Best Places for Holiday Magic in LA

disneyland christmas castleAnyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with Christmas.  While many of my friends complain about  the early holiday decor, I revel in it.  I love the bright lights, wreaths, and garland. I love baking, and the smell of candles burning in the house. It warms my heart and lightens my soul. It comes as no shock then that I make sure to visit locations where the holiday cheer is high.

In Los Angeles there are plenty of places that put up special decor during the holidays. With plenty of shopping malls near by, there is no shortage of places to see Santa Clause.  The Beverly Center is famous for their “Hunky Santa.”  What women wouldn’t want a hot guy who gives gifts? Visit hunky Santa at the Beverly Center, sit on his lap, and get your picture taken.  Don’t worry guys, there’s something for you as well.  The Candy Cane girls perform acrobatic stunts when Santa makes his grand entrance. Want to view pics or learn more? Visit here to see what Hunky Santa is all about. The newly renovated Glendale Galleria has a Santa station right outside the Macy’s, and walk across the street to the Americana to visit Santa’s workshop.

If you’re looking for family friendly holiday cheer this season, you will want to make sure to visit the following merry destinations:

Disneyland holidays1) Disneyland

No one does Christmas magic like Disney.  At Disneyland they pull out all the stops making sure you see Christmas decor everywhere you go. Sleeping Beauty’s castle is covered in twinkling lights, giving it a look as if Tinkerbell herself sprinkled pixie dust all over it. Above the pavement on Mainstreet USA hang Christmas wreaths with hundreds of lights.  Mainstreet is also the location of the falling snow during the fireworks show.  The Haunted Mansion is transformed into a Nightmare before Christmas.  This year the movie celebrated it’s 25th anniversary, so even more changes have been made to the experience.  New to Disneyland this holiday season is the “Jingle Cruise.” The Jungle Cruise ride has a special holiday theme this year.  Over at CA Adventure the new Car’s Land has been decorated for the holidays.  Instead of wreaths, tires are decorated and hang above the main street. Enjoy special holiday treats at any number of bakeries located at the park. Also new this year to CA Adventure is the holiday World of Color show. Expect to see Ana and her sister Elsa from Disney’s newest animated feature “Frozen”. Can’t pay the price of admission? You can still enjoy Disney magic by visiting the Downtown Disney District.  The streets are decorated for the holidays, and you can ice skate with your little ones at the pixie themed skating rink.  Admission is free, and parking is free for 3 hours.

the grove christmas2) The Americana/Grove

Looking for things to do during the weekend? You can shop, dine, catch a movie, and see Santa at the Americana and the Grove.  The Grove was a Rick J. Caruso project. A little known fact is that one of the original Disney Imagineers worked on the design.  The Grove opened in 2002, and The Americana followed.  Both destinations set up huge Christmas trees, lights, and Santa’s workshop.  At The Grove it actually “snows” once a night.  There are a variety of restaurants and shops to choose from at both locations.  You can get your shopping done, have a cup of cocoa, and enjoy the lights. Right next to The Grove is the famous Farmer’s Market.  Enjoy fresh produce, and home cooked meals hometown and ethnic. Across from the Americana is the newly renovated Glendale Galleria with even more shopping and dining options.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3) Universal Studios/City Walk

If you don’t feel like making the drive out to Anaheim, Universal Studios is close by and cheaper.  Visit Grinchmas, Universal’s Grinch themed holiday area where it “snows” in Los Angeles.  Fans of the holiday movie will love this area.  Universal has recreated the set of the hit movie staring Jim Carey.  You can visit all of your favorite characters from the Dr. Suess book.  Located next to the theme park is Universal City Walk.  You can shop, dine, see a movie, play in an arcade, or dance the night away at a nightclub. Universal City Walk offers something for everyone. To purchase your theme park tickets or to learn more about the holiday festivities at Universal Studios Hollywood visit their website here.

Take some time to enjoy the holidays this year.

-Love Meesh

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Halloween: Create Your Own Look

evil queen costumeI love Halloween, because it gives me a reason to be creative.  Sure you can buy a costume in a bag at any local Halloween shop, but the results are always the same.  A baggy, ill-fitting, too short costume is not the way to go.  After a few disastrous Halloweens during my early 20s I decided to start adding my own personal touch to costumes.  If you can’t sew like me, you can create an easy costume using items in your closet.  With the right dress all you really need are some Halloween accessories, which won’t cost you much at all. In need of costume accessories? I found mine here.

Each year I put together two costumes, a different costume for each of the nights I go out.  This year the theme was good vs. evil.  For my first look, I decided on the evil queen.  I drew my inspiration from the hit TV series Once Upon a Time.  In the show Regina plays an evil queen with killer style.  With each episode I watched I grew ever more jealous that I couldn’t wear her outfits in my day to day life, but on Halloween we can be as glamorous and sexy as we want to be.

To recreate Regina’s look I went for a black laced halter corset found here. Next, I searched for a skirt that would be fun and sexy, but still fit in with the theme.  I knew I could do better than a typical tutu, and found this high-low fairy tale skirt in black online here.  The crown would be the most important part of the costume, without it people would have trouble figuring out what I was supposed to be. I found this amazing crown at Amazon.com here.  The crown is definitely my favorite part of this costume. Wish I could wear it every day lol!

cinderella costumeEvery little girl dreams of being a Disney Princess.  Cinderella was one of my favorite movies as a little girl, and still is to this day, so for my second look I chose to recreate Cinderella’s iconic look.  My boyfriend had purchased the crown for me from Disneyland several months back, and Halloween gave me an opportunity to wear it out in public without seeming like a lunatic.  To recreate the rest of the look I started with this white corset from Frederick’s of Hollywood.  Although Cinderella’s dress is often depicted as blue, it always looked white, and glittery to me.  The shine in this corset was perfect.  I paired it with a white maxi skirt I had in my closet purchased at Foreign Exchange for less than $40.  To complete the look I’ll be wearing full length white gloves, and a black choker similar to the one found here.

No matter what your fairy tale dreams are you can make them come true on Halloween.  You don’t have to look unshapely in a costume from a bag just because you can’t sew.  Putting together a costume isn’t as hard as you might think, and the results are always better.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Halloween!

-Meeshme