Ikea Wins

Saturday morning all by my lonesome I took the drive to Ikea. While we had made the desk purchase, we needed a place to put all our stuff.  So, to Ikea I went. I spent two glorious hours browsing all of my options.
I finally settled in on this $50.00 Billy bookshelf since the color, size, and price were all in line.


To Joel's surprise, it wasn't too tough to build, which earned mega points for me

I picked up the faux potted plant for a few dollars and some rose potpourri to keep the room smelling a little less like Roscoe. 

And, this twenty dollar lamp from Target is also a new crush.

I am so happy with this room, and while there is still a need for something on the wall behind the bed - I feel content with it for now.

My other Ikea splurge - at $14.99 - was this chalkboard for my kitchen. I had been wanting something chalkboardy for the room, and I couldn't have even dreamed up a more perfect piece.

I think I need to find a new home for all of our invitations and announcements
I'm making a lot of progress on our house needs to-do list!

And, kind of random, but check out my mini herb garden! These little puppies are growing at record speed and hopefully this summer I'll make a few more additions. It's really fun to cook with food that you watched grow from your patio. I'm actually looking for dishes to use basil in, since we've got so freaking much.

And, last but not least...
My sister Hannah turns 22 today!
I couldn't be more proud to call her my sister, and I can't wait to see where this next year takes her. Happy birthday Hannie, I love you!


50 Shades of Awful

This is just.....beyond.


Unsolicited Advice

Ever since bringing Roscoe into our lives we've started talking to about 36x more strangers. Everyone loves to stop and pet him, hold him, and gawk at him. And lord knows I can't blame them!

However, with all of these new faces, lots of new opinions have been thrown our way. And, quite honestly, it's getting really annoying.

For example, this morning as I took Roscoe for an hour walk/run, a lady screamed at us from across the road and said, "you're basically dragging him". I said, "Oh I know, he hates walks".....and then proceeded to tell me that I'm using the wrong collar and leash.

Ya, lady? Nobody asked you.

I had a guy a few days ago pull over his car and strike up a conversation about our little furball.. Seemingly sweet, until he started to scold me on the fact that we started puppy school too early for Roscoe. "He is not going to retain anything, you really should have waited until he was 6 months".

Ya, buddy? Nobody asked you.

Unless you see me strapping my dog to the roof of my car and driving 150 mph throughout the neighborhood, you should probably just stick to petting the dog and exchanging formalities.



I am loving good ol' oatmeal. If I don't have a green monster smoothie in the morning, this is my new go to. I've been using just regular Quaker Oats, and then I'll mix in honey, cinnamon, blackberries, and a sprinkle of brown sugar. 

I am loving this guy

I am loving that he is such a great companion for errands. Yesterday he even got to put his little paws on Rodeo Drive. He's big time now!

I am loving 50 Shades Darker. It's far more interesting than the first one (and I loved the first one), more thrilling, and more compelling. If you haven't started this trilogy, make it your #1 must do.

I am loving that my sisters booked their tickets out California for Memorial Day weekend!!

I am loving that I tried the Pintrest tutorial on how to curl your hair with a flatiron and it actually worked! And stayed like that all day long!

I am loving that my girl Guiliana is finally expecting a baby! I couldn't be more thrilled for this well deserving couple. 

I am loving that my birthday is right around the corner (May 8th) - I'm really excited to turn 24. I think it's going to be my best year yet! 

Ya gotta love the little things right...and didn't someone once say that it's the little things that turn into the big things when all is said and done?


tgim (really....)

I rarely say this, but I'm actually happy this past weekend is behind me. 


Work on Friday wrapped up around 2 - which was fantastic - so I had a chance to stop by Joel's office with the dog. We've made such good friends with his co-workers so we had a glass of wine and then came home. We walked into Westwood village for a sushi date at Yamata and dessert at Diddy Riese. 

Since we've moved out here 13,057 people have told us that we had to try the famous cookie sandwich, and we finally treated ourselves to one. The line was about 15 minutes long but the dang thing is $1.75 and insanely good. Majorly worth it. I got chocolate chip cookies with a cookies'n'cream ice cream center - and the cookies were by far the best part of the whole thing.

On Saturday, I finally made it to the dentist after almost 2 years far too long. I have bad TMJ so keeping my mouth open for a cleaning is almost impossible since it locks up after the first 2 minutes (I'm using this as my excuse for why I haven't been in 2 years). My new dentist was really sweet and accommodating about the issue - so if you ever need an LA dentist....

Then Joel and I took our little Roscoe to the Will Rogers State Park for a 2.5 mile hike. 
He did a really good job but the incline proved slightly too tough for him by the time we got to the top which meant I had to do the rest of the hike with a 5 pound weight.
Since we seriously tuckered the little guy out we didn't feel bad leaving him for a night out. We drove into Santa Monica and had a glass of wine and some appetizers at Sonoma in the promenade. Sonoma is almost entirely outdoors and looks out to the ocean. It's my new favorite spot in Santa Monica and I can't wait to take my cousin and her boyfriend here when they come visit.
 Side note: How amazing is it that we spent our day in the mountains, and our night at the ocean?

We had a few more drinks and dinner at The Misfit, and then made our way back into Westwood for margarita's at Casa Azul.

And then, the heavy mixture of drinks and homesickness struck, and the loss of my aunt peggy hit me like a ton of bricks.

Once I started, I couldn't stop. We had to leave the restaurant in a teary mess and I spent the last 2 hours of Saturday night hysterically crying in my bed.


Sunday was a foggy day that I spent mainly on the couch. 

Grieving her hasn't gone away, and I don't think it ever will. What is weird is that the sadness sneaks up on you when you least expect it (even though, I should expect it after about the 3rd drink).


I'm going to try and keep this week fresh and productive...and busy! I heal and operate better when I'm busy, so I'm filling my week with mani/pedi appointments, happy hours, long runs, and early morning walks with Roscoe.



This first week back has clearly made me look for lots of black in my closet, and I think it’s because I somehow associate work with black. Ya feel me?

Luckily work was pretty chill this week. It included lots of free lunches and even a stop at the famous Pinkberry! 

I’m not entirely sure what my day-to-day job is going to look like, but I’ll be perfectly fine finding out since training has been rather lovely!

This weekend we have tons of chores to accomplish: puppy school, cleaning, exercising (yes, a chore), errands, etc. but I’m looking forward to enjoying every bit of it!



Happy Hour

Last night I went out with two girlfriend (I actually have friends here!!!) for a much needed girls night out. 

We started our night at The Abbey in West Hollywood. It's a well known gay bar/club but it's got a great patio and pretty good drink specials so we went for it.

We were going to have dinner there but the wine was yuck and the place smelled a bit like moldy beer. We walked down the block (Robertson) and stumbled upon Sur (Lisa Vanderpump's restaurant).

The main restaurant is a beautiful, classy spot with a seemingly strong menu.  None of us were in the mood for a full sit down meal - and it was a little quiet for the 3 of us - who were about 4 drinks in at this point.

 Luckily, if you're not feeling a white table cloth dinner, they have another option for you: Sur Lounge. 

You walk through the restaurant and are taken outside to their heated patio. The vibe and decor are really well done, and you instantly feel at ease. It's all candlelit, lots of water features, and great music playing at just the right volume.  Our server couldn't have been more lovely, and the bar menu was healthy and semi fairly priced.
I went with the chopped arugula salad which was divine.
I would say their only fail is their embarrassing website....
That was our gorgeous server Kristen from Michigan

Overall, if you ever visit LA Sur Lounge will not disappoint!



The Office

With my new job, I'll be working from home 2-3 days a week, so I needed to establish a place in our condo where I can camp out from 9-5. And since the guest room makes the most sense Roscoe is going to be the best co-worker I've had to date.
A few weeks ago I spotted this fabulous desk at World Market for only $199 and I knew quickly that it was the desk I wanted to make mine. Joel wasn't impressed with the lack of storage but it looks so perfect in the guest room room and since I'm the one who will be using it most he was left with little choice ;)

I like the fact that the desk doesn't make the room look too "officey" and it got high marks from InStyle.
It's not styled and needs a few more pieces (lamp, flowers, etc.) and hopefully it'll end up turning up something like this.
via Breakfast At Toast
And while I was at World Market I couldn't pass up this cute dog bone hook.


Hi, Ho, Hi, Ho, it's off to work we go!.

On February 16th I left my job in Chicago after giving them very short notice that Joel and I were moving to California. Today, I'm going into my new office in Los Angeles and I'm meeting my brand new team of co-workers. Then, on Monday, April 16th - exactly 2 months later - I'm going back to reality and starting a full time job.

The past two months have been the most life changing period of time I've ever experienced. We're talking.....major changes:
  • I packed up my first grown up apartment in Chicago and watched my boxes load a moving truck
  • I tried to help out my aunt who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer
  • I said goodbye to all of my friends and family in Chicago and moved out to California with Joel
  • My mom came with me to CA for a few days to help set up our new apartment
  • I shipped my car cross country
  • Joel started a new job out here
  • 7 days after moving to California, my aunt died
  • I learned how to plan a wake, funereal, and the true touch my aunt had on thousands of people.
  • I interviewed for nanny jobs, assistant jobs, and sales jobs in California
  • We bought a dog
  • I was offered a new corporate job - something I thought I was leaving behind for good.
  • I celebrated my 5 year anniversary
And I'm sure I'm leaving minor things out but you get the picture. In the last two months, all of these things have changed my beliefs....my attitude...my gratitude....my perspective....my spirituality....my understanding.....my everything. I've learned a lot of valuable lessons in this short time frame and I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it all.

I'm looking forward to getting used to my new "normal". Ready to wake up in the morning with a strong sense of purpose, value, and schedule. While I enjoyed the last 3 weeks living in California mastering my role as HouseGirlfriend, it's getting boring and expensive.

And, it's due time to go back to the real world, bring in a paycheck, and start conquering California - just like I promised Aunt Peggy I would.


What I'm Doing Right

When it comes to living a healthful life, there are plenty of things that I do wrong (+1 glass of wine, too many bagels, not stretching, etc.) - but rather on focus on the negative I'm trying to reward and reinforce what I'm doing right.

1. Healthy breakfast everyday: This girl doesn't ever miss a meal - and especically never breakfast. It's by far my most healthy meal of the day. I try to keep it void of any and all carbs, since I pack plenty of those at lunch and dinner. Right now I'm on a green smoothie kick.

If I'm out of enough fruit for a smoothie, I'll typically have oatmeal with berries or yogurt - with one cup of coffee.

2. H20: I drink far more than the recommended 8 cups a day. I like to drink out of a straw so I keep these two bottles ready for action! I also try to keep a pitcher of water infused with lime and I'm borderline obsessed with La Croix.
3. Exercise: If I'm having a good week, I will break a sweat about 4 times a week. Since I don't have a gym in California yet, I've had to get creative. Runs, hikes, power walks, free yoga classes, and bike rides have helped keep me busy and active. I've been working out pretty regularly since I was a junior in high school, and I feel so much better at the end of the day if I can sneak it in.

4. Sleep: I'm an early bird. Early to bed (10pm) and early to rise (6am). I love having a slow morning.

 5. Relaxing: You gotta keep yourself relaxed and calm to live a healthy life and I've never slacked on this one! I know if I need a mental health day, or need some pampering, a glass bottle of wine, or just a bath and a book.
6. Dinner's at home: We try to eat dinner at home (on a good week) 4 times. I pretty much figure that no matter what I make it's healthier and lower calorie than anything you could order from a restaurant. I like having control of what I cook my fish in, and how much dressing goes on my salad.

7. Reading: They say if you do crossword puzzles or mind games and keep actively reading at a young age you can prevent Alzheimer's in your life.
My current read
 8. Blogs/Magazines: I love learning about the latest in health and fitness so everyday I keep up with the following sites that give me new reciepes, different workouts, and other tips to try in order to stay healthy.
  • Fitsugar.com
  • Hungrymeetshealthy.com
  • Skinnytaste.com
  • Tinybuddha.com
9. Walking: Mr. Roscoe is sure helping me get my 2,000 steps in a day, even though he absolutely hates going for walks.

10. Fish Oil: I freeze my fish oil which really helps keep the after taste at bay - but I try and take 2 frozen pills with breakfast.

There are plenty of areas that I can make some improvements on (this list is long, really), but I enjoy focusing on good health, and I've learned this past year that if you don't have your health you really, really don't have anything.