8 Reasons To Smile On Monday

Other Thoughts

IMG_8366

Everyone can use some happiness on Mondays. I’m fairly certain that it is scientifically proven that Monday’s are the worst day of the week – so here are a few things to smile about today.

 

1. Coffee.

Coffee

 

2. This Adorable Mother’s Day Card from Simply Jessica Marie

Mothers Day Card

 

3. Tule Skirts from Space46 Boutique 

Krystin Lee_Annawithlove_Tulle Skirt_blog--7

 

4. This adorable pic of my puppies

Snugs and Ruby

 

5. Will & Grace Marathons

willgrace

6. Summer Hits of the 90s station on Pandora

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 10.17.30 AM

7. Passion Tea from Tazo

TAZ-20045-2

8. Brookside Dark Chocolate Goji Raspberries & Pomegranate

BrooksideDarkChocolateRasberry__66442_zoomBrookside-Dark-Chocolate-Pomegranate

 

Advertisements

A Twenty-Something Transition

Real World

laid-off

It’s no secret that job security in Los Angeles’ entertainment industry isn’t exactly fantastic. This is a very unique city with a lot of freelancers working on shows that only film seven or eight months out of the year. It’s a constant battle of trying to make it work in an ever-changing landscape and once again I’m fighting the good fight of someone searching for their next project.

It would be easy to be discouraged when something like this happens, but I prefer to look at it as a new opportunity for an adventure. There are so many things I want to do in my life, and being a twenty-something in Los Angeles gives me such an advantage. I don’t have to worry about a mortgage or paying off a car (luckily). Really my only expenses are rent, food and gas, plus the occasional shopping spree (oops). This is the perfect time to explore this wonderful city, get to know a bunch of different people and figure out what I like doing. I’m a Gemini, and those of you who follow astrology, or know me personally, will know that means I like to flit from project to project and like to experience new and different things.

Long story short twenty-somethings, if you suddenly find yourself out of work or in a situation you didn’t expect, look at it as an opportunity for something great! That attitude makes all the difference. The world is your oyster!

8 Cocktails For Spring

College, Friends, Other Thoughts, Real World, Recipes, Uncategorized
Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Sunshine, music, patios, friends, family and the wind in your hair. What’s missing? The perfect cocktail. Lets be honest, this week is completely crawling by at a snails pace, and I need something fun to look forward to making this weekend. Here are 8 simple recipes for great spring and summer cocktails, weekend wisely!

Counting down to my all time favorite we are starting with…

08 – Kir Royale

Courtesy of Google

Courtesy of Google

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients: Creme de Cassis, Chilled champagne or sparkling wine
Instructions:

  •  Pour 1 Oz of Creme de cassis in the glass
  •  Tilt the glass and fill it with your champagne or sparkling wine
  •  Give it a stir with you bar spoon or any long thin object
  •  If you have a cherry just throw it in your drink.

07 – Long Island Iced Tea

Courtesy of Cocktails.com

Courtesy of Cocktails.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients: 1 Oz Vodka,1 Oz Gin,1 Oz White Rum,1 Oz Silver Tequila ,1 Oz Triple sec,1.5 Oz Sweet and Sour mix,Splash of Coke,8 Ice cubes of ice
Instructions:

  • Pour the vodka and gin
  • Add the rum, tequila and triple sec
  • Add the sweet and sour mix
  • Add 8 ice cubes
  • Shake it ! 12 times at least
  • Fill your highball glass with ice, fill it to the top.Strain the cocktail into your glass
  • Strain the cocktail into the glass over the ice
  • Save a little room for the coke, top the drink with it
  • Drink or serve it, garnish with a lemon wedge

06 – Margarita

Courtesy of Chow.com

Courtesy of Chow.com

Ingredients: 2 Oz Tequila,1 Oz Orange liqueur,Juice of 1 lime or lemon,0.5 Oz of simple syrup or Lime Cordial,8 Ice cubes or crushed ice
Instructions:

  • Pour all ingredients into the shaker.
  • Add 8 ice cubes
  • Add the fresh lime juice or just squeeze a whole lime inside
  • Shake it hard! 12 times at least
  • Strain the cocktail into your chilled glass or strain over ice (margarita on the rocks)
  • Place a lime peel on the rim of the glass or put salt on the rim of the glass. If you want to “salt your rim” check out our cocktail guru tip at the bottom of this page.
  • Drink or serve it, your Perfect Margarita is ready to drink!

05 – Mimosa

Courtesy of Inspired Taste

Courtesy of Inspired Taste

Ingredients: Half a glass of orange juice,Chilled champagne or sparkling wine
Instructions:

  • Fill half of your glass with orange juice, make sure it’s cold
  • Tilt the glass and fill it with your champagne or sparkling wine
  • Give it a stir with you bar spoon or any long thin object

04 – Apple Martini

Courtesy of Gustologist

Courtesy of Gustologist

Ingredients: 1.5 Oz Apple flavored vodka,1 Oz Sour apple liqueur or apple flavored schnapps,Dash Midori,1 Oz Pineapple juice,1 Oz Apple juice,8-10 Ice cubes
Instructions:

  • Pour the alcohol into your shaker
  • Add apple and pineapple juice
  • Add ice
  • Stir 12 times
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or over fresh ice a tall glass
  • Drink or serve it, your cocktail is ready to drink!>
  • Garnish with three apple pieces on a toothpick

03 – Bellini

Courtesy of Laylita

Courtesy of Laylita

Ingredients: One third of a glass of peach puree or juice,Two thirds of Chilled champagne or sparkling wine
Instructions:

  • Muddle a whole peach (or skip this step and just pour peach juice in the the glass)
  • Tilt the glass and fill it with your champagne or sparkling wine
  • Give it a stir with you bar spoon or any long thin object

02 – Cosmopolitan

Courtesy of InspiredTaste

Courtesy of InspiredTaste

Ingredients: 2 Oz citron vodka ,1 Oz orange liqueur ,1 Oz Cranberry Juice ,Dash of Lime Cordial ,8 Ice cubes or crushed ice ,Lime peel for garnish
Instructions:

  • Chill the martini glass (click here if you want to know how)
  • Pour the liqueur and vodka to your shaker
  • Pour the cranberry and cordial to your shaker
  • Add the fresh lime juice or just squeeze a half of lime inside
  • Fill shaker with ice
  • Add 8 ice cubes
  • Stir it! 12 times at least
  • Strain your cocktail into the chilled glass

01 – Mojito

Courtesy of MyRecipes

Courtesy of MyRecipes

Ingredients: 1 Spoon white sugar ,2 Oz White Rum,Hand full of Mint leaves ,Half of one lime cut into 3 wedges ,Splash of club soda ,1.5 Oz Sweet and Sour Mix ,8 Ice cubes or crushed ice
Instructions:

  • Muddle the mint, limes and sugar, muddle until you actually smell the mint.
  • Add 2 Oz of Rum
  • Add the sweet and sour mix
  • Add 8 ice cubes
  • Shake it hard! 20 times at least
  • Double Strain into the glass full of crushed ice
  • Top the drink with club soda
  • Add 5 fresh new mint leaves and a lime wedge on top and serve it, your perfect drink is ready!

5 Ways to Survive Easter with your Extended Family

Family, Other Thoughts, Real World

Survival Kit

You woke up to beautiful sunshine gleaming through your window, birds chirping, and the idea of eating gargantuan loads of chocolate is on the horizon and then it dawns on you: you have to spend an entire day with your obnoxious, idiotic extended family. Already started prematurely stuffing chocolate in your face to cope? It’s alright. I have five recommendations nurtured over years of practice to help you get through this day. Deep breath, let’s begin.

1) don’t talk

I’m serious. Don’t do it. Just smile and nod. Say yes when appropriate, and if you must ask a question, say “Oh really?”. The less you engage others, the better. Trust me.

2) don’t fight, take the apathetic road

You’re cornered by those relatives who watch Fox news and collect their Welfare checks and use them to buy canned ham and gun amo. You’ve spotted them when you walked in, cringed, and have been avoiding making eye contact ever since, but now they got you. Crap is flying from their mouth faster than the one batch of buttered rolls were devoured. Hold it together, don’t take his bullshit bait. Try and find a pause, say “fascinating” and just walk away. Don’t start fighting facts with someone who bases their life in myths.

3) you’re stuck with your intensely talkative aunt, and you feel too bad to leave

Just focus on the food. I recommend a dip. Try and stand next to food during this convo. I prefer a dip because you can always blame its quick disappearance on the little cousins, or at least that’s what I’ve always done. Just focus on the colors of the food and how it tastes as your aunt slowly and circuitously tells you about her nine cats and diabetes.

4) buddy system

Find your favorite sibling and latch on. Then throw her at your talkative aunt when she comes your way. Girls gotta survive somehow.

5) find dat booze

When all else fails, snatch a few beers, put those in a hiding spot, snatch a few more and get to it. Peace be with you.

How Grown Up Are You? Does it Even Matter?

Real World

How Grown Up Are You

Today I found myself perusing BuzzFeed for all of the usual quizzes that may or may not actually tell my anything about myself. I can tell you right now that being “Collin Farrell”‘s sex tape, or being told that I am “practically on top of things,” or being classified as the Lion from “The Lion and the Mouse” doesn’t really impact my life. But then I began clicking buttons on a still fun, but somewhat more serious quiz – How Grown-Up Are You Actually ?

How grown up am I? That’s something that I continually struggle with on my own – and to be perfectly honest I’m not sure that a quiz can help me make up my mind. Being a “grown up” always seemed so glamorous as a child and as a teen, and even sometimes as a “young adult.” Grown-ups had their shit together. They had all of their bills paid before they were due. They had a house, and it wasn’t just a house, it was a home. They had friends, family, jobs and they balanced it all without breaking a sweat. They could go out and go wild on a Friday, but still be up bright and early Saturday to clean the house and hit brunch. They aren’t real.

At least, that’s the conclusion that I have drawn – although according to BuzzFeed:

You’re straight up GROWN. You’re independent, responsible, and mature, exactly as you should be. You know your way around a fun night and believe in having fun, but you don’t make other people clean up after you when you’re done. You’ve got life figured out, and everyone’s jealous. Congrats!

Hate to break it to you BuzzFeed – I don’t have it figured out, and I don’t know many twenty-somethings that do. We worry about our bills, our houses have gotten half of their furniture from Ikea, balancing everything is not as easy as it looks, and sometimes we are too hung over to even move, much less make it to brunch.

And you know what? That is totally okay. As I have come to realize that I may or may not ever have my shit completely together, I have also realized that it isn’t about having it all together or making it look like it is all together – it is about being authentic. Being honest with yourself, and accepting that sometimes that hangover is going to cause you to miss brunch, sometimes you may hate your Ikea bookshelf – but at least it is yours, and most importantly being happy with yourself and the life that you are creating for yourself.

There is no such this as having it all together, so remember that everyone has their own struggles. Now get out there and kick butt – How Grown-Up Are You Actually ? Who cares.

Why Your Twenties Matter

Healthy Living, Real World

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 5.14.54 PM

Recently I watched this TED talk, Why 30 Is Not The New 20. If you haven’t watched it, you should, it just might change your life. As I sat in my living room listening to Meg Jay talk about why 30 is in fact, not the new twenty, there were a lot of thoughts running through my head. At first I thought something along the lines of “who the hell actually thinks that 30 is the new 20? what.” It was a strange concept to be sure, but the more I listened to her speak, the more I realized that even though I would never have phrased it that way, she is completely right.

This thing called the twenties, or in our case the twenty-somethings, have earned a weird reputation. We are suspended between fun loving college students, and serious settled adults. Meg Jay’s take on it as an “extended adolescence” isn’t wrong. While we don’t exactly think of our twenties as a throw away, we don’t exactly think of them as the decade that determines most of the important decisions of your life – but that’s exactly what it is.

This is the decade that we define who we are, and who we will be. We graduate from college, we do something with that degree (even if it is just hanging it on a wall), we choose our careers, we choose what city we live in, and in a lot of cases we choose our partners, and possibly even start a family. Holy shit – those are all HUGE choices. So why is it exactly that this decade seems if not unimportant, unintegral?

We all know people, maybe even the person in the mirror, making choices that could affect their later years negatively. First – There are twenty-somethings who have no idea what they want to do, so they wait tables or work other random jobs while trying to figure it out. While everyone needs money, and props to them for making it work, this is a time period where we need to be gaining “career capital” for our future. This is the time to show who we are and why we kick ass at our chosen path, but to do that you have to actually determine a path. So even if we do need to wait tables, we also need to be shadowing professionals in fields we are interested in, or interning with companies that we might like. This is not the time to let days slip by.

Second, the relationships we have MATTER. Meg Jay told a story about a patient that said something to the effect of “I know he isn’t right for me, but it doesn’t matter because I’m just having fun, not settling down.” and then later down the road was something like “we got married when we were thirty because it was time to settle down, and I’m horrifically unhappy.” Pump the breaks. I’m not saying that we can’t have fun in our twenties, and that every relationship has to be make or break, but we need to be aware that the people we surround ourselves with matter. Either they make you happy or they don’t. They make you better or they don’t. And do you really want to be with the people that don’t? This applies to significant others, but it also applies to friends.

So the moral of the story is this – your twenties matter. They really matter. This is your life people, choose wisely.

 

Love & 3 Pearls of Wisdom

Family, Other Thoughts, Relationships & Sex

Frank-Moore-TEDx

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending TEDxPortland, which had the topic of “Perfect”. The line-up of speakers was truly breathtaking. The experience in the room ranged from designing the Jordan brand shoes at Nike, to leaving a sure thing as a CEO to open a start up, to turning your life around from being a felon into a thriving member of society, to being Macklemore. These are all people that I could talk about as impactful, brilliant, and even life-changing. However, I want to talk about Frank Moore, and the perfection of love.

Before he even came on stage, people were talking about the power of his love. Lisa Sedlar, a brilliant entrepreneur, noted that she saw Frank and his wife holding hands backstage and was astounded by the open, honest, and genuine love she saw, joking “maybe I’ll find that in my next marriage.”

Frank is 91-years-old. He is an avid fly-fisher. But there is much more to Moore. He was in the army as a young man, fighting in WWII. He survived Normandy, and fought many of the big battles we talk about in history classes. He was part of the liberation of Dachau. He has been married for more than 75 years.

As Frank spoke I was completely captivated. He provided a window into history, but more than that, he provided a window into love. Maybe it’s because I, like many of you, have divorced parents, or maybe it’s because I think love is the world’s most powerful emotion, but there is nothing in this world that I love more than an old couple that is still deeply in love. Hearing Frank describe his life I don’t think he ever used the word I, it was always we. After war, the death of a child, and more, he maintained that the greatest gift he has ever received were the words “I Do.”

Frank was free with with his emotions. Beaming as he described surprising his young wife upon making it back to the United States after WWII. Struggling to maintain composure as he discussed the child soldiers he encountered, and the emaciated bodies he had seen. Openly crying at the experience of losing a child. This incredible journey documented with the word “we.”

I honestly can’t even begin to express the connection I felt to this man’s story. At one point he said he had too many stories, and to come by for a cup of coffee and he would tell you them. I am seriously thinking about taking him up on that offer. At the end of his talk, his wife came on stage. Their faces immediately light up, and beaming they held hands to a standing ovation from around 3,000 people. After planting one on his beautiful bride, they made their way off stage.

Three Pearls Of Wisdom From Frank Moore:

1. You have to work hard at the art of living

2. Never be afraid of receiving love

3. There is no impossible dream

 

5 minutes later we were informed that #FrankMoore was one of the top three trending hashtags in North America. Is there anything better or more powerful than love? I don’t think so.

Frank Moore

6 Things Twenty-Somethings Want For Their Birthday’s

College, Family, Fashion & Beauty, Friends, Real World

Happy Birthday Banner

As we grow up, sometimes it’s harder to think of good presents for those around us, or harder for our parents, siblings and family to figure out what exactly it is that we really want. In honor of our co-founder Amanda’s birthday today, we decided to clear the air about six things that twenty-somethings actually want for their birthdays. Go forth and gift.

1. Money

That’s right, cat’s out of the bag. We want money. We are broke around 90% of the time; and you may think that it isn’t a “fun gift”, but honestly, we don’t care. There is always something that we have had our eye on, and we will use that money to get it. No one knows us better than we know ourselves.

2. Designer Life Planners

A life planner. Another fact- most of us are severely over-committed. We would love a Lilly Pulitzer, or Erin Condren life planner to help us keep track of everything on our very full plates. We love sitting down with a multi-colored pack of pens to write in our various assignments, work trips, meetings, days off, and birthdays (there are even color-coded stickers). Very few things are more satisfying than knowing your week is organized and ready to be tackled.

3. Fun Wine Glasses & Wine

These are both classics. From the time we turn twenty-one (and maybe beforehand), we love to receive these on our birthdays. Going through our twenties there are different ways we interact with them. Yes, we may stick a straw in the bottle and call it a day at 21 and 22, but at 25 we may have two glasses with girlfriends before heading out on the town, and at 28 we may use it to create a romantic evening with a loved one, or drink a glass after a crazy work day. The fact is, wine and beautiful wine glasses are an essential part of our twenties.

4. Accessories

Nail Polish, a killer ring, a cute headband, a good watch, a funky pair of earrings. Accessories are the most fun you can have without taking your clothes off. Okay, that isn’t true, but they definitely can spice up an outfit. The most mundane of work day clothes can be brightened and make personal by adding the perfect accessory, and we are always looking. So if you spot one, share it with us.

5. Magazine Subscriptions

This is something that I received as a gift this past year, and I love it. How many times are we temped at the store to buy that People or InStyle? If you are like me it is basically every time we see a new cover. However, it can get expensive, and back to number 1 – we are mostly poor this decade. A subscription service to your favorite two magazines is surprisingly affordable. You can give a People Magazine subscription for around $2.00 an issue, and and a year of InStyle costs around $1.50 an issue.

6. A Beauty Box

For me, BirchBox is the first one that comes to mind. But there are many other options, such as Sample Society, GlossyBox, Ipsy, Beauty Army, and Goode Box. These are great for many reasons, you can pick a service that matches your price range, and you can chose either test or full sized samples. The recipient gets to try samples of make up from companies they may not otherwise have tried, and can find new go to shades to purchase moving forward.

What a SOLE-ful Meal

Budgeting, Family, Friends, Healthy Living, Recipes

parmesancrustedsole

We all have our favorite dishes, and those we wish we could make. Mine just happens to be the Parmesan Crusted Sole from Romanos Macaroni Grill. However, I do not enjoy paying $18.75 for one dish, so I found the secret to serving four the same delicious, and healthier meal, for the same price.

Parmesan Crusted Sole

Serves 4

4 (6-8 oz) Sole fillets
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup flour
3 eggs
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Lemon Beurre Blanc (Don’t worry its super easy and I included the recipe at the bottom YUMMM.)

In a food processor blend panko, parmesan and parsley until fine. Transfer to a shallow pan. In a separate pan whip eggs and milk until well combined. In a third pan place the flour.

Take the sole fillets and season with salt, pepper and powdered garlic. Dredge sole in flour, then egg wash and finally in the parmesan/panko mix. Pat the parmesan and panko into the sole until the mix sticks to the fish.

In a large saute pan heat butter and olive oil until hot. Carefully place sole in the pan and shake the pan to make sure the fish doesn’t stick. When sole is golden brown, flip over and continue to cook. When sole is done (120° F internally), transfer to plate and top with lemon beurre blanc.

Lemon Beurre Blanc
Makes 1 cup
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/4 lb butter – unsalted, chilled, cut into cubes
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
In a sauce pan over medium high heat, combine wine, vinegar and shallots. Reduce until almost a syrup consistency. Add cream and continue to cook reducing by half. Turn the heat to low and add butter cubes 2 at a time while stirring until all the butter is added and sauce is a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Note: If the butter is not chilled it will not incorporate into the sauce. Also if the wine mixture is not reduced far enough the sauce will be runny.
Orzo and Spinach
4 ounces julienne-shredded fresh spinach
1/2 small julienne-cut radicchio
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup sun-dried tomato packed in oil, julienne cut
2 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons sliced kalamata olives
4 ounces orzo pasta, uncooked
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Juice and zest of one small lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Cook orzo according to directions on box, about 9 minutes or until al dente. Heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic and stir, making sure to not let the garlic brown. Add the zest and lemon juice. Toss in the spinach and radicchio and cook until just wilted. Remove from heat and add orzo. Mix. Sprinkle with cheese once it is on the plate.
 

Small Paychecks & Big Adventures

Budgeting, Real World

Im Poor

I keep seeing this quote about being in your twenties that says something to the effect of “this is the time for small paychecks and big adventures.” However, in order to have big adventures while having small paychecks saving money is essential – So let’s talk about a few easy ways that you can add money to your adventure savings fund.

Mint

This free and easy application will help you track your spending, and show you exactly where all that hard earned cash goes. You can create goals – like the aforementioned “big adventures”- and Mint will help you save money to go toward them. Who knows, after a few months you may be able to take that beach vacation that you have been dreaming about. Personally, right now I am day dreaming about Hawaii- so I made it a goal!

 

Look for Bargains

I am a huge advocate of flea markets for furniture and home goods, and TheRealRealHauteLook for clothes and accessories – and the same thing applies to other activities like dinner dates, new exercise classes, and trips to the spa. You won’t believe some of the things that you can find on Groupon, and some of those things are a “big adventure” that fit perfectly with our “small paychecks.” Recently a friend of mine was able to purchase a hot air balloon ride for two at over 50% off of retail price.

 

Unroll.Me

If you are like me then you probably get many emails from your favorite stores telling all about the new styles for the season, or the life-changing sale that they are having. You can’t help but click the link, because hey – those clothes are so cute, and yes it is a new season. Make it easier for yourself to avoid spending your small paycheck on clothes that you don’t really need after all. Unroll.Me allows you to bulk unsubscribe from these temptations, just imagine the things you can do with the money that you would have spent.

 

Take a minute right now to think over and easily implement these three money saving tricks. You can take ten minutes right now to set up a Mint account, explore Groupon, and use Unroll.Me to get rid of at least a few temptations – take the jump – your big adventure is waiting!