Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

As an artist, designer, creative director and bestselling author, Justina Blakeney has always been intrigued by the power of mixing things up, particularly in Los Angeles.

When she was a student majoring in world arts and cultures at UCLA in 2001, Blakeney co-created a thesis project called Infinity Magazine that emphasized the hyperlocal diversity of Los Angeles.

In Sunday Funday, L.A. people give us a play-by-play of their ideal Sunday around town. Find ideas and inspiration on where to go, what to eat and how to enjoy life on the weekends.

“The issue explored 24 hours in Los Angeles,” says the 44-year-old author of “Jungalow: Decorate Wild.” “We visited different locations all over the city at different moments throughout the day and night. We explored various cultural enclaves and interviewed folks from different pockets of the city, learning about the histories and flavors of the different communities.”

When not designing home decor for her brand the Jungalow and for Target, writing or creating merchandise as she did for the 2023 Hollywood Bowl Jazz Festival, Blakeney still finds time to explore Los Angeles.

“My life is pretty hectic,” says Blakeney, who’s a working mother. “I think anyone who runs a business and has children understands how hard it is to juggle it all.”

So, at the end of her work week, Blakeney’s weekends are focused on family and self-care. “Now that my kiddo, Ida, is 11, I have more time for myself. I always push myself to be the best mom, designer and leader. So I decided I needed to make time for myself.”

Here’s what she’d do on an ideal Sunday in her Altadena neighborhood and around L.A.

7 a.m. Chase waterfalls in Eaton Canyon

I’m an early bird. I start my day with mushroom coffee, which I’ll take on a hike to Eaton Canyon, where I like to do a big loop. Sometimes I hike to the waterfall but I don’t go in the water.

Photo illustration of a Polaroid image of a woman holding a sculpture with colorful shapes bordering the image from behind.

(Los Angeles Times photo illustration; Justina Blakeney)

9 a.m. Thrift in Pasadena

I like to go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market on the second Sunday of the month or the Pasadena City College Flea, which is held on the first Sunday of the month. If I go to the Rose Bowl, I go at 6 a.m. and focus on furniture because it gets so hot and crowded later on. If I’m with my niece, I’ll go over the bridge and hit the vintage clothing stalls. A lot of the same vendors do both markets. PCC is free and has less furniture and more accessories and decorative objects.

I never leave empty-handed. At the minimum, I will buy some weird plants, which are always reasonably priced at the flea markets. There’s an excellent selection and unique varieties to explore.

If there aren’t any flea markets, I will hit the Pasadena Antique Market on Fair Oak, even though I often don’t buy anything. It’s like a museum visit. It gives me a sense of trends to see, what’s selling and what resonates with consumers. It’s a passion of mine because I love old things. And it’s good research for my work to have my finger on the pulse of what’s happening in L.A.

11 a.m. Shop for incense at Alexandria II bookstore

If I’m at the Pasadena Flea Market, I’ll head to Alexandria II bookstore on Lake in Pasadena. It is a fantastic metaphysical store filled with crystals, jewelry, tarot cards and books. They have the most insane collection of tarot cards — I’m super into them — and they have a lot of books about alternative health and wellness. I can’t help but leave with a crystal. The last time I was there, I bought an opalite ring as a present for myself. The store has an amazing incense collection too. I am always burning incense and I like to curate incense for my different moods. It’s a really fun store. Ida loves it too.

1 p.m. Participate in a life drawing workshop

I’ve been doing life drawing workshops with a group during the week, and on the weekends we’ll all pitch in for a model and draw for a couple of hours at someone’s house. I am practicing life drawing with pastels and am working on form. I’ve been doing a lot of painting lately, and it’s very meditative especially post-COVID [shutdown]. I enjoy making art in a community. It’s inspiring and fun to look over my shoulder and see how my fellow artists interpret the poses. We can bounce off each other’s energies — the energy of the space and the energy of the models because they are all so different. The life drawing has been so fun for me. I’m obsessed with it. It’s the perfect me time.

3:30 p.m. Naked self-care at WI Spa in Westlake

Then I will head down to WI Spa, a family affair for us. I have taken Ida since they were tiny. We often meet up with three generations at the WI Spa. It’s lovely to go and jacuzzi and shvitz, have some Korean food, be in the community and connect with my sister, mom and kiddo. We all love it. We’ll take turns scrubbing and brushing each other’s hair and enjoy being in our bodies. I think it’s so sweet and cool to be naked with people of all ages and in different stages of life. Something is missing in our culture that it’s considered embarrassing to be naked with other women. It’s good for my soul. It feels like something humans have always done. I love that there is a place where you can connect around healthcare, water and self-care. I find it healing.

Photo illustration of a Polaroid image of a woman next to a pool with colorful shapes bordering the image from behind.

(Los Angeles Times photo illustration; Justina Blakeney)

6:30 p.m. Have a swim, dance, karaoke, trampoline party at home

After the spa, we’ll head back to my place where my husband Jason Rosencrantz, friends and family will gather around the pool for dancing, karaoke and trampoline fun. My whole family likes to dance and eat. It would be a bubbie or take-out situation. My mom is Jewish and can bring over five coolers of food and instantly whip up a three-course meal for a crowd. I don’t know how she does it. I love to cook but not for that many people. My family and extended family is 25 to 30 people. That’s too many for me. But not my mom [laughs]. She is the best. I feel so lucky to live in the same city with my parents and siblings. We enjoy getting together with our kids.

9:30 p.m. Enjoy an evening ritual by pulling an oracle card

For my nighttime ritual, I like to pull one of my oracle cards. I have a few different decks. “Journey of Love” and “Sacred Rebels” by Alana Fairchild are among my favorites. They are magical. It’s like a beautiful little prayer or meditation that sets a nice tone for my night.

10 p.m. Meditate before bed

My therapist encouraged me to meditate, so I started with five minutes. I am such a doer; so action-oriented that it’s hard just to sit there. So I took a meditation class online at InsightLA and am now up to 25 minutes. I don’t meditate when I hike but I have to prioritize one or the other during the week because I don’t have time to do both. My hikes are similar to my meditation. I can be in nature, clear my head and be alone. That’s another thing that is so important in my Sunday routine: spending time by myself.

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