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booze + sweat (aka what i did when i wasn’t studying).

13 Aug

I know you’re all sick of hearing about the bar — I’m sick of talking about it — but I WAS able to squeeze in (very small) pockets of fun throughout the summer.

The weekend after the test, I met up with my parents for a mini Conejo Valley IPA crawl of sorts.  Our first stop was The Lab Brewing Co.  I enjoyed their house DIPA and we all shared some candied bacon.

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We headed to dinner at my very favorite place just down the street — Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie — for brews, chow, and to watch the sunset (my mom is also a sucker for a good one).

They didn’t have my fav beer of all time on tap (Cheseboro IPA) so I opted for my second favorite, the aptly titled Ladyface IPA. I also tried a sampler of a new IPA they offered – the Cataclysm IPA.  This one wasn’t my style, it wasn’t hoppy at all.

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Ladyface IPA with Ladyface Mountain in the background.

Notice how the mountain looks like a woman’s profile? Imagine the woman is lying on her back…

And then my dad caught me in the act…

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Also that weekend, I celebrated with my BFF Whitney at a bar down the street from her apartment called The Chestnut Club.  Would definitely recommend.

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When I haven’t been boozing, I was doing what I normally do (working out, obviously).  On July 20th, I ran the Griffith Park Trail Marathon Relay with a team formed last-minute with some social media friends. When Tiffany reached out to me via twitter, there was no way I could say no, and I’m so glad I didn’t!  We had a blast each running 5.25 miles through the super-hilly Griffith Park trails, and soaking up the morning.  I would definitely do this race again.

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On the team:

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Race bling in the form of a STICK!!!!

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so worried I was gonna drop my phone…

It was a great morning.  I love doing relays because I love being surrounded by “my people” — meaning people who “get it.”  These guys understand the compulsion to wake up super early on a Sunday to go run 5+ miles through hilly terrain with people you barely know.  I am also so grateful for the power of social media connections for making this team come together!

The week before the bar, I heard about an event taking place at my favorite building on the planet – the Ritz Carlton/J.W. Marriott in DTLA. I dropped everything and RAN when Whitney wrote about a free yoga/mini-spa treatments event taking place at the Ritz spa. I got a hand massage and headed up to the rooftop for a short and very relaxing yoga session.

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#swoon

That about rounds out the fun things I did during the bar (I told you, it wasn’t a ton).  I start my job in a few weeks and until then have a lot of downtime, so I’m trying to enjoy the relaxed schedule and do some fun LA-only events. Please drop a comment if you have suggestions on fun things I should do!

my top 10 law school experiences.

19 Jun

So right now I am 5 weeks deep into studying for the CA bar exam.  It’s going fine — the days are long but also go by fast, but the constant nagging feeling of wondering whether I am doing enough is a little weird.  As a break from reviewing, I thought I’d put together a list of my Top 10 Favorite Law School experiences.  I am one of those weirdos who actually loved law school.  I had a great experience at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and want to re-cap why.

In no particular order…

(1) Judicial Externship with the United States District Court for the Central District of California

I had the honor and privilege to extern for the Hon. R. Gary Klausner of the US District Court for a semester of my 2L year.  Hands down, this was the best thing I did academically all of law school.  Not only did I get to observe jury selection and trial, but I wrote an insane number of motions on issues and cases before the court.  It was incredibly challenging and  I learned way more in those four months than I did in any class.

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I also developed a strong bond with my co-externs Taylor, Ben, and Colleen.  Watch out for one of them on the Supreme Court one day (okay, maybe just Ben and Colleen out of the four of us are in the running for that — but they’ll all do big things).

(2) Spending a week in Vienna, Austria as a member of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Team.

I joined this team as a 2L (second-year law student).  The five of us wrote two briefs (one for Claimant and one for Respondent) and then we practiced 3-4 times per week for our oral arguments.  The competition was located in Vienna (no that is not the sole reason I tried out for this particular team).

counsel for Respondent at the Juridicum

My teammate Rachael and I outside Vienna’s law school. Oh and it was FREEZING.

The competition itself was interesting and fun – we went up against teams from all over the world and had arbitrators that were equally international.

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We didn’t advance very far in the competition, but we had so much fun exploring Vienna’s sights and beer halls.  Oh, and schnitzel and spaetzle. The best.

with my friend and teammate Rachael and Professor McDermott on our last night in Vienna.

Our advisor, Professor McDermott, me, and Rachael.

(3) Bar Reviews.

No, not what I am currently doing. “Bar Review” is law school shorthand for “drinking a lot.”  It’s the law school equivalent of a sorority invite – except people are more excited because going out happens with less regularity than it did in undergrad.  I’ve racked up a few funny bar review stories over the years — but my favorite one was the end of 1L bar review.

law school bests celebrating the end of the year.

my law school posse SO STOKED to be done with 1L.

(4) Research Assistant for my favorite professor

I don’t have a photo for this — that’d just be weird — but during my 3L year I worked as a Research Assistant for my favorite professor at LLS, Professor Kevin Lapp.  I had him for Evidence and LOVED his enthusiasm so I jumped at the chance to help him with some research (about juvenile DNA collections and fingerprinting) this past year.  It was a good experience and I loved picking his brain a little bit.

(5)  Trial Advocacy

This past fall, I took a course called Trial Advocacy. This was a fun, practical class where we practiced real substantive lawyering skills, and our final was to conduct a trial.  A few things made this class fun: (1) it was taught by an actual judge who gave amazing, substantive feedback, (2) we had one class in the judge’s actual courtroom in downtown LA, and (3) one of my law school friends/arch-nemesis/biggest rival was in the class, and we went head-to-head in our final trial.

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Who do we think won this little show-down?  (Answer: The judge didn’t reach a verdict, but I got a higher grade in the class. Yes, this is how competitive Taylor and I are.  We’re still waiting on our final transcripts…)

(6) Surviving 1L

1L (or 1-hell) is pretty grueling.  ALL of the biggest classes are front-loaded, so in one year, you take criminal law, property, torts, contracts, civil procedure, legal research and writing, and an elective.  1L grades matter the most, so stress is pretty high all year.  It was arduous, but I sort of didn’t hate the “right of passage” nature of it.  Again, I am a freak and people call me a gunner.  Didn’t really realize it until writing this post. Whatever.

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(7) Finals rituals

My law school posse developed two traditions that I loved to help us get through 6 rounds of finals.

First, during our long days of studying, we took a walk break to the nearest Starbucks (at LA Live) and re-caffeinated or got some sort of treat.  The break to chat, stretch our legs, and check out whatever was going on at LA Live kept us sane during finals, and we always looked forward to when 3 pm would roll around.

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We also often would go out for a drink or a meal after each final as a tiny celebration before studying for the next one resumed.  After one 1L final, we went out to dinner and then went bowling which was fun, but usually we’d go to Yardhouse at LA Live for beers and bad food.

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(8) Pro Bono with Team Prime Time

My law school has a pro bono requirement – we had to do 40 hours total of community service — either in the form of free legal work, or through a variety of enrichment programs bringing law and law school to kids. I worked with a few other students to develop a mock trial that a bunch of middle schoolers from LA worked to present, before a real judge in one of our mock courtroom classrooms.  It was so awesome getting to know these kids and have them deliver opening statements and closing arguments as well as watching them cross-examine witnesses and create exhibits.

Team Emerson, about to head into court.

(9) Law School Summers

I had a lot of fun in my summers between 1L and 2L (when I worked for a Superior Court Judge) and 2L and 3L (#bigfirmlife).  I loved the opportunity to get first-hand experience and to hit up many a farmer’s market and firm happy hour.

(10) LLS Ambassador 

As a self-proclaimed Loyola Cheerleader, it was only natural that I become a Loyola Ambassador.  I gave a couple of tours, wrote for the Admitted Students Blog, and attended several Admitted Students Days events and panels where I spoke to prospective and admitted students. These are THE BEST. People are excited and ask the most ridiculous questions…

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Admitted Students Event at DTLA’s City Club.

this view wasn't too bad either.

an Admitted Students event at the Dodger’s Stadium Club.

  • Law students: FAVORITE thing you did in law school?  Am I crazy for liking it? Wait don’t answer that. 
  • Non-law students: What was your favorite thing you were involved with in college (my sorority and studying abroad.  And I realize how cliché I am for typing that.)

five for friday.

2 May

Happy almost weekend everyone!  I just got back from a speedy 3.5 mile run with Back on My Feet and I wanted to share a few things I’m loving this week before I log some hours in the library today.  But first, you should all head over to my friend Melissa‘s blog The Valentine RD to check out my guest post about balancing law school and fitness!

Here’s 5 things I’m loving on this (hot) Friday…

(1) SUNRISE RUNS

unnamedI have been loving seeing the sun come up during my morning runs with Back on My Feet.  This one was taken on the North Broadway Bridge, near the entrance to Elysian Park.

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This morning we ran 3.5 miles along Alameda — I love Union Station so I had to take a picture.

(2) THIS SIGN

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OBVIOUSLY this is hanging in my kitchen.  Who doesn’t love a casual Kendrick Lamar reference (and kale)?

(3) TONE IT UP #BIKINISERIES

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I am really enjoying this challenge so far — the workouts are a nice little boost after what I am already doing.  More than that, though I am LOVING getting text messages like the one below from Jenn.

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So proud of her!

(4) SAMIRA’S CLOSET {and following it on Instagram} 

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I love a clothing boutique downtown (6th and Hill for you locals) called Samira’s Closet.   I’ve purchased a few things from Samira’s shop over the last year.  The other day, I found what I thought was the perfect dress for graduation, but when I came home to try it on again, the zipper broke!  They allowed me to return it, and when I came back I found an even better dress, PERFECT for a wedding I am going to this weekend. (Sometimes I am pretty awful at being a girl — and leaving “big occasion” dress shopping until the last minute falls into that category).

I love Samira’s Closet, but I also really love following the store on Instagram.  I think it is such smart/unique utilization of social media.  I saw the dress I ended up buying on Instagram earlier in the day and walked in and knew I had to try it on!

(5) Wedding Weekend Anticipation! 

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Me, Whitney, Kelsey, and Hayley at our high school grad night, June 2006.

This weekend is my friend Kelsey’s wedding!! I have known Kelsey since we were freshman in high school running cross country.  She was the fastest girl in our grade and I remember being in such awe of her athletic ability!  Over the years we became friends and I am so excited to see her tie the knot on Saturday to Drew, and to celebrate with Whitney and Hayley as well.  And, now that I have something to wear the real excitement can begin!

 

What’s one thing you’re loving right now? 

 

 

jamba juice fit trends.

25 Apr

Wednesday was a day jam-packed full of fitness for me.  I subbed a 6 am spin class and then headed out to the gorgeous Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica for an event put on by Jamba Juice called FitTrends.

It was a great day sampling Jamba concoctions and learning about their recipes, trying the new “it” workouts, and mingling with my favorite LA HLBs (healthy living bloggers, duh).

20140424-163905.jpgWhen I arrived, I grabbed a Kale-ribbean Breeze smoothie from their “Whole Food” line of smoothies.  My fav Jamba Juice growing up was Caribbean Passion, and I’m trying to avoid sugar, so this was a good go-to.

I immediately met up with Katy, Monica, Melissa, and Tiffany!

IMG_6632It was great seeing all of these women — it is so nuts how social media has allowed us to go from strangers to real life friends. The future is awesome.

We kicked off the morning with a warm up with Venus Williams and celebrity trainer Samantha Monus. It wasn’t anything too strenuous — and I immediately envied Venus’ top.  Athletic apparel envy is REAL. (I later learned it’s from her own line – EleVen by Venus).

IMG_6630Throughout the day  we sampled four different workouts that have popped up.  Everyone loved the Pound workout.  We used drumsticks and moved to the beat, hitting the sticks above us, on the ground, and to the side in unison.  It was a good mix of cardio, strength, and some ab work, and a lot of fun.  I’d definitely love to take a full class sometime, especially after a particularly stressful day. IMG_6636

Monica had a great Instagram video of the class here.

After sweating it up with the Pound girls, we headed upstairs for a little blind tasting of different Jamba Juices to see if we could guess the ingredients.

IMG_6643These were actual fresh-squeezed juices (not smoothies).  We tried:

  • Tropical Greens –> my favorite
  • Veggie Harvest –> they call this one “the kitchen sink” because there’s so many different veggies packed in it.
  • Citrus Kick –> VERY ginger-y
  • Great Greens –> the most “green” tasting smoothie.

I went 4/4 on the guessing, but it was pretty easy.  I also thought it was cool that even the apple juice included in these juices is fresh.

After we sipped, we spoke with Carol Chen of Jamba Juice who told us all about how Jamba creates it blends as well as the ingredients it uses.  Check out the gorgeous farmer’s market display behind her (which we all got to raid at the end of the day!)

IMG_6646Carol talked about a lot of interesting things including…

  • how Jamba Juice works with their Research & Development team to see what the trends in the industry are.
  • Kale is no longer a trend — it is a mainstay and that can be seen from the fact that major grocery stores carry kale chips, dips made with kale, etc.
  • A trend for 2014 is “global spices” — ancho chile was one she mentioned.
  • Consumers are getting sophisticated and want to be put on a culinary journey — that’s how Citrus Kick (orange juice, apple juice, pineapples, ice, and ginger) came about

After we were all Jamba-fied, we tried workout #2 – Pop Physique.   I’ve tried various bar-type workouts before and am not really a fan, I prefer lifting normally (BODY PUMP!!!) instead of the small, “tucking” movements of bar-type classes.  The pop session was challenging though and the instructors were both upbeat!

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Melissa, Tiffany, and Kara tucking away.

Next up was lunch! I chatted with Katy, Melissa, and Lindsay over some salad and sparkling water before moving inside for a chat with Venus and Jake “Body by Jake” Steinfeld.  But first, Gigi and I took a selfie…

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Loved meeting you, Gigi! [photo credit: instagram.com/gigieats]

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The conversation was light-hearted, but full of interesting facts and tips about Jake and Venus’ approach to healthy living.

How they got their start in healthy living

  • Jake said he was a chubby kid with a stutter who used to eat everything, but his life changed when his Dad got him a set of weights at 13.  He started eating more moderately and became hooked on physical fitness.
  • Venus started training to become a pro tennis player at the age of FOUR. (FOUR!)  Her mom didn’t keep junk food in the house at all so she learned to love healthy foods at an early age

Jake and Venus’ 3 Tips for Healthy Living

  1. Don’t expect to be perfect.
  2. Be consistent – healthy living is about longevity.
  3. Just get started.

Why Jamba Juice?

  • Other than their orange juice and wheatgrass shots, and the fact that she is a franchisee, Venus says Jamba is aligned with her beliefs ever since her mom “hid the cookies.”
  • For Jake, he believes Jamba is aligned with what families need.  This is important to him because he is working to help put fitness centers in elementary schools.

How do Venus and Jake stay motivated?

  • Venus said she often has a “battle with the bed” — but hearing Serena get out of bed to go to practice helps her get out of bed too!
  • Jake does a 42-minute workout, 6 days a week.  He uses that time to plan out his day, so by the time it is over he has worked out his body and mind.

Least favorite workout? food?

  • Venus HATES planks (funny, because I love ’em) and she is NOT aboard the broccoli train.
  • Jake hates squats and liver.

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After our chat, we explored workout #3 – Hoopnotica.

Hoopnotica is a hula-hoop based workout.  You can burn up to 350 calories in an hour hooping.  I was able to keep the hoop up pretty well, but wasn’t trying to do any circus-like tricks.  This class was fun, but it felt way more like play and not at all like exercise (totally fine for most people, but I like a little bit greater bang for my buck). Also, I somehow got a bruise on my side from 15 minutes of hula hooping. Cool, Gillian.

Tiffany caught this photo of Kara — and I’m in the background hooping away:

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photo credit: instagram.com/runninghutch

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post-hula with my twin for the day, Katy [photo credit: instagram.com/katymarie5]

Definitely a good option for the coordinated people out there!

The last class of the day was the one I was the most excited about — Surfset Fitness!  Surfset uses surfboards strapped to exercise balls — so balancing is a challenge as the surfboard moves with you. It reminded me a little bit of plyometric devices we used to use in cross country.

IMG_6672 This workout was tough — we did all types of core work, burpees, and some yoga moves. I’d love to try this again! And you know, actually learn to surf.  Fun fact:  these guys were on the show Shark Tank! IMG_6679We wrapped up the day with some sweet swag bags (I’m stoked on my new Jamba yoga mat – I needed a new one badly) and took photos with Venus.

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It was an awesome day and I am grateful I got the chance to participate — and I am sure there are other awesome things that happeend I forgot to mention. Thanks so much, Jamba Juice!

P.S. My legs HATED me later that night when I taught two more spin classes back-to-back.  Thursday was obviously a rest day.

Answer one (or both!) of the following:

  • Favorite smoothie? (Jamba or homemade)…
  • Favorite “trendy” workout? (I think we all know mine is Soul Cycle)…

legality of influence. [Fashion Law Symposium]

24 Mar

This past Saturday, March 22nd, I spent a few hours on campus (weird, I know) to attend a symposium put on by the Fashion Law clinic at my law school.  The name of the symposium was “One Channel Does Not Fit All:  The Fashion Law Implications of Omnichannel Marketing.”

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Let’s be real — I will be the first to tell you I am NOT interested in high-fashion (or even low-fashion, if that’s a thing).  My best friend is always on me about buying clothes that actually fit and spending time in stores that aren’t Lululemon.  So I didn’t go to this symposium because I want a career in fashion law.  I peeped the different panel discussions and one of them — about the legality of influence and the laws governing disclosures for bloggers — really interested me.

I had to miss the panels before lunch (because spin class) but I showered quickly, threw on a business-y dress that passes for fashionable in my eyes (even though I’m pretty sure peplum is pretty 2012), and headed over just in time for the lunch program.

Lunch was awesome for two reasons – first, it was catered by Joan’s on Third.  Second, it featured an interesting discussion between Bernard Campbell, co-founder of Fi3, and Crosby Noricks, Founder and Fashion Marketing Strategist at PR Couture.

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One component of the discussion was whether or not there is a place for stores in this era of digital marketing.  Crosby emphasized that she thinks stores will gain importance again, but it will be about the experience as opposed to the products themselves.  Again, I had to think about this as it applies to my life — but there’s definitely something about the Lululemon experience that makes me willing to spend a little more as opposed to trudging through clearance bins at the Nike Outlet.

Crosby also commented on the prominence of social tools — like bulletin boards — on brand websites, and how brands like Free People are reacting to consumer behavior by encouraging the use of things like selfies and hashtags and integrating them into the in-store and online shopping experience.

After lunch was the panel I was super stoked on — “Legality of Influence (Advertising & Disclosures).”

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Moderator:  Oren Bitan, Attorney,  Buchalter Nemer

Speakers:

  • Candice Hyon, Corporate Counsel of Marketing, Privacy, and Property at Forever 21
  • Lauren Indvik, Editor in Chief, Fashionista.com
  • Stacy Procter, Staff Attorney, Federal Trade Commission
  • Rey Kim, General Counsel and Senior VP, Legal and Business Development, HALSTON

I nerded out HARD while listening to this panel because it was pretty much a direct convergence of my professional (ish) life with one of my passions – blogging/social media.

First, I found it interesting that the FTC governs bloggers (I’m living in a cave and never really gave it much thought).

The FTC  is a civil enforcement agency.  It serves to protect consumers and to protect competition, and specifically focuses on policing unfair or deceptive acts.  Unfair or deceptive acts consist of:

  • a representation/omission
  • that is material
  • and is likely to mislead the consumer [a reasonable consumer, not someone who is ingrained in the industry and should know that posts are sponsored, etc.]

Under Section 5 of the FTC Act,  ALL material connections between bloggers and the advertisers/sponsor must be disclosed.  This applies to all types of blogs, and fashion bloggers are not exempt even though it could change the reader’s perception of them. Stacy suggested bloggers err on the side of caution and DISCLOSE material connections.  Makes sense.

Disclosures don’t have to take any specific form — they just need to be clear and conspicuous to the reader.

Here’s some other facts from the discussion I found fascinating:

  • Pinterest is the highest grossing social network.  The average user is on it for 1 hr and 15 minutes and spends $175.  Take that, Instagram.
  • One audience member explained that many brands mentioned in rap songs are paid placements. (Example: “Pass the Courvoisier” was paid, but “Tom Ford” was not).  He also emphasized the fact that rappers are held to a different standard because there is no disclosure requirement.  I thought that was really interesting — I had no idea these were paid, but it makes sense.
  • While there may be some confusion between who is a “blogger” and who is a “journalist,”  journalists are governed by a Code of Ethics that requires that they do not accept gifts.
  • One panelist mentioned GOMI in the context that readers  are aware of when bloggers aren’t disclosing things they should be. LOVED the GOMI shout-out and I am pretty sure I was the only person in the audience who had heard of it.

I stuck around for the last panel —  “Legally Good: How to be Socially Responsible and Why it’s the ‘Right Thing to Do’ for Fashion Brands” — but I started to zone out a little and didn’t find this one quite as interesting.

After the presentation, I chatted with some of my friends who are in the Fashion Law clinic and got to meet Professor Riordan and some other people who attended the symposium.

I’m glad I checked it out!  If you made it all the way to the bottom of this nerd-fest, do me a solid and answer one of the following:

  • Favorite apparel brand (fitness or normal “fashion”)?  Why? 
  • Do any of your favorite brands do anything marketing related that you find particularly innovative? 
  • Favorite marketing slogan (currently)? 
  • What is your personal policy for your blog re: disclosures? 

weekend eats. (or, the one with all of the bars).

13 Feb

I know, I know…another post?  I did a lot of fun things last weekend and wanted to share them before another weekend is upon us.

Last Thursday, I kicked off the weekend (enjoying my last few months — ever — of 3 day weekends.  Law school is the best)  with an evening session of yoga at YogaHop.  So far I’m on track with my “do yoga 50 times in 2014” goal).  It just so happens YogaHop is next to a Pinkberry, and I was there while Pinkberry was giving away free yogurt for National FroYo Day or something.

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I indulged in a small original with strawbs, mochi, and fruity pebs (a dream combo if I do say so myself).  Fun fact, summer 2007 and winter breack 2008  I worked at a Pinkberry.  I’m a pretty good swirler.

That night I went to Casey’s Bar and Grill for Loyola “bar review” and hung out with some of my section 3 peeps.

On Friday I was being super lazy — I went to Back on My Feet after 4 hours of sleep (whoops), came back and slept for 3 more hours, and then lolly-gagged around my apartment sort of cleaning, sort of catching up on TV shows…I know, #roughlife.  Luckily I ran into my friend Jordan as I was finally getting my act together stumbling out of my apartment in gym clothes to run some errands and we concocted a plan to hang out later.  I love when lazy days get salvaged!  We (+ Armita) went to DTLA’s brand new City Tavern.  I noshed on the brussels sprouts and the burger — both were excellent — and sipped on a Ladyface (!)  IPA. Our waiter was witty and well-versed in the menu and I ran into a friend from middle school so I’d say City Tavern was a success.

After dinner we headed over they indulged my inner beer fiend by letting me drag them to Sixth Street Tavern for more IPAs.

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city tavern//las perlas//spring st. bar

On Saturday,  I had a little spin class action with my favorite crazies (I may or may not have had to rearrange an entire playlist to make sure one of my regulars got to hear “Drunk in Love” before he had to leave early). #Surfboard.

After spin, I headed over to Echo Park to celebrate the one-year anniversary of my friend’s vintage shop truck (think a food truck but for vintage clothes).  I loved checking out the truck and bought two rings I had been eyeing.  Check out Selvedge Dry Goods.

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That night, Jordan and Armita and I did DTLA drink fest part II.  We started at Las Perlas (because tequila).  I enjoyed a marg and Armita got some crazy cinnamon infused tequila with pineapple.  It reminded me a little bit too much of fireball.  After awhile we went to Spring Street Bar, mostly because I knew they have a good list of beers IPAs.   How I have any friends is beyond me.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun — it’s always a good night when a random stranger asks one of your friends if he can kiss her, and she makes up a fake boyfriend.  

On Sunday, I got up and lifted weights like a crazy person.  The highlight of Sunday was finding this awesome $7 bouquet in DTLA’s Flower District (and going to bed at 8:30 to prep for my 20 miler).

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Anyway, Happy Thursday!  My day is going to include some Business Associations, getting my computer back (!) and some yoga.

What’s on your agenda for this weekend?  

Fav DTLA bar? 

amazing LA race.

7 Jan

This post is wayyyyy overdue, but on December 22nd my roommate Jenn and I participated in a fun local event — called the Amazing Los Angeles Race (it is also sometimes called the Fantastic Race: Los Angeles).  We had a great time and think it would be the perfect event for a birthday party or bachelorette party (for competitive types, obviously).  Jenn had really been wanting to do a race like this for awhile, and we found a Goldstar deal for $35 a person to play.  Done and done.

We met on a Sunday morning a little before 11 am at the Hollywood Bowl.  We were the first team to arrive (obviously).  We signed a couple of waivers and waited for the other 8 or so teams to arrive.  We struggled to come up with a clever team name, so our default was team Lawesome. Whatever, it worked.

waiting to begin.

waiting to begin.

The lead organizer, Larry, explained the rules in a Phil-like fashion.  Jenn and my main motivation for doing this was to experience a little bit of The Amazing Race — a show we’re both obsessed with.

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After a few minutes, we were off! I won’t go into every challenge in case this could spoil it for future participants, but the clues had us traversing through the seats of the Hollywood Bowl, trekking to DTLA on the metro and exploring Union Station, Olvera Street, Chinatown, and the cathedral, as well as some tourist destinations in Hollywood.

We’d watched enough of The Amazing Race to know that if we built a lead early, it’d be tough for other teams to catch up.  Our first clue took us on the metro, but we had to solve a puzzle to know which stop to get off at.  While I drove to to the metro, Jenn solved the puzzle, so by the time we got to the station we knew exactly where we were headed.  The same cannot be said for the team who followed us through the Hollywood and Highland metro station (running after us).  They got on the metro and attempted to solve the puzzle as we were sitting pretty waiting for our stop.  We knew they’d just wait and see where we got off, so at about 5 or 6 stops too early, we got out of the car they were in and moved one car over.  We never saw them again the entire race. Mission accomplished.

Jenn is great at puzzles so anything puzzle or game related was her job.  We both know LA really well, so we were probably at an advantage over say, the mother/daughter duo visiting from Australia.  This would be a really fun way to learn a new city, though, and I want to check and see if cities I’m visiting have things like this in the future!

leaving a challenge at el kiosco at Olvera St.

leaving a challenge at el kiosco at Olvera St.

Jenn working her puzzle skills in Chinatown.

Jenn working her puzzle skills in Chinatown.

We saw a couple of teams when we were finishing a portion of the challenges and figured we had a good 20 minute lead.  We ended the challenge and met up with Larry at a bar in Hollywood.  We won!

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sunburned and sleepy-eyed.

We finished in about 2.5 hours — and apparently only about 6 minutes off the record.  We had to wait about that long for a metro once — and we stopped to buy water toward the end.  Dang.

We waited about 30 minutes for the next team and enjoyed our celebratory (and complementary) beers and fries. It was fun reliving the day and chatting with the other teams as they trickled in.

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I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone — an LA native or not!  It would also be good for families, but probably kids ages 10 and up so they can contribute and not get super tired.  (It is 2.5+ hours of constant movement, more or less).

The company also puts on a separate LA Race (the races on Saturdays are always the same.  We did the Sunday race), as well as a Santa Monica and a Disneyland Race.  I’d love to try their other races!

Do you watch The Amazing Race?

Have you done a scavenger hunt type race before? 

Unrelated: This is my 400th Post on That’s G.  Weird, right?