Tag Archives: fun

15 Years Later (or Reflections On LA)

About 15 years ago, I moved to LA. My move was actually pretty easy as I was coming to LA to go to college at LMU. It was a pretty traditional move to college, I just didn’t know then that it would be pretty much my forever move from Northern CA to Southern CA.

I still remember moving down here with some really fun memories. My parents drove their car and my best friend Kate and I were in my car. My parents car was pretty much filled with everything that I was moving down with me. I’m sure I had way too much stuff (and honestly I don’t think anything is still with me that I moved down here 15 years ago), but at the time I thought I needed it all.

Packed Car

Since we were in separate cars, we needed a way to make sure we didn’t get too far apart from each other during the drive. Even though we all had cell phones at the time, we decided that we needed to have walkie-talkies in the cars. Kate and I had a lot of fun with those, but I still wonder why we had them.

When I moved to LMU, it was a pretty easy transition. I didn’t know anyone but I made a bunch of friends in my dorm and in my classes as everyone was pretty much in the same boat as me. I lived on campus during my freshman and sophomore year and I had a sublet in an apartment during the summer between (my winter break trip home was the longest I’ve been home since I moved here 15 years ago).

I had my own apartment my junior year and shared an apartment with my friend Marcus during my senior semester (because of summer school classes I took, I only had 1 semester of a senior year). I was in that senior year apartment for almost 6 years until I moved into the house that I’m in now. I’ve pretty much lived in a 5 mile radius since I got here, so there are places that I discovered when I was 18 that I still go to now.

I think as soon as I came back after my winter break freshman year, I knew I was meant to stay in LA. It felt like home right away to me and I’ve never regretted the decision. It’s so crazy to think that in 3 years, I will have lived in LA as long as I lived in my parents’ house in Northern CA.

In that car ride down here 15 years ago, I knew that awesome things were in store for me in LA. But there was no way for me to know then that I was finding what would become my home and I would have so many amazing opportunities and adventures here. But that excitement of moving down here has stuck with me throughout the years.

I still have “pinch me” moments where I have to wonder how I get to be so lucky. I have times where I joke that if I had known in high school that these things would happen to me in my 30’s that I wouldn’t have cared so much about all the silly things that bothered me in high school. I don’t live a perfect life (it’s pretty far from perfect), but it’s still so awesome to me and I have so many things every day that I’m grateful for.

I know that not everybody lives in the same place as long as I have. Lots of people went away for college and either moved back to where they were from or to another city after college. I’m lucky that my college move happened to be my move to my dream city. It made my transition from my hometown to LA so much easier and I think that is part of the reason why I love it here so much.

Here’s to my first 15 years in LA and here’s to whatever incredible adventures will come in the next 15 years! I could never imagined this life 15 years ago, so I’m not even going to try to guess where I could be in another 15 years!

My First Cinespia Experience (or Watching “Speed” In A Cemetery)

I’ve lived in LA for almost 15 years now, so I feel like I’ve done a lot of the things that people love to do in LA. I go to the Pantages, I go to the Bowl, I go to the beach, and I go to the mountains. I go to a lot of movie screenings (mainly thanks to my union) and I get to do a lot of fun adventures quite a bit! Most of the time when I see lists of the top things to do in LA, I’ve done all of them. But there was one thing that it seems like everyone does that I hadn’t done until this past weekend: Cinespia screenings.

Cinespia organizes some pretty amazing movie screenings, but I never had gone to one before. I believe they have screenings throughout the year, but their most popular ones are the summer ones at the Hollywood Forever cemetery. I’ve actually driven past the cemetery on screening nights and seen the huge crowds there lined up to get into the cemetery. It seemed a bit overwhelming but fun at the same time.

So when my friend Erin asked me if I wanted to join her and some friends to a screening of the movie “Speed” at Hollywood Forever cemetery this past weekend and I figured this was a perfect opportunity to check out what the screenings are all about. I got my ticket online and got some picnic stuff together for Saturday’s fun.

I got to the cemetery a little more than an hour before we could go inside. There was a big line in front where you wait before you have your tickets checked, and one of Erin’s friends had gotten there early and got us a good space. So I met up with everyone and we sat down and waiting for the gates to open so we could go inside.

Once we got inside, I really didn’t know what to expect. A couple of people went ahead to claim a good spot for us to put our blankets down at, but I walked a bit slower with some of the other stragglers. I wanted to check out the cemetery plus I was carrying a bunch of stuff and couldn’t go that quickly.

The cemetery was pretty cool, but so many of the headstones had headshots or photos on them and I thought that was a bit different. I don’t have a ton of experience being in cemeteries, but from the few I’ve been in I don’t remember so many photos of people on their graves. But it was still interesting to look at and some of the people buried there were buried a very long time ago.

Once we walked around the cemetery we got to where the screening was going to take place. We got a pretty good place to put our stuff down and once we got all the blankets out a couple of us went wandering around. The cemetery is pretty beautiful so I’m glad we got to explore a bit.

Hollywood Forever

We went looking around at the various graves to see who was buried there. There are quite a few famous people who are buried there, but the first “celebrity” marker that caught our eyes was the one for Toto.

Toto

We also saw Mickey Rooney and Hitchcock, but I didn’t get pictures of those. And as we were walking back toward where the screening was happening, we saw the photo setup they had for the movie. We were all hoping it would be some sort of bus, but it was a bus stop and I think we got a pretty amazing photo as a group.

Cinespia

At the end of the night (after the credits of the movie aired) they put a couple of the photos up on the big screen to show off and our photo was one of maybe 10 that they chose to do that with. I don’t know if that means we were one of the top 10 photos of the night, but we felt pretty special.

Once the photos were done, it was starting to get dark so we headed back to our blankets to get settled in before the movie started.

Movie Time

We also all brought some food with us to share, so we were eating while we waited for 9pm which is when the movie was supposed to start (I brought the feta dip I make for Thanksgiving).

Once the movie started, it was pretty exciting. We had an ok view of the movie (the people in the chairs in front of us blocked our view a bit) but I have seen “Speed” so many times that I was ok not having a perfect view.

Speed

The crowd was very energetic and it was so exciting to watch a movie this way. At the screenings I usually go to, people are quiet and trying to be respectful. This screening had people cheering and yelling at the screen and it was so much fun!

The only negative to me (besides having a partially blocked view) was my lack of preparation to be there. I brought a nice beach blanket with me and I thought that would be fine. But I wish I had brought something to lean against or one of the camping seats that are on the ground but have a back to them. I was getting a bit locked up in my hips and toward the end of the night I was starting to be in a decent amount of pain. But since I had never been to a screening like this before, I didn’t know what to expect and now I’m more prepared.

I’m so glad that Erin invited me to join her for this screening! It was such a fun night out and while I don’t know if I’ll make it to another screening this summer I’m totally going to do this again!

A Busy Summer (or Realizing I Have A Lot To Look Forward Too)

While summer is definitely here now (I’m so grateful for my a/c because it’s been pretty hot here in LA lately!), I haven’t really thought too much about my summer plans. Summer doesn’t really mean as much now as it did as a kid, but I still think of it as the time I want to make some really fun plans and try to get out and do summer things like go to the beach or hang out with my friends at a BBQ.

I’ve been adding things to my calendar as I hear about them (or get tickets to them as it is the case with the Hollywood Bowl), but I haven’t really thought that I had a ton of stuff planned yet. In fact, I was thinking that I needed to look into more things that I want to do. It just didn’t seem like I had a lot planned out and I figured I would have lots of gaps in my calendar that I would want to fill up.

Then I looked at my calendar.

For the next 6 weeks, I don’t have a free weekend. Each weekend is booked with some pretty cool things. Sometimes I’m going to a show. Some days I have a party I’m going to. There are a couple of meals with friends already on my schedule. I’ve got my short film shoot one weekend. I’m going to a blogging conference one weekend (although my time there is going to end up being very limited so I won’t get to experience it all). And I’m going back east for a weekend for a family reunion (some of the family there I haven’t seen in 16 years!). Then of course there are some weekends that are already booked with work (not counting my usual Saturday morning shifts).

It’s a lot of stuff to do and that’s just getting me to August! In August, I’ve got my birthday to figure out and I’ll be going to San Diego to celebrate with my parents for their anniversary and my birthday. But that month is relatively clear for now but I know there are a couple of shows at the Hollywood Bowl that I’m hoping to go to that I haven’t gotten my tickets for yet.

I think I’ve really set myself up for a great summer. I will be extremely busy and I’m sure at times I might get a bit overwhelmed at my schedule, but I’m happy that I’ve got so much to look forward to instead of feeling like the summer weekends are going to drag on.

Of course, after the beginning of September my calendar pretty much only has my work and workouts scheduled (plus my season ticket dates for the upcoming season at Pantages) so I know I’ll need to plan some fun things for the fall too. I’m already working on one trip I’m hoping to take in October (thanks to some airline credits I have to use up before the end of the year) and of course I have Thanksgiving in the fall too.

I feel like this is the first summer that I’ve really been looking forward to in a while. Summers lost some of their specialness after I was out of school and working meant there wasn’t a big chunk of time off (unless I was unemployed). In the past, it was just time that I was going to keep working and I knew I’d have to deal with the heat in creative ways. Now, I’ve set myself up to have as much fun as I can while still working 3-4 day jobs. I don’t think I could have done it any better.

Dog DNA Test (or Tucker Is A Real Mix!)

A little while ago, I had won a dog DNA test from a contest online. I mentioned to my parents I had won it, but I forgot about it for a while. But finally, a package arrived at my dog with the Wisdom Panel test! I shipped it off to my parents so they could test Tucker!

I had been saying for years that I wanted to do a DNA test on our dogs. The dog my family had while I was growing up, Rascal, was a purebred Carin Terrier (we got the papers saying that when we adopted her) so she was never a mystery to us. But when we got Dante, we only knew about his mom (she was a German Shepherd/Border Collie mix). We never knew what his dad was but since he looked pretty much like a German Shepherd and Border Collie, we just said that was what he was. I wanted to get him DNA tested, but it wasn’t cheap to do and my parents didn’t want to waste the money.

When we got Tucker, the only information the foster mom knew about him (and his brother Chaucer) was that the mom was a Shepherd mix. Since the dogs were rescued from a dog hoarder, there was no way to find out what dog was the dad. And we don’t know if anyone knew more about his mom either.

Again, I started to bug my parents to get him DNA tested. They didn’t want to because they didn’t want to find out something scary about his breed mix and they thought it was still an expensive thing to do. Every so often, I’d say we should do the dog DNA testing and every time my parents would say they don’t need to do it.

So when I won the test, I was so happy! Finally we could find out what breeds Tucker is a mix of! According to my parents, it was a pretty easy test to do. They just had to swab his cheek and then put it into a container and ship it to Wisdom Panel. The results are supposed to come back within 3 weeks, but we got ours back much soon!

DNA Results

While Wisdom Panel tests for about 200 breeds, sometimes they can’t figure out exactly what breeds are in a mix. That’s why you see the “Mixed Breed” on one side. But I love that we got a breakdown for his parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents!

We are assuming that the side with all the breeds figured out is his mom’s side since that is the side with the Shepherd on it. We had all assumed for a while that Tucker was a Shepherd/Lab mix, but we didn’t know what else he could be. We had been making random guesses for a while, but none of us were right!

Now looking at the DNA test, I never would have guessed Rottweiler or Boxer but it totally makes sense looking at him. He’s got the Rottweiler head and a Boxer smile. Not sure what dog breed has the giant teeth he has, but I think his big teeth are a charming part of his smile.

Tucker Smile

I don’t know where the Akita part of him is, but I totally can see how Chaucer was part Akita with how he was just a huge bundle of fluff! And none of the breeds in his mix are dogs with long legs, but in his mix breeds that couldn’t be determined there are some dogs with long legs (like Poodles and Weimaraner). And Tucker’s got some of the longest legs of any dog I’ve ever seen and he can get into the weirdest positions with them.

Long Legs Tucker

No matter what breeds the dog DNA test was going to come back with, that can’t change the total lovable goofball that Tucker is. No background on him can change his personality, but it is really fun to know what breeds his mix is. Also, my parents can finally give better answers when they get stopped on walks or hikes and people want to know what type of dog he is (that happens all the time).

While the DNA test was a lot of fun, I’m glad I won it so we could test Tucker. And after I won the test, I looked it up to see how much it would have cost to buy it. It turns out it’s not too expensive! On Amazon, you can get it for about $70. So if you’ve got a mixed breed dog that you’d like to find out their heritage, I highly recommend getting the test and seeing what the results are!

BTW, I was not paid by Wisdom Panel for this review. I randomly won the test and was so happy about what we found out that I wanted to share it with you all. My review is all of my opinion and I was not influenced in any way to write my review.

Bachelorette Adventures (or 24 Hours In San Diego)

After all the other adventures I had done recently, one of the final adventures for my February was going to my friend Rayshell’s bachelorette party! While I had been super excited about this for a while, I was a bit stressed with all my other scheduling things I had to work with. But the closer we got to the weekend, the more excited and less stressed I got. By the time it was time to go, I couldn’t wait!

The bachelorette party was in San Diego and was from Friday night until Sunday morning. Because of my workout schedule, meeting my sister-in-law for dinner, and rush hour traffic; I made the decision not to drive down on Friday night. I wouldn’t be getting there until after midnight so I figured it would be best to drive down on Saturday morning. But since I was driving down on Saturday instead of Friday, I was able to drive down with another friend also going to the bachelorette party! She had offered to drive (which I was so grateful for!) and I was the navigator. Between some random traffic and a big freeway closure, it took a little longer than expected. But we were still in San Diego at noon on Saturday.

Rayshell’s maid of honor had found an amazing house for us to stay in while we were there. There were a ton of rooms and couches for everyone to crash on. The only downside was that you had to walk up about 2 flights of stairs to get to the front door and then another flight of stairs inside to get to the main part of the house. It was a good workout, but my hips didn’t love it. I limited how many times I walked up and down so it wasn’t too horrible.

After we arrived, there was a bit of time to get some food and relax for a minute before we headed out for our first adventure of the party. Rayshell really wanted to try out an escape room and they found one that wasn’t too far from the house we rented for the weekend. The escape room we had was a zombie theme and we had to unlock various locks to find an antidote and the code to get out of the door in under an hour. With me being claustrophobic and having issues with fainting when things jump out at me (which is ironic since I worked at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios for 3 years), I asked the employees there if I would be fine. They told me that it never gets dark inside the locked room and while there is a zombie inside the room, you always see her and there are no startle scares. So I figured it would be fine for me to be inside and I went in with the rest of the group (we had arranged for the escape room to just be for us, but typically they will add in other groups to fill the room).

In the first part of the escape room, we had to get a code to get into the main room. We had figured out that it had to do with the numbers on the periodic table. So I was leaning over to read the numbers so we could figure out the answer when the sheet on a table right in front of me started moving and making noise (I think it was supposed to be a fake dead body). I honestly freaked out. It was pretty horrible. I didn’t faint (I’m still surprised that I didn’t), but I almost fell to my knees and I burst into tears. It wasn’t my best moment and I’m not proud that it happened, but it was my honest reaction to being scared like that.

Rayshell wanted me to leave after then, but I told her that I could calm down and the employee inside the room saw how freaked out I was and told me that in the other room there wasn’t anything like that to scare me. I wish that the employee that I had asked before going in the room had warned me about that. I asked him afterward why he hadn’t, and he didn’t think it would scare me since it was fake.

After my freak out, I focused on how I could help get us out of the room. I found some locks that needed to be unlocked and focused on opening those. I worked on solving equations and other things and pretty much stayed in one section of the room where nothing scared me and the actress playing the zombie couldn’t get me (if you were tagged you had to stand off to the side in “quarantine” for a couple of minutes before you could join back in).

In the end, we didn’t get out of the room. We opened a lot of the locks we needed to and even had the code to get out of the door. But because we didn’t get one thing unlocked, we couldn’t get to the keys that unlocked the cabinet that had the antidote we needed to win the escape room. But it doesn’t matter that we didn’t win, we all had a really great time (not counting my freak out time).

Escape Room

After the escape room, we headed back to the house to relax before getting ready for dinner. We ended up on the rooftop deck playing Cards Against Humanity. We got to enjoy a gorgeous sunset and had so much fun playing the game.

Cards Against Humanity

Next we all got ready to go to dinner and we all gave Rayshell the lingerie gifts that we got her (that was the plan for all of our gifts). And of course, we had to get some pictures with the bachelorette before we went out!

Levin Sandwich

We went to dinner in Little Italy at Trattoria Fantastica and had a table on the patio (they had a heat lamp so it was nice out there).

Bachelorette Group

We got some wine for the table and everyone was able to find something yummy to eat, even with the dietary restrictions people might have (they even had gluten-free pasta!). I got short rib pasta and it was really great (I also ate it all since that was really my first real meal of the day)!

Dinner

After we all got full on pasta (and for some people, drinks), we headed out to the Altitude Sky Lounge which is on the 22nd floor of a hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter. I’m not a nightclub/lounge person, but even I was in love with the view that we saw up there!

San Diego

Some of the girls had fun dancing, but a couple of us who aren’t really dancing people found a couch that overlooked the view and had a heat lamp above us (not everyone was dressed totally weather appropriate because we wanted to look cute). We also enjoyed sitting on the couch watching the craziness going on around us. There was one couple that we were mesmerized watching. The best way to describe it was that the guy was pretty much dancing like how we would imagine a monkey would dancing and was hard not to watch. When the bouncers walked over our way and ended up blocking the view, one of the girls asked the bouncers to move because we were watching them dance. Even the bouncers were mesmerized watching them and totally got why we wanted a clear view to enjoy the show.

The next stop for the night was another club for more dancing. But 4 of us were feeling pretty tired and not up to dancing so we split up and some went out and the rest went back to the house. I’m glad I left when I did because when I was going back up the stairs to the house, my hip decided to go out and I couldn’t get it to stop hurting. So after chatting with the other 3 girls who left early with me, we all got ready to go to bed and went to sleep. Even though there were beds downstairs I could sleep in, I couldn’t get down the stairs with my hip so I ended up sleeping on a couch (it wasn’t so bad).

Sunday morning everyone kind of got up around the same time. Most of the girls were going to go out for breakfast, but the friend I drove with and I wanted to leave by 9am because we wanted to beat the traffic and I had the Oscar party to get to! So we said goodbye to everyone and headed back to LA.

It was a crazy quick trip (we left LA at 9am Saturday and got back 11am Sunday), but it was full of so much fun stuff and awesome adventures! I really haven’t been to San Diego outside of family stuff, so it was great to explore the city with some friends and doing things that aren’t usually what I get to do down there.

The bachelorette party was the last event leading up to Rayshell’s wedding. I’m hoping that she and I can hang out for a happy hour before her wedding (we are overdue for one), but I’m really looking forward to the wedding. I know it’s going to be gorgeous and it’s another opportunity for me to celebrate my amazing friend!

A Dinner Hangout (or Seeing My Sister-In-Law in LA)

Even though my schedule the past week was crazy (I haven’t even covered the craziness of my past weekend), I still tried to have fun when I could. So when my sister-in-law Krystle sent me a text saying that she was going to me in LA on Friday, I knew I had to hang out with her! Since she and my brother moved to Santa Barbara, she and I haven’t really hung out in LA too much. She’s come over to my house for a quick visit, but it’s usually just a stop on their drive back from San Diego.

While I couldn’t hang out with Krystle and Ross while they were exploring LA (I was working then), I was able to join Krystle for dinner after she dropped my brother off at a friend’s house and before she and a friend went to a concert.

Since she was dropping my brother off in Brentwood, it worked out really well for me. I was working out at Orangetheory at 4pm, so we made plans to get dinner around 5:30/6. As soon as my workout was done, I showered and changed there (they have really nice shower facilities but I usually go home to shower after class). We were meeting for dinner at a burger place across the street from Orangetheory. But because Orangetheory is valet parking (we get 90 minutes for free), I moved my car across the street to cheaper parking.

I had never been to Barneys Hamburgers before, but I usually don’t hang out in Brentwood. I just go there for my workout and then go home. But this place seemed really cute and the menu seemed awesome when I looked online, so I was excited to check it out.

Krystle and her friend had gotten a table before I arrived, but they only beat me by a few minutes. Of course, she and I tried to catch up right away. But since they had a concert to go to, we knew we needed to order food first so they could leave on time.

I was a bit overwhelmed by the menu at first, and I didn’t want to eat anything too crazy since I had just worked out. But then I realized that it was ok to splurge a bit and found a couple of burgers that looked pretty awesome to me. I figured I’d have to go back another time soon to try another burger, so I chose one that looked good but not too crazy. It had cheese, bacon, and BBQ sauce on it. It wasn’t the healthiest thing on the menu, but it was far from the worst. We also ordered truffle fries for the table (even though Krystle doesn’t like truffle fries, her friend and I do so I’m grateful that she let us get something to share even if it isn’t her favorite).

Post Workout Burger

The burger was really great! I don’t eat burgers like most people do. I tend to take the top off of it and then cut into it with a fork and knife. It’s a weird habit that I’ve had for a while, but it works for me and it keeps me from getting hamburger from falling out of the bun and onto my clothes.

While we were eating, Krystle was telling me about some upcoming trips that she and my brother are taking and how her wedding planning business is going. I’ll be seeing her in Santa Barbara next month when I’m there for Rayshell’s wedding, so we also talked about what we want to do while I’m there (my parents are going to be in Santa Barbara then too so it will be lots of family time).

We also got to talk a bit about the next trip that she and I take together. We though it would be a fun weekend in Las Vegas, but life got in the way and if we are going to do that it will have to wait until the fall or winter because we don’t want to be there in the heat of the summer. But this coming winter is when we also thought we’d go back to New York, so we have to decide which trip we want to take. Either one will be awesome and I’m super excited to get to spend more time with Krystle soon on an adventure.

We only got to hang out at dinner for about an hour before Krystle and her friend had to leave to get to the concert. Even though it was a fast hangout, it was seriously so much fun! I hope that Krystle can come down to LA every so often so she and I can do stuff here. There’s so much fun stuff in LA that she hasn’t done, so I’m hoping she can join me when I find out about a cool event.

After I said goodbye to Krystle and her friend, I headed home to get ready for my crazy weekend. But more on that in tomorrow’s post…

A Summer Of Movies (or Grateful For Union Membership)

While TV is the medium that I dream of working in, I love going to see movies. A couple of years ago when I was out of work (before I started this blog), I would try to watch at least one movie a week. Most of the time it was something I got from Netflix since I didn’t have money coming in. But seeing a movie at home is still better than no movies at all.

For a while, I wasn’t seeing movies that often. Money is part of the reason, but I’m not really sure why I stopped. Movies make me happy and they should be a part of my life when I can go.

Since becoming a member of SAG-AFTRA, I have more opportunities to see movies for free. Most of the free movies are around the holidays and into the new year because they are screenings for the SAG Awards (I have to see movies to be able to vote on them). I’m also getting more opportunities to see movies through Women in Film.

But for the past few years I’ve paid to be a part of the SAG-AFTRA Film Society. Between the membership into the society and the parking pass I pay for, it costs me about $200 a year to be a part of the film society. And in the past, I’ve tried to see as many movies as I can. The more movies I see, the better value the membership each year is.

This past weekend was the opening weekend for Film Society (the season runs May-March/April). And I decided to go and see both movies.

The movies that screened last weekend were “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” and “Mad Max: Fury Road”. Both movies screened in 3D and for both movies I brought a guest (all movies through Film Society allow me to bring a plus one). So with just this first weekend, I’ve already gotten about $60 value out of my membership (based on the idea that a 3D movie ticket costs $15).

I really enjoyed both movies. Neither are movies that I probably would have picked on my own. But both movies came highly recommended by friends so I decided to give them a chance.

I found it really interesting that while they were both action filled movies, Avengers was CGI based and Mad Max had practical effects (very few effects were done with CGI). It’s fun to see how the actors are able to react to effects that are really happening versus effects that get added in after the actors complete their part. Neither was better than the other, it was just different.

Now that I’ve got my Film Society membership started up again, I’m going to limit how many movies I will pay to see. I was happy to pay to see “Pitch Perfect 2” since I was going with a group. But I am spoiled because I have a tough time justifying paying for movies when I might get to see a screening for free or when they will eventually be on Netflix. But with this summer having a ton of movies I want to see, I might have to spent a bit on movies over the next few months. I usually don’t know what I get to see through Film Society until a week or two in advance, so I’m going to have to wait to see how many movies on my wish list will be included.

I’m really excited to see all the amazing movies this summer and making sure that I continue to keep myself happy by going as often as I can.

TIU Beach Morning (or Sunscreen Failure)

This past Sunday was the Tone It Up Regional Meeting for Southern California. There was going to be women from LA to San Diego coming to hang out at the event and I knew that I wanted to be there.

I carpooled with a couple of other LA ladies to the event which was held in Newport (about an hour away). The location where the event was going to be held was awesome and it was a gorgeous day!

Newport Beach

The plan for the event was pretty simple. There was going to be a 5K run/walk followed by brunch. And everyone brought their own meals, so brunch was going to be pretty casual.

The car I was in was actually the first group there, but pretty quickly other ladies were arriving. I knew a couple of people from some of other events I’ve done with TIU, but most of them were new to me. It was really awesome getting to meet so many other women who are dedicated to eating better and working out. It was so inspiring.

When the 5K started, I stepped away. I had woken up with a bad hip day and didn’t want to risk more pain. So while everyone else did the run/walk, I walked up and down the beach. I got about a mile of walking done before the pain was getting too bad, but that’s better than nothing. Plus, I got to watch everyone cross the finish line!

After the 5K, people started to settle down in various areas to eat the food that they brought with them.

Potluck

I had brought a banana, peanut butter, a rice cake, and a protein bar; but I wasn’t feeling hungry at all. So I just hung out and caught up with some of the women who did the 5K with me recently.

Of course, before anyone was allowed to leave, we had to take a group picture. In the event invite we were all asked to wear black bottoms and pink tops if we had them. Most of us did and we looked pretty coordinated as a group.

TIU LA, OC, SD

The drive home was pretty quick (Sunday mornings don’t usually have too bad of traffic) and when I got home I changed in to some junky clothes so I could do my laundry.

Only when I changed did I realize that my skin looked like this.

Sunburn

Before getting dressed, I had covered myself head to toe in SPF 70. But I guess either it rubbed off of my clothes or some other sort of sunscreen failure happened. Since taking that picture my sunburn seems to have gotten worse. My chest is even redder and my forehead and nose are pretty burnt too.

I hate getting sunburnt. I’m so good about wearing sunscreen and everything, but my skin just doesn’t like the sun. I know that maybe I should have worn a hat, but that wouldn’t have protected my chest. And maybe I should have reapplied the sunscreen a few times, but I don’t usually reapply within 4 hours unless I’ve been in the water (which I didn’t do).

So now I’m spending time helping my skin recover. I’m trying something new because I’m out of aloe. I’m using coconut oil on my skin to help keep it moisturized. I used it the night of the sunburn and while I’m skin red now, it is helping bring down some of the redness and the itchiness of my skin. So hopefully in a few days, my skin will look normal again.

Even with the bad sunburn, I’m so happy that I was able to make it to the meetup. Every time I meet up with women through Tone It Up I get more and more inspired. They are all such a supportive community and I’m lucky to have them in my life!

A Quick Day On Set (or Pretending To Be Warm When It’s Freezing Out)

Yesterday I was filming a commercial. I can’t say what it’s for, but I can tell you that I was in the background and you probably won’t see me in the final cut. But it was still an awesome day (any day on set is pretty much guaranteed to be an awesome day).

It was a very early start for me. I had to be on set at 7am and the location was just over an hour away from my house. So I left around 5:30am (and woke up at 5am). The drive was fine. There was no traffic at that time and I had a bunch of podcasts that I wanted to catch up on. The only problem was the high winds so my car felt like it was shaking a lot.

When I got to set, it was freezing. Literally.

IMG_2296

Fortunately, I brought some of my winter clothes with me to keep me warm. I have a down puffy coat that is still a bit to small to zip up, but I wore that with a scarf and gloves and stayed pretty warm.

The commercial is supposed to be set in the summer, so my wardrobe was a short sleeved shirt. I brought my coat out with me to wear between takes, but when the camera was rolling I had to hide the coat and tough it out in my t-shirt.

It was hard to not shiver when I wasn’t wearing my coat. I was really cold. It never got that much warmer during the day (when I left the temperature was only up to 32). But I tried to think warm thoughts and focus on having fun.

The day was really short. We were all done by 1pm. So I got back in my car and started the drive back home. Again, there was very little traffic so I made it home pretty quickly.

As soon as I got home, I took a nap. I needed it! And I ended up sleeping for a couple of hours (so my attempt to make it for the second half of my shift at work didn’t happen).

It was an easy and quick day, and I had a great time working in front of the camera. I loved that I got to finish out 2013 by working on set on another great project. Hopefully 2014 will bring me more opportunities like this!

Happy Thanksgiving (or Hope You Are Spending Time With Those You Love)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I’m at my parents’ house spending time with my family (all 4 generations of us). Yesterday, we went to my cousin’s ultrasound and found out she’s having a boy!

This is going to be a short post because I’m trying to help out with the table settings and the food.

I just wanted to say how thankful I am to have all of you reading and joining me on my journey!

Now time to google now long we need to cook the turkey! 😉