highlights balboa lake

{Lake Balboa at sunset.}

The best thing about this time of year is daylight for a few extra hours after work. There’s something so motivating in that to me. When I leave the office and it’s still bright outside, I’m inspired to be active. Oh, who am I kidding? It also vainly helps that “legs weather:” shorts, dresses, and skirts, start in 3,2,1…

Admittedly, when it’s dark at 5:30pm after a long day, the last thing I want to do is hit the gym. Between that and the holidays (where all you do is eat anyway), I inevitably start slacking on exercise in favor of my couch. I mean, it’s so much more gratifying to head home, wrap yourself in a blanket, and eat dinner in front of the TV, right? Trust me, this train of thought doesn’t give me solace on the nights that I do opt to do this. The point is, no matter how much I try to talk myself out of it, I always feel better after a sweat session.

Fast forward to Monday evening, and on one of the few nights a week I spend alone, and I didn’t want to simply go home and veg. I wanted to be outside, to feel the remnants of a sunny day on my face, be around something beautiful, and just move my body. I got home, quickly threw on a t-shirt, some leggings, and sneakers and out I went. I mean, I didn’t even sit down and have a glass of water. I knew that if I did, it might be hard to get back up.

highlights sneakers

{Sneakers are on!}

Not only did it feel nice to get out and move, breathe in some fresh air (while trying not to choke on all the gnats flying around), but watching the sun set over Lake Balboa (pictured above) was the icing on the cake – and one of the highlights of my week. While I’m a pretty health conscious person, and aim to make the right diet choices (but if you put a french fry in front of me, I’m eating it!), there’s certainly room for improvement. I’m making the choice to use the official change to spring temperatures, the extra daylight, and the vanity of “leg weather” to do better and to be better.

Here are a few more highlights from my week – interestingly food/beverage specific…so I clearly have some work to do! Have an amazing, motivating weekend. Get outside and grab some fresh air if you can! xx

italian soda

{Enjoying my first peach Italian Soda this year, and Essie’s “Watermelon” nail polish.}

spring lunch

{Veggies for lunch + a book outside = a perfect mid-day break.}

shorter hair

{A little hair chop feels good. The selfie in the car (since I hate taking pictures), debatable.}

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”
― Pablo Neruda

Results: The Spring Project

The last day of spring has arrived and I cannot believe how quickly the time passed us by. In retrospect, Spring was kind to me. Afternoons perusing museums, feeling the lightness after a good spring cleaning, celebrating a milestone birthday, and enjoying a final cup of tea at my favorite spot were just a few of the highlights. I’m pretty happy to be leaving the “June gloom” behind and head toward pure summer sunshine. As I look back over my goals to celebrate the freshness of spring, which I cheesily dubbed The Spring Project – I see areas where I excelled and others, well, let’s just say there was room for improvement.

Results: The Spring Project

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closet purge

Goal: Out with the Old, in with New

Result: Pass

Spring cleaning went off without a hitch. My entire apartment got the complete scrub down (and that was a looooong day). I went through my DVD collection and traded in those purchases that at the time sounded good, but I knew I’d never watch again. And my wardrobe got a great sift through and my closets and drawers are now roomy and ready for all the great new purchases to come.


an instagrammed memorable day – manhattan beach, ca

Goal: Be Outdoors

Result: Semi-Fail

This is an admitted semi-fail. I did hit gorgeous Balboa Lake, Manhattan Beach, and strolled many a boulevards on a Saturday afternoon (Rodeo counts even though I was eating ice cream at the time), but I didn’t take one hike the entire season. No bueno. 😦


my first spring bouquet

Goal: Flower Friendly

Result: Pass

I’m happy to report that bright flowers were around me much of the season. I’m a huge believer (if you have the extra funds) to keep fresh flowers around your home when you can. Trader Joe’s is an excellent source to get this scented fix on the cheap. This tradition will continue well into summer!

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off to yoga

Goal: Fitness

Result: Fail

The long and short of it: I’m still really consistent with my yoga practice (and being mindful of my diet) but I’ve been terrible at making time to hit the gym to work on a more solid cardio and weightlifting routine. Something to work on this summer…I know, I know.

Goal: Fruit Inspired Recipes

Result: Fail

Yes, I’ve been eating a lot of fruit. No, I didn’t personally make any of these recipes. Total FAIL.


1. Spring Fruit Pizza

2. Fruit Pizza

3. Strawberry Basil Moscato Lemonade

4. Peanut butter, Strawberries, Bananas and Granola Wrap

5. Sparkling White Peach Sangria

The Spring Project

I love a good project! And it’s extra fun when there’s a focused theme surrounding it to help you get the most out of what you hope to accomplish. For me, there’s nothing more satisfying than making a list and crossing things off as you go. It’s so satisfying, in fact, that sometimes when making a list, I add things that I’ve already completed, just so I can have the feeling of crossing it off. (I can’t be the only person that does this? Bueller?)

You can see my recent holiday themed projects for Halloween and Christmas here and here to give you idea of how much I love goal-oriented ventures.

In celebration of the changing of seasons making its official appearance on Wednesday, The Spring Project is a short list of must-do’s that I’ve created to get the most out of the longer sunshine filled days and the renewing feeling that Spring inevitably brings.

I’ll report back as we make our way toward the heated depths of summer. Here’s to Spring and accomplishing your goals.

The Spring Project



Of course, one of the first things to do is a little spring cleaning. My goal is to finally get into my closet and toss those things that need to go. Next up, to go through my DVD library, pull those “what was I thinking?” purchases and head to Amoeba for a trade-in. Am I EVER going to watch Crossroads again? Yes, I actually own that on DVD, but to my credit I was just a kid college student (in film school, no less!) 🙂



Naturally, the perfect temperatures and near constant L.A. sunshine make for the perfect recipe to spend as much time outdoors as possible. This Spring trips to Lake Balboa, lounging on the beach, hiking in Griffith Park and to the Hollywood Sign are on the agenda during most weekends.



I love flowers, plants, any sort of perennial – and try to have their beauty around me as much as I can. Unfortunately, whenever I cut back on spending – this is one of the first things to go, though it’s something that I am always happy to see when I walk into my apartment or sit at my desk at work. Spring makes me want to see blooming vivid colors and inhale the sweet fragrance of flowers, a must have to enjoy the riches of the season and the one thing that I hope to have more of.



There’s no excuse not to get back into a more consistent workout schedule and now that there’s extra sunshine after work, I’ll be more motivated to hit the gym (rather than the couch). Even more motivating, Spring means dresses and shorts as fashion staples. It’s time to shed those winter developed pounds that can be hidden under a sweater no longer. While I’m a big fan of yoga, I need to incorporate more cardio and weightlifting into the routine.



Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve been curating lots of yummy recipe ideas using fresh fruit. Here are just a few that I want to indulge in on a lazy sunny weekend afternoon.

1. Spring Fruit Pizza

2. Fruit Pizza

3. Strawberry Basil Moscato Lemonade

4. Peanut butter, Strawberries, Bananas and Granola Wrap

5. Sparkling White Peach Sangria

Lake Balboa


Location: 6300 Balboa Boulevard, Van Nuys

A little over a week ago, I took a break from the routine and decided to explore Lake Balboa for the first time. It was a warm, sunny, Friday morning and I was itching to start the day on the right note by getting some exercise outdoors. I desperately wanted to take in a change of scenery after a hectic work week, to breathe in some (not so smog-filled) fresh air, and spend some time alone in a quiet space.

The moment I stepped out of my car and headed toward the 27 acre lake (a beautiful gem located on a massive piece of land in the Sepulveda Basin), I knew I was in for something special. Situated in the San Fernando Valley, Lake Balboa Park (which I later learned was renamed the Anthony C. Beilenson Park) boasts activities galore. From picnic areas, walking/jogging paths, bike rentals, fishing, and boating; to a playground and neighboring trails connected throughout the Basin, it truly is a place to get lost in while the chaos of L.A. surrounds you.

I spent a couple of hours going for a long, but purposeful power-walk around the lake; admiring the blooming cherry blossom trees (until I realized TONS of bees where up there pollinating them and I quickly moved on); listening to the birds; smiling at all the owners walking their dogs; chuckling at a little girl and her mother feeding the ducks (when there’s a clear sign 5 feet away saying NOT to); taking in the beauty around me, only to end my short stay by sitting on a bench thinking “this is the life.”

Happy Monday! Here are just a few photos from that day:



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