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hidden [hollywood] gem.

10 Aug

Last night I discovered a hidden gem in East Hollywood – a geographic region of LA I didn’t even really know existed.  It’s just south of Los Feliz, and pretty much the stretch of Hollywood Blvd. known as “Thai Town.”  Anyway, my friend Eric invited me to check out the Friday Night Wine Tasting at Barnsdall Art Park.  It was awesome.

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We bought tickets online for $25, which came with a pretty cool wine glass, and the opportunity to taste four different wines from Silver Lake Wines. I am not the biggest wine-o (hello, IPAs, remember?) but the event was great.  There was a DJ mixing pop hits in a sort of laid-back/mellow way, and there were incredible views of Griffith and Hollywood.

The pours were also hefty.  I bee-lined for the line with the server wearing a cross-fit T-shirt, because I just recently took my first cross-fit class.  I think the guy felt like I was a member of the tribe or something because he hooked it up with the pours.

I took a screenshot of Barnsdall Park’s instagram to remember the wine we tried:

credit: Barnsdall Park Instagram

source: Barnsdall Park Instagram

My favorite ended up being the rosé which surprised me.  The chardonnay was “un-oaked” – I definitely prefer the oaked variety.  The reds were…red? Again, #BeerGirl.

The event was awesome and I’d definitely like to go back – this occurs every Friday through the end of the summer. There’s also a Frank Lloyd Wright house there that I’d love to tour at some point!

Barnsdall Park also brought in food trucks.  I hit up the Patty Wagon for a couple of sliders (the classic + the “mood indigo” which had bleu cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms on a ciabatta roll) as well as their deliciously thin rosemary and garlic fries.

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I had seen on twitter that the Cool Haus truck was going to be there as well.  I enjoyed every bite of my ice cream sammy: snack food cookies with a scoop of chocovivo ice cream.

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Well I guess that pretty much rounds out my uber-LA evening . . . or day for that matter. (I saw a celebrity trainer while I was at cross-fit earlier. I now realize I have become a complete cliché). Back soon with some fitness updates 🙂

Important question: Wine or Beer? 

weekend recap [with text this time].

30 Apr

I lieu of working out for a second time today (I have a half marathon on Sunday…I realized two-a-days are a recipe for an injury), I decided to actually recap my weekend.

On Friday, my externship at the U.S. District Court – Central District of California (Judge Klausner) came to an end. We had a great last day – Ben and I concocted some pretty clever thank you notes for the clerks, and we went to a great last lunch with our clerk Tiffany at Spring Street Smokehouse. [Sidenote: Spring Street Smokehouse is my second favorite place I discovered during the four-month externship. My favorite is Little Tokyo’s The Sandwich Smith].

We finished up some last assignments, had our formal reviews, and said goodbye to the Judge and his staff.

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. . . and we took photos in the courtroom. Sitting on the witness stand was pretty cool.

extern fam.

extern fam.

I may actually miss these guys.

taylor, me, ben, and our clerk Tiffany.

taylor, me, ben, and our clerk Tiffany.

After work, we celebrated with a little happy hour action at Más Malo.

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On Saturday, I ran a little over 4 miles with the DTLA running group, ran some errands in DTLA’s Jewelry district (read: I shattered the crystal on my watch on Thursday…luckily Sam’s Jewelry and Watch Repair got it fixed in two days for $35). After some errands, I headed out to Glendale to my roommate Jenn’s parent’s house where she was hosting a surprise birthday party for her boyfriend, Daniel. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and we all had a lot of fun drinking beer, dominating at beer pong, and playing a little corn hole.

the surprise in action.

the surprise in action.

daniel and jenn.

daniel and jenn.

#PaleoBurger

#PaleoBurger

My parents met me downtown for dinner – we went to a place I’ve been wanting to try called Industriel, which bills itself as Urban French Farm cuisine. Everything we had was innovative, interesting, and we licked our plates clean. We had a charred romaine hearts, a kale salad, a poached egg, and the sea bass.

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My parents also dropped off this console table I am obsessed with it. I have a walkway between my new room and my bathroom that had room for a little table. My mom found this on Craigslist – but it was sold…#sadface. Using the powers of the internet, she found it elsewhere online, had it shipped, and brought it to me. Awesome mom award goes to…my mom. I am going to pay her back though. I’m not that spoiled.

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Love this Moroccan/Spanish inspired piece. I am going to change the photos I have up top, I think…but right now I have some of my favorite Spanish artwork (Velazquez’s Las Meninas and Picasso’s versions of them).

On Sunday morning, I headed to West LA for a special group exercise class I was invited to, being put on by Fitist at Elliptifit. Elliptifit is like spin class – but on ellipticals. As a spin-o-phile, I was anxious to see if I would feel similarly about Elliptifit.

I used to be a big-time elliptical user when I first started going to the gym. Now, I don’t use it very often – it’s not as fun or as effective for me as running or spinning. The 45-minute class sped by. The instructor, Annette, was very energetic and she had great music, but the workout itself wasn’t something I was completely enamored with.

It was definitely more intense than if I had been doing an elliptical workout by myself. She told us when to sprint and when to climb, and what our resistance and ramp should be. We also did some isolated outer and inner thigh movements, as well as some arm work using the handrails. In 45 minutes, I covered 3.75 miles and burned over 500 calories. I felt like I worked out, broke a sweat, but since it was low impact it wasn’t too taxing.

I enjoyed the new workout, but thankfully (for my wallet) I don’t think a new obsession was born.

Since my externship ended, I am now in “finals mode.” Except I only have one final, and it’s two weeks away. That means plenty of time for being lazy…and working out a lot.

Yesterday I took my friend Colleen to her first yoga class (ever) at YAS – and today I met up with my friend Armita there for a little lunch time spin. My arms and shoulders are feeling all of those chaturangas today. Speaking of spin, I’m making progress on my fundraiser for YAS-A-Thon. You can donate here, if you’re so inclined.

Random question for any/all bloggers out there. That’s G is coming up on its 4th Birthday (seriously – whoa). I’m contemplating making a Facebook page and wanted to hear if you guys have any tips/tricks/suggestions for growing your blogs!

#VegasChristmas

26 Dec

This was definitely one of the most memorable Christmases my family has ever had. I headed home on the 22nd and spent a few days catching up with old friends and spending quality time with the fam.

On the 21st, I headed to one of my law school friend’s parties in Santa Monica. The theme was “Hawaiian Christmas” so I trekked to the local Goodwill and picked up a shirt for $5 and a Santa hat at CVS (also for $5). I loved the theme – and brought Christmas and Hawaiian beer – and had fun catching up with some of my law school favs. We ended the night with a 1 am trip to Norm’s. My hamburger craving was duly satisfied.

Mele Kalikimaka!

Mele Kalikimaka!

one of the rare instances where I am not trying to choke Taylor and he is not pushing me into strangers and spilling their beer.

one of the rare instances where I am not trying to choke Taylor and he is not pushing me into strangers and spilling their beer.

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Before I headed the the ‘burbs, my roommate Jenn surprised me with my Christmas gift. I had earlier given her a Garmin 10 (birthday + Christmas combined). She gave me this GORGEOUS dress (I have been ogling this style since Emily Maynard wore something similar on her season of The Bachelorette) and a book on eating Paleo. I have been interested in learning more about Paleo and trying to eat more cleanly. Perfect. Gift.

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I headed home and went on a run, hung out with my family, etc. That evening, my mom and I headed to my good friend Angela’s parents’ home for a holiday party/post-Wedding get together. I was able to attend Angela’s wedding in September and it was so fun to catch up with her and see her parents. Her mom is QUITE the hostess – they had an amazing spread of Mexican fare and a whole table devoted to desserts (blogger FAIL – I didn’t nab a single photo of the night). Friends from high school and Angela’s family were all there, which was so nice. Angela and I were extremely close all through high school, and while we don’t get to see each other that often, I am always so amazed by how we quickly slip into conversations as if no time has passed. Such a fun night!

my family's tree.

my family’s tree.

The next day, I spent a little bit of time at a memorial service for the Grandma of my good friends Garrett and Jeff. It was a very sweet service. Grandma Dorothy was a HUGE Dodger fan so everyone was encouraged to wear Dodger gear. One of her favorite players, Andre Ethier, sent a personalized e-mail that was read aloud which was very touching. I got to speak with Grandma Dorothy a little bit over the years and she was always incredibly sweet and funny. I will always remember that she told me I looked beautiful at my senior prom. 🙂

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I was also able to catch up with my good girlfriends – the night of the 23rd featured drinks at my FAVORITE local place – Ladyface Alehouse and Brasserie – for drinks with Hayley and Whitney. Love the vibe there. and the beer. I was also able to spend a couple of hours on Christmas Eve with my friend Lauren who is now in Texas for grad school. We don’t get to see each other that often, but it is always so nice spending some time with her when she’s in town. I was also able to run with my friend Hannes – he’s a beast though and my pace was embarrassing throughout our 5-miler.

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the tree + beer at Ladyface.

My family and I had a low-key Christmas Eve dinner of tamales (our Christmas Eve tradition), homemade rice, and a delicious salad. My brother announced he had a “Christmas Eve gift” for everyone – and he handed us all a couple of scratchers. We all thought it was a great idea – and my Dad won $20!

$20 richer.

$20 richer.

After he won, he goes: “I want to go to Pechanga tomorrow…Or Vegas!” He said both of these things half-jokingly…but then we thought about it…and everyone was really up for the idea of spending Christmas Day in Las Vegas! So we booked a discounted room last minute at The Palazzo and I found tickets for a show. We decided to wake up early on Christmas Day and drive to Vegas. That meant we’d open our presents on Christmas Eve! So we took a little break and did our stockings – I got a lot of great things.

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In lieu of our usual cinnamon bun interlude between stockings and presents, we just took a small break. Everyone gave and received some really thoughtful gifts – I got two amazing coffee table books, a really nice wallet and Longchamp purse, and a few other fun things. My parents know me scarily well.

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We enjoyed our new presents and then prepared for our last-minute decision to have a #VegasChristmas. My brother and I were SO excited. I love Las Vegas – and so does basically everyone in my family. Sure, it’s a little tacky and glitzy, but that’s the charm in it. I love Vegas for it’s ironic fun. Such a fun Christmas surprise.

We got up and were out the door by 8 am, drove to Vegas sans traffic and checked in around 1 at The Palazzo.

mother and son, you know in Vegas for Christmas.

mother and son, you know… in Vegas for Christmas.

On our way to the hotel, I saw lots of ads for all of the DJs that will be in Vegas for NYE. After hearing about one of my friend’s recent experience onstage with Diplo this week, it was all I could do not to squeal at the thought of seeing Kaskade, Afrojack, Steve Angello, deadMau5…or basically anyone in the EDM world from the 28th to the 31st. Not a whole lot of DJs are in town for Christmas…but it was fun to have a more family-centered time in Vegas.

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So while I’d have to keep the DJing to another trip, we did Vegas right. We started with a late-ish lunch at Grand Lux.

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And then set off to explore the strip. My brother has a HUGE obsession with Sublime, so we trekked to the Hard Rock Hotel to check out the Sublime display there. He was in fandom heaven.

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I spotted one of my favorite musicians…well, not really…but I had to take a photo with this cut-out of one of my favorite MTV personalities…DJ PAULY D!

my main man,

my main man. 

I posted this photo to Twitter and tagged @DJPaulyD in it, just for kicks. He ended up re-tweeting it to all 4.2 million of his followers. Immediately, I’ve gotten a whole slew of random followers and tweets. The internet is so awesome – but I love that I sort of had an interaction with Pauly D. #BeatThatBeatUp #FistPumpPushUpChapstick #YAHBUDDY.

We got another set of drinks at that hotel, and then headed to the Bellagio for the fountain show. No trip to Vegas is complete without it!

#VegasChristmas

#VegasChristmas

We had a very nice Christmas dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s place at The Venetian, called Postrio. It was situated in the part of The Venetian designed to feel like it is in St. Mark’s Square. SUCH a fun Christmas dinner.

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Very memorable.

After dinner, we headed to the theater at The Palazzo to see Mannheim Steamroller‘s show. I’ve been a fan of Mannheim Steamroller for as long as I can remember. My mom has one of their CDs and would always used to play it for us at Christmas. I love their electro/synth-y takes on Christmas classics. It was cool to hear their versions of “Deck the Halls” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” live.

That being said, the rest of the show was lackluster at best. It felt like an extremely low-rent production. Video clips from the mid-80s, disjointed circus routines set to slow Christmas songs, and dancers and performers who seemed disinterested. The music was cool, for the most part, but the terrible production values left all of us feeling like the show was pretty bad. I’m still glad we saw a show, though, and I’ve always like Mannheim Steamroller – it just felt like I was seeing an 8th grade production.

We were all pretty exhausted so we headed to bed shortly after (my brother took my usual place as the family booze-hound and indulged in one last beer before calling it a night). We got up this morning and headed home.

I had a delightfully unique Christmas and I hope everyone out there did as well!

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? 

xo

G

three birthdays.

10 Sep

Hi blog friends. First things first – before I get into the my weekend recap – you all must drop everything you are doing and listen to the Purity Ring – Shrines album. It is incredible. My friend Armita leant it to me on a Thursday. By Sunday afternoon when I gave it back, I probably had listened to the entire thing through 30 times. So. good.

In other news – this was the weekend of birthdays. On Friday, after I spent a few hours at the library. After that, though, I met up with a few friends to celebrate my friend Bryan’s birthday at Stout in Hollywood for Happy Hour.

I had a “Hopulent IPA” which I didn’t love. It was really foamy and light. I like my IPAs, you know, Hoppy. I feasted on delicious appetizers (onion rings, pretzel, sweet potato fries) and indulged in the “goombah” burger. While the food was delicious, I was underwhelmed by the service – it took us forever to get waited on and even then the service was mediocre.

Later that night, Bryan had a bunch of friends over for drinks + cake (courtesy of my roommate, Jenn). It was fun catching up with people – especially Bryan’s little sister, Rachel.

On Saturday morning, I kicked things off with a 12 mile run down Wilshire into West LA. It was HOT but I felt good – except when my wristband portion of my Garmin snapped off at mile 7.5. Sad. Luckily I was able to order a replacement for $15 on Amazon.

On Saturday night, I met up with Aviva, Armita, Taylor, and a bunch of our section friends for our friend Marty’s birthday dinner at Gyu-Kaku on La Cienega. I’d never been there before, but I loved the hands-on Japanese BBQ experience. The Garlic Shrimp Noodles were BOMB and I tried some fun stuff. I even tried cow tongue! (Verdict? Kinda tough, not that flavorful). The best part were the marshmallow-roasting at the end to make S’mores. Oh, and the $5 pitchers of beer.

On Sunday, after a workout and some library-raging, I headed home for my Dad’s birthday. First was a stop at Future Track, my favorite running store to stock up on some gels and to get new shoes – Brooks Addiction 9s. They’re like my old faithful of running shoes.

As I was leaving Future Track, I noticed this on the wall – a plaque we made for one of our coaches, Coach Rios, after the girls’ team went to Nationals in Portland my senior year. #dreamteam2005.

My dad’s birthday was low-key – we had a nice dinner at home and then did the annual trip to Baskin Robbins (no joke that’s what he asked for). I got him a framed photo from his marathon in March taken during the very small portion I ran with him.

 

That about sums up the weekend! Here’s last week’s workouts:

  • Monday: OFF
  • Tuesday: 3 mile run, Abs class, Functional Fitness class (new obsession)
  • Wednesday: 6 mile run (outside, AM)
  • Thursday: 3 mile run, functional fitness class
  • Friday: OFF
  • Saturday: 12 mile run
  • Sunday: 60 min. Spin class

Hope you all have fabulous weeks!

g turns three.

22 Jul

I had this post over 50% done and then my apartment lost internet for 75 minutes  for some reason. Blah.

This last week has been filled with fun adventures, starting with the Sahy Uhns show at The Echo last Monday.

Tuesday was a sorority (Alpha Chi Omega. Boom-boom) reunion at Luigi’s on Third. It wasn’t the most amazing Italian food I’ve ever had, but my rigatoni with carmelized onions, bacon, and spicy tomato sauce was pretty on point. It was also fabulous for my roommate, Jenn, and me to be able to catch up with  Krisse, Meredith, and Amanda.

AXOs in LA.

I also enjoyed a side cesear salad and the table shared these polenta fries. I am all about foods that are funky and different.

polenta fries.

On Wednesday, (I feel like I am singing the One Saturday Morning theme song – I know other 90s kids remember it) my fellow externs and I had lunch at Olvera Street which is suuuuper close to the courthouse where we’re “working” this summer. I’d been there once or twice as a little girl when my parents exposed us to as much of this city as possible. We had a leisurely, food-coma-inducing lunch at El Paseo Inn. We then poked around the different stalls.

masks.

I am determined to throw some sort of Mexican-themed party in the future and want to come here to buy decorations. Día de los Muertos or Cinco de Mayo…or both? Anyone?

we didn’t partake in this, but it was SO tempting.

We also spotted the most manly/Ron Swanson-esque drinking vessel. Ever.

Thursday included a trip out to my parents’ house for some Optometry action. The good news? My bad eye didn’t get any worse. The less good news? My good eye got worse. #lawschoolproblems. I bummed around at home and decided to take a “mental health day” on Friday. I slept in, walked with my mom to Starbucks, and got to the gym for a little lunch time spin & swim.

Saturday’s “anchors” included my friend Justin’s going away party (he’s off to law school at Michigan State) and dinner with my law school crew at Stout before seeing The Dark Knight Rises. I’d been to Stout once back in October,  and was stoked to try a different burger off their menu.

First up? A Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. Delish. I paired my beer with the “Morning After” burger complete with a fried egg and bacon.

I lived it up and also sampled some sweet potato rings.

how cool is Aviva’s ring (made from nails)?

I thought The Dark Knight Rises was just ok. I’m not that into action movies, and while the effects and score were awesome (as well as the cast, save Anne Hathaway), the plot was just so-so. I also laughed out loud when Marion Cotillard’s character said “The only thing he is guilty of is loving me” in a non-ironic fashion. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

It was also weird seeing this film in light of recent events, and parts of the movie were definitely eerie. My thoughts have been with the victims and their families all weekend, and it is just so unbelievably tragic.

On a lighter note, Sunday got kicked off with a workout, and then Armita, Aviva, and I headed over the Melrose Flea Market at Fairfax high to do some shopping.

I’m looking for a bar cart which is apparently ridiculously hard to find. While I didn’t find one, I scored some other awesome finds amidst the endless array of trinkets.

didn’t buy these bad boys.

or these banksy prints…

But I did score a vanity tray for $5:

in use.

These awesome arrow earrings:

a gun + CA necklace. Not sure why, just liked it. Insert “gunner” joke here.

And this cool bracelet:

After perusing the flea market and people watching (its a hipster/indie mecca), we snacked at Ink.Sack. I am in love with Michael Voltaggio – still need to go to Ink., though!

cool walls.

avocado melt (complete with fritos!).

Definitely need to stop by here more often…

Last up for the weekend? Celebrating my blog’s 3rd birthday! We nerded out and bought a cupcake to celebrate.

This little blog started out as a way for me to beat summer boredom after returning from Barcelona in the summer of 2009. I never thought it would lead me to meet people, make blog friends (blends), and become a real hobby. To all of my readers – THANK YOU! 🙂

Finally, it wouldn’t be Sunday without a little workout re-cap. I’m pretty proud of what I did this week – lots of cross-training:

  • Monday: NROLFW 3B (weight workout)
  • Tuesday: 3 mile run
  • Wednesday: 3 mile run
  • Thursday: OFF
  • Friday: Spin + 900 m swim
  • Saturday: 7 mile run
  • Sunday: NROLFW 3A weight workout + Spin

I hope everyone has a great week! 

Any changes/additions you’d like to see in That’s G’s FOURTH (!!) year?

missing motivation.

28 May

Normally, my blog posts are upbeat (although insanely sarcastic) and my workouts reflect a combination of resistance training and intense cardio (well at least I think they’re intense). This entire week, I had absolutely zero motivation to work out. Sure, I got myself to the gym on more than one occasion, but there was something seriously lacking. I’m not sure if it’s related to finals being done and a change in my schedule, but I’m hoping I find some motivation this week – especially since I’m running the San Diego Rock n Roll Half Marathon on Sunday! Any tips?

Here are last week’s workouts:

  • Monday – Cardio Barre
  • Tuesday – 3ish miles on the treadmill
  • Wednesday – Off
  • Thursday – 30 min. treadmill, light weights
  • Friday – Spin class, NROLFW 2A workout
  • Saturday – Off
  • Sunday – 8 mile run (5 chill miles with my roommate, 3 miles harder). I had no desire to do this run – pushed it to Sunday instead of Saturday, and even still needed my roommate to do it with me or else it would have been uggggly).

See what I mean about the lack of “oomph?”

In other news, this week was largely spent in the library. Last time I’ll say that for a few months! I completed my write-on packet on Friday (due on Tuesday) so I have been able to have my first real weekend in awhile!

Here’s some highlights from write-on week:

view from my school’s parking garage.

Dinner at bld. with Jenn and her law school friends…

lamb + tzatziki burger.

Post-write-on celebratory dinner with Whitney at the El Cholo in Santa Monica, with a pit-stop at her office in Brentwood.

hey, getty.

table-made guac!

(not pictured, a margarita + beer…clearly I was living large, and BOMB “Annie’s Early California Enchilada”).

On Saturday, Jenn, Aviva her friend Jane, and I decided to venture up to Sunset to try a new-to-us bar, The Den. Loved the fire pit, the Lagunitas IPA, and the outdoor seating underneath the famous Sunset Strip billboards. Didn’t love our snooty waitress, but I’ll be back.

me, jenn, and jane pretending it’s valentine’s day?

jane and avivaaaaa.

We ended up sitting at a table with two tourists from Slovakia. After they toolishly made us guess their profession (personal trainers) I picked their brains. One of them took a look at the NROLFW website and told me it was a good plan if my goal is to “get stronger.” It was pretty funny, and my girlfriends were definitely annoyed that I used the term “deadlift” in a bar setting.

the canadian tuxedo: popular with slovakian dudes.

The night obviously ended with some D’Amore’s and this photo.

Sunday featured my friend Lily’s college graduation party over in Brentwood, and a much-needed catch up session with my good friends Amanda and Krisse from my sorority. It was so fun seeing everyone!

Anyway, hope everyone in the U.S. is enjoying the day off for Memorial Day. I’m going to try and be in the sun and a little bit by hiking over on the westside. I almost forgot the reason we have this day off but was reminded when I saw a former track teammate post an article about a hurdler from my year in high school who died in Afghanistan a few years ago. Definitely worth a moment or two of the day to remember and give thanks to those serving our country.

1L complete.

18 May

I am honestly in shock that 1L year is done. This has been the fastest year of my life. Sure, there were frustrating moments – Parol Evidence in contracts, the servitudes and covenants, midterms and papers, constant reading, cold-calling,  competition, stress, and the inevitable section drama. But I was also challenged, made friends with some awesome people, learned to really love LA, and figured out how to unpack an issue-spotter exam, what it means to follow IRAC, laughed at various LLS internet memes, and bonded with my classmates over beer at every possible opportunity.

This was a great year. And I am SO glad it is over.

My last final was Thursday afternoon – Intro to Intellectual Property. It was short and semi-sweet. Here’s a picture from a case I WISH we had read. Dang.

barbie girl.

As soon as it was over, Taylor, Aviva, and I grabbed din at The Fat Dog on Melrose. I enjoyed an Anchor Steam and their classic burger.

beer time.

Later, we met up with Armita and Blake and headed to Bar Review at an awesome club called Elevate with stellar panoramic views of the city. So cool.

DTLA love.

We chatted with our section-mates and just generally revelled in the fact that we finished what is considered the hardest year of law school. NBD.

fact: i would be 200% more of a wreck if it weren’t for this posse.

I took it SUPER easy today and am headed back out downtown tonight with Whitney to celebrate our friend Kelsey’s birthday! #runthistown. I am taking full advantage of this weekend, before I have to buckle-down for another week or so to prepare my submission for the Loyola Law Review write-on competition.

Happy Friday, everyone! 🙂