Milk and Eggs – Food Art Installation Event

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Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a food and art installation/exhibition event in Los Angeles’ Art District hosted by Milk and Eggs. What’s Milk and Eggs? If I’m going to be honest, I didn’t know either until this event came along. Milk and Eggs is a grocery delivery service that values fresh and locally sourced food. Customers can place one time orders or subscribe to certain products to be delivered on a regular schedule. It’s a useful platform to find healthy options, allergy-friendly alternatives and unique snacks! As I was browsing through their site (very user-friendly btw and great food pics. I appreciate them lol), I found items that aren’t typically found at your local grocery store (Well, mine at least). What I also find great is that their delivery system is centered on producing a minimal carbon foot print. I actually really love that idea. Not many people are aware of how much the country’s traditional food production and delivery systems contribute to greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere.ย  So good on you Milk and Eggs!

The event was fun! It took place at The Container Yard in Los Angeles, which was a uniquely beautiful backdrop to this foodie event. Upon entering, you were greeted with a cute little gift bag containing:

  • $50 gift card to Milk & Eggs
  • A sample of Unisoy Vegan Jerky
  • A coupon for Navitas Naturals Superfood+ Bar
  • A coupon for Harmless Harvest’s Harmless Coconut Water (my fave!)
  • Milk & Eggs branded goodies: mini chip clip & fridge magnet grocery list

Just past the entrance, was a bar making a number of complimentary specialty cocktails, courtesy ofย Barlingual and sponsored by Ventura Spirits. It was pretty interesting to see a hot drink option, complete with marshmallow garnish!

I apologize for the minimal food photos…my brother and I purposefully didn’t eat lunch in preparation for this event. So, my brain skipped over taking foodie pics and went straight for shoveling everything down.

Food and drink were provided by a number of vendors including:

  • Abbots Butcher
  • Boxed Water
  • TheBu Kombucha
  • Domenico’s Pasta
  • Forager
  • Harmless Coconut Water
  • Kite Hill
  • Barely Bread
  • Laura Ann’s Jams
  • Petit Pot
  • Unisory Vegan Jerky
  • Stumpton Coffee

I attended the event with my brother and my two co-workers, so I didn’t get a chance to try absolutely everything in between the mingling and photo-ops. But, from what I did try, my favorite was the ravioli from Domenico’s Pasta. I liked it so much, I had multiple servings ๐Ÿ˜› I also tried tofu chorizo tacos and fried adobo-inspired chicken which were both pretty good. I wasn’t able to get to the toast bar that featured multiple spreads and jams. But, lucky for me, all of the items showcased at the event are available for purchase on the Milk & Eggs website. I definitely plan to take advantage of that with my $50 gift card.

All-in-all, it was a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Arts District. It’s already a win when you can park somewhere obscure in LA and not come back to a ticket or worse…your car gone lol. Thanks for having me Milk & Eggs, hopefully I get to go again next year! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sincerely,

Melissa Beee

New Year, New Perspective.

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Happy 2018! For many, including myself, 2017 was a difficult one. But then again, doesn’t every year bring some form of struggle? I recently heard the phrase “things happen FOR you, not to you.” I thought it was a fresh reminder that what you can control in life is your perception. When you see life through the lens of continual growth, what seems to be difficult times turn into perfect opportunities for development. The last two weeks of 2017 were filled with complications that have actually contributed to the formation of my goals for 2018. Ah, the beauty of perspective.

I have deemed 2018 as the year of “Melissa, The Grown Up.” Sounds pretty cheesy typing that out and I definitely have mixed feelings about it, but it really is a goal of mine this year. 2017 was the year of learning more about myself and exploring my interests. 2018 is going to be a year of focusing on strengthening my foundation as a young adult in as many ways as I can. To some, it may sound like boring “adulting” stuff, but I’ve realized that in order for me to achieve my ideal lifestyle, this is part of process (and maybe it can be fun). This means taking full advantage of the benefits my job offers, developing an investment portfolio, continuing to prioritize and pay off my student loans, and so much more! With all of that i mind, I want to approach these goals with an air of balance. I’m going in with a plan and aiming to maintain flexibility through it all.

What are some of your favorite self-help quotes, books, podcasts that have benefited you recently?


New Year, New Car

Excuse my feverish, puffy face. On top of everything that happened, I was also battling the flu.

One of the first forced steps into this new year of “adulting” was having to deal with experiencing my first major car accident last month. Long story short, I was rear ended on the 405 freeway, which then forced my car into the one in front of mine. My car was deemed totaled and I defined this situation as the universe’s way of telling me to stop putting off a much needed purchase: a reliable car.

This experience, although through non-ideal circumstances, catapulted me into the process of insurance settlements, CHP reports…and of course, buying a new car. It has been a great learning experience for me. A stressful, but helpful learning experience.ย  All of this has been a whirlwind, dealing with multiple insurance carriers, the DMV and car shopping. As I’m writing this, I’m still working on closing on a settlement agreement with the responsible party’s insurance carrier. On top of that, I got a case of the flu that knocked me out for three days just after the accident . In this time, I’ve had to discover and sharpen a number of skills in order to get things done in as timely as a manner as possible. The universe putting me through the ringer. I had to earn my way to 2018! lol.

Here are 5 mini lessons I encountered from this experience:

  • Do your research – Go in knowing what you want and armed with specific tactics to ensure you achieve that
  • Get your finances right – Prioritize saving in case of emergencies. You never know what will happen! It’s good that I had already been saving for a while. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to independently buy myself a car, let alone the one I wanted.
  • Ask as many questions as needed – You can’t make educated decisions without information. Ask until a concept is clear and understood. The worst answer you can hear is no, but at least you can say you asked.
  • Take your time -There’s no harm in starting again from the beginning if it’s going to lead to a better overall decision.ย My dad reminded me that ultimately, I can say no if there is anything about a deal that I’m not happy with.
  • Keep accurate records – Organization of important documents as they come will help avoid unnecessary stress when the time comes to dig them up.

New Year, New Clarity

After having some time to recover from post-accident madness and a bad case of the flu, I was able to properly ring in the New Year and take much needed time to reflect. I took a mini retreat to the Huntington Library in San Marino with my older brother and cousin this past weekend. We walked through a few gardens and eventually found a spot to sit and journal. But of course, we couldn’t leave without taking a few pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

It was refreshing to step away from familiar surroundings, dedicate quality time to discuss how the past year went and what we are looking forward to achieving in 2018. The day left me with a wave of gratitude for my family’s support and their trust in my opinions. It makes me happy to know that we are each other’s forever team. I forget how good it feels to be surrounded by people that are rooting for each other’s success.

I’ll wrap this up with my hopes that you’ve entered this new year with a clear mind, a sense of adventure and the determination to make change in your life for the better. Let me know what your goals for 2018 are!

Sincerely,

Melissa Beee

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‘Tis the Season for a Tea Party

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Happy Holidays! I hope your December has been as festive as can be and much less of a struggle as mine has been so far. As I’m writing this, I’ll be wrapping up on day 4 of being horribly ill in bed with a fever. It’ll also mark a week since getting into a pretty bad car accident on the freeway. This past week I missed two days of work due to the car accident, left work early on Wednesday because I wasn’t feeling well, and didn’t go in on Thursday because I was battling relentless fever. Needless to say, it has been an awfully tough week for me. The universe wasn’t gonna let me off easy. I have to earn my way to 2018! But on a more positive note, I am in once piece and my fever has finally broke. Just in time for Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m glad to be well enough to finally write this post about my time at McKenna’s Tea Cottageย and exploring Old Town Seal Beach, CA.

Birthday Tea

Whenever we can, the girl cousins in my family try to organize what we call a “Girls Day” to put some time aside to spend with each other. With our family, it’s rare that we get exclusive girl time, so it’s always a treat on “Girls Day.”

This year, thanks to my cousin Val (pictured below on the left), we found ourselves with our pinkies up, hats in play, making our tea party dreams come true at McKenna’s Tea Cottage! It was a really cute way to celebrate my cousin Emma’s 13th birthday (pictured below in the middle) and I think she had a great time ๐Ÿ™‚

We had our choice of tea and selected a number of yummy pastries/desserts to enjoy as we sipped and chatted.ย It’s such a unique way to celebrate a variety of occasions: birthdays (of all ages), friendmas’, girls day (or boys day), etc.

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Giving serious tea time looks.

Exploring Seal Beach

The tea cottage is located in a quaint part of town, so after our Girls Day/Birthday tea party, we decided to stroll through some of the cute shops in Old Town Seal Beach. If you’re looking for quirky/homemade gifts, there are a number of vintage shops, family owned stores and nurseries to peruse. Definitely worth checking out!

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Gone exploring in a nursery. Looked like someone’s backyard!
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The nursery of course had the cutest Christmas trees!

Well, I’m going to cut it there. Just thought I’d share some quick thoughts on this cute little adventure I went on with my cousins during this Holiday season. By the time you are reading this, it’s Christmas Day (or even after that), so I hope it was something special! Here’s to festive feelings all year round and a goal fulfilling new year!

Sincerely,

Melissa

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Palm Springs, CA // Desert Weekend Getaway

Palm Springs, CA // Desert Weekend Getaway

How is it already Fall?! Summer 2017 flew by with a quickness. Between balancing event planning at work and eventful weekends with family and friends this summer, my poor travel photos and video footage quickly got buried. So, consider this post as my attempt to dig them up and make treasure out of the ones I captured in Palm Springs, CA. There’s definitely more adventure-type posts coming soon. So look forward to those 6 months from now…LOL. Just kidding. Maybe.


ย Check out my little Palm Springs travel video here:


I thought about it, and I want to say that Palm Springs is one of my favorite mini getaway destinations. I’ve been almost a handful to times and there hasn’t been a time when I didn’t enjoy it. Whether it was with my friend’s family or with my friends, there was always something enjoyable about it.

Everyone has a different definition for “staycation,” but for me, anything slightly beyond the outskirts of the county line qualifies as one. It’s approximately 2 hours away, yet it seems like a completely different atmosphere. Maybe it has something to do with Palm Spring’s proximity to LA. It’s comfortably close andย far enough. Isn’t it amazing how you can drive two hours in any direction from LA (…assuming little traffic) and find yourself in completely different terrain? I would say Palm Springs is two things the heart of LA isn’t: serene and spacious.

So what’s the deal about Palm Springs? It used to be known as the wild spring break destination for college students, but what’s so cool about it now? Maybe a better question to ask is: What’s always been so cool about it? ย It may have fallen from the top college spring breaking spot, but I think that’s part of its charm. While everyone else is hopping on planes or driving off to Vegas, Palm Springs sits quietly along the 10 freeway, a sparkling desert oasis in the distance, an underrated destination to sneak away to. If you are into mid-century modern architecture, quirky art, mountainscapes (not sure if that’s a real word), cute brunch spots, poolside chilling and vintage shopping…Palm Springs, CA is definitely for you. By the way, if you plan a visit in the summer…you also have to be okay with melting into the ground in triple digit heat. No joke.

Here are a few “10 outta 10, would recommend” tidbits I came across during my recent trip to this desert oasis:

Food // Drink

The summer heat is no joke, so if you are planning on walking the streets of downtown, be sure to take a pit stop at these places to stay hydrated & fueled up:

  • For Coffee // Koffi – There are three locations to choose from, so whether you are staying in North Palm Springs, South Palm Springs or just outside of town in Rancho Mirage, you’ll have one near by. They carry staple coffee favorites and pastries to pair. From the couple of times I’ve been there, it seems like a spot revered by locals and tourists.
  • For Breakfast & Brunch // Farmย – Southern French-inspired breakfast and brunch. What more can I say? Nothing really. I will mention this though, if you can bear the heat, or if you are visiting during their non-sweltering season, I highly recommend sitting in their patio area. The aesthetic removes you from Palm Springs itself (except for the heat) and creates the illusion of being in a countryside backyard enjoying your French Aunt’s cooking. Okay, that’s all about that.
  • For Ice Cream // Ice Cream & Shop(pe)ย – Attached to Arrive Hotel on Palm Canyon Dr., it’s a quirky gift shop and gourmet ice cream stop all-in-one. Their rotating list of homemade ice creams and sorbets has many flavors to choose from. It’s a great balance between classics (with a twist) and completely unique flavors. We stumbled upon it after having dinner at Reservoir, a restaurant also adjacent to the hotel. Grab dinner, grab a drink, hang out in their pool lounge area, then grab some ice cream before you leave. Sounds like a perfect night to me.

Sites // Activities

Definitely check out a few sites while you are in the area. I’m kind of a closeted interior design/architecture fangirl. So Palm Springs was a fitting place to indulge in tile work, woodwork, coffee tables and more! Here’s where I visited:

  • Parker Palm Springs –ย The photos above are just their lobby area…so that gives you a small peek into how the rest of the hotel’s design standards are. Hotel guests can roam the grounds and lounge around on their hammocks and abundant lawn seating. Their patio brunch restaurant, Norma’s (pictured above in the food & drink section), offers a mid-50s vibe with it’s olive green, orange creamsicle and muted teal color scheme.
  • That Pink Door – Apparently there is an official Palm Springs door tour, which is interesting. It’s an open invitation to stalk people’s houses to admire their eclectic front doors and aesthetically pleasing landscaping. But because of the heat, we ended up just visiting the coveted Pink Door, took pics and ran back inside the air-conditioned car. Definitely an Instagram-friendly spot. I would’ve wanted to do the whole tour if we had the time.
  • Palm Springs Aerial Tramwayย – Not pictured, but during a past visit to Palm Springs, I’ve taken this amazing/scary, rotating tram ride up the Chino Canyon mountainside in San Jacinto National Park. No explanation needed other than it’s worth it to witness beautiful, scenic views 8,516 feet above the valley. There are two observation decks, two restaurants, a number of hiking trails and a museum.ย It’s also much cooler up there!

Fun Facts

Did you know that the summer time in Palm Springs is their off-season? I didn’t either until one of our Lyft drivers told us when we were wondering why half of the restaurants we wanted to go to weren’t open and noticed there weren’t many people walking around town. Apparently after festival season (Coachella & Stage Coach), tourist activity winds down as the desert gets even hotter, so a number of business owners find it better to close up shop on a few strategic, slow summer weeks. Who would’ve known? Not me apparently!


Girls Weekend

My recent trip to Palm Springs was one I’ll always remember because it’s the girls weekend that transformed us from childhood best friends into a “bridal gang.” It’s the weekend that Lauren asked us to be her bridesmaids!! โค What an official door-opening into the chapter of young adulthood it was.

My heart is warm knowing that we can still make it a priority to remove ourselves from our busy schedules once in a while to reconnect with one another. I love and appreciate these girls more than they probably know and this trip was was much needed. Check them out below ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyways, cheers to more girls weekends and sharing life’s milestones with one another! xx

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Sincerely,

Melissa Beee.

Napa Valley // Fine Wine + Good Times

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Photo captured on Annalyn’s Canon AE-1 Camera using Ektar 100 film โคย 

– Are #ThrowbackTravel posts a thing? –

Well if they aren’t…they are now! Perfect way to hide the fact that it took me just over a year to compile only some of my video footage from my trip to Napa Valley… *insert embarrassed face emoji here*

Let’s forget that fact and move on to what the video features. It captures just a snippet of my second trip to Napa Valley with some of my childhood friends โค It was my first real attempt to vlog my travel adventures and I definitely have a lot to learn, but there is no better way to learn videography than to just do it right? I’m pretty proud of this video, so I hope you enjoy!

As a girl that grew up in the smoggy city of Los Angeles, I never get used to how much fresher the air is in NorCal and how serene it is particularly in Napa. My inner boujee grandma alter ego loves it. What’s a better pairing to the rolling hillsides, vineyard views and the fresh air than good food, good company and good wine?

– ย Places I visited that I highly recommend –

  • Oxbow Public Market: this is a good place to take advantage of variety. ย You can divide and conquer the market by visiting with a group and getting bites from all the different vendors! There is a lot to choose from. I was able to enjoy delicious artisan pizza, a yummy breakfast burrito and a hearty deli sandwich all in the same weekend!
  • Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ: Located in Downtown Napa, this BBQ joint is the shopfront of a larger “wine insider” company. They are open until midnight on Friday and Saturdays and offer a large menu of wines to choose from. But be sure to put your name down or make a reservation in advance! We put our name down and walked around the city for an hour or so before getting our names called.
  • Joseph Phelps Winery: I’ve been to this winery before because my lovely friend Vanessa had a membership, but this time, the renovations they were working on last time were complete! The newly redesigned terrance was cozy and had an amazing view of the vineyard. It’s a great place for a low key, classy wine tasting. A lot of other wineries in Napa have become more of a tourist attraction and it was nice to be able to concentrate on the wine and not the noise of tourist group chatter.
  • Castello di Amorosa: Speaking of “touristy” spots, this is definitely one of them. I mean, why wouldn’t groves of people want to drink wine in the cellar of a castle?! Who wouldn’t want to make your way to the highest point of the castle and pretend to rule over all the peoples below?! I would say it’s worth a visit, but I didn’t find the wine tasting experience as intimate as the one I experienced at Joseph Phelps. The tasting is more like a bar scene, with servers running back and forth between groups. But, I think it was worth the visit for the views and cute farm animals that live there ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you enjoyed a little look into my Napa Valley trip. Maybe there will be a part two?? There is a lot of footage leftover and I’d like to compile it sometime soon. Video editing just takes so much time! When I get into it…I stare into the computer screen for hours and look up to see the day has gone. I need to choose a day to dedicate to another edit or edit in small increments. We’ll see! I definitely want to take up vlogging more so I can capture all these fun travel moments. I look forward to putting together more videos and developing my own vlogging style.

Sincerely,

Mez โค

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Photos taken by: Annalyn

From One Young Woman to Another

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This is a letter to the young woman who stole the package off my family’s front porch:

I genuinely feel sorry for you. I feel sad for you that you are obviously in a place in your life that stealing is a viable option for you. I’m going to assume that you chose to steal today with the intention to make a few bucks. Kudos to you. You succeeded. I hope that the money you make goes towards something worthwhile. Maybe you are saving up to go back to school, buy food for yourself or your family, or maybe you are saving up for a car that you need to get to job interviews. I really hope that it’s something bigger picture like that. But, the pessimistic and cynical side of me thinks you’ll use that couple hundred bucks to buy cigarettes or another one of those energy drinks in a can…just like the one you had in your hand as you grabbed that package. I really hope it isn’t though.

I make an active effort day-in and day-out to envision myself in another’s shoes. Especially in situations when me or someone I care about is negatively affected by someone else’s actions. In this case, my Dad. It helps me cope. By imagining the various reasons for someone to choose to damper someone else’s day, it helps me empathize. Obviously, this person isn’t happy. A person who decided to be rude to me or steal from my family…they are obviously in a worse off position than I am.

So, to the woman who stole that package: we will be reporting you…and I do hope you get caught, if only to teach you that what you are doing isn’t the right way to get what you really want. The footage showed you running away. That means you know what you did was wrong. I can safely state that you were taught the difference between right and wrong.

I am trying to be a champion for women more everyday…and with that, comes with trying to understand what I have in common with other women and vice versa; using commonalities to build bridges and learning new perspectives when there are things we don’t agree with. Anyways, I think what me and you have in common is that we are both young. There’s still a lot of life to live and a lot of potential to unlock. However, the biggest difference between us, given that my initial assumption about your intentions is correct, is that I was at work making a living at 2:14pm and you were wandering my neighborhood searching for packages to steal in order to make a living for yourself.ย Maybe you didn’t have the opportunity to pursue higher education like I did. Maybe you did. I’ve seen examples of women who have succeeded regardless of their level of education or where they were raised. This gives me hope that regardless of your background, you can make something of yourself too.

As women we need to continue to rise as a group, and in order to do so, we must support one another…and this also means calling each other out on our bullsh*t. Stealing someone else’s hard earned money is frankly, bullsh*t. You can earn your own. ย Submitting the footage of you to the authorities is our way of calling you out. I genuinely support your future success by hopefully making this a learning experience for you. I hope that you realize you can do better.

Sincerely,

Another Young Woman…just like you.

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Instagram Hot-Spot: Melrose Avenue

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Carrera Cafe – La La Land Mural

I recently went on a Los Angeles photo-taking adventure with my childhood friend Annie and her roommate Sicilia ๐Ÿ™‚ Our main goal was to take pictures in front of the La La Land mural on Melrose Ave., after I came across it on my Instagram feed. I immediately thought of Annie because even though she lives in the OC now, she’s always down for adventures in LA, especially when photography is involved. She’s also a sucker for the movie just as much as I am.

Side note: Annie also has a blog and posts about her awesome photography, so you should check her stuff out HERE ๐Ÿ˜‰

A few weeks went by until we were both free to make a trip, and we had it all planned out. I wore a yellow dress to sort-of match the dress Emma Stone wears in the movie and everything! (Don’t judge me). After the outfit-planning, enduring the usual LA traffic and struggle to find parking…we discovered that the mural was gone. ย At the time, Coachella was two weeks away, so the wall had been overhauled into a festival-themed Lady Gaga mural. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Not that I don’t love Lady Gaga and no shade on Coachella…but we were just so excited to check out the La La Land mural! So sad. Here are screen shots from Carrera Cafe’s Instagram:

After we took a few moments to mope about the loss of our La La Land opportunity, we still made the most of our time at Carrera Cafe and grabbed ourselves cute lattes. The cafe is well-known for it’s awesome, meme-friendly latte art:

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You best believe I got myself Ryan Gosling latte art to cope.

Paul Smith Wall

As we sipped our coffees next to the popular Lady Gaga wall, we noticed droves of people across the street as well, taking pictures in front of another Instagram-famous spot: the Paul Smith Wall (aka The Pink Wall). It’s a very interesting situation to observe, so I had a very good time people-watching. It’s literally a parking lot for the clothing store. Yet, an abnormal amount of people were hanging out in it with little-to-no intention of actually walking into the store. Their only intention was to take pictures. So odd…so fascinating…very LA. So,we joined the crowd to see what it was all about. Can you blame people for being attracted to a bright pink wall? Forget about the Hollywood sign that’s impossible to get to now-a-days, go to the Pink Wall instead! Haha. Jk…but not really.

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Fred Segal Green Ivy Wall

After partaking in the Paul Smith wall hype, we continued to walk down Melrose Ave. and stumbled upon a wall covered in vines from top to bottom! It was such a pretty green so we made a pit stop. Even as the cars zoomed by, we had no shame in our photoshoot game. A few other girls actually picked up on the photo-op and asked if we could take their pictures too! I don’t think it’s on the typical list of “Instagrammable” spots in L.A., but we thought it was cute, so why not? Do what makes you happy! If you’re curious to know it’s location, it’s the Fred Segal clothing store building on Melrose and North Crescent Heights Blvd. (I definitely looked that up on Google maps right now)

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Made in LA Mural

As we continued our trek down the street, we found a noticeable line (less hype than the Pink Wall though) in front of the Made in LA mural. I ended up not enjoying this one as much, maybe because I was getting hungry lol, the midday heat, or maybe because it wasn’t vibrant pink or green. I’ll never know for sure. A contributing factor could be the pressure we felt with the presence of a line of people waiting for their turn. It was also slightly difficult to capture the whole wall without having to be in the street…so we quickly snapped a few photos and headed on back to the car.

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I’m positive there are plenty more “Instagram Hot Spots” down Melrose Avenue. But after the Made in LA wall, we headed back to the car to check on our parking meter. Definitely don’t want to get a ticket in LA! Then we headed to Arts District/Little Tokyo for some food. But that’s a different blog post ๐Ÿ™‚

What “Instagram Hot-Spots” have you been to in LA? I’d like to know ๐Ÿ™‚ We do it for the ‘Gram am I right?! No? Okay…lol. In all seriousness, do it for the memories people, not just for the ‘gram!

Sincerely,

Melissa โค