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The Weekender (+ We Need Your Recommendations!)

We’ve been doing as much Michigan-ing as possible, which is partly (okay, probably mostly) due to home projects, partly to soak up all the fall feels. We spent several days last week and over the weekend at Tree House, and the leaves are thisclose to exploding into bright yellows, oranges and reds. The tree tips were starting to shift from dark green to lime during our stay, and we witnessed everything from 80-degree heat to a 60-degree chill. On one of the cooler days, we strapped on Lucy’s fleece booties and zipped up our coats, and we spent the afternoon at a nearby corn maze!

It’s funny, because I think as new parents, we’re so excited for Lucy to experience her ‘first’ X, Y or Z. (We’ve even told Lucy all about her ‘first’ concert, which she experienced from the womb and can now proudly tell the world she has seen, er, heard, Mariah Carey. Moving on.) The corn maze was no different, and despite the drizzle in the forecast, we pushed through. We said, Lucy, this is your first fall festival! Look, this is apple cider! Do you see the corn? Ooh, feel the bumpy gourds! She takes it all in, and everything feels so magical all over again. All the while, that drizzle turned the earth into mush, and still, we were determined to get lost in that corn maze. Scott laughed while I shrieked at our muddy shoes, and at one point, my shoe started to sink like quick sand while I grabbed a nearby stalk for support.

But! You guys! We made it to the end. (Please tell me I’m not the only who starts to worry mid-maze?) On the way home, we agreed that our soaking, muddy shoes only made for an extra special Lucy’s-First-Corn-Maze, and we think those gray and gloomy skies made it all the better.

What Else?

Melanie’s home showed up on my Instagram Explore page one day, and I’ve been taking notes for our Tree House ever since. (Her green guest room! That kitchen!)

• Are you following the One Room Challenge? Dabito has me on the edge of my seat. He is a master of color.

Made me misty.

• Before I can even think of opening my inbox in the morning, I first light a candle. I pour a cup of coffee. I eat a banana. (I need that banana.) I start a good playlist. That last action item is sometimes the most difficult, but I have been loving Caroline’s Spotify mixes for a productive workday! Plus, how insanely pretty (and calming!) is her music feed?

• I couldn’t stop raving about my new work boots, so Scott one upped me. Be gone, tired, fatigued DIY feet!

• Serena & Lily is having their annual Friends & Family event! Save 20% when you use the code HOMELOVE. We love them for their baskets (we have this one in Lucy’s nursery and these scattered around Tree House), their rugs (this one has been a champion!) and the sweetest lil’ stool you ever did see.

Recommendations, Friends?

Next week, Scott and I are taking a very long overdue, very much needed break, and we’re headed to Malibu! We’ll be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary a month early, and we landed the prettiest vacation rental overlooking the ocean. (Pinch. Us.) We initially thought we would take a family trip, but during the planning stages (many months ago), my parents called and said, you know we would jump at the chance to have Lucy for a week, right? Believe it or not, we were still conflicted, but in the end, we decided that having that time to ourselves while having Lucy in the best possible hands, well, we realized we couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect scenario. (A bit of a logistical challenge, but still, we are eternally grateful.) So this weekend, we’ll welcome my parents into our home, kiss Lucy and the pets no less than one million times, and we’ll board a plane for sunny southern California! We’ll be taking a mini break from the blog, but we’ll be sharing our adventure on Instagram as the week unfolds.

Our plan is the ‘No Plan’ plan, with the exception of wanting to eat our weight in delicious food, laze around the pool and take in the scenery. Speaking of, friends, what are your recommendations in Malibu and Los Angeles? Where should we eat? Where are the best hikes? What are your favorite shops? We’re all ears, and you all have the best suggestions, always.

Have a wonderful weekend, and we’ll see you soon!

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  • Lindy10.12.18 - 8:58 AM

    This is totally dorky, but we went to LA this summer and did a Hollywood bus tour. For a home geek/movie buff like me it was super fun to get a private tour of the famous streets and neighborhoods and hear their histories and inside information. We used Ultimate Hollywood Tours and the guide was super knowledgeable and passionate. Even my teen and pre-teen sons had fun!ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.12.18 - 10:46 AM

      We’ve done the Chicago bus tour like ten times, and we’ve lived here for almost 15 years. LOL. We get it.ReplyCancel

  • Heather O10.12.18 - 9:16 AM

    Happy early anniversary, I hope you have the best time on your trip! And I agree, muddy corn mazes are the best kind. Quick sand mud is just an added obstacle!ReplyCancel

  • Megan10.12.18 - 9:19 AM

    If you like garlic and want to hit up Beverly Hills, try the Stinking Rose.

  • Amy10.12.18 - 9:57 AM

    The Getty for sure if you get a clear day. In downtown LA, ride Angels Flight and check out Grand Central Market. Dinosaur coffee on Sunset is solid if you appreciate a light roast. In Santa Monica there’s a great taco shack but I can’t remember the name. La Isla Bonita or El Primo perhaps?? Have a great trip!ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.12.18 - 10:46 AM

      Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • martina10.14.18 - 12:03 PM

      La Playita (on Lincoln at Ozone)! The best.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Lyon10.12.18 - 10:53 AM
    Here are some ideas. Maybe stay away from Malibu Creek State Park for now; although police may have caught the perp, it has not been safe there recently.ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.12.18 - 10:55 AM

      We’ve heard that, thank you, Susan!ReplyCancel

  • laura10.12.18 - 10:58 AM

    Here are some tips, from a local! Hope you have a great trip!

    malibu: malibu farm cafe on the pier is wonderful, and don’t miss out on the local seafood joints like malibu seafood and neptunes net!

    santa monica: have a wonderful breakfast at huckleberry, and an equally wonderful dinner at rustic canyon! also love ester’s wine bar. definitely rent bikes and bike down the beach path – even into venice! there’s also a great old dive called chez jay that is a hoot.

    venice: please go to gjusta. it is my only real request. The best pastries and breakfast in LA and i take that recommendation seriously! hang out on abbot kinney and stroll from there to the canals. dinner at scopa italian roots or felix (the latter is tough to get a reservation at, but you can snag a bar seat when they open) rose ave. in venice also has fun shops and food!

    other: grand central market (as others have mentioned), if you’re up for a bit of a jaunt from the sea, lacm, santa monica farmer’s market on main street, the getty or the getty villaReplyCancel

    • Kim10.12.18 - 2:47 PM

      Thank you!!ReplyCancel

    • Michelle10.15.18 - 8:15 AM

      Rustic Canyon is THE BEST!!! My hubby and I ate there on two different visits when my brother lived in SM years ago and we still talk about our meals!ReplyCancel

    • Halle10.16.18 - 3:26 PM

      I second the recommendation for Neptune’s Net! It’s best if you grab it to go, then walk across the highway to eat overlooking the ocean. Dreamy.ReplyCancel

  • Kate10.12.18 - 10:59 AM

    For restaurants that are in Malibu or directly adjacent, I recommend:
    Saddle Peak Lodge – A landmark that the Rat Pack would play poker at back in the day.
    Peddlar’s Fork (which is close to a bunch of cool shops including designer Amber Lewis’ shop)
    Geoffrey’s for lunch or brunch – amazing views, an LA institution
    Coral Beach Cantina for mexican food and a more casual vibe than you will get in the heart of Malibu or Calabasas
    In Malibu Village Shopping Center, I like Taverna Tony and Marmalade Cafe.

    For beaches – go to Paradise Cove, Westwards, and/or Zuma. These are all on the north end of Malibu.

    Hope this helps! Have fun!ReplyCancel

  • lak10.12.18 - 2:40 PM

    No recommendations other than to ENJOY AND HAVE FUN! Happy Anniversary!ReplyCancel

  • Ann10.12.18 - 4:27 PM

    Just relax and have fun. Lucy will be in good hands. I’m sure your parents are counting the minutes until their arrival.ReplyCancel

  • MARA SMITH10.12.18 - 4:51 PM

    You MUST visit Point Dume in Malibu. My husband and I renewed our wedding vows there back in 2010. It’s not well known, so not very crowded. The site at the top of the Point is AMAZING. I seriously cannot recommend it enough. Many people may not know that Planet of the Apes was filmed there, a lot of current shows and commercials too. Again, because not many people know of this hidden gem.

    Have fun and happy anniversary!ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.13.18 - 11:05 AM

      We’ve been told this by numerous people! It’s definitely on our list.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah10.12.18 - 5:01 PM

    You have to check out Neptune’s Net on the PCH. Best fried seafood I’ve ever had!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly10.13.18 - 7:59 AM

    Go to Same Same in the Silverlake neighborhood in LA for THE BEST Thai food of your life with the chillest vibe.

    California donuts were amazing. I think opinions are mixed from locals with it being such a tourist draw but they were some of the best donuts I’ve ever had.ReplyCancel

  • S10.13.18 - 9:20 AM

    Random question: what shoes are you wearing in that last picture?ReplyCancel

  • Becca10.13.18 - 9:59 AM

    Oh!! Fun, We were just in Malibu yesterday. The Malibu Farm restaurant, on the pier, was fun. The cauliflower crust pizza was extra tasty! Also, we took in the afternoon and sunset at El Matador Beach last night. It was spectacular. If you get to LA, Sqirl has been a favorite.ReplyCancel

  • Becca10.13.18 - 10:04 AM

    Bah, my comment didn’t go through. But! We were in Malibu yesterday! The Malibu Farm restaurant on the pier was fun. The views were to die for and they had a nice cauliflower crust pizza. Also, el Matador was incredible. Those views at sunset were amazing. If you get to LA, check out Sqirl. So far, that has been my favorite.ReplyCancel

  • katerose10.13.18 - 1:05 PM

    From a Malibu local, if you like sushi, Nobu is the best (get a reservation OR go for lunch during the week)! I don’t love the service but the fresh fish makes up for it. I recommend just basic rolls with soy paper. Malibu Farm on the pier is great too, that’s where we take all out of town guests for dinner. Hike Point Dume like other commenters have mentioned! You’ll get some really amazing photos in that area, so bring your camera. We also love the Solstice Canyon hike. If you go to the Country Mart, I like John’s Garden for sandwiches or SunLife Organics for smoothies. My favorite beach if you’d like to skip crowds entirely is Nicholas Canyon. We typically grab lunch to go from Vintage Grocers off PCH and then relax at the beach for a few hours. Just make sure to check the tides because at high tide a lot of the smaller, local beaches are harder to access! You’ll be fine at bigger beaches like Zuma though. Have fun!ReplyCancel

    • Martina10.14.18 - 12:05 PM

      Seconding Solstice Canyon for a hike, it’s really great.ReplyCancel

  • Molly10.13.18 - 1:07 PM

    I just heard on the Gastropod food podcast ( about the Lost Spirits Distillery ( tour in LA, and it sounds awesome. Combine whiskey with science and themepark…ReplyCancel

    • Molly10.13.18 - 1:12 PM

      That is, it sounds like the spirits version of a Wonka factory.ReplyCancel

  • Trude10.14.18 - 10:19 AM

    Go to the original Getty museum! A Roman style villa in Malibu? Yes please! :) I think they have people reserve spots these days but it’s a treasure and totally worth it.ReplyCancel

  • emily10.15.18 - 12:07 PM


    And since you’ll be in Malibu, you’ll have easy access to the Getty Villa (not the Getty Center). Be sure to make a reservationReplyCancel

  • Erica10.15.18 - 7:07 PM

    When I was a sad, starving student at Pepperdine, there really weren’t that many places to eat. I’m glad that there are more options now but I will forever love Lily’s for burritos and Cholada for Thai food! Everybody gets Lily’s breakfast burritos but I always get the carnitas (how do they get it so crispy??) The Thai food at Cholada is so so good and the only place this Asian girl could get her fix! Couldn’t be going to Nobu every night…ReplyCancel

  • Elyse10.16.18 - 10:57 AM

    If you like the sound of eating inside a lush greenhouse (i mean… who doesn’t?!?) try Openaire at the Line hotel in Koreatown: guaranteed good vibes and great food! They’re particularly busy during weekend brunch so stopping by during the week is usually a bit more relaxed. The Line also has a smaller location of one of my favorite LA local stores, Poketo – the best selection of everything (fashion, home goods, jewelry) and always changing!

    In general, I’d think of LA as a bunch of mini-cities smashed together since there’s *so much* to see in every neighborhood!! My advice would be to cluster your exploring each day in neighborhoods close to each other so you don’t end up trying to drive from one end of the city to the other and spend all your time in the car that day!ReplyCancel

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