Monthly Archives: May 2013

Unexpected Injuries (or I’m Still Doing My 5K Tonight)

With all the issues with my hips, I’m used to waking up in pain. It happens more days than it doesn’t. And sadly, this is probably what it will be like for me for most of my life.

What I’m not used to it waking up in the morning with pain on another part of my body. All day Wednesday, I felt fine. I didn’t do anything weird that would cause me to get injured. But when I woke up on Thursday morning, I could feel that something was wrong with my hamstring on my right side. I could bend my leg, but straightening it was very painful. Honestly, I don’t know what I did. Maybe I just slept funny.

I did some research online, and after going through all the scary websites that pretty much say you are dying no matter what the symptom is, I found some things that helped. I’m taking the same pain medications that I take for my hip and I’m also trying to do some compression on my thigh. I used an ace bandage yesterday and that really seemed to take the edge off of the pain.

I’m feeling a bit better today, but I’m still in more pain than normal. So what does this mean for the 5K that I’m doing tonight?


I’m still doing it no matter what. If I was on crutches, I’d possibly still do it. I got a really great outfit picked out, and I want to do 5K #4 tonight. I’m so incredibly close to the goal that I set for the end of the year, and the year is almost at the half way point.

While I was hoping that tonight I would get a better time than my 5Ks in the past, I’m not going to let myself stress out about it. It really is more important to me that I cross the finish line no matter what.

And while tomorrow is the first day of ticket sales at my work (which means a lot of craziness is going to happen), I will be able to rest for the whole day while I work (multitasking at its best!).

I promise I’ll have a 5K recap post on here in the beginning of next week! Wish me luck tonight!

How Long Can I Wait? (or Wanting To Shop At The Last Minute)

Yesterday on the phone, a relative of mine asked me if I had gotten a dress to wear to my brother’s wedding yet.

Honestly, I haven’t even really thought about what I want to wear. I have about 3 months until the wedding. That gives me time to shop around.

But also, I still want to see how much weight I can lose. I’m not going to be anywhere near my original goal, and that’s very upsetting to me. Just the other day, it was my 1 year anniversary at my day job. And I just couldn’t believe how quickly the time has gone by.

And while in the last 9 months I have lost weight, it’s not as fast as I wanted. There is a chance that somehow I could lose weight really quickly in 3 months, but I’ve learned from past experiences that that is not the best way for me to try to maintain the weight loss.

I have a size in mind that I’d like to be for the wedding, and it may or may not be doable. But at that size, I still wouldn’t fit into “normal” sized clothing.

Which gives me few options of stores that I can go and try on clothes at (that don’t look like something an old lady should wear). I’ve looked at some of the dresses available at David’s Bridal, and they have some cute things that would come in the size I’m at right now. And hopefully if I went to one of their stores they would have some options in my size to try on.

The other part of me is just wondering what I’ll want to wear for a black tie/formal wedding that is taking place near the beach in Hawaii. For practical reasons, I don’t want to wear heels, I’d want to be in wedges. I also don’t want something floor length because it would get dirty (and possibly be too warm).

Does anyone out there have any ideas for a dress that comes in plus sizes that would work for a formal Hawaii wedding? I’m serious open to suggestions. I might not try on a dress for another month or two, but I really need to get some ideas in my head for when I’m ready to shop.

Remembering To Have Fun (or Celebrating With Smores)

I love when my friends have things happening in their life that I can celebrate! I love going to weddings, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, or celebrating a birthday.

My friend David just graduated from college. Now, I know that a lot of people have graduated from college recently, but David’s story is different. He took his time, taking a classes when he could. I believe he said that he ended up taking classes at 5 different universities (sorry David if I’m wrong about this). So for him to graduate, he had a ton of patience and willpower!

Of course when he asked me to come to his graduation party I said yes! The party was held at Barney’s Beanery in Burbank (try saying that 3 times fast!). I have been to Barney’s a bunch in the past, but normally I’m just eating something quickly there before going off to another event.

This time, I actually got to relax and have some fun. I didn’t know anybody else besides David at the dinner, but by the end of the evening, I had a ton of new friends! And it was just a fun, low-key dinner out. I haven’t had an evening like that in a while.

Normally when I schedule something fun to do, it’s a scheduled event. And those are totally fun. But I had almost forgotten how nice it was to have a slow-paced evening with good people when there isn’t a schedule you have to worry about.

I didn’t take a ton of pictures of my food. I had an avocado melt sandwich for dinner which was delicious.

But where all of us at the table went crazy was dessert. Barney’s Beanery has smores on the menu! So with 8 of us at the table, we let our waiter decide how many orders of smores to bring out to us.

He brought out 3 orders. And they had run out of chocolate bars, so he drizzled chocolate sauce over the graham crackers.


The blue thing on the plate was some sort of flammable gel, but I couldn’t seem to get the flame on my pictures. I did get the flame to show up when it was on the marshmallows.


As much as I love smores, having chocolate sauce on the graham crackers just doesn’t work. It made them so drippy and messy. So after we all attempted to eat one with the graham crackers, it seemed like we all just roasted the marshmallows and ate them off the sticks.

Before we knew it, it was pretty late and time to head home. I congratulated David again on his college graduation, and was on the road for the drive home. I’m so glad that I was able to celebrate another friend’s accomplishments. It really is one of the best ways to spend an evening.

M Street Kitchen (or A Happy Hour Adventure At Lunchtime)

I used to go on a bunch of happy hour adventures with my friend Kate. It just happened to work out that she and I both had Wednesday evenings free. But Kate’s schedule changed recently and we can’t do happy hour adventures any more.

But we were able to meet up for lunch this past Friday and catch up (it was the first time I had seen her since the horrible 5K). We decided to check out M Street Kitchen. I had actually never heard of it before, but Kate’s sister had gone there this month and loved it. Plus, it was close to my work so I didn’t have to go far for lunch.

I had checked out the menu online before, but I was still a bit undecided when we got there.


But I did know pretty quickly what I wanted to drink. I’m still diet soda free (with the exception of the calorie-free sparkling flavored water I get every once in a while). I’ve been trying to find drink that I like that aren’t sodas, and one that I’ve re-discovered is iced chai lattes. I get a non-fat one from Starbucks maybe once a week or so. I need to start keeping milk in my house so that I can make them at home.

But I will say, the iced chai latte (even though it wasn’t non-fat) was pretty yummy at M Street Kitchen.


For my lunch, I got the BBQ turkey sandwich. It was good, but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. First of all, it was a bit spicier than I thought it would be. Also, somehow in my mind, I thought the turkey would be ground turkey (like a turkey burger). This was sliced. But it was still a filling sandwich.


Over lunch, Kate and I discussed our plan for the 5K that we are doing this Friday. Since it’s a nighttime 5K (my first evening one), we wanted some glow-sticks. So I made a stop at Party City to pick some up, along with a few other items for me which you will see in my recap post next week.

Even though I miss my happy hour adventures, lunchtime adventures are pretty much just as good!

Starting New (or Hoping My Black Thumb Turns Into A Green Thumb)

I’ve never been very good at keeping plants alive. I’m not sure what I do wrong. I water them regularly, I take the dead leaves off, and I make sure they get enough (but not too much) sunlight. But so many times I have something start out like this:


And before I know it, it looks like this:


My dad is great at keeping plants alive. In fact, he is the one who gave me the gardenia plant I killed (and he also made the bark planter that it was in). He has given me so many plants over the years, and not one is still alive.

I’m a plant serial killer.

When my dad was visiting me last year, we went to Huntington Gardens and he pointed out what plants would be harder for me to kill. But I don’t trust that any plants are hard to kill. I’m good at doing things that shouldn’t happen. Like when I go bowling, if there are bumpers, I’m still able to get a gutter ball (that takes true talent)!

But this weekend, I decided to take advantage of the “no sales tax” sale at Orchard and add some new plants to my life.

I took my dad’s advice and got succulents. I’m just hoping that they are hard to kill, like my dad says. I got 5 different plants. I picked some based on cool names like California Sunset and ET Fingers (I also pick nail polish by cool names, so it’s a thing). I also got an Aloe plant because that seemed pretty cool to have.

I took out my dead gardenia out of my bark planter and also took another planter that was in front of my house but nobody was using and planted my new purchases. I didn’t get enough dirt so I do have to fix that soon.

But for now, the front of my house looks pretty nice.


I did a ton of research on how not to kill succulents. I’m hoping that I can keep these alive. If not, I think I need to stop murdering plants and move on to silk flowers to decorate my front yard.

Getting Fancy (or I Splurged On A New Purchase)

You might have noticed some much nicer than usual pictures on here lately.

Like these.

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Pretty sure you can all tell that these were not taken with my iPhone (especially since I have an iPhone 4 which doesn’t have the greatest camera).

I recently got a new digital camera! It was a pretty long process because I am so darn indecisive. There were a few features that I knew that I wanted: high megapixels (or at least better than the 5 on my iPhone), long distance optical zoom, lightweight/small, and within my budget.

There are so many options out there! Most of the small cameras don’t have a lot of zoom on them, or if they do, it’s digital zoom and not optical. And there are plenty of really nice cameras that aren’t compact enough for me to imagine carrying them around with me.

Finally, after lots of time (and several phone conversations with my mom), I decided to get the Nikon Coolpix S9500.


It’s got pretty much everything that I wanted on my wish list. It’s a little bigger than I was hoping for, but to get the zoom capabilities that I wanted that was necessary. It’s super fun to use, and I’ve been enjoying playing around with the camera to discover new features on it.

The only downside is the battery life. It’s the downside to almost any digital camera. When I was taking pictures at Jennifer’s wedding, my camera died during the reception. I had my phone with me so I was able to still take photos, but it was still disappointing.

I ended up buying spare batteries on Amazon so I’d have them. The bundle I got had 2 extra batteries, a car charger, and a wall charger (the camera came with a wire to plug the camera into the wall, but no external charger). I think getting the backup batteries was a good investment.

Even though I’m trying to save money and pay down debt, I think this was a worthwhile splurge. I don’t want to only have iPhone photos of the weddings I’m going to. And when it’s my 30th birthday this summer, I want amazing photos to remember my party.

Even though I might not be happy when I get my credit card statement this month, I know in the long term that this was totally worth it!

Brows and Bubbly (or Another Fun Evening Out With Eventbrite)

On Tuesday night, I got to go to another fun event. This was run by Eventbrite, the same company that did the Spa Night Out at Burke Williams. Eventbrite is an online ticketing service. And one thing I love about getting my tickets through their site is that they have an iPhone app that you can use instead of printing your tickets! This is great for someone like me who is normally running from one place to another (and usually forgets to print things out in the morning). The app is free, and you can also use it to discover new events and buy tickets.

The event this week, called Brows and Bubbly, was held at Benefit on 3rd St. I love Benefit makeup (I have a bunch of it at home), but I had never been to a Benefit Boutique. It was so cute inside!

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My ticket included one service and I chose an eyebrow wax. This is something that I do pretty regularly (I was born with a pretty bad unibrow), but this was a much nicer eyebrow wax than the place I normally go to (where I ran into my ex-bff). After my eyebrow wax, I got to have a mini-makeover/makeup application done. All of the Benefit products were out.


And considering that I just had a wax done, I think I looked pretty good afterwards!


I’m pretty picky when it comes to makeup. My skin is very sensitive, and it’s hard to match colors to me because I’m so pale (I’ve had more than one makeup artist mix a white base with foundation to match my skin). I loved the products that were used on my face this time! And I decided to purchase two. I got a concealer as well as the “That Gal” primer.


The primer really evened out my skin tone and blended in super nicely with my skin. Plus, it smelled delicious!

After making my purchases, I decided to see what else Eventbrite had set up for us.

There was some champagne (hence the bubbly in the event name).


And cupcakes and popcorn.

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But since my stomach wasn’t feeling so great that day, I just had water.

Before I knew it, it was time for me to head home. But before I left, I got another amazing gift bag from Eventbrite! This time, it had some delicious treats (which I shared with my co-workers at my day job), makeup samples, another Uber gift card, and more spa passes to Burke Williams! I’m totally set for going on lots of spa adventures in the near future!

Thank you again to EventbriteLA for throwing another amazing event (and inviting me to attend)! I had the best time and am already looking forward to the next event! I promise to share the next event I’m going to with all of you so you can join in!

Renting A Dress (or Testing Out Gwynnie Bee)

I got a lot of compliments on the dress that I wore to the wedding this past weekend.


The dress was by Kiyonna, a store that I’ve written about before. But this time, it wasn’t a dress that I owned. I borrowed it from a service I’m trying out called Gwynnie Bee.

Basically, Gwynnie Bee is like Netflix for plus sized clothes (sizes 10 and up). You pay a monthly fee for a certain number of items out at a time, and you send back the outfits when you are done with them. I’m currently in a 30 day free trial (you can start your own trial for free at this link).

My trial is for 3 items at a time, so I filled my virtual closet with dresses so I’d have some new things to wear for the wedding. I got 3 dresses to my house this week. One dress didn’t fit so well (but they do include cards that you send back with the items to say any issues you had with fit), and the other one was a little casual for an evening wedding. Inside the box with the dresses were pre-paid UPS bags to send the items back.

This is pretty awesome! Clothes aren’t cheap, and in a way, this is a way to try clothes on that you can sometimes only find online.

On the Gwynnie Bee site, there are a lot of dresses and cute tops. I think that most of the clothes are cute and things that I wear. My only hesitation is that I pretty much live in jeans and t-shirts. I sometimes go out in cute clothes, but when I’m at my day job, there’s no need to dress nice.

I don’t know if I’d want to wear nicer clothes at work because when you are sitting in a chair for 8 hours on the phone pretty much the entire time, you want to be comfortable.

I’m sending back the dresses that I have at my house this week so I can try some other cute clothes. Maybe I’ll decide to wear cuter things at work. But if you are looking for some new clothing options, you should totally sign up for the free trial.

Full disclosure: if you sign up for a free trial from the link I provided and then decide to keep the membership after the trial, I do receive compensation in the form of a free month of my personal membership. If you don’t want me to get a free month from you signing up, please go to their main page and sign up through there. Gwynnie Bee did not give me any compensation for this post. All opinions are of my own.

Beautiful Wedding For A Beautiful Friend (or I’m Glad I Wore Waterproof Mascara)

This past Sunday was my friend Jennifer’s wedding. It was held at Shanghai Reds in Marina del Rey. I’ve only attended one other wedding where I could drive from my house, so it was nice that I didn’t have to worry about a hotel or travel this time.

It was seriously the perfect day for a wedding! The ceremony took place outside right on the water.

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And Jennifer was such a beautiful bride! The dress she wore was amazing (and similar to what I always imagined myself wearing when I get married one day).


The ceremony was pretty traditionally Jewish. There were a lot of Jewish elements in it (such as the bride circling the groom 7 times and the breaking of the glass), but the ceremony was also very personal to Jennifer and her now husband Rich. The officiant is a friend of theirs and also a life coach, and she was a great officiant. Lots of personal touches without going overboard.

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During cocktail hour, I skipped the food (there was a big line) and I got to hang out with my friend Devon. Devon and I have known each other for about 11 years, but we haven’t seen each other in about 5 years. She was living in Sweden with her husband for a while, but now she lives in Florida. It was so great to get to see her and catch up.


The reception was held right inside next to the ceremony space, so we got to watch the marina as the sun went down.

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I sat at a table with a lot of the girls that I met at the bridal shower, so it was nice to have familiar faces around me.


Although I will admit that having fun friends around you (as well as an open bar) will make me do silly things like this.


Dinner was very nice. There was a salad and then my entrée was a chicken dish (I believe it was chicken piccata).


The cake was the same type of cake from the bridal shower, but this time it looked much more like a wedding cake from the outside.

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I tried it again, but I’ve realized that gluten-free vegan cakes just aren’t my thing.

I had some fun dancing with friends (sorry, no pictures of that), and I participated in the bouquet toss (I didn’t get it, but I did borrow it from my table-mate who did catch it for this quick photo).


Before I knew it, it was almost 10pm and I needed to head home so I could get a good night sleep before my work week started up again.

Jennifer, if you are reading this, I had the most amazing time at your wedding! Thank you for inviting me and letting me be part of your very special day! You and Rich are such a great example of finding your true soul mate. I wish you both so much happiness and love.


Getting Pushed Into Changing (or A Story About My Hair)

I’ve had a serious love/hate relationship with my hair. When I was little, I hated how curly my hair was. And when it was cut short, I hated how I thought I looked like a boy (sorry, this is the closest I could find to a picture of me with short hair).


I’ve been brunette, a redhead, and yes for a very brief time blonde (more like blondish). I’ve also had times where I’ve lost a lot of hair. When I was in high school, I had some decently sized bald spots. I had one behind each of my ears. Fortunately, I was able to have some shots that helped the hair grow back (I still get bald spots every once in a while, but nothing as noticeable as that was).

For a long time after college, my hair looked like this:


Then, I decided to make a big change and get some side swept bangs.


I loved them! I felt much younger with bangs, and I think they made my look much fresher. I’ve had side swept bangs now since 2011. They’ve been a good look for me and I’ve been very happy that the upkeep wasn’t too crazy.

I had been thinking about changing my look to full bangs for a while, but I didn’t want to deal with everything that comes with me changing my look. I have to get new headshots done (and printed). I have to update all my online casting sites. It’s a lot of work and I don’t want to have to do it too often (it’s also not cheap).

But this past weekend when I was getting my hair done, I was chatting with my friend who does my hair and she mentioned wanting to do something different with  my bangs. She wanted them to be straight instead of side swept.

And when she was done with my hair, I looked like this:


I got the full bangs that I wanted but was scared to ask for! I’ve only had my new look for a day, but I’m already so much happier than I was with my old bangs. It might not seem like a huge change, but when it’s something that gives you much more self-confidence, it’s a huge thing.

Yes, I’m going to have to get some new headshots soon. I still look enough like my old ones for now (and I can style my hair to look more like them when I need to). But just as the last change was a positive one for me, I know that this one will only make me feel better about myself.

So thanks to my friend, who technically forced me into this haircut (even she joked about it). I’m so glad that I have a friend who does my hair and who can push me to try new things (like bangs)!