Thursday, December 30, 2010

Celeb Sightings: Joe Jonas and Ashley Green

Saw Joe Jonas and Ashley Green this morning at The Waffle. I've always wanted to see her in person because she always looks so pretty in the Twilight movies. And I've always been curious about him because, let's face facts, he's pretty cute looking in pictures.
So the truth, I walked right past her and didn't even notice. She just looked like another Hollywood girl. Plus, she was all bundled up and had glasses on. (It was a rare, cold morning in L.A.). Joe and I bumped into each other at the door and it was weird. I was looking at him thinking, "That guys kind of cute. He kind of looks like a more nondescript version of Joe Jonas. Oh wait, it is Joe Jonas." He's shorter than I thought he was. Like, a lot shorter. And way younger looking in person, but still cute.
They ate outside in the sun because they had a dog with them (yes, even in the coldest So Cal mornings you can eat outside), so that's about all I got to observe. The manager of the place went out and talked to them and they chatted for awhile, so I'm guessing they're nice. Too bad I'm not a 13 year old girl. This sighting would have been a lot more exciting.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Goals for 2011


So here they are folks, in a somewhat particular order...
  • Move apartments
  • Get a roommate
  • Get a new job-yup, I'm really putting it out there in the open-that's how much I need a new challenge
  • Decide which church to go to and where to get involved
  • Buy NO magazines and renew NO subscriptions except Entertainment Weekly. EW is my joy on Friday nights after taping. It's a simple pleasure.
  • Workout 4x a week for 20-60 min. each time
  • Somehow, some way give up my TV and internet addiction. Seriously, I come home, turn on the TV and open my laptop and do nothing but go back and forth from checking my e-mail to Facebook to Twitter and back again. Then I play Bejewelled Blitz because I didn't play enough at work. This makes me sound sad.
  • Write 15 min. a day
  • Do something creative for a half hour on nights I'm home.
So those are the goals. The top ones are quite big, important goals and the main focus for the year. The rest are ongoing and things I'm trying to work on and hopefully will not be issues next year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Favorite Time of Year!

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As much as I love Christmas, the days between Christmas and New Year's are my favorite time of the year. I get stuff organized in my apartment and can hang out with friends and set goals for the new year!
Last year I posted the Goal Chart that I really love, but I'm thinking of just making a list this year. Actually, 2 lists-goals I want to achieve and 12 Things to Do in L.A. and hopefully cross off one a month!
I'll be posting those lists in the next few days, but for now, what are your goals for the next year?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So I'll be honest...

I've sucked at writing here lately. I just haven't been able to figure out what to say and I feel that it's all so random, and I keep questioning if that's good. I try to figure out what thing I should hone in on and then I can't decide, get frustrated and write nothing. So, all that to say I'm back and it will continue being random until I can figure out exactly what it is that I really want to talk about all the time! Sorry, for that, but that's just how it is!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Love Holiday Magazines!

My favorite time of year is here for magazines! I love, love, LOVE Thanksgiving and Christmas issues and tend to buy more magazines than normal. Plus, there are all those special "seasonal" publications that I just can't get enough of!

Monday, October 4, 2010

So much to talk about!

Hmm... where to begin? Last week in Minneapolis was great! Tried a great restaurant called 112 Eatery and it was AMAHZING! Plus, they had a fois gras and pork belly salad for $15!!! This is absolutely unheard of in L.A. And I had the best pork I've ever eaten. It came with a cherry wine reduction that was basically having the fall season on a plate!

On Friday I saw "The Social Network" which I died over. I was soo excited to go see this movie and it did not disappoint. I love seeing how companies come together and this is a fascinating tale. I will say I'm not much of a Mark Zuckerberg fan now, but the whole creation of the company was a mess. I promise though I'll say no more. I don't want to ruin it for you.

And today starts Dine L.A. week which is just fabulous for a foodie like me. Most major cities have these throughout the year. Major restaurants in town have prix fixe meals that cost between $24 and $44 so you can try some great restaurants for a much cheaper price. Tonight some coworkers and I are trying a new latin fusion restaurant called Zengo. I should be able to post a review and photos tomorrow. In the coming weeks I'll also be hitting up Gordon Ramsay at The London and possibly Jar.

Whew, that's a lot right there. There's some other things I've been thinking about, but I can write more later. That's it for now!

Oh, and check out Mingle Mondays over at Life of Meg!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Baby Card

Look at the cute card I made my friends for the birth of their new baby! I thought it was cute! The pic came out a little over-exposed, but you get the idea!

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Carry-On Necessities

Hello Mingle Monday-ers! So glad you came to visit! Since I travel all the time I have certain items that are must-haves for the plane. I thought you might care for them too so here they are in no particular order:
  • Noise-cancelling headphones-they have to be the cushioned kind that muffle your ear-not just the in-ear buds.
  • Nintendo DS-I could play for hours and this tends to be the only time I really play it. Sure, it makes me look like I'm 12, but at least I'm not bored during the flight like others.
  • Magazines-only for take off and landing. I rarely read books on the plane. I just can't seem to get into them, but magazines are great for when I can't turn on anything electronic
  • iPod-I'm still not bringing my new one with me this trip since there still aren't protective cases, but my old-school video ipod filled with TV shows always kills time.
  • Purell-do I even need to explain this one?
  • Clorox wipes-after the whole swine flu outbreak last year I actually have started wiping down my seat. I'm not a germaphobe at all, but I don't want the flu and I watched a stupid Dr. Oz episode that scared me into doing this.
  • A quart sized bag with lip balm, UNSCENTED hand lotion, and nasal spray-planes are freaking dry so I moisturize everything throughout. And seriously, don't bring your scented lotions on the plane. Just because you like that smell doesn't mean the 12 people around you will
  • My Coach Boston bag. It's a statement piece. It holds everything perfectly. And it makes anything I'm wearing look chic. They don't make it the same anymore so I'm glad I bought it when I did.

So, what can you not travel without?

Headed to Minneapolis Tomorrow


Headed to Minneapolis tomorrow. My big plans include working out at the gym and watching "Glee" in my hotel room! I'll go exploring after work the next day. There are supposed to be some great restaurants out there and I am staying downtown so I'm sure I'll find something to do. I hit the Mall of America last time I went, so that's been done. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to let me know!

Weekend Recap

Well, this was a waste of a weekend. There. I said it. I was sick Saturday so my breakfast plans had to be cancelled. Boo. Then Sunday there was church which was great and at night I had dinner with friends, then saw "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps." Well let me tell you, money may never sleep, but that movie could put me to sleep in a heartbeat. Too long, too many plot points, and too confusing. Don't waste your money!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A bleh day

I'm having an eh day. I don't feel well and am just tired. Honestly, I'd love to go home and just lay on the couch and curl up in a ball but that's not possible. The only other thing that feels like it could cheer me up is shopping. When I feel blah shopping just sounds so good! Like if I buy bath salts the whole world will be better. I'm witholding since I know it won't really make me feel better and my wallet will take a hit as well. Still, I need to do something to feel better. I think I might do some yoga when I get home. I don't think I stretched enough after my workout yesterday and that's part of the achy feeling today. But after that I will curl into a ball and watch TV. I just need one night that's really restful.

What do you do when you need a break?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays: Major FAIL!

So, I got home from work and was all ready to make my Tasty Tuesday recipe for the week, but when I was done, it sucked. It was supposed to be Lemon Curry Roast Chicken, but it was't curry enough and the lemon taste was too dessert-y because of the tang. It wasn't sweet. It was tangy like lemon curd with some spice at the end. Bleh. It just wasn't edible. I ended up throwing the rest away after I ate one serving for dinner (and barely getting it down.) I'm thinking of writing Tyler Florence and letting him know his chicken was nowhere near ultimate.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Colorful Bowls


I love colorful bowls! I have two different sets of nesting mixing bowls that get used for so much more than mixing. Displaying fruits and veggies is pretty much the thing they do most. I'll even put hard boiled eggs in the bowl and keep it in the fridge and I honestly think it brightens up my fridge. There's just an openness to it that I enjoy for some reason.

The limes, onions, and clementines above are currently sitting in the middle of my dining room table and add a nice pop of color. Plus, since everything is open and accessible it makes me reach for fruit more and actually USE the vegetables I have in my apartment. So basically I'm suggesting you all get some colorful bowls and add some fun whimsy to your kitchen!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Goal for the Week

So, I live alone which means when I come home I just kind of drop everything in the middle of my living room floor, and when I cook, the dishes sit until the next morning when I clean them. In a few months I plan on getting a new apartment and a roommate in order to save some cash, which means I can no longer drop my clothes in the middle of the floor or leave the dishes until the next morning. So this is my goal for the week, to try and keep things neat and orderly all week long and clean up after myself. Basically, I'm going to pretend that I have a roommate so I can start the good habits now!
In all honesty, I'm a little stressed about the prospect of a roommate. I haven't had the best track record in the past, so I'm a little scared for the future. That's why I figure I should start practicing these sorts of things now. Then I'm not shell-shocked when we move in.

What about you? Do you have a roommate? Do you get along? What sort of things did you have to work out?

Weekend Recap

This weekend I...
  • saw "The Town" with friends and then had coffee after which was fun. The movie was good, but not as amazing as I thought it would be. Plus, it was great to get the whole group of friends together. It very seldom happens that a whole group of us can hang out so that was nice.
  • took naps all day and did pretty much nothing on Saturday. Tried out apps on my new iPhone including the Hipstamatic camera.(pics coming soon!)
  • I now have a major obsession with the Doodle Jump game and literally had to walk away from the iPod
  • planned my menu for the week and hope I will actually stick to it!
  • met a friend for dinner at The Counter and am now sitting at Panera
This sounds like it could be one of the most boring weekends on record, but honestly, it has been fantastic. I got to relax and chill, yet got some stuff done like sorting laundry and buying groceries. All in all, the perfect balance for starting my week.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oh exercise

So it's been about a month now that I've been exercising regularly, and I gotta be honest, I'm exhausted! Still I know it's good for me and I think it's starting to pay off. Plus, tomorrow I'm trying Zumba and I hear it's super-fun! Plus, it's supposed to burn a ton of calories! Yippee, 'cause I'm eating wings for dinner tomorrow night. Epitome of health here folks. Anyway, what do you do to work out? Do you work out regularly or just when you feel like it? And whoever "feels like it"?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: A Mingle Monday Crossover!

In honor of Mingle Mondays from Life of Meg, I'm giving you two recipes! The first is a recipe from one of the sites I "mingled" with! Sweet Pea Kitchen actually just posted one of my favorite recipes; Skinny Girl Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have actually made these cookies numerous times and they are one of my FAVORITES! They are dense and kind of a cross-breed between a cookie and cake texture which is fine by me! Go ahead and check out the recipe on the Sweet Pea site here!

As for my own recipe for the week I bring you Butternut Squash Tomato Gratin! This is a great recipe from the cookbook "What Can I Bring?" and I think it's a nice blend of summer and fall!

Serves 12

Ingredients:

1 -2 medium butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (14 ounce) cans diced canned tomatoes (plain or with basil, oregano)
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Prep Time: 30 mins Total Time: 1 1/4 hr

Directions:
1 Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
2 Using a sharp knife, trim off and discard the ends of the squash, then slice it in half lengthwise.
3 Scoop out the seeds and discard them.
4 Place the squash halves, cut side up, in a microwave oven, cover them with waxed paper and cook on high until soft, yet still firm enough to cut into cubes, about 8 minutes.
5 Place the squash on a large cutting board and let cool until you can handle it, then peel and cut into 1-inch cubes.
6 Place the squash in a 13 X 9 inch dish, drizzle the olive oil on it, then scatter the tomatoes, followed by the cheese evenly on top.
7 Bake until the cheese melts and squash and tomatoes are heated through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

To simplify it I bought a couple bags of the already cut butternut squash that you can find over by the bagged salads in the produce section. So basically, with the exception of grating cheese (which is SO hard to do), you basically dump the squash in a baking dish, drizzle olive oil, pour tomatos on top, then sprinkle cheese. Into the oven it goes! It tastes great and makes your kitchen smell wonderful as well! Bon appetit!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Top 2 Tuesdays

Top 2 Things to Accomplish by the End of the Year

1. Lose 10 pounds and not gain it back during the holidays! Really, it's going to happen this year. I'm working out and counting calories and everything!

2. Finish the application for becoming a bone marrow donor. I started the process way back in January and then never finished it. It was a goal set out for the year and I need to do it.

No iPod photos for awhile...

unless they're shot inside my apartment. Turns out no cases have been made for my brand new iPod and after all the disaster stories I've heard of people smashing theirs by accidentally dropping it, I'm not taking ANY chances! So, unless I want to shoot something inside my place I won't be using it for blogging for a little while longer. Until then I'm just going to add apps galore!

Creative Ways to Make Money Without Working

Hi all! Since it's now fall it's time for me to start budgeting for Christmas gifts. Of course in a few months there will be plenty of deals in stores to help me get everything at a great price, but for now I'm trying to use some creative ways to score gifts! Here are my top 3!
1) Sell your clothes at Crossroads Trading Company or Buffalo Exchange
Some of you may have tried this before and it can feel like major rejection when you bring in four bags and they take two items, BUT if you start paying attention to what they are looking for you can do really well. Some main tips:
  • Only bring what's in season. Your summer dresses are not selling at the moment. Your blazer that your sick of from last fall will most likely sell.
  • Bring what you are seeing in magazines. If it's super trendy they will buy it. If it's a "classic" they probably won't unless it's a high-end designer. They wouldn't buy my J.Crew cords because they were bootcut, but if they had been skinny they would have taken them!
  • Forget your basics. Your old plain t-shirts and sweaters are not going to sell. Those are meant for Goodwill. They want items with details that are current.
  • Look at their websites or in store to see what they are looking for. They normally have poster boards with pics of what they are accepting.
  • Don't forget shoes and purses! I don't have a lot of "label clothes", but I love me a designer bag so when I'm through with them I take them to Crossroads and they always sell.
  • If it doesn't sell at one, GO TO ANOTHER! I live in L.A. where there are multiple locations of these stores. They all buy based on their individual store and they are pretty good about telling you why they won't buy your stuff. Sometimes it's simply because they have too many dresses, or coats, etc. But the one in the next town over might be very interested in the eight jackets you are trying to get rid of!

2) Coinstar

I have tons of change that I keep all year long and then turn into a Coinstar machine. If you choose the gift certificate option they don't take out that astronomical percentage. I tend to buy lots of Christmas gifts on amazon.com, so why not use my change to buy those gifts? Apple is another gift certificate you can get through Coinstar.

*One note-the machine simply prints you a "gift code" with your total, so only use this option to buy other gifts. Don't think you can simply print out a gift certificate to give to someone else!

3) Using the gym at work

Okay, this is a weird one, BUT... at my gym at work you can log your cardio minutes and at so many minutes you get a $25 gift card to the company store, at another so many you get a $5o gift card, etc. etc. Now obviously it helps that my company store sells loads of DVDs and Blu-Ray movies, but look into discounts at your workplace. You never know what incentives you might find! So now I'm not only burning calories, but earning money at the same time!

My iPod Touch is here! My iPod Touch is here!

Yay! Finally I will have a camera with me at all times and this blog will get more of the pics it needs! Hurray! Now, I just have to figure out how to use it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

OMG I'm in love!....

with the new MAC holiday collection!
Apparently this is all very preliminary, but it looks like it's definitely a Tartan Christmas at MAC! I love plaid so much I don't care what colors are inside! This is only half of the collection I've seen. You can view the rest here at Temptalia. The collection is supposed to be available in August!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New iTouch looks amazing!!!

Photo courtesy of apple.com
Has anyone else checked out the new iTouch? I'm running to the Apple store tonight to see which memory size I should get, but I'm definitely getting one!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: BEST PASTA EVER

I'm sorry I don't have pictures, but just trust me that this pasta is pretty and DELICIOUS!

B.P.E. (Best Pasta Ever) -my own recipe
Serves 1

1 cup uncooked TJ's Brown Rice Penne Pasta
2 slices prosciutto-chopped into small pieces
1-2 Tbs. butter
1/4 white onion chopped
1 clove garlic chopped ( I use the frozen pre-minced kind at TJ's)
Grated Parmesan-to your liking ( I use about 4 tbs. to make this into a sort of garlicky mac and cheese)

Okay, this recipe is by no means healthy, but it is delicious!!! Yum! Yum! Yum! Eat it when you want to indulge!

Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10 min. This seems to be the perfect temp for brown rice pasta.

Let the onion sweat over medium heat in a saute pan. After a min. add the prosciutto so it can start to crisp up.

Add the butter and garlic and keep over medium heat until the onion start to brown slightly.

Drain the pasta and pour the whole butter/onion mixture on top. Add the parmesan and stir to create the best gooey, garlicky pasta ever!

I now make this about once a week! And I should probably start eating salads on the days I decide to have this for dinner.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays: Steak Involtini


In an effort to actually use my cookbooks and learn how to cook (one of my goals for the year), I've decided to implement Tasty Tuesdays. I'll post a new recipe that I tried to make each week and what my finished product looked like.
First up, Giade de Laurentis' Steak Involtini (recipe courtesy of foodnetwork.com)


Ingredients

Breading:

  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Filling:

  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (8-ounce) London broil steaks, trimmed and pounded 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • Special equipment: 4 (4-inch) skewers

Directions

For the breading: In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

For the filling: In a large bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of Parmesan, mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup olive oil, basil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cut the steaks in half crosswise and place on a work surface. Spread the mixture evenly over the steaks. Roll up the steaks and secure with skewers.

In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil over medium heat. Roll the steaks in the bread crumb mixture until coated and add to the skillet. Cook the steaks until brown on all sides, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the marinara sauce to the pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer, turning occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes for medium-well.

Remove the skewers, place the steaks on a cutting board and slice thinly. Arrange the steak slices on plates and serve with the marinara sauce.

So here's what I did differently:

  • Nixed the breadcrumbs since I'm not supposed to have bread and just rubbed the whole thing in parmesan.
  • I used a really big flank steak because I couldn't find London Broil. I sliced it in half (and my finger with it) and after getting a band-aid, I stuffed the whole thing with the filling and rolled it up. Since it was so big it looked like this:
  • So after browning all of it I realized the middle was never going to cook all the way through. I took the whole thing out and put it all in my pretty Le Creuset pan and sliced it.
  • Then I heated my oven to 400 degrees and put it all in for 20 min.
  • It came out looking like this:
  • It's not the prettiest thing to look at, but it is darn tasty! Nice mellow tomato flavor and yummy parmesan and garlic-y taste as well. Plus, I was able to make 6 servings out of it. Serve with a side of Trader Joe's Balsamic Butter Veggies and it would be a delicious meal!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Yummy Basil Dip on Glamour

Just discovered Glamour magazine has a whole set of blog posts dedicated to Afternoon Snacks! Look at their latest here!

Thought I would give you the pic to show you a taste!
0816-basil-dip_vg.jpg
Picture courtesy of Glamour.com

Top 40 Martha Stewart Good Things!

It's like the best, of the best, of the best of Martha Stewart! Her 40 favorite "good things" and while there are a couple of snoozes in there, overall its a great list!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hanging out in groups

Recently a post was published on the Boundless blog about the issues that now come with hanging out in mixed groups. I myself have had conversations with a number of friends about the problems that come from hanging out in groups. Does anyone really need to date anymore when they're getting the attention they desire from not just one, but a number of people? But if you don't hang out in groups you miss out on all the fun and are sitting at home by yourself. Plus, that guy you like isn't going to be missing you because, as already stated, he has plenty other girls vying for his attention.
I honestly have no idea what the answer is to this. I just kind of find it sad that this is the turn our culture has taken.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Calling

I've been thinking all week about the idea of having a "calling". I think this is something I've always been somewhat obsessed with but maybe just never used the actual word "calling". I will say I've known for a long time that I was called to work in entertainment, but I do sometimes wonder if callings can change. Like can you have multiple callings for different times in your life?
An article was written for Boundless Webzine and it was called "Career vs. Calling" (their site is down right now so I can't link to it, but I'll update it later). In the article the author states, "The call of God is both universal and personal. He desires an intimate relationship with all of his creation-a universal longing that none would perish. Yet, when you heed that call, there is a deeper plan to discover-a specific assignment only you can complete; 'The Lord has assigned to each his task(1 Cor. 3:5)."
I love the idea that God has a plan specifically designed for me. I think the thing that gets me is that a calling should be one specific thing and if you aren't doing that thing then you are in the wrong. Does that make sense? Like you're missing out because you aren't doing what you are destined to do.
The article discussed how so many college students simply seek out a career and not a calling. He then walks through how to find your calling. This is something I think I'm really going to explore and seek in the next year. It was interesting timing since I was already thinking of exploring some new options in a couple of months and I kind of have a plan in place, this goes right along with it.
So what about you? Do you know your calling? How was it made clear to you? If not, have you even tried to find your calling? I'd love to know!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yogurtland

How did I follow up my trip to get my teeth cleaned? By going to Yogurtland of course! And... they now have Root Beer Float yogurt and it is DELICIOUS! I'm seriously in heaven. Except they need to get rid of the cookie dough topping because I just keep eating it and can't stop! I honestly need to just get my float yogurt and keep on walking! But still, I love the whole concept of Yogurtland. I mean, c'mon they started in Fullerton! So, is it time to head out and get dessert?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Chicago

For anyone headed to Chicago anytime soon, these are my favorite things...

Magnificent Mile
Yes, its basically just a bunch of stores, but it’s a pretty street and much is located off of it, so I’m suggesting you see it. In fact, most of what I will reference is nearby.

Giordano’s Pizza
GO! There is no questioning. Do not listen to those who say Uno, or Gino’s, or any of the other deep dish establishments is better. They are not. I have done taste tests. This is THE best, quintessentially Chicago deep dish pizza. Their thin crust is actually good too, but get the deep dish. We have no deep dish in L.A. that is like this. I they have many locations but I suggest this one:RUSH STREET(312) 951-0747730 N RUSH ST.www.giordanos.com

Garret’s Popcorn
If you feel like a snack I recommend Garrett’s. They make this amazing combo of cheddar and caramel popcorn which sounds disgusting, but is phenomenal. Even there plain, buttered is good. Oh, and they’ll let you sample before you make a decision.Neighborhood: The Loop4 E Madison St(between Holden Ct & State St) Chicago, IL 60602(312) 263-1108www.garrettpopcorn.com

As for things to do, I love the Art Institute. I highly recommend it. It’s honestly one of my favorites. And look at their schedule because I think one night a week it’s free; although I paid and it was totally worth it.

Also, the John Hancock building. Oh and here’s my cheap-o tip. Don’t pay for the trip to the top, just go to the lounge that’s one floor beneath it and order a drink. That’s what we did. And use the women’s restroom. It’s ridiculous because it next to the gigantic windows. We went and came out and were freaking (especially me with the fear of heights, who had purposely avoided being close to the edge all night long) and we thought it was just us who thought it was strange. I come home and tell my friend Adam I went to the Hancock Building and he goes, “Did you go in the women’s bathroom?” Then I read in Real Simple magazine that they suggest exactly what we did (going to the lounge instead of paying to go to the top) and they too say, “Make sure to check out the women’s restroom.” So, check out the women’s restroom.

Lastly, my hotel there, The Palmer House, has the most amazing lobby I’ve ever seen. Seriously, not even going to describe it. Google if you wish, but if you need a place to just rest for awhile, go to The Palmer House and sit in the lobby. They also do tea in the afternoons, and I want to say it’s close to the Art Institute.

Boston

I was in Boston a year ago and am TOTALLY craving it right now. Here are my favs:

Stephanie’s on Newbury Street
Newbury Street in general is just fun to walk up and down, but Stephanie’s is THE lunch place. Really nice outdoor seating. Great lobster roll. Ignore the Euro-Trash and know that the service can be slightly slow.www.stephaniesonnewbury.com

Flour Bakery
Known for their Sticky Buns. The owner beat Bobby Flay in a “throwdown” with it. I’ve had it and it is really good. Everything at the bakery looked good, but that’s the only thing I tried.http://www.flourbakery.com/

Beacon Hill
This is the really nice part of Boston. Kind of their Beverly Hills. Really pretty brownstones and cobblestone streets. It looks very much like what you expect Boston to look like. Charles St. is the main street in this area and has great restaurants. I ate at Todd English's restaurant Figs. It was good, but there are so many great looking spots on the street you could probably go anywhere and it would be good. But, I say just walk the street if nothing else. It’s just really pretty. Cool market on the corner too.

Boston Commons
It’s their Central Park if you will. If you walk Newbury St. you end at the garden side of the Commons and it’s really pretty. And they have a pond with those cheesy swan boats. PLEASE take a ride in one of those cheesy swan boats! Send me a picture!

Other tips
The airport is anywhere from 10-30 min. from the city depending on what part of the city you are entering at. Oh, and there is NO SALES TAX on clothes. They count them a necessity. They really are smarter in Boston.

New York

So I posted a bunch of travel guides on my other blog, but decided it was time to move them here. We start with New York:

So I could actually write a whole blog on just New York, but here are some of my favorites and some things I am looking forward to doing next time. There will be many more New York recommendations to follow...

Risotteria
Gluten-free and you’d never know. Their ceasar salad has a dressing so amazing that we asked if we could buy it. Plus, its on a great section of Bleeker and up the side street are a bunch of other amazing restaurants. Look up their address just so you can be in an awesome section of town if nothing else. But seriously, the salad and the gluten-free breadsticks are amazing!http://www.risotteria.com/

Magnolia Bakery
Yes, yes, I’m sure you’ve been. I will say they have now opened multiple locations and the new one by Rockefeller Center is great. I now get the Banana Pudding. It’s better than any cupcake. Seriously. I loved it so much I went back the day we left to order it just one more time.
Northern Central ParkOkay, I didn’t do this, but I think you should. At the top of Central Park there is this beautiful garden I never knew existed. I saw it in a book when we were there last time and I was sad it was just too late in the day to trek it up there. It looks gorgeous! Go and tell me how fabulous it is!

John’s Pizza
I still say this is the best pizza in NY. And though the Bleecker location is the original, I still think the 44th St. location is the better one. Great architecture and right in the heart of all the theaters.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Take a Risk

Do you take risks? I'm not a very brave person-definitely not one who would be called a "risk-taker", but I'm trying to change that. Actually, it's been a year and a half process so far of learning to put myself out there. There are certain things though that I probably will never risk, simply because I have no desire to do them. Like sky diving. People think sky diving is risky and it is, but I have a major fear of heights and no desire to sky dive. Why risk it?
To me taking risks is more about putting yourself out there in a way you've always wanted to, but never thought you could. Like Improv. I'm currently in my second session of improv classes and every week it is scary to me. I'm a girl who loves a plan. I like to know what's coming. Now the only thing I know on Sundays is that I have no clue what will happen during the 3 1/2 hours I'm in that room. It's scary as all get out. I'm intimidated and have to give myself a pep talk every week that I will suck and to just face it. But then, most days you get at least one good laugh. And that sticks. You hold onto it dearly and it feeds the hunger for more. Even now, 6 hours after class ended, I would love to be in that room again trying more 185 jokes.
I think that's the great thing about risk, no matter what I find it rewarding. If it pays off it is a much greater feeling of reward than something you didn't have to try at. And if you fail at the risk, well, at least you were brave enough to try.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My Broadway Revue

Yes, this is something I actually think about. If I had a cabaret show, what would I sing? Well first off, if I sang everything I wanted to it would go on for 3 hours. But hmmm…. There are certain songs I would definitely sing. Here they are (I know you care):

  1. “New Philosophy” from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown–not the most beautiful, but great character piece.
  2. “Don’t Tell Mama” from Cabaret-umm, once again a great character number and it’s Cabaret. Get it?
  3. “Home” from Beauty and the Beast-this was the first song I ever imagined singing on stage. In 8th grade all I wanted to do was be Belle on Broadway
  4. “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera –it was the first song I challenged myself to sing when I took voice lessons in high school. It feels like it’s my roots in some sort of way.
  5. Ragtime, Ragtime, Ragtime-most likely “Your Daddy’s Son” because frankly, I’m not black and will never get to play the role. (Yeah, ‘cause that’s what’s stopping me) Oh, and also “Our Children” and Josh Groban can sing the male part. You know, because we’re friends.
  6. “Don’t” from Martin Guerre-Josh will have to stay out on stage and sing this with me was well. It’s one of the most beautiful songs ever from the most underrated musical. Plus it’s a double entendre, which is fun.
  7. There has to be something from Rent because frankly it would just not be me if there wasn’t one song, but honestly there are very few songs in it that would be appropriate for just one person, and I can’t make Josh come onstage again. That would be too much.
  8. “On My Own” from Les Mis. Yes, it’s been done a lot, but who doesn’t want to sing this song?
  9. “I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls. Because I can.

There is definitely more, but I’m stopping there. Seriously, I’m going to go to bed tonight and think of ten more. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if one day I actually got to do this? Aren’t you intrigued to hear it now?

Does Age Matter?

I had breakfast with a group of girls this morning and one girl just started dating a guy many years younger than her. We started discussing what everyone thought of dating a much younger guy. My personal opinion has completely changed over the last few years. I used to always assume I'd date and marry someone older, and would NEVER even consider dating someone younger. Now though, my joke has been I'll meet him at his dorm as long as he treats me nice. Seriously, as long as he acts like a man and can take charge, I don't care how old he is. So what do you all think about this? Would you date someone younger? Significantly younger? What about significantly older? What's your limit?

Lorac is GENIUS!

So, I'm kind of a makeup fiend and I am constantly on the hunt for the next best thing. Well, today I found it. Lorac's new Evening Out Complexion Kit is genius!!! Genius! Genius! Genius! It's an oil-free powder foundation on top and on bottom there is a little drawer that pulls out two shades of concealer so you can custom blend! BUT, the BEST PART is the foundation pulls up to reveal a sponge and a brush to apply the concealer. Now, I love my Trish McEvoy Little Black Books with their two concealers, but Trish doesn't give me a brush! I will now never leave my house without this compact. Oh, and did I mention the foundation feels like silk? Yeah. It's spectacular!
This will totally save me if I have to go from work to meet people for drinks or a class or whatever. Just very excited by this new product. Go check it out!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cheated Again...but I'm Okay with It

So I'm watching TV as we speak (write). I just haven't felt good all day and frankly, I kind of need to laugh, so yeah, I'm watching "How I Met Your Mother" reruns. Robin Sparkles can always cheer you up!
I will keep this up though-the trying to go without TV. I knew I'd cheat a little, but I figure over time I will be fine with less and less TV. I really do want to use my time to do other things-like write a treatment for a TV show, study for the CBEST, and workout. Seriously, at some point this has to happen!

No TV-Day 4

So I cheated on Tuesday night and watched my DVR'd "Army Wives" and a half hour of "The Rachel Zoe Project" ( I had to know what happened to Taylor!). I was also so tired that I couldn't read, but not tired enough to go to sleep. What was I going to do? Stare at the ceiling?
Yesterday my mom came to visit and have dinner so it wasn't a long evening of nothing to do. Tonight will be the first night all week that I will come home from work with nowhere else to go. In other words, tonight is the first real time to fill in the gap between parking my car at 7 and going to sleep at 10. I think I'm going to do laundry and workout. And hopefully write. I really need to write more.
Even though this has not been the easiest I will say this has definitely been good for me. I am more focused on other things to do and trying to actually get them done. I think Saturday is going to be the hardest. I might allow myself to watch two hours that night-but only if the stuff that has to get done is completed. That's really the main point of this. TV was keeping me from being productive. As long as I don't use it as a distraction from what needs to be done I think it's okay-just no 5 hour marathon sessions of sitting on the couch!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

No TV for a Week

So I decided that television is the key to my lack of productivity. I love television. I will never be a person to say you shouldn't watch TV, but I know the amount I watch is probably unhealthy and maybe to the point of addiction. I've tried in the past to allow myself only one hour a day, but when I do that I just end up leaving it on. So, I decided to go cold turkey.
I have been off my TV drug for approximately 36 hours. The last thing I watched was Mad Men on DVR yesterday morning. Since then, nothing. I will say this morning was the hardest so far because I'm used to the "Today Show" being on while I get ready. Tonight when I get home from work will definitely be a struggle. I'm tired and my eyes are tired and all I want to do is lay down on the couch and watch re-runs. But I will stay strong! Let's see how I do in a few days!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Vegas Baby, Vegas

About to spend 6 days at the Venetian in Vegas. 6 DAYS. That's a lot of Vegas for a girl who doesn't gamble, drink heavily, or go clubbing. My friend Natasha is coming for a few of the days and we're going to two of my favorite restaurants so that'll be fun to share those with her. I will say the Venetian is beautiful which helps. I like my huge room and huge bathroom with the TV in it! Not too shabby. Plus, Bouchon Bakery makes a wonderful Mango Yogurt Parfait that I am very much looking forward to having for breakfast! Yummy! Okay, see. Focus on the positive. It'll go by fast right?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cuckoo Calendar

Yup, you can purchase this lovely bird calendar at a truck stop on the drive between Metropolis, IL and Indianapolis, IN

I went to Hawaii and all I got was this jacked up tan...

Okay, the trip was great, but seriously? This tan is a straight-up mess. If I cussed I would say it’s effed up. I have two huge splotches on my face that look like heinous birthmarks (or like I have dirt on me). My chest has super dark spots in places, one which is peeling to reveal very pink, fresh skin underneath. Even my arms are off. I have a V shape of lightness on my right arm. Ugh. As a friend so kindly pointed out, “You’re from L.A. You should know how to apply sunscreen.” I really have no clue how this happened, but I’m hoping the next week spent in the cave that is known as the Venetian hotel with its fake blue sky will help even things out. That and switching between sunless tanner and skin renewal face cream.

Seriously this is so bad I won't even post pictures of it. I'll post pics of the trip itself later; just not the jacked up tan.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

5 Stores Where You Should Never Pay Full Price!


There are certain stores that I love because there is ALWAYS a deal! Here they are in no particular order:

1. GAP-There is no need to ever pay full price at Gap if you have their credit card. First off, the store seems to just put everything on sale every other week. And on those off weeks, if you have the credit card, you get coupons all the time for deals like 20% off! Seriously, never pay full price here.
2. American Eagle- I love American Eagle Artist jeans and as if they weren't cheap enough already they are on sale very, very often. Also, check their website frequently because if they aren't on sale in the store, they will be online.
3. Old Navy-Once again, as if it wasn't cheap enough, if you are on their mailing list or own a GAP, Banana Republic or Old Navy credit card you will receive deals constantly on top of great all around deals like the WHOLE STORE being 30% off last weekend!
4. Macy's-This one isn't so much for clothes, but housewares and appliances, luggage, etc. Macy's has sales on this kind of stuff all the time so if you really want to splurge on that KitchenAid Mixer, just keep checking at Macy's because it goes on sale regularly!
5. Target-Okay, now this one is kind of cheating, but all those designer capsule collections...well, they're basically designer clothes on sale. Plus I have seen those designer lines go on sale at Target as well so keep looking and be patient!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Glitter Dragon

For just $39.99 you too can own a glitter dragon snow globe! Found at a truck stop outside Charlotte, NC.

The Counter



Have I mentioned my love for The Counter before? I LOVE The Counter! If you don't know it, it's the burger place where you pick exactly what kind of burger you want. Turkey burger, veggie burger, beef burger-you decide. I can put it in a bowl of mixed greens which I love. I can get multiple sauces to try on my burger! Plus, great sweet potato fries and onion rings and you can do a 50/50 on the fries and onion rings which really is the best of both worlds. Oh, and the Apple Pie shake is to die for! I've converted many friends to ordering this wonderful shake that I have found nowhere else! I used to go to the original in Santa Monica and after moving to Sherman Oaks I never went anymore. Last year they opened one in Studio City and now I am there about once a week. I seriously can't get enough. If you've never tried it you need to get to one of there locations immediately!

P.S. My combo is a turkey burger in a bowl with feta, carmelized onions, bacon, avocado, chives and the garlic mayo. You're welcome!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Netflix Instant Streaming Video


So I have been in love with the whole "Instant" feature on Netflix for awhile, but today it hit me... they have workout videos on Netflix! I bet they have streaming ones! And lo and behold they do. I just added 6 different workouts to my Instant Queue! I will say the Instant selection is limited and very pilates and yoga heavy, but still, I like more options in an instant!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Life gets in the way

So I haven't blogged in a while. I haven't really had a lot to say. I've been kind of down, but I'm getting out of it! I'll be putting up recommendations for new places and things to do very soon! Oh, and I swear, pictures will be coming! I want more color on this blog.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Today I Ate...

I just started (like literally today) writing down all that I eat. I've tried doing this in the past and have failed miserably, but there is so much research saying this is a good practice to keep your eating in check so I thought I should give it a whirl again. I have friends who have whole blogs on what they eat, so it should be totally easy for me to do this on my own, right? I'm not going to jot down for you what I ate today because a) I'm not even comfortable yet with writing it down for myself and b) seriously, my eating habits are not that exciting. It is amazing though how even now, at just 2 pm, I totally forgot about some of the stuff I ate-like trail mix in the office pantry! I did leave out the M&Ms though so that's something. I leave on a business trip tomorrow so it will be interesting to see if I can even keep this up for a few days.

What about you? Do you write down what you eat and if so, does it help?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

That's how I started my Friday?!?

Yesterday I stopped for gas at 7 a.m. on my way to work. This guy pulls up on the other side of the pump and he keeps rolling his car back and forth and is staring me down. I wondered if it was because I had left my car door open but there was plenty of room to go around. I look back and he's still staring. He finally said something but his car was on and I couldn't really hear him. I said, "What?" And he replied, "I just said I think you're pretty." I said "thanks" in my normal, "I'm really uncomfortable" deadpan and he goes, " You wanna have sex or something?" Okay, it is too early to deal with this kind of stuff. I was so tired I just said, "No" and turned back to pumping my gas. He then drove off, but not before saying, "Too bad, I had an hour slot free."
I can't believe someone actually said this to me. Totally creepy, yet he was so calm about it my friends and I have decided he's done this before and it actually worked. Yuck. This is one of those "only in L.A." type things that make me sad.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Dates


My cousin made bacon wrapped dates as an appetizer on Christmas Eve this year. While I've had them before, this time they really struck a chord with me. The last few weeks I've actually been making them for dinner or putting just 2 in the broiler and having a decadent little snack. When you're no longer allowed carbs or sugar it's amazing what becomes okay to eat! You can find the recipe for these wonderful, salty/sweet treats on my cousin Cheri's blog Adventures in the Kitchen.

(Photo is courtesy of Cheri's blog!)

Thai Massage

One of my favorite ways to splurge is by getting a Thai massage. I got one for the first time last July and I loved it! I'm not big on Swedish massage. Actually, after the last Swedish massage I had my muscles tensed up so badly I thought I had the flu. Thai massage is different. They kind of press on you in different areas, and crack your back, and stretch your arms and legs all over the place. Oh, and they walk on you. Well at least, they might. I so far haven't had anyone walk on me, but a few of my friends have. They said it was kind of weird at first, but the after effects were worth it! Plus, the beauty of Thai massage is that it's cheap. Unlike a massage at a spa that costs $100, Thai places seem to cost between $40-60. Even though that's still a splurge, it's better than $100+! There are Thai massage places all over L.A., but the one I recommend is Thai Sabai. I've only been to there Sunset location; the Westwood one I know nothing about! So, go indulge this week and relax with a nice Thai woman walking on your back!



Thai Sabai- http://www.thaisabai.com/

Monday, March 1, 2010

Frazzled

Do you ever feel like life is spinning a little out of control? I do and I realize that most of the time I have no one to blame but myself. I let things get away from me. I'm a master to-do list maker, but a to-do list finisher? Not so much. Lately I've let things like television and playing dumb games on Facebook get in the way of more productive activities, or even other fun ones like writing you all here!
When I am responsible and actually do what I was supposed to I feel so much better. This weekend I finally picked up my apartment. I even vaccuumed which I absolutely hate doing. Once it was done though I was so much more relaxed and I could actually enjoy reading a magazine or watching a movie instead of feeling guilty about not doing what needed to be done. I guess it's really all about getting your priorities straight. This is something I definitely need to get a handle on now because in the coming months I have a lot going on and am realizing I will need to use my time wisely.
So my questions to you are, how do you waste time and what have you done to be better with how you use your time?

Umami Burger


So apparently when I say "tomorrow" I mean a week later! But, here is my review. Umami Burger is the hip, relatively new burger trend in L.A. They have 3 restaurants and a food truck that hangs out in the Santa Monica area. Basically, "umami" is the fifth taste after sweet, sour, salty, bitter. At least, it is according to the Japanese. Personally, I did not eat my burger and go, "Oh wow! Totally umami!" but it was good.
My friend and I went to the central location in Hollywood a week ago on a Sunday night. It's tucked into that center on Cahuenga that has the Urban Outfitters in it. We walked in and the girl said sit anywhere and the only table left was the huge cafeteria style table for 8, but still, she said sit anywhere so that's where we sat. Well, 10 min. passed and no one gave us menus. After a while a waiter came over and asked if we were alone and we said yes, but this was the only table available. Well, right then Mark Ruffalo (yes, that Mark Ruffalo) left his smaller table so we said we'd move there once it was cleared. It took them another 5 minutes to clear that table. Still had no menus by the way. The waiter just stared at us. Finally I asked the girl who we first talked to if we could have menus and she handed some to me and said, "Sorry, apparently I'm the only one working tonight." She was right. As the night went on she really was the only one doing anything. But she did soften to us and was really nice about explaining all the choices.
I ended up going with the Truffle Burger, protein style. Mary chose the Diablo Burger and Onion Rings. The onion rings come tempura fried and are delicious with the aioli they pair it with! They were a bit greasy for me, but still worth a try. My truffle burger was a sirloin burger with truffle cheese and truffle sauce. Oh My Gosh! I love truffle! It was amazing. I've actually dreamed of it since! I had a bite of Mary's burger and it lived up to it's spicy name. That sucker was HOT! Too hot for me actually. We also tried the two Cake Monkey Ding-Dongs they had that day-red velvet and peanut butter and chocolate-and while I'm glad we tried it, I probably wouldn't order either again. I'd rather get one of the ice cream sandwiches they have delivered from Milk.
Also, it's worth mentioning that they have these "meals" which depending on the combo are a burger, fries or onion rings, and beer or wine. And they were all well priced for what you got. All-in-all, while I didn't have a new taste experience, it was a good burger in a chill atmosphere and I would definitely recommend giving Umami a try!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An Apology and UMAMI

Hi everybody,
I must apologize for not blogging as frequently. This thing called "life" has kind of gotten in the way. However, I will try and write and hopefully "vlog" more often in the coming months! Please forgive me!

Also, I'll write a full review tomorrow, but I finally tried UMAMI Burger last night and it is DELISH! Seriously, it's worth the crappy service! Oh, and there were a few celeb sightings, but you have to wait until tomorrow for the full recap!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

How I Am Spending Valentine's Day

Seeing as I have no boyfriend I am spending Valentine's Day with my girlfriends! We are going to see the V-Day movie "Valentine's Day" (even though everyone says it's awful I'm still curious) and go to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner! We figured no one is going on a date at Buffalo Wild Wings, and if they are, well, that's just sad. Since there is no one I'm even interested in this year, I really am excited for this time with my friends. Normally on this day there is someone I'm at least crushing on. Even if I knew I wouldn't be spending the day with the person, I still enjoyed that "crush" feeling on Valentine's Day. I thought this year I'd be depressed that there was no one, but actually it's been really nice. Better than last year. I can definitely admit to that. Although, funnily enough, I will end up at the same movie theater. Hmm... it's about time to go eat some deliciously unromantic wings!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mozzarella with Crazy Gremolata

Mozzarella with Crazy Gremolata

I adapted this recipe from one of Nigella Lawson’s. I made a few tweaks and I’m warning this has VERY strong flavors, but I find it delicious!

2 balls Buffalo Mozzarella

1 tsp. Red Chili Pepper Flakes

Zest of 1 Whole Lemon

1 Garlic Clove minced

4 Large Pitted Green Olives, finely chopped

2 tbs. Parsley

Olive Oil

¼ tsp. table salt

Cut mozzarella into ¼ inch slices. In a bowl mix the pepper flakes, lemon zest, garlic, and olives. Add the parsley, olive oil, and salt and mix again. Layer mozzarella on a plate and then spoon gremolata over the mozzarella. Yummy and colorful!

All my yummy ingredients

The finished product! I put mine in a tupperware container so I can pull out just a few slices at a time, but it would be a great appetizer for a party!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Deviled Eggs

I love deviled eggs. I have since I was little. Until lately they have always been a "special occasion food", eaten only on Easter or Fourth of July, but now that I am not allowed carbs I've started making them as a snack. I must say, they are a great snack that feels somewhat decadent to eat. Plus, I love the slightly retro feel of deviled eggs. At this point I make them so often I'm thinking about getting one of those cute egg trays! I take 2 halves to work as a nice, healthy, and filling afternoon snack. Below is my recipe for yummy, perfectly snack-portioned deviled eggs.
Ingredients: 3 Hard-boiled eggs
2 Tbls. Mayonaise
1/2 Tsp. Yellow Mustard
3 drops Worchestershire sauce
Dash each of salt and pepper
Paprika

Cut eggs in half and empty yokes into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients except paprika. Mash and stir together. Spoon back into empty eggs. Sprinkle VERY lightly with paprika Ta-da! You're done! So simple!


My half-mixed filling.
Fully mixed, and ready to fill the eggs!
The finished product!

Goals for the week

So, I had a couple of goals set this year that were supposed to be done weekly and 3 1/2 weeks in, well let's just say I'm at a satisfactory level. I didn't do yoga at all this week. Hopefully I will today, but even still it's just once for the week. And as for cooking once a week, I am counting the chicken I baked and then turned into Curry Chicken Salad. I also made egg salad today and am going to make this mozzarella meal later on. No cooking involved in the last one, but I'm still counting it! I'll try and post pictures soon! Still, the good thing about goals is even when you fail you can pick yourself up and try again. This next week will be better!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Places to Try in L.A. in 2010

I don’t know if I’ve ever really said it, but I love Los Angeles. Though I talk about moving every now and then, I really do love this city and all the craziness it contains. There is always something new to try, somewhere new to go. So with that, I present my list of things I want to try in Los Angeles in 2010:

· The Tar Pit-there has already been so many write-ups on this restaurant and I believe it’s only been open a few weeks!

· Griffith Park Hike-Last year I did Runyon, this year it’s time for Griffith. I should probably start working out so when I do it, it doesn’t kill me.

· Umami Burger-apparently this is the new place to get a hamburger. Hmmm… I might try this one next week. I’ll let you know.

· Lucques-For crying out loud, I’ve lived here five years and still haven’t tried this establishment. It’s time.

· Bazaar at SLS-because who doesn’t want to try a philly cheesesteak made of air?

· Stefan’s at L.A. Farm-so it’s clear I watch “Top Chef”. He might have been a jerk on the show, but his food was always rated highly.

· Bigfoot Lodge-the original one. It just looks like a fun place to have a drink.

· Kogi Truck-I still haven’t been, but I’m dying to try their tacos. Their restaurant is opening down the street from work, so I’m sure I’ll go sometime, but I still want the truck experience.

· Yogaworks-I want to take a real yoga class. Simple enough.

· Golden State Cafe-another new burger place, but they are popular for their sweet potato “fries” and Guiness Floats. I will not be trying the latter, but I have a friend who definitely will.

· Brunch at Bouchon-I’ve had quite the memorable experience at the Vegas location, but have never been for brunch and they are known for brunch! I really am looking forward to this one.

· Explore Downtown-it’s seriously becoming so hip. I really want to go hang out one night and try all the cool bars and look in shops.

Okay, so that’s it for now. I know there are ones I’m forgetting. I’m sure there will be another list. What do you want to try this year?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Learning to Cook

Cooking is one of those things I've never really learned how to do properly and have vowed for 3 years that I would finally learn. This is the year it is going to happen. I've set a goal to cook once a week and I actually have cooked the last 3 days straight. Some hits, some major misses. I made a steak today that was inedible. It was supposed to marinate in balsamic vinegar, pepper, and garlic cloves overnight. It just ended up tasting like balsamic vinegar. Disgusting. Way too strong.
On the other hand, I made some pretty decent items too. My chicken stock came out well (pictures below), and my balsamic onions and brussel sprouts with pancetta and garlic came out nicely.
I also learned a lesson about roasting chicken-5 minutes too long in the oven can make a HUGE difference. I made this amazing, velvety red wine reduction sauce and poured it over the roast chicken to discover the chicken was tough and rubbery. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. So far it's been a good learning experience.













This is the chicken stock simmering. Doesn't it look pretty?















My Roasted Balsamic Onions! So yummy!














My velvety red wine sauce!














A snack size portion of my brussel sprouts and pancetta. I realized I'm not a huge fan of the way brussel sprouts taste, but I think they look gorgeous!














The mess I got to clean up after it was all done!

So, what kitchen mess-ups have you had? Also, what do you think I need to learn to cook?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year Everyone!



Happy New Year! I spent my New Year's Day writing down goals, cooking, napping and watching "House" DVDs. What did you do?
Thought I'd share with you some of my goals to get you brainstorming about your own:
  • Pay off credit card
  • Become a bone marrow donor
  • Yoga 2x a week
  • Go to Solvang (I've never been)
  • Cook one meal a week
I had many more since I used the goal template I showed you in the earlier post, but I thought I'd share just a few to get you started. I think your goals should be a mix of fun and serious. What would you like to change about yourself? What experience have you just put off but always wanted? I see my goal sheet as basically a huge to-do list. I love checking stuff off!

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