Highlights

make a wish ATG FINAL{Making a wish, hoping it comes true.}

It always seems to take a few days to get back into the swing of things after a long holiday weekend. The moment I find myself steadily back into my weekday routine/mindset (circa yesterday, if I’m honest), it’s slightly comical to me that the weekend is upon us again so soon. No complaints here, it’s just crazy how time works.

The holiday weekend found my boyfriend and I doing some exploring downtown to finally check-out the landmark Grand Central Market and The Last Bookstore, spaces that equally scream history and flair. Although, the highlight had to be when we stumbled upon a true gem in the heart of Los Angeles, The Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens and enjoyed an afternoon at one of the most tranquil places I’ve ever been. If you’ve never sat in a mediation garden, you’re missing out! I’ll elaborate on this experience in a future post.

September is off to a good, but somewhat exhausting start. I can’t seem to maintain a consistent level of energy and I suspect that’s something that a good vacation could help with, but isn’t in the cards any time soon. The busiest time of year for me starts now and won’t let up much until next year. So, I’ll have to find balance in the chaos.

I spent some time this week really thinking about ways to improve my energy levels at home, while also thinking about tweaks I can make now to make it through the more indulgent time of year dead ahead. I’ve been logging all my meals for just over a month now to see where I can improve (and it’s really eye-opening how much unnecessary snacking I had been doing all summer). My issue has never been that I’m an unhealthy eater, because I’m not. What I’ve always known and can now attest to since I’ve been keeping a food log lately, is re-thinking and making better decisions when it comes to portion sizes (and, admittedly, ridding myself of the nasty habit of snacking after dinner while watching TV). To up the ante on my new-found motivation to work on my energy levels and my diet, I also spent some time this week researching food scales (to better gauge portions when cooking at home) and pedometers (because I know I’m not getting my 10,000 steps a day). I think I’ve found the scale and the pedometer I want to add to my experiment and will make my purchases over the weekend. I’ve also committed to making myself go to bed earlier. That one thing alone does wonders! The next step is to start thinking about juicing (something that I’ve been wanting to try) to help get nutrients in a more powerful way to see how my body responds.

Then again, perhaps this is just part of aging and I need to learn to let nature take its course. Ha!

It seems from here on out the rest of year just flies by. Soon enough I’ll be blogging about fall trends, Halloween plans, eating turkey (or usually ham in my case), then trying to budget and figure out that jolly time of year we call Christmas. I can’t believe 2014 is leaving us in just 3 short months.

Until then, I’m soaking up the last of the summer days ahead and look forward to sharing them with you.

Have a great weekend! x

Meditation Garden 2 ATG FINAL{My first time in a meditation garden…clearly feeling very at home.}

Rita's Custard ATG FINAL{Frozen custard from Rita’s in the spirit of Labor Day. No other snacking involved.}

WeHo Walk ATG FINAL{Walking through West Hollywood on a gorgeous Sunday to grab a latte.}

Grand Central Market Exterior ATG FINAL{The Famous Grand Central Market, exterior.}

Grand Central Market Interior ATG FINAL{The Famous Grand Central Market.}

The Last Bookstore ATG FINAL{ The Last Bookstore.}

The Last Book Store ATG FINAL 2

Blog Signature Official_FINAL


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Making Arrangements // Part 2

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Where: Moe’s Flowers

Location: 8101 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood

Floral arrangements make me happy. I’ve been doing well with keeping a pretty consistent presence of fresh flowers around my home to keep the goal of my Spring Project festive and alive. Admission: 99% of the flowers in my home are from Trader Joe’s (you can read about my success with TJ’s flower arrangements here) and I usually don’t spend more than $6.00 or $7.00 ($8.00 max if I’m feeling frisky) for a bouquet at any given time. I’m more than okay with this, especially when I recently learned just how expensive making a hand-picked bouquet of flowers can be. After all, while they do make me happy, they do just die.

One of the cool things that I’ve always wanted to do and that I actually got to do for my birthday last week was custom-design my own bouquet. It was a very sweet surprise from my boyfriend so that I could have them to enjoy during my stay-cation.

We headed over to Moe’s Flowers in West Hollywood and I was in heaven the moment we walked into the shop. The scent drew me in immediately as I saw basket after basket of roses, lilies, peonies, and everything else you could image in many colors for the choosing.

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{Interior – Moe’s.}

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{My pickings.}

There really is an art to making arrangements that in retrospect, I would do differently in the future. While I did think about how the final product would look once I placed everything in a vase, next time I would pay more attention to the art of hand-picking flowers that compliment each other a bit better. Placing a dahlia among some roses wasn’t terrible, but because of how a dahlia sits facing forward, it took some fussing around before I could get it how I liked (which meant splitting my bouquet into 2 different vases). Further, grouping extremely long stemmed larkspur with a full and bushy hydrangea flower is probably something I might also pass on doing in the future as well.

Two interesting things I learned when asking advice of the florist as she assembled my bouquet that I thought I would share with floral lovers alike that I never knew:

1. Flower food doesn’t extend the life of flowers. In fact, she assured me that many professional florists don’t use it! It’s a gimmick.

2. What IS more important to extending the life of flowers is changing the water and re-clipping the stems (at a slanted angle) DAILY, if possible.

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{One of the 2 vases of fresh flowers that I got to look at all week!}

My Milkshake Brings All The Boys To The Yard…

Location: 8910 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood

Week 2 into the Fall season and the L.A. heat wave continues. A few days ago, a great idea came upon my boyfriend and I as we were running some errands in West Hollywood that momentarily (and I mean momentarily!) made me grateful for the heat: a more than justifiable pit stop to Millions of Milkshakes.

{Menu.}

Of course, I’ve been to Millions of Milkshakes before, but this was my first time visiting the original location that opened in 2008. Aside from the loud music (must every L.A. establishment give off the “we’re so hip party vibe” by making you scream your order at the cashier?), the air-conditioning was welcomed and the menu continues to be fun. You can get creative however you choose by customizing a creamy treat to your exact liking, ordering from their popular shakes selection; or if you really want to be creepy and channel your favorite celeb in an intimate way, you can order from the celebrities menu where an A-lister (but most times a total D-lister) has created and endorses their own personal concoction. P.S. I know we are all human and have worth, but why is Ocotomom on this list?

{Toppings, toppings, toppings.}

I went with “The Million Dollar Shake” from the most popular shakes menu, made with Ferrero Rocher chocolates and fresh strawberries. It was too hot to get cute, I’m still reeling from my obsession with mixing chocolates and strawberries together in anything, and I thought the idea of saying “I’ll take a Miley Cyrus to-go” was silly. My guy didn’t follow the leader at all, and went customized – vanilla ice cream with peanut butter M&M’s.

Worth. The. Hype. Now I understand why milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard!

{The Million Dollar Shake, customized vanilla ice-cream with peanut butter M&M’s.}