January 23, 2018

destination: Plaza la Reina

Nestled between Beverly Hills and Santa Monica and smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles is the fun college town known as Westwood.

This charming little neighborhood also happens to be the home of my new favorite weekend retreat, Plaza La Reina, a sweet little boutique hotel conveniently nestled on the fringe of where the residential area meets the  popular downtown area of Westwood.

Plaza La Reina offers the convenience of today’s lifestyle, with the refined elegance and vintage style reminiscent of those early days of Westwood. That’s what makes it the perfect destination for a romantic little getaway. 

The stylish development of Westwood began in the 1920’s, when a master plan was created as a Mediterranean-style shopping area, with small and easily walkable angled streets. 

The prominent building style at the time was Spanish Colonial Revival with its beautifully tiled roofs and walk-through plazas and courtyards. All this vintage personality is still evident today as we walked around town.

Tucked away from the rest of the city, we felt so at home staying at the Plaza La Reina. Our beautiful one-bedroom private suite was very comfortable and even included a large private terrace. 

The view from our room was evocative of Italy, as our room overlooked the beautiful terracotta roofed buildings nearby. In the evening, the twinkling city lights of Los Angeles’ modern cityscape framed the scenery. It was like having our own private apartment in the city!

Walking out the front doors of the hotel, we had dozens of great restaurant options that were only a short walk away. Some of our favorites are Tanino Ristorante, Le Pain Quotidien, Skylights Gardens, and California Pizza Kitchen. There’s even an In ‘n Out Burger nearby, which is a necessity in any college town!

Our room was filled with so many modern conveniences that you might not expect from a luxury hotel. We had a fully stocked kitchenette that even included a Bosch washer and dryer! So perfect for a weekend or for a longer extended stay!

I’m a very light sleeper, so despite being in the heart of a large, bustling city, our room was quiet and cozy and I slept like a baby! 

I crave tranquility when I travel, and the general vibe here was very relaxing. If we needed anything, the friendly staff was on hand to answer our questions.  

The rooftop terrace at the Plaza La Reina has plenty of comfortable seating and is a great place to take in the spectacular views of surrounding hillsides, curvy tree-lined streets and statuesque buildings of Wilshire Boulevard.

We got a chance to have breakfast on the rooftop while we relaxed on lounge chairs, all while enjoying the fragrance of the potted citrus trees nearby, where notes of lemon permeate the air. 

I couldn’t help but feel thankful for the beautiful, sunny January day and the lovely orange, lemon and kumquat trees surrounding us. This defines California living, at its best!

The Napa Valley Grille is now one of our new favorite restaurants, and it's where we met our good friends Lisa and Tony on Sunday for lunch and dined alfresco on their large patio

Also around the corner was Espresso Profeta, a darling little café that makes yummy cappuccinos. And conveniently enough, Trader Joe’s and Target are also only blocks away.  

Westwood is best enjoyed on foot. Touring the city by sidewalk is a must to take in all the sights and sounds. We had to stop a moment and take it all in, as the smell of warm buttered popcorn infused the air as we walked past the historic Fox and Bruin movie theaters. 

It brought us back to those fun college days in Westwood when the streets were packed with rowdy college kids.

Years ago, I met my future husband in Westwood when he was a student at UCLA, and I was just about to graduate high school. So, you see, Westwood is near and dear to my heart. Spending last weekend in Westwood not only gave us a chance to reacquaint ourselves with some of our favorite places, but it also gave us the opportunity meet close friends at a newly discovered restaurant in the village.
Since the opening of UCLA in 1929, the village of Westwood has grown and evolved graciously. Over the years, many generations of Angelinos have enjoyed Westwood’s small town environment that’s still filled with a storied past. And, of course, the bonus is having great restaurants, shops and movie theaters to visit.

The European flair of the Plaza La Reina fits in perfectly in this inviting setting. In keeping with Westwood’s lovely architectural style, you’ll immediately notice the iconic Santa Barbara tiled staircase that leads you upwards from the street level and into the intimate courtyard of the Plaza La Reina. This colorful staircase is perfect for a little photo op. 

We had such a fabulous time 
and can’t wait for our next visit!   

ciao! fabiana

Plaza La Reina
10850 Lindbrook Drive  Los Angeles, California

(310) 986-6888

For more information, visit:

This post is sponsored by Plaza La Reina
however all opinions are genuinely my own.

January 22, 2018

monday musings

It’s Monday, so I think we need a
little color, brightness and fun today to liven up
what could wind up being a bit of a dreary day.

Let’s accentuate the positive…

and I’d love to hear your feedback…

If you had to set up a romantic little

what would your go-to items be?

Do you celebrate Mardi Gras aka
Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday?

Disneyland is one of the few places I know of
here in southern California that
offers a fun Mardi Gras celebration,
New Orleans style!

If you observe Lent, 
then you may have reason 
to celebrate on February 13th.

It's a good excuse to indulge in a little 
Valentine's Day chocolate on the 13th,
since Lent starts on February 14th this year. 

There are several things that can instantly put a smile on my face, and sunflowers are one of them. They're like huge smiley face, aren't they?

My brother-in-law recently gave me this large painting of sunflowers that he bought in Laguna BeachI just love all the cheery colors, so I have it here in the family room, right near my desk, where I can look at it throughout the day.

It just radiates sunshine and happy thoughts!

ciao! fabiana

January 20, 2018

a super easy valentine treat

Time is a precious commodity for us all,
so check out this time saving dessert…

a minute and a half to prepare…

you see, it’s just a little valentine cake
that’s available at Trader Joe’s right now,

and all I did was buy it along
with a package of raspberries,
and place it on a small pedestal plate. 

The cake is petite in size,
only about five inches across,
but it's big on flavor!

To get this look, all you have to do is
outline the cake with luscious red raspberries and serve.  
This classic flavor combination will please 
just about anyone!

By the way,
I don’t have any sort of affiliation with Trader Joe’s,
I’m just a fan and love sharing my favorite things with you!

ciao! fabiana

January 19, 2018

my friday five

A great way to beat the winter blues
is to add a little bit of summer fun into our homes. 

That's why my table's all set with a little bit of coastal inspiration this weekend!

And speaking of the weekend

it's definitely a cause for a little 
mental celebration and 
a little physical relaxation.

It’s been a busy week, I’m sure… for us all!

But, I do want to tell you
I have a few fun things lined up for the blog next week,

but in the meantime,

I wanted to share a few of things I’m
slightly obsessed with this week…

I’m planning on hydrating, exfoliating
and soothing my skin all at once with
this gorgeous handmade organic
oatmeal, goat milk and loofah soap
that also contains essential oils.

Al these natural ingredients are perfect for 
cleansing my face and keeping is healthy.

my amazing friend Agnes,
who cares as much about organic 
products as I do!

The lastest craze,
and deservedly so…

Trader Joe’s
Everything but the Bagel
Sesame Seasoning Blend!

If you haven’t tried this,
march on over to your local
Trader Joe’s and try it!

I gave up eating all breads and bagels,
except for Ezekiel Bread,
a few months ago, so this little shaker
gives me the sensation of eating a
doughy "everything bagel" without the consequences!

I just sprinkle it on my eggs
in the morning and yum…

My bagel cravings subside!

Speaking of Trader Joe’s,
another one of my new obsessions are these
"Nothing but Fruit & Nuts" wafers.

It’s like a grown-up version of a fruit roll-up!

My favorite is the Fig & Walnut flavor,
and literally, all it has in it is figs and walnuts.

They also come in Apricot & Almond 
and Date, Hazelnut & Cacao.

My husband and I had the
most amazing time in Westwood over the long weekend
and we stayed at a new little boutique hotel
named the Plaza La Reina,

right near the UCLA campus in Los Angeles.

Please check back next week for all the fabulous
details and lots more photos of this
darling vintage-inspired little getaway!

(It's such a romantic destination too!)

ciao for now! 


January 14, 2018

style trends: blue & white

Great news for all us lovers of blue and white décor

it’s still going strong for 2018, and here’s a little

roundup of some of my favorite looks from

the latest magazines and my favorite stores…

ciao! fabiana

photo credit:
1,2,3,9 BH&G
4,5,6,8 Coastal Living
7 Redbook
10,11 Country Living
12,13,14 World Market

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