We know the holidays can get frenzied and crazy and stressful. It’s now an actual thing - an identifiable state of being called “festive stress.” And here in Los Angeles, the traffic doesn’t help with frayed nerves.
In an effort to assuage some souls this holiday season, we’ve put together a little holiday guide of sorts - delicious food, jewelry, perfumes, self-care, philanthropy, and where to score yourself (and your four-leggeds) some awesome beds, leashes, pajamas and more.
Deep breaths. You got this.
WHERE TO GET GORGEOUS VEGAN SHOE + PURSE ALTERNATIVES:
Noah - Italian-made vegan pumps, boots, loafers, sneakers, oxfords - you name it, the make it!
Jeane + Jax - This Montreal-based company makes amazing, high-quality totes, backpacks, clutches, satchels, crossbody bags and more without the Stella McCartney price tag. ;)
WHERE TO GET YOUR SELF-CARE:
Heather McCall Energy Work - In the midst of the holiday mayhem (or maybe as a treat once it’s over!), get yourself, your home, or your animals’ unmoored energy cleared and adjusted. She’s LA-based but does travel!
Barbara Stransky, Massage Therapist - Sore from carrying around all those holiday packages? Nothing takes the ache out of those shopping muscles like a good massage.
WHERE TO GET YOUR GOLD BITS + BAUBLES:
A Stone’s Throw - Now in the Pacific Northwest, Kimberly Stafford’s line of jewelry is timeless and delicate. Her 2” hand-hammered gold infinity hoops are sexy as hell and super easy to wear!
Andrea Gutierrez - Bold, sexy, unexpected, unforgettable, provocative rings, necklaces, earrings unlike anything you’ve ever laid your peepers on.
WHERE TO BUY SOME DAMN GOOD ORIGINAL ART:
Curatorial Hub - Works on paper, paintings, photography, sculpture and more - this online gallery introduces you to a ton of emerging LA artists but won’t break the bank. Holiday Pop-up shop happening Dec 9-15th!
WHERE TO GET YOUR HOLIDAY SPIRITS:
Bar & Garden - This unusual booze bodega in the heart of Culver City's gallery district has shelves full of quirky, interesting wine and spirits from mostly small producers. The staff is enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and will point you to exactly the right bottle to take to a dinner party or to sip at home in front of the fireplace.
Silverlake Wine - Carefully chosen and always changing, the collection of wines at this eponymous shop and its DTLA artist’s district location will tempt you with intoxicating discoveries.
WHERE TO GET YOUR HOLIDAY CAKES + COOKIES:
Cakemonkey - Glazed chocolate donut cake? Butterscotch Pudding pie? Pumpkin Spice chocolate chip cookies? Yes, por favor. All of the above and more, gracias.
La Tropezienne Bakery - Located in West Hollywood and also in DTLA on Main Street, this French patisserie will blow your damn mind. Their eclairs are unforgettable and it’s no surprise they won Best Croissant in Los Angeles this year. And their marbleized boxes don’t offend our picky aesthetics, either. ;)
WHERE TO GET YOUR ARTISANAL CANDIES, COOKBOOKS, AND UNUSUAL GOODIES:
Little Flower - They wrote the book on baking. Literally.
GOODs LA - Masterfully and artfully combining global and local gifts that veer on the handcrafted, organic, fair-trade side of things, this little shop on Santa Monica’s Ocean Blvd is a total gem. Hot tip: for the holidays, owner Katherine Inglis wraps a MEAN GIFT, you guys! Buy it, leave it to be wrapped, get a latte, stop back in, and your gift-getting is almost complete!
WHERE TO SCORE YOUR SIGNATURE FRAGRANCE:
Strange Invisible - You know that scent a stranger at the party’s wearing and you’re desperate to get through some small talk just to ask the name of this intoxicating fragrance and how to get your mitts on it? Get it - ALL their scents are divine. Based in Venice, CA.
Fiele - Totally gorgeous and sensual scents like myrrh, tonka bean, sandalwood, ylang ylang, bergamot, and cedarwood . Made in Santa Monica, CA.
WHERE TO BUY BOOKS FROM YOUR LOCAL MERCHANT (AND NOT THAT ON-LINE MEGA-RETAILER):
Diesel, a bookstore - Charming brick and mortar bookstore with a well-stocked collection of literary offerings.
Skylight Books - The bookstore that every visitor, newcomer, and die-hard Angeleno falls in love with immediately
WHERE TO REFUEL WHILE SHOPPING ‘TIL YOU’RE DROPPING:
All’Acqua - Almost like you’re in Naples…yes, the pizza is THAT good, but you’re in Atwater Village, CA.
The Wallace - Beautiful, delicious food. Fabulous wine list. Culver City proper.
Milo + Olive - Part of the “Rustic Canyon Family” of restaurants, this husband-and-wife owned and run spot is always busy and always amazing.
WHERE TO GET YOUR GIVING GROOVE ON:
Pet Resource Center - DTLA’s Skid Row residents get much need support to keep their beloved pets healthy, well-fed and safe.
California Community Foundation Wildfire Relief Fund - Let’s not forget those who have no homes for the holidays. CCFW supports intermediate and long-term recovery efforts for victims of the recent SoCal Woolsey and NorCal Camp wildfires.
WHERE TO GET YOUR PET’S STOCKING STUFFERS:
Ike & Stella - Give your pet a little bling this holiday season with bespoke dog and cat collars in luscious colors and fabrics from Ike & Stella. Handmade in LA by the talented Jennifer Herrera.
Rosie Bunny Bean - Neighborhood shoppe with aesthetically awesome pet products. Check out their line of blankets and beds that are designed to be comfortable, durable, lived with and loved by both YOU and your four-legged beasties.
Animals Matter - Beds, blankets, harnesses, crate covers, car seats, furniture covers and more, all made in the USA using vegan, cruelty-free, organic, and eco-friendly materials. Go large and in charge with a gigantic puff for your Great Dane mix, or pare down your size needs with some little donuts for your wee ones, like we did with this custom velvet donut beds for a client’s pair of rescue shih tzus, Bruno and Nooks.
Tooth + Honey - If you’re ever feeling blue or despondent or just want a reminder there are some things cuter than your wildest cute-o-meter imagination could conjure, check out Tooth + Honey’s Instagram to see literally hundreds of pit bull type dogs in pajamas. It’s quite possibly the most ADORABLE thing you’ll see all year. And if you’ve got yourself a pit bull type dog, get that baby some unicorn or donut or chocolate chip cookie pj’s STAT!