Take Me Down to Paradise City

So you must be dying to know if I got everything together in time for our dinner guests on Friday night. Yes thank god (but no yoga). We had never met Matt’s fiance before and it had been forever since I’d seen Matt, so hubs and I were stoked to have them come by for dinner. The only bummer is that it wasn’t warm enough to eat outside. It was downright cold. 

M + K--what a cute couple!


Hubs and I made a very laid back style dinner of grilled steaks, grilled halibut with cilantro and lime zest and gazpacho with garden ingredients and warm mushroom salad. The gazpacho was one of the best batches according to hubs. I think it was because I let it sit and hang out in the fridge for several hours and the flavors just came together beautifully. 

Garden gazpacho, warm mushroom salad, grilled steak and halibut.


I made the salad while hubs manned the grill. I think he has perfected the fine art of grilling two kinds of protein at once. The fish was moist and delicious and the steaks done just how we like ’em–medium rare. I even got smart about the salad and sauteed the ‘shrooms in sherry before our guests arrived while hubs baked the bacon. I must admit that I do not partake of the pig garnish–I go for avocado instead. Still delicious. And instead of poaching four eggs and being totally stressed out, I soft boiled the eggs (not from Iowa by the way) for 5 minutes and it worked great. The yolk needs to be a tad runny so it mixes with the lemon vinagerette in just the right way. 

Our guests brought a flourless chocolate cake from Wholefoods for dessert. This is why I do not have this kind of stuff in my house. It is like crack. I held myself to one piece and a taste of the dulce de leche gelato that I bought earlier in the day–we don’t usually do dessert so it’s rare for us to have any backup in case guests want something sweet after dinner. The two went perfectly together though. 

The next morning, I went down to meet my sister in Paradise City for her birthday. Ok, so it wasn’t really Paradise City but it may as well have been. We met at South Coast Plaza specifically to check out Loehmann’s. This place is so big and wonderful it should be a city with its own zip code

We started out with a plan: we’d go systematically through each department making several trips to the dressing rooms. This idea was quickly abandoned when we gave into using the rolling baskets with the suitcase-like handles. We loaded those babies up and then some, rolling the baskets from one rack to another. Until we reached the motherload: The Backroom. Oh. My. God. 

Let me preface this by saying that I cannot stand to buy things at full price. It just doesn’t make sense to me. As a result, most of the high end designer clothes that I have pined over in the magazines, I would never in a million years think about even trying them on. I mean, what if I liked something? Then what? I could never rationalize spending that much on a piece of clothing. 

But, at Paradise City Loehmann’s, even the true designer clothes are like 70% off. Brilliant. Here are a few of the things I ended up buying. What do you think? 

MaxMara--a delicious dress (with pockets!) that I could not resist.

 I have an awesome tan line, eh? 

Moschino jeans and Alexander McQueen sweater.

Rest in peace, Alexander. What a brilliant designer he was. I feel kind of honored to own something of his. 

After almost 3 hours, we decided that we were tired and hungry. The dress section (my fave)  and shoes would have to wait for another day. On my sales receipt, it showed that I saved $2100 from retail prices. Lordy! 

Since it was my little sis’ birthday, I let her choose where to eat. She said it had been so long since she’d had a Jamba Juice that she had to pick that. We each ordered a smoothie (of course I got my usual Mango Mantra with protein)and split a parmesan pretzel and sat outside and chatted. It was some great sister time

My little sis being silly--wonder where she gets that from...

My lovely little sis.

What a great time. When I got into the car to go home, I already missed her. We’ll be hitting up the new Santa Monica Place next weekend. My poor credit card…but I don’t know if I can go back to shopping at the generic big box places like Macy’s and Bloomingdales after such a religious experience at Loehmann’s. Only time will tell. 

Yogi says: 

Live for each other.



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2 responses to “Take Me Down to Paradise City

  1. Those jeans were freaking MADE for you, my dear! Whoo-hoo! Worth. Every. Penny.

  2. cute new clothes!!! have fun at santa monica place…the outdoor restaurants are absolutely gorgeous 🙂

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