Warner Brothers Studio Tour



I love the movies! Do you? One of the reasons I love entertainment so much is the ability to imagine and get lost in lots of different realities. I also love that I can simply walk away when I’m over it. When I sit down to watch a TV show, or a movie I’m ready and willing to believe the unbelievable! Obviously, I don’t sit down and say, “Prepare to suspend belief,” it simply happens. That’s the magic!

Warner Bros Studio Tour Los Angeles California
Belle Haven Prison… good thing this isn’t our reality!

When done right, it’s so seamless, its easy to believe that what you’re watching is actually real. I love nothing more than the ability to settle in with my popcorn, (is there any other movie watching treat) and blissfully forget that it took literally hundreds of people working behind the scenes to create that seamless transition between the real world and places like Hogwarts, The Shire, or Gotham City. Three of my favorite alternate realities!


I literally forget that I can’t actually go to these places, and that Batman isn’t real. Wait! What? Batman isn’t real? I refuse to believe it!

Batman must be real, here’s his car!

Okay, now that we’ve established that one does not simply walk into Mordor, how do they make it look like we can? How do they make it look so real?  Well, it just so happens that Los Angeles, the home of movie magic, is the perfect place to find out! During my recent visit to the Warner Bros Studio Lot we got behind the scenes peeks into many of our favorite television shows and movies both old and new!

After your tour stop by Central Perk for a coffee!?

Now, you might be thinking that a studio tour is incredibly touristy, and it is, but hey there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s touristy for good reason. Next you might say to yourself, but I’m not into theme parks, and to that I say, “Not all studios are theme parks, however some theme parks are studios!”


You’ll go inside actual filming locations!

Even the cynic in your group will be won over when they see the location of their favorite television show or movie. At least our resident cynic was!


#warnerbrostourYour tour starts with a brief film overview, hosted by Ellen, (her show is filmed at Warner Bros.) afterwards you’ll be split into small groups! The lot encompasses 110 acres, and is big enough to need its own fire department, so this won’t be a walking tour. Your open air vehicle seats about 12 people and will ensure that you’re able to see everything!

You’ll be riding in a vehicle similar to this one!

Along the way you’ll have the opportunity to visit the homes and buildings from some of film and TV’s most popular places, including ER, Gilmore Girls, Dukes of Hazard, the original Batman TV series and Full house to name just a few. You might even get the opportunity to step inside some of them. Don’t worry there’s plenty of time for photo opportunities!

What you’ll see on your tour is largely dependent on what is happening on the lot on that given day. We were treated to exhibits showcasing props from Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Suicide Squad and Batman Vs. Superman.

My favorite exhibit had to be the Bat Mobiles, but we also got the opportunity to visit the sound stage of the Big Bang Theory, the coffee shop from La La Land, and even the set of Central Perk from Friends. If you’re so inclined you can even sit on the Friends couch.

Towards the end of your tour you’ll be given the opportunity to explore, at your own leisure, interactive exhibits dedicated to showing you just how the movie and television magic happens, including costumes, scripts, set dressing, green screens, forced perspective and more.  We held Oscars, “rode” the bat cycle, explored movie props, and made a trip to the studio shop!

Tips and Advice:

  • You’ll need to reserve your tour online in advance.
  • Kids under 8 are not permitted.
  • You’ll be getting in and out of the tour vehicle, so make sure to dress appropriately.
  • The tour is three hours long, but the time flies by!
  • The tour operators are very accommodating, so feel free to ask for a photo stop at any point along the way.
  • Save time for a visit to the  tour studio store, which features items from many well known films and shows and is only available on the tour!

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Downtown Los Angeles Graffiti & Mural Walking Tour


A self described urban girl, art lover, and travel addict one of my favorite pastimes is “collecting” street art. It’s a hobby I picked up a few years ago, while traveling in Portugal. Over the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to have collected some great “pieces” from cities around the world, Glasgow, London, Paris and Seattle to name just a few*.

Lucky for me Los Angeles has no shortage of local and international artists who are literally painting the town, enabling me to continue collecting even when I’m not on the road! I like to think of it as sort of a worldwide treasure hunt, and along the way, I’ve come to know and love the styles of many artists, recognizing their unique styles on sight.

WRDSMTH is a favorite! I ❤️ his positive messages!

The scale, accessibility and temporary nature of street art are all part of its draw, and thanks to social media it’s easier than ever to follow and find new works by some of my favorite artists. When I do discover a fun new piece there’s no time to waste, as one never knows how long it will be on “display.” Legal, or not, you never know when it might be tagged, buffed over, or even torn down.

This  Bandit / WRDSMTH collaboration has since been buffed over.

I’ve been doing a pretty good job of discovering pieces on my own, but recently I decided to enlist a little help, and signed up for a graffiti/mural walking tour in Downtown Los Angeles.

The Tour Starts Here out side of Dejavita Boutique!

walking tour of DTLA was the perfect way to view the city’s vibrant mural and graffiti scene and get a feel for the neighborhood. Not only did we view amazing works of art, but we learned about the street art culture including, the techniques, territory, hierarchy and lingo of these incredibly talented artists. It was fascinating and I could go on and on, but let’s get to the art!

Colyton Street


Your tour begins and ends on Colyton Street just outside of Dejavita and Shreebs Coffee in the Arts District. The tours are led by local artists, and I’m sure just like their art, they all have their own style. Our guide started by giving us a quick lesson in street art vocabulary, “rules” and the history of the area.

We were excited to come back and explore this area after the tour, taking tons of photos and poking in and out of the various shops. I love the DTLA Arts Co-op, which sells local art, jewelry and clothing, some of which is based on art you might recognize from the tour.

The Container Yard

Bumblebeelovesyou & Mikael Brandup

Sadly, you won’t be able to see this Bumbleelovesyou and Mikael B. collaboration, as it’s been painted over. However, you can see the fresh new piece by Deferism, which took its place along with many other fantastic murals, which are located at the Container Yard, an undefined collaborative art space, in the heart of the DTLA Arts District and one stop on the tour. Other stops on the tour were located along Traction Avenue, at The Angel City Brewery, and along 3rd Street.  There was so much amazing art it was hard to decide which pieces to share…


Traction Avenue

El Mac

Angel City Brewery


3rd Street

Kim West
Paste up JR

The Lingo

Angels –  Famous or respected graffiti artists who have died. Sometimes represented by tags or tributes with halos above them.

Crew –  A group of artists who regularly collaborate often in the same part of town. Examples of local crews: UTI and Mad Society Kings

Legal Walls – Walls, buildings or neighborhoods where artists are encouraged to create graffiti. The ability to create without having to look out for the police means larger and more creative pieces.

Colyton Street DTLA Los Angeles California
Legal Wall behind Dejavita

Mural – A huge work, often on a legal wall. It might be done by an individual, an informal group, or a crew.


Piece or Masterpiece – Short for “masterpiece.” The term is frequently used to describe a more labor-intensive work.

Tristan Eaton

Stencil – A design cut into heavy paper or cardboard, then spray-painted onto a wall. A stencil may be a phrase, an image, or a combination thereof.

Tag – A stylized name or signature done with various materials, such as a marker or an aerosol spray can, often freehand.


Throw up – A tag or small “piece” thrown up in a hurry, often located down low.

Throw up

Toy(s) – A derogatory term referring to either poor workmanship, or an inexperienced writer. Going over or “toying” someone else’s work is an act of disrespect. An acronym meaning Tag Over Your Shit.

Wheatpaste/ Pasteup – A type of street art which is literally pasted onto the wall using an adhesive made from flour and water.

Paste up

Woodup – Similar to a paste up, however the stencil is imprinted on wood and then pasted up. This little guy, Nicky Nailed It, is literally everywhere in Los Angeles, often in the least expected places!

Tips & Advice:

  • The Downtown LA Graffiti and Mural tour is offered on Thursdays and Saturdays at 11:30 am. The cost is $12.
  • Reserve your tickets in advance online.
  • The tour starts outside of Dejavita Boutique at 533 Colyton Street.
  • You’ll walk around 2 miles over the course of 2.5 hours.
  • You will be continuously walking and standing for the majority of the tour. It might might not appeal to younger children.
  • Proper attire and walking shoes highly recommended.
  • After the tour, consider exploring the area on your own…

You never know what you might find!


*As you can see my street art collection has grown substantially in recent months, and I’m still collecting, so stay tuned for more discoveries from both near and far…

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Street Art Graffiti Walking Tour of Downtown Los Angeles

The Hidden Staircases of Silver Lake


#welcome2laCombining three of my favorite things, street art, fitness and exploring, my most recent adventure took place in Silver Lake, one of LA’s most unique, and hip neighborhoods. Upon first glance, it may appear a bit on the gritty side, but a little dirt never hurt anyone, and if you dig just a little you’ll find a treasure trove of one of a kind shops, restaurants and hidden gems just waiting for you to come and discover them.

Speaking of Hidden Gems

#swanstairsLA wasn’t always the car town it is now, and at one time public transportation was the primary mode of travel. People used an extensive network of Staircases to get from their hillside homes to their transit stops. Many of these historic staircases are still in existence though these days they’re used more for fitness and #selfies than anything else. The challenge is finding them

The Stairs are hidden within the Silver Lake Neighborhood.

Because these staircases are steep, narrow, and located within residential neighborhoods, they are often hidden from view. However, once you do locate them, they are available for public use, and many of them have been painted with bright colors and fun designs, adding an extra element of fun.


Always up for a challenge and enamored with all the local street art in the area it was my mission to explore these stairways and add them to my LA “collection.”

It’s easy to stay on the path if you create it yourself!

I had some very specific spots in mind, so created my own route through the hills. I admit to some initial trial and error, but in the end I came up with a route, which combines art, fitness and coffee! However, if you prefer it the other way around, you can always start with coffee…

This just over 2 mile walk will take you up and down just over 1000 steep stairs. Proper shoes and attire are recommended.

Step by Step Directions:

1. But First, Coffee. Alfred Coffee 3337 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

#alfredssilverlakeAlfred Coffee’s motto is particularly relevant because you’ll be starting your adventure here! Incase, you need something to work towards, you’ll also be ending here.

Direction: Coffee, or not, you decide, and then head to your first stop which is across the street. 

2. Micheltorena Stairs 3400 Sunset Boulevard (Up 205 Steps)

#micheltorenaWhen you see the cheerful rainbow stripes and hearts painted by artist Corrine Carrey, you’ll know you’re in the right place. Before you begin the walk take a moment to snap a few pics! #staircandy anyone!

Direction: You’ll be crossing at the corner of Sunset and Micheltorena and as soon as you cross head left walk a few steps and you’ll come to the Micheltorena staircase. Go up…

3. Descanso Stairs (Down 139 steps)

Direction: When you reach the top of the stairs you’ll continue on Micheltorena Street until you arrive at Descanso Drive. Go left. Take the stairs down and turn right at the bottom onto Larissa Drive, which about 50 feet later will once again become Descanso Drive. You don’t want W. Descanso Drive.

4. Music Box Steps (Down 133 steps)

#musicboxstepsThis next staircase isn’t painted but it is famous! It was named after the 1932 Academy Award winning short film, which was filmed here, The Music Box, in which Laurel and Hardy attempt to move a piano up a large flight of steps. These very steps!

Direction: At the bottom of the Music Box Steps take a right onto N. Vendome Street and walk towards Sunset Boulevard. Turn left on Sunset Boulevard and cross the street using the crosswalk at Descanso Drive.

5. Stair Tempo Staircase 3229 Sunset Boulevard (Up 90 steps)

#stairtempoAlso painted by artist Corrine Carrey, these fun piano key steps add a much needed element of whimsy to this otherwise mundane passageway. It looks like they could use a bit of sprucing up, but that didn’t take away from the fun.

Direction: Walk along Sunset until you come to 3229 Sunset and head up the stairs towards Hamilton Way. Go right at the top of Stair Tempo and your next set of stairs (up 102 steps) will be on  your left. Take them up to Elevado Street and go left. Go left again onto Westerly Terrace.

6.The Swan Stairs, Parts 1, 2 & 3

#swanstairsNamed for their location, the Swan Stairs were painted in 2015 by The Painted Line Mural Co. and are separated into three different flights totaling 287 steps. Each flight of stairs is unique with shapes and colors in different colors. My favorite, the final flight, showcases a quote from the band the Decembrists: “Los Angeles, I’m Yours.”

 Part 1 – Swan Place 2958 Swan Place (Up 77 steps)

Direction: You’ll find Part one of the Swan Stairs at the intersection of Westerly Terrance and Swan Place. Go up… At the top veer left and you’ll find part two is just across the street at 1802 Redesdale Avenue. Go up again… At the top veer left and you’ll find part three is just across the street at 1784 Rotary Drive. Go up, yet again…

Part 2 – 1802 Redesdale Avenue (Up 110 steps)


Part 3 – 1784 Rotary Drive (Up 100 steps)

 Swan Stairs Los Angeles California

7. Its Time to Head back…

Once you reach the top its time to head back down…

Once you’ve conquered the Swan Stairs you’ll be working your way back through the hills towards Alfred Coffee.


  • Don’t go back down the stairs tho! continue forward by taking a left onto Webster Ave,
  • left on Dillon Street,
  • right on Effie Street and,
  • left on Cicero Drive.
  • walk to the end of the cul-de-sac and you’ll find a staircase on your right (down 90 steps),
  • At the bottom of the stairs go left onto Redcliff Street,
  • right onto Murray Drive,
  • right onto Berkeley Avenue and,
  • finally a left back onto Micheltorena Street. You’ll find Alfred Coffee at the corner of Micheltorena Street and Sunset Boulevard.
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite going up and down all those steps consider going just a little further to Pine & Crane, a delicious Taiwanese restaurant just a five minute walk up the street. The food is fresh, delicious and affordable!

There are many other hidden and painted stairways throughout Silver Lake and the greater Los Angeles area just waiting to be collected, and once I do, I’ll be sure to update with photos and locations!

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InstaLA! 15 Places to Snap Those InstaGood Pics

These days it’s all about documenting. After all if you haven’t posted it on Instagram, were you really there? Of course you were, but sharing the fun is a big part of any experience, which is one reason why I started this blog in the first place! Sharing the fun!

The famous Pink Wall at Paul Smith on Melrose #paulsmithla

As an amateur photographer, I appreciate that a great photo, not only documents the moment, but also tells the story. So, as a tourist in my own town, I’ve been on a quest to see new places, enjoy the moments, AND get that #pic.

Are You Looking for that LA Experience?

Another Insta Icon the #madeinla wall at  Cisco Home on Melrose

Whether it be a #selfie, a portrait, or just your surroundings, If you’re looking for more than just a photo, but an experience to go along with it consider some of these #fun on and off the beaten path LA locations:

1. Colette Miller Angel Wings Location: 453 Colyton Street, Los Angeles

If there’s one #instapic you have to take while visiting the City of Angles it’s the one with a pair of Colette Miller’s Angel Wings. Surely, you’ve heard of Colette Miller’s Angel Wings project by now, and if not, you have now! With multiple locations around LA, and now the world, you are bound to run across a pair! This particular pair is located just outside the DTLA Arts  District Co-op, which also happens to be a great shop!

2. Fnnch Honey Bear Mural Location: 608 Mateo Street, Los Angeles

The #insta #opportunities in Downtown’s Arts District are endless. No matter your taste, there is street art for everyone! It was while looking for another piece that we came upon this lovely “little” honey bear by the San Francisco based artist known as Fnnch. Of course I had to take a quick #pic with my #littlehoney!

3. The Most Famous Artist Mural Location: 608 Mateo Street, Los Angeles

You might already be familiar with the polka dot wall as it’s become an #icon of the LA #instawall scene. (Is that a thing? I guess it is now!) The work of Matty Mo, otherwise known as The Most Famous Artist, its just one of many murals made with the intention of being featured on social media. It’s conveniently located in the same area as some other pretty nice pieces.

4. The Broad Museum Location: 221 S. Grand Ave, Los Angeles

If you only have time to visit one museum while in LA, I highly suggest The Broad located in DTLA. Entry to the museum is free, and the collection is top notch! Not only that, the building itself makes a lovely #instawall backdrop! Do keep in mind that it’s incredibly popular and advance reservations are required.

5. The Chandelier Tree  Location: 2811 W. Silver Lake Drive, Los Angeles

The Chandelier Tree, created by, Silver Lake resident and artist, Adam Tenenbaum is a magical piece of art which is located in his front yard! The tree’s restored chandeliers have been collected over time through donations, swap meet purchases and film sets. Visitors to the tree are very welcome and if you’re so inclined you can contribute to Adam’s electric bill, by inserting coins into the meter beneath the tree. Check out this neat little video to learn more about the Chandelier Tree.

6. Elliot Smith Figure 8 Wall Location: 4334 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles

Just a few minutes away from the above #instaspot you’ll find the Elliott Smith Figure 8 Wall. If you’re a music lover, you might be familiar with Elliot Smith, who met a tragic end in 2003. This wall was featured on the cover of his last album and has since become a place where fans can snap a #pic and pay tribute to the deceased singer. As my husband is a big fan of Elliott’s music, our son is also named Elliot…

7. Micheltorena Stairs Location: 3400 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles

Painted by artist Corrine Carrie the Micheltorena Stairs are not only a lovely spot for an #instapic, but part of a larger network of “hidden”stairs within the Silver Lake neighborhood. If you’re feeling inspired after you snap your #staircandy pic, why not consider an urban hike! You’ll get some exercise along with your #snap!

8. View of DTLA Griffith Observatory Location: 2800 E. Observatory Rd, Los Angeles

The views from the Griffith Observatory, are quintessential LA, so it’s no wonder this very view was featured in the movie LA LA Land. Not only will a visit here provide you fabulous views of #DTLA, but the #iconic Hollywood Sign as well. Thats two birds with one #instastone!

9. The Hollywood Sign Location: 2800 E. Observatory Rd, Los Angeles

#hollywoodsign #griffithpark #hollywood #losangeles #california #icon #staycation #fun #hilarystyleme

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One of the most famous icons in Los Angeles and the world, no trip to Los Angeles would be complete without a glimpse of the famous Hollywood Sign!

10. Urban Light at LACMA Location: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

There’s something so magical about artist Chris Burden’s Urban Light installation, I could spend hours there! I couldn’t stop taking photos. The solar powered installation is made from 202 restored cast iron street lamps from 1920s and 30s Los Angeles. Part of LACMA’s permanent collection, the exhibit is free to the public. Urban Light is an incredibly popular place to take photos and hang out, so unless you visit in the middle of the night, expect to have other people in your photos.

11. Carrera Cafe Location: 8251 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles

Located just across the street from the pink #paulsmithla wall on Melrose Avenue, Carrera Cafe, is not just a pretty face, but also a lovely little cafe with both sweet and savory treats.

12. Social butterflies LA Location:  8222 W. 3rd St, Los Angeles

You’ll be kept plenty busy exploring all the restaurants, shopping, galleries and fun #wallcandy on West 3rd Street, which is located in West Hollywood about one mile from Melrose Avenue.

13. Palm Tree Photo Mural Location: 1130 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice

For a guaranteed LA experience and those #instagood #instapics don’t miss one of the hottest streets in town, Abbot Kinney located in Venice. Both sides of the street are lined with not only fabulous street art, murals and pasteups, but many of the most sought after fashion brands have stores here. After you’ve snapped and shopped, you can satisfy your hunger in the one of the many trendy bars and restaurants. It’s #instapic heaven! This Noah Abrams photograph is on the wall outside of Kit and Ace.

14. J. Goldcrown’s #bleedinghearts #Lovewall Location: corner of Santa Clara Avenue and Abbot Kinney Boulevard

While you’re in the neighborhood, why not make a stop at J. Goldcrown’s #bleedinghearts #lovewall, which is painted on the side of the Green Leaf Chopshop. Don’t worry, it’s okay to take photos at both! Then stop by the TOMS store and pick up a matching pair!

15. Will Rodgers State Beach  Location: 17000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Los Angeles

Tourist or not, there’s nothing quite like an LA #sunset, and the best part: It happens each and every night!


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Would you like directions to all these fabulous places? Why not take me with you! you can download this and other fun hilarystyle articles using the GPSmyCity app!




The J. Paul Getty Museums 


I had the best time during my visits to the Getty Villa and the Getty Center, two world renowned art museums, and I didn’t even look at the art. Yep, it’s true! I was so busy enjoying everything else they had to offer, I ran out of time, which is why both of these LA institutions will be going on my Repeat List and should definitely be on everyone else’s Must List.

The Getty  Villa

#gettyvillaLocated on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, the Getty Villa is dedicated to the antiquities and features 7000 years of ancient art. Even if antiquities aren’t your thing, The Villa itself is a site to see.


Built in the early 1970s it was modeled after the Villa dei Papiri, a roman country home which was located in Herculaneum, Italy.  Herculaneum, along with Pompeii, was buried in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD and has only been partially excavated.

The Getty Villa Los Angeles California

My friend, Melissa, and I had the most amazing time here, it was the perfect day out. We  enjoyed two guided tours, architecture and garden, watched a brief film about the history of the Villa and its creator, J. Paul Getty. We also enjoyed a fabulous lunch at the Getty Cafe.


As I mentioned we ran out of time and didn’t see much art, even so, this may have been the most fun I’ve had at an art museum… well… ever!

Tips & Advice:

  • Entry to the Getty Villa is free, but reservations, which can be made online, are required. There is a $15 fee for parking.
  • The museum tours of the art, architecture, and gardens are complimentary.
  • The food in the cafe was excellent. Consider eating there while you enjoy beautiful views of the Villa and gardens from above.
  • I hope to visit again in the summer when the there will be performances in the Villa’s amphitheater.
    The Getty Villa Los Angeles California
  • Don’t forget to leave time for the art!

The Getty Center


If you’ve been to LA you might have noticed the Getty Center, a large white building perched on the hillside above the 405.


While the Getty Villa features antiquities through the fall of the Roman Empire, the Getty Center features American and European art from medieval times to the present. Not only is it considered an architectural masterpiece, but it’s surrounded by beautiful gardens and on a clear day the view of Downtown Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean are spectacular.


The museum campus is vast and there are many different areas to explore. My boys loved the gardens and it is our goal to come back each season to see how they’ve changed. Hopefully, we’ll find time to see some of the art during one of those visits! Stay tuned!


Tips & Advice:

  • Entry to the Getty Center is free. There is a $15 fee to park. Unlike the Villa reservations are not required.
  • Once parked you’ll take a complimentary tram up the hillside to the Getty Center.Getty Center Los Angeles California
  • If you’re visiting with children, the casual Getty Cafe is cafeteria style and offers something for everyone.
  • We plan to come back every season to see the changes in the gardens.

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Los Angeles, How I ❤️ Thee…

#lovewallI ❤️ LA, and clearly I’m not alone! From Venice Beach to the streets of Downtown and everywhere in between! Love is everywhere in the City of Angels!

#lovemeanywaysAnd while some might complain that it’s too big, too smoggy, or too congested, there’s a reason 45+ million people found a reason to visit in the last year. With mild weather and endless possibilities it’s no wonder that Los Angeles is the ❤️ of Southern California.

Sharing The Love

#lovewall #bleedinghearts

Join me on a whirlwind photo tour showcasing just some of the fun and he(Art)s I’ve discovered throughout the LA LA Land that I love.

Venice Beach


Like the sign says, I ❤️ Venice, and not just for the cheap sunglasses and great people watching! I just can’t get enough of the good weird that is Venice!


Thinking about a new pair of shades? Have you considered heart shaped?


Who doesn’t love candy, hearts and selfies, but especially selfies with candy hearts?!

Venice is a work in progress, always changing, so whether you’re, driving, biking or walking, keep your eyes open! Even Muhammad Ali is showing the love.

Washington Boulevard


WRDSMTH’s inspirational pieces can be found throughout Los Angeles and the world. ❤️

Windward Avenue


While out biking one morning Marioe’s bright red heart caught my eye !

Abbot Kinney Boulevard


We often find ourselves in the Aviator Nation shop  on Abbot Kinney Boulevard! And it’s not just because we love their ping pong table… Their loungewear is pretty awesome too!


Artist J. Goldcrown’s #bleedinghearts #lovewall is a favorite among tourists and locals alike!

Santa Monica Pier


I came across these brave and confident lovelies sharing the #bodylove on the Santa Monica Pier one afternoon!

Culver City


Artist Curtis Kulig’s Love Wall at Smashbox Studios in Culver City isn’t exactly on the beaten path, but it’s bright happy message is worth a detour, especially if you’re with someone you love!

Museum Mile


If you’re a car lover, than you might like to visit Herbie the Love Bug who lives at the Peterson Automotive Museum on the Museum Mile!

Silver Lake Neighborhood


It was love at first sight when I saw the not so “secret” Micheltorena Stairs while out exploring the Silver Lake neighborhood with my boys!


We just had to stop at take a family photo underneath this happy message of love painted by artist and writer Dallas Clayton on the wall at Dangerbird Records on Sunset Boulevard!

Downtown Los Angeles

The change to Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) in the past decade is unbelievable and IMHO it’s all for the better! Not only will you find amazing art everywhere (more on that in a future post), but there are fabulous brewery’s, restaurants, shopping, markets and more! I LOVE DTLA!


This lovely street art heart is on the side of the Angel City Brewery.


Literally, art on the street, these fun little stencils can be found just about everywhere around town. I’m particularly fond of the official kissing spot!


This new piece by artist Adam Dare was finished in October 2016 and it says, Love is Love. I couldn’t agree more! It’s located just outside the Dejavita boutique in the DTLA Arts District. What I don’t love… cars parked in front of the art, but it is LA, and we do love our cars!


Can’t get enough of  J. Goldcrown’s #bleedinghearts? You can visit them in DTLA at Cafe Gratitude!

With Love



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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Tourist in my own town a continuing series…


Looking for things to do over the winter holidays I decided on a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood and more specifically the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We had a wonderful time! However, you might be surprised to hear that none of us were all that excited, and I had to drag the kids. In fact it was only the promise of Butterbeer (which we had in Orlando four years ago) that got Simon excited…


Now I don’t mean to start off negative, but unlike the Orlando location , I remembered the SoCal park as a much smaller place in dire need of an update. The last time we’d visited (10 years ago) the attractions already seemed outdated and irrelevant. The movies they were showcasing… Terminator, Waterworld, Backdraft… were movies from my own youth, which meant nothing to Simon and honestly, you couldn’t have given me free tickets to go back. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case! Enter Minions, Jurassic World, and Harry Potter!

First Stop: Butterbeer!


So, our most recent  visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was largely driven by our desire for Butterbeer and as soon as we parked the car we made a beeline right for it! In my humble opinion Butterbeer is the only beverage in the world that might be worth a 3000 mile flight and was absolutely worth a one hour drive! Over the past four years, we’ve tasted many imitations in our attempt to find it, and while some have come close, they just weren’t Butterbeer.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Los Angeles

Hard to describe, Butterbeer is a delicious mix of flavors which could be butterscotch, marshmallow, cream soda and even shortbread, but one can’t really know exactly what it is, because the recipe is a secret! The creamy foam on top is my favorite part and cold is the most popular way to drink it, but you can also order it frozen and hot!


Arriving to the park at lunchtime, we decided to enjoy our Butterbeer while waiting in line for a table at The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade Village.


The line for the Three Broomsticks moves quickly and just like the other park attractions the ambiance inside the restaurant is perfect and immersive helping to make the wait time go by. The process is seamless from start to finish and once you order your food the friendly staff will find you a table. I wish more theme park restaurants would do this!

We enjoyed our food very much. I had the Sunday Roast, while the boys went safe with fish and chips. We decided to try hot Butterbeer, which I loved, and topped it all off with some Sticky Toffee Pudding! Now that we’d taken care of business it was time to explore Hogsmeade Village and some of the other attractions!


#hogwartsHogwarts Castle is really impressive! One can almost believe it’s as real as any castle you might see traveling the world.

There are two ride attractions in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and while we all enjoyed The Flight of the Hippogriff, Simon rode Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey on his own. Elliot does meet the height requirement, but as soon as they buckled us into the seat restraints I panicked! Call it a mother’s intuition, but I knew he wasn’t going to like it and I pulled him off the ride just before we entered the tunnel. I’m so glad I did! Simon confirmed my fears and while many people might enjoy the very immersive 5 minute experience, which includes, darkness, Dementors, being shaken this way and that, and a squirt of water in the face, I knew my little guy would have been terrified!


My new theme park rule: If they tell me to lock up my purse and take off my glasses, it’s not the ride for me! That said, even if you don’t plan to ride,wandering through the castle is fabulous and there are many surprises to make you feel as though you’ve stepped inside the real Hogwarts! There is a cozy little room where Harry Potter movies are playing to keep littles and their keepers occupied while waiting for the riders.

Even on a rainy day Hogsmeade was crowded, so we weren’t able to do everything, but we really enjoyed wandering around the village and were able to pop into Honeydukes where we picked up a few treats before we set off to see what else Universal Studios had to offer…

One last stop at the Butterbeer cart before we set off for home, made our day complete!

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One Amazing Day in LA!

Tourist in my own town, a continuing series…

Los Angeles Urban LightIn a big city like Los Angeles, there is no a shortage of things to see and do, in fact if anything, deciding which amazing thing to do next is the challenge. I know! It’s a struggle! Lucky for me, I live here, so even though I can’t do it all, I at least have a fighting chance! But what if you don’t live here, how do you narrow down all those great options?

The good news is: You just can’t go wrong!

#bronsoncanyonIf you’re looking for a few ideas to get you started, look no further! Our recent 8 hour whirlwind tour, which started in Santa Monica and ended with a gorgeous sunset over Museum Row, hit many iconic highlights, and included something for everyone. We had a lot of ground to cover, especially since some of our group had never been to California before, but I think we did a pretty good job!

One Amazing Day in LA

Sidecar Doughnuts

#sidecardoughA great place to grab breakfast and go over the day’s plan, our group met at Sidecar Doughnuts, which is pretty much our favorite donut shop on the Westside, and we’ve tried a few. Sidecar’s doughnuts are always fresh, tasty, and popular, so be prepared for a long line, and because your first choice will most likely sell out before you make it to the counter, choose a second. Don’t worry they’re all good.

#sidecardoughnutsIf you’re interested in street art you might like to view the large Bumblebeelovesyou mural on the West side of the building. Collecting street art is a favorite pastime of mine, so look out for more on that in a future post.

The Hollywood Sign

#hollywoodsignWhen visiting Los Angeles the world famous Hollywood sign is always a popular sight! If you’re not up to hiking, or just don’t have time, there are many places around town where you can get a great view. One such place is Bronson Canyon located in Griffith Park. Not only is this a great view spot, but its also the filming location for many popular Hollywood movies and TV shows, the list is long, but here are a few: Gunsmoke, Little House on the Prairie, Star Trek, The Scorpion King, and Army of Darkness.

Other great spots to view the sign are, the Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood and Highland Center, and the top level of the Broad Contemporary Art Building at LACMA.

The Historic Hollywood Walk of Fame

Los Angeles Walk of FameAnother famous Hollywood institution is the Walk of Fame, which runs 1.3 miles along Hollywood Boulevard between Gower Street and La Brea Avenue. There are more than 2,500 stars along the Walk and you’ll be sure to recognize a few of your favorite entertainers.

Be sure to look up as you’re walking along, otherwise you might miss the famous Grauman’s Chinese theater! I still remember my visit here as a little girl and attempting to fit my feet and hands into the many celebrity prints which have been pressed into the courtyard floor.

Pinks Hot Dog Stand

#pinkchilidogsAfter all that hiking and walking we’d whipped up an appetite and no trip to Los Angeles would be complete without a trip to Pink’s a true LA institution! Famous for it’s chili cheese dog, Pink’s has been in the same spot on La Brea for 76 years and if the perpetually long line is any indication, it’s not going anywhere.

Trust me it’s worth the wait! Even, if like me, you think you don’t like chili dogs. It turns out I do, its just that they have to be from Pink’s! If you’re still not convinced, don’t worry; there are other items on the menu.

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

#tarpitsOur next stop will be of particular interest to any history lovers in your group! Can you believe that at one time the bustling area that is now Museum Row on Wilshire Boulevard was once the home of dire wolves, saber-tooth cats, and mammoths? It’s true! Of course that was 50,000 years ago, give or take a few thousand years… The La Brea Tar Pits and the George C. Page Museum offer a glimpse into what life was life in the LA basin long before people came along.

#tarpitExcavation is still taking place and during your visit you’ll see bubbling tar pits, current dig sites, fossils, informational films and interactive exhibits. A few things to keep in mind: There is an entrance fee to the museum, but viewing the outside exhibits is free. You won’t see dinosaurs here, as they’d already been extinct for 65 million years when animals started becoming entrapped in the tar pits.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

#urbanlightConveniently located across the lawn from the Tar Pits, we walked over to our final stop of the day, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). It would take multiple visits to see everything the largest art museum on the West Coast has to offer, but we were running out of steam at this point, so instead of touring the indoor galleries we chose to enjoy some of the Museum’s outdoor exhibits.

one-amazing-day-in-la-9619I could spend hours at Urban lights by artist Chris Burden. The solar powered installation is made from 202 restored cast iron street lamps from 1920s and 30s Los Angeles. This is an incredibly popular place to take photos and hang out, so unless you want to visit in the middle of the night, expect to have other people in your photos.

#penetrableThe boys loved Penetrable by artist Jesús Rafael Soto, an interactive art installation just outside the entrance to the Ahmanson Building. Made of simple yellow tubing hanging from a steel grid, this installation is meant to be touched! The boys spent ages here and I think we need one of these in our yard!

#urbanlightJust as the sun was setting and having had our fill of outdoor art and photos we decided to call it a day. There are so many amazing places to see in LA and I’m doing my best to see them all… I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I think I’m up to the task!


What’s Going To Happen Now?


#sunsetIs this really happening? WTF? What’s going to happen now? These are just a few of the thoughts floating around in my head right now and I know I’m not alone.

When writing about my travels, new fashion finds, or just plain fun (Basically the inconsequential things) the words just pour out of me. I’m constantly running to my computer to put a new idea down before it disappears into the ether. However when it comes to the more serious topics like parenting, relationships, or most recently politics this isn’t the case. In these instances where the need to get my feelings across seems more important than ever I struggle to sort through the myriad of complicated thoughts and emotions running through my mind in the hopes of organizing them into what I hope will be the coherent articulate words that will convey my message.

Often, after a few failed attempts I hit the delete button and move on to something easier or more cheerful, something not so vulnerable, and I really wanted to do that this time as well…

Like many like-minded people, I am shocked by the outcome of our recent election, and I am struggling with the idea of an uncertain future, for our country as a whole, and though on a much smaller scale, more personally for my own family. At the same time I’m trying to remain calm and keep things real and normal for my children all while trying to convince myself that the little pep talk I keep giving myself isn’t a pipe dream and that things can still turn out okay.

I’ve been spending a lot of time at the beach lately, it’s a great place to gather my thoughts and of course view the sunset! Mother Nature puts on a different show every night, but the one certainty is that there will always be another one tomorrow. With so much uncertainty in our future this is a welcome and beautiful constant.