’s oil based which makes the scent last all day. I also love her ode to Gaelic, SAOR means free.

skatie swim

I am in love with these suits. Plus, Skatie created lots of designs to fit all body types. They are all hand made in LA and made from designers overstock of fabric. So not only are they chic, but eco-friendly!

promo: take 15% off your first order with the code MerryChristmas

trussedFun’d

When I first looked at trussedfun’d’s collection I wanted everything- and for all my friend’s birthdays to be approaching so I could give them a piece too. Designs are handmade in LA with love.

promo: take 10% off your order plus free shipping with code FRECKLELOVE offer expires 12/19. email trussedfund@gmail.com or visit their instagram for full selection of jewelry! 

bites of life: august

August was nothing short of incredible, between being in Scotland for nearly two weeks and coming back to gigs in LA, it was the best mix of “work hard//play hard”. And while I’m already wanting to head back to Scotland, I’ve just hit the 3 year mark with LA- safe to say I love it here too! Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend all!!

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fresh vanilla and nutella gelato

SWEET: janetta’s gelateria, st. andrews

If you are ever in St. Andrews, do yourself a favor- even if it’s cold and the line is long- and get yourself a double scoop of Janetta’s gelato. Normally I’m not a vanilla person, but it had been made 30 minutes earlier, so I couldn’t resist the combination with nutella and a flake bar. Napkins necessary.

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oysters with a view
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the full menu

savory: the oyster shed, isle of skye

Tucked away above the Talisker Distillery (prime real-estate, am I right?) lives the holy grail of oysters. Only open from 12-5 Monday through Friday, we were able to stop in to the “shed” for a couple of oysters. They were some of the freshest and clean babies I’d ever tasted. Better yet, Paul, the oyster farmer, shucks them fresh.

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there’s nothing like a whisky and chocolate pairing
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a cheeky half pint

drink: *TIE* Dalwhinnie whisky tasting and the jigger inn ale

Driving from St. Andrews to the Inverness area, we stopped at the Dalwhinnie Distillery, where they are known for their whisky and chocolate tastings. My favorite was the 25 year, and snagged a bottle to bring back stateside. Also, The Jigger Inn Ale (the pub located across from the famed St. Andrews golf course) was a necessary order. Definitely try it if you find yourself there- it has a lot of flavor despite being a lighter beer!

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cacio e pepe
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my pretty date, Maddie
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one gin, one tequila cocktail

Restaurant: kettle black, silver lake

Before heading off to Scotland, I stopped by the newly opened Silver Lake spot. It was popping! And pretty-“hello interior goals”. Pizza was on point, same with the pasta and cocktails. Happy hour (5-7) is daily too …always a huge plus!

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our majestic ride

how charming is our guide?!
how charming is our guide?! and how about that smoking gun??
hit the first two rounds!
hit the first two rounds!

entertainment: clay pigeon shooting, loch lomond

Move over Annie Oakley, you’ve got yourself a new sharp shooter in town! I loved riflery at camp, so when clay pigeon shooting was on the docket I was thrilled. It was a rainy day, hence the yellow jackets, and it was all too fitting with the woodsy range. *No actual birds were harmed* just little hard clay disks. Looking for a similar range in the LA area…if anyone knows of one, let me know in the comments!

bites of life: july edition

Well August 1st crept up real fast…where has summer gone?! I’ve been fortunate to travel a few times, see friends and family, and have plenty of pool days. Below is a mini recap of my favorite bites from July! Enjoy.

junior cone: sweet cream and corn almond
junior cone: sweet cream and corn almond

sweet: Magpies Soft Serve 

Literally juuust made the cut-I went yesterday on July 31st-but this new soft-serve shop in Silverlake (say that 3x fast) is serving up some serious swirls. No shame that I tried nearly all the flavors, but settled on almond corn (made with almond milk) and sweet cream with sprinkles and butterscotch rice-krispies. Safe to say I will be a regular. Plus, waffle cones are freeeee!

pie n' burger classic with cheese
pie n’ burger classic with cheese
signs of a legit diner
signs of a legit diner

Savory: Pie n’ Burger

I made a mini-trek to Pasadena to see if the hype was real for this joint. It is. Dare I say it’s better than Apple Pan? Well for starters you can get milkshakes and the pie selection is more expansive. But back to the burger- it’s a classic with lots of lettuce, tomato, cheese, pickles in every bite, and house made thousand island. Worth the trek!

I like you a lox Russ and Daughters
I like you a lox Russ and Daughters
how pretty is she?!
how pretty is she?!

Coffee: Russ and Daughters

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a hot cuppa coffee in a classic diner mug. My favorite cup this month was also shared with my best friend, Maddie McCormick, while we were traveling in New York. Lox board is a plus too!

super femme and classic
super femme and classic
a peek at my bedroom with new blush hat
a peek at my bedroom with new blush hat

Purchase: *tie* Cuyana Saddle Bag and Hat Attack Hat

I’m having a major moment with blush color objects. Hence I couldn’t decide which of these two were a better purchase. Cuyana’s bag is such a great size and feels like a “grown up” bag without being a bajillion dollars. The hat was a welcome addition since I’ve been wanting to steal my friend Jess’s pink hat for a year. Happily found this guy at Club Monaco on sale (feel free to call me a hat lady, my collection is growing).

New RestauranTS:

greens and grains bowl
greens and grains bowl

$- Cava Grill

This fast casual mediterranean spot will be my new go-to if I want a cheap healthy meal. You can make pita wraps and bowls, plus is very customizable. Like you can split your protein and get lamb meatballs AND falafel. Who doesn’t love that?

avo toast, acai bowl and pancakes
avo toast, acai bowl and pancakes

$$- Bondi Harvest

Hello Aussie dreamland. Tucked away by the Tastemade studios in West LA, Bondi Harvest is a beachy destination. The food is healthy and fresh plus they have indoor and outdoor seating. Note: it’s only open during the week!

talk about plating!
talk about plating!

$$$- Wolf

I recently went to brunch here and was blown away by the presentation! Not only was it artistic, but the food was bomb. Get the chicken and waffles if you go at brunch and the potatoes! They had me at chive aioli.

EntertainmenT: OUTLAnder and you are a badass

Currently I have the Outlander theme song in my head. I want to be Caitriona Balfe, she’s the extremely talented actress who plays the show’s lead, Claire. In short, it’s a fantasy drama where Claire is transported from 1945 to the 1740s in Scotland. There’s adventure, an epic love story and emotions are high. Already on season two! And last but not least, You Are A Badass. I’ve never read a “self-help” book, but picked this up after hearing a friend sing its praises. It’s an empowering boost and quick read.

iScream for summer

SUMMER is HERE! And while that means copious amounts of chilled rose and vihno verde, it also means my other vice in life: ICE CREAM. When it’s hot, I crave it any way- cone, cup, soft serve, or straight outta the pint! It’s the perfect friend date, cheap date (gents take note) or solo date because yes, you do deserve it. I’ve curated a mostly LA list, so scroll to find your perfect match!

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The Bigg Chill: this must be the place!!! perfect post (or pre) Apple Pan, if you want THE BEST tart soft serve-it’s my favorite in LA-they have vegan cookie dough and numerous other toppings and a rotating list of flavors. No shame that it’s bookmarked on my phone. CASH ONLY!IMG_1141

CVT: simple AF and only 3 choices: chocolate, vanilla or a twist. My preferred method is twist in a cone with rainbow sprinkles. They’re a food truck, so check for their location. Usually available on Sundays during the Melrose Trading Post Flea Market.IMG_0887

Pressed Juicery Freeze: soooo you want to be “healthy” and are into the whole non-dairy thing. no shame, I have those days. GO HERE, it’s *just* their frozen juice. No added sweeteners!

Malibu Farm: kind of a given if you go to Malibu Pier, you need a little tart yogurt in life, because it’s Malibu after all and everything’s a little more beach-y and natural *wink wink*.IMG_6999

Jon and Vinny’s: save room for dessert!!!! Or just swing in, and get their twist to-go. Served with little wooden spoons so it’s almost as good as MilkBar’s cereal milk soft-serve…almost.

REGULAR ICE CREAM IMG_9740

Salt and Straw: they’re originally from Portland, so you know it’s good shit. I just checked their instagram and their July flavors were posted early. OMG. I need to get over there now. This shop always has about 15 flavors that never leave, and a monthly series (July’s is an ode to berries) Expect long lines, but the friendliest staff- and sample everything!

McConnell’s: this Santa Barbera based shop gets my “elevated basics” stamp. They take everyday flavors and make them siiing, like: Churros con Leche, Chocolate covered Strawberries, Salted Caramel Chip and Turkish Coffee. Go here if you’re in DTLA and need a fix! 1 of 2 LA locations is a Grand Central Market which makes for a great foodie date.

Sweet Rose: LA based and oh so yummy. A friend introduced me to their salted caramel (which they top with a sprinkles of salt!) and I was hooked. They use local ingredients and it’s part of the Rustic Canyon restaurant
group!

Jeni’s: there’s something about Jeni’s that makes me want to spend all day in the store. Maybe it’s because they are always making waffle cones- hello scentgasm- but the interior is crisp and all the flavors  are written out in a font that I wish was my own handwriting.  They always have seasonal flavors, right now I want to try “Sweet Cream Biscuits and Peach Jam” as well as “Birch & Marshmallows”

Carmela: all organic and based in Pasadena, Carmela is home to my favorite “vanilla”, theirs being “brown sugar vanilla bean”. And for those of you who like lavender- they have a “lavender honey” that is so
summery and light.

Top Round: being from the midwest and more specifically having family in Wisconsin, means frozen custard was a daily treat. If you happen to be in Door County, Not Licked Yet, was our favorite spot. But seeing as that is miles away, if you need your frozen custard fix, head to Top Round for the good stuff. It’ll be pretty hard to resist the rest of their menu, so go with an empty stomach.

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Sprinkles Ice Cream: Sprinkle’s cupcakes were the ones to start the cupcake trend so at their ice cream shop, you can order a sundae smashed between a cupcake. You read that right. Ice cream plus cupcake. Even better, they do a version with their mini cupcakes so it feels less guilty.

ICDC: you can get an affogato sundae with a house-made DONUT. what?! sugar/caffeine buzz for sure. Also their colorful shop makes for a good ‘gram.IMG_9300

Little Dom’s: nutella. hot. fudge. need I say more?

ICE CREAM SAMMIEIMG_0880

Churro Burrough: Who doesn’t love churros?! I’m a cinnomon lover, so when I heard there was a place that sandwiched ice cream between two churro patties I was SOLD.IMG_0926

Milk: Oh Milk, how I love thee! They are known fo
r their macaroon ice cream sandwiches and they are amazing. Personal favorite is the fruit loops flavor with cereal milk ice cream. Lines are long at the Beverly shop, so if you’re on the East Side, check out their Silver Lake location.IMG_6352

CoolHaus: Started by Natasha Case and Freya Estreller, these two badass ladies combined their love of food and architecture. They hit up Coachella in 2009 with their truck and the rest is history! Check out their twitter for truck locations or stop into one of their brick and mortar locations.

WHEN IT’S 11PM AND YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE LEAVING YOUR HOUSE

Frozen Bananas+PB+Cocoa Powder: this is my poor (wo)man’s go to when I’m having an ice cream craving, but I don’t want to get in my car and drive. Just combine 1-2 frozen bananas, a spoon of PB and a spoon of cocoa powder and blend. A splash of almond milk also helps if you don’t have a Vitamix.

Phew, I know that was a long one! Still on my radar to try are: After’s Ice Cream, Magpie’s Soft Serve, Cream and Cauldron.

What are your favorite ice cream shops?!

bites of life: may edition

Some of my favorite blog series are always “Buys of the Month” or “Monthly Favorites”, so I figured I’d do my twist on the series. Each month I’ll do a recap of my favorite “Bites of Life” for a peek at what made my month especially delicious.IMG_6710

sweet: Milk Bar Store’s “Cereal Milk Soft Serve”. I don’t think a more perfect thing has ever been created. Christina Tosi (owner and founder) you are a goddess and can do no wrong. If this were available in LA, I’d be on a first name basis with the staff. It’s that damn good. PS: ask for crunch topping, but only on the outside, that way you get more CMSS in the cup.

savory: Jon and Vinny’s “Bucatini Cacio e Pepe” + “Burrata and Peaches Salad” a tie I know, but both were so damn tasty I couldn’t choose. One, if you haven’t tried bucatini noodles, cancel your plans tonight and order some…you can thank me later. Cacio e Pepe is a simple prep (literally just cracked pepper, lots of cheese, a touch of pasta water, love) and theirs won my heart. Their burrata and peach salad also haunted my dreams-in the best way. Peaches are just coming in season (f yeah) and J+V paired theirs with burrata, arugula for some peppery-ness and market tomatoes; simple goodness.

wine: 2012 Matteo Correggia Roero Nebbiolo“. I love Nebbiolos, always a good call. This one, from Piedmont, IT, I shared with friends at La Perla in NYC. We loved the earthy overtones, hints of red fruit and light tannic structure. Best described as Pinot Noir’s sexier older sister; more experienced and worldly.  We finished the bottle and could have polished off a second.

IMG_7383coffee: Flowerboy Project’s “Lavender Boy Latte”. A store after my own heart: part flower shop, part coffee shop, part curated boutique. And everything is yummy. Nicest staff too. Worth a visit when you’re on the west side!!

 

 

culture: Create + Cultivate: DTLA“. I could write an entire post about this day. I made an annoying long Snapchat story (follw me: @nat_pelletier) and met some #bossladies and badass bitches. Their next conference is October 15th in ATL-100% go if you’re thinking about it. I owe my blog in part to the conference! It got my ass in gear to get it launched, imperfections and all. Special thanks to Grasie Mercedes of ‘Style Me Grasie’.

quote:do the things and make the stuff that make you say ‘fuck yeah’” life motto right now

What were some of your May highlights?! Curious minds want to know! Comment below.