Thursday, February 18, 2010

Guest Stylist - Aubrey Villalobos

It's with great humility that I admit that I use to babysit today's guest stylist, Aubrey Villalobos. In spite of feeling suddenly ancient, I had to invite Aubrey to be a guest because from the time she was walking this girl oozed style and panache. In a house with two wild brothers Aubrey was the epitome of girly-girl and after I'd lock her brothers in their rooms Aubrey and I would flip through magazines and talk about clothes - she was probably 8 at the time!

Aubrey is the perfect combination of Southern California and NYC style (she attended NYU for college). A huge lover of travel, she has visited Rome, Paris, Milan, the Amalfi Coast and India, although she admits her favorite destination to-date was Austin, Texas. Aubrey currently resides in Santa Monica and works on the show Royal Pains.

Aubrey Villalobos


When I was asked by The Style Collective to be a guest stylist, I knew exactly what I wanted to share: bits and pieces of my current hometown, Santa Monica.

Santa Monica - Pretty as a postcard

Even though I grew up in Long Beach, about 30 miles south of Santa Monica, I rarely ventured up to this bustling city by the sea. After spending seven years in New York, I returned to Southern California feeling quite of out sorts, until I ended up in Santa Monica, a city that made me feel right at home with its perfect combination of cosmopolitan flair and laid back beach vibe.

Santa Monica Pier

I’ve spent many weekends exploring my city, often times starting my day off with a run on the Palisades Park Bluffs and then heading to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market for fresh flowers and seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Palisades Park Bluffs

Farmers Market

My latest obsession for brunch is Huckleberry, a bakery café that serves up my current favorite breakfast: Fried Egg Sandwich with Niman Ranch bacon, Gruyere, and arugula. Whenever I go, I beg either my boyfriend or best friend to have a breakfast appetizer like old fashioned coffee cake. Come to think of it, I don’t really have to beg since their baked goods are to die for. Do you see why I have to start my day off with that run?

When I find myself with Saturday night plans and nothing to wear, I head to the charming stores on Montana Avenue. This 12 block stretch of shops just steps away from the ocean has the perfect mix of upscale clothing boutiques, home and garden shops, and outdoor cafes. If time is of the essence (and when you’re looking for Something Perfect in an hour, isn’t it always?), I know that my go-to dress shop Anat B. will have just the thing at the right price.

Another store I always gravitate toward is House. To me, it’s just the right combination of shabby chic and fashionista and I always love how simply looking at beautiful bedding puts me in a good mood.

For a great birthday, wedding, or “just because” card, I love Urbanic Paper Boutique. Even though it’s in neighboring Venice, this is my go-to card shop and if there’s one thing I will say I’m snobby about, it’s my cards.

The next item on my list of “Santa Monica Love’s” is The Viceroy. This Kelly Wearstler-designed hotel is equal parts cosmopolitan and coastal. I am biased however, as this is where I had my first date with my boyfriend just over a year and a half ago on a balmy summer night. Speaking of summer, this is a great place to relax poolside or enjoy happy hour from 5-9pm.

Another great spot for drinks and / or dinner is Wilshire. I recently had my birthday party here on a just warm-enough January evening, and the candlit patio created the perfect ambiance for the mellow yet chic vibe I was going for. My friends and I enjoyed cocktails like pomegranate margaritas and nibbled on prosciutto wrapped figs and mini pizzas.

Thanks lovely ladies at Style Collective for letting me take you on a tour of my favorite city!

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