Extra Exciting Weekend Recap

I am posting this early because I’m so excited, but since most of my readers are on the East Coast, you’ll be in bed and won’t even notice.

Welcome to post-weekend life! As usual, the days flew by, but thankfully it was a good one.

Before I go into the mundane, I cannot start this post in any other way. Look what happened!

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You guys!!! That is Sarah Michelle Gellar! Buffy is my favorite show ever and I’ve been a fan for years. She was doing an event with her company, Foodstirs (which for the record, is healthy, features all-natural ingredients, yummy, and Caitlin approved if you are so inclined). As I was waiting for this picture to happen, I kept thinking I should say something poignant, such as, “Thanks for being an inspiration and a kickass woman, both as Buffy and as a innovator of your own company,” but all I said was, “Thank you, I’m such a big fan.”

The whole thing could have gone over a lot worse, so I’ll take it. I also would have liked to imply that one day she would be starring in a show I will write and create, but I didn’t want to push it. We’ll all just have to remember this moment in a few years.

I’ve lived in LA for two and a half weeks now and in that time, I’ve got a job and met my favorite celebrity. I’m accepting these as positive omens and not just a rush job to get me out of here.

And now we’ll go back…

On Friday, I got my butt up for a workout. Shoulders, legs, and core. For whatever reason, even though my legs are obviously stronger, they do not like strength training. The poor things were not happy at 5:50 AM to endure a ton of squats and lunges back to back, but in the end, they felt stronger for it. To top things off, I cycled it out for a few minutes. After work on Friday, I met up with a friend from college for Happy Hour, something we do not have back in Boston. They had a slider with fries option which was really cute so I went with that for my dinner. Back at the apartment, I started watching Kristen Bell’s new show The Good Place, which is adorable.

Saturday morning called for pancakes.

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Lunch was a stir fry. I might have gone overboard on the soyaki.

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Dinner was pasta and salad.

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I don’t think I left my apartment on Saturday. I spent a lot of time watching Arrested Development, which many people have suggested I watch and I just never got around to it. Let’s back track for a moment. I’m certain I have revealed my phobia of Liza Minelli before on the blog, but if not, I’ll regal you now. For many years, that woman stalked me. I don’t mean in the literal sense in that she followed me around (that I know of!), but she’d show up in things like a Baseball Special, SNL, pictures at restaurants, and so many more references I’ve repressed. Since I saw a video of hers in high school drama class, I’ve harbored a fear, and it’s not something I’m proud of, but I’ll point out that she was at least accused of beating up her husband. Back to Saturday, I was mid-binge when this happened:

 

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Destroyed. I’ve been relieved of my Liza curse for years, but she strikes back! I must be on alert.

I was semi-productive in parts of Saturday, reading and writing and whatnot, but mostly, I was completely lazy and I have no shame in that. In my defense, it was raining and cold back in Boston, so my emotions must still be there.

On Sunday, I woke up and had a quick breakfast of eggs and toast. Then it was off to pick up my cousins to head to The Grove. I was going to try and show you my commute from this Snapchat filter the other night:

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But then, I was waiting for my cousins and snapped this real picture.

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Then at The Grove, this happened.

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So basically, that’s all that matters ever. Kidding. But only kind of. I will remind you of my post from the other day when I jokingly complained that instead of meeting any celebrities, including Sarah Michelle Gellar, I saw two guys joking about putting mayonnaise in their coffee. Either I’m psychic or what I put out into the universe comes true, so I’ll test that theory. I’d like a million dollars, thanks much.

After I navigated myself home, I called my friend Bethany and we talked for close to three hours, which seems insane. We didn’t even realize. I was productive throughout the chat: folding laundry, going for a run, food prepping for the week, then making and eating dinner. That’s friendship.

It was only fitting that I wear this shirt out on my run.

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But also impractical because cotton does not absorb sweat gracefully.

Monday comes as Monday does, so I finished up some writing, prepped my things for the day, set the alarm for 5:30 AM, and called it a day.

Things

A week and a day in and still no celebrity sightings. I’m trying not to be discouraged, but really, you move to LA and you expect to see some random celebrities acting just like you and me, walking down the street. Do I glance over at the cubicle next to me and see my future husband, Chris Evans, at the library? No, instead I get a teen napping on his backpack. At Starbucks do I spot my future BFF Sarah Michelle Gellar ordering the same beverage? No, I get two dudes joking about putting mayonnaise in their coffee. Am I heavy lifting weights next to the man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the gym? Nope, just some old lady who needs help adjusting the seat but then proceeds to do freaking reverse crunches on an incline.

People keep joking that all the celebrities are in Boston, which hardy har- not funny!

For the record, only two of those celebrities are ones I’d like to meet. Spoiler: The Terminator is not one of them.

Again, this lack of celebritydom could be a symptom of my being unobservant, but I just don’t think so. Bring on the celebs!

Back to focus, I’ll tell you a little bit about my Wednesday. A day starting out with this beautiful bowl of oats is always a good one in my book!

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I mixed things up with almond milk, mashed banana, cinnamon, walnuts, raisins, and a dash of maple syrup. Muy delicioso!

At the gym, with my actual new BFF reverse crunching like a pro, I worked through triceps, shoulders, and chest, and I’m already feeling the repercussions. Again, in the best way. Core was pretty crushing with rollouts that did not want to be rolled out, especially at 3 sets of 20 reps. Worth it in the end, I hope. To top off my exercise for the day, I did things old-school and hopped on the arc trainer for a sweaty fifteen minutes- five steady-state, five intervals, five steady-state before calling it a day.

To refuel, I loaded up with strawberries and half a banana with some chocolate peanut butter. Refreshing!

I’m on The Order of the Phoenix for my Harry Potter re-read and it’s stressing me out. I’ve been avoiding it for a week and now I’ve just started and it’s stressful. You can’t imagine the pain if you haven’t read it before. There’s just so much angst. I love the book, don’t get me wrong, but boy does it bring out the emotions. I’m anticipating every scene as though I haven’t read it before. (Put in italics because such a notion is preposterous!)

For lunch, I headed back into Hollywood, The Grove area, to meet my cousin and two of her co-workers for an informational lunch. Again, it’s good to have human contact!

Look what I spotted!

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Back to the library to get some work done for this chick, as you probably predicted from my reference of the teen and his backpack. He was sleeping, in the spot that I had deemed mine over the past two days might I add, and I both support and resent him for it. Sleeping is important, but also, one, move and two, Chris Evans could have sat there, you waste of space.

For dinner, I went out with my friend Brad and his twin brother Reid, my new roommate!, at a vegan restaurant in town. Again, I ate vegan and did not have a celebrity sighting. The sacrifices I’m making. Not, I suppose, that celebrity sightings is the reason I moved out here because totally not, but still, it ups my cool factor.

I dined on sesame “chicken,” which was actually yummy cauliflower, brown rice, and broccoli. I have nothing against veganism and will eat a meal as such, but I’m still very much tied to meat and other various animal products. So sue me, but actually, please don’t.

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I’ve been writing and editing like crazy, which is important, and the actual reason for me being out here. Let’s hope that creativity keeps flowing! Secret to success: the more you do, the more that comes.

Where The Celebs At?

Happy Wednesday, party people! I’ve officially been in LaLaLand for one whole week and I’ve yet to see one celebrity. Say wha-at? I don’t even want to consider the number of celebrities that might have passed me by and I missed because I wasn’t observant enough. I was fairly certain I was going to be super famous and best friends with all of them by now… No? Well, at least I thought I’d be married to Chris Evans.

Maybe it’s because I’m spending so much time cooped up in the library getting some work done. Throughout college, I worked at a library, so it’s one of my happy places and never fails to make me productive.

Recap of yesterday:

Tuesday morning, I rolled out of bed for some cheesy eggs, an English muffin, and raspberries. Not a bad way to start the day at all.

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After getting some work done at home, I drove into Hollywood, which, weird!, to meet my cousin for lunch. It’s all about friendly faces these days, let me tell you. I’m still not used to looking up and seeing palm trees or the Hollywood sign in the distance on my commute.

It would be nice to insert a picture here, but alas, driving and snapping pictures is frowned upon.

When in doubt (or stress or anything), gym time never fails me and I crushed it with a strength training line-up of biceps, back, legs, and core before finishing up with a quick interval ride on the bike. For strength, I worked through four sets of fifteen reps, two exercises for biceps, five for back, and five for legs- those bad boys were shaking (in a good way). My core workout included three exercises and I meant to do three sets of twenty, but ended up doing four sets, so a good ‘oops’ I guess.

Let’s take a look at that workout:

Biceps- Cross-Body Curls, High Bicep Curls

Back- Single-Arm Rows, Weighted Supermans, Back Extensions, High Pulls, Standing Rows

Legs- Front Squats, Lunges, Deadlifts, Kneeling Side Leg Raises, Kettlebell Swings

Core- Flutter Kicks, V Ups, Side Plank Dips

Once I finished on the bike, I was good and sweaty and ready for a snack and a cup of coffee at home!

Greek yogurt will never be the same for me after I had the homemade version at a local Greek pantry back at home, but I made do with good ol’ Chobani, mixing up the strawberry flavor with a handful of blueberries and some almonds.

To the library it was, but first, I got a phone call from an old friend/advisor that was very much appreciated. I can’t express how grateful I am to get calls and texts from family and friends in general, never mind that I’m in a new state, following my dreams, and pretty much by my lonesome.

As I mentioned, I do love the library, so I pretty much closed it up and headed home to make dinner. If it works one night, why not make it again the second? Whole grains, check. Protein, check. Veggies, check. Fat, check. Yum factor, check!

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The rest of the night consisted of some reading and writing quality time. I must still be on East Coast time because as I’m typing, I’m longing to go to bed, but it’s only 9:40 here. Soon!

Here’s a selfie shot I had to take because my hair was on point and it would have been a waste for no one to have seen it.

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Vindicated

It only took 12 years, but I am finally vindicated. I guess the trick was actually moving to LA. Brangelina is OVER. Too bad we probably won’t get Brannier back.

Okay, so, I sound like a terrible person because you know, children are involved, but my poor 14 year old heart was broken all those years ago. Team Jen always!

Moving on…Monday wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t easy either. People keep reminding me that it’s not going to take several days to adjust to this new way of living and I totally understand that. It just hurts, mainly being away from my family. Emotional ups and downs are normal, but I’m trying to be strong and patient!

I started my morning with a bite of comfort- waffles, strawberries, and a banana.

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After some writing and working, it was time to check out my new neighborhood in the best way possible, a run!

I cruised for the usual 3.1, but was very happy (and sweaty) when I finished. The sun wasn’t blaring and humidity wasn’t bad, but it was still hot! A quick peanut butter and jelly sandwich worked as my post-workout meal.

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We still don’t have Internet, so I headed out to the local library – my sister must be proud – to apply for jobs and get some more work done. By the time I got home, I was hungry! I threw a bunch of stuff together for dinner and it was delicious.

Stage 1:

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Grilled chicken, zucchini noodles, chopped yellow pepper, spinach, whole wheat penne, tomato sauce, and mozzarella. Yum in a bowl!

Complete:

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Check out this sunset!

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After some more writing and reading, it was time to call it an early night. All of these emotional and physical changes make for an exhausted girl! I might have used that line already, but it couldn’t be truer!

Hope your Tuesday is/has been magical, bloggy friends!

Part Two: Roaming Beverly Hills

This post is a little delayed because I had to work early this morning. All was fine until I dropped a lime into my coffee instead of my tea, but I prevailed and drank it anyways. Let’s get fancy.

Beverly Hills is swank and I’ve decided that one day, I will live there. It’s just a fact.

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There are very fancy people mixed in with not so fancy tourists and very expensive stores that said not so fancy tourists look into with longing. Molly and I were of these not so fancy people who wanted to be fancy, but not looking with longing, so we just strolled on down the street as though we owned the place. Which one day, I will.

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This is also where we were on alert, ready for a celebrity sighting. Many celebrities may have walked by without us even noticing, but we’d like to think that we have keen eyes. We did not in fact have any of these celebrity sightings on this particular day.IMG_3464

After wandering around, and stopping in Starbucks for a drink and bathroom break, we found ourselves in front of The Paley Center, which houses hundreds of thousands of tv shows.They just so happened to have an exhibit on type writers and to offer free admission, so we decided to stop in for a visit.

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Before we found the typewriter display, we wandered into an auditorium that many television stars and writers have once stood to speak on their topic, so I couldn’t resist heading to the podium for a photo opportunity. This is me dreaming, one day.

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The typewriter exhibit was interesting and it was fun to see things that Julie Freaking Angel Goddess Baby Andrews and John Lennon have once used to type incredible things. We were not allowed to touch them however, so I could not mix my prints with Dame Julie.

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After a visit to the museum, we wandered over to a park that a bunch of tourists happened to be snapping pictures of a sign, so we did too but from a respectable distance. It was nice to sit off to the side in the shade as we planned our next adventure.

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One thing the West Coast has that the East Coast definitely envies are In-N-Outs. I’m not much for fast food and though I enjoyed the meal, it wasn’t anything I found to be ultra satisfying, however, the food tasted fresher than usual fast food offerings.

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The other factor that may have made this meal a little lackluster was the wait. When we arrived, lunch was heading into dinner and we didn’t expect there to be such crowd! We were wrong. After ordering, we waited at least 45 minutes for the food and had to share a table with a kind gentleman. It was seriously super crowded in that restaurant and I was having none of it.

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We headed back into Hollywood to see more stars and make our way towards our hotel. I couldn’t resist stopping to take a picture with the Backstreet Boys star to send to my sister. She still hasn’t replied to my message, in which I say, You’re Welcome, Lauren.

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Back at the hotel, we relaxed for a little while by the pool before getting ready for a night out at The Grove. First things first, I showed Molly the view from the upper deck of the Barnes and Noble. The sun was starting to set and it was beautiful, but most importantly, it was above the crowd.

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We were supposed to meet my friend Brad for dinner, but he got sick and couldn’t join us. Instead, his roommate Jourdan met us for some drinks and appetizers. It was nice to catch up and sit outside next to a spectacular fountain. It even got a little chilly, but nothing too uncomfortable.

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It was an excellent day two to spend in LA!

The Oscars!

I’m embarrassed. My parents have seen more than twice as many Oscar nominated films than I have this year. I guess they are just film conrnessouirs now. I was sadly lacking in that department due to a lack of effort, but there’s always time to catch up.

Maybe I’m getting older with more responsibilities, or maybe no one is nominated who I really care about, but while I enjoyed watching the part of the Oscars that I bothered to stay up for, I couldn’t make it the whole thing. I didn’t even try. Neil Patrick Harris was of course, fabulous, and I loved his opening number. I prefer a longer monologue, but there’s only so much time. Why did they start at 8:30?

On Sundays, I like to be productive, getting as many lunches and breakfasts prepared for the week, getting in my workout, doing laundry, and painting my nails. The snow and the work we have to do to clean up after it, delays this. We must be as flexible as possible. I’m learning not to let these small things stress me out as much as they normally do. What a process.

Speaking of meals, for breakfast, we wanted to mix things up a little with our poached eggs. We sautéed some spinach and boiled some hollandaise sauce. You can’t see the spinach in the picture, but I assure you, it was there. Poached eggs are so tasty on their own, but sometimes a little change up can be just as good, if not better. A large bowl of fruit topped off the meal.

photo 1Anticipating a bigger dinner, after my workout, I came home to enjoy a quick snack. I went for a cheesestick, a couple of crackers, carrots, and an apple. It hit the spot and helped me refuel until dinner.

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Dinner was a bit of a family affair with my sister, Lauren, and her fiancée Nick over. We had roasted chicken, brussels sprouts, squash, peppers, stuffing, and potatoes. The meal itself was divine, but for dessert, we had apple crumble and a generous scoop of ice cream.

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For my workout, I kicked things off with a body strength workout that left me more than warmed up. Starting with step ups, I ran through a circuit of dips, squats, lunges, kickbacks, calf raises, push ups, spiderman climbers, mermaid raises, hip lifts, bicycle crunches, ankle grabs, crunches, hundreds, and Russian twists. After, I hit the treadmill for a long run. I got through 3.1 and would have liked to go on longer, except my foot was falling asleep. I tried to trek through it for as long as possible, but after that initial run, I gave it a breather and walked for five minutes. I was able to run for another seven minutes after, then finished up with another five minutes walk. It was a great workout that left me sweaty in the grossest, best way possible.

It’s funny because when you think of being sick, you fondly remember the allowance of time to spend in your bed, cuddled under the covers, and having a valid excuse to do nothing. You don’t remember the runny nose, scratchy eyes, swirling nausea, and random aches and pains coursing through your body. Surprise! It’s hard to sleep when you’re sick.

I thought that it would be nice to listen to some music, throw on a movie or some Netflix, or curl up with a book to read that is an interesting mystery thus far, but that wasn’t the case. I wanted nothing to do with anything, but fall into the sweet oblivion of sleep.

Truth be told, I didn’t get much reading done this week because I was down for the count. I was also hyping myself up to get into a more regular writing routine and that completely fell through.

Instead, I’m happy to live blog the Golden Globes, which is my favorite award show because it features both television and film.

The biggest takeaway of the show, which we already knew, is that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are goddesses. From their monologue to their little moments throughout the show, they were hilarious and spot on. Unfortunately, the show was stacked with awards and ran long due to the fact that all the winners were placed in the back of the theater and it took fifteen minutes for everyone to even get on stage. We didn’t get to see nearly enough of Amy and Tina, who I like to refer to as Tamy, and so I was bummed about that.

As far as the winners, none of the people who I thought- ok who I wanted- to win did, but I also didn’t have a huge investment in who won because none of my favorites were nominated. I didn’t even get a chance to glimpse Chris Evans as I’m pretty sure he wasn’t there.

One thing I did notice as I was laying in bed and listening as I fell asleep, is that I need to do a retraction on my blog! I don’t know how many times I actually mentioned this, but the film called “Still Alice” that Julianne Moore is starring in is NOT the same as the book I just read. Both focus on memory loss, but Moore’s is far more serious about a degenerative disease, not someone falling off a bike and getting amnesia. I didn’t realize this until I cringed when I believed Moore thanked the wrong author. How embarrassing! So, consider this your retraction and my apology for assuming things and not researching deeper. Whoops.

However, I was right about “Wild” being made into a movie. I haven’t seen it yet, so I don’t know how it compares to the book, but I have heard excellent things and I’m glad to see that Reese Witherspoon invited the author, Cheryl Strayed, to the show.

Award shows are funny because we are basically just watching beautiful people do their thing. I mostly just watch because I love opening monologues and seeing my favorite celebrities, though I will admit to getting overly invested and anxious when any of my favorites are nominated because so help me if they don’t win! It’s the same with watching sports games that are uncomfortably close. Almost too thrilling, it’s almost unbearable to watch!

Hopefully this week I can get back into doing some reading and can fill you all in next week!