Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Overwhelmed with Blogging

For the first time since I started blogging almost a year ago, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. For starters, I'm not sure why, but I feel pressured to write a new exciting post everyday. I've certainly stayed up way later than I should in order to get a new post up on my blog for the next morning. When I do occasionally skip a day or two, I always feel guilty. I almost feel like I didn't turn in my homework or something... Weird, right?! Why do I do this to myself?! UGH! Ok, I'm an interesting gal and do a lot of awesome things here in LA but come on, there are days when it's hard to post something. I don't do something cool every single day. Perhaps, I have totally unrealistic expectations... Maybe I should only blog when the mood strikes me or I do something uber LA fabulous. Right? What do you think? What do you as my wonderful followers want to read about? As a blogger, when do post? If you are posting something everyday, how do you find the time?

I'm also struggling with finding the time to comment on all the blogs I follow too. There are so many amazing, funny, inspiring, sweet and crazy blogs out there that I adore reading but I just don't have the time to read them all.
How can I possibly keep up with them all? How do you keep up? What are the tricks of the trade?

Whew! Well, it definitely felt good getting this off my chest and blogging about it. There, now Tuesday's post is done and I can go to bed now! Haha! : )

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Purse

"The Sophia Satchel, so chic, so perfect... No wonder it was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show."

So, if you don't know already, I was lucky enough to be on the second part of Oprah's Favorite Things Episode last Monday. One of the big ticket items that we were each given was this fabulous Coach purse. I love it! I am giving away a lot of the things I got from the show but I am definitely keeping this purse and have already begun using it.

I used it over the weekend and actually several people stopped me to ask me about it. I felt a little like a celebrity in a Coach store in Carlsbad when the salespeople asked me where I got it. Evidently, this particular purse is out of stock and very hard to find anywhere right now. That's the Oprah Effect for ya! If Oprah says something is awesome, then you can bet that pretty soon, it will become out of stock! When I finally told them that I was in the audience at the Favorite Things episode, they were shocked and couldn't believe it. They started screaming and asking me to give them the whole story! Of course, I happily obliged! : )

Needless to say, I feel very fortunate to own this Coach purse. It kind of puts all my Target and TJ Maxx purses to shame! Now if only I could get the matching wallet to go with the purse! Haha!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I've Got a Crush!

That's right, I've got a big ole crush on my nephew, Lucas! : )

This Thanksgiving holiday, I got to spend a lot of one on one time with my adorable 17 month old nephew. I absolutely adore him! I've never really felt this way about anyone before, not my sister, not any friends and not even my parents. Honestly, I don't think I've ever loved anyone like I do him. I would do anything for this little guy. If only he knew how much I cared about him. Being with him makes me incredibly happy and I am thankful everyday for him.

Here's a few pics of him that I got this weekend:

And this one is my favorite! He just walked right up to me and proceeded to sit right on my stomach and then layed down and made himself comfortable. Guess he loves me too. : )

Friday, November 26, 2010

Five Question Friday

1. What is your favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal?

This a tough one.. I think I would say the stuffing! When else do you eat it?

2. Are you a host or a guest for Thanksgiving this year?

I am the guest but it was at my sisters house here in San Diego so I never really feel like a guest here. I'm always doing what I can to help out in the kitchen.

3. When you think of one Thanksgiving tradition, what comes to mind?

We don’t have any traditions. If anything, there's always way too many pies lying around. Is that a tradition? No two people like the same pie. Which leads into the next question perfectly....

4. You have two pieces of pie in front of you and you HAVE to eat one…do you choose pumpkin or pecan?

I don't like pumpkin pie. I'll ALWAYS choose pecan pie. ALWAYS! I absolutely love pecan pie! I love it so much that for one birthday a few years ago, a friend got me pecan flavored body lotion! Awesome, right?

5. Are you a Black Friday Shopper?

Not at all. I think those people that got up at 4AM this morning were nuts! Geez! What could you possibly need that bad that you had to get up before the sun to buy it?! Last year a few of my cousins and I ventured to the stores in the afternoon and did find a couple things but didn't spend too much time. Oh actually, I bought the jeans I am wearing right now last Black Friday! Ah!

Fun Follow Friday

This week I decided to be apart of Fun Follow Friday hosted by Simply Stacie and My Wee View. The goal of this hop is to simply be introduced to new blogs to follow and make new blogging friends! It's super easy to join. All you have to do is add your blog link to their blogs and start blog hopping and following! You aren’t required to write a post for your blog for Fun Follow Friday unless you want to.

When you visit a blog that you like and want to follow, leave them a comment with your link telling them you are following from the Fun Follow Friday.

The main goal is to have fun and follow the blogs that interest you! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!





Happy Thanksgiving blogging world! I hope that you all enjoyed my 14 lists of blessings. I definitely learned that we all have so many more things to be grateful for in the world. I hope that you are able to spend today with your loved ones.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chicago Experience

Whew, this week has been intensely crazy! Not only was the madness that my roommate and I were on Oprah's Favorite Things episode revealed, but Gina has also been on TWO TV networks to talk about being on the show and to discuss her project, Pin-Ups for Vets.

Well, now that the hype has calmed down a bit from my Oprah fame, : ) I thought it would be nice to talk about what else happened on my fabulous trip to Chicago. It was my first time in the Windy City so I was very excited about finally being there.

After the crazy day at the Oprah studio, we headed to the Hines VA Hospital to cheer up some incredible VETS. Aren't our matching polka dot dresses so cute? It was a wonderful visit and the men and women that we visited there really enjoyed seeing Gina and I. As we were leaving, they were already asking when we would be back!

In addition to attending the Oprah show and going to a Veterans Hospital, I also got to see two old friends from college, Matt and Jared. It's times like these that I really love having friends that live all over the US. Gina and I also spent a few hours walking around Michigan Avenue. I especially liked seeing the infamous Bean located in Millennium Park.

I'm Grateful For...-Day 1

Day 1 Blessings:
  1. I'm grateful for the moment of relief when you realize that the pain has subsided.
  2. Meeting your soul mate and recognizing that you have known each other before.
  3. Holding hands.
  4. Big and loving bear hugs.
  5. The support and loving presence of my sister.
  6. Wishing on a star. Having that wish come true.
  7. The moment when you are able to distinguish between your needs and your wants.
  8. Having your friends and family appreciate your sense of humor.
  9. The intimate bond of friendship that protects, nurtures, inspires and comforts.
  10. I'm thankful most that I get to share the holidays with people that I really want to be with, my wonderful family.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chicago You-Tube Video

Check out the fabulous you-tube video that Gina and I made on our trip to Chicago!!!

Oprah's Favorite Things

I'm Grateful For...-Day 2

Day 2 Blessings:
  1. Candles. I adore candles. I also love burning fragrance oils in my bedroom. There's something about walking into a room and automatically smelling cotton, apples, vanilla or the ocean breeze. I just love it.
  2. Following your intuition and being delighted that you did.
  3. I'm grateful for the dreams that I have that will not die because I was born to love it into full being.
  4. Trying something new and loving it completely.
  5. I'm thankful to be living by the beach now. The feel of the sand beneath my feet, the salty breeze and the warming rays of the sun make for a wonderful afternoon.
  6. Realizing that there are no coincidences in life.
  7. Summoning up the courage to surmount a challenge.
  8. Oprah! : )

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thank you Oprah!

I cannot believe what just happened to me a week ago. Let me begin by telling you how it all started.

About a month ago I nominated my roommate Gina's Pin-Up For Vets calendar project on the Oprah Winfrey website. There was a link on her website to nominate someone who inspires you and who is a hero in your community. I thought that this perfectly described Ms. Gina Elise so I went ahead and submitted her name. We didn't think too much about it and went on with our lives.

Then, two weeks ago, we got an email asking if we would like to be in the audience on the show! Crazy, right? We had no clue this was coming or that really bigger things lay in store for us. After much debate as to whether or not we should go ahead and buy those expensive plane tickets from LA to Chicago on such short notice, we finally caved and purchased them. When was this sort of opportunity ever going to happen again? Several of our friends told us that we would be stupid not to go. This is her final season after all. We didn't even know what the show was going to be about!! This led to some serious investigation....

Now if you've been following my blog for awhile, then you'll know that Gina and I travel quite a bit for her Pin-Ups For Vets project to hand-deliver calendars and other merchandise to VA Hospitals. So of course we thought that we should also go to a hospital while we were in Chicago. Let's kill two birds with one stone. We would attend the Oprah show in all its magicalness and also go cheer up some amazing VETS. Logical, eh?
I had never been to the Windy City before so I was ecstatic about the trip. What was there not to be thrilled about: Being at the Oprah show, visiting a VA Hospital and venturing to a new fun city! Well, this trip turned out be the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me! Are you ready for it? The show that we went to happened to be OPRAH'S PART 2 of her FAVORITE THINGS EPISODE!!!!!! Can you believe that?! If you follow Oprah even a little bit, then you know what this episode is all about and how much it means to be in that illustrious audience on the taping of that particular episode! If you don't know what I'm talking about, well, all you need to know is that Oprah generously gives away to her audience members 10-15 of her all-time favorite things. That's right, this show is all about receiving gifts!!! It was insane! I don't really even know how to describe how incredible it was being in that audience and discovering that it was her Favorite Things episode. Let me just tell you that the audience absolutely freaked out!! Tears, hugs, giddy laughter, screams, uncontrollable shaking, outbursts of singing and that was just me! Hahaha! Ok, not really, we were all going crazy!!! I kept hugging and shaking Gina's hands and asking over and over, "Are we really here?! Is this really happening to us right now?!" I had to pinched throughout the show to see if I was awake! Fake snow was falling from the ceiling and the words "Oprah's Ultimate Favorite Things" kept bouncing on the screens everywhere. It was madness in that studio for awhile. Wonder how much of this commotion they got on camera?
Honestly, I still think I'm in shock that this all happened to me. Out of all the people in the world that tried getting on this show, Gina was chosen and she picked me to go with her. I mean, what are the chances of all this?! Mathematicians, help me out....

If you haven't watched this episode yet, then go check it out asap! It aired yesterday so perhaps you die-hard Oprah fans have it recorded or maybe you know of someone that recorded it. I'm in the reddish-peach dress in the second row-front center. I know-they were amazing seats!! I had an stellar view of the entire stage and of course of the lovely Oprah! Sadly, they didn't let us take our phones or cameras into the studio with us so there aren't any pictures from the inside. I was definitely taking mental pictures though the entire time! : )

This Thanksgiving, I am truly grateful for experiences like this!

I'm Grateful For...-Day 3

Day 3 Blessings:
  1. I'm grateful for every exciting and fun thing that ever happens to me.
  2. Finding the perfect gift for someone who is really hard to shop for.
  3. I'm thankful to live in this technologically savvy time. I love that I can look at my watch and find out how many calories I've lost, how many miles I've walked, what my heart is and exactly how many steps I've taken.
  4. Listening to older music and recalling happy moments. : )
  5. Coming up with the perfect retort at the moment you need it and not two hours later.
  6. Manicures and pedicures.
  7. Being able to change plans at the very last minute and be totally cool with it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Guest List

While I am absolutely no where near getting married, in fact, I think I am several years away from the big day, it's still fun to think about from time to time with my girl friends.

So, my very dear friend Tracy, over at BrooklynNight was visiting me about a month ago and she suggested that we make our inevitable guest lists right now and see who makes the cut. Pretty interesting, right? I thought so anyway.

Here's the thing, try to keep the guest list as short as possible and keep in mind that people have girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, wives and partners. Are they also invited? Is everyone allowed a plus 1? Also, you have to decide whether or not you are inviting children to the wedding. You aren't allowed to check your phone for names that you might have missed either. These have to be people that on your mind right now.
I thought that this would be easy enough. I was wrong.

Once I got started listing off people, I think I sort of got carried away. Especially since, I'm not even sure I want a typical large wedding. In fact, most of the time, I only want 10 or so people there MAX! Well, that was not what this particular guest list showed. According to it, I want about 60 people at my wedding! YIKES! The spouses are what really brings that number up-honest! Tracy's list had about 40 people on it which I think is much much more sensible. Good for her.

This exercise really got me thinking about my friends and who I really want at my wedding. What people do I truly want to share one of the most important days of my life. If they aren't on my mind right now, then I think that tells me something. I don't know..perhaps not but it certainly seems logical to me right now. It also got me thinking about whether I want people there because they were my parents friends. I care about these people but where do I draw the line?

What about your guest list? If you haven't gotten married yet, try writing down a list right now. How many are you going to invite? Was this an easy or difficult thing for you to do? If you are married, how did you decide the guest list?!

FYI, the first person on my guest list was my 17month old nephew Lucas. : )

I'm Grateful For...-Day 4

Day 4 Blessings:
  1. I'm grateful for sometimes being at the exact right place at the exact right time. : )
  2. Long overdue catchup chats on the phone with friends and family. I had one of these last night with a college friend and it had been WAY TOO LONG since we talked last!
  3. Perfect and hassle-free traffic! Aaaahhh!! This is definitely music to my ears.
  4. Sleeping in your beloved bed after being away for a few days.
  5. Delighting in stimulating conversation and feeling as though you held your own.
  6. An unexpected compliment that makes your whole day.
  7. Listening to the whispers of your authentic self and taking that advice.
  8. I'm thankful that I love exploring new cities.
  9. I'm also thankful to have traveling buddies that enjoy exploring new cities right along with me.
  10. I'm grateful that I have absolutely nothing to do today until 1pm and that's going to be a fun lunch.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm Grateful For...-Day 5

Day 5 Blessings:
  1. I'm grateful that every time my 17month old nephew sees me now, his little face lights up and he calls my name (his version of my name anyways, "Eah")!
  2. Champagne! Need I say more? I had some amazing champagne this past week in Chicago at the super fancy "Signature Room" on Michigan Avenue. It was delicious!
  3. I'm thankful for living so close to my family. I can hop in the car whenever I need to make a quick last minute trip to them in San Diego. Soon, they are moving to Orange County so they'll be even closer! :)
  4. Hot chocolate on cold rainy days. Yum!
  5. A tall glass of cold milk. After living overseas most of my life and not having access to any good milk at all, I really enjoy the milk here in the states.
  6. Long, endless conversations about important stuff and not so important stuff with very good friends.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm Grateful For...-Day 6

Day 6 Blessings:
  1. Being with someone where words aren't necessarily needed to communicate.
  2. The first kiss.
  3. I love watching others enjoy my creations. It could be a meal, flowers from your garden, or a pair of pants you just ironed.
  4. Fans. I know this is a very little thing but I don't have air conditioning in my house so a little portable fan really saved me a few extremely hot days this summer.
  5. Sitting by a nice cozy fire in the winter is very nice too.
  6. Love letters and love emails. : )
  7. Hearing those three words, I LOVE YOU.
  8. Long awaited phone calls with good news.
  9. Having a sense of humor during good and rough patches.
  10. I'm extremely grateful for those amazing incredible moments that take your breath away. They are few and far between but they are out there.
  11. I'm thankful for friends that will be there for you when your family can't.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

When Private Goes Public

This week's Mama Kat's Writing Assignment that I chose to write about is Why are you burned out?

How personal is too personal for a blog? Where is that invisible line that shows us when we've divulged too much information? What exactly is off limits? Should our blogs be solely about our own lives or can we talk about other people? Our friends, our families and our co-workers? Do we have to ask permission from these people in our lives? Don't we have to care how other people are going to be affected by what we discuss on our blogs? And what about free speech? Is that really all that this is about?

Since starting my blog back in January, I have struggled with all of these questions. I think I have done my best to make sure that I am never revealing too much about anyone other than myself. I've made sure that each posting that talks about my friends or family is kind-hearted and doesn't rub anyone the wrong way. Most importantly, I have vowed to never paint anyone in a negative light on my blog. Simply put, this blog about ME and my life. Sure, there have been some rough days where I wanted to talk about how mad I was at this person or how annoying this other person was being. However, I stopped myself from going through with it. I knew those words could have potentially been hurtful to those people.
On 3 separate occasions, my roommate has asked me to remove a line or two from a post because she thought it revealed too much about our home address. She is particularly careful about stuff like that. Despite the fact that sometimes I disagree with her, I still immediately delete those sentences she was unhappy with. This was not a problem at all for me. I would NEVER put my blog before the people in my life. Sorry to say but my blog will never take priority in my life.

Another issue to deal with is the fact that many of my close friends and family read this blog. How awful would one of them feel if they had to read on my blog how I felt about them. Personally, I would hate that. Not only is it TMI but it's also none of the blogging communities business. Am I right? Putting something like the inner-workings or the problems in your relationships for all the world to see just seems so detached and juvenile. Why not reach out to that person instead and work it out between the two of you face to face? There is definitely no need to publically slander them or your relationship with them.

Perhaps it comes down to why we all started our personal blogs in the first place. We are sharing makeup tips, college help, mothering advice, daily humorous anecdotes, diet tips, amazing shopping finds or in my case my adventures here in LA. I know for certain that we have all struggled to find the perfect balance of too much information and just enough to interest our readers. When too much information starts to hurt and really negatively affect other people, it's just not worth it.

I'm burnt out from all this.

Something that recently struck me is how we take for granted people's wishes when it comes to our blogs. Everything SHOULD NOT be up for grabs. If I tell you not to disclose something and you do it anyway, knowing full well I'm not going to be happy, what does this say about you? It's a complete lack of respect and a full dismissal of someone's feelings. Why do that? Sure, you may feel strongly about something but this does not give you the right to publicize it. There are other ways.

When did our blogs become our platform to tell the world how we feel about each other? We need to step down from our soapboxes and really understand how our actions or in this case, our words, affect other people. We should remember that a blog is public knowledge on the internet. I really think we all need to be more self-aware and sensitive to other people's feelings. It's time to put our egos aside and truly focus on what's important and good in the world instead of putting others down.

So, if you ever see something on my blog that makes you feel embarrassed, hurt or angry, please tell me. I'll respect you enough to remove it. Free speech means nothing when you are hurting people you care about.

Alright, I'll stop this long-winded rant but I really do believe all this and felt that I needed to get it off my chest. In the end, blogging is all about sharing our lives with friends, family and our new blogging world. With this comes the moral responsibility to be cautious and aware of how we express ourselves. I think that this balance can most definitely be achieved.

Here's to more future self-aware bloggers out there.

I'm Grateful For...-Day 7

Day 7 Blessings:
  1. I'm grateful to have people in my life that believe in me when I'm not able to believe in myself.
  2. I love the feeling that comes with throwing stuff out. It's almost like I can breathe a little easier because there is less junk around.
  3. I'm thankful that I have clothes that make me feel good about my body.
  4. It's also very cool when you find something while out shopping that makes you feel this way.
  5. Bargains at thrift shops, flea markets, garage sales and other places.
  6. Fun eye contact with a gorgeous stranger. : )

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Grateful For...-Day 8

Day 8 Blessings:
  1. Reading a book that changes your life and is completely underlined.
  2. Savoring the scents of life.
  3. I'm grateful for that amazing feeling that comes after a shower and washing your hair.
  4. When you finally achieve a long sought after goal and the moment when your accomplishment emotionally clicks with you.
  5. The comforting memories of my mother's soft hands as she hugs me tight.
  6. The precious memories of my father's laughter filling a room.
  7. A fortune cookie with just the perfect message.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas Decorations Already?!

So, about a week BEFORE Halloween, I saw this on a lamp post near my gym - a Christmas tree decoration! WTH! I cannot handle it! This is nothing compared to the grocery stores, Targets, drug stores and every other store out there. It's like they are all in some big hurry to speed up time and get on with the next thing. Why on earth do these places put our their holiday stuff earlier and earlier every year?! I don't get it. It really annoys me. I certainly do not think that far ahead and I simply get ready for things one week ahead of time. I understand that that's just the way it is with retail for the most part, but come on, give us consumers some time to catch up to the next holiday. Seriously?! Honestly, if it was up to me, there wouldn't be decorations for a particular holiday until the week or so before the holiday.

Is anyone else bothered by this? Do you agree with me? Did you feel like the Christmas decorations were out earlier this year?

I'm Grateful For...-Day 9

Day 9 Blessings:
  1. The wisdom learned through life experiences. Being able to use it is the key element.
  2. Deja vu. It creeps me out a little but I'm grateful for it. It means that I can make a choice as to whether I want it to be deja vu all over again. I can change things.
  3. All kinds of flowers. I love receiving and actually just buying them for myself. The next man in my life needs to know this! : )
  4. Trusting in other people. I'm grateful for this.
  5. Friendships that endure long distances. Heck, any kind of a relationship that can withstand long distances are incredible.
  6. Feeling a sense of pride in yourself.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm Grateful For...-Day 10

Day 10 Blessings:

  1. Movies. I love it when I like a movie so much I want to see it again as soon as the credits roll. There have a few of those movies.
  2. Feeling like I'm part of a group. I have amazing friends and I'll be grateful for them on another day's blessings, today I'm thankful for that sense of belonging to that group with them.
  3. I was blessed to live overseas for most of my life. Enough said.
  4. I have had some amazing food recently here in LA, there's really nothing like that first bite of something delicious.
  5. Then, there is also something amazing about tasting the first morsel of your favorite comfort food. Mine would probably be a grilled cheese sandwich. Yum.
  6. I'm grateful to have taken French classes all my life. I absolutely love the language and am so happy that I still THINK I can speak it. It's sad though that you lose what you don't use.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm Grateful For...-Day 11

Day 11 Blessings:
  1. I'm grateful for music. I love that when I first hear a piece of music and it instantly touches my soul. I adore that feeling.
  2. On that note, it's wonderful being able to purchase that song immediately and add it to my music collection.
  3. I'm grateful for random interesting conversations with strangers on planes or other public places. Today, for example, I met a man while on my run this morning and we talked for about an hour about life and running.
  4. I love naps. (Doesn't it seem like every one of these posts has something about sleep? :) )
  5. I'm thankful for every laughing fit. I love when I laugh so hard, I can't catch my breath and my sides begin to ache.
  6. A good cry. I'm grateful for this release.
  7. When I can bring joy, happiness, and comfort to another person or creature. This makes me most grateful.
  8. Finding the ultimate parking spot, call it parking karma.


Brace yourself for what I'm about to tell you. Ready?
Ok, I don't have cable, satellite or even basic local channels at home. When I moved to LA, my new roommates didn't have it set up at our house so at the time it felt like a lot of hassle to get Directv or something else hooked up so I just didn't bother.

It's now been 10 months since I moved here and I honestly don't really miss it. I learn about what's going on in the news and I catch up with celeb gossip all online. Most major networks have their own websites so I technically never have to miss anything. Sure, I'm now SO behind all on my favorite shoes since I have to watch them all online. I haven't had the time to do that in awhile. In fact, I haven't seen one episode of this season's "Grey's Anatomy". I can say for sure that I don't miss all those awful and annoying commercials. I also can say that I'm thrilled to not be bombarded with all those terrible reality shows that are on TV now. "Jersey Shore" is definitely not for me!

Of course we do have a great big TV in our living room. I get Netflix movies every week so I watch those, other movies and lots of other TV shows on DVD. However, when I'm around a TV at a friend's or at my sister's home, I definitely do sit down and enjoy whatever happens to be on at the time. I guess you could say, I have a deeper appreciation for watching 'live' television now.

All in all, I really don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. What about you? Could go without all those channels?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I'm Grateful For...-Day 12

Here are my Day 12 Blessings:
  1. This is a tad cheesy but I'm generally thankful for animals. I love dogs especially. I look forward to the day when I can own one as I've never owned my own dog.
  2. While my fish is generally incredibly boring and offers little to no enjoyment in my life, I'm still happy every morning I wake up and he is still swimming around.
  3. I'm grateful for the mindless entertainment that watching TV provides.
  4. My pictures. I absolutely love all my pictures of family and friends everywhere. Usually the first thing anyone says when they come into my room is, wow, you've got a lot of pictures.
  5. I'm glad to see that I have two bookshelves full of books to read. I'm excited to read them all. I make it a point never to buy new books unless I finish one. I've been reading the same book since August...: (

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Chateau Marmont Experience

Last night I had dinner at the renown Chateau Marmont. Built in 1927, it is one of the oldest establishments on the strip. Originally, it was an apartment building but high rents and the Depression kept people away so it was converted into a hotel. Numerous songs have been written in it and several films have been shot there making this hotel quite the historic landmark here in LA. The Chateau is located on the infamous Sunset Strip, up a little slope from it. Thankfully, I've driven past it enough to know exactly where it was.

There was a pretty intense scene just in front of the hotel! There's even a list to valet-you have to have a dinner reservation to even park there! There isn't a ton of parking around it so valeting is really the only logical thing to do. If I was smarter I think that I would have investigated the parking garages around the Strip and seen how far they were from it. Oh well.. next time. I know for sure that I definitely DO NOT want to ever pay $28 for valeting again! UGH!! I about choked when I got my car at the end of the night and the guy told me that! Gotta love my expensive city, right?

Unfortunately, my friends that I was meeting there for dinner were about an hour late and I was 30 minutes early. So how long did I wait? You do the math. Needless to say, several people who worked there asked me if I was ok a few times-kinda embarrassing! At least they were being attentive. This did give me plenty of time to think about future blog posts and of course lots of people watching.

When I googled the Chateau Marmont, a million celeb faces appeared. Apparently, the celebs love this spot. Ok, so you are all probably wondering if I happened to see anyone last night? Well, yes, we saw a few... While I was waiting (ahem!) I believe that I saw Courtney Love wandering around the lobby. I thought so at the time but didn't think she would be alone and so quiet so I put it out of my mind...but then hours later during dinner, I overheard a group of men talking about her as they walked into the restaurant. So, you tell me? : ) Next, at the end of the night as we were getting our cars, in the span of like 10 seconds, we saw Chris Noth aka Mr. Big from Sex and the City and then Michael Lohan, Lindsay Lohan's dad! Crazy, right? So, yeah, it's safe to say that celebs enjoy this hang out. : )

Alright, so I've told you about the celeb sightings and the pricey parking but I haven't even told you about the Chateau Marmont itself.

I found the following quote on the hotel website and I think it sums up the experience pretty well:

"Arriving at Chateau Marmont you surrender yourself to a grandi-loquent environment, an infamous hideaway and the perfect getaway in the center of one of the world's most exciting cities. Modeled after an infamous royal residence in France's Loire Valley, Chateau Marmont is a fantastical folly in the land of make believe. While in residence you become part of a highly discriminating, international clientele desiring an experience at once luxurious and unique. Chateau is the perfect co-conspirator; as Harry Cohn, founder of Columbia Pictures said in 1939, 'If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont.' You can be yourself or, better yet, be whomever you want to be; don't be surprised if your visit brings out your inner Howard Hughes, your Greta Garbo, your Jim Morrison. As public or private as you wish - there are those in residence who are desperate to be seen and others who choose to remain anonymous. The eccentric and highly personal history of the place, its luscious rich past, its tarnished patina are all part of the charm." -A. M Homes

Yes, it's a stylish and yet cozy hotel. Take the dining area for example, I felt like I was in someone's living room rather than a posh hotel.

The food? Well, a good friend who knows I love it recommended the gnoocchi so I had to get that and yes, it was great! I think that everyone else at dinner enjoyed their food too. Despite everything being very good at dinner, the service was pretty awful. I mean, if you are going to spend this much money on a night out, you'd expect the waiters to be super meticulous about your entire experience. This was not the case. If you remember in a previous post, I talked about my dinner at Mastro's Steakhouse and how amazing the dinner and the service were together. It was an expensive dinner but the food and the waiters were incredible. I'm totally willing to pay for a pricey meal here and there if it's deserved.

All in all, it was a lovely night and I am so happy that I got to see my dear friend Tracy who is in town for work with her sweet boss, who also joined us for dinner.

Here we are after the meal at a bar, The Den, which is just across from the Chateau Marmont.

So, have any of you been to the Chateau Marmont?

I'm Grateful For...-Day 13

Here are my blessings for Day 13:
  1. I'm grateful to usually get 6-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night! All my life (so far) I've never been one of those people that tosses and turns and wakes up a million times throughout the night. Thank goodness, cause I LOVE sleep!
  2. Breakfast in bed! There's something about eating your first meal of the day under warm covers. I enjoy eating a bowl of cereal in bed especially.
  3. I'm able to pay all my bills.
  4. I'm grateful that I can completely and utterly surrender to what is and then waiting expectantly for the good that is to come.
  5. My magazines and the time to flip through each and every page.
  6. Delighting in other people's children.
  7. Delighting in my amazing nephew, Lucas. He is definitely my favorite person in the world!
  8. The desire for knowledge. I love constantly learning new things. Teach away!
  9. I'm grateful for bookstores. I feel closer to my family every time I'm in one.
  10. The amazing sunrises and sunsets I've seen in my life.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day!

With it being Veterans Day today and since I have wonderfully gotten so many new followers in the last few weeks, I thought it would be the perfect time to tell you about my roommate, Gina's incredible project. It's called Pin-Ups For Vets. I'll talk about it a lot on my blog.

When I moved to LA in January and began living with Gina, I immediately was so impressed with Pin-Ups for Vets and wanted to do anything I could to help her out. She was more than happy to take on an assistant! : ) This amazing calendar project does so much for our Vets and I am so proud of Gina. She tirelessly devotes just about every waking hour to this project. Instead of me rambling on about what I think the project is all about, I thought it would be nice to hear it straight from her. She recently wrote the following letter to some her Vet supporters.

To Our Brave Heroes,
Some of you may have heard about my project “Pin-Ups For Vets”, or have my pin-up
calendar or poster hanging up in your living quarters where you are deployed. I have always been a huge fan of WWII nose art, and in 2006, came up with the idea to produce a WWII style pin-up calendar that would raise money for Veterans and Military hospitals across the US. My grandfather was a WWII Army Veteran and my project is a tribute to his service in the military. He passed away when I was younger, and never got to see this project, but when I hold his dog tags in my hand, I know that he is up there somewhere, smiling.

My 2011 calendar is about to be released, and by the end of this year, “Pin-Ups For Vets” will have donated $50,000 to help improve health care programs at our Veterans and Military hospitals across the US. In addition to raising money, I also travel across the US dressed as a 1940s pin-up girl, delivering donated calendars to our hospitalized Veterans to help improve their spirits during hospital stays. As of November 2011, I have been to 19 different VA/Military hospitals in 12 different states (this includes 3 separate trips to Walter Reed and trips to Bethesda Naval Hospital, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Diego Naval Medical Center, among many others). Finally, I ship thousands of donated calendars to deployed units to boost troop morale and bring a “touch of home” and some fun to you!

I have to admit that helping serve you has changed my life. To all of my brave heroes out there, both men and women, you are my inspiration. I have met thousands of you at VA/Military hospitals and on bases across the US. I have firsthand seen your service to your country, your patriotism, your generosity, your kindness, your hospitality, your intense work ethic, and your courage in the face of extreme circumstances. I have never met such incredible people as you. They say actions speak louder than words. You are all about actions. Your perseverance has shown me how to be determined in my own life. Your courage has shown me how to be strong in difficult times. Your sacrifices have shown me that life is about giving to and helping others. You are my role models.

There is a quote that I love by Winston Churchill: “You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.” You have dedicated yourselves so unselfishly to serve our country and do not ask for anything in return. I often hear service members say, “I do this so others don’t have to.” You do what you do so we can have our freedom, and there are no words to express my gratitude to you for your service and what you do on a daily basis. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do.

Please send me an e-mail at pinupsforvets@aol.com and let me know if you would like some calendars for your unit and I would be more than happy to send some to you! I autograph them all, and please let me know if you would like any special messages on them. It is the least I can do for you.

From a very thankful Pin-Up Girl,
Gina Elise

Pretty awesome, huh? Please check out her website, Pin-Ups For Vets for more information on the project and/or if you would like to purchase a calendar or two. We are headed to Chicago next week to hand deliver T-Shirts and posters to a VA hospital there. : )

These are just a few of my favorite shots from her previous calendars.

And these are some favorite shots with Gina and I. Notice that my hair is different in each picture! Ha! Oh how I love living with a pin up who owns lots of wigs!