I spoke to soon

Because I am now....

  • The job is with the same parent comapny as my job in Chicago, so I had some really good reccomendations and a big foot in the door
  • It's more cash dollars than my old job
  • My title is Outside Advertising Sales Rep
  • I get a new computer, printer, and blackberry!
  • It's a mainly work from home position (which is what I wanted)
  • I start two weeks from Monday
  • It's a job!!!!


The Unemployed Life

Technically my last day of work February 16th but since my aunt was so sick and then passed, the first 6 weeks of unemployment were busy, sad, and filled with doctors, wine, and funerals. 

I am so, so, soooo beyond thankful that I was able to spend that time with my Aunt Peggy and my family. Life works out in funny ways, and I feel like I was granted such a gift during her last few weeks of life.

Now that I'm in California, I'm less helpful....and quite frankly bored! Since I'm not bringing in any money, I feel pretty bad about spending it, so I'm not shopping (for clothes) at all.

The only time I'll let myself spend money is when I'm going out and meeting new people - because...let's face it, a girl needs friends!

A lot of my new friends live in Santa Monica, which is only 10 minutes away, so I've been spending a lot of time in this cute city. 

On Tuesday, my new (and 1st) friend Dawn and I took an aggressively intense workout class at Equinox. Dawn says she spots celebs on the regular, but to my avail we didn't see anyone.

Our reward for such a class was dinner and drinks at The Misfit....after catching the sunset on the ocean.

Then, on Thursday, I went back into Santa Monica and walked around the promenade. It's a really quaint 4 block pedestrian walkway with tons of shopping, restaurants, and bars. Plus, they have performers every block that are super talented. It's really touristy, but it made me feel like I was on Spring Break.

After a few hours of window shopping, I met an old family friend at The Shutters hotel on Pico.

It's an absolutely beautiful hotel, right on the ocean. It's my favorite restaurant that I've been to since moving to LA and it's an absolute MUST if you find yourself traveling here in the future.

We sat at the bar in their hotel Coast, and enjoyed a few glasses of wine and really yummy small plates.

Plus, since I've been home, I've been trying to tackle small projects around the house, like hanging pictures! We're still waiting to order a head board, but for now, we're liking the vibe!

And since everyday is Friday for me, I've been enjoying a lot of cooking and drinking.

Tomorrow, Joel and I are heading down to Santa Barbara to enjoy our 5 year anniversary - more wine, good food, and a cozy B&B.

So, while I may be a wee bit bored.....life isn't too bad!



One of my favorite bloggers, Hungry Meets Healthy, posed this question last night : What would YOU eat if the nutrition/ingredients didn’t matter? Be honest! You know you want some boxed cake too.

Let me show you just exactly I would eat if calories didn't count, cholesterol didn't matter, and I never got full (or sick to my stomach).

My morning would start with an egg mcmuffin and a hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream.

For lunch, I'd easily have an In-N-Out burger, french fries, and a rootbeer float.

Since I'd want to have some vegetables, I'd have a huge serving of the good ol' green stuff.

Dinner would be a very large portion of spinach and cheese deep dish pizza and some red wine.

And, I'd end it with these.

All of that goodness, thrown together, almost...ALMOST...makes my stomach hurt! All of those indulgences are good...spaced out, far from each other!

And, I can tell you a diet full of those foods will get you no where close to her:

But, what if they did? That would be pretty fun! 

Ok, your turn to virtually pig out!


cooking rut

Those 6 images are the extent of my home cooked cooking. And they go on rotation. In the winter, I'll throw in chili, and in the summer, you'll see some corn on the cob in there, but those are my 6 staples.

I always have the desire for new foods, but then when I walk in the kitchen, I can't think for the life of me meals that do not include chicken or ground turkey.

For instance, last's night dinner, was not exactly a staple, but wasn't that far off my typical route:
Now that Joel and I are living in California we need to be trying to incorporate more colorful food, and less bread. And, I want to get more adventurous in the kitchen.

I'm hoping to have these recipes make an appearance on my kitchen table, and this blog, in the next 2 weeks. And I think the soup is going to take place on Wednesday! Woot - makin' progress!

Are you a good cook? When did you start becoming a good one...and how?!


weekend report

My first real weekend in Los Angeles was a success!

On Friday, I had 2 successful nannying interviews, but the hunt still continues. Nannying is my Plan B so I'm hoping this week ahead includes some corporate interviews. The good part about nanny interviews is that you don't have to wear a suit!

On Friday night, Joel and I walked into Westwood Village and had dinner at Palomino. I really like that we have a downtown walking distance...it makes life (and drinking) so much easier. We had a few drinks, a really good dinner, and a great table and enjoyed some time for just the two of us.

It's been pretty cold and rainy here in LA, so I ended up wearing this outfit AND a jacket!

After dinner we walked down the street and got a seat at the bar at a place called The Glendon. It's got a great vibe, cool scene, we watched the end of the Kentucky game and we were home by 11:30.
Saturday morning we met my cousins for brunch at Kings Road Cafe in Studio City. We ended up seeing this guy at breakfast....
I was hoping more for Jessica Simpson, but we're starting slow!

The bonus part to breakfast was that my cousin gave me his old beach cruiser that he has never used!
Isn't she cute?!
On Saturday night we had my close family friend and his girlfriend over dinner. It was a great excuse to get the house all cleaned up and have some friends over. We drank copious amounts of wine but ended up having a great time.


Then, on Sunday, I went on another Blate! I met the sweet Brittney from True Britt. We had a 2 hour brunch at Napa Valley Grill in downtown Westwood - and it was so nice to talk with someone who went through such a similar "up rooting" situation and has now fallen in love with her California home.

Now, Joel and I are off to see The Hunger Games with a friend from Chicago who moved here about a year ago. It's been so nice to be around a lot of people...it's making me feel like this is going to work out just fine. We are putting ourselves out there, and having a lot of "firsts" but I think that's the only way to move to a new city and actually enjoy it!


Here & There Bullets

  • I had 2 nanny interviews yesterday. The second interview I had last night was absolutely the most uncomfortable situation ever. The mom was nice, but dropped a few hints that made me sure I would not enjoy working with her. The few examples I have, don't really pack a powerful punch (like she said no cell phone use, no rock music, and no vacation days) or maybe they do? I don't know. Either way, I'm not about to accept a job that I get bad vibes about during the stinkin' interview!
  • At least I have reason's to be getting out and leaving the house!
  • I'm trying to replace all of our old Chicago favorites; sushi places, bars, nail salons, etc. I tried to get a mani/pedi yesterday and it was a totally botched job. Even though it was only $25.00 bucks, the expierence blew. Won't be going there again!
  • I'm so excited to spend the weekend with Joel. He had to be in Arizona all day yesterday, so I'm looking forward to some legit quality time.
  • I feel like I'm on vacation - and at some point going back home. I'm not sure if this feeling will ever fully go away.
  • Hunger Games....you guys?! I don't have pre-sale tickets, so Joel and I are going to try and go early next week on like a Tuesday.
  • I have a girl crush on Hilary Duff and I'm so happy that she had a bouncy baby boy. I'm not obsessed with the name Luca, but it could be a whole lot worse! If only she needed a nanny! 
  • You know who I'm not loving lately....Bethenny Frankel. I feel like she is trying so hard to throw Jason under the bus, make him the bad guy, and ruin the seemingly good relationship she has going. Now granted, I'm sure people would think I'm crazy if I had a camera crew living with me, but I think Bethenny can be incredibly vicious and seems to have lost a little humility. 
  • I've been having spinach, strawberry, banana, and greek yogurt smoothies every morning. I love the idea that I'm getting a serving of vegetables first thing in the morning, and the shake keeps me super full until lunch. Bonus = if you put enough strawberries in there, it's not green! 
  • Have a great weekend everyone!


1 room done

While things in my personal life were getting a little hairy, I had so much fun decorating my apartment. It was a mindless escape and it's been such a fun project. Unfortunately I have a tight budget, so a few things are still on the waiting list (like my headboard and desk), but I do have one room officially almost complete!

Welcome to our living room! The front door opens to this, and what you can't see is our 20ft ceilings, dining room, small kitchen and breakfast bar, but these pic's will come.

 The floor's are brand new and since the room is so big, I need a large rug to cozy up the place.

Have you ever searched for rugs that are 14 X 16 ft? If not....and you plan to....save your money. They'll run you like $2k bucks. Since there was no way in hell I was going to pay for that, we went to Home Depot and had them rough cut a remnant piece for us. The carpet is the exact color I want, in the exact size, and it cost me $90.00.  Huge score (and all my mom's idea!).

The sectional, TV, and book shelf all came with me from Chicago and are Ikea pieces.

The couch table, leather chair, and ottoman are new splurges from Urban Home which is located here in Sherman Oaks, CA. The quality is more similar to Crate and Barrell.

 My other favorite part of this great room is that it has a large balcony right off it. I love that I can keep the doors open all day long and hear the activity of the outside world. We haven't gotten a grill yet, but we picked up this outdoor set from Target and it's a perfect little spot for breakfast or lunch.

 There a few more things that I'm looking to do in the living room, but overall it's come together nicely and already feels like home.


focusing on the positive

I am loving that I finally get to see and spend time with this guy.

I am loving that I get the chance to detox for the next few days and be very concious of what goes into my body

I am loving that I get a few days to actually get my apartment in order. I have a long list of to-do's but that's a lot better than sitting in the apartment doing nothing.

I am loving that I've got plans to meet some new friends in the next few weeks.

I am loving that Joel and I booked our 5 year anniversary trip to a winery in Santa Barbara. We are going to be touring Fess Parker wines and staying at this bed and breakfast. Any reccomendations for what else to do/eat while in Santa Barbara would be great! 

 I am loving that I have a jam packed DVR to work my way through.

I am loving that Joel is excited to see The Hunger Games with me.

I am loving that Reese Witherspoon is preggers.

I am loving that I may have convinced Joel to go meet a puppy this weekend to consider adopting.

I am loving that I'm in California. As Claire (my bff) and I diagnosed, physically getting to California was a huge mentral hurdle that I had to overcome, and I'm fricken relieved that I am HERE!  


Do you lulu?

Once you go LuLu, you never go back.

Last year for Valentine's Day Joel got me the In Stride hoodie in purple and it quickly became my go-to hoodie.

I honestly struggled for a year debating if buying $100 yoga pants would really be worth it.

I tried them on in the stores, at least 10 times, always leaving empty handed.

Finally this weekend, I bit the bullet my mom treated me to a whole new outfit:

I find the pants to run a little big so I size down.
The entire ensemble is perfect for running errands, doing things at home, fitness classes, and walks. (I'm not sure I would take these babies on a long run...)

You look cute, put together, and you are comfy as all get out. 

PLUS, the clothes was really well, don't pill, and fit your body well. 

Have I sold you yet?

Since my mom outfitted me this time, I'm planning a trip back for a pair of long pants and a new hoodie.


Penny for your thoughts


I really don't understand how one comes up from the dirt pile that I call grief. How do you pick up the pieces of your life and just begin to move on like nothing has happened...nothing has changed? When you lose a loved one (like a real loved, loved, loved one) how do you go forward?

I have this thick layer of anxiety, sadness, fear, anger, and confusion laying on my chest, and I'm working to emerge from it slowly.

I've been wanting to blog, begin the process of continuing  on, but sometimes it doesn't feel right.

Either way, I know Aunt Peggy would want me to, so I'm going to start again the only way I know how to....
 and that's to just...do.
 Could this really be the end of ballet flats?

I refuse to believe that, but I do love the look of penny loafers, so I'm willing to give the trend a shot.

I came across these cuties, and had to pick them up.
Shop Here
I was a little worried that my loafers looked more punk than preppy, but they do add a funky edge to your typical outfit.

I basically figured that any outfit I wear my black Reva's with, I could swap in with my new Steve Madden black suede loafers.

I think my next loafers have to be the leopard print....or, even a pop of color if I decided to get really crazy. 

How did you like that for trying to move right along?



This morning, around 7am, my Aunt Peggy passed away.

She had 2 massive strokes that ended up taking her away - a result of the pancreatic cancer that she was diagnosed with 3 weeks ago.

I can't even come to term with words, but I know that everyone who knew Peggy is better because of it.
Please keep her two young children and husband in your prayers. I'm back to Chicago tomorrow for the next while.



Unless you're new around here, it's not surprise that I love my wine. Joel and I are both in a few wine clubs and not only love drinking it, but also love learning about the process of wine making, different grapes, how to taste and what to pair with different types. Good thing we moved to California, right?

My parents are both passionate about wine, so I've had the good fortune of drinking a lot of bottles that are far out of my normal price range. But, I do blame them for turning me into somewhat of a wine snob. 

While you can get good, cheap wine....You'd be hardpressed to find me enjoying a two buck chuck. 

Either way, I've had my fair share of wine these days and wanted to share with you my ABSOLUTE favorites. These are all different kinds of wines, and many different prices ranges, but I promise you will have a great drinking experience with anyone of these bottles:

1. House Wine Blend $9

2. Joel Gott Sauvigon Blanc $10

3. Raymond Field Blend $13

4. Poppy Pinot Noir $15

5. Milbrandt Cabernet $17
6. La Creama Charddony $18
7. Decoy Merlot $20
8. Cakebread Cabernet $80
9. Chateau Montelena Cabernet $110
10. Peter Michael Cabernet $160

What are some of your favorite wines that I could put on my list?