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Velvet Heart

Holidays, L.A. Life Style, Styles and Trends for Today

Summertime & the Livin’ is Easy!

July 8, 2016 • By

Becca on sand

SummertimeDisplaying VH_fall_5682 (1).jpgthe wonderful song written in 1935 by George Gershwin for the opera Porgy and Bess, perfectly sets the tone for what summer is, or should be, all about. Days are longer and hotter, life moves from the fast to the slow lane and everything, from the clothes we wear, to the food we eat, to the places we go, should be “easy”.

When it comes to fashion, think soft, lightweight fabrics … cotton, linen, rayon and one of our favorites, renewable Tencel in a super lightweight weave, and choose loose and comfy silhouettes.Displaying VH_fall_5682 (1).jpg Sundresses that go from day to night, tops that can be worn open over a tank or buttoned up, tucked in or tied at the waist, and happy, fresh colors. These things all shout “summer is here!”

becca in black and white   aloha pool side shot

Al fresco dining is de rigueur when it’s too warm to stand over a hot stove, so plan to dine outside as often as possible whether at home, at the beach, at a park, a concert venue or a restaurant patio. Plan ahead for menus that can be eaten cold or at room temperature,


add candles, music (invest in a set of wireless speakers),


and good libations and every meal will be a party. Bon appetit … and enjoy your summer!

  Image result for fruit infused water 






Events, Holidays, L.A. Life Style, Styles and Trends for Today

Red, White & True Blue! Celebrate the 4th in Style!

June 25, 2016 • By

The 4th of July is just around the corner, and you know what that means. It’s time to relax with family and friends at a backyard barbeque, a pool party, park picnic or a beach party – whatever you do, it will probably be casual and laidback – but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. Here’s some last minute tips to help make your celebration sparkle with pizzazz!

#1. Dress the part. Show off your patriotic pride and rock your red, white and blue! The limited color palette does not mean limited choices of dress. This is the holiday to show off your independence! Go with all three colors, or emphasize one and add dashes of the others (or just two colors, like a classic blue/white combo if you like to celebrate in a more subdued manner). And of course, what you don will depend upon your location and your activites, so here are a few ideas to help inspire you and get you in a celebratory mood!

fourth of july blog blanner

For low-key get togethers, you might opt for shorts or a romper. Denim and chambray are your logical, and patriotic choices, since jeans are the original American “national costume.” Pair with a cute pair of stylish flats or the latest hot-trend, white-white sneakers. Need to be a bit more “dressed up”? Opt for a simple, but chic, sundress that proclaims your effortless style. The key here is your accessories. Don’t overdo. Remember that key word, casual. And don’t forget those most important accessories: sunscreen and a hat.

#2 Set the Mood. If you are hosting, stock up on inexpensive traditional bandanas in red, white and blue. They can be used as napkins, quickly stitched together for a quick table cloth or runner, and cut into triangles for an easy DIY banner. Simply glue the short edge over a piece of twine.

decor 4th of july

#3. The Red, white & blue palette should continue to your table. Fresh summer fruits provide everything you need. Red strawberries and watermelon, white slices of dragon fruit, banana, pealed apples and pears, and loads of blue berries. Provide skewers and marshmellows and let your guests make their own red-white-and blue kabobs, with melted white chocolate as an extra sweet treat. Create a Patriotic Punch (instructions here) and use red licorice sticks as straws, and don’t put that watermelon shell to waste. Use it as a punch bowl!

fruits and drink 4th july

#4 Play some patriotic themed games. Baseball, frisbee and flag-football are all great American pastimes, but here are a few other DIY ideas in case some guests are not quite so energetic: Pop the Balloon Flag dart game , the United States of Bingo and that old faithful, Patriotic Ring Toss . fourth of july games 2

Last, but not least, remember WHY we celebrate the 4th of July. We are truly blessed to live in the land of E pluribus unum !










Holidays, Hot Spots in L.A., L.A. Life Style

Let’s getaway … but not too far away

April 4, 2016 • By

We love L.A., but sometimes all that traffic and noise and hustle and bustle is just too much and we long for wide open spaces where you can hear yourself think and the air smells clean and fresh. Lucky for Angelenos there are a number of places within a 1 to 3 hour drive where someone can go to find peace and quiet and enjoy the beauty of nature. Here are five dream mini-vacations for your consideration, and we actually discovered one of these treasures during our last photoshoot for the Velvet Heart Fall 2016 look book.

SYCAMORE COVE STATE PARK: We booked the shoot at Sycamore Cove State Park at the northern edge of Malibu, though technically in Oxnard city limits. The beautiful stretch of pristine beach is bordered by craggy rock formations at either end with easy access and parking from Pacific Coast Highway. Picnic tables and barbeques are available for public use, so you can relax, dine, listen to waves and even spot the occasional whale passing by (we saw one!). This beach is a bit of heaven, and to be honest, we hope not too many people visit. It’s simply a bit of paradise. And if you get tired of the beach, just cross PCH and you have access to the Sycamore Canyon Park and miles of hiking trails. Something for everyone.

sycamore cove

Lizzy on the beach poster                                                                            Photo by Michael Falco

VASQUEZ ROCKS PARK: If a more vigorous activity is your thing, drive about 40 miles north of L.A., off the 14 Freeway to Agua Dulce, and you’re in another world.  The almost eerie formation of red, sandstone peaks that make up Vasquez Rocks Park, jut out from the earth like some prehistoric lizard crawling out of the sand. These rocks, formed thousands of years ago by one of those dreaded earthquakes along the San Andreas fault, are just waiting to be climbed.  Reminder: wear sunscreen, proper shoes, a hat and bring water.READ MORE

L.A. Life Style, Styles and Trends for Today, Trending

How to wear a plaid shirt:

February 25, 2016 • By

lets count the waysclassic to cool to casual plaid

It doesn’t appear that the trend for great plaid shirts and dresses is going away … in fact, if recent fashion markets are truly a barometer of what’s hot in fashion, then plaids are not simply a trend – they’re a basic. Colors may change with the seasons, and classic tartan patterns may get tweeked, but plaids are proving to be almost as  versatile as a basic white shirt!

  1. Wear a button front shirt tucked into a pair of skinny jeans or a pencil skirt for a clean, modern cowgirl look.

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2. Layer up! Wear your plaid shirt or shirtdress under an oversized boyfriend sweater … or on top of the sweater. See. Versatile! With or without leggings or slim jeans. Go with the season and what feels right. Add booties or gladiator sandals, depending on the weather. Timeless and seasonless.
FullSizeRender (9)FullSizeRender (13)FullSizeRender (12)3. Go for the grunge factor with the shirt tied casually around your waist … or

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4. wear it open over a dress or T-shirt. The shirt jacket. Didn’t I say “casual”?

KRISTA 2And of course, 5. top it with a great jacket (make it leather for a bad-ass look).
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The truth is, one plaid shirt in your closet is worth it’s weight in fashion “gold,” so why not stock up on a cornacopia of plaids in colors that will add zest to your wardrobe all year long.

Health & Well-Being

You have only ONE HEART!

February 4, 2016 • By

take good care of it


February, the month of  Valentine’s Day, love and hearts, is also the month dedicated to raising awareness about heart health, and therefore it’s the perfect time to focus on your own heart. Yes, the one inside your chest that you take for granted, even though it’s the hardest working muscle in your body.

Did you know heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and the leading killer of women worldwide? While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease. And young women are not immune.  Lifestyle-related factors that increase heart disease risk are increasingly common among girls, teenagers, and young adults.

But all is not doom-and-gloom. According to the American Heart Association,  from 2003 to 2013, the death rate from heart disease  has fallen about 38 percent, but numbers are still too high. What can we do to make sure these number continue to drop? It’s simple really. Take charge of your heart and follow what the AHA calls Life’s Simple 7®  the “seven factors and behaviors” that have the largest impact on heart health. These are:

  1. Lose weight / maintain a healthy weight
  2. Eat better
  3. Move! Get active
  4. Manage your blood pressure
  5. Reduce your blood sugar
  6. Stop Smoking
  7. Control your cholesterol

So if you haven’t already made a resolution for 2016, add these “Lucky Seven” to your list. And note: simply making a positive change in any one of these areas can make a difference in your overall health. If you can lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight, you can reduce your risk of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Small changes matter. Take baby steps. You’re worth it.

For more information , check out the Go Red for Women campaign .




Events, Holidays

I Resolve to … Simplify!

December 28, 2015 • By

Simplify for FB etc

Here we are again, at the kick off point for a new year … 2016. And although everyday is a chance to begin anew, it’s the proverbial “New Year” that beckons us to commit to a particular goal or goals. The idea of making resolutions can actually be uplifting. We are going to erase all the “should’ve, could’ve, and would’ves” from yesterday and start all over. 2016 is a blank slate.

Well, this year my goal is simple, I want to simplify my life. But from what I’ve read, it’s pretty difficult to do and most people give up after a couple of months. The first step (in this age of the internet) I’ve already taken. I googled “How to simplify your life.” Here’s what I found: articles for, hold on, the 4 ways, the 5 ways, the 6 ways, the 7 ways, the 10 ways, the 16 ways, the 17 ways and the 72 ways (!!) to simplify one’s daily life. OMG! Stressing already. Okay. Inhale deeply to count of four, hold breath for count of seven and exhale for eight.

The truth is, all of the articles include some good ideas, and my favorite three are included below, but since I’m a visual learner, my best tips came from one of my favorite social media sites: Pinterest. Just type “simplify” into the search box and voilà! A veritable gold mine of ideas pop-up that should help anyone to simplify your life, simplify your surroundings and even simplify and ease your mind.

Finally, as a lover of everything fashion, I have resolved first and foremost to CLEAN OUT MY CLOSET ! And furthermore, for every new item of clothing I acquire, I pledge to give away an old item … painful as it may be. I’m even going to print this sign and hang it on my mirror to remind me of my promise:

HAPPY  NEW  YEAR to all – and may all your resolutions come true!

L.A. Life Style, Styles and Trends for Today, Trending

The Secret Gardens of Los Angeles

June 12, 2015 • By

“The point of a maze is to find its center. The point of a labyrinth is to find your center.” – Author Unknown

Who knew that amid the every day hustle and bustle of Los Angeles there are a number of relatively secret oases of peace and tranquility? These “meditation gardens” can be a retreat from the sometimes over-whelming pressures of every day life. A place to enjoy the calm of surrounding nature and an opportunity to renew oneself, both physically and spiritually.

One such place is the Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens located on West Adams Boulevard in the heart of L.A., just minutes from the bustle of downtown. The property has a colorful history. Once home to the largest wine merchant in the world, Secundo Gusti, the house was sold to famous Hollywood director, Busby Berkeley, who entertained lavishly in the ornate mansion and gardens. Today, it’s listed as a Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Monument, and serves as headquarters for MSIA, a non-denominational, ecumenical church and study center.

Most impressive is the beautiful labyrinth modeled after the one in the Chartres Cathedral in France. Created of hand-cut marble, its undulating paths invite visitors to walk the four quadrants as if on a “personal journey.” One thing for sure, once you’ve walked a labyrinth, you’ll likely want to do it again.



If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, here are some local gardens we think you’ll enjoy.

1. Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens

2. Self Realization Lake Shrine

3. The Japanese Garden

4. The James Irvine Japanese Garden

5. The Garden of Oz: A Mosaic Trip to the Emerald City

6. Descanso Gardens

7. Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

8. The Huntington Library and Gardens