Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lost and Found in Los Angeles

So as I was leaving the Beverly Center earlier this week, I somehow got totally turned around and I ended up driving around Beverly Hills. However, it didn't take me long to figure my way back home without too much stressing involved. It's very nice knowing that this city and I are starting to really click. Whew! It sure is taking awhile though!

For those of you live that live here or in other big cities, how long did it take you to learn how to get around without using mapquest or a wonderful navigation system?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cleaning Out My Closet

Today I spent about two hours going through all my clothes and I was able to get rid of a lot. I usually do this about once every other month. I try on things that I haven't worn in awhile and see if I still like them and/or they still fit right. Then, whatever I don't want, I haul into my car and take over to Goodwill.

While of course it's a nice feeling getting rid of clothes, it also makes room for newer clothes which is of course the best part. : ) I love all that room it makes and it really allows you to see exactly what you have. It was time to get rid of some clothes because I am so happy to announce that I have lost 10 pounds since moving here and counting and a few things are just too baggy now. Yay! This is seriously the best feeling ever and I hope to continue losing more and more pounds. I guess I should be thanking all that running I've been doing.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day in Orange County/Missing College Friends

Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon in the Orange County area having brunch with my sister, Tonya, and some of her girlfriends. We met up to celebrate Tonya's birthday which was on Friday.

I love spending time with her and her sweet friends but I can't help but miss my group of girlfriends from college a lot when I'm with them. Sadly, we all live in different states spread out all over the US so it's very difficult to organize reunions with everyone.

Thankfully, most of us have attended Homecoming back at college. For the past few years I've really tried to make an effort to visit a lot of these girls and spend time with them in their homes. You are on my list if I have yet to come see you. : ) So, what do I miss the most? I miss just sitting with a group of girls that I care about and hearing all their different opinions about whatever we are talking about... from boys to politics. We cover it all! Each and every one of my girlfriends is different and have such unique ideas. We always joke that together we make the perfect women, physically and mentally.

So who is next to come visit me in LA? You are all welcome anytime!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Getting to Know You Sunday

Thanks to my new blogging friend, Rachel, over at Can't Google Everything, I've learned about "Getting to Know You Sundays". So here we go with this week's questions!

1.If you had $5,000 to spend on plastic surgery what would you have done?

Honestly, I would definitely get a simple boob lift and maybe a little tummy lypo

2. Do you watch Soap operas and if so what is your favorite and why?

No thank you! I've never cared for them at all. I suppose some of the TV shows I watch are soap opera-esque though.

3. Favorite clothing brand?

I like most clothing brands at Target, occasionally THE GAP, OLD NAVY and H & M. I love the clothes at Urban Outfitters but they tend to be very pricey.

4. An afternoon shopping spree at your favorite store or maid service for a year?

Oh I would definitely pick the shopping spree at my favorite store! I don't mind cleaning house every now and then.

5. Would you ever vajazzle?

Never! I really don't see the point! lol

6. Favorite Disney Princess?

It's a close tie between Jasmine and Belle.

7. Last movie that made you bawl your eyes out?

I can't really remember.. Maybe "Lovely Bones". . .

8. Have you ever broken any bones and if so what?

Nope, I've never broken, seriously sprained or twisted anything ever.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

More Cooking...

If you've kept up with my blog at all, you'll know that I really enjoy cooking. I might not be the best at it but I still enjoy the process. While I may start out following a recipe, I seldom stick to it and most always find myself creating my own version of the meal. Last night was no exception to that.

I made Spanish Stuffed Red Peppers! Sounds fancy, huh? It was actually a lot easier than I expected. The recipe called for ground beef and white rice but instead I put chicken and brown rice and added several more spices to the mixture. I also added onions and way more green peppers than it called for. It was pretty good if I do say so myself! : )

Friday, June 25, 2010

Michael Jackson

One year ago today Michael Jackson passed away. So it was absolutely fitting that last night I went to a fun concert by "Who's Bad", a Michael Jackson tribute band at the Key Club.

Who are "Who's Bad?" Well, according to their website, "In glitzy jackets, glittering gloves and 80s regalia, Who's Bad, The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band, is an infectious party production that takes audiences on a musical expedition spanning three decades of Michael Jackson's chart-cresting music. From ABC to You Rock My World no song is forgotten in this electrifying revival of Pop Music's Royal Highness." They totally did me on a MJ musical journey! You know you want to see them now! They are super busy touring this summer so be on the look out for them coming to a city near you.. Wow, should I do PR for them or what?!

Seriously, they were phenomenal! As someone who sadly never got the chance to see MJ perform live, this concert was such a neat experience for me. The band was incredibly talented and the lead singer was at times the spitting image of Michael himself. He had the voice, the well known outfits, the styled hair, and the amazing dance moves-including the awesome moonwalk!

At one point towards the end of the show, I looked around and caught a few people in the audience fighting back tears. It was quite an emotional moment. I even found myself feeling sad and wondering the same questions I wonder about my parents deaths... What is the big picture behind his death? What was it supposed to teach us? Michael was certainly not done being a musician and he didn't have to die for all of to appreciate his music. Last night I couldn't help but wonder just how many fans all over the world were feeling this way.

I would go as far as saying that MJ is one of few musicians that break sex/race/age/nationality barriers. It doesn't matter how old you are, where you live, or your race, you can appreciate his talent. So, what's your favorite Michael Jackson song? I have several.. one of them is "Human Nature"-the lyrics are fantastic! I also will always love "The Girl is Mine" by MJ and Paul McCartney because it was my Dad's favorite MJ song.

"Reaching out to touch a stranger
Electric eyes are everywhere
See that girl, she knows I'm watching
She likes the way I stare

If they say, why, why? Tell 'em that is human nature
Why, why does he do me that way?
If they say, why, why? Tell 'em that is human nature
Why, why does he do me that way?
I like livin' this way, I like lovin' this way"

I stole this idea from another fellow blogger because I love it! So, go ahead and please follow me if you are reading this and don't already! Thanks!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Running Post #5/Fundraising Letter

Today I sent the following email out to my friends in hopes of getting some more money for my Half Marathon for AIDS. And because I have such awesome people in my life, as soon as I sent this out, several people donated right away!! I seriously love my friends! Thank you so much guys!!!

Dear Friends and Family,

Ok guys, it's crunch time for me and my fundraising for my Half Marathon for AIDS!!

So, here's the deal, I'm running the Disneyland Half Marathon over Labor Day weekend for AIDS. The deadline to donate is July 2nd!!! Aaahh- That's next Friday! I still need to raise $1370!! While this may sound like a ton of money, if each and every one of you donates just $10, I know that I'll be able to meet the $2000 goal and maybe even surpass it! So, please, please donate! Seriously, every little bit helps!

If I don't meet my goal, I have to personally fork over the rest of the money. While I will gladly do this because I want to do whatever I can to fight AIDS, I would much rather concentrate on the running part of this adventure.

And as if you needed another incentive to donate besides helping in the fight against AIDS, if I'm able to meet my goal by the end of next week, I'll write each and every one of your names on the shirt that I run the marathon in! Neat, huh?!

Please also ask your jobs if they would like to do matching gifts! That would be an incredible way to donate too. My amazing friend who works for Macys asked them and they are matching her gift! So, please ask all your companies to do the same thing!

You can send donation matching forms to:

ATTN: Andrea Lockhart
611 South Kingsley Drive
LA, CA 90005

Every dollar that someone gives helps improve the quality of life for someone less fortunate. APLA offers dental care, mental health care, bus passes, food banks, health referrals, job training, prevention courses and advocacy on a local, state and federal level. Remember, all donations are tax deductible.


Thank you to each and everyone of you for supporting my journey! I cannot do this without you!


P.S Enjoy the attached picture of me decked out in my running gear! Yep, I am officially one of those runners with the water belt thingy! : ) Hey, I gotta stay hydrated! Think of me Saturday morning as I'll be running my longest distance ever-8 miles!!

Hot Family Fun in the Summertime

This week I chose the following writing prompt from Mama Kat's writing workshop, "What does summer mean to your family?"

Since we lived overseas, Summers always meant two blissful months back in the good ole' US of A, Tucson Arizona to be exact. This included lots and lots of fabulous shopping excursions to the mall and to our favorite store, TARGET, lots of yummy American meals, numerous theater trips, a few concerts, drives to California, annual doctor visits, baseball games, scrapbooking, many lazy hot afternoons at the pool, BBQ's in our backyard, vegging out in front of the TV and catching up on all the shows we missed during the year. My mom would say that we were playing 'house' during the summer. As teachers, my parents had the summers off to do whatever they heck they wanted, and up until college, I didn't work during the summers either so we were all free to relax and enjoy being back in the states.

Now being in Arizona during the summer, I certainly cannot forget how summer means that it's f-ing hot! I mean, when I say it is hot there in the summer, that really doesn't begin to explain just how hot it is. We are lucky when it's just 100 degrees out because it's usually 110 or higher! Ugh! You could literally fry an egg on the pavement! I don't know how I put up with it for so long... Well, I'll tell you what we did, we cranked up all the air conditioning units in the house, drank plenty of frozen slushy drinks, and spent a lot of time in pools. I am so excited to be spending this summer in my new much COOLER home, Los Angeles.

Of course Summers also meant wonderful reunions with my sister. My sister is 12 years older than me so throughout my middle school and high school years, she was living in the states while we were overseas. I cannot tell you just how excited my parents and I would get on that last flight home knowing Tonya would be at the airport to pick us up. All school year long, we would write letters to each other counting down the days till we would see each other again. Seeing her was definitely the highlight of our summer.

Needless to say, Summers were a very very happy time for us all and I miss having them here this time of year most of all.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Picture Time!

These are several of my favorite pictures that I wanted to share with you on my blog. I've only taken a couple of them myself. Can you guess which ones? I'm sure you can. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Writing Music

A friend has been asking to read some of the songs I've written and I am sad to say that I lost basically all the songs I've ever written along with a ton of other important documents on my computer about a month ago. I accidently deleted the folder from my computer desktop and before you ask, "No, I hadn't ever backed up my stuff!!" Ugh!!! You can't imagine how sad I was and can't really talk about it much more than this or I'll break down... ugh.. : (

Well, here's one song that I wrote down on paper. In fact, my friend Patrick and I actually wrote music for this one too. We never really did anything with it however.. but it's still fun to have..

"Keep Moving On"

You gotta keep movin' on.
Cause you never know when
you'll lose it all.

You gotta keep movin' on
Cause it might be all
you'll know.

When you wake up in the morning
and you got a depressive low
and you don't know
which way to go.
But you get out of bed
and put your new shoes on.

The day goes pretty bad
but you got a lot to do.
You got work to do, bills to pay
and errands to run.
There's too much to worry about.
You can't have any fun.

There's nothing you can do about life.
So, just know that life goes on.
You'll run circles if you try.

Monday, June 21, 2010

New Roommate!

Well, I didn't exactly get a new roommate but I did buy a fish today! He is a dark blue Betta, aka, Siamese Fighting Fish. Bettas are known for being super easy to take care of are actually one of the only fish out there that don't need any kind of filtration or temperature gauge system. This all makes me very happy because I don't want to have to do a whole lot for a pet now. Well, if someone handed me a puppy right now, I would go out of my way for it. But for now, I'll make do with this Betta. I really enjoy fish, they are so relaxing and I have fun decorating their tank and all that. Along with my new Betta, today, I also got a pretty little box tank for him. Check out the above picture.

Since I can remember I've always had a fish or two around. Throughout most of college I had two Bettas, Juno and then J.C shortly after. So I figured, why not continue in this Betta tradition and get one here in LA. I have yet to decide on a name but here are the two front runners, "Kobe" (As in Kobe Bryant) and "Mohingar" which is a traditional Burmese dish. Got any other suggestions? Stay tuned on my final decision. I remember my mom once telling me that growing up, she had a few goldfish that would continually jump out of their bowls! Do you have any fun fish stories?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Beach

Ok, first things first, how cool is it that I'm writing this post laying out at the beach?! Sometimes I forget the proximity of the beach to where I live-it's about a 20 minute drive from my house, in good traffic, that is.

Today, I'm enjoying the beach at Temescal Canyon and the PCH. There's free parking and it's not overly crowded. My roommate, Gina recommended this particular spot and I'm so glad she did. The people here aren't all the typical beautiful LA folks. There's lots of families with small children (no doubt here celebrating Fathers Day), a few tourists and plenty of young adults just catching some rays.

I love the beach. How can anyone not find it relaxing and calming? The crashing waves alone are memorizing. I could spend hours simply watching the ocean and smelling the salty air. I've been lucky to live very close to the beach in a few places that I've lived...well, except for Arizona of course. I do wish the water was warmer as I love swimming and salt water seems to be very good for the skin. Maybe later this summer, I'll venture in!
  • “It’s hard for me to put into words why I like the beach so much. Everything about it is renewing for me, almost like therapy...Beach Therapy” -Amy Dykens
  • "I have always loved the beach. The smell of the salty water, the wind in my face, the gentle roar of the waves all combine to create a sense of peace and calm." -Unknown
I've never really been to the beach alone before I must say that I'm definitely a fan and will be returning alone again soon. There's no need for conversation, I can just lay there and read, write, listen to music or even fall asleep. Plus, you are totally free to be alone with all your thoughts, good and bad.

Check out this map of all the beaches here! So far I've only been to two of them. But I'm not worried I have all summer to get to them all!

Fathers Day

It's Fathers Day. It's one of those days since my parents died that I just dread. I try not to think too much about it but I can't help it. It's hard not be bombarded with reminders everywhere... commercials, fathers day cards, all the facebook statuses, etc... My dad was an amazingly sweet and kind man. He had the biggest heart and was an extremely hard worker.

Sometimes I really hate my dreams. Most of the time they feel like a cruel slap in the face. I know that my subconscious is just messing with me but it still hurts every time I wake up from a dream where they were alive and happy. In last week's mom and dad dream, a random stranger was telling me that I need to stop denying the truth and that they were never coming back. What a jerk. Seriously, did I really need to have a dream like that to understand that. Trust me, I know that very well already. Ugh. But what can you do? I wake up, get out of bed and put the pieces together again and simply go about my day like normal.

I hate the way the smallest and the most random things make me think of my parents and completely break me down. It is so hard to explain what this feels like... it's really like a slap in the face and a knife into my heart. One minute I will be totally fine and not thinking of them at all and then I'll do something or see something that makes me think of them and then it's all over and I am caught up in the grieving process again.

I know that I haven't completed it yet and I doubt that I'll ever be done with it. Nor do I want to be able to ever say that I am done grieving for my parents. I don't want to ever be done feeling that they are truly gone. Will there ever be a moment when I can look at a picture of them and just be content? Will I ever be able to listen to one of their songs and just smile? When will I be able to think of my dad's voice or be able to talk about the intense friendship I had with my mom without tearing up? When will I be ok with this hole in my heart? And tell me, when will I stop feeling guilty for having amazing days? Yes, I still do sometimes. I still find myself checking with myself to make sure it's ok that I'm smiling and laughing and enjoying whatever I'm doing. Something tells me that that will never go away.

Well, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish every father, past, present and future a wonderful fathers day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Internship

About a month and a half ago, I started an internship at Art of Broadcast in Beverly Hills. According to their website, "Art of Broadcast provides quality promotions for artists from a variety of music genres across the globe. We primarily work with signed talent represented by established labels and management companies. However, we do consider independent and unsigned talent if we feel their music deserves recognition. We accomplish our success by building an overwhelming Internet presence and getting our clients latest music played nationwide on the radio. We use our extensive knowledge and strong relationships within the music industry to help our clients achieve their goal objectives."

I work on a variety of projects most days so I never get too bored. Today for example, I spent about four hours emailing roughly 30 different college radio stations trying to find out if a particular band that we are promoting was currently being played on the radio at all. Then, with the rest of my time at the office, I searched for any and all UK music blogs that might be interested in promoting a British musician that we recently began working with.

While this internship is far from my dream job, it still is a step in the right direction and of course any experience in the music industry is good experience. I'm certainly not a fan of working for free but it's one more thing to add to my resume so that's a very good thing.

Now, you may be asking what exactly is my dream job. Well, I'll tell you! My absolute dream job would be to own my very own record label. I would help write and produce the music, manage bands, talent scout musicians and maybe even sing a little too on a couple tracks. I'd really love to work in the A & R Department at any record label. I think it would be incredible to be that person that discovered an artist and felt so passionate about their music that you help them get their music out to the world. I want to be that person.

So, here's hoping that my next fabulous music job is just around the corner.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Don't ask me to play the piano!

This week I chose the following writing prompt from Mama Kat's workshop, "How long until you realized you had no talent or patience for this? Tell the story (true or fiction) of trying to learn a new talent or hobby that you only pursued briefly."

I've tried and tried but I really cannot learn how to play the piano. For my music business degree in college, I had to pass three semesters of piano, that is just three classes. Easy, right? Nope, not at all. They were absolutely miserable for me.

I went into my first class my junior year somewhat excited. I thought, hey, I've been singing since I was little and I love music. I've always thought it would be great to sing and accompany myself on an instrument. So, why not piano? Looking back on it now, I really wish I would have chosen guitar or even drums? : ) But at the time, I thought, how hard could learning to play the piano be? Well, not only was the actual playing itself difficult but I also struggled with learning to read the music fast enough while also playing those notes that I was reading. Perhaps, I was just never meant for that kind of multi-tasking...

On top of all that we also had to occasionally play in front of the other students in the class and the teacher too. In fact, every single Friday we were expected to play a weekly song that we had been working on all week in front of the teacher. That was the only way we were graded. I was petrified every single Friday walking into that class. I just can't handle that kind of pressure, especially when I'm doing something that I'm not confident at all about. I suppose most people feel this way but I get seriously ill thinking about it, let alone actually doing it. No matter how much I practiced playing that song, (sometimes even memorizing the notes) I still made dumb mistakes when I played it for the teacher. Usually in near tears, I would explain to the teacher my dilemma and they would look at me sadly and say, "Just keep practicing, Leah, you'll get it eventually." Whatever! I practiced my butt off and I still couldn't play.

Somehow I managed to pass the three piano classes. I think the teachers liked me and knew that I really tried and just didn't have the natural skills necessary to play a musical instrument. Well, does my voice count? Maybe if I started younger, they say that it's best to learn a new language and a new instrument when you are young because you'll pick it up faster.. So, I'll just blame my age on it then! Haha! I will tell you this, I still get a little scared every time I'm near a piano. I always worry that someone will ask me to play something for them. My version of hell certainly involves me on a stage in front of millions of people with a piano.... Yikes!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


So I screwed up majorly today or rather last night. See, I saw the "No Parking" signs but I swear I remember reading "NO PARKING ON THURSDAY". Well, I was wrong, it said Wednesday instead. I walked out to my car this afternoon only to NOT find it where I parked it. This is truly the scariest feeling in the world! I immediately freaked out but somehow was able to pull it together to call the number on the sign to find out where the heck my car was towed to.

Thankfully, it was at an impound lot not too far away from my home and my wonderful friend, Jason, came to my place and picked me up and we headed there with only ten minutes to spare before they closed! Whew! And you don't even want to know how much I had to pay for them to release my car to me. Then, on top of that hefty fee, there was an additional parking ticket on my car window when I got my car back from the lot! Geez!~ How ridiculous is that?!

After talking to a few friends after this happened, I learned that it's really not very uncommon for people in LA to get their cars towed and get lots of parking tickets. Have you ever gotten your car towed? How many tickets have you gotten?
Well, I vow to be extra careful from now on when reading parking signs around this city. I seriously do not want to go through all this ever again! : (

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Sharing

I found something else that I had to share with you on my blog today. This is an incredibly sweet and beautiful rare Jewel song that I just found online. Sadly, it's not on any album so it cannot be purchased anywhere... boo!


Interspecies Friends

Just saw this video this morning and couldn't help but put it on my blog. It's just too cute and I think that we all could take a lesson from these two animals. I hope you enjoy it too.

Orangutan and the Hound

Monday, June 14, 2010

Feels Like Home

Other than my sister and of course, her one year old son, Lucas, there aren't many people in my life who make me feel like "home". What does that even mean? I don't really know...I think it's simply a feeling of absolute love and sheer warmness you get whenever you are around certain people. I guess you could say you are surrounded by those warm and fuzzies. I usually feel this way if I'm totally comfortable with those silent moments when no one is saying a single thing. How do you know when you are totally comfortable with someone?

Honestly, before my parents died, I didn't look for those "homey" feelings from anyone else but them and my sister. I didn't need it from anyone else. I already had those intimate unconditional homey feelings all taken care of. And that horrible day they died, I lost all of that. I suppose recently I've come to the understanding that I'm not completely shut off from letting others in and allowing myself to feel that way with other people. The Moyers are a perfect example of this. Sure, I'll never be able to be around anyone who makes me feel just like my parents did and that is extremely painful. However, it's hopeful knowing that my heart is still open.

I'd like to thank Emily and her parents for making me truly realize all of this. There have of course been several other friends these past 2 years that have shown me that and for which I'll be forever grateful to. I think that they all know who there are. It's strange... I know I'll always have this aching hole in my heart but families like the Moyers are definitely lessening it every day.

Well, thank you for reading this and for allowing me to open my heart with all of you once again.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Blogging from Wyoming

Yes, I'm still not home yet but I thought it would be neat to take the blog on the road! So, while I'm sitting here with Emily enjoying some casual TV time at her place in Wyoming, I couldn't help but think about my beloved blog and decided to share a new post from here. While we were pseudo-camping at Moon Lake, Utah this week, I wrote a few things for my blog down in a notebook.

Take a look at one of my first short entries:

There's something so serene and peaceful about fishing. It takes very little effort and hard work but a lot of patience and determination. However, I can't imagine ever really liking fishing. It's just not for me but I respect the hobby and can understand why others take such enjoyment from it.

Right now I'm out on Emily's dad's boat watching him fish as we read and write. The lake we are on now is completely calm and still, besides us. This stillness is amazing and I know that I certainly lack it back in LA in my day to day life. Generally, I think we could all use a little more stillness in our lives. How on earth do we get that though? We can't possibly go away on trips every time we feel the need for silence. I know there's always yoga, meditation, writing, reading, music and many other ways. It's all about finding that perfect balance. I suppose we are all working on that.
Well, until I figure that out, I'll continue to enjoy this view.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Moon Lake Visit

Today I am off to Moon Lake, Utah for a few days. I'll be staying with my high school friend Emily and her family on the lake. I haven't seen them for about two years so I'm really looking forward to getting to spend a lot of quality time with them. Emily was and always will be my best friend and her parents were pretty much my adoptive parents in high school. Her mom taught music so we became very close and her dad is such a sweet guy.

I am looking forward to doing nothing but reading, playing board games, going on long walks, relaxing by the campfires, enjoying some beer and of course spending time with my bff, Emily! Hopefully, I'll be able to run a bit there too. Where we are going to be has no cell phone reception or internet, so sadly, I 'll be unable to blog until I return on Sunday night. However, I encourage you all to use this time to catch up on my blog and comment lots! : )

See ya on Monday!