Highlights

Highlights Header ATG FINAL{A Saturday well spent at the museum.}

Though it’s still very much summer, I can feel the subtle shift to fall – well, as much of a “fall” as LA can muster. While we’re still about 3 weeks out according to the calendar, I can feel a more gentle breeze in the evenings, my A/C doesn’t need to be on every time I’m home, and those damn flowers are starting to fall off the tree and stick to my freshly washed car that’s just minding its own business in the parking lot at home. I’m not at all getting prepared for a complete change in season anytime soon though. LA typically channels summer until late October into early November (no joke). My boots and scarves will have to collect a bit more dust before I can find a legitimate excuse to break them out.

Until then, I’m more than happy to soak up the rest of summer. My summer bucket list is coming along, but I’m finding that I’m only at about 40% through it. The goal is to knock this up to 60% by the end of the holiday weekend!

Overall, a good week on my end. I spent most of it prepping a film shoot that we’re heading up to San Francisco for later this fall, then unwinding with a more nights than I care to share of “why am I watching this?” reality tv.

The highlights of life since we last caught up involved breaking the rules when it comes to yogurt, spending a relaxing Saturday at the LACMA, and heading over to the Sundance Theater in West Hollywood to check-out Mark Duplass’s new film “The One I Love.”

The One I LOVE ATG FINAL{“The One I Love” at the The Sundance Sunset 5.}

I’m a huge fan of independent cinema. It’s my absolute favorite type of film, behind a well-made feature-length documentary film, of course. I must say, “The One I Love” is…unique. It plays on what is likely to be a trend in relationship-based or genre-specific films, by not falling into one particular category at all. “The One I Love” is part comedy, part drama, and part sci-fi. This hybrid approach breeds a narrative that’s inherently interesting because you can’t quite place where the story is going. In some cases, this works, in others it doesn’t. This is a case where it worked…I think. I’ll admit, it took such an unexpected turn that you’re not entirely sure what actually happened, and it certainly didn’t help that it was left completely open to interpretation. This would be a case where I’d watch the film again with a more critical eye after the first pass to come to a firm conclusion. It’s available on VOD if you’re not in an area where the film is screening at your local cineplex. If you happen to catch it, let me know what you think…and what the hell happened!?!

So, onto the biggest highlight of my week! Let me preface that living in LA makes seeing a celeb around town a dime a dozen and because of the business I’m in and the all of the screenings/events surrounding the industry – there are few people that I actually get giddy over. This is not to brag, it’s just how it is. It’s actually frowned upon to freak out around celebrities when you’re just a “regular” (like myself) working in the biz. However, the big draw for seeing the film was that Mindy Kaling was moderating the Q&A along with Mark Duplass after the film! I would (and did) get a little giddy for her.

I, like almost every other normal 20-30 something gal in America, feel some sort of weird connection to her. It’s like you can actually picture yourself hanging out with her because she seems so authentic, funny, and down to earth. I’ve often stated on the blog pretty emphatically that we’re really BFFs…she just doesn’t know that. 🙂

Unfortunately, my camera died (what is it with me about not keeping my battery charged!?!) so I didn’t get any shots of her (except the exterior marquee and dinner that night), but trust me – it really happened! And p.s. she’s pretty damn cool in person.

harvest salad ATG FINAL{Taking myself to dinner before the screening – the yummiest salad ever from the Veggie Grill. Note the grilled peaches and pecans!}

With that, it seems this weekend will find me working on my summer bucket list some, and giving myself a much-needed mani/pedi. Oh, and I’m really starting to push it and need to tackle my laundry. Since it’s likely everyone will be out and about for Labor Day and not in front of their computers (if they’re smart), I’m not posting on Monday, but can’t wait to catch up with you again on Wednesday.

I look forward to a relaxing holiday weekend ahead. I wish you the same. See you in September! x

Yogurtland ATG FINAL{That time I totally just ate Yogurtland for dinner. Hey, it kills two birds with one stone: dinner & dessert in one! Less guilt.}

Words_ ATG FINAL{A gem I spotted on the walk to grab my Sunday latte. And they say LA is full of negativity.}

Blog Signature Official_FINAL


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Highlights

On combating restlessness…

Since we last caught up, that was something I aimed for as I maneuvered through the week, understanding that when this feeling arises in life, it’s likely a sign from the universe to shake things up, however big or small you choose. And while I began the process of working through a big area in my life by becoming really honest with myself  – I chose to take the smaller, more subtle route, for much of it.

Little tweaks here and there: experimenting with a new make-up technique, listening to new music, subscribing to a new magazine (and only $5 thanks to Groupon!); or taking a conscious moment to enjoy the simplest of pleasures: connecting with other bloggers during an engaging Twitter chat, watching YouTube videos for much-needed life inspiration from my favorite thought-provokers…along with a few of these special moments, started to add up and help combat that unwelcome feeling:

Urth Waffles

{Taking myself to lunch for the first in ages at one of my favorite places. And trust me, waffles help with whatever is going on in life. Immensely.}

1-DSC01307

{Enjoying a bright nail polish after a relaxing at home pedicure.}

FLOWERS

{They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a $4 bouquet of flowers for myself from Trader Joe’s and that’s pretty much the same thing.}

Let all your life out

{Words that spoke to me while visiting  the “Made in LA” exhibition at the Hammer Museum: “Let all your life out.”}

Looking forward to a warm weekend ahead. We’re headed out to my old stomping grounds, The O.C. as you may know, to The Orange County Fair. I promise NOT to overindulge…well, too much. Have a great weekend! xx Blog Signature Official_FINAL


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Highlights

Life Lately ATG FINAL


You know how the moment you mentally pat yourself on the back about something, the universe has a way of having the last laugh?

I was just telling someone not too long ago that it’s been awhile since I’ve had a “brush with the law.” Let me preface this by saying that we’re not talking arrests here, boys and girls. I’m referring to traffic-related incidents of the speeding/parking ticket variety only. I’ve made it a point to be on-top of being an upstanding citizen. I don’t have a record (and plan to keep it that way), but this phrase just sounds so much more deliciously dramatic!

Anywho…

So there I was watching someone get a ticket for what appeared to be a moving violation of some sort and turning and saying, “You know what? I can’t even remember the last ticket I got? It’s been forever, years!” I mentally smiled to myself and moved on about my day.

It’s a near daily thing to see someone get pulled over in LA. Likely for texting while driving, perhaps speeding; but it’s ALL too common to see parking tickets being handed out like free perfume samples in a department store. I mean, if you have ever experienced parking a car in Los Angeles – you have to (HAVE TO) develop a fine-tuned skill set at reading parking signs. And I thought I had mastered that…until last Wednesday night.

After an engaging book club discussion at one of my favorite cafes – I thought I would treat myself to a piece of cake to take home from their bakery. This required standing in line again. I didn’t care. I just pictured myself freshly showered, curled up in bed with a huge slice of cake on my lap, and my Kindle in my hand losing myself in my most recent book once I got home to end a good day.

I know exactly where things went wrong. As I walked away from my car (on the exact same street I’ve parked several times before, no less!) I wasn’t thinking and mis-read the sign. The street becomes permit parking only after 9:00pm. I’m usually done with my book club a few minutes before then, but that night we got into the most fascinating discussion…then I went on a mission for that slice of cake.

As I walked back to my car with my $7.00 slice of blue velvet cake, I recall being happy after some much-needed female bonding time. However, the closer I got to my car, the more something didn’t feel right. And there it was. Bright, white, and glaring at me. A parking ticket.

And you know what? I didn’t get mad at all. In fact, I started laughing.

Naturally, the moment I declared how great I had been at avoiding those infamous parking tickets, a few weeks later, one arrives, breaking my 6 year record. (There really is something to the “Law of Attraction.”)

I looked at the time on the dash when I got into my car: 9:24pm. I looked at the time on the ticket: 9:04pm. I missed it by 20 minutes…because of a frosted covered carb craving.

So I did what any gal had to do. As I drove home, I started to rethink my budget to accommodate this unexpected expense.

Once I updated my records with the new game plan after arriving home, I moved on with my evening as planned. I showered, grabbed my now $75.00 slice of blue velvet cake, read for an hour or so, and went to bed.

The highlight of my week? The universe having the last laugh at me…and me laughing along. 🙂

Aside from this small tale, I’m happy to share that I’m crossing things off my summer bucket list! I found a great new yoga studio and look forward to my first class this weekend.

With that, the weekend will also find me hastily finalizing my look for a beach wedding I’m going to on Saturday evening….and, of course, taking care of that $68.00 parking ticket.

And p.s. – it’s not something I’d make a habit of…but that slice of cake gave me two night’s worth of dessert and was totally worth it!

Happy weekend to you! xx


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Highlights

Day89{Day 89: A Saturday morning walk around Lake Balboa.}

The last full week of June. The first full week of summer.  Day 95 on the 100 Happy Days Challenge. And the icing on the cake? It’s Friday!

I’m glad for it.

Not a bad week on my end. I’m just tired, in need of a real vacation. You know, the kind where you get on an airplane and land in a far away place where you spend the next 3 weeks straight immersed in “otherness.” That “otherness” being pretty much any and everything that take you away from the day-to-day, to really unplug and recharge. I’m a full-blown adult now and I’ve never had an authentic “otherness” vacation. Not something I’m proud of, not something that I hope at all continues, it’s just a fact.

With the introduction of summer, I’ve spent a lot of time this week, thinking about my bucket list. At the start of every season, I like to celebrate by thinking about my personal goals and/or fun-filled activities that I’d like to accomplish by the end of the season. There’s something unique about summer, in particular, that make crafting my bucket list lots of fun. There’s so much going on in LA during the next few months. With the addition of the warmer weather and long sunshine-filled days, the possibilities are endless.

I’m very much looking forward to the 4th of July weekend vastly approaching, though not quite sure what’s in store. I haven’t made plans yet, likely because it crept up on me if I’m at all honest about it. I suppose it’s time to start brainstorming. As long as there are fireworks involved, I’ll be happy.

I just checked my calendar and it’s blank. Who-hoo! No big plans this weekend other than the usual chores and errands.

As cliché as it sounds (because every female alive is guilty of this), I’ve been struggling lately with that “I don’t have anything to wear, I need new clothes!” phenomenon that tends to hit every so often. I feel like I’m constantly recycling the same pieces in my closet and it’s because I’m realizing that I’m missing a few staples (i.e. the perfect black skirt, a more tailored light blazer/jacket for summer, etc.). Essentially, I just need to throw a few new pieces into the mix and that should solve it. The problem is that it’s no secret that while I appreciate fashion as much as the next girl, I HATE shopping and don’t spend tons of money on clothes as many women my age are known to do. My monetary indulgences lean more toward lattes and earrings…oh, and paying bills 🙂

That being said (and even though I hate shopping, especially when you’re trying to find certain items), I’ve been wanting to work new options into rotation and have been meaning to check out this supposed “awesome” thrift store that I heard about in Santa Monica. This might be a good weekend to head over toward the beach and see if I can muster the strength to find that awesome one-of-a-kind new wardrobe item.

Other than that, it’ll probably just be me, a book, my boyfriend, and Netflix for the next 2 days. We’re finally starting the 3rd season of The Killing, just in time to catch the premiere of the 4th season, which starts in August.

I hope your weekend finds you doing something fantastic!

Day87

{Day 87: Still Crushing on Coral.}

Day88

{Day 88: Happiness is gas less than (barely) $4/gallon. I was a youngin’ but I remember when gas was 97¢.}

Day91

{Day 91: That Monday morning I laughed at how over-cluttered/ridiculous my makeup bag has become. Who needs all this?}

Day93

{Day 93: Another day. Another film. Still my favorite place to be.}

Day90

{Day 90: Still Smiling! DeLorean sighting.}


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Highlights

Day70ATGFINAL

{Day 70: Sweet peaches. Hello summer!}

I can’t believe it’s already June, and another week gone by! Where does the time go? I can’t say that this week was too eventful and I’m happy for it. There’s been enough drama as of late. I’d say the highlights of my week came after hours. In particular, making the “crazy” decision to drive down the sunset strip in rush hour traffic to the Sundance Theater to celebrate their new $5 Tuesday movie screenings to see Jim Mickle’s new film, Cold in July. I really liked it. It went on a journey you wouldn’t quite expect. I can’t say I’ve seen too many films that do a good job of mixing thriller-like intensity, with humor (à la Don Johnson…who was fantastic by the way).

Aside from that, I made it a point to head home most nights after a long day, be a loner, and relax solo. I think one of the best things about living alone is getting in, making homemade pasta for dinner (or grabbing Chinese take-out on the way home), vegging on the couch, watching whatever I damn well please. I’ll admit, I have an affinity for watching cheesy movies (I found True Lies on HBO Go one night and had a blast reliving that one!). And sometimes a gal just needs a good Sex and the City fix to unwind after a draining day.

Though summer doesn’t officially join us for another 2 weeks according to the calendar, it’s pretty much here if you ask me. I’ve had the best time devouring sweet fruit (hello peaches!), wearing dresses, rockin’ sandals and bright lips, smiling often as I step out into the temperate LA sunshine. My favorite time of year has arrived and I can’t wait to start planning my summer. I’m especially looking forward to those lazy Saturdays on the beaches of Malibu – followed by a fruity cocktail in a watermelon shell at Paradise Cove. Once I’ve made the trek there in the very near future – I’ll know I’ll be in that summer state of mind. From there, it’s only a matter of time before those 100° plus days make their way and you’ll start hearing me complain about HOT it is…and how my electricity bill has doubled because I run my A/C non-stop.

As far as the weekend goes, I’m undoubtedly most excited to FINALLY start John Green’s The Fault in our Stars. I’ve been on the waiting list for months at the library to download a copy on my Kindle. Though I hear it’s a tough read, it’s supposed to be pretty spectacular.

I made it to the final month of the 100 Happy Days Challenge – 26 more days to go…a  few of my favorite moments posted.

Have a great weekend. xx

Day73ATFINAL

{Day 73: It’s summer. New sandals required. Especially, when on massive clearance!}

Day68ATGFINAL

{Day 68: Yeah, I’m pretty giddy about this. One week until Channing and I get to spend some quality time together. 🙂 }

Day71ATGFINAL

{Day 71: “Cold in July,” in June.}

Day69ATGFINAL

{Day 69: A mini cupcake surprise from my BF. (I’m noticing a pattern of me holding food…hmmm).}


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Highlights

Day65ATGFINAL

{Day 65: Tell everyone.}

As of late, my spirit has been craving a simpler time in life, at least my perception of things associated with a more carefree time in life. Then again, I can’t say I that I was ever the type to be totally carefree now that I think about it. It just wasn’t, nor has it ever been my personality.

I’m sure if I met my 17 year-old self, I’d still have a slew of concerns that all normal teens do that had me carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders, things that might even seem pretty trivial to my now adult self in certain instances.

I envy those to some extent who can channel a completely carefree attitude. But luckily, I still do recall a more simpler time that brings a lighter, happier feeling.

I won’t go into the particulars of what’s sparked this craving, because as I’ve now had a full week to process everything, it’s not about the incident itself so much as the wider context and meaning of it. So, let’s just leave it at:

I had a “set back” happen last week and it was a blow to me on many levels because I just couldn’t get past the whole “why?” and “is the universe just out to get me?” mentality.

Even as I type that last sentence it sounds slightly ridiculous (okay, more than slightly), but if I were to be completely honest with you it’s where I was for DAYS after said “set back.”

Perhaps my not-so-mature initial reaction was due to the building tension from everything that seems to be going on lately, that this was simply the final straw that really set me off. I mean, I was PISSED, then just flat out disappointed. Suffice to say, I immediately called my boyfriend and had a meltdown on the phone with him as I shifted from pissed-om to disappointment, going into what all Oprah fans adoringly know as “the ugly cry.” (Kudos to him for enduring that, by the way.)

Admittedly, this was fueled by the internal dialogue that went on in my head where I kept making the argument to myself that I’m a good person! In other words, I always make a conscious effort to be a good, kind, responsible human being and therefore, felt so cheated that the universe wasn’t rewarding me for that by placing me in said “set back.” Again, I can now see how ridiculous this sounds. The funny thing is that logically you know this, even as it’s happening, but emotion seems to override logic at times – especially when that emotion is so raw and fresh.

As I’ve stood back and taken some time to process things since said “set back”, which while it absolutely STILL SUCKS in my mind, I have to express gratitude that it’s ultimately very minor in the grand scheme of this thing we call life. More specifically, the question “will this matter a year from now?” is the best way to measure how unimportant this truly is. I have much to be grateful for and I need to keep my head to the sky and a smile on my face.

And so, the Highlights of this week came as I found solace during this experience by saturating myself in the nostalgic, wanting to cling to anything that made me feel happy and comforted. Fortuitously, I found it in the most basic of ways. Watching movies from the late 80s and 90s that brought me to a different time, to my younger self made me feel exactly that. Digging out my old CD collection and rockin’ out in the car to music that took me back to my high school and college years for some reason pushed me through and helped give me the distance I needed to really evaluate the situation. (I won’t embarrass myself any further by disclosing what that music was made up of, but let’s just say boy bands were very popular during those years and I just sat and laughed and laughed at how that type of music was considered so “cool” back then.)

The best advice I got from my boyfriend during the middle of that “ugly cry” phone call was when he said something to the effect of : “There isn’t a reason for it. You’re not being punished. Shit happens and the lesson here is just to learn how to deal with it and not destroy yourself in the process.” (He’s a wise guy, that one.)

So, this is what I’m choosing to do.

And I still went strong on the 100 Happy Days Challenge, photos posted as usual.

I’ll end the week with my favorite Dr. Maya Angelou poem that couldn’t be more appropriate right now. In fact, I had this very poem posted on my dorm room wall during my sophomore year of college and would look at it often. I was saddened to hear of her passing a few days ago. What a life to be celebrated as the purest epitome of the type of woman and human being we should all aspire to be. I don’t imagine her ever feeling cheated by the universe during set backs in her life, but welcoming them to push her higher.

Have a great weekend….and keep rising.

Still I Rise

Maya Angelou1928 – 2014

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Day63ATGINAL

{Day #63: Morning coffee and Jennie Garth’s memoir. Talk about returning to the nostalgic. I was a huge 90210 fan…mind you, I was also like 10.}

Day60ATGFINAL

{Day 60: Faux bling on the key chain. Always looking for ways to accessorize.}

Day62ATGFINAL

{Day 62: Breakfast in bed. }

Day64ATGFINAL

{Day 64: I scream, you scream. We all scream for ice cream…sandwiches!}

Highlights

Day59ATGFINAL

{Day 59: Sometimes a girl just needs a Rice Krispies Treat in the sunshine.}

Things are finally starting to settle down in my life a bit and I’m glad for it. I’m over my most recent bout with the common cold, and have been busily crossing things off on my never-ending to-do list with much satisfaction. This month has been one of the most chaotic, exhausting, fun-filled, yet challenging months I’ve had in quite some time. As such, I’m welcoming the long holiday weekend with open arms (and lots of rest).

Tonight, we’re off to see X-Men: Days of Future Past (let us all take a moment and just say, Fassbender!), and will check out the new documentary film, Fed Up, that’s been on my must-see list for a while now at some point before the end of the weekend. I’m also excited about some much-needed girl time with a new friend over brunch. Crunchy Cornflake-encrusted french toast, a large vanilla latte, and lots of girl talk couldn’t sound any better at the moment. Otherwise, I look forward to a rather uneventful Memorial Day Weekend ahead…and that’s a-okay with me.

I won’t be posting this Monday due to the holiday. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming on Wednesday with the scoop on my May Birchbox. Until then, I hope the long weekend treats you and yours very well.

A few of my favorite 100 Happy Days Challenge photos/highlights of life lately for your viewing pleasure.

See you soon! xx

day52ATGFINAL

{Day 52: What LA does best on a clear day. It really doesn’t get any better than this!}

Day55ATGFINAL

{Day 55: Fresh pedi. New rug.}

day53ATG FINAL

{Day 53: Sunflowers as centerpieces. It just works.}