Pink Hair, Kittens, and Other Summer Adventures
Hello! Southern California summers are usually jam packed with long days at the beach, nights on rooftop bars and impromptu road trips up the coast or to the desert. You could spend any afternoon in a hipster cafe or maybe wandering through an estate sale up in the hills sorting through old Hollywood memorabilia and 1950s fashion. Instead, this summer has turned Los Angeles into a Covid-19 hotspot with more daily cases than at the beginning of the pandemic in April.
I've really grown to appreciate the quieter summer, though. I can't go anywhere, but that means I spend less time on public transportation, always an exciting perk here in LA. Since I'm home so often I've been able to put a lot more time and effort into turning my bedroom into a calm, cozy space that I love. And of course, spending less time with my friends means I appreciate them all that much more when I can see them. Most exciting, I was able to foster a kitten this summer, which I was only able to do because I was home so often!
Cat Lady in Training
I got a text from an old roommate in the middle of June that simply asked, “Hey do you want a kitten?” The answer to that question is always yes, but in this case, I was actually able to take the kitten!
Before I moved, I lived in a big old house in South Central LA with a bunch of roommates and this little scruff had invited himself right into the mix. He managed to stay hidden overnight but was eventually was cornered and booted. Lucky for him, one of my roommates took pity on him and thought… who do I know who could take a cat? And that’s where I came into the picture.
The tiny fuzzball was hiding under a car when I arrived but I snagged him pretty quickly with some Friskies bait. Once he was safely secured at home in my bathroom, I got a better look at him. He was barely a handful of kitten, crawling with fleas and still trying to be a tough feral cat, hissing when we picked him up. One wet cat food dinner and he completely forgot he'd ever been anywhere else, hisses turning into the cutest rumbly kitten purr. (I do not recommend taking in flea-covered kittens unless you have some experience dealing with them. Fleas get out of control quickly and you definitely do not want fleas in your house.)
I already had a foster cat through Stray Cat Alliance, so I asked if they could help us foster the kitten too, and they said yes! We named him Chester and immediately fell head over heels for him. He was such a spunky little kitten that got into so much trouble but was so cute we could never be mad. My other foster, Alfie, loved Chester immediately and they became the cutest little duo.
We fostered Chester for a couple months and helped him grow into a sleek, athletic little cat who was just as snuggly as he was mischievous! Through Stray Cat Alliance, Chester got all his shots and was fixed before being adopted just last week! It was bittersweet to say goodbye, but he's off to live a happy life with a new big brother. As for my roommates and I (and Alfie), we loved fostering so much that we're going to keep fostering kittens!
Live music is on indefinite hold, but living in LA means you can always find a handful of amazing musicians to jam with. Well, musicians plus me. I’m just there for the kicks.
If there’s one thing this night did for me, it reminded me how important tangible reality is. Humans are tough creatures and adaptability is what we do best, but this pandemic has really thrown us a curveball. Not only are we dealing with normal life with the pandemic on top, we’ve also lost so many outlets that keep us all sane. Music festivals, concerts, sporting events, big cookouts… the list goes on and on. Sure we can do a Zoom party or maybe a virtual concert and put cardboard fans in the baseball stands but it’s not the same. Yet, to get that feeling, you don’t have to go to some huge production. It’s incredible how just one night of listening to music in person instead of on my headphones changed my mood for the better.
Rainforest Cafe or a Plant Addiction?
I’ve always wanted to live in the jungle but since I don’t see that happening any time soon, I’m trying to get as close as I can. Luckily, my house has tons of natural light, making it perfect to turn into my wannabe Amazon. Most of my plants are from Mickey Hargitay Plants, a locally owned nursery in Hollywood. Mickey’s has an enormous selection of plants, from traditional sturdy house plants to stunning tropicals at really affordable prices. Not an ad, I just love their shop! If you’re in the LA area, definitely check them out!
Although I want my room to feel like stepping into a botanical greenhouse, there's a fine line between incorporating lots of plants into your interior design and just having way too many plants. To get the perfect balance, I try to mix texture, color and height for excellent feng shui. For example, I paired my parlor palm with a bright bird's next fern and flowering peace lily with a golden pothos hanging above. Hanging plants or placing them on a raised stand is a great way to get different levels without having bigger plants.
satin pothos, air plant, Chinese evergreen silver bay
The other trick to styling plants is to give them their own styling moment with one or two other decorations. I love how plants compliment art, like my English ivy and this colorful print by Brooklyn Bell or this small handmade succulent planter (by Coastal Moon Art) paired with a little gnome. I also like to use plants to soften harsh edges, like the full length mirror I have leaning against my wall.
English ivy, succulent, snake plant and dragon tree
All specific styling aside, some plants are just cool. Bright colors, beautiful flowers, strange shapes and intricate patterns bring a tropical feel to any room.
bird's nest fern, peacock plant, peace lily
Rizzo, but Make it Fashion
Are you even a borderline Millennial/Gen Z if you haven't dyed your hair pink at least once? Aside from one sad blue streak during a particularly mediocre part of high school, I've always been a natural blonde. Until quarantine! A friend of mine, El, is a hairdresser and suggested I go pink. Since peer pressure works just as well as they warn you it does during middle school health class, I said, "Sure!" El is a salon-certified hair colorist and stylist and uses exclusively vegan, cruelty free products, which I love. For my hair, El used Pulp Riot, an entirely cruelty free brand, in the shade blush for these stunning bubblegum pink results!
I've always been a little hesitant to dye my hair and I had never even considered doing a full solid color, but I'm absolutely obsessed with how my hair turned out! The pink is so bold that I really have to own it, forced confidence which I think overflows into the rest of myself. Or as El says, it amplifies. From someone who used to refuse to even wear pink for fear of looking like a Barbie, I can definitely say life significantly improves upon letting go of any idea of what you're "supposed" to look like.
Once my hair had faded my roots needed touching up, El used the shade cupid for an even bolder pink. Once again, I loved it. I may go back to being blonde eventually but for now, it's fun chameleon-ing my way through the summer.
Summer Nights in the Hills
One of the best things to do in LA is drive up in the hills, find a pullout on the side of the road and watch the sunset over the valley with the mountains in the distance. Way up in the hills, the noise and chaos of Los Angeles fades into the background, muted by a heavy layer of smog. The sky fades from orange and pink into a soft violet as the city starts to twinkle. It’s one of the few places where Los Angeles really feels the way it’s portrayed in the movies.
- xx Laura