Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I have a lot going on this upcoming week (I leave in 6 days!), and didn't plan to do much for Halloween. I really wanted to carve a pumpkin or two, but I wasn't able to get to a pumpkin patch, and I didn't want to just buy a pumpkin from the grocery I figured meh, there's always next year. The bf did bring 3 pumpkins for me, Ziggy and Nellie though, which was pretty cute. The dogs really seemed to like theirs. We put them on the floor, and each dog grabbed their pumpkin by the stem and ran off with it, which was hysterical. I manged to snap a few photos, and I laugh every time I look at them.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I met Mike when I first moved to LA, probably 8 or 9 years ago, and he immediately became "fam." It's funny how some people just make their way into your lives like that, and I'm glad he did (thanks, Cait!).

He's been heavy into art for the time I've known him, so it totally made sense when he founded his professional brand, Art Mobb. It didn't take long for him to gain a reputation for his artwork; he's even been compared to the likes of Andy Warhol: "Farhat's work has come to represent the modern athlete like Warhol's paintings embodied the cultural icons he depicted in the 60s and 70s. It's not "Pop Art," but it's "art that pops" with athletes.

(The fiance of a girl I used to work with wrote this article about Mike, which landed on the Yahoo! homepage, and is where I got the quote, above. Small world, isn't it?)

As I've mentioned, I'm pretty OCD and I save way too many things--but I'm pretty pumped that I saved birthday cards from Mike, which included little drawings. I'll bank on those being worth something someday, so good looking, Mike!

This past Sunday, he held a charity art show at his downtown art gallery (which, conveniently enough, is only a block away from me), that was co-hosted by Matt Barnes (of the Clippers), benefiting athletes vs. cancer. Here are a few snapshots from the event:

^^Oh hey, Clipper Darrell!

^^Art Mobb, represent. (lol)
^^Look at these two handsome guys...two of my favorites!

^^How cute are these two? I met Liz at my very first job out of college, the Rubicon Project, and I hadn't seen her in years. It was such a fun surprise, and I got to congratulate her in person on her engagement! 

^^And take a look at this stunner! You know her from here and here ;)
^^I just adore her!
^^And him :)
(I felt weird lending my camera to some guy I didn't know, but I'm glad I did, because this came out of it!)

Mike, I admire your passion, and am proud of all you've accomplished. I can't wait to see what else the future holds for you!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Must Make: Chicken Parmesan & Spaghetti Squash

Chicken Parmesan is another dish that I never thought I'd make. In the past I wouldn't have gone near a dish that had tomato anything or cheese, so it wasn't really on my immediate "must make" list. But, since I'm growing up and trying new things, I decided to give this one a whirl. And I'm glad I did, because I'm not gonna lie...I did a pretty darn good job.

I used a variation of this recipe  for the chicken, and to make the sauce, it's pretty simple:

Get a quality can of crushed tomatoes and olive oil. Put a few tablespoons of oil in a pot, dump the tomatoes, add some fresh basil, oregano, salt and pepper (I throw in garlic and onion powder, and sometimes I'll dice up some onions; it's really up to you), and keep it on medium heat for about 20 minutes or so. Then just drop it down to a simmer until you are ready to use it.

The spaghetti squash is super easy, too. Some people microwave it, but I bake it. Cut it in half, brush on a little oil, salt and pepper, and place it face down on a sheet and bake it at 425 for 35-45 minutes (it depends on how hot your oven is, really). Then flip it over and bake for another 15 minutes, face-up. Once you take it out of the oven, scoop out the seeds, and the rest of the pulp will be easy to take out with a fork. It'll look like stringy spaghetti! Throw the chicken on top, add as much sauce and basil as you'd like, and there ya go: chicken Parmesan spaghetti squash.

Monday, October 28, 2013

It's a Monday...

and it feels like one.

I have been a bit MIA since getting a new computer; I've been trying to figure out how to use Windows 8, and have been transferring all of my data (thank you, Adam!)--and thousands of photos--from my old computer to the new one (it's this one, in case you're wondering!). And in addition to my computer purging, it's just been a rough few days. I had a bit of a scare with my little man, Ziggy (above), but the good news is that he is okay. I'm leaving for Europe in 9 days, and I'm a bit more nervous to leave now...but I'm trying to relax and stay positive, and trust that all will be just fine.  Good vibes and well-wishes sent our way will be appreciated!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Just my luck: shoe deals and steals!

There are 13 days until I leave for Spain, and I am starting to get a bit anxious. I try not to plan too too much in advance, but who am I kidding; I can't help it. I have a running list of outfits that I intend to pack, and I have another list of things to buy (that I really don't need) in order to complete some of these outfits.

One basic outfit I have in my head included these Louboutins (below), but knowing their cost was equivalent to one of my plane tickets, I have tried to push them out of my mind, and figure out a good alternative.

Well, I was at Macy's trying to find a new red lip (I settled for Ruby Woo, from MAC), and I walked by these (below)! I hadn't tried to find something similar, so I was really happy that they found me. Now, in my true obsessive compulsive way, I can check off another outfit as "complete."

Just a happy little update.

PS, you can buy the BCBGeneration 'Cynthia' Pump here!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Catch the flu, become a baker.

It's kind of ironic, because just last week I was talking to my grandmother about getting the flu shot. Well, about not getting the flu shot. And wouldn't you know...I got the flu. (Or something flu-like.)

I hate being sick. I mean, I'm sure we all do, but I realllly hate being sick. Particularly, not being able to breathe. It makes me even more grumpy, and it annoys me to the point where I can't even get any rest if I wanted to. (How are you supposed to sleep when you can't breathe!?) So, I usually clean profusely--which is typical when I'm not feeling well, because I feel like my apartment is full of germs--watch about as much bad TV as I can stand, and I cook. Well, this time, I baked. And if you know me, you've probably heard me complain about not being able to bake, because in the past, my attempts haven't gone so well. Cooking is a totally different story. But now, I am a baker.

The bf's favorite dessert is cheesecake, so I thought it'd be fun to surprise him with one, because he wouldn't expect it at all. I Googled a bunch of recipes, found this one, and called my mom to see if it sounded right. Once I obtained her approval, I decided to give it a go! And, I did much better than expected.

For fun, here's the online photo (top), and mine (below), without the raspberry swirl. The lighting throws the color a bit, but I'd like to think I came pretty close to the recipe's photo. And on my first try! Next time I'll do more of a crust, too, since it's my favorite part. Actually, it's the only part I like.

Funny thing is... I don't really like cheesecake ;)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"Un f*ck your closet."

If you live in a smaller space like I do (holler for city living), or if you're a clothing hoarder, or if you're plain unorganized (hey, Mom!), this chart may be of help. I probably re-do my closet once a month, because I have a shopping problem, and because I have a boyfriend problem--more and more of his things have been infiltrating my already small closet space. It's not so bad, because I feel as though my style is slowly but surely evolving and reflecting who I am, and I'm ridding my closet of things that don't really fit me (from a style perspective). And for "his" things in my closet...well,  that's just a part of give and take in a relationship. (I'm giving the closet space.)

Happy closet un f*cking.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's my dog's birthday, and I'm that guy.

Happy fourth birthday to my boy, Ziggy! (He is much happier than he appears above, I swear.) I thought it'd be funny to see his crazy little self with a party hat on, so I threw a bit of a birthday fete for him--and so I could take pictures. (I guess it was kind of for me then.) Despite the challenges that sometimes come with an anti-social, paranoid dog, I just love him so much.

^^Nellie's eyebrow^^
^^In true birthday fashion, I bought Z some cupcakes (from Pussy & Pooch, which has the best pet supplies).
^^Don't these look good enough to eat? Dog food and accessories have gotten out of control.
^^Someone wanted all of the attention, and is pouting in the background!
^^But he had plenty of attention. Z was even more spoiled by this guy, who bought dog bones for the occasion. (And wine for me!)  

 (Borderline ridiculous, sure. But you have to admit... it's pretty funny. Love you, Z!)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Must Make: Crunchy kale salad.

I went to lunch in Echo Park with my friend Jane a couple weeks back, and saw a crunchy kale salad on the menu. I didn't order it, but for some reason I kept thinking about it after I had left the restaurant. I decided to wing my own crunchy kale salad, and came up with my own version, below.

  • 1 bunch kale
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Toasted pine nuts (amount is based upon preference)
  • Bread crumbs (amount is based upon preference)

Toast the pine nuts in a saute pan first, then added the kale until it had softened just a bit (you don't want it to wilt). Then add the lemon juice to tone down the taste of the kale, and finally, the bread crumbs. Toss and enjoy! (It's super easy, and it's super good. A total win/win.)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy First Birthday, Sex + Grand!

(Technically, it was yesterday.)

(And, pardon my crooked candle. But don't pardon my cute apple pie!)

Yesterday, 10/10/13, was my blog's first birthday! I don't have children, so I decided to celebrate the past year of my baby blog. Time really does fly. I started this blog, well, a year ago, and it really is funny to see the "then to now." It's also kind of cool to see how I've chronicled the last year: I've traveled the world, met new people, fallen in love, watched (and photographed) friends get engaged, get married and have children, gained a beautiful godson, learned how much I love cooking (and my crackpot Crockpot), and how much I enjoy DIY projects. And oh, the final given, how much I really do cherish my friends and family.

I think the best part is that I can relive all of these things by scrolling through my blog. Sure, there are many things I see "wrong" with it, ie, grammatical issues and photography flaws, but overall, I'm quite proud of my baby. I have used this space to vent, be creative, hone writing and photography skills, learn what truly interests me, and to share my life in pieces, really. The commitment of writing has taught me a lot, too. It's easy to just kind of push things aside and be lazy; this takes work! Reading comments and hearing that people are enjoying what I'm writing makes it all worth it. I really do appreciate all of the love.

So, a big thank you to all of you, and a big happy birthday to my baby blog. xo.

(PS, my adorable apple pie idea, here.)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I saw Jesus at Bottega Louie.

Bottega Louie is a beautiful restaurant only a block away from me, and no matter what time of day or night you go, it is guaranteed to be busy. And not just plain busy; the most busy you'll ever see a restaurant get. Ever. And they don't take reservations. (Unless you live in a fancy complex downtown that they give priority dining too.) That said, I still highly recommend it! Here's a tip for those who wish to avoid a long wait for a table in the dining area: there is no wait list for the seating in the marketplace area by all of the pastry. Once you see someone ready to leave, just snag their table! I always feel bad doing this when I see a ton of people waiting for the dining area, presuming they don't know to just sit in the marketplace. But it really does beat that crazy line for a table.

I met my friend Christian for lunch, who I haven't seen in about 6 months or so (we last met for a Sunday brunch at Alcove Cafe); it is insane how time flies. Catching up is always fun though, and we are shooting to meet again within the next 3 months. (We figure to shoot for half the time it took us getting together this past time.) Bottega was no less busy than usual, nor was it less eventful. There was a person sitting in the marketplace who I'd assume to be a Dr. Seuss character (Christian initially thought it was not a person, but rather a pinata), AND, Jesus was there:

There is a hysterical Tumblr account called "I saw Jesus in LA" that logs any sightings of Jesus in Los Angeles (real name Kevin Lee Light, according to the Tumblr). It's funny though, I've never seen him downtown--only in Hollywood or more West. And it was even more funny to watch everyone watching him. I actually thought he was quite nice, posing for photos with anyone who asked. (I should have asked.)

After that, it was apparent that we needed to order some food and drinks. So, we did just that!

^^I notice that whenever I'm not with the bf, I  wind up ordering a burger. He doesn't eat meat, and he doesn't care if I do, but I save my bacon cheeseburgers for the times I'm eating without him ;)
 ^^Bottega has beautiful little pastries and colorful macaroons. I'm not a huge fan of sweets (I'd rather french fries), but I did decide to snag this Dulce de Leche tartlet, to the far left!
^^And it was a good decision.
(^^Just because I liked my outfit.)