Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A [Spanish] Fly on the Wall

{Too much yum in one place at Spanish Fly Gastropub}

I always want to pat myself on the back when I try a new restaurant and it is a great success. My boyfriend and I had been looking for a place in Koreatown (yes, where he lives) that fit our unique taste. Don't get me wrong, I love Taylor's Steakhouse (where ol' blue eyes used to get his martinis) and all of the Korean Barbecues scattered around, but I was really in the mood for something that was eclectic and fusion - something that was incredibly unique, and not too expensive.

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Palm Springs Weekender

{Sunscreen and mojitos - the essentials}

Suffice to say the new job has taken a lot of time, like any change would. I'm not stressed, but my time is definitely more valuable than it used to be just because I have to really prioritize who I see and trim the fat when it comes to social situations that I'd rather avoid (especially when my health is in question!).

A few weeks ago, a handful of us went to Palm Springs for a relaxing weekend in the sun to get out of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. We stocked up on crudités, an assortment of cheese and meets, homemade pizza, and the brunch essentials, not to mention lots of rum, tequila and white wine which we mixed with an abundance of sweet watermelon and mint.

It was so relaxing to sip on cocktails all day by the pool, get some well-earned vitamin-D, and relax in a fully furnished home on the golf course. It was exactly what I needed to set me on track for the busy, yet exciting upcoming months.

{Brunch of banana pancakes, eggs and watermelon}


{A glass of Chardonnay from the reserve in the house}
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Finding Balance

{Life is just one big balancing act}

My whole life I have always prided myself on being able to balance it all: a budding career, a wonderful boyfriend, a handful of fantastic social circles, and a loving family. But more often than not, I forget about one important element of my balancing act: myself.

Every now and then, my body gets incredibly tired and tells me that enough is enough: throw in the towel and take a few days to yourself - it says.

In all reality, I can't take time off of work, but I can clear the social schedule, tell the loved ones to leave me be for a few days, and take time to relax. This week I got oddly sick with a fever, dizziness and nausea (so bad that I had to go home from work a few hours early and rest) which can only be my body telling me to lay off the caffeine, start eating more natural foods, exercise more regularly, and most importantly sleep.

I hope that after a few more days of woozy, I will be back on my a-game. But until then, I have to re-find my balance on this tightrope.

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gin et Jus

{Fancy Gin and Juice}

Okay, okay, you caught me. I have just snazzed up a regular Gin and Juice a la Snoop Dogg with some European ingredients and translated it into French, but that doesn't make it any less special.

Ever since seeing Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion?) at Coachella in spring 2012, I have been semi-obsessed. Swaying along, not being able to see through the cloud of smoke growing over the massive audience, and wishing I had a nice, cold gin and juice with me.

I'm sure Snoop doesn't make his gin and juice like I do, but since I've lately been really into gin (preferably Hendrick's). I've always loved Orangina (since traveling to France with my dad when I was 12), and recently picked some up at my local Trader Joe's.

Upon cracking open the slightly fizzy, pulpy orange carbonated beverage, I thought to myself, "There is only one thing that could make this better: gin." Thus Gin et Jus was brought to life.

2 oz Orangina
2 oz good gin (Hendrick's if you have it)

Mix together and serve over ice. Better if stirred, not shaken.

Avec ma tĂȘte sur mon fric, et mon fric sur mon esprit...
(With my mind on my money, and my money on my mind...)
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Cutest Way to Give Someone Money

{Bouquet of $15 roses}

Can we just agree that this is the cutest way to give someone money for their birthday? My loving mother decided to step outside of the box this birthday when I asked for money by giving me a bouquet of $15 dollar roses, an idea that she found on Pinterest - thank you social media.

Want to know how she did it? Here's a tutorial that can help you.
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pacifco Birthday Weekend at the Surf Open

{VIP Deck Passes at the 2012 U.S. Surf Open}

A birthday weekend of fun hit us and it hit us hard... unlimited beer, half naked beach-goers, sand, sun, Mexican food - all brought to you by Pacifico.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

{My mom's new Bichoneranian -Bichon Frise + Pomeranian- Gabby}

This last week and a half has been filled with great moments because, of course, it was my 24th birthday! I am so grateful to have so many fantastic people in my life. I got to go to many-a-birthday-meal and was able to fully enjoy my youth.

Here are some of my favorite parts of my birthday week, and stay tuned for the recap of my birthday weekend.

{My "booty" on my desk on my birthday}

{The new mint green cruiser! I need to name her - any ideas?}

{Beautiful birthday bouquet from the boy}

{Wine by candlelight with friends}

{Sparkle nails for my birthday weekend}

{A very decadent birthday brownie with the co-workers at Houston's}
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Weekend Wars

{So very SoCal}

Remember that amazing MGMT song "Weekend Wars"? It's so utterly summer and the perfect song to play while driving down the PCH without being too cliche.

This weekend was all about laid back fun. From a drive up the PCH and a failed attempt to find the Malibu Creek trail, to a very hipster birthday party hosted by Podshare (this revolutionarily awesome youth hostel), to a barbecue in San Clemente with the best fish tacos I've ever tasted in my life, my weekend was completely satisfying - the perfect recharge before going back to the grind.

{My favorite breakfast: avocado on toast with sea salt}

{Kevin the beach bunny}

{The view from the top, Malibu}

{Podshare birthday party}

{The best fish taco I've ever tasted - exploding with avocado, lime, and freshly speared fish from that morning}

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Crispy Salmon with Mango and Avocado Salsa

{Crispy Salmon with Mango and Avocado Salsa}

Eureka! This may be the most luscious, delicious salmon dish you've ever tried. I promise.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Grease is the Word

{Grease sing-a-long at the Hollywood Bowl - check out the Hollywood sign}

Who plans for months to go to the Grease sing-a-long at the Hollywood Bowl? We do. Ever since seeing Coldplay back in May, three of us bought our tickets immediately for the Grease sing-a-long, and finally the day came.

Dressing up in our best Pink Ladies/ T-Birds gear, we packed up with bread, cheese, crackers, snacks, and the delicious California Chicken Cafe, hopped on the bus, and prepared ourselves for a night at the Hollywood Bowl.

If you haven't been to the Hollywood Bowl, the best way to do it is to catch the Park 'n' Ride. You park your car at a given location and hop on a bus so that you can drink and eat happily (which we surely did).

After picnicking on a grassy area and drinking oh-so-much wine, we made our way in to a pre-show which included the actress who played Frenchie, and the entire Grease movie complete with sing-a-long lyrics, bubbles, and drunken fans who knew every word to every song. Overall, it was one of the most interesting Saturday nights I have had in awhile.
{Wine + Grease sing-a-long}

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Friday Night at Dodgers Stadium

{Dodgers Stadium at sunset on a Friday night}

Lucky lucky girls. One of my friend's neighbors works in sales for the Dodgers so we were hooked up with free Loge-level tickets for the Padres vs. Dodgers game. I had been to many Padres games (since I am a San Diego native and a sad sad Padres fan), but I had never been to Dodgers Stadium, so this was definitely a check off of the LA bucket list.

The traffic was terrible, but I did love that the stadium was secluded from the rest of the Los Angeles hustle-and-bustle. I tried my first Dodger Dog, and I even was allowed onto the field for the fireworks! It was a great to end the first week at the new job with another new adventure. Plus, beer and a good hot dog is always welcome.

{A cold Bud Lite and a Dodger Dog with the works}

{Kevin and I on the field for summer fireworks}
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Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up via Instagram

{My goodies from the Murad Spa}

This week and weekend were full of surprises. I started my new job at Murad as their social media associate, and on the first day I was sent down to the spa at the end of the day for a facial and a line of tailored skincare products (and my skin has never looked better!). It was one of the easiest of transitions I have ever experienced.

So, this weekend was full of celebration from my first Dodger's game to going to the Grease sing-a-long at the Hollywood Bowl. Lots of fun and lots more to come this week! Here are some of my favorite Instagrams from the weekend:

{Chicken Paillard on my date night at Nook}

{Employee sale on O.P.I. nail polish}

{My friend's choice of wine for our Hollywood Bowl adventure}

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Easy Bruschetta Balsamic Tomato Salad

{Easy Bruschetta Balsamic Tomato Salad}

You can call it a sauce, you call call it an Italian salsa, but I like to refer to it as a balsamic tomato salad.

During the summer, nothing is better than tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Yes you can roast them or sautee them, but who wants to eat something warm when it's hot out. Not I (especially in this hot SoCal weather). Here's a perfect dish that goes fantastically on a crusty baguette on a hot summer night especially with a glass of Pinot Noir.

2 tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
4 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP olive oil
Dash of salt
Dash of pepper
Dash of dried oregano
Dash of dried basil

Chop up the tomatoes in cubes. The smaller you dice the tomato the more it will soak up the vinegar. If you prefer a more subtle vinegar taste, you should chop the tomatoes in larger cubes. Mince the garlic cloves. Throw tomatoes and garlic into a bowl.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs. Drizzle with vinegar and oil. Toss all together and pile on top of a crusty baguette or eat with a spoon - I enjoy it either way.

It's the perfect dish for summer. It's filling, satisfying, and refreshing. Enjoy!
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Best Man Olympics

{Get serious, or get out. These are the Best Man Olympics}

This weekend was the Best Man Olympics. A combination of talent, creativity and shame as 5 best friends fought to win over the affection of their best friend.

Hilarity ensues.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

In With the New

This weekend marks a grand transition in my life. Although it is the first time in six years that I am actually staying put in my apartment, I feel like my whole world is changing - but for the better. Recently, I bought a new car, a lovely Prius C which I adore, and next week I am leaving my job that I have had for the past two years to start a corporate social media job with the huge beauty and skincare company, Murad. I will be designing and running all of their social media efforts and am so excited to have a job with such exposure and opportunity.

This is the big break that any 23 year old social media junkie would dream of. New car, new job: things are really looking up. It is going to be such a challenge to shake out of my comfort zone and embark on these new adventures, but I am so anxious to get going. This year has been a hard one thus far with many curve balls, and I'm excited to be handed a bit of good fortune with some great new opportunities.

Enjoy your weekend (I know I will be savoring mine before the craziness of switching jobs starts)! I will be venturing down to San Diego to watch the "Best Man Olympics" - where one of my close friends is making his groomsmen compete to see who is the most worthy to be Best Man at his wedding. Updates and embarrassing photos to come.
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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blackberry, Feta and Arugula Summer Salad

{Blackberries, feta and arugula}

I was recently inspired... by a trip to the market.

Whilst innocently perusing the produce section of my local market, I stumbled upon the holy grail of fruit: blackberries and blueberries on sale for $1.50 a carton. Naturally I grabbed two cartons of blueberries and two cartons of blackberries, intending to use them as an afternoon snack.

However, one of my favorite favorite things to do during the summer is to incorporate fruit into salads. I have had a block of feta cheese hanging out in my fridge for far too long to continue being ignored - I had originally wanted to pair it with beets, and recently bought a head of peppery arugula which to be honest, always goes bad before I can use all of it. Alors, I was inspired.

This salad is the perfect balance of sweet from the berries, salty from the feta, peppery from the arugula, and tangy from the dressing. It's something that you definitely need to try because the subtle sweetness of the blackberries is almost highlighted by all of the other ingredients. I was worried that it would get lost, but it doesn't.


1/2 carton of blackberries
2 TBSP crumbled feta cheese
2 handfuls of arugula
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic powder and set aside.

Toss in a medium sized bowl with the arugula, blackberries and feta. Serve immediately or the greens will wilt.

*You can substitute the blackberries with any other berry and the feta cheese for goat cheese.

{A perfect complement of flavors}

{The perfect bite}

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July

{Fourth of July Flags}

Happy Fourth of July! What are you up to this holiday? Since the holiday is on a Wednesday this year (which looks way too suspicious if you call in "sick" on Thursday), I am taking it easy and spending time with friends, barbecued meats, and lots of cocktails.

Last night as an Independence Day pre-game, I went to the Hollywood Bowl with my roomie and her family to watch Barry Manilow in concert with fireworks - I can't even make that up, and it was awesome. It wasn't even the first time I had seen him in concert...

I hope that your Fourth of July is relaxing and filled with lots of fireworks! Tell me, what are you up to?
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Favorite Summer Snack: Balsamic Avocados

{Balsamic Avocados}

My personal love for avocados started growing up taking summer vacations in Baja California, Mexico. A man drove a fruit truck and delivered fresh avocados to us every day. Although I have a slight allergy to them (cured with an allergy pill), I can't get enough. Since starting to cut complex carbohydrates, I have been looking for ways to make avocados the star, rather than just a condiment or compliment.

It's officially avocado season in southern California, which means it's time to reinvent the fruit with extremely bold flavor profiles that can stand up to the soft, buttery texture of the avocado.

My favorite way to eat avocados (other than smearing it on a toasted slice of sourdough bread) is to drizzle it with balsamic vinegar, salt, lemon pepper, and garlic powder. This dish is a very light and healthy way to get those healthy oils, and a great way dish for you to serve at a dinner party as an appetizer.

Balsamic Avocados

1 avocado
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar (amount will vary based on avocado size)
Pinch of salt
Pinch of lemon pepper
Pinch of garlic powder

Halve the avocado and remove the seed. You can use your knife to cut into the seed and twist to remove. Using a large spoon (or a butter knife if you're avocado-savvy) pull the entire half of the avocado out of the skin.

Place the avocado facing upwards on your dish so that it looks like an avocado bowl. Drizzle with your vinegar, and sprinkle with salt, lemon pepper, and garlic powder. If you're looking for a twist, chop up some shallots or roasted garlic for an extra crunch.

Enjoy at room temperature immediately.
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Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up: Happy July!

{Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello}

This weekend was a blur. As you know one of my best friends left for vet school this weekend, and her final request was -wait for it- to go see Magic Mike. So we did her bidding. We bought tickets for the 11pm showing on opening night and snuck in bottles of wine to keep us occupied during the uninteresting plot that they attempted to shove down our throats. We thought we were being original when in reality, the half-full theater of hormonal women all had the same idea. The movie was only good when the cast was dancing and shaking it -oh boy, was that dancing amazing- and I probably enjoyed it a little bit more than I would otherwise thanks to the wine. But like I said, the plot is horrible. They should have stuck to dancing the whole time.

I also visited 800 Degrees this weekend in Westwood. This pizza is all the craze among college students so my sister and I did a little double date to the pizzeria. You select a pizza base (Margherita, red sauce, or sauce-less) and then you pick the toppings that they generously pile on. The pizza is cooked in an 800 degree oven to perfection. It is thin and light, and  you can eat every last bite (you'll want to too). I chose tomatoes, chicken and artichokes as my toppings and the boy chose pepperoni, spicy Italian peppers and tomatoes. Delicioso!

This week I am focusing on taking care of myself (with the exception to the Fourth of July celebration to come) because I am leaving my job at the end of this week to start working managing social media efforts for a huge beauty brand (I'll leave you with the suspense and tell you at a later point where I'll be working). I'm so excited, but through all of the excitement, I'm bound to get sick due to sheer sensory overload. That's why this week I'll be posting healthy summer recipes in order to inspire myself and maybe even inspire you.

{800 Degrees Pizzeria}

{A healthy seasonal snack packed with antibiotics}
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Friday, June 29, 2012

Wet Bar Essentials for Twenty-Somethings

{Our fully stocked wet bar circa 1960s}

You're twenty-something and you like to entertain, but you don't want to tip your budget by filling a wet bar full of expensive alcohol that your friends will end up drinking during one of your many pre-parties. Here's how to keep enough alcohol on hand for entertaining, while also not breaking the bank investing in extravagant single malt scotches and over the top vodkas.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Taking the Subway

Last night, whilst working on checking things off of the Los Angeles bucket list, we decided to take the Subway downtown to Orochon. Not only did this check three things off of my friend's bucket list before she leaves (1 - go downtown, 2 - ride the subway, and 3 - eat at Orochon), but riding the subway was extremely convenient to get to our destination. 

Although we had to wait for the train times, taking the subway helped us avoid traffic and paying for parking. The tickets are $1.50 each way, and were extremely convenient for us to take from my boyfriend's high rise apartment in Korea town. 

By 2015, LA officials say that the purple line on the subway will extend all the way to Santa Monica, and it will be a quick 45 minute ride to downtown from the Westside. So here's the question: would you take the subway in Los Angeles? 

A lot of my friends think taking the subway is unfathomable, dirty, and disgusting - but to them I say, as I laugh in their faces, that it is better for the environment and reduces traffic on the streets of Los Angeles, much less reduces your stress since you don't have to sit in traffic. Other large cities (Paris, New York, Rome, etc.) have a fantastic subway system that no one regards as "dirty." If LA just had a better mode of public transportation (and locals changed their perception of the subway), a lot of our problems on surface streets would go away!

How do you feel about public transportation in Los Angeles?
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy Hour: Hot and Sticky Vodka

{Stoli Jalapeno flavored vodka}
Freaking out here... I have a love for all things spicy, and now that Stolichnaya vodka has come out with their hot and sticky vodka flavors, I think I know exactly what I will be drinking all summer. Originally released in the 1960s, the two re-released flavors are a hot pepper flavored vodka, and a sticky honey and herb vodka.
"The brand is thrilled to reintroduce pepper and honey flavored vodkas, Hot and Sticki™. These spirited and timeless remixes are the perfect complement to our existing premium flavored vodka portfolio," said Val Mendeleev, CEO of SPI Group. "We hope our fans will enjoy these delicious and versatile offerings in a variety of mixed drinks."
Here are a few recipes for the new vodkas (that I borrowed from Lushworthy):

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What's on Your Los Angeles Bucket List?

{Hiking the Hollywood sign}

One of my best friends is leaving for vet school at UC Davis, and despite all of us living in LA for the past six years, there are so many things that we have yet to experience! Of course, we're trying to cram all of these into her last week (despite working full time and packing up her entire apartment). A lot of these things on our list I have already done, but I feel like you can't live in Los Angeles and not do these things.

Los Angelenos, what are the activities on your bucket list? Here are a few that are on mine:
  1. Hike to the Hollywood sign
  2. Take the Orochon challenge
  3. Visit the Santa Monica Pier and ride the Ferris wheel
  4. Drive up the PCH all the way through Malibu to Santa Barbara (like we did here)
  5. Eat fish tacos at James Beach
  6. Visit the Griffith Observatory at night, stargaze
  7. Walk through Rodeo drive, celeb stalk
  8. Buy a six pack of Sprinkles cupcakes, eat them all
  9. Walk the Venice boardwalk after pitchers of Sangria
  10. Go to a summer concert at the Hollywood Bowl, drink lots of wine
  11. Visit the Getty Museum, Getty Gardens, and Getty Villa
{Griffith Observatory}

{Santa Monica Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier}

{The Getty gardens at the Getty Museum}
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