sunset in stages

I don’t think I can effectively speak to how beautiful California is. I am constantly amazed by the sights and wonders of this state and I know I’ve only ever seen a small part of it. To cap off my weekend, I went to Griffith Observatory to catch the sunset. Every night should end like this:

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Magnificent.

This weekend was the perfect amount of relaxing and active with as much time spent outside as I possibly could get. This weather is the kind I expected when I moved out here.

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Sights like these make Monday’s arrival just a little sweeter.

a day to remember

This weekend was all about the Women’s March for this girl! It was an incredible experience to share with over 2 million women and men who represented love, hope, equality, and progress. I got to laugh, shout, and listen to the likes of Jane Fonda speak on the importance of representation and equal rights. It is a historic, memorable day that, despite critics suggesting otherwise, will be revolutionary to this country. I am also proud to say that both my parents joined in on the march, in support of their children and themselves, and I can’t emphasize how much it means to me that I have two wonderful, intelligent parents who raised and educated two daughters and a son with equal love, support, and expectations.

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One last note: Nothing of quality ever got done by sitting quietly at home and minding your own business.  Our country is built on it.

Other than the march, it was a low-key weekend, thanks to the rain and the aftermath of a cold I was battling all week. Entertaining friends and family is always fun and worth while, but it takes a lot out of me, so I welcomed the relaxation.

Thankfully, I was able to fit in a few solid workouts this week, although much of my time outside of work was spent sleeping. Colds are no fun, but thanks to my constant vigilance, it never accumulated into anything too serious.

Here’s some food from the previous week.

A huge salad with chicken, pita and hummus, and some tempura cauliflower I tried from Trader Joes.

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Cod, zucchini noodles and spinach, and baked sweet potato fries. I was missing ketchup for those fries!

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A hunk of a salad topped with garlic-butter shrimp.

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Sesame ginger chicken with broccoli and spinach.

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A grilled cheese and soup on my sickliest evening. Notice the spinach- gotta fit in those vitamins! The soup was a roasted corn and red pepper from Trader Joes.

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Apparently I’m not good at snapping breakfast shots. This was a warm bowl of oats with peanut butter, blueberries, and strawberries.

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My lunch of the week was salads with chicken, pita, and hummus. I love meal prep because it makes the week so easy.

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After lots of rest and healthy eating, I’m feeling invigorated and ready to face the week! Happy Monday!

long weekend adventures

Shoutout to my friend Katie for visiting me this weekend! The adventure started late Thursday night when Katie landed at LAX and I picked her up. We promptly fell asleep because we had a big day planned for Friday…fifteen and a half hours at Disneyland!

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Disney really is the most magical place on earth. Lines actually weren’t that long, so we were able to go on every ride more than once. I ended up buying a season pass for myself because it’s something everyone seems to want to go to when they visit. To commemorate the occasion, I bought myself a pair of Mickey Ears. Princess-themed, of course.

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There was a pair of bright pink ears with a tiara that I almost exchanged these ones for, but they had Aurora’s face on it, and I was not about that. I also can’t help but laugh at this picture below as we realized that you get a lot wetter in the front few seats of Splash Mountain than you’d expect.

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After Disney, we were ready for a more relaxed, but still fun-filled Saturday. First up, Santa Monica.

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Shameless selfie.

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Next, we hit up Venice.

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That afternoon, we ended up watching the Patriots game at a bar (football is not my sport). In and Out called for dinner and then it was a fairly early night as we watched some Friends reruns and fell asleep.

On Sunday, we were up early again to head over to WB Studios to take the tour. Friends!

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One day maybe I’ll be holding an Oscar of my own.

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The rest of the day, we headed into Hollywood to see the Chinese Theater, Walk of Fame, and Hollywood Sign. We also drove through West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, then headed over to the Grove for a bit. More Friends reruns finished off the night.

On Monday, I dropped Katie off early at the airport and promptly went back to sleep. Boy, do the days fly! Once I woke up, I made myself breakfast and finished some chores around the apartment before heading out for a bike ride.

Can we please talk about this view?

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And the sunset before grocery shopping.

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The rest of the night, I meal prepped for the week, dyed my hair, and did some laundry. A great weekend, but still had to prepare for the week!

a year

It feels like I’ve blinked and a year passed. The reason I focus on today is that it’s been an official year since my cat, Bandit, died. A year ago, I kept wishing to go back into more blissfully ignorant times or zoom into the future because the pain was so fresh. I still miss him and I’m not sure you can really ever fully recover, but it’s still been a year.

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I try to focus on the time we did have together, although sometimes are easier than others. Hug your pets a little harder, spend some extra time with the pats, and love them because they are precious gifts to us.

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lately

 

I’ve eaten some great meals lately. My meals are not the problem, it’s the eating inbetween that I need to watch! The holidays did a number on me, but I’m feeling better and back on track.

Let’s take a look.

Saturday pancake breakfast.

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Breakfast sandwich: eggs, cheese, toast.

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Eggs, a piece of toast, and an unseen strawberry smoothie.

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Yogurt, berries, and walnuts for a snack.

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Chicken, broccoli, ziti (with red pepper). Kind of a soup dish, but definitely delicious. Ate this when it was still burning hot because I needed to make a movie time. Worth it.

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Steak caesar tacos because life is awesome. With spinach.

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The secret to cooking anything covered in bread crumbs on a stove top is to do it for a long time over low heat. This piece of fish was divine and paired with brown rice, spinach, broccoli, and covered with sesame ginger sauce.

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The one lunch that made it in here. Tacos with cheese, deli turkey, spinach, tomato, sour cream, and sriracha.

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Workouts as of late included that hike from the other day.

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Monday’s upper body strength workout included lots of work on the biceps, triceps, and shoulders. So much so that I’m still sore in the triceps, though that could have been manipulated further by my chest/back workout on Tuesday. My workout on Wednesday was lower body. Every day was topped with some core and cardio: biking, running, elliptical(ling). I’ve got one last formal workout of the week before my friend Katie comes for the weekend.

Eat well. Live well. Feel well.

nora ephron and reading

This week, I finished Nora Ephron’s memoir I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections. Nora wrote one of my favorite films, When Harry Met Sally, and she’s always been a writer I admired from afar. Having just moved to LA to pursue writing, I’ve made it my goal to learn as much as I can from past and current writers, especially female.

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I love Hollywood memoirs and books about Hollywood stars. I’ve made no question about my love for Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, and I also recently finished Amy Schumer’s book, which I enjoyed immensely. One of my favorite books of all time is Kate Remembered, a book written about Katharine Hepburn’s later years, which is fascinating, sweet, and speaks to me for whatever reason.

I believe that I Remember Nothing was Nora Ephron’s final book before she died. (Thanks to Google, I confirmed this as fact). As I read, I felt bittersweet compassion for her. She loved her family, writing, food, and New York City more than anything. She struggled and triumphed, as a woman, as a writer, as a human being, and her best medicine was to write about it.

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The memoir included a series of essays on topics such as her career in journalism, love of salt and not caring if the chef at a restaurant felt offended by her using it, the fragility of life, realizing that her friends never liked the dessert she baked for Christmas dinner, losing friends, and the things she’d miss and wouldn’t miss in life. In hindsight, this book was her goodbye. I feel privileged to have read this book and experienced, however briefly, life through her eyes.

Sometimes I forget how important it is to read. It’s so much easier to come home at the end of a long day and flip on the tv (okay, laptop for Netflix). Reading requires imagination, effort, thinking. Reading is the easiest way to explore the world, not only to various exotic places in the world, through fiction and non-fiction, but through different minds. Perspectives, we only ever truly know our own, but we can learn so much from others. Be it if they invite you in and share it, if you observe it, or if you accept it.

My goal is to read a book a week, which feels ambitious, sadly, if I’m being honest. But if I can watch a season of a television show in a week, then I can spend a few hours reading.

living without fear

Also known as, living with anxiety, but not allowing it to stall my life. For the past few years, I’ve been trying to, not so much overcome my anxiety, but live with it. I started this with my weight loss journey, choosing to focus on positivity and self-love over insecurity and shame. It’s a battle every day. The most recent and most obvious example was my moving to LA from Boston four months ago.

I miss my people. I woke up the other night thinking what have I done?! What am I doing? Chasing a dream, taking a risk, exploring the world. I don’t know how long I’ll be here, but I’m glad I’m doing it, ups and downs, joy and sadness, triumphs and failures included.

What I’ve learned in general in my quest to “live without fear,” especially recently, is that such a credo doesn’t require saying ‘yes’ to everything. There’s power in saying ‘no.’ While it is important to do things that scare you and make you uncomfortable, and that compromise is a very important part of living with other people (not in a roommate-way, but in an other human beings exist in the world-way), you also don’t have to do things that make you miserable. Sometimes staying in and watching your favorite show on Netflix is self-healing, but other times it’s overkill and you have to get up off your ass, take a shower, and go outside.

Carrie Fisher’s death made me think a lot about mortality. It’s strange to be mourning someone I didn’t really know. I’m also coming up on a year since my cat died and still grieving my beloved aunt. I’m living far away from my loved ones. I eat at least two out of three meals a day alone. I come home alone. I workout alone. I do a lot of exploring alone. Loneliness has always scared me and while it’s hard, it’s not necessarily the worst thing to experience. It’s making me take care of myself, be independent, and learn a lot about the world and my place in it. Life is fragile, fast-moving, and can change or end at any moment. This is startling, but it’s also inspiring.

I’m scared a lot of the time, whether it be concerning my future, career, money, family and friends, and all the little and big things that compose a person’s life, but I’ve stopped letting that fear prevent me from trying, in any capacity that I choose. Spoiler alert: I fail a lot. Sometimes it’s easier to go to bed early and hide under the covers. But when I do face scary people and things, I try to always maintain eye contact. Because people so rarely make eye contact anymore.

The world is big and we, individually, are small. That feels like relief.

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