Tag Archives: bar

Birthday Party Adventure! (or Another Traditional Celebration)

I’ve celebrated my birthday at Bodega Wine Bar a couple of times now. It’s such a great place to have a casual birthday hangout so when I was trying to plan what to do for my birthday this year I had going back to Bodega at the top of my list. I looked at having a party at other locations, but I kept coming back to thinking Bodega would be perfect. So I gave them a call and they were able to get me the same section I’ve had in the past for a birthday party this past Saturday! So it was another Bodega birthday adventure!

Before my party, I actually decided to go to DryBar to get a blowout. There is now a DryBar right by my house, so that’s so much easier than having to drive 10-15 minutes to another location. I could walk there, but that day was so hot and humid and I didn’t want to ruin my hairstyle on the walk back. Fortunately there was a meter right in front of the salon for me!

The blowout only took about 30 minutes so that gave me plenty of time to go back home so I could relax a bit before getting ready to go out. I didn’t take a photo of my outfit, but I decided to try to be dressy and casual at the same time so I wore a basic black sundress with some cute heels. And then it was time to head over to Bodega!

And I lucked out with a parking meter again! I found one that was right around the corner and it was free since it was after 6pm! It was perfect and I walked right over to see who was an early bird for the party.

I’m glad I wasn’t the first person to arrive because I always hate waiting for people. And right after I got there more people started to arrive. I’m glad I got a reserved section again because it made things much easier for us. The bar was a bit crowded with some other parties and this way we didn’t have to worry about finding space for everyone. Although at one point there were maybe 15 of us there and it was getting a bit crowded. But I don’t think that anyone really minded that.

I hadn’t had a drink since my birthday party last year, but I knew I’d be ordering one at my party this time. My liver surgeon has told me that I can drink, but I haven’t been drinking since I don’t want to put more stress on my liver than I need to. But this was a special occasion so I figured it was a good time to have my first drink in a year!

I knew my tolerance for alcohol would be down, but I was actually surprised how low it was. I’ve had time without drinking before and it never seemed like I lost too much of my tolerance. This time, I was able to drink maybe about half of it before I felt like it was hitting me. I ordered food to help me feel a bit better, but I ended up not drinking any more of my drink. It was delicious, but I guess I need to realize that I can’t drink the way I could before (at least not for a while).

But I didn’t have my party to be able to drink. I had it so I could hang out with my friends and have fun. And that’s exactly what happened! I love when different groups of friends come together and meet. And this had people from so many different parts of my life there. It was so fun watching my neighbor talk to someone who is part of the leadership of the Unite for Strength slate. Or to see one of my Disney friends talk to someone from my WIF mentoring group. It was just awesome sitting back and watching people get to know each other and have my worlds combine!

I didn’t want any presents (although I did tell people if they wanted to do something they could donate to Unite for Strength) because I wanted this to feel more like a regular fun hangout and not a birthday party. I didn’t want anyone to sing Happy Birthday to me or make anything a big deal. Some of my friends did pay for my food and drink, so that was special and I wasn’t expecting it. All I wanted from my friends was to have them there and get to have fun with them.

We ended up being at Bodega for a pretty long time. It was getting a bit noisy and I think most of us aren’t usually late night people so by 11:30 we were all ready to go. People had been coming and going all night so it was a rotating group of people there, but pretty much everyone who was still there decided to leave when at the same time at the end.

I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday adventure. It was fun and no-stress. Everyone there seemed to have a great time and that’s what I wanted. I always want everyone else to have fun and that’s what makes me happy!

While this was the main birthday adventure for me, what I have to write about in tomorrow’s post was almost the grand finale of the birthday fun!


Not Drinking At A Bar (or A Birthday Party At Neat)

After doing my 5K race (and getting almost no sleep that night), I was ready to be at my house the rest of the day and being pretty lazy. When I got home around 11am after the race, that’s pretty much exactly what I did. I showered and got into comfortable clothes and then pretty much didn’t move from my couch for several hours. But I did have to move eventually because one of my workout friends was having a birthday party that night!

I don’t get to see many of my Orangetheory friends outside of workouts. Even though I really enjoy hanging out with them at the workouts, we don’t always get to socialize outside of class. So when I get a chance to see someone in normal clothes, I totally take advantage of that! And since they don’t usually see me in something other than workout clothes with my hair in a top knot, I decided to make a bit more effort than normal in picking my outfit.

I don’t usually wear red, but the theme of the party was to wear something red and I found that belt on Amazon. The way I dressed was pretty different from what I’m used to, but I was feeling pretty confident and now I’m looking at ways to dress more like that more often!

I was a little nervous going to the party since the only person I would know there was the birthday girl. I’m a bit shy in situations like that and always feel so awkward going up to people I don’t know to join in on a conversation. But thankfully, my friend was awesome and was introducing me to a bunch of people that night. She knew that I didn’t know anyone else there and I appreciate the effort she made to make sure everyone was having fun and not feeling left out!

The party was held at a new bar called Neat. In full disclosure, the manager is the brother of a friend of mine (who I hadn’t met until that night), but I have to say that this is such an amazing bar! I don’t have a ton of bars that I love because so many bars in LA are either super fancy or are just too showy. I like being able to go somewhere and not stress too much about how I’m dressed or if I’m making a good impression on others. That’s one reason why I also love Bodega Wine Bar. But to find a bar like that is tough to find and it seems like when I find one they end up closing down.

But Neat was pretty awesome. There was a semi-private space in the back that was reserved for the birthday party that still was a part of the action. And in the main room most of the tables are on the edges of the room so there is a lot of space in the room that makes it not feel too crowded. There were a ton of people there, but since I didn’t have to keep going around chairs or tables it didn’t feel that bad.

And they do have a pretty epic drink menu too! I would have loved to have tried a drink or two, but I can’t really drink right now. But that didn’t matter since the staff at Neat was so cool. I talked to my friend’s brother and he asked me what sort of flavors I liked. I told him I liked citrus and then he got to work. I don’t know everything that he used in my drink, but there was some lime in it and before I knew it I had a custom non-alcoholic drink just for me!

It was so nice to have a festive drink at the party since it can feel a bit weird only ordering water at a bar. But I felt like I was included in the fun because I had a drink that I really liked! It was pretty tasty and reminded me a bit of a margarita. Even when I can drink again, I would totally consider getting this again because it was so nice and refreshing.

I really had a great time at the party, but I was getting pretty exhausted right after the birthday cake was brought out. I had been up so long that day and my legs were starting to feel a bit like cement. It’s not easy to wear heels a few hours after doing a 5K race! So I decided that it was time for me to go home and get some needed rest.

I’m so glad that I went to the party. Not only is it fun to get to see someone outside of Orangetheory and get to meet new friends, I got to check out a bar that I have a feeling I’ll be going to from now on. It’s always great to find new places in LA that I love because I do get stuck in ruts from time to time. But I busted out of that rut at this party and now I’m excited to get to go back to Neat again in the future!

The Best Birthday Party! (or Wine Bar and Breakfast Bar)

This past Saturday was my birthday party and I have to say that it was one of the best birthday parties I’ve ever had in my life! Planning a birthday is stressful for me (worrying about if anyone will show up, if it costs money if people can afford it, hoping that everyone gets along) so while I love having a party I hate having to plan it. But I decided to go for something easy again this year and had a gathering at Bodega Wine Bar where I’ve had my birthday before.

I have to say, the staff at Bodega Wine Bar are amazing! I worked with one of their party coordinators and she was really easy to work with and didn’t require me to do too much. All we had to figure out was how many people would be there so we could figure out what reserved section would be best. I figured that maybe 10 people would be there and I loved the horseshoe section where my party was before so that was set up for me.

I set up a Facebook event for my birthday and about 7 people said they could make it, so I figured it would be a fun and relaxing hangout with my friends. And since it was my birthday, I decided to go with a really fun outfit and wore a tutu I got at Kiyonna a while ago (this picture is from the end of the party so I’m looking a bit wrinkled and my makeup and hair are not as done as they were at the beginning).

Birthday Outfit

A friend drove over to Bodega with me so I wouldn’t be there alone when I arrived. But it turned out some of my friends were already there! And by the time we sat down, even more people had arrived and we were starting to fill up our reserved section.

Usually with birthday parties like this, people arrive throughout the evening and there is a flow of people leaving and arriving throughout the evening. But this time, it seemed like almost everyone was there within the first 30 minutes! We quickly filled all the seats in our section at the bar and started to have to grab more chairs for everyone to sit down!

Most of the people at the party didn’t know the others who were there. But so many of them were people who I wanted to introduce to each other and everyone seemed to be getting alone and having a great time seeing the few people they knew and getting to know the people that they didn’t. Every so often, I just had to sit back and look at how awesome it was to have so many people there to celebrate my birthday and to watch everyone just having an awesome time!

And of course, we had to get a group picture with almost everyone who made it. The picture isn’t the best quality, but you can see that everyone is happy and it was an amazing turnout (I’m all the way in the back).


We had some food and drinks but mainly we were all just talking about the most random stuff (like Disneyland or podcasts) and everyone was joining in on the conversation and enjoying being around everyone else.

As we got closer to 10pm, most people were leaving (some had come in from the valley and they didn’t want to be out too late), but there were a few of us who weren’t ready to end the night yet. Then we remembered that Nighthawk Breakfast Bar (which closed down shortly after I went there) just reopened in Venice that week! So we got into our cars and drove over to Venice and hoped that we could get in so we could have some of their amazing food!

Fortunately, there was a table available when we got there and we were quickly seated and checking out the menu to see what we wanted to get.


My friend Elisa wasn’t able to get to Bodega but was able to join us at Nighthawk. And then I realized that the 4 of us (me, Elisa, Michelle, and Dani) who got the season tickets for Pantages for next season were all together for the first time ever! And not only that, Saturday marked exactly 1 year until we are going to be seeing “Hamilton” during opening weekend in our season! That is something to celebrate and we tried to get a photo to acknowledge that.


None of us really wanted to have drinks since we drank at Bodega, but we had to get some food for sure! Michelle and I have both been craving the Benedict Fries since we went to Nighthawk the first time. So of course we got those to share with everyone. And the last time we went we were tempted by the Tower of Bacon, but didn’t have room in our stomachs so we got that this time as well. The fries were better than they were before and the bacon was super delicious, but we wouldn’t have called the bacon a “tower”.

Tower of Bacon

We all enjoyed the food so much and it was the perfect way to end the evening! Even though Nighthawk was not the original plan, it worked out so well and I’m so glad we decided to make a stop there after Bodega! It really made my birthday so amazing and I had the best time!

I’m so grateful for my friends who were able to make it out to celebrate with me and for the ones who couldn’t make it but were celebrating virtually through texts and Facebook messages. I really had the best birthday ever and I’m hoping that this means that this year is going to be the best year ever as well!

Disneyland Bucket List (or One Last Visit Before The Summer Blackout)

I went to Disneyland on Monday with my friend June. She and I both have annual passes that are blacked out for the summer starting at the end of this week, so we wanted to get in one more Disney adventure before we can’t go back until the end of August.

We got down to the parks around 1pm (we both had workout classes that we went to in the morning), and we started things off right away.

Our first stop was at the Haunted Mansion. The Hatbox Ghost was recently brought back to the Haunted Mansion after disappearing soon after the ride opened in the 60’s. I hadn’t had a chance to see him yet, so I was beyond excited to check him out!

As we were getting close to his spot in the ride, I mentioned to June that it would be so amazing if the ride broke down or stopped right in front of him so we could check him out even longer. And about 3 feet before we got to him the ride did break! But it was just before we would have been able to see him, so our view was of the bride instead of the Hatbox Ghost.

Haunted Mansion

Once the ride got started again we finally saw the Hatbox Ghost, and he was totally worth it! I wish we could have ridden that ride over and over again, but we had more Disneyland things to get done.

Next was a stop to get my favorite treat: Dole Whips!

Dole Whip

It was the perfect refreshing treat on such a hot day and we were able to find a bench in the shade to relax on while we ate.

After our snack, it was time for another ride that was recently updated. The Matterhorn!


I don’t love the Matterhorn because of how bumpy it is and how it hurts my hips while riding it, but they just added a new animatronic on the ride and I had to see how it looked. I had seen some videos online so I had an idea of what to expect, but June hadn’t and she got a good scare on the ride. And since I decided not to put my hands up like usual, I was able to brace myself a bit better and only hurt a little after the ride.

After those two upgraded rides in Disneyland, we headed over to California Adventure to see the newly upgraded Soarin’ Over California. They had upgraded the screens and cleaned up the film (which desperately needed it). The upgraded ride looked very nice, but we did have a bit of a scare at the beginning of the ride. When the ride was moving up into the screen area, our seats jerked forward and we all had a little moment of panic. But the ride was smooth sailing after then.

After those 3 rides, we had checked off all the rides that we really wanted to do before we were blacked out for the summer. So we just did some fun rides after that. We checked out The Little Mermaid (mainly for the air conditioning) and then watched the Aladdin show (again for the air conditioning).

Aladdin Show

Our final ride for the day was Tower Of Terror. We tried to do a silly yawning photo this time and I think it came out pretty cute.

tower Of Terror

After those rides, we walked through Downtown Disney to the Disneyland Hotel for dinner. We got dinner somewhere where I’ve never gone before, Trader Sams!

Trader Sams

They don’t have a huge food menu, but I got a really delicious pork sandwich. June got a fun drink (that came with the zombie mug that she got to take home) but I was just drinking water.

After our fun dinner, we did a couple of silly things around the parks like take advantage of the fun photo ops.

Bear Photo Scaling Matterhorn

And take photos in front of the decorated castle.

Disneyland Castle

And finally a little bit of shopping. We found this ceramic Dole Whip and I knew I had to have it!

Ceramic Dole Whip

And since it was getting close to the fireworks time and there were a couple of spaces right in front of the castle, we decided to suck it up and wait about 2 hours for the new fireworks show.

We got a pretty awesome spot to watch from. Where we were, you were required to stay seated, so that was almost better than having to stand and watch (and hope that you aren’t behind a really tall person). The new show has lots of cool projections on different spots in the park like the castle, the Matterhorn mountain, Main Street, and It’s A Small World.

Lion King Fireworks

Sorry for the random Cast Member in my photos. He was there the entire time making sure that nobody stood up or went under the rope. The fireworks were a bit shorter than I expected, but I’m glad that we waited it out. I rarely do that and when I do, I usually am much farther back. So being almost right in front of the castle was a real treat for me!

It was also a great opportunity to take a castle picture at night with nobody behind me in the photo.

Diamond Celebration

After the fireworks, it was time for us to head home (I had to work the next morning). The funny thing was that it took us longer to walk from the fireworks spot, get a tram, and get to my car than it did for us to make the entire drive home!

And as soon as I got home, I found my Dole Whip a place in my living room to live.

Dole Whip In My House

Both June and I kept saying on the drive home how perfect this Disneyland day was. We got everything done that we wanted to and we really maximized the air conditioning opportunities and stayed out of the heat and sun for a good chunk of our time there.

I’m sad that I can’t go back until the end of August because of my blackout dates. Especially because the Peter Pan ride is supposed to open in a week! I have to wait it out for my time to go back. But June and I are already planning our return to Disneyland in August and hoping that it will be just as epic as this visit was!

Bar Food Hangout (or A Quick Friend Catch Up)

As I mentioned before on here, my friend Kate moved back up to Northern California for an awesome job. It sucked that she moved away, but I understand having to do something for a job that you love.

She finally got a new apartment and she had to come down to LA to get the rest of her stuff. The plan for me originally was to go and help her move things into a van after doing the 5K, but since I was in so much pain (and she had enough help), I decided to just join in for the dinner portion of the day.

I have to say that I totally forgot to take photos of my meal, so I’m sorry. But, as always, I ordered a Dirty Shirley. We also ordered some food for the table and I got some mac and cheese.

But the highlight of the evening wasn’t the good food, it was the good company. Kate’s boyfriend also made the trip down so it was great to get to chat with him some more. And everyone else at the table was someone who I had already met, so that was awesome as well. In fact, two of the girls at the table and I all got season tickets for the Pantages Theater together.

We were at Bar Food for several hours just chatting about everything and nothing at the same time. The food was all great, but I’m sad to say that the service kind of stunk. People who ordered non-alcoholic drinks were charged for alcoholic drinks (and the manager claimed that she put alcohol in them). We also had things we ordered not come to the table until we prompted the waitress and the wrong dessert was brought over to the table as well. And when it came time for the bill, the waitress made it so much more complicated than it needed to be.

I joked that the service was a sign that this was the end of the good times at Bar Food. I’m sure some of the other people will go again (since they live super close to it), but I think unless I’m doing something in that neighborhood I probably won’t be going back.

Now that Kate’s getting settled in her new apartment, I’m getting excited to visit her in the future. I’m not sure when I’ll be going up, but my summer is starting to get filled with fun weekend adventures so I hope I’ll be planning that soon.

Opening Night Party (or Getting To Be A Party Hostess)

Friday evening was the opening night for the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival. The party didn’t officially start until 8pm, so I worked my usual half shift that morning and made a last minute run to Staples for some supplies (I seemed to need a lot of office supplies this past weekend).

I got to Busby’s East (where the party and the screenings were held) super early so I could set up and make sure everything was in its place before any of the filmmakers got there. I was also crazy nervous because not only was this the first year I got to help run the festival, I was doing it without the other 2 co-directors who are usually there every year (they leave in New Orleans and couldn’t make the drive this year).

My awesome volunteers showed up 7:30 and they got to work on some of the last minute tasks that needed to be done for the festival (getting filmmakers checked in, cutting tickets, and collecting materials from the filmmakers).

I was feeling a bit panicky before the party started, but by 8:30, we had a nice crowd there and everyone was having a great time. In the past, I always worked the checkin table, but this year, since I was in charge, I had to make sure to walk around the entire time introducing myself to the filmmakers and their guests. All the filmmakers were so incredibly kind to me and they all seemed so excited to be screening their films (and to be screening in a room that had a private bar).

Everything really did run smoothly through the entire evening. The only minor issue we had was with other bar patrons trying to come into our room that was reserved for our group. There was a sign at the entryway of the room saying it was closed for a private party, but people kept coming in and asking if we really needed the room (I wanted the room to stay just for us so the filmmakers knew that all the people in the room were fellow filmmakers). I just kept asking those crashers to please wait until 10:30 when we no longer had the room reserved.

Before I knew it, it was 10pm and time for us to clean up. We had everything ready to go back into my car in a matter of minutes, so the volunteers and I decided to take advantage of the photo booth in the room we were using.


It was only $4 for the photos and it printed out 2 and gave us the option to email it as well (I emailed it to myself and then forwarded it on to the volunteers).

I was so relieved that the evening went well and everyone had fun. I was still very stressed out about the screenings the next day, but I knew that this event had gone as well as I could have hoped!

Hollywood Mixer (or Ms. In The Biz Is Almost Here!)

This week, Ms. In The Biz launched the sneak peek of the site. As I mentioned before, I’m a writer for the site (in fact, 2 of my articles are on there right now!).

To celebrate the sneak peek (and the official launch which is coming up soon), Ms. In The Biz partnered up with Film Break for a really great mixer event.

It was held at the Tropicana Bar at the Roosevelt in Hollywood. I’ve lived in LA for almost 12 years (my LA-nniversary is in August), and this was the very first time that I’ve been to the Roosevelt.

I got a bit lost in there, but I realized I entered from the back entrance (the one on Hollywood Blvd). But once I got out to the pool area, it was gorgeous!


We were right next to the pool, which was all lit up.


I got there on the early side (because I didn’t want to stay out late), and immediately ran into some friends and fellow Ms. In The Biz writers.

But it quickly got very crowded there, and I tried to keep finding places to mingle that weren’t full of people (I had a fear that somehow I’d get pushed into the pool in the crowd!).

Even with that set back, I met so many amazing creative people. And for the first time at a mixer event, I think being an actor was in the minority. I’m used to the LA Actors Tweetup where it seems like everyone is an actor (and that’s awesome). But at this event, I met directors, film critics, make up artists, sound mixers, and writers. It’s nice being around all these creative types that do different things than you!

Thank goodness for business cards because with all the noise, I didn’t quite get everyone’s name.

After being there about 2 hours, I decided it was time to head home so I could be up early the next morning to get errands done before work. Based on tweets and FB posts I’ve seen, the party went on quite a bit more! I’m a little sad I didn’t stay longer, but I know that I’d be miserable at work the next day if I didn’t get sleep!

If you haven’t already checked out the Ms. In The Biz site, please do! It’s an amazing project that I’m so proud to be a part of! Make sure to sure to sign up for the newsletter so you know when the new posts are up.

I believe there will be an official launch party for the site in the next month or so, and if it’s open to everyone, I’ll make sure to post the info on here!

LA Actors Tweetup (or My LA Family)

On Monday, after hearing about what happened in Boston, a lot of people I know wanted to spend time with their family. None of my family is very local (I couldn’t drive down to San Diego after working an 8 hour day and then needing to work the next day), so spending time with them wasn’t an option.

Fortunately, that night was the LA Actors Tweetup. I think I’ve mentioned the tweetup before, but it pretty much is just a fun group that gets together every month or so. Yes, most of us are actors and are on twitter, but everyone is welcome.

The tweetups starting back in 2010, and it was at a very weird point in my life. It was right after my friendship with my college best friend ended, and I kind of lost all my friends and social life when that happened. So I went to the tweetups very open to meeting new people and making new friends, and I’m so glad that I did! Some of my best friends now are people I’ve met through the tweetups!

So Monday, after my shift at work was over, I headed out to Busby’s East, where pretty much all the tweetups happen. I had a really great time  that nights, and it was exactly what I needed after reading everything that was going on in Boston.

I got to see Gedaly, who I’m pretty sure I met through the tweetups (sometimes it’s hard to remember!), who gave me some great advice about this blog and my actor website.


He’s actually checking out the blog in this picture.

I also got a chance to catch up with Ben, who is one of the creators of the tweetup event.


I stayed as late as I could, but I had to get home so I could get up early enough the next day do get everything I done that I needed to do before my work shift started (I already miss unemployment!). But Ben promised to wear my name tag to promote my twitter account after I left.


This was exactly what I needed to do on Monday night. Good friends, good conversation, and a lot of fun.

And if any of you are in the LA area and want to come to the next tweetup, check out the website. The tweetups are about every 6 weeks and the next one will be on June 3rd. I hope to see some readers there then!