MCGRATH STREET PUMPKIN PATCH

We had a "fall" day in Southern California! So we stopped at McGrath Street Pumpkin Patch in Ventura to celebrate. We pass this patch on our [near weekly] drive to Santa Barbara so I was so excited to finally check it out.  

This pumpkin patch was just heaven on a cool, crisp day. Lots of space to run around, drive a wheelbarrow, pick out heirloom pumpkins and talk to the goats, llama and sheep.

These colors are killing me. 

I love that Mila got a chance to run through an actual patch. So much fun! 

Jacket: J.Crew | Dress: Go Gently Baby | Leggings: Old Navy | Boots: Hunter 

5 CALI GETAWAYS TO TAKE BEFORE THE END OF SUMMER

(The Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay)

(The Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay)

Are you looking to have one more fabulous getaway before the end of summer? With less than a month of official summertime left, I've made my list of Top 5 California resorts to ensure a grand finale to your 2015 summer season. Let's go!

1. POST RANCH INN, BIG SUR.  

High atop the cliffs of Big Sur, the 39-room resort is surrounded by incredible mountain and ocean views. The rustic-luxury hotel offers a world-renowned restaurant, an infinity pool, spa and plenty of romance. So much romance that the resort has an 18 and up age requirement. And don't forget to stop by the amazing Big Sur Bakery while you're in the area!

 

2. THE RITZ CARLTON, HALF MOON BAY

Set upon a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, The Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay is located 23 miles north of San Francisco. The resort was completely renovated and refurbished in March of this year, with rooms decorated in cool blue and grey tones, to match its oceanic surroundings. The resort features two championship golf courses, so bring your clubs.

 

3. SAN YSIDRO RANCH, MONTECITO

Rated by Forbes as the #1 Hotel in America, San Ysidro Ranch is nestled in the Montecito Foothills of Southern California's wine country. The ranch occupies 500 acres of coastal landscape, just a few miles from downtown Santa Barbara. Their private cottages are individually and uniquely decorated, all including fireplaces or stoves. Their property also includes 17 miles of active hiking trails, a hillside pool and sumptuous gardens. I also hear that their extensive and impressive wine list is a BOOK to behold. 

 

4. MONTAGE, LAGUNA

Located on a coastal bluff overlooking the Pacific, the 30 acre beach resort is located in the heart of Laguna Beach. The resort features 248 Craftsman style rooms, all featuring ocean views. The hotel is also home to three restaurants, two pools and a renowned spa. If you are looking for the quintessential California beach resort, this is the place.

 

CR_dine_lakehouse.jpg

5. CALISTOGA RANCH, CALISTOGA

Located in a secluded Upper Napa Valley canyon, on 157 oak lined acres, Calistoga Ranch is a luxury retreat completely engulfed in nature. The Ranch's culinary team sources only the finest organic ingredients to create seasonal dishes to reflect the area. The resort offers wellness classes, such as yoga and Tai Chi. Check out their chicken coop and bocce court on the way to their indoor/outdoor spa.

Now I want to go on vacay too!!! xx

BRUNCH WITH MOM AT TERRINE

I had been dying to try chef Kris Morningstar's California brasserie, Terrine, on Beverly Blvd.. Mainly a dinner-serving restaurant, they also serve brunch Friday-Sunday, in the late morning. I thought it would be the perfect place for Sis and I to take Mom for a Mother's Day girls' brunch. And of course, "girls' brunch" means Miss Mila is in our crew too! She'll probably write her own piece for her toddler blog. 

I love all of this - brick walls, bentwood chairs, booths and mirrors. It reminds me of a restaurant in Paris where I had my 30th birthday dinner.

Gorgeous French-style bar.

Cozy lounge spot, perfect for cocktails, out on the pretty patio.

Really nice vibe out here.

Time to get down to business and order from this great brasserie menu.

First up: Charcuteries plate and really good bread!

Four delicious craft cocktails: Paloma, French 75, Terrine Mauresque and Gordon's Cup. I might need to call an Uber after this party. Who knew Mom was so wild!

Avocado toast. Enough said. 

Super delicious spread! Clockwise from top left: Fish and Chips, Brisket Hash, Butter Lettuce Salad, Avocado Toast, Fried Chicken and Grits.

The fried chicken and grits was everyone's favorite dish of the day. Two thumbs up!!

Happy Mother's Day! Love you, Mom!! xx

CRYSTAL COVE BEACH

I'm not gonna lie, when I first got to Crystal Cove State Park, I was a bitter, bitter woman. I thought, why go through all this hassle (parking in a lot across the street, taking a shuttle and then walking down a hill) to get to a beach? Obviously, I'm a spoiled Californian, but still, it did beg the question. But once I got down to the beach, laid my eyes on the ocean and felt the sand surround my feet, I exhaled.

Head to the tide pools, over to your left.

Gorgeous view.

You can even stay at one of the beach cottages.

The Beachcomber Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Spend $15 or more with them and they'll validate your parking.

We went for lemonade and Pellegrino at the bar.

Other places to eat within 15 minutes: R+D Kitchen, Gulfstream, Bandera. You're kind of in Hillstone heaven in Newport.