Still Have Hope | Eight Years Later...

Dear Readers,

Yesterday marked my eighth year in Los Angeles.

I still remember that day like it was yesterday. Jenn and I drove into the state, my car filled to the max with all the belongings I could squeeze in, while jamming to my Garden State soundtrack. It was scary as hell and I had absolutely NO idea what to expect...where to go...what to do.

I remember clinging to her that whole first day. She became home for me in a foreign land and it just about broke my heart when I had to drop her off at the airport that Monday morning. I was alone and totally lost in space.

I've come so far. I consider LA home now which is crazy and lovely at the same time. Being out here has proven that we really are great adaptable (and resilient) creatures. There's this common timeline that actors cling to out here. You have to at least give acting ten good years. I'm at eight...I have two tv shows and one commercial under my belt. (laughing) I'm definitely a slow one, but I'm still hopeful. Still that same girl who sang Winding Road at the top of her lungs and meant it.

Fingers still crossed.

xoxo with lots of luv and kiwi,


Secret Burden

I recently read a Vogue interview with Claire Danes that had my wheels churning. (Don't you love when you read something and a specific passage or maybe a word...possibly a thought sticks out and then sticks to your bones until you let it marinate and finally process/resolve in your noggin?)

She mentioned secret burdens and the little self-reflection fairies started dancing around me like the Harlem Shake song was on. 

Secret Claire's case it's a fear that she won't be able to connect to her character in the magic way all great actors are supposed to. I swear that woman's brain fascinates the shat out of me. How I love me a smart gal. Her comparisons are poetic. Her motivation, encouraging. 

After I was done swooning over her words and the idea of everyone having a secret burden I started wondering about my own. Mine would have to be that I'm just a dreamer...I fear that I'm just really great at dreaming and I do it so hard that it feels real. I believe in my bones I'm supposed to act and be in film. What if it's just a beautiful dream and nothing more? That burden haunts me every day. My agent calls and the fear creeps I sit at an audition it crawls closer to my heart...when I wait for the callback it travels up further and starts pulsating in my head. There's nothing more exhausting than tangible fear having a drum party in your brain. That's for darn skippy. 

It's a burden, but it doesn't weigh me down enough to keep me out of the hot seat. Still auditioning...still trying to believe I'm more than just a snazzy dreamer. 

So what about you? What's your burden?

Photograph by Annie Leibovitz, for Vogue August 2013


I woke up this morning with one thought... I take two medications each morning: one for my heart burn and one for helping with heart breaks.

My heart rules me. It plays a major part in all my decisions. With that in mind, I list all the things that make my heart do good things for you. These things make my heart swoon a bit...beat a little faster, swell with get the gist.

#1 on my list is my best gal pal Jen's latest and greatest. She's at BlogHer 2013 right now. She is on a panel today speaking about health. I couldn't be more proud of the woman. She's some kind of phenom!

Vintage ponies whose parent takes extra good care of them.

Flowers like these. I have no problem stopping and smelling.

Gifts for those I love. Can't wait to give these puppies out!
The folks at Urbanic were kind enough to wrap them. 
There's just something about a beautifully wrapped gift.

Mark and I get coffee every Thursday morning and we nibble on these.
They're tasty. I got one for him b/c it's always good to spoil those you love.
Loved seeing his reaction. 
You know you've found your lobster if he too swoons over gluten free, dairy free stuff.

Dining with Vegans

For the innocent (and sensitive) I've created a hot dog modesty patch....because that's what one does when your hosts are vegan. Duh.

Last night Mark and I had dinner with some new and wonderful friends at their gorgeous home. We were given an amazing tour of their newly-finished, renovated casa. I swear I screamed in The attention to detail! The craftsmanship! The colors, pieces, art deco, shabby chic guest room...Ahhh! I swear it gives me the vapors just thinking about it. (fanning myself like Scarlett O'Hara)

We sat down to dinner around 8pm, had great conversation and then watched this adorable pup named Peugeot (sounds like Poo-szchoe) do trick after cute adorable trick. He likes for daddy to carry him and he sits like a cute little tiny bear when this happens. I thought Mark was gonna die when the pup placed his paw on his leg and wagged his tail in happiness at him. 
Think we've found Mark's dream dog. 

Drake was incorrect. New friends are welcome! We're up next for dinner and I'm shaking in my chucks. I need an HGTV makeover STAT...and some great vegan recipe suggestions! 

Twenty20 | Shopping with the Big Boys

I love stumbling across shops with character. This store in Sherman Oaks, Twenty20, is teeny tiny, yet I managed to stay in there for a good half hour. This is unheard of for an anti-shopper like myself. (I browse efficiently and get the heck out of there!)

This place was hella cool, though. It's a dude's store, but when did that ever stop me from pulling out my wallet? I bought a tee that I wore out of the store. Cut those tags, folks! I'll take it!

This is Charles Barkely's shoe. Mark wants that bad boy super duper bad. They're $300. Normally I'd call him crazy, but I actually dig the shoe...and the baller who inspired it.

I learned all about this bad boy; Michael Jordan's infamous "Banned Jordans." These fellas go for $700. Why you ask? Because Jordan kept wearing the darn things on the court and getting fined $5,000 a game. At the time black shoes weren't allowed, but home boy knew they were fly. I'm not sure I would have found them to be $5,000 fly but to each their own.

This is when I started cracking up. Men are JUST as bad as women when it comes to silly expensive purchases. The top hat on the left is $1,000. You read that right!'s cashmere and people have already bought some. The store hasn't even been open a month and they're flying out of this locked glass case.

I loved this tshirt so much I had to get it. Call me a cool gangsta hippie.

No clue what I was doing in this pic. The beginning of a flex? Weirdo...

Sad, ain't it?

Orange is the New Black | The New Chick Flick

I am obsessed.

I am hooked.

I am tweaking.

On Friday night Mark and I went out for a nice dinner. It was there that he mentioned a new show he had heard about called Orange is the New Black. We decided it sounded promising so we flipped on Netflix when we got home to give it a looksy. Um...I was hooked before the first scene was over. 

This stuff is the stuff brilliant is made of! The writing! The characters! The story lines! I swear we went to bed after a particularly dramatic episode and I dreamed about what would happen next. Who does that?! People who watch amazing shows that's who! What I love most: The show, by no means, glamorizes prison life. No cautionary tales for the problematic child in your life. Instead (and possibly more terrifyingly enough, it pulls you empathize/identify/relate/become these inmates.

 "We're really no different you and I."

There are race issues (or tribe issues rather) issues...transgender issues...class and mental-health issues and issues with just how jacked up our criminal-justice system is. (I had an uncle go to prison for ten years for accidentally running over a man's foot with his truck. Trust me...there are issues.) The issues have issues and it's one big beautiful honest mess. 

I want to be a part of this show sooooo bad! How do we make this happen?! More importantly who else out there is watching? I want to discuss! This is my new Sex and the Game of Thrones. There's a reason HBO is shaking in its boots. Netflix is stepping up with this show...doing a damn fine job.

My advice? Watch. It doesn't matter who you are or what your bag is...this show is incapable of being disliked. I love these women, their struggles and their stories. I could keep gushing over it, but I have two more episodes left and a fantastic Argentinian Malbec to gulp sip.

Peace and gangsta grease!

PS who loves Regina Spektor even more for her opening song? "Everyone's different the second time around"

The Weekend Recap | Words Put to Pictures

Great adventures require a camera and a good partner in crime...

Mark and I decided to meet up with a group of folk in Chinatown for a KCRW (NPR) event. There was food, crafts, fun music and lots of fun stun to look at. I felt so alive and hyper and great. I bought some art for the walls, a slammin sushi burrito, naan (because when food trucks are there why NOT go random ass on the diet) and some killer cool wedding stuff for the reception. (Most excited about that.) 

In all, it was one of those magical nights where you lean over to your partner and scream in the ear, "This is frickin amazing!" and then you dance until confetti stops poppin.

New Chinatown...I love stepping into this hood and feeling like I've been plopped into another country. It'll have to do until we can start traveling in 2014.


Tofu ball humor.


Los Angeles photography. 


Bruce Lee brings out my gangsta.


Watching the man work.


I wrote 'winter' or dong.


It rained hundred dolla bills!


His father was one of the founders of New Chinatown. I was combing through books in his shop and he came over and started telling me stories. Most fascinating conversation. I love history. I still swear in a past life I was a Chinese woman.


Jason Bentley on the turntables.


Chinatown | LA Summer Nights

Summer Nights 2013 according to my iPhone...

Make Your Mess Your Message

Last night I watched the ESPYs and cried as Robin Roberts graciously and beautifully accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

She quoted her mother, "Make your mess your message," and it resonated. I had always heard that we all have stories. A professor told me once none of us are special, which always was at odds with me and my writing. I don't write about fashion or food...I write about what's happening in my life. I realize (trust me I do) that my life is far from entertaining. I'm not jet setting off to Paris at the drop of a hat, but I still need to journal. This is me being Doogie Murder She Margaret and God moment. It's me telling my story to make sense out of my own mess and possibly (on a much smaller scale) sharing my message.

Side note: I'm sick of calling Mark "Jersey". He's lived in California with me for years now. While the fella still rocks all his Jersey gear passionately, he's now a true Cali kid. That being said Mark and I went to see my therapist from a while back, yesterday.

That woman has the best energy and light shooting out of her face I swear to GOD. I hugged my friend of yesteryear and then Mark and I sat on her couch and we all discussed some of the things that I've had a hard time with as of late. The issues were resolved and then I got to sit and talk WITH someone to my therapist. So weird to think that it was totally comfortable having him beside me. She gave us time to talk about us and how we work as a couple and I'm happy to report back she said we're pretty darn awesome and on the right track. (We talk. It's always good for two love birds to communicate.)

Mark was surprised it wasn't like it is in the movies. We weren't screaming at each other and waiting for the therapist to interject and say things like "I hear what you're saying. Now let your partner talk." and so forth. Just a peaceful, loving and sunny room...with an angel sitting there listening.

She calmly asked why I've given certain individual so much power in my life...and gave me some sound advice for how to deal with past pain that attempts to linger. Being accountable has been freeing for me lately. I've made sure to take care of me whether that meant watching a ton of kid movies last week; taking breaks from my daily workouts when my body yells, "Uncle", having good, long and meaningful conversations with my loved ones and staying the hell off social media. That one's been fascinating!

When you remove social media drama from your life you notice just how often you "check out" instead of dealing...I see how often I used social media as a crutch--reading a friend's update instead of reaching out and seeing how life REALLY is...because we all know we never really share the tears quite as often as we show our green grass. I read more lol....(sad) and I pay attention. I don't know how long this vacation will last, but I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would. I thought it would be hell, but it's been freeing.

So all this to say that I'm healing. That's what I've been up to. My mess is my message. It always has been I think...

The Prodigal Daughter

I recently read the most beautiful article by Jill Lepore entitled, The Prodigal Daughter. I'm not gonna lie; when I usually read stuff out of The New Yorker I skim. The articles are crazy long and I'm a self-professed skimmer. I read every word of this piece, though.

"He loved no one longer. She loved no one better."

It hit at just the right time for me. I needed to stumble upon some great writing. I needed a nugget of history to satisfy my inner grasshoppa (aka student) appetite for learning. I needed to read about relationships other than my own!

"I never knew anyone better prepared to meet with beauty." 

Last week was Malala Yousafzai's birthday. Knowing that and then reading about Benjamin Franklin's sister who was denied an education; how much she struggled with reading and writing...well, let's just say the Universe sends us signs so it's best to pay attention. Women and education...We're still fighting for the right to grow...Makes me appreciate my brain and reminds me that I need to call my godchild and bug her to continue reading Lisa Bloom's, Think. A mind is a terrible thing to waste...and it's pretty much unacceptable in my circle of family!

Have you read anything wonderfully inspiring lately? Care to share?

Honored | A Baby Boom Moment

I was sitting in the library the other day reading and writing when I received a text that reduced me to tears.
A friend told me she was writing up her will and wanted to know if we would take care of her darling baby if anything (God forbid!) ever happened to her. 

She said that her child and I shared a special bond and I swear that touched me more than anything in this world. What an honor...Someone thinks I'd make a good care giver...I had one of those Beaches moments when Hillary tells CC she wants her to take care of her daughter after she passes. Like in Baby Boom when she receives her cousin's little girl.

I've been doing a lot of soul searching. A lot of self reflection...trying to really be kind to myself; I've been trying not to push myself too hard. With a wedding two months away and a difficult couple of weeks dealing with negative energy; I've been exhausted. I needed that little angelic moment with that friend to remind me of what's really important. It was just a little reminder that I'm doing okay as a human being. Sometimes we just need those little messages...don't you think?

The Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market

The Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market according to my iPhone...

This chair below was obviously made by the manliest of men who live on an island of testosterone.

I'm pretty obsessed with terrariums. Just caught wind of them there and then I couldn't stop seeing them. I need them in my life...just have no idea where I'd put them.

There was a man selling fabulous hats that fit my fabulously HUGE head. They were stunning...very Hillary from Beaches.

Snap, crackle, pop!

They shined bright like a diamond...

Vintage Dior hat...

Vintage Vogue...

Seventeen, circa 1963 (the year my mother was born.) The lame social pressures make my butt twitch...

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