Posts Tagged ‘kara birkenstock’

Summer and travel definitely go hand in hand. Who wouldn’t want to be sitting on a white sand beach sipping a tropical cocktail right about now? But let’s face it, life gets in the way sometimes and we can’t always have our picture perfect summer vacation.


Even if the next few months aren’t lined up with exotic getaways and weekend excursions, there’s no reason why you can’t set out for an amazing experience right in your own backyard. I’ve lived in Los Angeles most of my adult life and still find myself discovering new places, hidden gems and must try restaurants that I had no idea existed.

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Recently, I’ve been inspired to celebrate the joys of being a tourist in my own town. Living in Southern California, we’re blessed to have miles and miles of beaches for sunbathing, biking on the boardwalk, playing volleyball with friends, and of course, the Pacific Ocean for a refreshing swim!

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I took a walk down to the Redondo Beach Riviera for sunset over the weekend and realized how picturesque the South Bay truly is. Gaze to the right and see the famous King Harbor Marina. To the left, the rolling hills of Palos Verdes, a view that one could easily mistake for the French Riviera. Strolling along the sandy beach brought me back to summers on the Mayan Riviera in the Yucatan Peninsula. When I closed my eyes, I was instantly transported.               

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The next afternoon, I found myself at the Riviera Village Famer’s Market. Mingling with local artisans and purveyors of unique fruits and vegetables gave me a new appreciation for So Cal.

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Chioggia beets, kumquats, rum cake, soy candles and organic coffee were just a few of the goodies I picked up along the way.

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After picking up flowers and some fresh mint, it was time for a cocktail. And what better locale to enjoy a drink than a rooftop with an ocean view?

KaraBirkenstock_HerringboneColdShoulderDress (1)I can’t wait to venture out for more exploring this summer and beyond! There’s still so much to see, learn and taste in Los Angeles. Luckily, with the sand in my toes and the salty breeze in my hair, the world is my oyster. Hmm, oysters….where should I go to try the best mollusks? Let me know in the comments!

*Thank you LONG TALL SALLY for providing the stylish inspiration for Summer in the City!*

Featured LTS Looks: Brights Print Strapless Midi Dress $95, Etched Herringbone Cold Shoulder Dress $109

Photographer: Rick Alderman

“Hello Summer” graphic created by Winkimages – Freepik.com

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Come see me at the Long Tall Sally LA/OC Pop Up Shop on Saturday, April 18th, where I’ll be helping to style some fab tall girl looks, taking pictures and chatting about all things tall fashion! Shop the new summer collection from LTS before it sells out! Can’t wait to meet you all at this very special LA/OC event! All the details are below! #tallgirlbenefits



Double Tree Doheny

34402 Pacific Coast Highway

Dana Point, CA 92624



Saturday April 18 2015 – 9:00 -5:00 PST

Sunday April 19 2015 – 10:00-4:00 PST

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GAL Spas – Best Spa Deals

With the constant stresses of everyday life, it’s refreshing to know that some of the best spas in the country are offering incredible deals so you can rest and relax without the added anxiety of breaking the bank.  From an elegant, Zen infused spa at a renowned family resort to the old world appeal of a Korean bath house, the following GAL Spas are enticing visitors with their unique concepts, warm hospitality, and can’t pass up spa packages for summer and beyond!

nèu lotus spa (Orlando, FL)

After an action packed day at SeaWorld, unwind at the nèu lotus spa at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld.  For a limited time, the property is offering a Zen infused package starting at $132 per night, which includes one night’s accommodations plus a choice of a 50 minute spa treatment at the nèu lotus spa.  Indulge with a soothing Full Lotus Massage designed to work out all the kinks, followed by a nourishing Mini-Facial that will leave you feeling fresh and revitalized.  Or if you prefer, opt for a full 50 minute massage or facial.  After your treatment, chill out poolside with a fresh fruit smoothie at the Palms Pool Bar & Grill.  To book the Escape! Spa package, call 1-800-228-9290 or use rate code SPA when making reservations online.

Stillwater Spa (Newport, RI)

The Stillwater Spa at the Hyatt Regency Newport is the ultimate treat for the senses.  This spa by the sea uses only marine based products, combined with a complete palette of services that will not disappoint.  For spa lovers and busy guests on the go, the Spa Tapas menu is the ideal way to sample the spas signature treatments.  Guests can enjoy affordable bite size treatments (20 minutes per Spa Tapa), from a relaxing Calf & Foot Massage and Mini Facial to the Hand Tension Reliever.  Order one Spa Tapa for $65, two for $75, three for $95, or four for $115.  Between 2pm-5pm, guests will also receive a complimentary spa cocktail, such as the minty Stillwater Mo-Tea-To (cocktails can be made with or without alcohol).  For more information on the Stillwater Spa Tapas, click here.

Hiatus Spa & Retreat (Dallas, TX)

Hiatus Spa & Retreat was created specifically for spa goers who love a great deal!  As the first Aveda Lifestyle Spa Club in the U.S. founded on the principal that frequent massage, facials and body treatments are a prescription for good health and a positive state of mind, Hiatus offers guests an opportunity to indulge without overindulging.  The Platinum H-Circle membership entitles guests to enjoy one of five core spa services per month.  For $59 per month (and a onetime initiation fee of $39), members can choose from a Hiatus Massage, Hiatus Facial, a Hiatus Body Polish in the rainfall Vichy shower room, an invigorating Hiatus Rosemary Mint Wrap, or the all-new Hiatus Mani-Pedi Retreat.  Additional monthly treatments are available for just $59.  As if all this wasn’t already enough, each Hiatus treatments begins with a luxurious foot soak – warm water, a sea salt scrub, and a personalized aromatherapy oil blend are the highlights of this soul grounding experience.  As the perfect cure for spa addicts in Dallas, Hiatus plans to expand to 65 locations over the next five years.  For more information, click here

Olympic Spa (Los Angeles, CA)

The Olympic Spa in Los Angeles’ Koreatown is a must visit GAL find for those who crave a seriously relaxing and detoxifying day at the spa.  Not for the modest or faint of heart, the Olympic Spa is a traditional Korean bath house, stripped down to the purest and most natural of services and amenities.  Don’t expect flickering candles or soft music playing here – the Olympic Spa is simply a retreat to cleanse the body and soul.  Prepare yourself for an invigorating and empowering experience, as this spa is clothing free – that’s right ladies, bathing suits are not permitted.  The only ‘clothes’ allowed in the communal pool/sauna room are towels, and the simple black undergarments worn by the female Korean therapists.  All services are performed in a communal treatment room where guests must be au natural, sans clothing, or in other words, in your birthday suit.

Once settled, experience the most affordable spa deal in Los Angeles, the Simple Soak.  For just $15, one has unlimited use of all the saunas, steam rooms, and pools at the Olympic Spa.  Relax in the extremely Warm Mineral Pool, followed by a refreshing dip in the Cool Waters Pool.  Then, stimulate your senses in the Hot Mugwort Tea Pool which promotes circulation and boosts immunity.  Replenish in one of the uniquely Korean saunas, from the Oxygen Therapy Room to the Oriental Dry Clay Sauna.  Finally, take a nap on the warm Jade floor and feel the herbal steam flood your mind, body and soul.  The Simple Soak is also included with the treatments at the Olympic Spa, including the signature ritual, the Goddess.  This almost two hour treatment begins with the famously aggressive Akasuri Body Scrub, followed by a body shampoo and Aromatherapy Massage. Next, your spirits are literally lifted as you receive an essential oil scalp massage.  While the tingling oils set in, your face is massaged with toxin releasing strokes and a purifying mask is applied to tighten your pores.  After all this, your hair is washed and rinsed, and a luxurious body emulsion oil is generously applied to your entire body to complete the incredible ritual.  For just $130, the Goddess is a must experience, affordable spa treatment that will leave you feeling renewed inside and out.

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Summer is in full swing and many of us have big plans to hit the beach!  Whether you’re in Malibu or Miami, there’s nothing worse than taking a trip to the beach and not being fully prepared.  Well, not to worry because with this list, every sun diva will be fully equipped with the hottest Beach Bag Essentials!

1.      SkinMedica’s Environmental Defense Sunscreen SPF 50+

It’s more important than ever to protect your skin from the sun!  If you’re going to hit the beach and work on your killer tan, take a tip from Jennifer Aniston and Brooke Shields with SkinMedica’s Environmental Defense Sunscreen SPF 50+ ($45).  Aside from being blessed with great genes, these Hollywood gals take sun protection seriously.  Provide your skin with the ultimate barrier from the sun with this ultra light weight, fragrance/oil free, and water resistant formula that boasts UV ProPlex technology, which improves performance by effecting a more uniform distribution of UV filters on the skin.  The remarkable potion also provides skin with antioxidant protection against free radical damage.  For more information on where to purchase SkinMedica products, click here

2.      Coolibar Packable Wide Brim Sun Hat

Now that you have the sunscreen covered, you’ll need something to help beat the intense rays of the summer sun!  Take a cue from Old Hollywood Glam cutie Katie Perry and rock a wide brimmed hat!  Coolibar’s Sun Hat is not only fashionable and chic, but the 4 inch wide brim will provide much needed shade as well as protect your skin from harsh UV rays.  Created for travel, this cool hat can be rolled, crushed, or folded in your suitcase or beach bag—and it still holds its shape.  The Coolibar Packable Wide Brim Sun Hat ($29.95) is the perfect combination of style and function!

3.      Sunglasses from Angel Eyewear

Next up, a killer pair of sunglasses!  Angel Eyewear features some of the hottest styles of the season at amazingly affordable prices!  From the glamorous Mod, to the retro Katt, these sunglasses are the epitome of summer style.  Supermodel Tyra Banks is a fan of the line, and with these sassy shades, you’ll feel like you’re struttin’ on your personal runway.  Available in a ton of frames, colors and lens options, and with prices starting as low as $45, you can stock up for summer without breaking the bank. 

4.      Youngblood’s Minerals in the Mist

After a few hours in the sweltering summer sun, you’re going to need a refreshing pick me up.  Youngblood’s Minerals in the Mist ($22 each) are a collection of revitalizing and nourishing face mists that will keep you cool as the day burns on.  Refresh is a delicious blend of tangerine and grapefruit infused with minerals and vitamins which help to protect skin cells and rejuvenate skin tissue, while also acting as cell energizers.  This beach bag essential is popular with stars like The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison and actress Mena Suvari, who like to quench their skin with every spritz!

5.      Versatile Summer Scarf

Aside from a fab bikini, your cover up is the next most important fashion item for the beach.  Luckily, there’s a versatile and affordable summer scarf that will not only act as a quick cover up, but also a dress, wrap, and even a last minute beach mat!  Affordablescarves.com is a fantastic resource for all the latest scarves in every color, print, and fabric imaginable.  The Aloha Cotton Scarf ($14.49) in a tropical purple motif is a lightweight, compact, and colorful accessory that will take you from the beach to dinner in one easy step! 

6.      Beach Read

No day at the beach would be complete without some great reading material!  Ever since the friendly folks at Amazon.com sent me a review copy of Candace Bushnell’s The Carrie Diaries, I have been hooked!  Not just for fans of the Sex and the City franchise, this book takes you right back to the dramatic days of high school, full of first loves, great friends, and crazy fashion!  Fans of the show will find themselves routing for Carrie all over again as she experiences her senior year, falls head over heels for a very “Mr. Big” like character, and follows her heart to the city of her dreams, New York!  This book is perfect for anyone who wants a lighthearted beach read!

 7.      The IcyBag

There’s nothing worse than reaching for your lip balm at the beach, to realize that it’s been melted by the scorching sun!  With the IcyBag, beachgoers like Christina Aguilera and Ashlee Simpson can tote all their beauty products and must have items in a stylish, insulated accessory bag.  No need to worry that your products will get hot, sticky or melted – the IcyBag is fully insulated and includes a custom gel pack that stays cool at least three times longer than frozen water.  You can even slip in snacks, electronics, and other items you may not want to get weathered by the sun!  The IcyBag is clever, convenient, and affordable at just $15!

8.       Best Beach Bag

With all these summer essentials, you’re going to need something glam, affordable, and luxurious to carry it all in!  Whether you’re looking for a nautical inspired tote, woven satchel, or multi functional carry-all, Amazon.com has an amazing selection for all your beach bag needs.  I love this Roxy tote ($32) with its classic and modern styling, and fun pop of color!  It’s large lined compartment and zipper pockets make it ideal for the beach, perfect to carry all the above beach bag must haves!

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CLEAN Scents for Summer

CLEAN, the line of uniquely fresh smelling scents inspired by soap, has two new and refreshing scents for Summer.  Shower Fresh is just that – clean, crisp, and simple with hints of citrus, floral and musk.  One spritz of this lovely fragrance will leave you feeling “shower-fresh” from sun up to sun down!  The limited edition Summer Linen is inspired by the sunny days of summer when warm breezes mingle with sun-ripened citrus. A light, sexy, and cool scent infused with Bergamot, Italian Limoncello and succulent Mirabelle Plum, this fragrance will definitely leave you wanting more!  Prices range from $22-$69 at http://www.cleanperfume.com/.

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Check out my GAL Travel review of Newport, Rhode Island at http://wp.me/PR9nE-6t.  Click on Kara’s Korner for more food and travel related posts! 

Newport, Rhode Island

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4th of July Fashion from Lulus.com

Ahoy, ladies!  This 4th of July, flaunt your patriotic spirit in the nautical inspired fashions of the season.  Lulus.com is a GAL resource for sailor-happy trends, from stars and stripes to anchor accessories.  This darling ensemble is just $54 from head to toe.  You’re bound to spark some fireworks in this sexy striped dress, dainty necklace, and glam sunglasses

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Check out my GAL Travel review of the Temecula Valley Wine Country, at http://wp.me/PR9nE-2c.    Click on Kara’s Korner for more food and travel related posts!

View from Leonesse Cellars

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Hip Board Shorts & Swim Trunks For Just $10!

You gotta love Old Navy for having great deals on must have items for Summer!  Their selection of board shorts and swim trunks for men are cool, colorful, and most importantly, super affordable!  Starting at just $10, you can go classic in a basic blue or black, or more spirited in a red, white, and blue pair like these, perfect for a 4th of July BBQ or Pool Party!   

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Mod Yet Modest Swimwear – Starting at $65!

Looking for a fashionable, classic one piece for your next poolside soiree?  My dear friend Heather Fish, launched Pearl Swimwear in 2005, which specializes in amazing vintage inspired suits and coverups for women who don’t feel the need to bare it all.  One of her best selling suits, The Dash of Sass, is available for a limited time this Summer in a gorgeous white for $90.  The suit is double faced and lined to prevent any unfortunate wardrobe malfunctions.  Full coverage bottoms, a low back and skinny straps that can be worn multiple ways make this suit both sleek and sophisticated.

Heather has also created my absolute favorite swimsuit coverup!  The Pearl Dressy is made of a butter soft jersey and can be knotted at the neckline and sleeves.  Available in black for $65, this dressy is a must have staple in my Summertime wardrobe – once you put it on, you’ll never want to take it off either!

To view the Pearl Swimwear collection, please visit www.pearlswimwear.com.  To purchase The Dash of Sass or Pearl Dressy, please contact Heather directly at 949-235-6690.




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