Back to New York

Jacket / Sweater / Jeans / Shoes / Purse

It's been more than four years since I left New York. I jumped on an LA-bound plane the day after I graduated from the French Culinary Institute and this past week was my first time back. I loved living in the city and my time at FCI was easily one of the best experiences of my adult life, but I was ready to be back in Los Angeles. This Angeleno is not built for East Coast winters.

This visit, New York gave me the most perfect Fall weather you could ask for. Leaves changing color, crisp cool air that called for sweaters and beanies, but still totally bearable. I trundled around town in this uniform, visiting The Whitney and eating here and here. The Coconut Iced Coffee at Santina was life changing. They swore up and down that it's nothing more than espresso and coconut milk, but I aint buying it. Too good to be THAT simple.

It was such a treat to be back, see friends and eat amazing food, but more than anything, the trip solidified for me that leaving New York was the right decision. It's a magical city, but it doesn't hold anything for me anymore. I'm happy at home in Sunny Southern California.



More Travel with Golden Tote

This is the last post from our recent trip to Israel. As I've mentioned, it was our first time in the Middle East. I have never been anywhere else with such a sense of place. You truly feel as though you're standing in the bedrock of history.

These photos were all taken from rooftops above Jerusalem. As we toured the four quarters it was, at the same time, both easy and impossible to imagine that life has carried on here in more or less the same manner for thousands of years.

 Golden Tote Dress / Similar Hat

This dress is another pick from my first tote with Golden Tote. If you're not familiar with Golden Tote I highly recommend you check them out. Part personal styling service, part boutique, it's a fun way to mix up your wardrobe by selecting one or two chosen items and letting their stylists do the rest for you. Jump online, fill out a personal style profile and let them select the perfect items for both your sense of style and body type. You can even add on items from the boutique at a discount (as I did with this dress for less than $40!). It was perfect for our day in Jerusalem when I wanted to dress as respectfully as I could while still feeling comfortable and put together. 

You can sign up for the service for free here. One tip is to wait for tote day for the best selection (the first day the monthly tote becomes available online). 

Never Met a Stripe I Didn't Like

 J. Crew Factory Dress / J. Crew Factory Sandals / Similar Hat

It's true. I love stripes. Look in my closet and you might say I have an addiction to stripes. If you did, you would not be wrong. 

This dress was the perfect option for sightseeing on our recent trip to Israel. Previously, I packed for practicality, thinking I was being responsible by planning to wear tennis shoes and shorts. I think it was a holdover from college summers spent backpacking around Europe when I literally had to carry everything I brought on my back. Today, I pack whatever is currently on rotation at home with an emphasis on comfy dresses like this one. On this trip, I carried a long scarf with me so that I could cover the rest of my legs whenever we visited religious sites.

Spiritually, it was incredible to be in a place with so much history and religious significance and I hope we get the chance to return to see more of the Middle East.

Source: http://

Traveling with Golden Tote

Golden Tote White Top / Zara Jeans / Madewell Heels / Old Zara Scarf (similar only $14!)

Golden Tote White Top / Old Zara Skirt (similar) / Geography 541 Bracelet

Packing for a 10-day trip abroad, when traveling to two very different climates can be a daunting task. At least that's how it felt as I was preparing for my recent trip to the U.K. and Israel.  

How do you plan outfits for weather ranging from 40 degrees and raining to 80 degrees and hot and dry, and events ranging from chic parties in Tel Aviv to long days of sightseeing around London?  

Here's how:

1. Forget practicality - I used to pack tennis shoes, shorts and tank tops for sightseeing trips. I knew it was the sensible thing to do, but when I would arrive in country and pull out the clothes, I'd realize that I didn't even like the outfit. Now I pack clothes that I love to wear. If I love wearing it at home, I'll love wearing it on my trip and as long as I bring more than high heels, I'll be comfortable.

2. Pack the workhorses - have a skirt that goes with everything? That's what you want when traveling. The white linen top shown above was the perfect piece. I wore it out to three different dinners and events, dressed it up with a skirt and down with jeans.

3. Shop BEFORE your trip - if you're at all like me, your favorite piece of clothing is the most recent thing you purchased. Rather than saving all your shopping for your trip, pick up a few things ahead of time. You'll love the new pieces and won't tire of something you wear two or three times. 

Luckily for me, I found out about Golden Tote a couple of weeks before my trip and decided to try their personal styling service. Have you heard about these guys? It's an unbelievable service. You sign up online (you can do so here), fill out an individual style profile, pick one to two items that you know you want and Golden Tote puts together a grab bag of additional items for you based on your profile. You can choose a tote with 2 - 3 items for $49 (tote is around a $200 value) or 5 - 7 items for $149 (tote is up to $600 in value).

I've always been nervous to try a styling service because my body is not exactly a standard shape. Tiny on top and really curvy on the bottom, it can be a nightmare to find things that fit. Golden Tote nailed it with my bag. I got the small tote this time around to get my feet wet, but will DEFINITELY be getting the larger tote the next time I order. It's just so much fun being surprised with items picked just for you

I selected the white linen top shown above and let Golden Tote do the rest. They sent me the checkered fit and flare dress which perfectly accentuated my little waist while not drawing too much attention to my hips and I added on this black maxi that ended up being the second workhorse of my trip keep (more on that dress next week).

Both the top and the dresses packed easily and added enough variety to my wardrobe to keep me from tiring of my options. Also, given that GT lets you add on items to your tote at a discounted rate (my maxi ended up being only an additional $35), I got two dresses (each with their own belt) and a white linen blouse for well under $100 which left me enough money to still do some shopping on my trip. That's what I call winning.