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.

Pin It

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?
Pin It

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):

Pin It

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}
Pin It

Monday, June 25, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up: Cars, Carnitas, Chocolate Mousse

{Homemade Chocolate Mousse}

This weekend was a hectic weekend at that. The highlight of my weekends definitely centered around food and shopping, but in an unexpected and surprisingly delightful way.

Pin It

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dinner Parties for Unmarried Twenty-Somethings

We have quite a great group of cooks in my group of girlfriends, and one of our favorite forms of get-togethers is to throw an impromptu dinner party. Wine, delicious food, and captivating (mostly inappropriate) conversation make a weekday dinner something special. Here's how to seamlessly pull together a dinner party for a group of unmarried twenty-somethings.

Pin It

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Summer Adventures List

Summer is a season that I welcome with open arms. Not only is it the season of my birth (the end of July marks my birthday and a huge party, followed by a huge hangover ever since my 21st birthday), but also the sun is out, the air is hot, and adventures are endless.

Every summer I look back and think: what did I do with my summer? I always plan to do more things than I ever commit to doing. This year, my friends and I have found the solution: a shared document where we can track and plan all of our adventures in one central location. Thank you, Google Docs. We have listed everything out-of-the-ordinary that we want to do as a group from wine tasting to a trip to Palm Springs and Napa. All affordable, nothing insane. Just things that we want to experience before the summer is over. So far we have even bought our tickets to the Grease Sing-a-long at the Hollywood Bowl. Endless wine, and endless singing along to John Travolta (which is even more amusing now with his recent masseur controversy).

I find that especially since I have been in a relationship for so long, it is important to make time for trips with girlfriends. You don't have to do everything with your significant other (even though it is fun to have your other half with you when you try something new or go somewhere different) - and sometimes it's more fun to experience things with your girlfriends, especially if you have an interesting group of people with great taste that you hang out with constantly like I do.

What are your plans for summer? Anything extravagant? It's exciting to look at summer with those seemingly endless three months of perfect weather - but they go fast!

Pin It

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fight For Your Right

I have been incredibly MIA lately online - and I apologize. But I'm very excited to announce that I will be freelancing (in my spare time) with the amazing A Whisper to a ROAR team to promote the documentary that follows activists in five different countries around the world fighting for democracy and to make a difference.
A Whisper to a Roar tells the heroic stories of courageous democracy activists in five countries around the world – Egypt, Malaysia, Ukraine, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.   From student leaders to prime ministers and heads of state, these activists share their compelling personal stories of struggle, past and present, with their countries’ oppressive regimes. Shot over three years and completed in February 2012 by award-winning filmmaker, Ben Moses, the film was inspired by the work of Stanford University’s Larry Diamond, author of “The Spirit of Democracy” and Director of Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. It was funded by The Moulay Hicham Foundation, whose benefactor, Prince Moulay Hicham of Morocco, is a renowned public intellectual and democracy advocate, particularly in regards to the Middle East. (via)
I have seen an advance screening of the film, and honestly it is one of the most raw and captivating accounts of the plight for democracy that I have ever seen. I was an International Development Studies major at UCLA, and this type of story completely resonates with me. It's a very moving tail that will make you want to get out and make a difference. A lot of these people risk their lives for basic freedoms that many take for granted.

Please take a look at the A Whisper to a ROAR trailer, and look at how you can GET INVOLVED. At the moment we are looking for people to be on our "Feet on the Street" teams in Los Angeles and New York, as well as "Web Wonders" across the world. You'll be working directly with me if that's any incentive and you'll get some pretty cool perks. Check out the volunteer page for more.

I'm extremely excited for this project (I'll be working with volunteer management as well as social media contributions). Please like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and like them on Pinterest.
Pin It

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In the Dollhouse: A Twisted Barbie & Ken

This series of 10 photographs shows your not-so-average "perspective" of Barbie and Ken from Vancouver-based photographer Dina Goldstein. The series "In the Dollhouse" looks at their not-so-perfect lives.
B is a super doll, the most successful doll in the world. Her partner K is grappling with his sexuality and finds himself in a loveless marriage. He struggles with his position in the household and faces his lack of authenticity. (source)
The series starts out as a clever parody and then takes a dark turn. It adds such a dreary and unexpected twist to the picture-perfect plastic pair.

I personally enjoy it since playing with Barbies was my favorite game as a child (and I still resent the fact that my Barbie Dream House was prematurely sold in a garage sale). I always knew that Ken had a wandering eye; I just didn't know it pointed in that direction. It doesn't mean that I don't to borrow his pink heels though...

Only one thing concerns me: who's going to take care of their dolphins, seals, tigers, dogs and horses when they split?

Pin It

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Craving Paris (Then and Now)

{Our apartment that overlooked Le Sacre Coeur in 2008}

Firstly, congratulations to the Los Angeles Kings for winning the Stanley Cup! Since most Angelenos do not know a thing about hockey, let me enlighten you with a little bit of hockey terminology that I learned from my dad, the avid hockey fan (born and raised in Denver, Colorado):
  • Gordy Howe Face Rub: Palm someone's face, rub in a circular motion kind of like Jazz Hands.
  • Hip Check into the Boards: Take your hip, slam it into someone else's and throw them into the "wall." This is a favorite past time in the Turman family.
  • 5 Hole: Where you shoot a goal between the goalie's legs. He just went 5 hole on the goalie! (Gets my dad every time!)
  • Top Shelf: The top part of the net in hockey.
Now you can be an enlightened LA Kings fan. Go Kings!

Anyways back to the subject of this post...

Paris will always be a city that I long for. This week mon petit ami is visiting the beautiful city on business and it is making me crave going back to the romantic, beautiful, scintillating city.

Pin It

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up via Instagram

{Whiskey sodas to commemorate the Mad Men Finale}

This weekend was an utter blur, but a fantastically entertaining blur. Friday was one of my friend's birthdays and we celebrated with a "Glory Days" themed party which means I whipped out the good old cheer uniform. Little did we know that we were going to be venturing out in public in costume, but c'est la vie.

Saturday consisted of errands and girlfriend duty. Between yoga, car washes, and fish tacos, we managed to scoop up two very handsome suits and a few ties for my international businessman of a boyfriend who is spending the week in France (I'm extremely jealous too). I also started some new books, but I'll get to that in another post... Oh boy, will I!?

I also had the pleasure of seeing Prometheus this weekend. You must see it in 3D - the scenes are amazing. What I expected to be a meat-head sci-fi thriller turned out to be quite an enjoyable movie with deep thematic elements. Some people are hating on the acting or the script, but I was overall impressed. Ever since Ender's Game I heavily enjoy sci-fi movies that explore space, human beginnings and meeting your maker. What did you think of it? This article gave me a lot of insight past what conclusions and theories I came to on my own. (My favorite character by far was David.)

This Sunday was the Mad Men finale and one of my friends threw a little Mad Men party at her apartment where we sipped whiskey drinks, ate bacon wrapped asparagus (like the ones I made here), indulged in cheese and cookies, and watched the finale. Now all I can think about is how Don Draper will win Peggy back to SDCP, if Betty will ever be thin again, and how long I have to wait until the next season starts...

While we wait for next season, have you followed the @FatBettyFrancis twitter? It's one of the more hilarious parody accounts.

{New navy pinstripe suit shopping for the boy}

{Addicted to this Kiss my Face chapstick - it smells like fresh peaches and is all natural}

{Summer reading list: Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James, The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz, and French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano}

{Morning reading with my Kate Spade bookmark}

{New ankle boots via Steve Madden}
Pin It

Friday, June 8, 2012

Joyeux Vendredi (Happy Friday)

{Le chat, le mow}

Isn't this cartoon hilarious? Though I'm not a "cat person" I have a pet cat, and I'm an eternal Francophile, so this cartoon literally made me laugh-out-loud. Do you get it? (You wouldn't imagine to how many people I've had to explain it!)

What are you up to this weekend? I have a birthday party, a sushi date with the roomate and I have to bid adieu to the boyfriend who gets to go to three glorious French cities for -get this- free (well, actually for work, but it's still pretty fabulous nonetheless). Not only is he visiting Paris and Lyon, but of all places he is visiting ma petite ville of Grenoble, tucked away in the French Alps. I'm extremely jealous as I assume a French cat would be if someone drank their frothy milk (because milk in France is a revelation). Le mow.
Pin It

Nightly (and Morningly) Rituals

{I wish my bedtime habits were as spontaneous as Holly Golightly's seem to be}

As I get older and increasingly more settled into a daily routine, my life becomes that much more ritualistic. I'm not entirely sure if this is a mild case of OCD a case of self-discipline, but unless I've had a night of heavy drinking, or don't have work the next day, I end my nights relatively the same way each night, and start my mornings relatively the same as well.

Each night... I wash my face and brush my teeth before bed. Normal, right? Not necessarily - it has to be done in a precise order or I feel... off. I must wash my face, then brush my teeth with my Sonicare, floss, rinse, and then apply my nightly moisturizer and chapstick.

Each morning... I chug 3 glasses of water before getting out of bed, make my bed, and head for the shower.

I even have a sleeping ritual... the window is open to let a cool breeze in, but the fan is on to drown out the noise in the alley. I also have to at least fall asleep with an eyemask even though I rip it off in my sleep each night.

I realize that one day I will have to change this to accommodate another person (unless I plan to be married "I Love Lucy" style in twin size beds), but for now I feel as though the structure is "healthy," and if not healthy, at least it works for me.

Are you a spontaneous sleeper, or do you have a more rigid bedtime schedule?

{Good morning, sunshine}

Pin It

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Embrace Your State's Cuisine

Arguably enough, I live in one of the coolest states in America, but I'm a little biased obviously because I've lived here practically my whole life. However, these two series are fantastic ways to embrace your state no matter where you live.

Stately Sandwiches

The first one, State of the Art Sandwiches, is a collection of prints deconstructing the sandwich that each state is famous for. Of course the California one is a vegetarian sandwich with avocado and sprouts on multigrain bread (because all we eat here is tofu and kale, right?). Other sandwiches include the Philly cheese-steak and the New York Reuben. Prints will be available soon - I may snatch one up for my kitchen.

State-of-the-Art Cutting Boards

The second series is a collection of adorable cutting boards from AHeirloom (and you can get 10% off with this code from A Cup of Jo). You can choose to have a heart, star, or any sweet shape you prefer to mark your favorite city or the state's capital. They are handmade in Brooklyn, and quite fantastic if you ask me.

Pin It

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Remembering Ray Bradbury

{"I'm surrounded by metaphors." - Ray Bradbury; photo via

I don't claim to be the most literate person (I'm working on that), but when such an iconic writer passes, it's hard not to pay attention. Ray Bradbury is one of the best science fiction writers of all time, known specifically for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. The first novel of his I ever read was The Illustrated Man, the first book that I read for my Honors English class Freshman year of high school. It was a novel that resonated with me throughout my entire education, and sparked my interest in science fiction.

Bradbury lived a full and interesting life. Here are some things that I found interesting about him:
Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451 in the basement of UCLA's Powell Library for $0.20/hr. He wrote it in 10 hours.
In 1951, Bradbury predicted an automated machine where you push a button and it gives you cash instead of going to the bank.
He also predicted that humanity would become so obsessed with entertainment, that we would resort to watching car chases on television.
Bradbury suffered a stroke in 1999, and dictated his works over the phone to his daughter until his death in 2012.
Ray Bradbury was the genius behind the Oscar nominated film adaptation of Moby Dick.
Follow my lead and buy Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

{Ray Bradbury, American science fiction author}
Pin It

Rage Against the Cliché

{Osa Johnson rides a zebra}

I don't crave chocolate.

I prefer whiskey or scotch to any other alcoholic beverage.

I'd rather have a steak than a slab of tofu.

I'd rather squeeze a lemon in my eye than watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy.

One of my favorite books is Ender's Game.

I actually like museums.

Now you're probably thinking: did Amy write this, or a boy (probably her boyfriend or cousin) hijack this blog? Never fear, it is I.

Have you noticed that in the minds of many twenty something women living in Los Angeles, there are these kinds social stereotypes that we feel that we have to fulfill, as much as we don't want to admit them? I seldom choose sweet over salty and hate the conventional running on a treadmill for hours on end. Blasphemy! This kind of rebellious behavior may as well revoke "girl card", right?

Pin It

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Monday Date Night at The Perch

{A peach kir royale, bread and butter - complete with rooftop views of downtown}

After a long weekend complete with family bonding and high school graduation parties at the yacht club, I decided to take a mental health day on Monday in order to tie up some loose ends (and spend some much needed time with loved ones).

This included an extravagant date -a late Valentine's Day, so to speak- at The Perch in downtown Los Angeles. With rooftop views of the city skyline, The Perch is an ideal date spot with delicious French decor, and a 1920s feel that really makes you want to stay and order another Peach Kir Royale. We were actually able to take in the whole feel of the metropolis by Subway, with our final destination with a romantic dinner of drinks and delicious food. The highlight for both of us was undoubtedly the Jacques Collins -lemon juice, soda, simple syrup, and saffron gin. It truly was an unexpected and savory delight. Click through to see more photos from our romantic date.

Pin It

Friday, June 1, 2012

Avoiding June Gloom

{A banjo playin' pup}

It's a new month, a new season, and a fresh start. It's always great to make goals for yourself, even if they are insignificant in the long run. In Southern California, we are accustomed to June Gloom - the fog that tends to hang around much longer than it should, shielding our normally sunny weather (and our tans). Here are some of my goals that I am working on for the up-and-coming season in order to stay productive avoid getting myself down by the June Gloom.
  1. Take a walk every day after work - even if I can't make it to the gym, it's always a great mental break to take a walk and get some movement. I also live in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, so I can live vicariously through all of the other dog owners.
  2. Start making my bed - I read in an article that said starting the day with something productive can set you on the right track for the rest of the day.
  3. Eat more flax seeds - I read another article that said that flax seeds contain healthy fats that improve the workings of your pleasure-seeking cerebral cortex. Sign me up.
  4. Learn to photograph better - I am definitely a fledgling photographer who has hardly mastered taking photos at night. I don't want a fancy camera, but I do want to learn to photograph more efficiently with my little Canon Powershot. (Confession: this is mostly because I want to learn to photograph food better...)
  5. Throw a mustache party - today one of my many twitter conversations was centralized about mustaches. It makes me really want to throw a mustache party like this and complete with these.
  6. Take a hike - Los Angeles has so many beautiful hiking spots - why have I only been to the one in Temescal Canyon?
  7. Eat more fish - in another article that I read, it said that people who consume Omega 3s found in fish, avocados, and olive oil age more slowly... Just watch out for that radioactive tuna.
  8. Unplug - it's extremely liberating to turn off the phone and unplug sometimes. I've turned off g-chat on my phone, but I think some nights it may be a good idea to leave the phone in the bedroom alongside the laptop.
  9. Learn to golf and play tennis - Grandma does it, Dad does it, why can't I do it? Plus I heard that golf can get you the corner office.
  10. Try new things - and by new things I mostly mean new restaurants.
Pin It

Friday Favorites: A Coloring Book for Grown Ups

{Grown up coloring book - via}

It's June. It's June! It's June! And you know what that means? One month until it becomes my birthday month. Now, here's my early birthday gift to you.

This coloring for grown-ups book is fantastic. In fact, it's more than fantastic: it's like kindergarten, but with more drinking. More drinking, you say? I didn't think I could add any more drinking to my kindergarten days, but this sounds amazing. Who's ready to whip out those crayons, or water colors for the crazy kids?

Have a fantastic weekend! I'm heading down to San Diego for one of my cousin's graduation parties at the yacht club... you're just jealous. What are your plans (aside from printing out these awesome coloring pages)?

{It's everybody's favorite game: Hipster or Homeless?}

{Those social networking sites can really be a distraction}

Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...