Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Pie Hole (or Discovering Deliciousness in Downtown LA)

I was very lucky this past week to get to try out some pies at The Pie Hole. I’m usually not in downtown LA, but on this particular day, I was out there to help out with an interview for Inside Acting.

I knew that we were all meeting at The Pie Hole to interview Lindsay Hollister. What I didn’t realize was that Lindsay was one of the owners of the bakery! It was a little too noisy to do the interview in there, but we did make a stop afterwards to try out some pies (and do a little recording to review the bakery for the podcast).

First of all, I have to say that Lindsay was so generous to let us try all of these pies. I would have been more than happy to pay for them, and I know that I’ll be going back in the near future to purchase some (I’m thinking of getting one and bringing it to Thanksgiving this year).

I was a little too focused on trying the pies, so I only have one picture.


Starting in front and going counterclockwise we have a chocolate crostata, mushroom and spinach pie, mac and cheese hand pie, maple custard pie (slightly hidden), and a side salad (the guest co-host can’t have gluten).

I didn’t try the side salad, so I don’t have a review on that, but I have lots of yumminess to say about the other pies!

The chocolate crostata was so rich! It was like a fudgy chocolate brownie on top of a pie crust with caramel and sea salt on top of it! I really loved the crust on it, it was so nice and flaky.

The mushroom and spinach pie was a really great savory pie. I didn’t try much of the crust on this one (I was sharing it with a couple of people and just dug into the filling). The mushrooms are so nice and chewy (like a perfect piece of steak). It wasn’t too rich but it was nice and filling.

The mac and cheese pie was my favorite of the savory options. The crust reminded me of the nice crusty top of a mac and cheese casserole (my favorite part to eat). The pasta inside was perfectly cooked and it wasn’t runny (a problem I’ve seen before). When I go back, this is something I know I will be getting.

And finally, the best pie (possibly ever!): the maple custard pie. This is seriously the best pie ever. It is like a creme brulee inside of a pie crust. It’s not overly sweet and the maple flavor is a wonderful touch. Even though we were sharing all of the pies, I know I ate a good portion of this one! It was addicting! I really want to go back to have this again, but since it is a bit of a drive away, I won’t be going too often.

I highly encourage all of you to go and try The Pie Hole. It’s seriously a gem in downtown. And no, they aren’t paying me to say this. They don’t even know I’m writing a blog post about this. I had no idea that when I was going to work at the interview that we were going to get a tasting too. But I’m so glad that we did because now I’ve discovered my new go-to place for desserts!

Pushing Myself (or This Will Make Me Feel Better If I Only Get 9 5Ks Done In 2013)

I’m really pushing to try to do 10 5Ks in 2013. I’ve done 5 so far, and I’ve signed up for 4 more.

In October, I’ll be doing the LA Cancer Challenge 5K. This is a Halloween themed race and will be my first time doing this one.

I’ve got 2 races in November. First will be the Hard Rock 5K. This is going to have a similar course to what I did for the Hollywood Half 5K, so I’m not too nervous about it. After that it’s the weSPARK 5K at Universal Studios. I’m super excited for this race since it will be the 3rd year in a row for me. Although I can’t say that I’m looking forward to the giant hill.

And in December I have the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas 5K. This one was recommended to me by a couple of friends and I might have a friend doing this one with me. I’m already thinking of a cute outfit to wear for this one (I’m thinking red tutu and red and white striped socks perhaps).

I don’t know if I’ll find a 10th to do. I don’t have too many other weekends available when I’m not doing something else.

And I realized that my 3 races in October and November are only 14 days apart! I’m doing one on Sunday 10/27. Then 6 days later I have another one on Saturday 11/2. And just over a week later, I have my 3rd on Sunday 11/10! That’s going to be crazy! I’ve never done so many races so close together!

If I don’t make it to 10, that’s ok. My goal has already been conquered. And I’m thinking ahead to 2014 now. I’m thinking of doing the New Year’s 5K on January 4th.

If I don’t make it to 10 in 2013, then I’ll do it in 2014. I’ve got races from this year that I know I’ll do next year. And I’m getting way more adventurous with my races as well. Both of these things will help me reach whatever goal I have for 2014.

If any of you out there would like to join me for any of these 5Ks, let me know! I’d love more buddies out there on the race course!

More Computer Frustration (or Trying To Let It Go)

After yesterday’s craziness on my computer, I went to bed and hoped I could figure it out tomorrow. That did not work.

I finally got the trash emptied on my computer, but then my external hard drive disappeared. So after spending a couple of hours fixing that, I thought everything was good. Until I saw that everything I deleted in the trash was back in the trash again! So I tried to empty the trash again, but weird things kept happening. Like as the trash emptied, the count went into negative numbers. How can you have a negative number of the items that need to be deleted?

I googled and YouTubed solutions but really haven’t seemed to be able to find one.

Then I took a step back. Maybe I can’t fix this right now. I did successfully delete some files that allowed me to have more room on my computer to update the programs I needed to update. And there are a few more programs like Garage Band that I don’t use that I could get rid of.

I’m making this problem more than it really is. I have a tendency to do that.

Then I tried to relate what’s going on to my weight loss (as I tend to do as well). I’ve done more research on weight loss than most people. I’ve read hundreds of diet books. I know the science behind weight loss and the numbers to track. I’ve had medical testing done to see if there is anything wrong with me so I know what symptoms to look for that could mean that my weight issues are something else.

But with all the research in the world, it hasn’t helped me. Because I need to find my solution to the problem. Just because I have a weight problem doesn’t mean it’s anything like anyone else’s weight problem. Just like the crazy problems with my computer aren’t necessarily the same as the problems I’m researching (maybe it is since the computer isn’t as individualized as a person, but just go with me on this).

What I’m saying with all this craziness is that I need to step back from the big problem and start focusing on the little things. Because fixing each of those little things can add up to one big thing.

Trying To Cut Back On Clutter (or Why Won’t My Computer Do What I Want It To Do?!?)

I’ve been working on getting rid of the excess things in my life. I have some luggage that I don’t use anymore so I’m selling it (sold 3 pieces so far and only have 1 left). I’m working on donating book to the library (there’s no need for me to keep a “real” book and e-book unless it’s something really special). I’ve done a bunch with cleaning out my closet as well.

And then the other day, I got an alert on my computer that my startup disk is full and I need to trash some items to make room (I don’t have enough room on my computer to do an update). So I’m trying to move some things I don’t use too often to my external hard drive. But this has not been going so well.

To make room for movies and videos on my external hard drive, I have to delete some of the old backups of my computer. There’s no need for me to have 27 different backup versions. 2 or 3 should be good enough. So you’d think that you could move the extra backups to the trash and then delete it, right?


For some reason, my computer does not want to delete any files. This is extremely frustrating. After consulting Google, I’ve tried a few force empty ideas. I’ve downloaded a couple of apps that are supposed to empty your trash when your computer won’t do it. Well, all of those apps crashed on me.

I’m getting ready to admit defeat and make an appointment at the Apple Store for them to help me.

If any of you out there have any ideas, I’d appreciate them. I won’t have time to go to the Apple Store until Monday, so there’s plenty of time for me to try new options.

I’m excited that once this is done, not only will I have more room on my computer to store photos but my computer should run a bit faster.

I’m really feeling better about things as I de-clutter. It’s nice to have room to grow in my house (before it was starting to feel a bit crowded).

I just wish my computer would be as enthusiastic about getting rid of clutter as I am!

Another Birthday Outing (or Seeing My Birthday Twin)

I haven’t been taking advantage of a lot of the birthday freebies this year. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit busy. But there is one birthday freebie that is a tradition that cannot be missed.

My free entrée and dessert at Truxton’s with my birthday twin, Joanna! Joanna and I have enjoyed our $0.00 meal for the last couple of years, so this year was no exception. There is now a Truxton’s in Santa Monica (just down the street from my work), so we went there instead of the one by LAX.

As soon as we sat down, we each got out our free birthday coupon.


The servers were actually excited that we were celebrating our birthdays and even more excited when they found out we shared a birthday (I was afraid they wouldn’t be happy to wait on a group that had a completely free meal).

Joanna and I each got a burger as our main dish (we had to save room for our desserts!).

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As always, the food was delicious! I had never had a burger in all of my previous Truxton’s adventures and I was glad that it was a good choice.

Joanna and I had actually picked out our desserts before ordering dinner (doesn’t everyone do that?). We always get this crazy banana dessert thing and then we also decided to get a cream cheese brownie.

It was pretty crazy when both desserts were brought over to us.


We split them pretty evenly, but either of us was able to finish our half. I have to say, the brownie thing is my new favorite dessert! I know that Joanna and I will be ordering that again next year at our birthday outing.

It was seriously so great to have a nice dinner with a friend and catch up (I don’t think we’ve seen each other since Christmas). We chatted a bunch about my brother’s wedding (her brother recently got married), crazy day jobs, and just general life craziness.

Before we knew it, we had been at dinner for a few hours and needed to each head home.

Even though our bill was nothing (literally), we still left a very nice tip.


I know that people who come in with a freebie meal or Living Social deal get a bad rap because they don’t tip enough (or at all), but I want to make sure that I go above and beyond what the tip should be when a meal is completely free.

With this being the last week of my birthday month, I’m almost out of time to use up my birthday freebies. I still have my $30 at Benihana, but I won’t get to use that one because it’s only good for weekday dinners. Oh well.

At least Joanna and I made sure to do what is one of the most important birthday tradition meals.

Back To The Grind (or Can I Be Unemployed Again Please?)

I’ve been back at work for a couple of days now, and I’m seriously feeling burnt out. I felt this way last year too, but it didn’t happen as early in the season. Maybe this affirmation could have something to do with it?


Could it be because we are supposed to have another break (and get unemployment) in the next month or two? Maybe I have something similar to senioritis from high school/college. I know that I should be not working soon and it can’t come soon enough.

Or maybe it’s because last year, I really didn’t know what I was in for. Each week could mean another huge turning point in sales. I thought that the end of the year was going to be as good as the summer was (it wasn’t). And this year, I know better.

I know I’m not the only one at my job feeling this way. You can’t expect people to work on phones for 40 hours a week (and 6 days a week) without them starting to go a little crazy.

But I don’t know what I want to do. I would like to find a job that fits in a bit better with my life, but that might be at the expense of it being a flexible job (which is a necessity for me). I’m looking into some options, but so far, none of them have been good enough for me to want to switch jobs.

At least I feel like I’m acting more mature about the frustration with my job now than I would have before. I’m not leaving my job until I have something better. And it has to be something better, not just something new, for me to leave.

And who knows, maybe with having 2 breaks throughout the year, things will be better for me. How it looks now, I’ll work for 5 months, have 1 month off, and then repeat. That’s not too horrible.

The one positive for all of this is that I am still doing well at my job. I’m making enough to pay all of my bills and the only thing I’m struggling to find the money for is the deductible to get my car fixed (which I might just end up putting off for a few months).

And please don’t worry that my boss might read this. First of all, I really doubt he reads the blog. But secondly, I’ve already had this conversation with him. He knows that the schedule is getting to me and that I’m thinking of moving on. There’s a pretty decent turnover rate with telesales people. It’s expected that I am ready for a new day job. And maybe by waiting this out long enough, I will book a really great acting job that will be able to hold me over for a few months while I look for something else.

Saying Goodbye To Tahoe (or Going Rafting Before Flying)

On my last day in Tahoe, we decided to drive over to Donner Lake to have some fun in the inflatable raft my parents bought a year or two ago. Donner Lake is significantly closer to our place, plus I’m sure Lake Tahoe would have been packed on a Sunday.

My dad and I got a head start so we could get everything set up. It was pretty empty by the lake when we arrived, so we got a picnic table for all of our stuff before heading back to the car to inflate the raft.

Fortunately, we own an air pump that is powered by the cigarette lighter in my mom’s car (and there is an outlet in the trunk). So it didn’t take too long for the raft to be ready (my dad did most of the work).


Finally, the raft was ready and we headed out of the lake for a little adventure!


On the way out, my dad did the paddling, so I was checking out the sights on the lake. There were a bunch of people paddle boarding right by us, including this lady with her two amazing dogs!


I also had my dad take a quick picture of me because I was in my new bathing suit top and wanted to make sure I posted it on here (it’s not the most flattering photo, but whatever).


We got over to a little cove area and it was my turn to try paddling.


It was tough! I managed to do a little by myself, but then my dad and I decided to work as a team to get back to the beach. When we got back, my mom and dog had gotten there, and they decided to take a turn out on the lake.

First, my dog had to get his life jacket on (which seemed to humiliate him).


He has to wear it because he is not a strong swimmer. And if he fell out of the raft, the life jacket has a handle on the back so it’s easy to rescue him.

My mom and dog got comfortable in the raft and then they were off for a quick spin in front of the beach.


Dante didn’t seem to mind being in the boat too much. He’s done it before, and he’s pretty happy wherever he is as long as my mom is with him. I tried to get some good photos of them while they were out in the lake, but Dante was laying down in the boat most of the time, so you can’t see him. I did get this one shot as they were coming back into the beach area.


After we were all done rafting, we just hung out in the shade and enjoyed the views. My flight back to LA wasn’t until the evening, so we just enjoyed relaxing and hanging out as a family (minus my brother). I’ll get to see my parents again in a few weeks at the wedding, but I hadn’t seen them since Mother’s Day so I was soaking up all the family time I could get.

Before we went to the airport, we had a quick dinner at a burger spot (I forgot to take photos, but it was quite yummy). And then it was off to Reno for me to fly home. Normally at the Reno airport, it’s pretty empty. But for some reason this time, it was horribly crowded. I had to wait about 30 minutes to print a boarding pass and then another 30 minutes going through security. I got to the gate just in time to sit down, catch my breath, and contemplate playing the slot machines right at the gate.


I ended up not playing, but that’s probably a good thing.

It really was an action packed weekend in Tahoe. I’m not sure if I’m going to make it up at all this winter because of my job, but I’m already planning on going back next summer. My dad and I made a list of things we didn’t get to do on this trip that we want to do next year.

I’ve been home for a few days and have been really lazy about unpacking. But I probably should get my butt in gear because in about 2 weeks I fly out again!

Hiking And Off-Roading (or Taking Advantage Of Every Moment Of My Vacation)

Day 2 in Tahoe starting off pretty relaxing. I woke up early (since I’m used to always waking up at 7am) and spent my morning hanging around the condo reading. Once the rest of my family was up, we were out the door for our first adventure of the day.

There is a railroad track right behind the condo. So we have done a lot of walking back there. And if you follow the path next to the tracks long enough, you get to some really cool ponds. So we decided to do a loop around the ponds.

On the way out toward the ponds, there are some pretty awesome boulders that you can walk out onto. During the winter, my dad likes to snowshoe up them (but in the summer they are too steep to hike up).

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We got to the path that led us down to the ponds, and of course I took advantage of another photo op.


We are so lucky to have this in our Tahoe backyard!


It was probably around a mile or so for the entire loop, but there was some elevation change and I was in a high altitude, so I was pretty out of breath at some points.

After getting back to the condo and having some lunch, we decided to go off-roading. A few years ago, my parents got a Jeep to off-road in (they are very adventurous people if you couldn’t tell already!).


We went up a dirt path in the mountains. It was extremely bumpy, but fortunately there are hand holds to hold on to!


When we got to the top, we were rewarded with a gorgeous view of Lake Tahoe.

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I mean, seriously, it’s so beautiful in the mountains! I really need to make sure I go there more often!

Also while we were at the top, I got a really cute photo of my parents with the dog.


We headed back down the mountain, where at times it seemed like the road was just dropping off into nothing.


Finally, we were back on a paved road (but I really did have so much fun on the dirt roads). We then went over to Northstar, which is the ski resort that I grew up skiing at. There is a Ritz-Carlton hotel on the mountain, and I had never seen it. So we rode the gondola up there and went to the outdoors bar for a snack.


Again with the views! Bars in LA have some awesome views, but nothing like this!

Once we took a look at the menu, we realized it might have been a bit expensive.


$14 for chips and salsa?!?!?! We all decided to have some frozen drinks. My mom had a pina colada, I had a strawberry daiquiri, and my dad had a margarita.


It was the perfect refreshment for the hot mountain sun!

Finally, it was time to head back to the condo. My mom made a nice steak dinner with baked potatoes at the condo, so we had a relaxing evening. We all earned it from the on the go day that we had!

Tomorrow I’ll write about part 3 of my trip!

Hello Tahoe! (or The Start Of My Weekend Getaway!)

As I mentioned before, I spent this past weekend hanging out with my parents (and dog) in Lake Tahoe. I’ve been going to Tahoe since I was a baby to go skiing in the winter and do some hiking in the summer. Several years ago, my parents got a place in Tahoe (we rented a cabin before then), so now there are more chances in a year for me to get up there.

Somehow, with all the craziness of work and life, I hadn’t been to Tahoe in a couple of years. So I was more than excited to make it up there and get some nice outdoors time in.

As soon as I go there on Friday, my parents and I had to do some errands. We had some things to figure out on our family cell phone plan, and since I was listed as the primary account holder, I had to be with my parents when they changed things. So most of the afternoon was spent at the Verizon store doing not so fun stuff.

That evening, we went out for dinner. Since we were technically celebrating my 30th birthday, I got to pick the restaurant. For me, there has only been one place that has been my go-to restaurant in Truckee (the town in Tahoe where we stay): Cottonwood. Honestly, I cannot remember a time when we didn’t go to Cottonwood when we were in Tahoe.

We had to sit inside because there were about a million bees out on their deck, but we sat near the windows so we still got to enjoy the view of historic downtown Truckee (and of course, I forgot to take a picture of the view).

The menu had some great specials, so I decided to get the chicken dish (it sounded relatively healthy).


For a starter, my parents and I split something that we always get every time we go to Cottonwood. The whole leaf Cesar salad.


This is seriously the best thing in the world! It used to say on the menu that it is traditionally eaten with your fingers, so that’s how we eat it (except my mom who goes against tradition by using a knife and fork). This salad is so wonderfully garlicky. I love it! You do smell like garlic for a few days after, but to me, that’s totally worth it!

After we got through most of the salad (it was pretty huge for 3 people), our entrees arrived.


The chicken was delicious and the mashed potatoes were great (although they didn’t seem too garlicky after having the salad).

We didn’t have dessert since we were so full on salad and our entrees, so we headed back to the condo my parents’ own to take Dante (the dog) for a walk.

Near Tahoe there is a fire, and that made the sunset pretty gorgeous.


Although the smell of smoke in the air was pretty strong.

So that was day one of my Tahoe trip. More to come in the next few days including our off-roading adventure and going out on Donner Lake in our inflatable boat!

Trying To Be An Organized Packer (or Another Bit Of My OCD)

I spent this past weekend in Lake Tahoe with my parents (and my dog) to celebrate my birthday. I promise to have some Tahoe recaps (and photos) coming up this week, but first, I wanted to share some of my travel tips. Particularly when it comes to packing.

I don’t think that I’m an expert packer, but I’ve picked up some helpful ideas over the years. And when some of my friends traveling with me have seen these in action, they always comment on how they should use them too.

First of all, I try to keep all of my travel stuff in one location in my house. In my storage area behind my kitchen, I have my suitcases and all my travel toiletries stored. This way I can just grab them together. I keep my toiletries packed (one bag for liquids and one for non-liquids due to TSA rules), so I only have to grab those bags and not have to pull everything together.


I also make a note if any of my toiletries run out on a trip so I can get a new one and put it in my bag as soon as I’m home. This way I can prevent last-minute CVS runs for a travel size toothpaste or contact lens solution.

For almost all of the trips I take, I only bring a carry-on bag (this will change for the Hawaii trip). So I have to be pretty mindful how I pack.

I always wear my bulkiest shoes on the plane, so they don’t take up room in my suitcase. And I try to only pack one other pair of shoes in my suitcase. I broke that rule on this trip because I just got some new barefoot-style sneakers (they look normal sneakers and not like barefoot shoes with toes). So I packed those up too so I could start wearing them in.

The best way I’ve found to pack shoes is to put them in shower caps. This way the dirty bottoms are covered and won’t get your clothes messy (thank you Pinterest!)


Aren’t my new barefoot sneakers cute! They are by Merrell and I got them $30 off at Off Broadway Shoes!

I know that some people believe in packing each outfit in its own bag, rolling clothes to save room, or laying all their clothes on top of each other and then folding it as one piece. I’ve tried those all, and they don’t really work for me.

My favorite way to pack clothes is what I like to call puzzle packing. I put one layer of folded clothes in my suitcase. Then I start on the next layer, trying to fill in all gaps and maximizing the spaces (fitting things together like puzzle pieces).

Once I got all my clothes in, my suitcase looked like this:


Inside are 2 pairs of shoes, socks and underwear, a dress, a sweater, a tank top, yoga pants, a workout top, a t-shirt, a bathing suit, pajamas, and a hat. And there is plenty of room in there for my toiletries and other items I might add at the last-minute.

The final step to my packing is making my day-of list. This is my list of things that I have to do before leaving for the airport.


After taking this photo, I realized I left about 4 items off this list. But mostly what it is are items that can’t be packed until the last minute (I need to wear my glasses at night so I can’t pack them until the morning, I want to be able to brush my teeth and put on makeup in the morning).

I know this is a little crazy, but it does help my anxiety about flying a bit. Also, I have yet to forget a major thing for a trip. Hopefully you will find some useful tips for your next trip. And if not, you just got a peak inside my crazy mind!