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Thursday
Oct152009

Locale Lovelies: Orange County + L.A., Part Two

Since first seeing her blissful lilypad headbands, I have had a small but significant blog crush on Rachel from {Heart of Light}.

I am trying to redesign my own little bloggity blog, and long for something similar to Rachel's wide, well-stocked sidebar. She recommended a pumpkin waffle recipe recently, and now buttermilk, pumpkin and cloves are on my weekend shopping list. She pointed out a couple of surprisingly wearable fall dresses from Old Navy, and I immediately bought one of them in three colors. I heart Rachel's taste, and hope you will likewise love her choices for a welcome basket to L.A.!

There are several cupcake shops in Los Angeles, but Vanilla Bakeshop is Rachel's favorite. Specifically, she loves their simplest offering, and thinks your guests would as well: the {Vanilla Bean Cupcake}.This tiny, gorgeous bakery even packages each cupcake in a special little box, so it can be presented as a gift.

To help guests work off those full tummies, provide reservations for a historic walking tour. The L.A. Conservancy offers affordable guided tours of everything from art deco architecture to the downtown renaissance.
Next, include an {Odd Birds of L.A. Calendar} by local Etsy letterpress shop krankpress. Guests can keep an eye out for quirky local birds while they're in town and then bring the calendar, $18, home as a souvenir.

{Sunglasses} are a necessity in L.A. even during the winter, when the city can be hit with blindingly bright, cold days. I would give out-of-towners cheaply awesome aviators; imagine the great photos you will get of your guests around town rockin' their shades!
And for the sophisticates, share a bottle of wine from the Malibu Family Winery; Rachel's favorite is the $20 {Petite Syrah}. This vineyard is tucked up in the hills above Malibu, and Rachel thinks it would be a beautiful, relaxing pre-wedding outing for your guests; most people associate wine tasting with Napa or California's other well-known wine regions, but you can go right in L.A.!

{The Santa Monica Farmer's Market Cookbook} can go home with your guests for about $15. This farmer's market is an institution in L.A., and no visit would be complete without a walk through the stalls. Rachel loves to keep walking for a couple of blocks and enjoy her fresh coffee and croissants at the beach!

Help guests avoid the legendary L.A. traffic by sharing public transit options. You can get almost anywhere in the city on a bus, as Rachel does. She would recommend Metro for guests staying in Beverly Hills or downtown, and the Big Blue Bus in Santa Monica.

Top off the package with a sweet welcome note and your recommendation for a perfect day before or after the wedding: Urth Caffe for morning coffee; an afternoon at the Grand Central Market for a taste of historic Los Angeles; a stop at Border Grill for the most delicious happy hour; a visit to the downtown Standard Hotel for a rooftop view of the city at sunset; and an evening swathed in the warm SoCal carnival glow of the Santa Monica Pier, complete with a ride on the Ferris wheel. Your guests will never forget the warm welcome or wonderful memories of their time spent in L.A.!
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A bit more, about the contributor: Rachel blogs at {Heart of Light}, a beautiful space filled with fashion, home, and design findings. She also creates the most gorgeous headbands for sale in her Etsy shop!

Reader Comments (4)

Thanks for featuring my picks, Nicole!

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachel (heart of light)

I second oh-so-many of these recommendations and will be making time to try the others. Thank you!

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

Great recommendations. I have never been to the Santa Monica Farmers market, and officially can't wait to go.

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

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