Friday, January 22, 2016


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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

THE FINAL BLOG POST EVER. (At least on this blog).

FYI – beginning next week, this particular blog will be defunct and a new project will take its place. More to come, but stay tuned J

So as almost last post before my impending announcement, here is a short self-assessment I did that probably no one will read except me, Evan and maybe a few of my girlfriends, who will stop once they realize I told all of them this yesterday in a series of chaotic texts.

1. What am I most proud of this past year?

Based on the fact I had zero actually working experience at the beginning of this year, I should be rather proud of developing my skills as a litigation associate. But that’s rather boring and expected. Why go to three years of law school, otherwise? 

In actuality, I am proud of having been able to balance, for the most part, a full-time lawyer job with my consulting work while finding opportunities to write and host.

Also being slightly better at setting boundaries, sort of?

PS On a completely vain level, I also lost 15 pounds through pilates, yoga and spin (thanks classpass!), so woooo! 

2. How can I become a better _____________?

WRITER. I had this epiphany with Megan the other day at lunch. My main job, pastime, hobby, creative outlet and form of communication used to be the written word. As Megan and I discussed, we feel as if our vocabulary, syntax and basic communication skills have dwindled, narrowed, and almost bloody well disappeared because of law school. My writing brought be joy, relief, and an artistic outlet that I no longer have and I’d like to get back to that. Daily writing exercises, going back to journaling, actively looking for new opportunities (like my new food writing gig!) will help me get back on track. As a more concrete goal, I’d like to find a new publication to write for by the end of the month.

3. Where am I feeling stuck?

My job. Dating. Without going into it too much, I think the problem source for both is my risk aversion and issues of insecurity, which for the record are absolute bullshit. Gotta get over that.  First things first, cut the fat. Second, only explore positive opportunities. Third, own my accomplishments (see below).

4. Where do I need to allow myself grace?

I’ve found myself often undermining my, well, everything. Part of the issue was the naïve 16 year old me creating a life checklist, which made of cotton candy and glitter, also included engagement, owning a house, paying off all my debt and everything short of winning a Nobel Prize plus the prize itself. Needless to say, I’m falling a bit behind. It sounds silly, especially because so many of those goals were rooted in romantic comedies, but I harshly and frequently judge myself for not being perfect or adhering to the checklist. I’d like to be more forgiving and remind myself, that despite the sleepless nights and mess of a closet, I’m doing pretty effing well.

5. Am I passionate about my career?

Um, so which one are we talking about. That is something I need to figure out this year. On one hand, I’m a full time litigation associate in an area of law that I never thought I’d be in. However, it is public interest. It is with good people, good teachers and great lunches. It is challenging and already in a year, I’ve built a positive reputation for myself and stand to do quite well. But is it right for me?

Then I have my consulting work and research in violence prevention programming (domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking). These are intermittent projects on a contract basis, which I would love to do full-time but on a freelance basis.

Then I have a variety of writing projects, casual blogging, food writing, op-eds, etc. These are even less frequent than my consulting work, but an area I’d like to expand.

All in all, I’d like a meaningful, public interest oriented job for a non-profit, doing managerial and/or research in women’s issues, while having time to blog and read and write, all from the comfort of my home. Any one care to help me with this?

6. What lessons have I learned?

Lesson #1: Know when to walk away. Oh I’ve mastered this one, especially when it comes to dating. I can see the red flags, I can see the negative impact, and I know when to walk away. However, minor issue: Being able to walk away is a whole other story – I am slowly getting more confident in this.

Lesson #2: My friends are basically the best and I SHOULD ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS AND TREAT THEM ACCORDINGLY. I say this every year, but I’ve really managed to put my friends through their paces. Despite my personal aversion to drama, it seems to follow me like a raincloud (often my own unwitting making). However, I can always depend on an amazing, supportive, intelligent friend to come drink wine and eat gobs of cheese and let me weep into my shag carpet. They accompany me on 6am hikes, tequila shot journeys, sweaty dancing at dive bars, concerts of artists they’ve never heard of, and even painting my bedroom while I drink beer in a corner. I can count on them to get me into double digit likes on my insta, leave me flowers on my doorstep, give me the best book recommendations, and try all of my experimental cooking, all while I’m selfishly wailing about how no one loves me. I owe them the world and more.

Lesson #3: Give love freely. And never expect in return. I’m a master of the first part of that. I lovely openly, fiercely and loyally, from the moment I meet almost anyone. My general approach is that anyone could be my best friend or my partner and everyone is deserving of conversation and hugs and food and listening to me gossip about people they neither know nor care about. However, very often, I become dependent on that person for feeling needed or useful or loved. But human relations don’t work like that – they work in waves and circles, topsy-turvey, and unpredictable. And I’ve learned to let go of expectations of reciprocity in ferocity when it comes to love.

7. What did my finances look like?

Better than ever. But I’m fearful of new student loans kicking in and having to adjust my rather bougie lifestyle. Maybe fewer weekend wine-tasting trips? Especially with my home owning goals – lololololol #movingtoFresno

8. How did I spend my free time?

Generally, I spend it hiking with Sophie in the morning. Evenings are spent in yoga/pilates/spin or entertaining friends with dinner and drinks. There are very, very few evenings (maybe 1-2) a month that I don’t have plans and can do the occasional Netflix binge. Despite a busy schedule, Sophie and I usually are in bed by 11pm. (Also, I realize I refer to Sophie as somewhat akin to a partner, but you should be used to that by now). Weekends are mostly for traveling, brunch, art and music. Let’s keep it that way.

9. How well did I take care of my body, mind, and soul?

Body – Classpass is a godsend. I love all my yoga/pilates/spin classes at One Down Dog, Yogala, YAS, Whole Body, Pilates Plus, and Pop Physique. My daily hiking is also a boon. I also have been eating mostly organic and local produce as well as taking some herbal supplements (B12, cranberry, turmeric, and maca) and I’ve seen an improvement in my immune system, skin and focus.

Mind and soul – I’ve been neglecting this a bit. I go through phases of lots of good reading and writing and talking. But often in the last month, I’ve been caught up in a few toxic situations that drive me away from a positive mindset. Learning to reset and recenter quickly without taking three or four requisite days would be great in the next year.

10. How have I been open-minded?

With some new people in my life. Sometimes misguided, but I don’t have regrets about it. Next year, I plan on keeping my cards a little closer.

Also, I believe I’ve been open-minded about my current job and being the best lawyer I can be despite not knowing my future steps. I’ve maintained dedication and ambition in spite of uncertainty.

11. When did I feel most creatively inspired?

Reading/writing and cooking/hosting. Especially this year with new stuff by Coates, Gilbert, Barnes, etc., I have gone back to my roots in the written word and am slowly rediscovering my aesthetic. Same thing with hosting multiple dinners a week – I feel accomplished, inspired and proud. I’d like to make all three a bigger and more polished priority this year.
12. What projects have I completed?


Didn’t redo my blog this year. (Stay tuned ;))
Decorated my room (but still need to hang my paintings).
I did build my consulting website, business cards, and contact list… but then got distracted with work.

Although, now I’m realizing that I haven’t had a list on-going projects or goals in a while. So maybe I should start with that.

13. How have I procrastinated?

Facebook and instagram stalking. Mooning around. Staring into the golden eyes of my dog.

14. In what ways can I re-structure my time?

Check email, instagram, facebook only twice a day; Consolidate writing, blogging time.
Do fewer dinners with more people per week? More supper clubs than one on ones?
Maximize weekend time.
Schedule time for my different projects.

15. How have I allowed fear of failure hold me back?

Applying for new jobs and being honest with people about my needs, whether professional or personal. Again, my risk aversion has stunted my growth and I’m ready to be more confident in my choices.

16. Where has self-doubt taken over?

It’s never taken over. But it’s certainly present.

17. When have I felt the most alive?

Live music. Things that happen after live music. Good people. Feeding said good people. Hiking with Sophie.

18. How have I taught others to respect me?

Professionally, I believe I’ve really been able to maintain my personality as a somewhat abrasive, sarcastic girly girl (oxymoron I know), while getting shit done and protecting and winning for my clients. Part of this stems from being able to read people and know what persona to use when.

Personally, I think I might need, as I’ve stated before, stick to boundaries that I assert. Very often, I call into question certain behaviors, mine and others, but then hightail it back to my hole when confrontation or the possibility of losing someone happens. No more, I say, no more.

19. How can I improve my relationships?

Get rid of the toxic ones. Then I’m not burdening the healthy ones with the same conversations over and over again.

20. Have I been unfair to anyone?

I’ve been unfair to several of the guys I’ve dated this year. I wasn’t keen on it and I shouldn’t have let them flounder.

21. Who do I need to forgive?

Mission accomplished on this one. I've never been good at holding grudges.

22. Where is it time to let go?

When I’m not present in a moment that I’d like to be.

23. What old habits would I like to release?

Social media addiction and resulting procrastination.
Over-analysis on useless topics and moments.

24. What new habits would I like to cultivate?

Better time management. (I used to be so skilled at this!)
Regular creative writing.

25. How can I be kind to myself?

By being present. And owning my choices and accomplishments.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


I was going to be productive this week. I had grand plans. Then I ended up with strep and am eking out a sad and lonely existence, in which my puppy refuses to acknowledge me and I drink flagons of apple cider with extra cinnamon and honey to soothe my throat. On the bright side, I've been able to catch up on the sweet nothings of distraction and obsessively clean my apartment of those wretched germs.

That aside, looking forward to trying some new candy recipes this weekend, going to the Echo Park Craft Fair, celebrating Sam's birthday, chilling with my mom, and going over to Carey and Paras' tonight for a shindig.

In other news, my aunt is now referring to me as "Snippily, Snappily, Doo."

Here are the best things to do when you're sick, IMHO.


Watch JESSICA JONES: My friend Sam kept pushing me to watch, partly because it's amazing and partly because I am a huge sucker for anything Marvel/Stan Lee-produced. I had been disappointed with a few other Marvel spin-offs, but Jessica Jones blows it out of the water. Keep in mind that I hate Krysten Ritter prior to this show, but she brings a hard-edged, vulnerably honest feminist persona to the show, which deals with issues like PTSD and rape with a grace I haven't seen before. I was super effing impressed. The highly stylized action show is perfect for binge watching when struck with the plague.

Also watch INSTAGRAM HUSBAND - I'm in the market for one, so lemme know if you have a taker.

Also I watched JENNY'S WEDDING in Netflix with Katherine Heigl (aka Izzy from Grey's Anatomy) and Alexis Bledel (Rory from Gilmore Girls), a half rom com, half drama about a family's coming to terms with their lesbian daughter's impending nuptials. Heartfelt and poignant (read: I sobbed like a baby).


ALSO BUY A HUMIDIFIER. Influenster gave me a Honeywell Console Humidifier to try out, and it has been a godsend. Winters in LA are dry, especially when the weather falls below 70 and I have to turn the heat on. With my strep throat, the dry air was basically making me regret waking up, so I moved the humidifier into my room and it not only kept my throat from getting super dry and gross, but also is soothing my skin. I should have a gotten a humidifier ages ago, but I have to say this one is quiet AF, super easy to set up and use, and has presets, so I don't have to worry about the level of humidity or worrying about turning it on or off. It's pretty dope.


LAVENDER LEMON HOT TODDY: I'm not one for medications, and I believe that lavender and lemon can cure pretty much anything - viruses to heartbreak. The other day, I tossed together a shot of whisky, the juice of one lemon, a spoonful of honey and some dried lavender buds, plus boiling water to top off and it immediately soothed my aching throat - my cold heart will take a bit more unfortunately.


THE FIVE STAGES GHOSTING GRIEF - ooooof, I feel you girl. (Cue Exes and Ohs by Elle King)"At 6:30 a.m. I was blow-drying my hair, getting ready for work and accepting the demise of my two-week relationship. The nail in the coffin was that at 10 the night before I had texted him something vaguely sexual, and he hadn’t texted back."

The Weird Athleticism of the Victoria's Secret Model - I need to go back to pilates ASAP after being sick."It was a show fit for a culture of Crossfit and Fitbit and #fitnessgoals—a culture that is slowly coming around to believe, as a poster at my gym declares, that “strong is the new thin.”"

Monday, December 7, 2015

Holiday Party Recap!

I wish hosting parties was my full-time job, as I sit here drafting a fourth version of a trial brief and sipping on raw ginger tea bc my throat is on fire. My seasonal get together went off almost perfectly (except that we listened to the same three Fetty Wap songs on repeat for over an hour).  I am so happy to have had many of the people I love and treasure in the same room and to ply them with food and drink.

Joanna and Me 


Appetizers: dill shrimp spread, babaganoush, olive hummus, caprese bites, cheese plate (feat. brie, syrah soaked toscana, aged English cheddar, honey lavender goat cheese), kielbasa bites, Mexican 7-layer dip, plus chips, pita bread and baguettes.

Dessert: chocolate bourbon pecan bites, ginger molasses cookies, cranberry pecan chocolate chip cookies

Beverages: mulled wine, whiskey cider, egg nog and assorted beer and wine.

Special thanks to my mom, aunt, Jaimie, Cassi and Sam for helping me set up and prepare :)

And all my love and gratitude for all my friends who were able to come out on Saturday. I am #blessed #AF to have you all in my life and I am so glad I had Saturday to give you something of myself to show that.

Dessert bar

Some of the apps

Henan and Aline

my dapper G$

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Read, Listen, Eat (+ Trois Familia!)


My holiday party is Saturday night and I've done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I have about 30+ peeps coming over, so prepping my appetizers and pie and cookie bar, plus brewing (?) my mulled wine and whisky cider is going to keep me up all Friday and I am so RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED about it, I might keel over. Thank god for Jaimie and my mom who have offered their assistance, because you know Imma be sipping on some champs and listening to the holiday music and totally forget about the cookies in the oven.

In other news, I just accepted a position with Fork Monkey for a freelance writing gig. So now I get to be compensated for eating and drinking and telling people about it. (Fork Monkey curates unique, high-quality culinary experiences you’d be hard-pressed to uncover anywhere else: underground supper clubs, private dinner parties and pop-ups that will leave you with a lasting impression of “wow”.) My first event is with the Whaling Club and their cocktail making class on Saturday, so I'll definitely have a piece out soon and I'm sure you're all waiting with bated breath.

And for your brief Read, Listen, Eat this week:


1. The Story Behind David Bowie's New Album (being released in Jan. 2016) - "We're were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar."

2. Kind of a meta rec, but picking up some of the recommendations from the Guardian's Best Books of 2015, especially Julian Barnes. He wrote "The Sense of an Ending" which was one of my favorites this year.

3. Jaimie turned me onto Susan Miller's Astrology Zone and well, I'm kind of obsessed.

4. Also just read this piece of Circular Dating from Mind Body Green, and roughly it's what I do, though both Jacy and I took issue of the references to "making someone fall in love with you." LBR, I don't need to make anyone fall in love with me... they already are. *Insert obnoxious hair flip.* (Hopefully, you picked up on my oozing sarcasm).


1. Obsessed with the Chainsmokers recently - great for the overly melodramatic, wannabe cigarette smoking, Parisian-esque ingenue. 

2. Bob Dylan - I'm back on that wagon again. He needs no link, you should have him on your playlist already.

3. Everything by Denitia and Sene, more specifically Divided. So hot.


Trois Familia - the newest venture form Chef Ludo in Silverlake in the old Alegria spot. Wait was about 40 mins. Sort of beachy, communal chic atmosphere with a self-proclaimed Mexican-French theme. The issue is that here, as well as Jon and Vinnys, menu items are hit and miss. The Chicken Milenesa I would die for, with the pickled radishes and such. However, the nachos, smothered in watery béchamel sauce, and sort of bland broccoli(!), and three dots of chorizo jam for an extra five bucks. Definitely pass on that. Then we got the crepe for dessert, that had too much colour, too much fluff, and a tasteless caramel that should have passed as dulce de leche. Moral of the story, try it out. Pick the chicken and get Alfred Coffee before.

Alfred Coffee 

Meh nachos

Chicken Milenesa - Must Get

Awful crepe

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hello Winter!

To be honest, November was a little rough for me. Amazing trips, food, music, events, and people aside (which overall indicates a great month), emotionally I was a little, um, well tortured. I feel as if I'm on the precipice of some major life choices and changes, which is simultaneously liberating and panic-inducing. But the takeaways from my uncertainty have been that I need to focus on my immediate needs right now and also that I need to stop taking everything so goddamn personally.

That being said, I had a phenomenal Thanksgiving hosted by Mark and Brandon, with delicious food by Jaimie and my mother and Jeff's shenanigans. It was bittersweet without my bro, but he was rocking a marathon in Oregon, so I can't begrudge him too much.

Right now, I'm knee-deep in career improvement and changes (including a possible new writing gig!), preparing for my holiday party (my nesting skills are out of control right now), and doing a SHIT TON of yoga.

I have a couple of posts coming up this week for your pleasure, including a review of Trois Familia (new brunch place in Silverlake), plus some pie recipes (never enough). And if you follow me on instagram, I'm sorry for the influx of #ootd shots, but it's DRESSEMBER. Inspired by my lovely friend, Jackie, I'm only doing dresses this month (and hoping I don't freeze to death).

Muchos Besos -


Upcoming Pie Recipes!

Day 1 - Dressember

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Perfect Girls' Weekend in Santa Barbara

Sometimes I forget that I can be quite graceful under pressure, like for instance, when my car stalls in the middle lane of the 5 freeway on a Saturday morning at 70mph. It had also stalled the night before on Wilshire Blvd., - thank god for Rob who talked me through turning on the bloody thing and got me home. (Also saw Hunger Games, which was so meh, it barely deserves a mention. I still love you, J.Lawr.)

To add to the level of absurdity, 25 mins into the trip to SB, Aline's car suffered a surprise flat tire, so back we went to Glendale to switch cars. We finally made it to SB and it's 76 degree, light breeze, blue skies and gorgeous ocean, by around 3pm.

DAY 1:

The View at Sterns
The Urban Wine Trail: Tens of winery tasting rooms, walking distance from each other, just off State Street, very often including cheese plates and live music (and if not, I was eager to provide my renditions). We checked out Sterns (on the pier, with 360 ocean views - worth it just for that and not really the wine); Oreana (generous pours and a live band); Santa Barbara Wineries (solid choice), and Pali wines (a little hazy on this one, but I got peed on by a puppy so that was cool). Each tasting is about $10-15 and there are tons of food trucks and little restaurants to grab a bite at.

Julienne: Farm to table cuisine/industrial chic (tots my cup of tea), about a mile away from those initial wineries. We did the four course "tasting" menu with the pairing, which was far more food than we needed. We actually skipped dessert (gasp) and had to take the last course home. (We inhaled it at 2am in bed, like ravenous wolves.) Julienne was legit one of the best meals I have had. Fresh, well-executed, and interesting. The standouts were the tuna tartare as well as the pork belly with brussels. Aline and I discussed another trip just to go back to this restaurant.

The Agave Inn: Midcentury modern vibe - clean, but with beds harder than army cots. Super cute and insta worthy, and a good deal for a weekend stay.

DAY 2:

ALL THE WINERIES - we stuck to Los Olivos.
Our favorite was Beckmen. They specialize in reds, their TLB was my favorite. A full-bodied,  bold, earthy red. All the vineyards we visited were so idyllic and picturesque. The changing colors of the vines in bright yellow, red and orange actually alerted me to the fact seasons do exist. Picnicking outside at all of them with a cheese plate from Gelsons and an array of farm animals wandering around was a perfect Sunday.

Petros: A really beautiful and elegant Greek restaurant in the posh Fess Parker hotel in the Los Olivos village proper. It was recommended by a man at Beckmen and did not disappoint. We had the dipping plate (including taramsalata - one my favorites) and fried calamari, plus wine made just for the restaurant (I recommend the Oinos.)

Aline and I discussed staying in Los Olivos on another girls' trip with a few more of us. Everything is so sweet and walkable. Despite the massive car issues and perhaps a bit too much wine at times, the weekend was a much needed respite from back to back court days.

Before and After


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