Sweet Butter

Sweet Butter ATG FINAL


Where: Sweet Butter
Location: 13824 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks
Cost: $$


What is it about seeing a line hanging out of a restaurant that instantly makes you feel like you’re missing out? I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but in L.A., anytime you see a group of people congregated outside a dining venue, it’s usually a place you want to be. Aside from word of mouth, it also happens to be the best form of free marketing for an establishment. I cannot tell you how many places I’ve frequented based merely on “line hanging out of the door” advertising. And 9 times out of 10, I can understand the hype. That 1 other time, well

Whenever I find myself driving down Ventura Boulevard on a sunny weekend morning or early afternoon (moon roof open and iPod on shuffle), inevitably, my eye would be drawn to the crowd of people just outside a little yellow building that channels a rustic, welcoming feeling. My eye would then look up and smile at the charming marquee. Sweet Butter. Something in the name just grabs you.

I don’t think there’s anything that I enjoy more than kicking-off a weekend by going out to breakfast. Sadly, it’s not something I get to do as often as I’d like, so I’m particularly picky when choosing a place. I’m all about the food (of course!) but I admit that I’m a sucker for good ambiance. I trust that when my fellow Angelenos feel the need to wait on the sidewalk for a table, it must be for something pretty special. Angelenos don’t typically have the patience to just stand around…especially when you can walk 2 minutes in either direction to find somewhere else to eat.

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{Exterior/The best seats in the house.}

After hitting Yelp to ensure legitimacy, Sweet Butter became the next place to conquer. Though I can appreciate the kind of business that has people so into it that they’re willing to stand on the sidewalk for scrambled eggs, I made it a point to go during their slower time for my inaugural visit. It was a crisp, Friday morning in January around 10:00am, the place practically deserted. In other words, perfect timing.

I was immediately struck by the “homey” feel to Sweet Butter and the use of the space. As you enter through wrought iron gates you’re instantly welcomed by a seating area, doors on either side of it. The one of the left leading to where the magic happens, the kitchen. The one on the right, where you consume and enjoy the magic. It holds the bakery, market, coffee bar, and most importantly, it’s where you order.

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{Positive words and cucumber-infused water to greet you.}

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{Sweet Butter has a charming little market inside, were you can purchase everything from jam to candles.}

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{Perusing the menu. / Checking out the interior shop.}

The menu is diverse enough to cater to anyone’s needs – whether you’re in the mood for breakfast (served all day), a hearty salad, a sandwich or a wrap. The same attention given to the decor, is equally allocated to the ingredients used on the menu. Sweet Butter’s turkey, chicken, and beef are all free-range or grass-feed. They personally make their own salad dressing, spreads, and pastries in-house using the freshest of ingredients, without preservatives. Are you vegan or gluten-intolerant? Heck, do you need a last-minute gift for the foodie in your life? Sweet Butter’s got you covered.

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{Interior. Artisan products for sale.}

Sweet Butter Interiors ATG FINAL

{Coffee bar menu. / Bookshelf full of goodies to purchase.}

Caffeine addicts: I was beyond bummed when I ordered a “vanilla” latte and was told that they don’t make them. (Boo!) The baritsa was quick to try to put a smile on my face and offered their signature “sweet latte” made with simple syrup instead. My frown was instantly turned upside down. She was right. I didn’t miss the subtle sweetness of vanilla, the simple syrup did just the trick – and I’m sure in a much healthier fashion. Admittedly, I’ve been back a handful of times just to stop in and grab a latte to-go.

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{Their sweet latte is to die for. It’s my favorite new place to grab a latte in the Valley.}

I must have passed the wrought iron gates and yellow walls of Sweet Butter on Ventura Boulevard dozens of times over the last few years, always making a mental note that my next girl’s brunch would find me there. Unfortunately, the blessing and the curse of living in a big city with dining options abound, is that it’s slightly overwhelming! I simply never got around to it. I don’t know what it was that made me finally stop being so curious about what was on the other side of the crowded sidewalk. Perhaps it really came down to feeling like I was missing out. And indeed, I was.

Since there are as many cafés in LA as there are out of work actors, I’m looking for what makes an establishment stand out. Of course, a long line of devotees is a good start, but what more does it have to offer? Sweet Butter creates an experience around food. From the quality ingredients, to the welcoming decor; the artisan shop, to the best latte I’d had in a while.

And you know me, if the latte’s right…I’ll be back.

Overview:

PROS: Great ambiance, quaint market, fresh ingredients, well-curated breakfast and lunch menu, staff friendly, vegan and gluten-free options available, pay before you eat (perfect for when you don’t want the hassle of splitting the bill), and online ordering ready for in-store pick-up.

CONS: Parking is difficult (but when is it not?), coffee is pricey (but worth it), the lunch rush and weekends are extremely busy (I waited 45 MINUTES during my second visit to receive my order), and hard to find a table during rush times.

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{Mia’s Breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, blueberry pancakes.}

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Highlights

Laguna Beach_ ATG FINAL2{Laguna Beach, January 2015.}

2015 thus far has been kind to me. I’ve spent the last few weeks tackling little projects that I’d put off for far too long. It’s made all the difference, making the new year feel quite productive. Two big things I’ve crossed off my to-do list: de-cluttering/reorganizing my pantry, and finally backing-up all the data from a former laptop that gave out on me (over a year ago!).

That being said, I encourage you NOT to wait until your pantry gets so out of hand that you didn’t notice food that expired a year ago (yuck!) happily stored on your shelves. I would also encourage you to back-up your computer…regularly. Naturally, this is a pretty “duh!” statement. And yet, I didn’t. If you recall, my laptop of 7 fruitful years broke up with me in the Fall of 2013. Let’s just say that it took until January 2015, to finally haul ass to Fry’s to have them extract the data from it. I can now officially move forward from that relationship, the baggage from it (the kind you actually need) in hand.

Then there are those projects that I thought I’d channel my inner “D.I.Y. Martha Stewart” side that went totally awry, not making me feel the least bit productive. Case and point: I have an old-ish vase that currently holds a bamboo plant in my apartment that needed a little sprucing up. I won’t go into too much detail so as to not completely embarrass myself, but I thought the vase would look amazeballs in metallic gold. I was right. The color was/is gorgeous. However, I should’ve practiced my spray painting skills on something beside the actual vase first. I clearly used way too much paint, that effectively dripped liked crazy and dried as such. Needless to say, Martha Stewart would be extremely disappointed in me. I did everything but spruce the vase up.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a Highlights post and there have been quite a few memorable happenings since we last caught up. Three of which definitely deserve a shout-out:

  1. I finally made it to the Hollywood Costume Exhibition in the old May Co. Building on Wilshire (the same place that hosted the DVF show last year). Movie costumes galore! It couldn’t have been a better way to spend New Year’s Day.
  2. I struck gold when I came upon a new spot for my caffeine fix, that will undoubtedly double as my go-to brunch spot in the Valley, Sweet Butter. As trivial as this “highlight” likely sounds, yes, it makes me giddy. Extremely.
  3. It was my boyfriend and I’s 4-year anniversary last weekend, which found us hanging out in Laguna Beach on a day so perfect it was insane. I highly recommend Nick’s if you ever find yourself hungry in the O.C.

Full posts to come fleshing out both the costume exhibit and Sweet Butter in the coming weeks on the blog. As you know, it’s my happiness in life to explore new places, try new things…and then give my two cents.

Another weekend is upon us. I hope yours is just fabulous.

See you next week! x

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Best of Everything 2014

1-Happy-New-Year

New Year’s Eve, 2014. Where did the time go?

I distinctly remember where I was this very day last year. In bed. Sick. I had caught some sort of horrible stomach virus that literally took months into 2014 to fully recover from. I was so disappointed because my boyfriend and I had made reservations for dinner at a quaint little Italian restaurant that I was beyond excited for. At the time, however, food and I weren’t on speaking terms. He ended up ordering a pizza that I basically watched him eat. What a bummer…and a terrible way to ring in the new year.

I’m determined to get 2015 off on the right foot. Essentially, the plan is to finally get to that dinner reservation, one year later – and I have absolutely no intention of watching him eat. I plan to dig in with the best of them at that quaint little Italian restaurant tonight, but not before heading out to catch, A Most Violent Year, opening today. It’s the last film of the year that I want to see before I officially write my top films of 2014 post, forthcoming. As such, this post won’t go into narrative or feature-length documentary films.

The last day of the year is perfect for reflecting back on where you’ve been and where you’d like to go as the year comes to a close. Today, I want to reflect on where I’ve been with a look back at a little bit of everything that made 2014 memorable. From books I’ve read, to music I’ve rocked out to, to products, and experiences – here are new discoveries, things that stuck, and lessons learned worth mentioning.

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L.A. Discovery: Bottega Louie.
{Perfect for brunch or dinner…and macaroons.}

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Only in L.A. Experience: Broadway Theatre District Walking Tour.

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Thing I Did For Myself: Recommitted to a consistent yoga practice…though admittedly I’m currently on the market for a new studio.


Beauty Find: Mullein & Sparrow’s Facial Detox Kit. It’s giving yourself the spa experience at home, on a budget. I discovered this small Brooklyn-based herbal apothecary just weeks ago and if I could, I’d buy everything! Love them.


New Addition to the Hair Regimen That I Can’t Live Without: Macadamia Healing Oil Spray.


New Addition to the Skincare Regimen That I Can’t Live Without: Clarisonic Mia.

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Indulgence: Iced vanilla lattes from The Sycamore Kitchen (or Hot Tamales).

Sycamore Kitchen Latte ATG FINAL


Accessory: Gosia Meyer’s 14K Gold Filled Initial Necklace.

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Guilty Pleasure: The Wendy Williams Show.


Splurge: Madewell’s Transport Tote in Saddle.


Travel Experience: My Birthday in Ojai.

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Fiction Read: We Are Water by Wally Lamb.


Non-Fiction Read: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche.


Lesson Learned: Be extra cautious when driving down a windy road just after a fresh rain or you’ll lose control and your car will swerve and hit a curb so hard it takes weeks to fix! This isn’t rocket-science but for some reason I still managed to screw up majorly…and it cost me thousands. Ugh.


Gadget: Kindle Paperwhite.

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Blog Post: Journey of a Dress: From Princess to Fashion Legend.

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Tune to Rock Out to: Defeated No More by Disclosure.


Album: It came out a few years ago, but “4” by Beyoncé was in heavy rotation this year after I finally sat down and actually listened to the whole LP. Fantastic.


Discovered Artist: Lana del Rey.


YouTube Video: Taylor Swift’s incredibly contagious “Shake it Off” song synced to the 1988 National Aerobic Championship Opening Number.


TV Addiction: Scandal.


Addition to The Home: Paper Source’s Foil Desk Calendar. It dresses up your desk space with subtle elegance. (2105 is now available!)


Wardrobe Piece: A classic dark washed denim jacket, it’s my go-to year round staple for instant California casual chic.


Image Featured on the Blog: The moment I captured the sunrise over the ocean as I geared up for a long day of shooting in San Francisco.Srunrise ATG FINAL


Memorable Day: Taking myself to the LA Times Festival of Books Fair at USC. It was the perfect day: sunshine, books galore, great music, and the grilled cheese truck responsible for the photo below. Fun fact: it was my most successful blog post of 2014!

Grilled Cheese ATG


Biggest “Ah-ha” Moment: Reading The Daily Love’s beautiful post in the wake of Robin’s Williams untimely passing. As I read it, I had the biggest “ah-ha” moment, and wrote the following post, Words that Gave Me Pause, to share it.


The moment I Saw Growth in Myself: When I got my first parking ticket in years and rather than get upset, I laughed with the universe. Full story here.

Life Lately ATG FINAL


Biggest Blogging Achievement: Completing the 100 Happy Days Challenge. It was a powerful reminder to always look for the beauty in your day and I went strong for 100 consecutive days. Statistics show 70% don’t complete the challenge. I was in the 30% who made it to the finish line!

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Words: This piece of poetry by William Henry Channing.

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Thank you for reading along with me this year. Cheers to a 2015 lived beyond our wildest dreams! x

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Highlights

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I don’t know about you, but right around this time is the beginning of what I think of as “end of the year burn-out.” It’s around the time where you might start to mentally check-out in certain areas of your life. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that the year is winding down, the holidays are gearing up, and people are just ready for a proper breather after 11 months of whatever life happened to throw at them. I’m grateful to be in a position where work pretty much shuts down for the holidays and since I’m not really one to take vacations or extended amounts of time off through-out the year, I tend to wait until the holiday break to tack on some additional vacation days to make it a lengthy one to really decompress.

And the great news is that I’m 4 DAYS away from 3 WEEKS of holiday vacation bliss!

Oh, the fun it will be. After a little road trip and a change of scenery to spend Christmas with my boyfriend’s awesome family (Hi Marilyn!) for a few days in Santa Cruz, it’ll turn into a much-needed LA staycation. I can already see myself sleeping in, making blueberry pancakes for breakfast on a random Tuesday morning, reading books, getting through my never-ending Netflix queue, taking naps (just because), and going to the gym or taking a dance class anytime I feel like it (which I hope will be at least one…or twice). I also foresee a lazy afternoon roaming around a museum to check out a new exhibit and spending a late morning in my favorite cafe working on my blog over french toast.

I’m also desperate to spend some uninterrupted time thinking about how I hope 2015 will shape-up. I realize the trap with New Year’s resolutions, but I can’t help but be excited by the whole “fresh start” aspect when a new year arrives. But, as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s still lots to wrap up before my 3 week break from life (as I’m calling it), but I’ll keep my eyes on the prize.

As I think back over this week, I have to say, it was a good one. A chilly Tuesday night found me at an advanced screening of Chris Rock’s new film, Top Five (a great laugh, but you can wait for Netflix if money is tight) and an even chillier Wednesday night at book club to discuss our December read, Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher (which you can skip). Is it okay to mention that the grilled cheese on sourdough that I ate over our discussion was probably the biggest highlight of the week? Man, sometimes a gal just needs a grilled cheese sandwich to get by. How did I forget this basic staple when needing a little pick me up?

A huge tropical storm is paying LA a visit as you read this, but should clear up on Saturday just in time for the remainder of the weekend. Given that mine broke up with me (for lack of use I’m sure), this would probably be a good time to buy a new umbrella. We might actually have a rainy winter ahead. It’s rained twice already this month…must be a record.

Naturally, the one Friday night I have plans, clear across town no-less, it’s raining cats and dogs, but should be fun. I’m headed to a holiday dinner party with my boyfriend tonight hoping to find similar ecstasy like that grilled cheese, but haven’t a clue what’s for dinner. Otherwise, the weekend will find me uncharacteristically anxious to get through it and then past the next 4 working days….so I can take a break from life. 🙂

Have a lovely weekend! And stay dry. x

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 Image credit: “Christmas Lights at Night” by Thomas Quine used under CC BY.

5 Reasons This Week Will Rock!

5 Reasons LogoHappy (almost) fall! As we gear up for another Monday, the first day of fall tomorrow, and a very busy week ahead, I’m particularly excited about a few things coming down the pipeline. Here are 5 reasons this week will rock…


1. Pumpkin spice everything.

1-New folder (2){Last year’s celebratory salute to all things pumpkin.}

You may have seen the article floating around about how Starbucks’ ever popular Pumpkin Spice Latte apparently has everything in it but actual pumpkin! It certainly is causing a pretty polarizing discussion around its supposed ingredients and its relationship to your health. Some are arguing that the original article is simply shedding light on what’s in our favorite fall beverage with the aim to help you make a more educated decision about what you put in your body, while others are touting that the article that caused a stir (no pun intended) is not “scientifically validated.” Look, I’m not going to get into whether one should or shouldn’t here. To each his own. What I will share is that seeing as how it’s Monday, that I’m going to need a pick me up (and hello, it’s fall!), I’m likely standing in line to grab my very first celebratory Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season as you read this. My motto: everything in moderation. (But yes, nothing probably beats real pumpkin.)

2. More radiant skin arrives in the mail.

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When I learned Birchbox sold the highly-acclaimed and universally loved Clarasonic Mia, I immediately started saving my Birchbox points to join the legion of worshipers. Nine long months of reviewing products (oh, the agony of playing with make-up!) to save up points, along with a sexy $10 off coupon and I finally placed my order over the weekend! I can’t wait to join the Clarasonic family to see what all the fuss is about. It arrives in a few short days. I’ll keep you posted on if this thing is worth the hype, but I already suspect it is. More radiant skin is on the way!

3. Date night with a twist.

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What would typically be another uneventful Wednesday night probably settling in for a solo evening of homemade pasta and my Kindle, has me excited to see the usually more prim and proper Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame) in the well-received new thriller/mystery film, The Guest. Fans of Adam Wingard’s You’re Next, are apparently in for a treat. The Guest is at an uber impressive 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Sometimes a gal just needs her guy, a good thriller, and some sort of sugary candy fix to look forward to. Uneventful Wednesday night plans, cancelled.

4. One more dose of David.

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I’ve spoken much love toward my yoga instructor, David. Needless to say that when he announced he was leaving for Nepal for one month I was selfishly not a happy camper. It’s like discovering national treasure itself when you find an instructor that equally challenges and pushes you, but always makes you feel okay with listening to your body and doing what’s best for you. The good news is that I get one more dose of David in class tonight before he leaves. I plan to take it all in, be present, and get my yoga on with my favorite instructor. Once I’ve had my last dose and roll up my mat tonight in a more calm, focused space, I’ll do the “yogic” thing and wish him well on his travels…but not a minute before. Nepal is very lucky to have him.

5. “It’s handled.”1-Fullscreen capture 9302013 122013 PM

Don’t bother me this Thursday night. I’m unavailable. Scandal is back! Who-hoo! And now that my beloved Kerry Washington has popped, we get more Olivia Pope and less awkward framing and camera work to hide the baby bump. The icing on the cake? I’m super excited to see Viola Davis in the equally anticipated new drama How to Get Away with MurderLet me re-iterate: no phone calls, texts, Facebook comments, Instagram likes, or unexpected visits at my front door this Thursday night… and every other Thursday night until further notice. I’m busy. 🙂

I hope this Monday finds you looking forward to a rockin’ week, too!

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*please follow links for image sources that aren’t mine.

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.

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{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

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{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.}

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

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{The neat-freak’s candy store.}

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{When 104° was a “cool” day.}

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{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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5 Reasons This Week Will Rock!

5 Reasons ATG FINAL Sept 8 2014


Another week boys and girls!

It was insanely hot here in LA this past weekend, with temperatures just over 100°. I was surprised my car didn’t melt before me in protest.  As such, it was quite the surprise to wake to the sounds of a light rain this morning. Not to worry though, today’s high find us at a healthy 87° – looks like we’ll be back on track for another warm summer week ahead. I suppose that the wet morning welcome was a sign that the weather gods know our plight (and our drought situation) and that relief is on the way…someday.

As we make our way through the second week of September, it occurred to me while sitting in traffic (more on that below) that I could use a little perspective boost. I have much to look forward to over the next week and it’s keeping me excited and in a more zen place until the weekend finds us again. (This is essentially how I trick myself into dealing with Mondays.)

Here are 5 reasons this week will rock…


1. I’ll make peace with traffic.

LA and traffic go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s just apart of living here. You learn at a young age (if you’re native like myself) or new in town very quickly to plan ahead, leave early, and make the Google Maps app your friend. I thought I made peace with LA traffic…then September comes. Since I no longer personally deal with a school schedule, nor do I have children of my own to remind me, I always forget that just after Labor Day through mid-November (when I guess the dropout rate peaks and traffic thins out again) that school is in session. It seems the first few months of a new school year completely screw with the balance of “normal” LA traffic (which I have made peace with) and gives you the “I just want to charter a private jet to get to work unbearable traffic” in the mornings (which I have to make peace with again every September). Last week, I’m ashamed to admit that I got to the office more than once already totally annoyed because what takes 25 minutes in “normal” terrible LA traffic, took me an hour in “private jet unbearable traffic!” Not a good way to start a new day. This week, I’ll leave earlier, mentally preparing myself better. I’ll make sure I have a cup of coffee in drink holder and music as loud as I can stand to get me through each morning with a smile on my face. This week will rock because I’m determined to make peace with traffic…again. And pray that November gets here…like now.

2. Yoga works if you work it. It’s worth it.

What is sure to help keep my zen in check is going to my favorite yoga class tonight. Though I’ve been attending this  Hatha Yoga class for about 6 weeks now, I think I’m finally getting back into my yoga groove. I can feel myself improving, growing stronger, and I absolutely love the feeling and the space I’m in when I leave. I adore the instructor, David, a true yogi through and through. He challenges us and pushes us, but has the most gentle way of encouraging us to listen to our body and modifies any pose as-needed without making you feel shameful about it. The ironic thing is that I have to get back into my car and drive some more to get home, but at 9:00pm traffic is never a problem.

3. My lips love me.

I don’t know about you, but this time of year is when my skin starts to rebel against me. Every part of me starts to dry out: my hands, my lips, essentially, any part of me involving skin. I was stoked when I stumbled across Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Tinted Color Lip Balm over the weekend. This stuff is incredible. It’s moisturizing, has a slight shine, and a hint of color. My lips love me right now for thinking of them and not waiting until they’re totally chapped to address the seasonal elephant in the room.

4. The Good Girl.

I started a new read on my Kindle and I can’t put it down. Every minute of free time I have this week will be to see what happens to “The Good Girl” by Mary Kubica. It’s a thriller/mystery novel that has a delicious set-up. I’m only about 30% through – so I can’t say much about its merits. I oftentimes love the build-up when it comes to a good thriller narrative, then become disappointed at the climax (insert: Gone Girl here). I’ll keep you posted.

5. Fireworks / The Hollywood Bowl.

I’m SO looking forward to finally making it to the Hollywood Bowl this weekend just in time to catch a concert before the end of summer. The icing on the cake is that this is the last of the Bowl’s summer series featuring the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra along with a fun tribute this year to The Simpsons 25th Anniversary. A large fireworks spectacular, the whole cast, one of the best orchestras in the world, and a picnic under the stars couldn’t sound more appealing. Look for a full post on that special night to come.

Have an amazing week ahead guys! And if you’re in the LA area, just make peace with the traffic. We’re all in hell right now. 🙂

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 Image Sources: Fireworks: By Thomas Hawk from San Francisco via Wikimedia Commons // Traffic: By Saad Akhtar, both used under CC BY (all others are mine.)