What to do in Los Angeles – LA Travel Guide

Dress: Reformation {similar} // Shoes: BCBG {similar} // Bag: Revolve // Earrings: BaubleBar {similar} // Ring: Monica Vinader

I lived in Los Angeles for the past four years, so I would say I know the city pretty well. LA is a fun city with great weather and tons to do. But it can be a bit overwhelming because the city is so spread out. So I wanted to create my LA Travel Guide for you and break things up into different categories. It’s a pretty extensive list, so let’s get started!

Where to eat brunch:

Great White – Venice
This is one of my all time favorite brunch spots. It’s small and usually always busy so be prepared for a wait. The food is delish and on the healthier side. Plus everything here is very instagrammable. I highly recommend the Shaken Latte with their Avocado Toast

Franklin & Co – Hollywood
If you like Bloody Mary’s you won’t want to miss Franklin & Co. Also their biscuits and gravy are hands down the best I’ve ever had.

Kreation – West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice and more
If you want to get the real LA sense of brunch, go to Kreation. It’s as healthy as it can get. All their foods and juices are made there with super high quality fresh ingredients. Their acai bowls are my favorite!

Best rooftop bars:

Waldorf Astoria – Beverly Hills
The Waldorf Astoria is a pretty new hotel that just opened up in Beverly Hills and it has hands down the best views. You can see all the way down to Santa Monica on one end and Downtown LA on the other. Plus this is a great celebrity sitting spot. I’ve seen Mariah Carey, Gretchen Rossi from Housewives and Tristan Thompson all on the roof!

EP&LP – West Hollywood
If you’re in Weho and looking for a fun spot to go out at night and the weather is good, which most likely it will be because duh it’s LA, go to EP&LP. Opened only a couple years ago, this place is always popping and usually has a line.

Hotel Shangri La – Santa Monica
This is a fun day drinking spot in Santa Monica. It’s a pretty small rooftop bar but it overlooks the ocean. On a clear day it’s got some of the most gorgeous views you’ll ever see.

Where to go if you’re feeling bad and boujee:

The Ivy – Beverly Hills
The Ivy is a well known staple in LA. They have two locations but I prefer the location on Robertson. Their patio is so beautiful. The food honestly isn’t my favorite and it’s very overpriced, but it’s the place to be seen. Plus you can’t beat the decor, it’s adorable.

The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel –  Beverly Hills
Another hot spot in BH. I’ve gone here a few times for lunch, and I have to say it’s always been a hit. The Beverly Hills Hotel is a classic Hollywood spot.

Baltaire – Brentwood
Baltaire is my favorite steakhouse in LA. If your parents are in town, or you have a work dinner take them to Baltaire. You have to try their lobster mac and cheese. To. Die. For.

Where to shop or window shop:

Rodeo Drive – Beverly Hills
Any movie that takes place in Beverly Hills has at least one scene on Rodeo Drive. It’s a beautiful spot in Beverly Hills with all of the most expensive shops in town. Treat yourself, or just window shop. Either way, it’s a must go see.

Abbott Kinney – Venice
Abbott Kinney is hands down one of my favorite streets in LA. It has the cutest boutique shops, and restaurants. They also have a lot of street vendors selling handmade jewelry and other items. I could seriously spend all day here just shopping and eating.

Century City Mall – Century City
They just completely redid this mall last year and it is seriously the most beautiful mall I’ve ever been to. So pretty I even had a date there, but that’s a whole other story. This was my go-to mall to see movies at the AMC theatre, but also to get Shake Shack. Us NY girls love our Shake Shack.

The Grove – West Hollywood
The Grove is an outdoor mall that’s small but simply stunning. I love it during the winter time because they deck it out with Christmas decor. It was the only part of LA that actually felt like the holidays. They also have great shops and restaurants so definitely check it out.

Best hikes to see the views:

Runyon Canyon – Hollywood
Whenever you say anything about hiking, people automatically assume Runyon. It’s the most common hiking trail in LA and for good reason. It’s got stunning views of the entire city. It’s a great workout, yet it’s definitely still manageable for people like me that don’t really work out.

Solstice Canyon – Malibu
I like this hike because it’s kind of in the woodsy areas of Malibu. It’s not your typical hike, and there’s a little more to look at then just a pretty view.

Griffith Park / Hollywood Sign – Hollywood
Similar to Runyon, this is a pretty easy hike it’s just long. But it takes you right behind the Hollywood sign, which is pretty cool. I recommend you do it at least once. But beware of the horse poop.

Honorable mentions:

Salt and Straw – Venice, Larchmont, West Hollywood
My favorite ice cream EVER. They have different monthly flavors and I would literally go the first week of every month to try them. Honestly, I still think about them every day. Salt and Straw if you are reading this, please open up a shop in NYC. Thanks.

Olive & Thyme – Burbank
If you’re in the valley – go to Olive and Thyme. It’s one of the cutest cafes with seriously the most delicious food. It’s perfect to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful California air with some delicious avocado toast.

Jon and Vinny’s – Brentwood or Weho
Normally I would say, Californian’s don’t do Italian food that great. It’s more of a NY thing. However, Jon and Vinny’s is THE BOMB. If you’re craving Italian food, go here you won’t be disappointed.

Honestly my list could go on and on but here are the main places that I think you should go see in LA. If you have any questions or anything, please let me know in the comments below!

DIY Acrylic Nails at Home for Under $10!

What you need:

Acrylic Nails – $7.99
Nail Glue – $1.99
Scissors
Nail File
Nail Polish

First, match up the correct sizing for each nail and place a little bit of glue. Do one nail at a time because the glue dries fast. Hold down the nail for about 20 seconds to make sure the glue bonds.

Once all the nails are on, you are going to take your scissors and cut them down just slightly longer than you want them. You will be filing it down more so don’t cut it too short.

Next you want to file them down to the shape you like. I like a rounded shape or a more oval shape so this is what I did.

After all the nails are in the shape you want, paint your nails whatever color you would like. Finish it off with a top coat to make it glossy.

Acrylic Nails at Home

Ta-Da! There are your final nails! They look salon worthy and for a fraction of the cost. Since the nails come in a pack of 500 you can do you nails over and over again for very cheap! My nails last about a week before they start to pop off. If you guys try this at home, tag me so I can see!

5 Healthy Food Swaps for Weight Loss

Food Swaps

It’s the New Year, and you know what that means. Everyone including myself is trying to diet. What is it about the new year that makes us want to change our lives? LOL. Now I’m going to be honest here, I suck at dieting. The longest I’ve ever gone on any specific diet is about 21 days of Whole 30. Yup, couldn’t even make it to 30 days. Any other time I diet, I usually do a couple days and by day 3 I’ve probably given up. I love food. That is why when it comes to dieting, I think it’s easier to maintain healthy food swaps instead of eliminating things all together. So I’ve complied a list of items you can swap out for healthier alternatives.

Pasta = Zucchini or Spaghetti Squash

This is a pretty standard one if you want to go low carb. Spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash are a great way to mimic the shape of pasta. They are a great base for any “pasta dish”. My favorite way to eat this is to make a type of bolognese with meat and a good tomato sauce and top it with cheese.

Bread or crackers = GG Crackers

If you follow the Skinny Confidential or the F Factor Diet, you definitely know about GG crackers. If not, GG Crackers are high fiber crackers that can be the base of any snack. I’ll be straight up with you the texture and taste do take a while to get used to, it kind of resembles cardboard. But hey, it’s good for you. It’s FULL of fiber which helps keep you full. I love to top my GG crackers with avocado and make an avocado “toast”. Top it with Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel seasoning and it’s a perfect snack or meal.

Soda = sparkling water

This is a simple switch. Soda is pretty terrible for you, but I still drink it occasionally. But I do try to limit my soda intake. If you are craving a soda, reach for a flavored sparking water instead. It will save you calories, is healthier for you and still hits the spot.

Cereal = Steel Cut or Quick Cooking Oats

Cereal is tasty, but it’s chocked full of sugar. To get a healthy dose of carbs in the morning that will keep you feeling full, swap out your morning cereal for some steel cut oats or quick cooking oats. I love to make steel cut oats and top it with cinnamon, fresh fruit, chia seeds and walnuts. You can experiment with the toppings and try different things, just make sure your toppings are healthy too. If you need it to be sweeter, I suggest sweetening it with a half a banana or a little bit of maple syrup.

Salad Dressing = Olive Oil and Vinegar

Packaged salad dressing might seem healthy because you’re eating a salad right? Wrong. A lot of times these salad dressings are packed with sugar. Make you own at home with some olive oil and vinegar (balsamic, red wine or white wine). You can even add things like lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar. Experiment and see what you like.

Those are some of my healthy food swaps that will make you healthier and help you lose weight! If you guys have any food swap ideas, let me know in the comments below!

Peace Out 2018, Hello 2019!

It’s finally the end of 2018, and thank God for that! It has been quite the year. I’m not going to lie to you, 2018 has been a challenge for me. There has been a lot of ups and downs, mostly downs but hey, that’s life and I want to keep it 100 with ya’ll.

I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons this year, mainly with the people I surround myself with. After struggling with major anxiety at the end of 2017, I was forced to really re-evaluate everything. I realized a lot of the people I was surrounding myself with were not helping my anxiety, but actually hurting it. I used to be the girl that wanted everyone to like me (and I guess in some ways I still am). I wanted to be best friends with everyone and looked past people’s actions and made excuses for them. This year I learned that I need to be a little more selfish. I’m not going to like everyone and not everyone is going to like me, and that is okay. I also need to realize that when people show you who they really are, to listen. It’s amazing when you go through a hard time in your personal life, the people that are true friends really shine. To all my supportive and amazing friends and family, I just want to say thank you. You guys have really helped me through one of the hardest years of my life and I am so grateful.

While I struggled with anxiety at the close of last year and the beginning of this year, I worked really hard to try to overcome my anxiety. With the help of therapy, meds and a lot of self work, I’m really happy to say that I am in a much better place than I was a year ago. My tips for those of you who are struggling with anxiety are to take it a day at at time, meditate, exercise and surround yourself with people that support you.

This year, I also made a big move. I left Los Angeles, a place I called home for the past four years, to move back to New York. I honestly never thought I would move back here, but here I am. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back, and I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life here in NYC. I’m ready to take on the city more than ever and have my Carrie Bradshaw moment (minus the whole getting left at the alter sitch).

I also started a brand new business in 2018. I opened up my own online boutique, John + Suki! This has been a huge dream of mine since high school and I can’t believe it’s finally live. I’m so excited to continue to grow my business in this up coming year and make it even bigger and better!

Now, I’ve never really been a big New Years resolution type girl but I do have things I want to work on this year. Growing John + Suki is definitely #1, but I also want to continue to work on myself. I want to workout more, eat healthier, travel more and love more. So bring it on 2019, I’m ready for ya!

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Christmas Gifts

If you’re anything like me, you’re a procrastinator. This season the holidays have seriously crept up on me. Like it’s in a week. Can ya’ll believe it??  I still haven’t done all of my Christmas shopping yet so this post is just as much for me as it might be for you. Here are some gift ideas that I have broken down for all the people in your life.

For the Beauty Lover

For the Techie


For the Fashionista

Happy shopping!

What to Wear to a Holiday Party

Holiday party

Jacket: John + Suki // Dress: John + Suki // Shoes: Burberry {similar}

It’s officially December, and you know what that means? Holiday parties. Whether it’s for work, or a friend’s or even family holiday party, you want to look festive and cute! I wanted to share with you my favorite look for this holiday season. This red dress is perfect for any holiday party because red is festive, duh. Also the satin material is beautiful and really elevates the look. I love pairing this with my favorite leopard coat to add some print and make it fun.

I wanted to share with you guys some other options as well. These are my favorite picks for any holiday party!

 

What I Bought During Black Friday / Cyber Monday!

Black Friday

Who doesn’t love a sale? I am a sucker for anything that says it’s on sale! My friend Grace and I went to Ulta and Target on Black Friday and surprisingly it wasn’t that crowded. But we did get some amazing deals at Ulta! The rest of what I got was online because it’s the 21st century and I’d rather shop online in my pajamas than go to the mall. Since I got some amazing deals I wanted to share these with you before the day was up, in case ya’ll wanted to pick up some of these items yourself!

ULTA – certain items on sale

 

Abercrombie – 50% off everything!

Love Wellness – 25% off everything

Gut Goodness Set – Lo Bosworth created this line of feminine care and I can’t wait to try these!

Rodial – 30% off everything

Vitamin C Cleansing Pads – I’m reading a book by the founder of Rodial so I wanted to try this brand out. Plus my friend swears by it!

Avocado – 40% off everything

Fire Leggings – Honestly the best workout clothes ever.

John + Sukieverything is on sale!

 

What did you guys buy? Let me know in the comments below!

 

What I’m Wearing for Thanksgiving + Black Friday Sale!

Thanksgiving

Top: John + Suki // Pants: Rag and Bone // Rings: John + Suki // Necklace: John + Suki

Can you believe it’s already Thanksgiving? This year has been such a whirlwind. I have a lot to be thankful for including moving back to New York, and reuniting with all my family and friends! Also I’m thankful for the launch of my new store John + Suki

We’re celebrating Thanksgiving a day early here at the Collins household. So this is what I will be wearing to my Thanksgiving dinner today. My City Living sweater from my new store is honesty the comfiest AND it’s loose so I can eat a lot LOL. Throw it on with a pair of jeans and you are good to go.

Also, I wanted to let you guys know that I am having a Black Friday sale on John + Suki! From now until Saturday, everything is buy one, get one for 50% off! This will automatically be taken off at checkout, so get shopping!

*PS I will also be having a Cyber Monday sale so stay tuned for that!

 

I Opened an Online Boutique!

Wearing the Alice Tuxedo Romper

Guys. I have the most exciting news I think I’ve ever shared here…I just launched my own online fashion boutique!! The name of my boutique is John + Suki (www.johnandsuki.com), named after my parents.

Opening up a boutique is something I’ve been dreaming of since I was in high school. And now I’ve finally done it! So obviously I wanted to share it here with you because I love you guys. Oh and I’m giving ya’ll 20% off any purchase this week using the code FAMILY20.

So now onto the fun part, the clothes! Here are some of what you will be seeing on my store.

Wearing the City Living Sweater

Wearing the Merlot Slip Dress and the In The Wild Leopard Jacket

So there is your sneak peek at what’s in store! I hope you guys love the stuff as much as I do! Now go on, get shopping!

 

Create Your Own Shampoo + Conditioner with Formulate!

Formulate

Ever wonder if the shampoo and conditioner you buy at the store is really one size fits all? There are so many different options out there for you to choose from, what if you were able to create your own?

That is where Formulate comes in. Formulate is a new company that allows you to create your own shampoo and conditioner. It’s super simple, you go on their website and take their quiz aka the “hair wizard”.

On their hair wizard, you get to answer questions about your hair type and what you are looking for. For example, my hair type is fine and wavy. You also answer questions about what it is you are looking for. I was looking for something that helped control oil, protected my color and helped with split ends.

Once you fill out the hair wizard, Formulate gives you your very own personal shampoo and conditioner! It’s amazing. Definitely go check it out now and create your very own shampoo and conditioner here.