Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
1. One of my roommates is an incredibly talented writer and she recently wrote a very interesting and fun article for The Daily called "Grumpy, Dopey, Risky and Walt". The Daily is "a tablet-native national news brand built from the ground up to publish original content exclusively for the iPad." Please go to that link and read Swati's article for yourself! If you enjoy it as much as I'm sure you will, stay tuned for more as I'll continue to let you know of her of next published works.
2. Of course I've blogged numerous times about my roommate Gina's awesome non profit organization, Pin-Ups for Vets. Pin-Ups for Vets is World War II style calendar that Gina created and models in. All the money raised from these calendars goes to help support VA and Military Hospitals around the US. She then hand-delivers these calendars to the hospitals. I've been to 7 different hospitals with her. Our last trip together was to Germany and Florida. I am excited to go to Hawaii and Arizona next month with her for two more visits.
3. My old boss's daughter in Phoenix is in a very cool band called Super Stereo. A couple weeks ago I was excited to discover that they were going to be in Los Angeles playing at a bar right by where I live. Of course I went and saw them perform and was delighted by what I heard. They have such a fresh and new sound that's hard to get out of your head. They call their genre 'future pop' which is really so accurate. Please check out their Facebook page, Super Stereo or their own website. Their music can also be purchased on iTunes. My favorite songs are "Go On" and "Life Passed Me By".
4. Todd, my brother in-law co-owns a car showroom called European Collectibles on PCH. I finally got to see it this afternoon and was in awe of all the stunning cars in there. They have a 1960 Fiat, 1965 Ford Mustang, a 1986 Ferrari, a 1956 Ford Thunderbird, a 1958 Jaguar and many others. You almost feel like you are walking back in time in this showroom. If you aren't in the market for one of these beautiful cars, just go check out their inventory for fun! EC on PH is very easy to find as it's along the Pacific Coast Highway, in the city of Newport Beach across from the Balboa Bay Club.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
How do you do it? I've passed you and your large family just about every time I go running around my neighborhood and every time I see you, I'm impressed and in awe of your mothering abilities. Thankfully, another man, I presume your husband is pushing one of your double strollers while you push the other one and your two older daughters walk right behind you. I'm happy to see that you have help. I wonder if you also have a nanny a few days of a week... Well, you certainly have a beautiful family.
You never fail to smile at me when I run by you all. This tells me that you either must be perfectly content with your life, that perhaps, this is what you wanted all along OR you are a very good actress. Maybe you even want more children... Who knows?
I wonder if after grinning at me and I pass you by, you become jealous and angry that I have the time to go running. I have this precious time to myself to do something just for me and for no one else. Did you used to enjoy running or are you not a fan at all like I used to be? Maybe you even feel sorry for me since I appear to not have a family... Do you miss your single independent life?
These will all remain questions forever because I can't ever imagine ever asking you them. But I really am curious about all this.
Sure, you aren't like Kate Gosselin from Jon and Kate Plus 8 at all but that just means that you don't have your own reality show thereby giving you plenty of money to support this large family. You also certainly aren't like Angelina Jolie with her 50 kids either and probably a team of nannies and other caretakers helping her out. Not being in the spotlight means you aren't getting a lot of recognition. I hope that your family appreciates everything you do for them and thanks you a lot.
So I suppose my main question to you and mothers like you with all these children is how do you do it? How do you find the time for yourself and also be a great mother? I can't really see myself having 6 kids but I certainly am envious of all the love that surrounds you 24/7. : )
I wish you a lifetime of happiness with your little crew.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Last night I decided to have a little fun with apples. I have a bunch that were pretty small I thought it would be neat to try a recipe that I've been hanging on to for awhile that involves baking red apples.
APPLES TO THE THIRD POWER
4 large apples (I used 5 smallish ones)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup apple butter (I couldn't find this so I used regular butter and they turned out great)
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup apple cider (I decided to be adventurous and used sparkling apple cider)
Here's what you do:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Core the apples. Stir together sugar and cardamom, and put in 1 teaspoon in the cavity of each apple. Fill to the top with apple butter. Top each with a slice of butter and the remaining cardamom sugar.
Arrange the apples in a pie tin (or cookie sheet), and pour the cider all around them.
Bake 50 minutes, until soft. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the apples to serving plates. Transfer the pan juices to a saucepan and boil until reduced slightly, for about 2 minutes. Pour juice around the apples. (I didn't do this last step because the juice was already fairly thick and syrupy when it came out of the oven)
I was thrilled with the final results! We threw some vanilla ice cream on top of them and this really brought out all the yummy flavors. There's really nothing better than hot apples with cold ice cream! This is a super easy recipe so I definitely encourage you to try it out for yourself.
Monday, April 25, 2011
1. Poker Face - Glee Cast I know the episode with this song aired a long time ago but I just finally watched it last week and I have to say that I'm in love with this version of Lady Gaga's infamous dance tune. It seriously rocks and I'm proud to say that I totally enjoy singing along to it at the top of my lungs.
2. Blind Faith - Chase & Status "A heavyhearted, soul-baring rave-revival plea that take U.K. warehouse-party nostalgia to vertiginous heights". (Thanks SPIN magazine for this perfection song explanation!
3. Nat Geo - G-Slide & Chris Lee Despite containing several incredibly dark and sad lines, the accompanying soft choir create quite the pretty combination. I never would have discovered this song if it hadn't been for my music magazine subscriptions.
4. Fake Empire - The National Yes, this is an older song by this indie rock band but I'm just now getting into them and I love this one! If you are a fan, what are some other songs by them that I should have? They are going to be here in LA soon so I might have to check them out.
5. Cardiac Arrest - Teddybears & Robyn You gotta love the Swedes! On this track, singer Robyn joins fellow Swedes, Teddybears on this frothy disco rock tune. Rolling Stone magazine calls it "a pinch of arsenic in a tequila shot". What a description! : )
6. You Are a Tourist - Death Cab for Cutie If you haven't heard of Death Cab for Cutie, then you've been living under a rock! This group's sound is amazing and their songs are both beautiful and thoughtful. This is their newest song and feels more inspirational and sweet then most of their other melancholy ones.
7. Surrender Album - The Chemical Brothers My roommate Swati let me burn this entire album of hers and I can honestly say that my life will never be the same. I'm not really sure how I've been doing all this running without The Chemical Brothers?! The music is pure adrenaline and keep you moving to the very end of the album. What other album or songs should I own, Chemical Brothers fans?
8. Till the World Ends - Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj & Ke$ha I can't help it but this is a great song to dance or work out to. I'm not Britney's biggest fan so I was excited to see that Nicki Minaj was on the remix, whom I love. I usually don't even like remixes but this one is fun.
9. Run the World - Beyonce / Judas - Lady Gaga I feel the same way about both of these songs... I really really want to love them but for the time being, I'm struggling. I can't get into them but perhaps I just haven't listened to them enough. I love these ladies so here's hoping that I'll come around to them soon. Are you a fan of them yet?
Got any songs that you are loving these days? I always love music suggestions!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Prince has produced 10 platinum albums and thirty top 40 singles! He has won 7 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. Whoa!
On Friday night I had the immense pleasure of seeing the legendary artist, PRINCE in concert. Yes, be jealous, be very jealous! : ) In a word, the whole show was electrifying! (Thanks SP!)
I will admit that honestly I've never been his biggest fan and have many friends that have wanted to kill me for saying that. But I just never really understood him or most of his music. While I still think he is incredibly eccentric and even odd at times, he puts on quite a show and his songs are timeless. I am so grateful that I got the chance to see him perform live. I believe that you learn sooo much from that opportunity. Plus it was fun to transport back to the 80's for the night! : )
First off, he sounds exactly like he did back at the height of his career. Some of my friends would say that he will always be at the height of his career but you get what I mean... I can say for sure that this 52 year old still has all the musical talent, the confidence, the moves and more. He is in LA doing a 21 Show 'Residency' Concert Series. The concert I went to was at The Forum in Inglewood but apparently he'll be performing in a few other spots as well. If you haven't seen him yet and you are in LA, I highly urge you to go. It feels almost ridiculous to pay only $25 to see such a musical icon at work.
One of the first songs he performed is my personal favorite, "Raspberry Beret" so I was absolutely thrilled from the beginning to end.
Before he took the stage:
He lit up the stage literally and figuratively! : )
Here is my roommate Swati and our good friend Amina half-way thru the concert.
Alicia Keys was his special surprise guest performer! I was freaking out when I saw her appear from the hole in the stage floor! I love her and never expected to see her there. They sang an awesome duet of her song "How Come You Don't Call Me?"
Have you seen Prince in concert? What musical legends are you dieing to see? I would LOVE to see Madonna, Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera and so many more! : )
Thursday, April 21, 2011
This week's Mama Kat's writing prompt that I chose was "A phone call you won't forget".
"Wait, what?! You want me to call her and tell her?! I...How? I can't do this....Tell her?.. Oh my God." This is what I said to the director of my parents school when he asked me to call my sister and tell her the devastating news that our parents had died but the cause of death was unknown. How the f**k was I going to do that? I didn't even understand it myself, how could I possibly explain it to her?
It was a Sunday night or rather 2AM on Monday morning. I just had a very fun and exciting first weekend living in Phoenix, Arizona. Two close college girlfriends had driven down from Tucson, to spend the weekend with me. Two long nights out in the Phoenix club scene ensued. Coupled with plenty of cocktails and not enough sleep, I was exhausted and ready for Monday. I had an exciting job interview at 10AM and was psyched to begin my new Phoenix adventure. Having just graduated from college, I felt more than ready to start this new chapter of my life. Little did I know that that very same weekend across the world in North Africa, my parents had died. It's an intense sentence. I still can't believe the words that come out of my mouth.
When the phone rang that awful night, I'll never forget the awful sinking feeling I had in the pit of my stomach. When I looked at my phone light up, I instantly knew it was an overseas call and I had a feeling it was from Tunisia, where my parents were living at the time. I quickly answered the call that was to be my worst nightmare. It was Patrick, the director of my parents school in Tunis. He proceeded to very calmly and rationally tell me that my parents had just been found in their home and they were "gone". Yes, "gone" was his word of choice.
Needless to say, I don't really remember much else about this conversation. All I knew is that he had my sister's wrong number so I was given the nearly impossible responsibility of breaking the news to her.
I had to call her.
My world was quickly plummeting to the ground. Now I had to be the one to change my sister, Tonya's world forever too.
After I hung up the phone, I mentally prepared myself to call Tonya. But I didn't want to be alone...ever again. I frantically picked up a Kleenex box off my kitchen table, my cell phone, a pad of paper, a pen and my keys. I walked out the door of my apartment building to my friend Tracy and Lindsey's apartment which was thankfully just down the hallway. Tracy was and still is my dear friend and I needed her at that moment. I'm not sure how I got there but I finally did. I banged on their front door. They answered it together and I'm sure they could tell by my flushed cheeks and disheveled appearance that something was very wrong. "My parents are gone.. I can't do this... What am I going to do now? They think my parents are dead," I managed to blubber out. The girls instantly started crying and asking me questions I didn't have the answers to yet. "I have to call Tonya and Todd now." Tracy asked if I wanted her to call them for me. I said no, I had to be the one to do it.
So, the three of us sat together on their living room couch, with me in the middle with their arms wrapped around me. I slowly breathed in and out a few times and thought of Tonya asleep in bed next to her husband of only three short months still happy and content in that world where I was too up until 20 minutes ago. I hated having to grab her from that wonderful world. But I had to.
There was certainly a part of me that couldn't handle being alone with this information any longer. I needed her. I needed my sister.
I dialed Tonya's number. She didn't answer. I called her husband Todd's cell phone. He answered. "Hi Todd. I'm sorry it's so late." He said, "That's OK Leah. What's wrong?" "Todd, I don't know how to say this... Something has happened. I need you and Tonya to both listen to me." I took a deep breath and fought back the tears. I took Tracy's hand with my free hand and held on tightly. "Mom and Dad have died. The director of their school just called me. They don't know anything..." I could hear the tears forming in Tonya and Todd's voices. I felt a small sense of relief. It was done, they knew. I wasn't alone anymore. I told them to call Patrick. He was expecting their call and would try answering their questions. Tonya said that she would call me back with more information. Before hanging up, she asked me to stay with Tracy and that she loved me very much. We were both hoping this wasn't true and that a massive misunderstanding had just happened. All I knew is that she would call Tunis and figure everything out. Our questions would soon be answered, at least some of them.
Hearing the news that my parents had died will always remain the worst moment of my life, but definitely the hardest thing that I've ever had to do was making that phone call and sharing this news with my sister and brother in-law. I hope she feels like I did as good of a job as anyone could do under the circumstances. I sometimes wonder if she would have rather heard it from someone else. I worry that whenever I call her, she is nervous that I'm calling to give her bad news. Would I have preferred to have heard this from her? I'm not really sure. A sad phone call is a sad phone call no matter who does the calling. If anything I wish that I could have somehow spared Tonya this new world without our parents just as she wishes she could have spared me from it.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tina Fey is awesome! Seriously, I can't get enough of her. Last night I had the pleasure of seeing her talk about her newly released book, "Bossypants" and how she got into the entertainment industry. It was an interview/conversation between her and notoriously funny actor, Steve Martin. FYI, he hasn't changed a bit! Ok, so maybe he has a full head of gray hair now but I think it's been like that for awhile but he still is warm and hilarious!
While I've known for a long time just how funny he is, I wasn't fully aware of Tina Fey's comic genius. Sure, I've seen her on SNL plenty of times and of course seen some of her movies. Have you seen "Mean Girls"? It's one of my favorite movies ever and she wrote it! But there's really nothing like seeing someone live talking in front of you.
Tina Fey is so witty and charming. I couldn't help but feel like she was just sitting in her living room having a fun chat with all 5,000 of us sitting in the Nokia Theater in downtown LA. She and Steve Martin worked very well together and seemed to honestly get along and often made each other laugh up on stage. I'd also like to add that she is as funny as she is pretty. I love her effortless look and even with a little pregnant belly, she still managed to appear in great shape. She had on the cutest leopard print heels! : )
I hope to read her book very soon. Have you read it? What do you think of these two entertainers?
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
This week's Tasty Tuesday is about crock pots. Yes, I finally dived into the wonderful easy world of crock pot action. I've heard from other friends just how simple they are to use but never got around to cooking with one. Well, today I finally did! One of my roommate actually owns me that had never been used so we decided to break it in.
We had gone out last night for Ethiopian food and had plenty of fish leftovers so we thought it was smart to throw that in the crock pot and make some kind of a vegetable and fish stew.
Here's what we used:
1 fish head! : ) It adds flavor evidently!
numerous pieces of fish
4 whole carrots
2 large potatoes
4 celery stalks
1 whole onion
About 2 cups of vegetable broth
About 2 cups of water
Salt & Pepper
A variety of herbs and spices my roommate threw in...
Chop all the veggies into small bite size pieces and simply throw them into the crock pot, add the water and vegetable broth, then the meat and then sprinkle in your desired amounts of spices and extra flavors.
I know, I know, the fish head in there looks totally gross but I really did think it added a nice flavor! : )
Then turn the crock pot on and try very hard to walk away and leave it alone for up at 6 hours! Here we are staring at it waiting for something to happen.
For not using any kind of a recipe at all, I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised that our stew turned out very well. The only recommendation that I would have made is to add a stronger flavor into it. It tasted a little simple. Perhaps more salt and pepper in the end.... Not sure. Got any suggestions? Have you ever used a crock pot? What kinds of things have you made? Anything like what we did?
Monday, April 18, 2011
My roommate, two friends and I saw a movie and then grabbed some delicious burgers around the corner from the theater at Stout. Nothing better than a yummy veggie burger(I'm eating vegetarian for the month) and a great beer.
On Saturday I met a new friend about 45 minutes east of Los Angeles in Arcadia. We spent several hours at the Arboretum and stayed till long after closing. For those of you that don't know what the heck is arboretum is, it's like a wild animal park but only for plants, a variety of birds and smaller animals. Normally I wouldn't really have been able to enjoy something like this for that long but I suppose it's all about the company. : ) There were peacocks walking around everywhere which was pretty neat too.
On Sunday, I went on a run around my neighborhood which was awesome but incredibly hot. Not sure how I'm going to run outside this summer... After the run, my sister came into town with her husband and they dropped off their son for me to babysit for the afternoon. They went off to lunch and Lucas and I went off to a nearby park. We had a really fun day together but of course, it's always too short. Luckily I'll be seeing them all later this week. Later at night, my roommate and I headed to a book reading in Hollywood. So all in all, a very busy weekend!
Did you do anything fun last weekend?
Friday, April 15, 2011
This week’s statements
1. Despite the fact that I should know better, I still always fall way too hard too soon for guys.
2. I play with my hair when I am worried.
3. I always forget song titles but remember who sang the song.
4. Napping is the best!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Summer must be approaching because my calendar is quickly filling up with concerts, concerts and more concerts! I couldn't be more happier about that!! Actually, I just enjoy putting in my calendar who will be where on what date here in LA. This doesn't necessarily mean that I'll be going. I just like knowing when the concert is going to be. I've spoken of my intense love for concerts in an earlier post here.
I wish that I could go to all of the awesome concerts this summer! Here are just a few of the concerts that I'm excited about:
- Prince-Next Friday I am for sure going!!
- Lauryn Hill
- Katy Perry and Robyn
- Sade and John Legend
- Matt & Kim
- Ghostland Observatory
- Grease Sing-Along
- West Side Story Sing-Along
Monday, April 11, 2011
I went to Phoenix over the weekend and had an absolutely amazing time! I attended a very good friend's baby shower, a song-titled themed party and several fun lunches and dinner with old friends.
Here's a little taste of what's been happening since my post last week:
Last Monday my sister invited me to go to Disneyland with her and some of our family. Despite it being super hot, we had a really good time. I definitely love Disneyland and need to go again soon. We even got on about 6 different rides! My nephew Lucas loved it and enjoyed meeting a few characters. I loved getting a picture with Minnie!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
This is a real text conversation that took place between me and a perspective boy from the dating website that I am on:
Me- Hey! This is L from dating website.
Boy-Hey L! how are you? What's your username?
Me-I'm good. How r u? Haha given your number out a lot, eh? It's .....
Boy- Hey you : )
Me-How's it going?
Boy- Wanna come over for a movie tonight? It's going good.
Me- Whoa, slow down there! Haha.. How about a date this week instead?
Boy- Hmmm ok. I thought you were into that kind of thing.
Me- Into what?
Boy- Like friends w benefits, no strings, hookups
Me- Where did you get that idea from?
Boy- We could get coffee then go back to my house. idk. So does that mean you're not into it?
Me- Nope. Sorry, that's definitely not what I'm about.
Boy- Ok. Cheers!
Me- Take care.
Boy- U too.
Can you believe this? What the hell is this guy doing on a dating website?! UGH! How are girls supposed to pick out these guys from the rest of them? His profile didn't warn me of any of this! In fact, it says that he is looking for short term and long term relationships. Plus, I really want to know what about me and/or my profile screams easy and willing to hook up?! Geesh! Nothing, that's what! It's experiences like these that make me not want to be on a dating website!
Friday, April 1, 2011
Here's what I had to smile about this month:
1st- Back at Bikram Yoga after 4 missed days and it felt amazing!
2nd- I had a dentist appointment to check the progress of my Invisalign and I am right on track to be finished by the middle of next month!!
3rd- An easy drive to Las Vegas!
4th- An amazing night out with new and old friends for a friends Bachelorette Party!
5th- Several hours spent at our hotel pool! Aww, pure bliss!
6th- Another painless drive back home to LA from Vegas.
7th- My 27th Birthday! What's not to be happy about today?!
8th- A sweet trip to Babies R Us for two baby shower gifts.
9th- Finally mailing several Thank-You cards out! I have so much to be thankful for in life.
10- There's nothing better than a nice long run!
11- Went to a Bikram Yoga class with a friend!
12- A busy but very filling day of physical activity and work.
13- Another busy day filled with so much love. My family visited me in LA and took me out for my birthday dinner.
14- This was a fun/productive/busy day ending with nannying for a super sweet little boy.
15- A fabulous night out to a glitzy fashion show in downtown LA
16- I enjoyed a nice long walk around my cute neighborhood.
17- A fun afternoon alone with my nephew sans any green beer!
18- Yet another fun afternoon alone with my nephew.
19- I met some new running friends at a yummy Carbo-load dinner.
20- I ran and finished the LA MARATHON!!
21- Very sore but I'm happy I have no blisters and I can stay home all day to recover from the run.
22- A painless and inexpensive trip to the car dealership to get the oil changed in my car. I also started the vegetarian diet which I'm excited about.
23- Got a new iPod!
24- An hour long massage in the afternoon!!! Aaaahhh!!!
25- Helped out a friend in need.
26- Long fun Saturday filled with an intense basketball game, good friends, beer and this city.
27- Happy to not be hungover! ;)
28- Celebrated a friends birthday at a new restaurant.
29- Two big signs today..
30- Had the courage to text first. : )
31- My roommate Gina's 2nd amazing Pin-Ups For Vets fundraising event. I enjoy any excuse to dress up and put a flower in my hair.