Adventures

Palm Springs Guide // www.acozykitchen.com

I spent this past weekend in one of my favorite cities, Palm Springs. It’s about an hour and half-long drive east of Los Angeles, making it the most perfect weekend getaway to Angelenos. I really really love it out there, even in the summers when the temperatures soar above a hundred. In terms of aesthetics, it doesn’t get more beautiful. It’s a dreamy combination of mid-century meets Moroccan meets Spanish. Palm trees and bougainvilleas line the streets while old cars drive up and down quiet neighborhood roads. It’s a special place.

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I know a lot of people (I’m not one of them) are headed to Palm Springs for Coachella. I thought it might be a good time to give you guys a guide, listing some of my favorite places in Palm Springs. This isn’t entirely comprehensive; mainly because I spend the majority of my time sitting by the pool and shopping. If you go to Palm Springs you should focus on doing absolutely nothing. It’s a good do-nothing vacation.

(P.S. My friend Claire from The Kitchy Kitchen posted her guide to Palm Springs just this past weekend. Check it out Part 1 and Part 2!)

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Where to Eat

For me, Palm Springs is mainly about sitting by the pool, drinking cocktails, reading and thrifting. I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a food destination the way, say, New York or San Francisco are, but there are a few places I really love (and plenty that I have yet to visit).

Tyler’s Burgers – Their burgers are delicious. The place is classic, charming, casual and in a sea of “fancy,” very mediocre restaurants, it’s a total stand-out.

El Jefe – Located in the Saguaro Hotel, super convenient to everything and overall pretty casual. It’s the perfect place if you’re looking for margaritas, some beer and good tacos, though the nachos are my fav.

P.S. There’s nothing better than eating a s’mores while poolside.

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Norma’s (at The Parker Hotel) – In terms of the food, I’ve had a few mixed experiences: rubbery pancakes one time and pretty solid eggs benedict another time, but if we’re being honest, The Parker is mainly about the decor, the colors, the vibe. Everything is so freaking beautiful. However, prepare to pay for the prettiness (hello $18 pancakes!).

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Tinto – Chef Jose Garces’ restaurant, located right next to El Jefe in the Saguaro Hotel. If you’re looking for a nice place to go, eat a few Spanish appetizers and sip on a few glasses of wine, come here!

Hadley Fruit Orchards – On the way out of Palm Springs, stopping for a Hadley date shake is kinda fun. The banana and date is the move. And order a small because they’re just so dang sweet that you won’t be able to finish a medium.

Palm Springs Guide // www.acozykitchen.com

Where to Stay

My boyfriend’s dad has a vacation house in Palm Springs so I’m super lucky in that I don’t have to search for a place to stay. It makes going out there on a whim a reality, which is pretty awesome. In the past, I have stayed at a few hotels in Palm Springs and most of them are pretty lovely. If you’re going with a group, however, I recommend renting a house (see above picture of homemade s’mores). The house rental options are pretty amazing and it’s definitely the more affordable route.

The Parker – Jonathan Adler designed hotel that is so impeccably designed. You won’t be able to walk through the lobby and not want to take at least five Instagram photos. It’s hard! Their lemonade stand out back is dreamy, their pool is divine and beautiful peacocks roam the grounds. It’s on the higher end of hotels, but I say if you can swing it, do!

The Ace Hotel – I love how the rooms at The Ace are decorated. It was one of the first boutique hotels to pop up in the area and I remember going for the first time and being to-die in love with it.

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The Saguaro Hotel- I’ve stayed here a few times and the best part about it is that the beds are comfy and the prices are pretty affordable. The rooms inside are, well, bright. Very very bright.

Korakia Pensione – A gorgeous bed and breakfast that is definitely priced on the upper high end of hotels but man, it is so beautiful. While The Ace is party-central, the Korakia has a different vibe. This is the kind of place you book if you’re looking for rest, relaxation and tasty spa water. Isn’t spa water the best?!

Palm Springs Guide // www.acozykitchen.com

Where to Shop

Honestly, this is my favorite thing to do in Palm Springs; and this comes from someone who isn’t a shopper. I sort of despise shopping, but in Palm Springs it feels different. I always get the sense like I’m on the verge of stumbling upon a treasure that’s been long forgotten about. Here are the places where I treasure hunt:

Sunny Dunes Antique Mall – A large store filled to the brim with everything from furniture to housewares (lamps, plates, etc.). Most things you come across you won’t find appealing but that’s ok, because that’s sort of the name of the game. There will be a few things, though, and it’ll make it all worth it.

The Fine Art of Design – A beautifully curated store that will make you think you’ve stepped into Edith Head’s costume shop. This isn’t necessarily a place where you hunt for treasures; everything is a treasure. Owner, Nicholas Delgado, has done all the work for you. All of the clothes are breathtaking, in mint-condition and really fairly priced, especially considering it’s high-end vintage.

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Dazzles – This one is new-to-me and was actually recommended to me by my friend Whitney (who found out about it from Claire). The picture above of that crazy mid-century dog house is from their “pool area.” Located in an old motel, this places is packed refurbished furniture and tons of glassware.

Victoria’s Attic – I always get lucky when I come to this antique mall. Most of the vintage-y looking props that I use on this blog come from Victoria’s Attic. This place is fully stocked with cool plates, retro glassware and fun vintage kitchen gear.

Vintage Sunday Market – I went for the first time this past weekend and whoa, it’s soooo good. I scored a beautiful Afghani hand-woven rug for a song. I was on a bit of a time crunch or else I would’ve purchased a gajillion other things. It’s not overly crowded, vendors don’t have tons of stuff you have to sift through and everything is fairly priced–you’re bound to find some treasures!

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March Stuff!! // www.acozykitchen.com

My dad paid me a visit in late February, while on a 2-day layover to Kuala Lampur. I drove him to the airport where he boarded his Malaysian Airlines flight. Ten hours later I received a text from him telling me his flight to Tokyo was the worst of his life. He then took the second leg of the flight and said it was even worse. The pilot flew the plane straight through a bad snowstorm; the plane jolted up and down for about an hour while the plane’s lights flickered on and off. He said he had never been so scared for his life. For his return flight, he booked another flight on another airline, despite knowing he wouldn’t be reimbursed from Malaysian Airlines. Luckily he made it home safe and sound.

About a week later, the Malaysian Airline Flight 370 disappeared and has yet to show a trace. When I heard the news I started crying. All of the what-ifs played over and over again in my mind. On one hand I felt so happy that my dad wasn’t on that flight to Beijing, but I also felt so terrible for the people whose family members are still missing.

Needless to say, March started off on a super grateful note.

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Quarterly Co. Box Giveaway // www.acozykitchen.com

Giveaway time!

Quarterly Co. is a subscription box service that allows you to subscribe to a a variety of curators like Pharrell, Angie and Ted of Poketo…and even Coco (yes, Ice-T’s gf). Today is all about Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. They own two of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles, Son of a Gun and Animal. In fact, when I first moved to LA and was super broke, my first splurge meal was at Animal. I have really good memories of that night; there was a biscuit topped with gravy and foie gras.
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This quarter’s box is all about BBQ. The box that’s up for grabs includes:

1. Their recipe for the best BBQ sauce EVER (seriously, Josh has made it a few times and it’s amazing).
2. A bag of wood chips.
3. Two custom-made Hedley + Bennett tea towels.
4. A BBQ sauce brush.
5. Tin of their BBQ rub.
6. Signed note from them.

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To win this giveaway:

1. Visit Quarterly and take a look at Vinny and Jon’s past boxes/sign up for their new Quarterly box, which is coming out in two months, if you like!!

2. Leave a comment here telling me what your favorite BBQ side dish, i.e., mac n cheese, baked beans…you know, stuff like that!

A winner will be chosen on Friday, April 4th at noon, PST. This giveaway is open to US readers only.

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This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Ciana Simpson!!

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March Favorites // www.acozykitchen.com

1. Mindy Kaling on creating the “hard joke.” I like her. I really do.

2. The prettiest recipe I’ve seen all month goes to Ashlae of Oh, Ladycakes. Raw Citrus Cream Cakes. DEAD.

3. Inside Pixar’s Braintrust. Fascinating.

4. My friend Lara paints the most beautiful gem paintings.

5. I’m obsessed with how these slabs of marble match up to create the most beautiful patterns ever.

6. You could say I’m a little obsessed with copper (evidence here), so I was pretty psyched when I saw this Copper Clothing Rack DIY.

7. I had a little interview over on Food & Wine. I’m talking breakfast, blogs I love and all that jazz.

8. Iris Apfel sells her life treasures on One Kings Lane on April 5th! AHH! I’m guessing I’ll be able to afford nothing, but I’ll still take a look.

9. Josh and I have Copenhagen on the brain. Maybe in late October? Have you been? I want to ride bikes around the city and make breakfast in this adorable kitchen.

Favorites from January and February.

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Albion Fit Giveaway // www.acozykitchen.com

I’m probably going to sound like a total girl right now but whatever. Here it goes, when I actually have nice workout clothes, I’m more encouraged to workout. I know that may sound absurd, but I enjoy the feeling of being dressed. And this same idea applies to my day-to-day life, too. I work outside of my apartment but I like to get up and get ready for the day. No pajamas. It makes me feel sloppy and gross. Not to say that I wear high heels in my house or anything absurd like that but, you know, just casual stuff like jeans and a t-shirt with my hair brushed with a little make-up on. It makes me feel clean and ready for the day.

Same motto goes with working out. I dig cute and comfortable workout clothes.

Today’s giveaway is for just that! Albion Fit is an activewear company specializing in comfortable, flattering and most importantly, functional workout gear.

Albion Fit would like to give one of you a $150 gift card to buy an assortment of workout clothes (or bathing suites) of your choice.

Here’s how to enter:

1. Go to the Albion site and take a glance around.

2. Leave a comment below telling me your favorite Albion Fit item(s).

3. For a bonus entry, Pin an item from Albion and leave the Pinterest link in the comments below.

One winner will be chosen at random on Friday, March 14th, 2014 at noon PST. This giveaway is open to US/Canadian readers.

*You’re welcome to use the discount code cozykitchen15 to enjoy 15% off on your purchase from now until March 14h.

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[This giveaway is now closed!]

The winner is MaryB. Thanks to everyone who entered! xo

Albion Fit Giveaway // www.acozykitchen.com

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February was weird. It was a mix of some really good moments and a few bummer days, too. This week was especially tough. I’m just glad it’s over. And I’m glad a new month and a brand new week is here.

Of course, February wasn’t all bad. There were a few memorable moments sprinkled throughout.

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Holy! How is February over?! It feels like it just started.

February was a month full of brainstorming, idea building and seeking inspiration from all sorts of places. Maybe in the future I’ll post about inspo and where I get it (we all draw from different places, don’t we?!).

These are the current things I’m loving, buying, wanting and watching.

1. I saw Cutie And The Boxer. Have you seen it? (It’s available on Netflix.) LOVED IT!! I love honest portrayals of married life.

2. Josh and I didn’t get each other Valentine’s Day presents (unless you count Doughnut Ice Cream), but we did go shopping that day to buy a few things for our place. This Sydney Hale Co. candle in Bluegrass and Juniper came home with us. I burn it nightly and it smells so delicious. I’m gonna be bummed when it’s all gone.

3. I’m so in love with these Edible Masterpieces. Food stylist, Kim Morphew, duplicated famous works of arts and made them edible. I’d eat the shit out of that Jackson Pollock rice krispie treat.

4. Photographer Marcel Christ has made an entire career out of making perfect splash shots. With this more personal project, he combines paint and water, makes them explode and then takes photos of their reactions. The results are visually sublime; the color combinations make me ooo and ahhh and the shapes almost look like random inanimate objects. I feel like I see an apple.

5. Michel Gondry’s new music video for Metronomy is fu-uuun.

6. Beck came out with a new album! Listen. Listen.

7. I luh dis song.

8. And for a good lolz, check out this video from BuzzFeed: Regular People Try Pinterest Projects. HA! Not ashamed to admit that the crayon project kinda looks like fun!

9. I’m so in love with Brook and Lyn. And have been for a LONG TIME. I’m determined to have one of their woven pieces in my house one day.

10. This Friday, as in tomorrow, Block Shop is releasing their new Spring collection!! I can’t freaking wait. Their scarves are so incredibly beautiful. Here’s a sneak peek.

Share what you’re loving, reading, enchanted by. I’m curious.

(And in case you missed it, here’s a link to my January Favorites.)

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Le Creuset Giveaway // www.acozykitchen.com

Happy Monday, friends! How was your weekend? I spent Saturday in Laguna and yesterday I was testing some recipes while House of Cards played in the background and OMGooodness. That season premiere was INSANE!

In other news, today we have a La Creuset Giveaway. Do you have a French Oven? It’s one of my most-used kitchen items. I literally use it at least a few times a week. I use this for everything from making soups to braising meats to making bolognese–it’s so versatile!!

And, it’s even better because this is Le Creuset’s new color, PALM, which I think is just dreamy. Today the giveaway is for this 5 1/2 quart French Oven in the color, PALM.

Le Creuset Giveaway // www.acozykitchen.com

To enter this giveaway, follow these steps:

1. Follow A Cozy Kitchen on Facebook and Instagram.

2. Go over to Le Creuset’s site and check out all of their pretty cookware in PALM.

3. Comment here telling me what your favorite Winter meal has been thus far. (I know most of you have been dealing with some serious cold weather.)

A winner will be chosen at random on Friday, February 21st 2014 at noon PST.

(This giveaway is sponsored by Le Creuset!!)

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This giveaway is now closed! The winner is Kristel who said, “Whole roasted chicken is perfect for cold nights. The oven warms the house and leftovers can be used in a million ways.”

Thanks to all who entered – I loved reading through your ideas for Winter comfort food!!

xo
Adrianna

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When things are going well, in the direction you want them to, do you ever worry that something bad must be on the horizon? 2013 was the year when I was constantly expecting something bad was on its way, because for the first time, pieces of my life were falling into place.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m totally down with Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. I need it, man. And Brene Brown (I love this woman) spoke about this very same issue I’ve been dealing with. So this year, 2014, isn’t necessarily about these tangible goals that I can put on a to-do list and dutifully check off, but rather a year that’s all about leaning into joy. Being comfortable when things are going well and dealing with the hardship as it comes, rather than preparing for it.

I’m all about it.

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January Favorites // www.acozykitchen.com

I’m thinking it might be cool to share some of my favorite stuff once a month. It’ll be a round-up of all of the things I’m watching, listening to, reading, buying (or in this month’s case, wanting to buy).

1. Like the rest of the world, I’m reading The Goldfinch. Have you read it?

2. I think we all feel like maybe we’re not where we want to be in our lives. I’ve always been a late bloomer. Here’s James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem talking about just that: failure coming early, success coming later and making tons of mistakes along the way.

3. I love Sarah Hillenberg’s work. All of her art is super interesting, but I just love what she does with food, creating dresses made of vegetables, watermelons that rain and so much more. Luckily her prints are affordable (I have my eye on this one). I’m definitely not at the original art-buying level, you know? Maybe one day.

4. Have you seen Spike Jonze’s Her? Oh man…he explores the world of loneliness so very well. This documentary-short done by his longtime collaborator (and really legit director in his own right), Lance Bangs, asks various artists what “Modern Love” means to them.

5. If you have room for one more Lance Bangs documentary, I absolutely love this piece he did on Maurice Sendak, Tell Them Anything You Want. My favorite part is at the end (34:19).

6. When I was in film school you probably couldn’t pay me to sit and watch The Matrix Triology; despite my snobby taste I knew the Wachowski Brothers were legit. After their initial success, one of the Wachowski Brothers transitioned into becoming a woman. There was a ton of interest and speculation, obviously. Almost a decade later, here she is speaking about her experience for the very first time. She’s ridiculously funny, charming and man, what an inspiration.

7. Do you know of Ginny Branch’s work? Her prop styling is soooo dreamy. She has a new website where you can see some of her new beautiful work. I can’t get enough.

8. I could talk your ear off about how much I love Brene Brown. I especially love this short that RSA did on animating this bit on Empathy vs. Sympathy.

What are you loving this month?
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