Maui!

Abe and I spent a lot of our holiday season working on “I Will Make You Mine,” and then entertaining out-of-town guests. So we decided to take an impromptu vacation to Hawaii. We went to Kauai last year and decided to try a different island this time.

We stayed at Lumeria Maui, which was pretty magical. Honestly, we chose it because it was much cheaper than other hotels in the same area and loved how removed it was from everything. Plus, there were free yoga classes (and a sound bath!) and a pretty solid breakfast buffet.

IMG_6466.jpg

I followed pretty much the exact itinerary that my friends (and Maui locals) Lily Diamond and Alana Kysar had on their blogs (Molly Yeh had a great guide too). It’s really fun to read Susan Orlean’s Maui Surfer Girl article (that the movie “Blue Crush” was based on) too.

Highlights included The Road to Hana, Ululani’s Shave Ice, Coconut Glen’s and our favorite tiny little town, Makawao. We also ate pretty much exclusively from the Mana Foods Grocery Store in Paia.

22EC0A93-91C6-4B70-BB79-62961E6C9D0B.jpg

You can watch the highlighted InstaStories @mslynnchen!

Holidays at Disneyland (2018)

Disneyland provided complimentary passes for this visit.

Remember when I visited Disneyland after hours and watched them put up the Christmas tree? The beginning of December is my favorite time to visit the park - right before the crowds start, and just in time to be filled with the holiday spirit.

disneyland-holiday-2018-4-768x1024.jpg

The bow on my Minnie Ears faded to gold sequins in the sun - I kinda like the vintage look, and now it's one-of-a-kind!

disneyland-holiday-2018-3-768x1024.jpg
disneyland-holiday-2018-5-1024x768.jpg

Both parks were fully decked out with the Fa La La spirit, and so were the snacks. We wound up having lunch at the new Lamplight Lounge at Pixar Pier. We didn't make a reservation, so we waited 10 minutes to be seated at the bar, where you can order appetizers and drinks rather than their full menu. I loved that they had so many allergy-friendly options.

Pixar-Pier-Lamplight-Lounge-Gluten-Free-Menu-768x1024.jpg
Disneyland-Lobster-Nachos-1024x768.jpg

Lobster Nachos for me and Potato Skins for Abe.

Pixar-Pier-Lamplight-Lounge-1-1024x768.jpg
Pixar-Pier-Lamplight-Lounge-768x1024.jpg

It was raining when we went (just like our last visit) so the line wait for rides were short. It was a perfect day, even though I was cold!

disneyland-holiday-2018-1-768x1024.jpg

December!

Already! I can't believe it!

I'm feeling the spirit! Kicked off December with my dear friend Dawn McCoy's birthday on the rooftop of Louis Vuitton on Rodeo Drive.

Dawn-McCoy-Lynn-Chen.jpg

Lady knows how to put together a cheese plate...

Cheese-Plate.jpg

...spent all of Saturday morning decorating veterans' homes with my favorite volunteer organization, Big Sunday...

Big-Sunday-Holiday-Decorating-1.jpg
Big-Sunday-Holiday-Decorating.jpg

...and visited an old favorite - Clementine - where the Hannukah goodies were plentiful.

Clementine-Los-Angeles.jpg

I had a vegan roasted veggie salad, and Abe got a bowl with egg salad, couscous, and brussels sprouts. It's been so long since we've visited this place, and we still love it - even though it's not the most convenient to find a seat/parking spot.

Clementine-Los-Angeles-1.jpg

Thankful.

We wrapped production on the second half of "I Will Make You Mine" just a few days ago.

IMG_5364.jpg

A lot of what you have seen on this blog over the years is in the movie - from a funeral scene using my dad's photo, to food bloggers at my favorite neighborhood restaurant, Vernetti.

IMG_0001.jpg
IMG_0016.jpg

You can see more behind-the-scenes on the @IWMYMfilm Instagram Stories. It was a lot on me emotionally and physically so I took a day to get off the grid in the desert with Abe...

IMG_4965.jpg

...ultimately I decided I would rather be home in my own kitchen, working on my movie. I roasted a Kabocha Squash, threw together a quick corn/zucchini/tomato salad, and roasted some cauliflower with a ready-made curry sauce.

IMG_5584.jpg

Hoping your Thanksgiving is full of love and exactly what your heart needs.

Prepping for Thanksgiving, the Holidays, and (oh yeah) My Movie

I cannot believe it's almost 2019. This year has flown by so quickly that I've barely registered it's almost my favorite time of year - Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hannukah and MY BIRTHDAY!!! The only thing reminding me that we have a seasonal change is the fact that all I want to wear are sweatshirts and drink soup.

748095C9-5F5D-4DC7-B35D-4FD8245CBDFA-1.jpg

The above is by Rebecca Minkoff (I rented it via RTR) but I actually created my own design for my movie (which we start filming on Friday). I plan to give a lot of these as gifts this year.

I-Will-Make-You-Mine-shirts.jpg

Speaking of holiday presents, I received this special delivery of gluten-free assorted treats from Popcornopoils. When I lived in NYC I used to inhale their bag of chocolate-covered popcorn on the subway ride home. Now they come in all sorts of flavors - from a classic Kettle Corn to Buffalo to  Unicorn!!!

Popcornopolis-Gift-Basket.jpg

I plan on sharing my sweet holiday present with the cast/crew of my movie. In preparation to finish directing, I've been watching a lot of movies (I left Moviepass and have been loving the AMC A-list). "Burning" is an unfortunate title for what's going on in LA right now but it was one of my favorite films of the year, and had us seriously craving some Korean food afterwards. (This Seafood Pancake at Western Doma Noodles is NOT GLUTEN-FREE.)

Korean-Seafood-Pancake.jpg

The day after I wrap, it's turkey-time! We plan to hole up for a few days by ourselves (no internet, no TV, no family, no friends) for Thanksgiving. Instead of bringing an entire pie which I can't eat anyways, we'll stock up on some mini pie holes and quiches from one of my favorite bakeries, The Pie Hole.

The-Pie-Hole-pie-holes-and-quiche.jpg

Follow along @mslynnchen and/or the movie @IWMYMfilm on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter for all the behind-the-scenes!