5 Reasons This Week Will Rock!

5 Reasons This Week Will Rock_ATG FINAL

I think a big redeeming quality about the week ahead, is that everyone will feel the undercurrent of l.o.v.e. as we make our way toward Valentine’s Day on Saturday. Hopefully, this means that most people you encounter this week in particular, will be in a pretty chipper mood. Then again, perhaps the undercurrent will feel quite the opposite for those of us who choose to reject the Hallmark holiday altogether and celebrate Single’s Appreciation Day instead (trust me, I’ve been there). I don’t know what the plan for Valentine’s Day is as of writing time, but when I asked my boyfriend what we were doing for V-Day yesterday, he looked at me blankly and said, “I don’t know…bring you flowers?”

I made a deal with myself at the start of the New Year that I would have something to look forward to every single day. Most days find me looking forward to small pleasures: a morning latte, a night solo in with Netflix over a homemade meal, or simply excited to start a new read on my Kindle. It’s made 2015 a great start so far and the perfect excuse to continue with this series, which tends to share the slightly bigger highlights of the coming week, building excitement along with it. Essentially, it was designed to trick myself out of the Monday blues…and it does.

With that, my 5 reasons this week will rock!


1. Girl’s Night Out: I can’t wait to unwind with a classic G.N.O. later this week, hitting the equally classic dinner and a movie circuit. I was simply going to leave it at that, omitting the part about what movie we’ll be seeing so as to not embarrass myself completely. But what the hell! The movie, good or bad, is going to blow the box office out of the water this weekend…and I’m curious. So yes, you’ll find me and a gal pal at the Arclight ready to enter Christian Grey’s red room of pain, a.k.a. Fifty Shades of Grey. I’ll further stand in my truth by adding that yes, I read the book; yes, it was an annihilation of the English language; and yes, I continued reading it despite this. It was a book club selection chosen by one of the members some years ago. I had no idea what it was about when I first started reading it; so let’s just say, it caught me totally off-guard…and was “eye-opening,” for lack of a better word. My expectations for the film are pretty low, but it should be a fun way to kick-off the weekend.


2. Both Sides Now: I’ve seen Love, Actually almost every Christmas in recent years as a tradition to get into the holiday spirit. I was always struck by the scene where Emma Thompson’s character receives a Joni Mitchell CD from her husband as an early Christmas gift. There’s a line where she states that Joni Mitchell “taught her how to feel.” I’ve been on the prowl for something new, and for whatever reason, that line came to me when logging on to Spotify, looking for something to zone out to while I got some work done. Joni Mitchell’s 2000 album, Both Sides Now is my current life soundtrack and will be in heavy rotation this week. Her voice is mesmerizing on this album. It’s not usually what I find myself listening to day-to-day at all, but I guess that’s the funny thing about getting older, your taste evolves.


3. “The Theater” (in my best British accent):  To balance out my slightly more exhibitionist,”overly-romantic?” theater-going experience at the movies, I feel good that I’ll be going to a more traditional theater-going experience to keep my street cred. My boyfriend and I are off to see a friend in her new play. I’m looking forward to the drive out to Pacific Palisades and a matinee performance.


4. “The Woman I Wanted to Be:” I’m in the middle of Landline (Goodreads winner for best fiction novel of 2014). Though I’m enjoying the book, I cannot wait to get through it so that I can get to Diane von Furstenberg’s new memoir, The Woman I Wanted to Be. I’m anxious to hear more about the life of the iconic designer in her own words. I admit, I have a bit of an obsession with DVF since visiting her Journey of  a Dress exhibition last year. I hear she’s led quite the life. Then again, as a princess turned fashion designer, you’d have to. I’ll keep you posted on if it’s worth the read.


5. V-Day: While I got that aforementioned blank stare from my guy when probing about V-Day plans, I know I don’t have anything to worry about. He always makes holidays special, even if it’s just a simple night in with pizza and a movie. I’m not expecting anything over the top, I just look forward to spending the day hanging out together.

 Wishing you a week of l.o.v.e.! x

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Header image credit: “coffee-cups-notes” by r. nial bradshaw used under CC BY 2.0 | Modifications: cropped, text added to original.

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Highlights

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{A thoughtful gift from a friend’s garden brightened a not so awesome week.}

Not to be a complete Negative Natalie, but this week was pretty crappy in general. Do you ever have that experience of things not going quite so well with the brilliant caveat that it’s all happening at the exact same time? Well, it’s been one of those weeks.

Drama, a general lack of energy, busy at work, topped-off by being dead on “E” and needing to get gas in the middle of the night (against all my principles) are some of the culprits. Even better, your debit card not working at said gas station because of possible fraudulent activity so you have to contact the bank because guess what – you don’t have any cash! Really? Now I’m spending even more time in a gas station…at night…alone…against my principles.

Ladies, I know it can’t just be me. Don’t you get that eerie sense that if you don’t keep alert when you’re in a gas station by yourself late at night with creepy guys wandering around (without cars, no less) that if you close your eyes for a second longer than necessary, that someone is going to come up behind you and kidnap you? Perhaps it’s just one too many scary movies for me but I refuse to become a statewide amber alert.

I’m also beginning to wonder just how much yoga plays a part in maintaining balance in your life. It’s been a month now since I’ve practiced, and while I’m not saying that life itself was any better or worse when I was practicing consistently; I am saying that I think I was somehow different, which made me react to circumstances differently.

I’m still trying to figure out what to do about my yoga practice ever since my membership to my amazing yoga studio expired and quite honestly, I’ve been slacking on dealing with it. (I know, I know.) It’s even crossed my mind to just buy a DVD and do it at home, but I don’t think it would be quite the same. There really is a synergy to yoga when you practice with like-minded people and have your favorite instructor come over and adjust your posture. This, among other things, is something I’ve got to look into ASAP.

On a brighter note, I’ve been reading a really great novel for my book club meeting next week that I can’t wait to sit down and discuss with the gals over a glass of wine. If you’re looking for a new read, And the Mountians Echoed by Khaled Hosseini has been a welcome distraction. I’m only about half way through so I can’t vouch for it entirely; but so far, so good. And while I wasn’t expecting much from the new film, Jobs (wait for a rental), it was fun to go to an advanced screening during a busy week to get away from it all for a while. I will say, that while I didn’t really care for the film, Ashton Kutcher pulled off such a complicated character pretty admirably. If anything, it was astounding to see him transform into that character. He looked so much like Steve Jobs from a certain angle at times that you could’ve fooled me.

The great news is that weekends always put things into perspective and you get the chance to start again. I’m really looking forward to a girl’s night tonight. Redbox, sushi take-out, and good conversation are on the way.

Have a nice weekend!

Mixtape Monday // Friday Night Soundtrack

While on my way to the office a few days ago, Lady Gaga and her mantra to “Just Dance” came into rotation on my iPod while cruising down the 405 freeway, moon roof open, enjoying the L.A. sunshine. Instantly, it took me back to Friday nights circa 2007-2009.

I was in my mid-twenties, single, going out with the girls to dance, dance, dance the night away! While it certainly wasn’t every Friday night that I ventured from the west side into Hollywoodland, there was a time when this was how I kicked-off my weekends. There was something about dressing up, having a cocktail, and checking out the hot spots with friends that I just didn’t want to miss out on. I knew it was a time in my life that I should take advantage of and experience it as best as I could (even when I’d rather stay in with take-out and watch a movie) because I knew the older I got – the more things would change. I consider myself a social drinker (I’m too nerdy to be a party girl) so I would only have a drink or two max because that wasn’t my agenda for being out. It was to be around the music, check out the scene, and enjoy being young in one of the greatest cities in the world.

I have fond memories of the first Hollywood club I ever went to, Vanguard on Hollywood Boulevard. Subsequently, I remember the times I visited Ritual that later turned into Halo (that is now called something else), Green Door, and The Highlands among others.  Some nights the music was on point and everyone was having a good time, other nights the music was terrible and I wanted to go home but refused to because I had already paid $20 for parking! 🙂

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{During this period, I also went to Vegas a couple of times for a long weekend or to The O.C. on Saturday nights to hang out with friends there occasionally. I came across this Vegas photo taken at TAO.}

Since then, those nights are far and few in between. I’m still young, don’t have any children or huge responsibilities outside myself, and sometimes I do miss these types of girls night out to blow-off some steam; and mostly, because I L.O.V.E. to dance. Of course, I meet-up with friends for a drink or for dinner, but it’s been some time since I’ve hit Hollywood or Cahuenga Boulevard in search of some fun on a Friday night.

There are certain songs that take you back in time the moment you hear them again after it’s been awhile. For me, hearing that song took me back to a particular night where 4 L.A. girls hit 3 clubs in one night trying to find the right place to “Just Dance.”

In honor of those nights, I’ve curated a short playlist of 12 songs that was the soundtrack of several Friday nights. Where does the time go? Enjoy!


{If you dig it, subscribe to this Spotify playlist here: All That Glitters Mixtape Monday: 03.25.2013}



Girl’s Night Out (in the Shade)

Location: 1221 North Valley Drive, Manhattan Beach

Labor Day weekend officially kicked-off with a much-needed girl’s night out! Thanks to my successful girl night in the night before, I was excited and beyond ready to blow off some steam. I’m always up for trying new places and/or hot spots around LA.The night’s venue at a friend’s suggestion: Zinc Lounge at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach.

I walked into the well-designed ultra blue lit location, looking forward to catching-up with a new circle of friends of mine. In many ways Zinc didn’t disappoint. The drinks were fabulous, the DJ kept us smiling, and as the night progressed the lounge got darker and the music louder. I didn’t order any food, but some of the other girls did and you couldn’t ask for better presentation.  A special highlight? I had my first sub zero martini. It’s a cocktail served in a glass made of ice. I went with the “Honey Money.” Ingredients: ketel one, strawberries, honey syrup, and lemonade. Très sexy!

However, as the night wore on, the DJ lost his touch (and actually played “Sexual Healing” at one point?) and I began to realize that Zinc wouldn’t be somewhere I would frequent very often, but wouldn’t mind meeting a friend for a quick drink or to have dinner. The vibe in Manhattan Beach, as opposed to say, Hollywood, is super relaxed (and I mean relaxed). While many of the ladies brought out the high heels and sexy party dresses, the men looked like they just got back from golfing. Understandably, it was a hotel lounge and Shade caters to a wealthy, older crowd (of which I’m neither). Think “Real Housewives” of (enter any city here). We even had a spotting from a real “Real Housewives” cast member in Adrienne Maloof’s soon to be ex, Dr. Paul Nassif.

Either way, it was a fun night filled with chatting, dancing, and lots of laughter. I even did the running man in heels when the DJ had the audacity to put on “Poison” by Bell, Biv, DeVoe. Hello 1990! It felt great to put on a dress, my favorite purple booties and breakout the more dramatic eyeliner. As always, and regardless of the venue or even the people around you (sun visors, polo shirts and all), it’s about the people you’re with and I couldn’t have asked for better company as we spent a night out in the Shade.