back in LA.

I have been out and about around the state for the past 7 days, and it's nice to be back in my own bed. I missed you, bed.

On Christmas Day a welcome treat was a run in the gorgeous 75 degree weather. Proof:

Hey, if people get to brag about a white Christmas (ahem, D), I get to brag about this.

Then I headed up to the bay - how rad are these shots of Hwy 152? Creepy and awesome.

I took the rest of the week off, so I have big plans to dust off my Wii, tear down the Christmas decorations (single tear...is it really over?), hit up the gym and start working off the holiday goodies, and if I'm REALLY ambitious, clean out my closet. I've subscribed to far too many fashion blogs this year and they've inspired me to work on that game in 2010!

Speaking of blogs. There are so many fun ones out there. I've dumped all my depressing world news blogs (kept one or two so I don't miss out on Detroit airport Christmas fun) and subscribed to a ton of personal blogs this year. All of you out in blogland inspire me. Not just to blog but to live...fabulously.

Happy almost 2010!


the water grill.

I should have posted this two weeks ago! The holidays have finally given me time to get my head on straight about stuff besides buying gifts, packing to go places, baking, and other holiday debauchery of that sort.

Is it just me or is there a crazy oversaturation of hot new spots in town, especially a place like Los Angeles? Admittedly I subscribe to all the email lists - Urban Daddy, Thrillist, ....... But when a few awesome food bloggers I follow (some whom I'm lucky enough to count as friends) recommend a new place, I take notice. I bookmark the restaurant. And I pretty much never go...or it takes me months and it is old news. But not this time! The Water Grill can probably be counted as old news because it's not a new spot, but it's been getting a bit of press lately for two reasons: Blackboard Eats' passcode for a free dozen oysters (regular price: $32.90) and their prix fixe lobster clam bake. My immediate thought was - where do I sign up?

Sadly D has an aversion to eating anything that used to live in the sea, but it didn't take much to rope in a foodie coworker to come with me. Actually, all it took was linking her to my friend Esther's review over at e*starla. She was in and it was on. Lobster clam bake, here we come!

I was genuinely intrigued, as I feel like any restaurant can roll out the red carpet and bring out the big guns for a media dinner. A bad blog review = epic dollars lost. So as a paying customer, it was their time to really shine.

And oh did they shine. My friend and I arrived for our reservation at 5:30 (what can I say, we were really into the idea of an early bird special), and got settled in with a bottle of pinot grigio and our amuse bouche. It did the trick - we were ready for them to bring on the goodies.

I mentioned my Blackboard Eats password and suddenly we had a platter of 6 different types of oysters, 2 of each. Yum!! I rarely order oysters and usually it's as a shooter, so being able to do a tour de oyster (Washington, Maine, Canada, etc.) was pretty overwhelming...in a good way. There were 3 dips but I was too into getting the different flavors of oysters...I never realized the flavors were so definite. Onto the next.

We both got the Black River gorgonzola cheese and sugar pumpkin salad, which definitely did not disappoint. It was a fusion of flavors I've never really experienced before, and the crispy whole sage leaves were my favorite part of the salad.

Our waiter came over with fancy napkin bibs for our lobster experience - they do not mess around. We each had a whole lobster with clarified butter for dipping, along with corn, mussels, clams, new potatoes, baby carrots and sausage. Um, yes. So much good food. How to even consider dessert?

But dessert was included and how could we deny it? I had the root beer float with ginger cookies. A perfect end to a delicious meal.

Truly, any seafoodie would be satisfied here. I was very impressed and so glad I didn't let my passcode and the recommendation go to waste. If you need me I'll be in the gym for the week, trying to make up for this decadent treat!


Happy Christmas!

I was watching The Holiday a couple weeks ago, and I love that everyone in England in the movie wished each other a "Happy Christmas" instead of a merry one. It made ME happy.

I have been a busy bee at work getting ready to be off for 11 glorious days. And now I am blogging from my parents house. We have already managed to watch Home Alone, drink hot apple cider with brandy and chase around Verne. Truthfully I can't believe this year's almost over. It has been one of THE most incredible years of my life and I have so many amazing people to thank for this. I am so blessed and so lucky!

I can't wait to watch way too many movies with the fam, play video games with my brother, visit with friends and family, take a trip to the bay area, snowboard and spend New Year's back in LA before jumping into 2010.

Happy Christmas!!

(Pics of some of my apartment holiday decorations. I can't help but feel like that little tree, my first Christmas tree of my own!, is so lonely back in LA.)


SB Adventures and 2009 takes another one...

A few shots from an amazing weekend in Santa Barbara...

And another one in 2009? Let's hurry into the new year and not look back.

RIP Brittany Murphy...

I wish I could relax this week but I have SO much to do before I'm off for the holidays (Wednesday, come on let's do this!).


surprise weekend!

Whisking D off for a surprise weekend in Santa Barbara for his 30th birthday. Have a lovely weekend!

(Photo via flickr)


Rain and other adventures.

Oh dear...blogging is just so much work in December. Whoops! Truthfully even though I got all my holiday shopping done before the 1st of December (which has proved to be the BEST DECISION EVER), I have been so busy with things here and there that need to be wrapped up by year's end.

The last week of my life:

- an amazing dinner at The Water Grill (post to come).

- one year celebration with D! Best year of my life. I am a lucky lucky girl!

- LA Kings game with D and a couple other friends in downtown LA in the pouring rain...oh dear. Add dinner and some (ahem...several) drinks to that, and it was fabulous. Overtime and 3 shootouts didn't hurt either. Go Kings!

- Celebrated my mama's birthday out in Rancho - cooked for the fam and my grandparents.

- Lots and lots of rain...which I LOVED (except when I was walking through it with my friend on Friday night down Sunset Blvd. Adventure Friday in full effect!).

This next two weeks is going to be nutty. I'll be in and out. Happy holidays!


rain(bow) monday.

Such a fantastic and relaxing weekend...is it already Monday? We're getting some wet weather, and any kind of weather change is such a phenomenon here in LA. A day of rain warrants Storm Watch 2009. But I definitely love it. What I love even more?

There was this GORGEOUS rainbow across all of Los Angeles and it was fully visible, from one side to the other! This rainbow stretched from Beverly Hills to Downtown LA (yes, the bottom of the rainbow in the second pic actually goes through the downtown buildings!). It was so huge that I couldn't even get a shot of the whole thing. Luckily I'm 33 floors up and was able to get decent (though not great) photos of it. Lovely! Apparently there are pots of gold in Beverly Hills and Downtown...who knew? Ha.



A week after a holiday usually drags, but this week hasn't been too bad for me. D is out of town this weekend so I am taking the opportunity to make some plans with myself and with friends. Agenda: adventures at The Grove with a dear friend from high school, perhaps a few drinks with friends, a farmers market trip, and trying a new (to me!) restaurant on Sunday night.

And it's supposed to rain ALL next week! I love the rain so I'm pretty excited about that, and maybe even a dump of snow for some possible boarding in Big Bear next weekend.

My cell phone pic for this week, a broken record from this post.

My brother's new kitten, Verne. How can you not love him??

Have a lovely weekend!


vintage jewelry.

Speaking of vintage...I had the most incredible find of vintage jewelry over turkey day! While I was home, my mama pulled out an old box and we dug through her collection of silver, turquoise, etc. The best part - she MADE all of this stuff! Apparently when she was about my age in the 70s, she took a jewelry making class and this goldmine is the result. She crafted the silver and everything. If she made this stuff now, she could sell it to designer boutiques for top dollar. It's all so beautiful. And lucky me...it's all mine! I bought some silver polish and polished the tarnished vintage metal until it shone. I've worn a piece from the collection every day this week!




Holidays at Disneyland.

Being a kid from Southern California, a trip to Disneyland is both standard and fantastic, all rolled into one. I had a season pass for 3 years from age 17-20. I miss it, and I can't believe I hadn't been in 2 years as of this month! Lucky me, I got a chance to go with D (the bf), two dear friends and their daughter.

This time around we tried dinner at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen. I was pleasantly surprised! We sat outside upstairs and it was fantastic - the food was so good. Disneyland over the holidays is just so magical, I love it.


doc martens.

Doc Marten boots: badge of the 90s. I got a pair for a gift when I was about 12 or so when they were ooh so hip (hello mid 90s!) and I have kept them all these years. I've never really been one to hang onto old trends because I just recently started collecting cool pieces and also, I've moved from apartment to apartment for 7 years or so and it's just too much work lugging out of date stuff along with my (way too full as it is) closet. But these shoes stayed.

I'm not sure why. I took them from place to place and always shoved them into the back of my closet and forgot about them until my next move. Until my last move into my adorable studio, where the verdict was that some of my stuff needed to live in my parent's garage for the time being.

So when I was home over Thanksgiving and had an opportunity to dig around the garage a bit, I was so excited to rediscover these awesome boots.

Welcome back into my life, Doc Marten. I knew there was a reason I kept you around so long!

(Photo via flickr)