What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

Happy Hump Day! 9 random things making me smile today. One that aims to help you make better pasta (because I could eat it all day). One that gives advice on how to start the first 10 minutes of your day with purpose (as opposed to stumbling out of bed and straight for the coffee maker). And one that makes you giddy scarf (and plaid) season has arrived. The other 6? Well, read on and see. Here’s what I’m lovin’ right now…


1-WILRN NOVEMBER 2014 ATG FINAL

1. Plaid on plaid done right. |  Happily Grey

2. The best way to scare off burglars and keep that entry hall mud-free. |  Neighbors’ Doormat

3. Something fresh for fall…and your nails. | Essie’s “Take it Outside” (image via)

4. “10 Things To Do the First 10 Minutes of Your Day.” |  Apartment Therapy

5. A playful and fashionable way to take on rainy days ahead. | Kate Spade’s Rain Check Umbrella

6.  A little something vintage-esque & glowing to add to your space. | Mason Jar Chandelier Light

7.  How to glam up your bathroom counter, while organizing that burgeoning lipstick collection. | Lipstick Holder

8. “Mario Batali’s 6 Essential Tools for Cooking Pasta.” | Food52

9. The best “a-ha” I’ve moment I’ve had in weeks. | Pro-tip

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With Gratitude…

make-a-wish-atg-final_With Gratitude

I’ve been feeling out of sorts as of late and though I’m pretty aware of the reasons for it, I’m also trying to remember that it goes with the ebb and flow of life. It’s only natural, apart of the ride. Much of what’s contributing to this feeling I realize is a signal that it’s time for a change. I’m trying to work out what I feel the next steps should be to bring me into better alignment with “what next?” but it’s producing a range of emotions that is another story altogether. Rather than dwell on it too much, I know the best way to deal with a flux in your mood as you work through anything in life is to continue to live in gratitude. It’s when you focus on the good, what brings you joy, however big or small, that makes the journey all the more meaningful…and a little easier.

I try to live by the philosophy of keeping your spirits in the right perspective, even as you progress through a range of emotions. Of course, this is a constant conversation I have to have with myself when dealing with the unknown. The interesting thing is that oftentimes whatever is nagging you tends to works itself out, or the right guidance will come just when you need it to. So though I’ve been in a pretty blah mood this week, I’m with gratitude for the small things, waiting until that ah-ha moment comes and I find my next step. These 11 come to mind:

  • As the weather continues to cool in LA (finally!) and it actually starts to feel like fall (finally!), my (very girly) addiction to candles is alive and well again. Nothing beats the warm glow and the heavenly scent that makes home feel all the more like my special refuge.
  • 7 words: Gilmore. Girls. Is. Now. Streaming. On. Netflix. (Amid the glow of those aforementioned candles, will be much “ass on couch time” re-living one of my favorite shows as a teen.)
  • I recently discovered Trader Joe’s Belgian Butter Almond Thins and I can already tell this is going to a be problem. I can’t put them down. Yum!
  • The one thing I never take for granted: being in good health.
  • The other thing I never take for granted: a good job and a paycheck.
  • The other, other thing I never take for granted: a warm place to sleep at night.
  • Iced vanilla lattes.
  • My Stinker – who makes me breakfast every weekend…and readily helps in my coffee addiction.
  • Along with the switch in seasons means (finally!) getting to rock scarves – the ultimate fall staple.
  • Birchbox makes me happy.
  • The smell of a Stargazer lily, arguably my favorite flower if I had to pick one.

I’m with gratitude…

What are you grateful for?

Happy hump day to you! x

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Highlights

What I Know for Sure ATG FINAL{A new read for a new season.}

What I know for sure? T.G.I.F! I’m happy the weekend is upon us again. And while this sentiment is rather surface compared to what Oprah might say, it’s about as fitting as I can get at the moment. I waited almost a month and a half to grab a hard copy from the wait list at the library, and I can already tell after reading just a few pages so far, it’s going to be something quite special to take in and reflect on. I’m actually considering just buying a copy of my own so that I can add it to my non-growing bookshelf because I made the switch to a Kindle and never looked back (though admittedly, it took awhile to give into digital reading).

I’ve always known when it comes to books, there are just certain reads that work well the good old-fashioned way: with pages that you can turn, and words you can highlight in bright yellow as you make your way through them. It’s no secret that I read a lot, but what you might not know is that I don’t usually buy books in general, unless it’s something I’d like to reference again – it just saves money and space. Thus, I get my fix from being an eternal lover of the local library and use it frequently, but mostly for downloadable titles now.

Side note: I’ve also heard that the “What I Know For Sure” audio book is quite moving because Oprah (and that thoughtful voice of hers) personally reads it.

As I think about this week, I do recall stopping a few times and asking myself “What do you know for sure?” I hope to have a much more eloquent answer as I think more about this (with perhaps a post in the future dedicated to exploring this topic), but one thing that comes to mind as I write this is remembering to always be grateful if you wake up every morning with your health alive and well. It seems medical scares and stories are rampant lately about those who are struggling with what I’m sure most of us take for granted, or don’t take the time to really be mindful of…and that’s good health. So I’ll answer this question, in part, now:

What I know for sure is that if you can get out of the bed with your health in tact, that my friend,  is truly priceless. Take care of yourself. Take care of each other.

Life lately has been good, a little hectic, but overall well. It feels like fall, though almost a month behind the calendar, is slowly starting to join us here in LA. Mornings have been foggy at times, my car windows might need de-frosting before I hit the road, a sweater is almost always necessary, and I successfully dusted off my leather jacket and black boots earlier this week to celebrate the transition. Funny enough, I was talking to my boyfriend about how it just didn’t feel like the Halloween season last weekend. Yes, I have my festive pumpkin lights up, and have indulged in at least 3 pumpkin spice lattes already, but it’s strange (even for LA) to be doing so while wearing sandals, with your A/C on in 95° weather.

Thank goodness this weekend will find it temperate! The plan here is to meet a few co-workers for happy hour tonight, catch what many are calling a sure Best Actor nomination for Michael Keaton in Birdman with my boyfriend and a group of friends on Saturday night, and perhaps a jaunt to the farmers’ market on Sunday to stock-up on produce, and of course, to spend some more time with my girl Oprah.

Have a great weekend ahead!

A few other highlights since we last did a life catch-up…

Pumpkins ATG FINAL

{My boyfriend’s sweet response when I complained about it not feeling “Halloween-y” enough. He brought me 5 mini pumpkins Add a $3 Glade pumpkin-scented candle and things are feeling more appropriate at home while we wait for fall to finally get here.}

Pedi ATG FINAL

{A Saturday afternoon at home pedi.}

Milk Hazelnut Ice Cream ATG FINAL

{After years of seeing the line hang out the door, I finally grabbed some of Milk’s famous all-natural homemade ice cream. Yum!}

plan check ATG FINAL

{A Tuesday date night over drinks.}

Urban Sunset ATG FINAL

{Admiring an urban sunset.}

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Highlights

Hello October Center v2 ATG FINAL{My festive Halloween pumpkin lights are up! Now if only the weather would catch-up.}

Whew – what a week! Naturally, I knew things would be in high gear as we put the finishing touches together and finalized the logistics for a location shoot next week in San Francisco, but I’m exhausted. While I’m there to work and it’ll be “go, go, go” from the time I step off the plane, I’m looking forward to a change of scenery and much cooler temperatures during our upcoming stay in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, LA has somehow found itself back in the midst of another (albeit seemingly kinder) heat wave this week, and it’s not looking to let up over the weekend much to my disappointment.

As you can see, I’ve made the transition to autumn in my mind…and at home. My festive pumpkin lights are up, I officially pulled out my boots, and even bought a new light sweater to welcome chillier fall evenings. And though much of last week actually felt like fall, I learned quickly the day I rocked my knee-high boots and proceeded to sweat glisten in them, that it was a premature move. Note to self: check the weather until further notice, it can’t seem to make up its mind.

I’m making the most of the weekend with the main goal to relax once I get personally packed/organized for my travels. I’m pretty psyched for a leisurely game night with the BF, perhaps over some take-out (shhh, I like to eat well while I’m kicking his butt 🙂 ). Until then, I’m off to try a new yoga class tonight to reset from such a crazy week that hopefully also helps get me in gear for an even busier one ahead…because we all know the mental stamina required to make it through LAX alone is a rough one.

I hope that “fall” is treating you kinder than it is us Angelenos at the moment. Have a great weekend!

Here are a few highlights of life lately since we last caught up. x

Coconut Flaky French Toast ATG FINAL

{I can’t think of a more relaxing way to kick-off a weekend than breakfast out. I recently discovered a new cafe nearby and this will be my go-to indulgence: Coconut Flaky French Toast w/ Berries.}

Clarasonic Arrives ATG FINAL

{My Clarasonic is here and now in-use. I’ll update you on how things are going in a coming post.}

Black Coffee Program ATG FINAL

{The one night it actually did feel like fall, found me cozy at (insert British accent) “The Theatre” to see a friend’s play, Black Coffee. If you’re in LA, it’s running for 2 more weeks and is quite fun!}

Fall pumkin_trees ATG FINAL

{My first pumpkin sighting of the season. // The autumn view from my moon roof.}

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Highlights

Heat wave ATG  FINAL

I’m sorry I missed you on Wednesday. I had every intention of touching base, but I’ve literally been in HELL much of this week. Okay, okay…let me back up a bit and put it this way: I’m pretty sure I now have a much more firm understanding of what hell must feel like. If you haven’t heard, LA has been enduring one of the worst heat waves than even I recall in recent memory. At one point, the thermostat hit 113° and my air-conditioner decided it had had enough (understandably) and didn’t clonk out so much as start just blowing hot air into an already hot apartment in protest. Luckily, once she’d had her hissy fit and got it out of her system, I forgave her. Our relationship is now back on track.

As I write this, it’s a temperate 78° and much more my speed. Now, I’m not entirely blaming the heat wave on how things have been going lately, but it’s pretty amazing how the weather can really make or break your day. Though I’m a lover of warm weather, once we hit the triple digits, it’s hard to have the motivation to do much, other than lay around in an air-conditioned space, or seek air-conditioned shelter when you absolutely do have to leave the house. I made the joke last Sunday that I knew I wouldn’t be having the Monday blues as we returned to the work week, because it meant I’d get consistent central air for 8 lucky hours and could give my “hissy fitting” A/C at home a break.

Though the heat produced a level of lethargy throughout the week, it was also still a busy one. I spent much of it finalizing the details for an upcoming location shoot next month and began the process of booking talent for a huge project that will make the rest of 2014 an extremely busy time, but I’m up for the challenge. This lead to what had to be one of the biggest highlights this week. And that’s simply hearing you’re doing a great job! Naturally, you don’t get many kudos in this business and you can’t live your life waiting for validation, but it sure is nice when someone goes out of their way to say you’re kicking ass!

Despite the heat wave, one thing of note that I was proud to cross of my to-do list was to finally re-organize my desk at home. It felt so nice to go through my drawers, and be rid of all the unnecessary papers, while filing away the important ones, and adding the perfect drawer tray to have my supplies readily organized. A quick trip to The Container Store (the neat-freak’s candy store) and I’m loving how streamlined I feel when I’m at my desk.  I would’ve dressed up my desk top with a vase of fresh flowers, but wisely thought: Why bother? They’d wilt 3 hours later in this heat. Save the $5 and buy an iced latte instead.

Container Store Tray ATG FINAL

{Getting organized. Feels good. (P.S. this tray fits a Parson’s Desk if you have one.)}

All this to say that when I learned it was National Cheeseburger Day yesterday (who knew such a glorious thing existed?), I thought I deserved a reward. Not only because I managed to make it through hell the heat, a rather chaotic week at the office, and crossing off my at home to-dos, but because it also wouldn’t be very nice NOT to have a cheeseburger on National Cheeseburger Day? It’s just not very celebratory. In n out ATG FINAL

{To In-N-Out we go!}

My desk organization has me very excited to do my bathroom drawers next, my make-up drawer, in particular. This means my neat-freak nature gets to make another trip back to The Container Store over the weekend! Yippee!

I think the thing I’m most looking forward to is a much cooler weekend ahead. No big plans, just happy to be hell free. Oh, I do intend to indulge in a breakfast burrito after reading Thrillist’s too inspiring article on some of The Best Breakfast Burritos in LA.

See you next week! I’m excited to share our night under the stars with live music, surprise appearances, the cast of The Simpsons, and fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl (arguably, my favorite place in all of LA). Until then, a few photos from that night along with the other highlights of the week.

Have a great weekend! x

 Hollywood Bowl _ The Simpsons ATG FINAL

{The Hollywood Bowl. My favorite place in LA. You can barely see it here, but the Hollywood Sign is just beyond (top right corner). What an incredible night.}

TheSimpsonsTakeTheBowl ATG FINAL

{In my best opening credit singing voice: The Simpsooons!}

The Container Store ATG FINAL

{The neat-freak’s candy store.}

heatwave ATG FINAL

{When 104° was a “cool” day.}

Tina's Trees ATG FINAL

{A smile to my Thursday morning. It’s a touch early, but I’m pretty sure Tina’s “Trees” does pumpkins too…so we’ll go with that. Fall is on the way!}

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Highlights

Los Angeles Traffic ATG FINAL 2_3{Ahh, the infamous Sepulveda Pass…and this is considered pretty good traffic.
If I shot this 2 hours later, you’d see why.}


Overall, the second week of September rocked as I’d hoped!

I made peace with traffic, my Monday night yoga class helped immensely with that aforementioned task, my lips and I are BFFs again thanks to Burt’s Bees, “The Good Girl” is still good, and I’m stoked about my night under the stars at The Hollywood Bowl this weekend.

I’m not at all saying that because I accepted the even more congested time of year on LA streets and highways that somehow traffic magically thinned out this week, but it seemed the moment I shifted my perspective and adjusted accordingly (by leaving earlier than usual, boo!), it physically seemed to get a little easier on the road everyday. At one point, I actually stopped and asked myself if perhaps it was as bad as I originally thought or if the universe physically heard every Angeleno’s cry and removed a few cars off the 405 as the days passed? (I’m not that naive, but a girl can dream.) One point for the old adage of changing your perspective when you can’t change anything else. It works.

(and p.s. I came across an interesting article yesterday sharing just how hard LA traffic hits the average commuter, financially and mentally, so that you know I’m not just being dramatic.)

Though this week also had its stresses of the non-traffic related variety, I’m happy to report I made it through to the other side. Whew! Things are gearing up to be incredibly busy from now until the end of the year. Pray for me!

As such, I’m making my weekends count, but then again, I always do. Outside of finishing my book and my plans at the Bowl; I’m looking forward to seeing Kristen Wiig’s new film, The Skeleton Twins; and I finally hope to sit down, pull out my tools and supplies and just make the necklace I’ve been looking for forever, myself.

Happy weekend! x

Sycamore Kitchen ATG FINAL

{An afternoon stop on a hot summer day at one of my favorite places…}

Sycamore Kitchen Latte ATG FINAL

{…just to grab my 2nd favorite latte (Blu Jam still makes my favorite).}

Verge Sandals ATG FINAL

{My last summer indulgence.}

Fall Arriving Trees ATG FINAL

{Signs that fall is near.}

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What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”
― Maya Angelou

I’m in the mood for a little sharing of wisdom today. I came across this great quote from Maya Angelou and the moment I read it, it spoke to me. The more I thought about it, the more the words rang true – and not purely from the perspective of building an intimate relationship with someone (which is sound advice), but in every single relationship in our lives (that so-called “friend” that always flakes on you comes to mind). This message, while pertinent to all, is particularly important for us gals – who have a tendency not to honor our worth at times and just take what we can get.

This theme also runs through a great blog post I came across yesterday, Hannah Brencher’s 25 Things Every Woman Needs To Know. She poignantly and humorously touches on this concept throughout her entry and reading her words brought some light to my day. I hope Maya and Hannah’s advice bring a spot of inspiration to yours as well.

Here’s what I’m lovin’ right now…

Blend

  1. 25 Things Every Woman Needs To Know.
  2. A little bold liner, red lips inspiration.
  3. One of my favorite photos of Wendy Nguyen from Wendy’s Look. Simply Breathtaking.
  4. Apple Pie Sandwiches. Recipe from tasteofhome.com.
  5. Essie Nail polish in Bangle Jangle – perfect for fall!
  6. Franco Sarto Celeste Riding Boots.
  7. Light Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Recipe via People.com.