Monday, May 31, 2010

The Beach, Figaro Bistrot, and my Unicorn Heels

On the first full day of the holiday weekend, I did what nearly every other American did: head to the closest beach! For me that is Santa Monica. I was a little worried the beach would be unbearably crowded, especially because it took some time to find parking. In the end, though, everything worked out perfectly. We got parking right in front of Hotel Casa Del Mar, the beach in that area had plenty of space for late comers, and we could swing by the hotel for a fruity cocktail once we were done.

This is my friend Jennifer (otherwise known as Juche) hanging out with us. She lives up in Santa Clarita at the moment, but before that she spent 9 months traveling around South America. Now she is home trying to get her novel published and get into a writing program. She is a fascinating person to have around. I try to get her to make the journey down to LA whenever possible.

This is my boyfriend, doing an excellent job of modeling the Naval Academy towel my parents sent me. My little brother has just finished his first year at the Academy (so proud), but you would think I had attended by how much Naval Academy gear I own. Maybe this summer I will get around to sending home an equal amount of USC merchandise to balance it out.

This is the giant fishy I made in the sand. Making sand creatures is a tradition with my mom and I. We never much got into castles, but we loved making sand creatures. Even though my mom is a million miles away back in PA/DE, I had to keep the tradition alive.

After creating the giant fish, we'd had our fill of the beach for the day and headed up to the hotel for cocktails. If you walk straight up the stairs and to the back of the hotel, you'll find the most welcoming lounge that overlooks the beach. I was surprised how uncrowded it was. We found a great table by the window. I got for the blueberry mojito, which I highly recommend.

Finally we ended the day with dinner at Figaro Bistrot, a very tasty French cafe that my boyfriend and I love in Los Feliz. I thought this would be a perfect time to debut my brand new Jeffrey Campbell heels!

I am obsessed with them. The heel part looks just like a unicorn, but I think I might like the way the ruffles frame the feet even more than I like the crazy heel.

At Figaro, I decided to be daring (at Juche's encouragement - she always brings out the daring in me) and get the grilled calamari over black ink risotto. If you can get over how creepy this dish looks, I guarantee you will love it. If black food and squid legs aren't your thing, though, don't worry. Most things we've tried on the menu have been great. There will be something for everyone.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shatto Lanes

The holiday weekend kicked off with a little bowling at the Shatto Lanes. My boyfriend is always trying to plan a night of pinball and bowling there. But try as hard as I might, I could never stay awake past 10 p.m. on Friday nights during the school year, so we never made it over. This is really sad considering it's about a half block from our front door. But this Friday was different!

Shatto Lanes is awesome in part because it has held true to its bowling alley roots. Many other bowling alleys have basically become clubs with dark lighting, laser shows, and more bar stools than bowling lanes, but Shatto hasn't made any serious changes to its business model (or its decor) since the 70's. There's 40 lanes that are always more full than empty, a selection of pretty quality arcade games, a tiny diner in the far corner serving up crappy diner food, an even tinier but fully stocked bar, and 2 rooms with pool tables (a room for adults by the bar and a family room). Plus, there are no laser light shows. The lights are always bright enough so you can see what you are doing because people of all ages are really here to bowl.

Because bowling a Shatto always feels like a step back in time, I wore my vintage Lacoste sweater that I found at a Goodwill in Newark, DE when I was home visiting my family this Christmas. I think it might be a men's sweater because of how big it is, but I just love the obnoxious sunshine yellow.

In addition to bowling, we always play the Pirates of the Caribbean pinball game. I think Pirates of the Caribbean is a particularly good machine because there little pieces that pop or make noise, which I find entertaining. I love pinball in general, though. It's a hold over from when I was little girl. My father managed a restaurant/bar that had an arcade room in it. He would pick me up from school at 2:30, but then I'd have to hang out at the restaurant until he could take me home at 5. So like any 9-year old would do, I'd hang out in the arcade room. The days that Al (the man who collected the quarters from the machines) came were always my favorite because he would give me a million credits on any game I wanted. So I ended up playing a lot of pinball.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Freedom Never Tasted So Sweet

Today I finally turned in my application for the the law school journal, which means for 3 sweet months I am done with writing essays!!! What am I going to do to fill my time? Well, I've got 10 books piled up next to my bed that I have been dying to read.

Notice the double dose of Hemingway. After 9 months of reading judicial opinions, I am in desperate need of some simple, elegant prose.

This afternoon I will be starting a campari & soda and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which comes highly recommended from my mother (the book, not the drink - mom is more of a wine person). I will also be catching up on reading (and writing) blogs. Tomorrow a friend comes to town. We've got a trip to the beach planned, maybe some vintage shopping in Los Feliz, and certainly plenty of cocktails. I hope your Memorial Day Weekends are just as fun filled!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

So Distracted!

I've been working pretty hard the last few days to finish my paper for our annual "write-on" competition. (My paper+my GPA is how the law school journals judge if I am worthy of their elite club.) But every time I get a good rhythm going I get distracted by the need to check Ebay to see if these Marni wedges I am coveting have been posted or if anyone has bid on the Marc Jacobs reverse heels that I would literally sacrifice some sort of a farm animal to a weird pagan god to have (since I can't get them by normal means because they are about $300 out of my price range). After Ebay, of course, I scoot over to check if they are any new blog posts. In my current moment of procrastination I came across this post of the most amazing shoes! More amazing than the Marni and the Marc Jacobs shoes combined!

Someone at Jil Sanders recently sent these masterpieces to Susie Bubble over at Style Bubble, and I am dying of jealousy. Sigh. I need to get back to work, so this law school things pays off with a job that provides enough disposable income for me to scoop up a pair of these.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Things I Missed When School Got Hectic...

This post could be the beginning of a never ending list because you give up a lot of things in the 6 week lead up to finals. But one of the things I am really enjoying doing again is getting to try out new recipes and dishes again. Recently, I've made spicy salmon burgers, chicken stuffed with spinach/brie/pesto, and a spinach, apple, walnut salad with my own salad dressings (a first for me but it was so easy I will be making dressings all the time now!). Yesterday for lunch I made a green apple and brie grilled cheese on cinnamon raisin bread. It was inspired by this post over at A Cup of Jo.

Here is my version. Does it look just as good?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lusting for Some Summer Wedges

I am dying for a pair of chunky summer wedges. It all started with the pair of Bally wedges I found on Ebay. (Nobody bid on them! I'm waiting to see if the seller will re-list them for less once their auction expires.) Then I stumbled across the absolutely perfect Miu Miu wedges (which of course are way out of my price range and sold out in any size smaller than a 10). There is however, that very tempting copy by Rosegold still available in a size 6 and about a fifth of the price. (If you happen to be a size 11, you can get a super good deal on another copy by DSW.) But just when I think I've decided to go with the Bally's or the Miu Miu knockoff's a new pair of wedges will catch my eye - like Tory Burch's. Thanks for making this decision even harder Tory. At this rate, by the time I make up my mind I will be buying my perfect pair of summer wedges in December.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Stress Shopping

Most of this year I was really good about not buying clothes I did not need. My splurges were on yoga pants and new socks-not the most glamorous buys. But as the end of the year wore down and my stress levels skyrocketed, I finally caved to my impulse to buy shoes. Now that I've started, I'm finding it hard to stop again! Here's my craziest new acquire. It's from an accessories store at the Wilshire/Vermont metro called Shiloh. It's pretty inexpensive and can also be pretty wild, which was perfect for me. I could try out a pair of crazy new shoes for only about $25. So if 6 months from now I decide they are totally not me, I'll still have gotten enough wears out them to make it worth it at that price. Who knows, though? Maybe this will just be my first step into gigantic color block heels?

(Terrible picture of me wearing them on our recent Vegas trip.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hello Los Angeles

I've been gone for a good year+ now. But in my defense there was a lot going on. I met my boyfriend. I got into law school. I moved from DC to LA for school. Then my boyfriend got a job in LA and moved in with me, and just a few short days ago I finished my 1L year (and took a celebratory trip to Vegas). But now summer has started and my hardest year is behind me, so I'm back! Where to start? How about my favorite things so far in my new home city?

1. Hiking in Griffith Park

2. Bottega Louie - Thus far my favorite restaurant here. Not because the food is the best (although it is amazing) or because the decor is the best (although it fantastic in a minimal way) or because the service is the best (although it is top notch and sometimes hysterical if the trying-to-be stand-up-comedian waits on you). It's just the combination of everything for the price. It's the best value I've discovered here yet.

(Pictures Courtesy of

(This is the box the macaroons come in. They are probably the most well known thing here - and most colorful - but don't get distracted. They are not bad, but nothing compared to the chocolate souffle. If you are getting something sweet, definitely go for the later.)

3. The Getty Museums (Especially the the Villa, featured below. It just brings me back to my time in Italy.)

Well, that's it for my first post. But I will hopefully be sharing lots more good stuff from the west coast. So stay tuned!