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.}

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Highlights

5 completely random things I learned this week…

Highlights Header

1. Unfortunately, the “best iced latte in America” is overrated.

As evidenced from the image above, you can see that I’ve been up to my ol’ shenanigans again on the latte front. I told you I’d be back after my first visit to Go Get Em Tiger (yes, that’s the coffee bar’s name) to say hello again to the current reining champion of the “best iced latte in America,” to see if perhaps I misjudged my rather uninspired experience a few weeks ago. I didn’t. I was actually even more underwhelmed this time. I ordered the drink just the way it comes: espresso, their famous almond-macadamia milk, and ice. I deduced that it is, in fact, the almond-macadamia milk itself that I don’t care for. What’s interesting is that I’m a lover of all milk types: almond, soy, whole, non-fat….I guess just not when macadamia nuts are involved. So there you have it boys and girls, I’m breaking up with Go Get Em Tiger’s almond-macadamia/best-latte-in-America for good. However, it still wins my heart for having the most creative business name yet.

2. The irony of “Rich Hill.”

As evidenced from the image above (but not exactly clear), I’m in the lobby of the Laemmle Theater in North Hollywood, not only coming to the conclusion noted in #1, but waiting to see what turned out to be an amazing documentary film, Rich Hill. It’s a moving portrait of three young boys and their families as they live day-to-day in Rich Hill, MO – population: 1,393. The irony is that its inhabitants are far from “rich,” monetarily-speaking. The film subtly enters Andrew, Appachey, and Harley’s world sharing the harsh socioeconomic conditions plaguing much of small town America, and how our youth is navigating the journey. I encourage you to see this film. It’s a narrative told so beautifully, so gracefully, it leaves you wanting more. You get to know the boys in such a way that you care about what happens next. This is not a case of it being over once the screen fades to black.

3. Don’t leave fresh produce in the car while waiting in the lobby to see Rich Hill, snapping the image above, as you come to said conclusions about lattes.

Clearly, NOT evidenced from the image above, I stopped at the Larchmont Farmers’ Market to buy my favorite type of lettuce to make salads for the week ahead before heading to the movies. Somehow it seemed completely OK to me to leave lettuce in the car…in 100° weather…while I went and saw a movie. I just love throwing away money, especially, just after watching a documentary about poverty in America. This was a total “what the hell was I thinking?” moment.

Highlights ATG FINAL

4. I’m 3 years behind on the realizing how incredible Beyoncé’s 4 album is.

Sure, I heard the singles released to the public, but after catching Beyoncé’s “Life is But a Dream” documentary on HBO Go earlier this week for the 2nd time, I was enticed to actually listen to the entire album. How did I miss what an incredible record this is? It’s been on repeat all week. Better late, than never I guess.

Highlights FINAL

5. A change of scenery works.

Like most people, I spend HOURS a day on the computer because of my job…and because that’s how society works these days. I also spend much of my free time blogging. That means, I’m on a computer – ALOT. It was an invigoriatiog change of pace to grab my laptop, headphones, and notebook and head over to a local cafe to sit and blog for almost 4 hours on a warm Saturday afternoon. Though I have a nice, comfortable desk set-up at home  (in front of a large window no less), and a coffee machine on my kitchen counter – I found the change of scenery inspiring as I worked on a post for the week ahead. Forgive yet another photo of a latte, but between you and me…it was better than the one above anyway…and half the cost.

I’m looking forward to some me time this weekend. So, I’m taking myself to the Van Gogh exhibit at the LACMA and then I’m off to see a new indie dramedy that should be right up my alley. Admittedly, I’m more excited for the Q&A than the film itself (and p.s. this never happens, I usually don’t care for Q&As and often skip them, but this one features two of my favorites.). I’m SO EXCITED. I’ll fill you in next week.

Happy weekend to you!

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Highlights

my happy place ATG FINAL

{Finally, my toes are in the sand. It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer.}

Between you and me, I’ve had better weeks. Not that anything in particular happened to me personally that should make me say this. There’s just something in the air as of late that seems to be hitting nearly everyone around me, creating this level of….what…exhaustion, perhaps?  Truth be told, I’ve been dragging much of this week myself.  Add in the aftermath of what’s happening in the press and I suppose we’re bound to feel the effects of it.

Though I’m always mindful of being healthy, I tend to slip into patterns where I could be better about taking care of myself. The interesting (and somewhat frustrating) thing is that I feel like I have been taking better care of myself lately. I’m eating balanced meals and cutting back on sugar, which for me means addressing my more recently developed predilection for snacking after dinner. (I haven’t had Hot Tamales in weeks! And yes, this is a big deal.) I also had an invigorating yoga class that didn’t leave me practically disabled because it had been so long since I last practiced that I was sore for 3 days straight. In fact, I can feel myself improving. And with one exception where I stayed up late one night to put the finishing touches on my blog, I usually went bed at a decent time.

I realize there’s always room for improvement, so I’m going to spend some time this weekend focusing on what else I should add to take things up a notch (and if you’re yelling at me in your head right now to get more exercise on the books…I know, I know). Aside from this, I’m thinking I just need a little at home rejuvenation this weekend. It really could be as simple as a day lounging around in my PJs all day, reading books and watching movies.

As we wrap up another week, I’m decidedly going back to the last time I clearly remember being in my happy place. It started on a late Saturday morning last weekend: my notepad, a few magazines, the first Diet Cherry Coke I’d had in ages, chips and guacamole in the cooler, toes in the sand while watching the fog burn off and turn into pure sunshine on the beach in Malibu with my guy. From there, what more could I ask for when meeting new book club gals over brunch the very next day to chat about an engaging read? (Never mind that I’m now somehow juggling two different book clubs!) Oh, and let’s not forget what I think will become my new indulgence (in moderation, of course): crunchy french toast buried under strawberries. Yum!

In other words, after my first trip to the beach this season (and nearly at the end of it at that!); along with a warm Sunday morning brunch with new friends, somehow, it actually started to feel a little bit more like summer, like my happy place…and most certainly the highlights of life lately.

Have a great weekend!

Malibu Setup ATG FINAL

{Our set-up in the fog in a spot away from everyone…note to self: need beach chairs.}

Malibu Beach ATG FINAL

{Enjoying the view once the sun arrived.}

Trees to Brunch ATG FINAL

{Something breathtaking happened when I gazed up through the trees on the way to brunch.}

Crunchy French Toast ATG FINAL

{A great book club discussion and crunchy french toast (they’re dusted in cornflakes!) topped with fresh strawberries from a cafe 5 minutes from my house…this might become a problem.}

 Buddhist Boot Camp FB Quote

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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

ATG FINAL

{Laguna Beach, dusk.}

There’s nothing like a summer night. I was at a wedding last weekend where I stepped outside for a few minutes and saw this incredible view! We were about 2 blocks from the beach. What a sight to see the sun setting over the water. What is it about staring at the ocean and inhaling the gentle breeze that just makes the mind start to wander?

And wander it did.

Truth be told, I’ve been restless lately. I’m taking it as a sign that it’s time for some changes. I suppose it’s life’s way of nudging us forward…or in an entirely new direction altogether. I can pinpoint exactly where this restlessness is coming from. It’s just a matter of making a decision on what to do about it and acting on it. It’s when you don’t, that it seems to seep into just about everything else in your life – or at least that’s my experience with it.

Despite this feeling that’s been following me around lately, it’s been a good week overall. I’m gearing up to co-produce a pretty intense, yet deliciously interesting documentary project, which means the summer is about to get busier!

I also went to my first yoga class in ages this week and boy, have I missed my practice. Even when I’m laying in shavasana thinking about how I can’t wait to get home and eat that aforementioned chicken lasagna (which you’re NOT supposed to be doing if you’re performing the pose right), it still felt so invigorating to be back in a yoga studio, breathing deeply, and doing something completely good for myself. This is what yoga is for me: a space in which I know, without fail, that I am consciously taking the time to take care of and connect with myself. Perhaps as I continue with my practice and think through my restlessness, answers will find their way to me much more gracefully and naturally, than me trying to fight my way toward them.

I’ve been wondering as I write this how others deal when life becomes a little too restless. This seems to be part of a larger cycle in life. And not in a sense where it’s just a day or two here and there, but when you have a feeling that somehow the days just melt into one another. Does a drastic change help? Do smaller alterations make the difference? Is it as simple as adjusting my routine? A new hairstyle? Expanding my circle?

The good news is that in spite of all this, I know that there’s much to be grateful for and always look for that when that wandering mind takes over.

It’ll be another low-key weekend here. And perhaps this is part of the problem now that I think about it. I enjoy quiet weekends as much as anyone. Oftentimes, you need that slower pace to re-charge. But I think my spirit is telling me that that road trip I’ve always wanted to take to the Grand Canyon needs to happen sooner than later. Perhaps my spirit just needs a little more adventure, to stop with all the planning, and get to the business of doing.

Have a nice weekend! I hope it finds you far from restless and taking in these amazing summer nights!

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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