why i love runyon canyon

Posted: July 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: art, LA | Tags: , , | No Comments »

When one thinks about the benefits of living in Hollywood, access to the great outdoors isn’t usually a chart topper. But it is. One of my favorite things about living where we live (don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that this is my ideal place to live), is the fact that we have so many great hiking trails nearby. One in particular is within walking distance from our apartment – Runyon Canyon. It isn’t as heavy in wilderness as say, Griffith Park or some of the Palisades/Malibu hiking trails, but it gets the job done and like I said before – IT’S WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE.


This weekend Julian and I took a leisurely stroll up the easier side of the trail and I was reminded of a few of my favorite things about Runyon.

1. The dogs. This is a popular hike for people with dogs, because Runyon Canyon is a notorious “leash-free” zone. Oogling the cute dogs and petting the friendly-looking ones is half the fun for me when we come up.

2. You will always see someone you know. Without fail, I see someone I know at Runyon every single time I go there. This time, we saw two couples we know – Alex and Dawn and Joe and Christie (and their energetic pup, LV). I worked with Alex and Joe at SocialVibe and hadn’t seen them in months. It was awesome, even if we were kind of sweaty.

3. Free stuff. You can get all kinds of free stuff at Runyon and I’m not just talking about fliers. Take for example the free yoga classes in the grassy, shaded part of the hills. I’ve never done it before, and from what I’ve heard it is pretty much what you’d expect from free yoga, but hey – IT’S FREE, and compared to the $16 a class rates in LA, that is amazing. Yesterday, O.N.E. reps were handing out free coconut water. Mmm – I’ll take it!

4. The view from the top. When we started our hike, it was cloudy and cold. By the time we reached the top, we had passed the fog line and it was bright, sunny, breezy and gorgeous. The view of LA from the top is hardly the best you can get in LA, but it is still nice to look down on all the madness (and smog) from a peaceful, quiet vantage point.

5. The way you feel afterward. As painful as it can be to climb those stairs in the blazing sun, there is no denying it is absolutely worth it once you’re on your way down and feeling the breeze coming up the hill. The hard part is over and you can really enjoy numbers 1-4. Plus, you’ve got that awesome “just-worked-out” glow/energy going on, one of my favorite things in life.

The way Runyon is laid out is perfect too, there are two trails, one that is a bit more hardcore than the other. Either way, you get about 5 minutes of warm up walking, 10 to 15 minutes of grueling climbing (depending on how slow you go), and 10-15 minutes of downhill walking (which is more of a workout than you’d think). There are also a ton of celebrities that walk their dogs up in Runyon – if you’re into that sort of thing. And sometimes, there is art.


If there is one thing I am sure about, it’s that I don’t get outside and work out enough. Next time I hear myself coming up with excuses why I shouldn’t take the time to walk up to Runyon and bust a move up the hill, I’m gonna read this post.

five senses fri…..saturday.

Posted: July 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: life | No Comments »

Today is Saturday, but that won’t stop me from playing miss Abby’s ‘five senses friday.’ Here’s what my senses are remembering about this week.



The cracked front of my iPhone. TIME FOR AN UPGRADE ALREADY.


My mediocre attempts at green smoothies. Need to be more liquidy. Also, mashed potatoes made with cream cheese and onions. Soooo good.


The construction workers at 8am working in one of the studios behind our house. And Imogen Heap.


The new rugs in our living room and bedroom. Soft and fuzzy and totally better than the cold hardwood floor.


Julian’s cologne stinking up the bathroom after he gets ready. Just kidding, you know I love it!!

Weee! What about you? Post in the comments or on your own blog.

jellyfish? jelly fish

Posted: July 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: fashion, funny, love | 1 Comment »

Today is extra awesome, for a few reasons.

1. The sun is FINALLY shining!
2. The grilled cheese truck came.
3. It’s Friday.
4. Nike licensed Julian’s Techno Jeep song to use at the World Cup tonight.
5. I’m wearing a t-shirt that I drew myself.

Nothing classier than posing in a cubicle. Heyyy!

I’m sure people at work think I’m a total weirdo, but the shirt actually means something. It’s from one of J’s recent videos called Jellyfish. You see, he designs t-shirts for several of his popular videos. Because I am such a phenomenal artist, he asked me to draw a jelly jar and a fishie for this one. Before you rag on my illustration skills, I’d like to point out that he asked me to draw them “messy.” If you’ve known me long, you know I LOVE to draw. It’s what got me through grade school. This is the first day, however, that I’ve worn a shirt that had something I drew on it…. pretty sweeeet!

Side note, the fit of this t-shirt is amazing. I was kind of peeved that District Lines only sold the shirt in American Apparel men’s sizes, but I ordered an XS anyway. To my surprise, it fits GREAT. I think I am going to have to buy a few more of these, because they are that incredible! It’s long and narrow, the sleeves aren’t too big, and the V isn’t too deep. It’s comfortable and perfect.

Want to be twins with me? You can get your own jellyfish shirt here. It also comes in black, pink and yellow (I picked the colors).

Funny story for any of Julian’s fans who may be reading this: he filmed the ACTUAL jellyfish footage while we were being tourists at the East Berlin Zoo. He spent about half an hour trying to capture this beautiful image (I’m probably exaggerating, but not much), but at the time, it was not beautiful, it was annoying and I wanted to go look at the rest of the aquarium. So I left him and walked around the rest of the floor without him. HAHA!!! Ok, it’s not as funny as I thought it would be – but I still thought you might like to know the great lengths he goes to so these videos are perfect for you guys.

perhaps the funniest thing ever

Posted: July 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: cats, funny | Tags: , | No Comments »

Are you in the mood for a laugh?* Take a look at this. It’s quite possibly the most hilarious thing I’ve seen on the internet all year! After you recover from your fits of laughter you’ll probably be asking yourself why that sounds so familiar. It’s because the artist is the same guy behind that old spider email. You know, this one.

What a funny guy!

EDIT: Sorry for the broken link! I guess the link was taken down… try it now!

*If you said no, I feel really sorry for you.

things i love thursday

Posted: July 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: things i love thursday | Tags: | 1 Comment »

Hello out there! It’s still really gloomy here, but with so many wonderful things happening lately, it’s hard to let it get me down. Especially when you have a handsome, kind husband, a super fun job, two fuzzy and silly cats and a family the size of Congress (give or take a few – we both come from families of six siblings) in the picture. Here’s what’s lighting up my life this week.

love this

Things I Love Thursday

- Firstly, I am very excited about having my very first post up on 100 Layer Cake! This was my favorite source of inspiration during wedding planning, so it is really surreal and awesome to be helping them out.

- goodreads. I’m a couple years late on this, but I just joined and I’m very excited about having one place to organize my reading lists, get book reviews, etc. I’m a big reading nerd, so this is my kind of social network.

- eBay. I have officially re-fallen in love. It’s been a while since I’ve spent any real amount of time on the site, but I had nearly forgotten how wonderful a tool it is to find quality items at bargain prices. I have at least 10 Saved Searches right now. This brings me to my next point…

- Decorating the apartment. This is a big one. For years I’ve had grand plans to decorate my apartment to the point where I am not embarrassed to have company. You see, up until a couple of months ago, I didn’t even have a complete set of wine glasses (we actually drank wine out of mugs during one dinner party – CLASSY!) Now that I’m all good and married, I’m having so much fun focusing on dreaming up new ways to bring life into our apartment. We’re both total homebodies and rarely go out, so having a space that is comfortable, relaxing, peaceful and inspiring is very important to us, especially since Julian works from home! Just this week I ordered a KitchenAid mixer (more function than style, but still amazing), two Pottery Barn rugs, a new coffee table and a new set of sheets. I have big plans.

very obsessed

Littles: days off from everything | reading on the couch with the balcony doors open | when my Julian monster sleeps in with me (in this case, sleeping in means not getting up at the crack of dawn because he was up working past 2am) | loose side ponytails and loose braids…. I missed having long hair | when my mom sends me handmade quilts | long phone chats with my other mom | texts from my little brother, 4 days late and full of typos | booking trips back home for fall – we’ll be in Virginia the first weekend of Oct and I’m SO looking forward to it! | Virgin America’s mega sales | dinners out with our favorite neighbors Clay & Molly on the fourth of July | watching the waves crash on the rocks in Malibu while eating dinner and drinking reaaaaally tasty frozen beverages. | making mashed potatoes in my new KitchenAid mixer | seeing the girls rolling around on our new rugs, and hearing Julian talk about getting “anti-cat” spray to keep them from scratching them up. anti-cat. really. | making my first green smoothie this morning. bring on the health! | the fact that the grilled cheese truck will be at MySpace tomorrow… hallelujah. | my sister in law’s things i love thursday | writing recipes on recipe cards | old ladies who count out their change at the cash register, unless I’m behind them and in a hurry | days when the Bristol Farms salad bar is good | minivans with rims – more power to you, buddy! | pools | arcade fire | chick flicks | kitty paws | rediscovering shuffle on my iPod. my first iPod was a shuffle, funny how it all comes full circle | fruit snacks, and fruit roll-ups! | sailboats | east coast beaches | the way Scout lays on my tummy when I’m laying on the couch, everytime | the way Pepper talks to the birds | CatPaint app | bikers who think they look cool but really their underwear is showing – and not in a cool way | when my handwriting is IDENTICAL to my mother’s… so weird | driving home from Malibu and seeing all the many other firework shows along the coast/throughout the city | sleeping in TWO days in a row this long weekend! like REALLY sleeping in! | the pink quilt my great-grandmother made me when I was a babe, I still use it all the time | the awesome fan mail Julian gets, people send in the neatest drawings/paintings/paper dolls of him and the characters in his sketches., FOOD (non-perishables), and best of all, drawings and clay figurines of Scout. it blows my mind every time he comes home from the post office | “Scout looks like a cloudy day. and Pepper looks like a storm!” | Julian. yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever. |

Vertical garden.

Now it’s your turn! Go!

windowsill flowers in wine bottle vases

Posted: July 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: cats, home | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Remember a week or so ago when I mentioned how I loved the flowers in wine bottle vases on my kitchen windowsill? Well, my in-house photographer finally got around to taking photos of said gorgeousness. The good news is, the flower food I sprinkled in each bottle has managed to keep the flowers alive and happy EVEN TO THIS VERY DAY. Talk about magic dust!

Here are some of the photos, which I recommend clicking on (twice) to see the full size image.

BEAUTIFUL, right? And yet they are shamefully upstaged by this stunning glamour shot of my Scout:

P.S. We had an earthquake in the middle of my uploading these photos. Dontcha just love living in California?

what makes the world go round

Posted: July 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: money, work | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

I’ve got a video for you guys. Watch the entire thing. Not just because the illustrations are pretty mesmerizing, but because the ideas are very interesting and dare I say… world changing? The topic is motivation – what motivates people? Money, right? We love money!! We’ll do anything for money!! It pays our bills, buys us shiny things (sometimes before we even have the money), makes us sublimely happy. NOT. According to the studies explained below, we aren’t as scum-sucking as we thought we were. People just want to make an impact and do cool stuff.

Watch & learn:

bits & pieces: july 7, 2010

Posted: July 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: bits & pieces | Tags: | 1 Comment »

I’ve had a bit of a cloudy disposition these past couple days because the sun has decided to boycott Los Angeles, despite it being July and us saying “sayonara!” to June gloom days ago. What’s up with that?! I am all for a bit of cloudy weather, when the time is right, but right now I’m in need of some serious rays of sunshine. To help brighten YOUR day, here are a few fun things I’ve found this week. Happy Hump Day!

Images by Martin Venezky, found on KN.

Goodwill’s new calculator tool shows you just how far your donation will go.

letter to employees from Woot CEO regarding acquisition by Amazon – I love how playful and honest it is.

Insanely beautiful fall North Carolina wedding. I love the East coast!!

My favorite movie as a teenager, IT, is getting remade. Proceed with the criticism, odd-looks and snide remarks (I’m talking about my poor movie taste, but of course the movie is fair game as well).

Catalog Living. It’s like Days of our Lives and Pottery Barn had a baby.

Rainbowssss! by Leah Rosenberg. Not the official name of the collection, btw. But this is, officially, the prettiest cake ever:

Some more words to live by.

I love this collapsible cocktail tray table. Yes, I’m having another love affair with Overstock.

Super chic office decor. My fave is the hanging globes.

More inconspicuous video game graffiti!

How dainty and delicate are these ruffled sheets? I promise, not as ugly as they sound. I love!

These rosette pillow shams are also really sweet, but it looks like something that could easily be DIYed. Any takers?

Observations of spending based on income. Sad to see how much “General Shopping” goes up whilst “Charity” stays about even, until people reach super high income levels (and probably start to feel guilty.)

Sarah Jessica Parker’s house in the Hamptons

The 5 Healthiest Summer Cocktails

Old letter from Marlon Brando to Michael Jackson

Titanic is getting the 3D treatment for the 100th anniversary of the tragedy. Definitely going!

Makeup inspiration. If only I could pull off that color lipstick.

Gorgeous blue curtains that cost only $22 and take 20 min to make (granted you own a sewing machine… which I don’t)

Check your email once a day? That would be nice. This guy has some pretty valid points. Also of interest: How to Avoid Scaling Your Life Overhead With Your Income.

Decorating with Apothecary Jars!

Especially love the soap idea!

And now for something truly terrifying.

How did I miss this:

God bless people who get this excited… even if they may be tripping on something:

And because it wouldn’t be the internet in 2010 without a techno remix:

happy fourth of july, my friends

Posted: July 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: holidays | Tags: , , | No Comments »

america the beautiful

Wooo hoo! Freeeeedooooom! As a descendant of a family that crossed onto American soil back in 1630 aboard the Mary & John, I am proud to call myself as American as it gets. Except perhaps for the Native Americans, but let’s not get off track here. THUS, I feel the need to embrace the elaborate celebrations each and every fourth of July. Being in LA, I am terribly sad to miss my family’s annual fireworks party at the beach house in Easton, Maryland, but we’ll make do out here by checking out some of what Malibu has to offer tonight. Aside from that, we plan on observing the Sabbath in full effect (save for me making a blueberry pie). Off to a good start so far, as I just woke up from sleeping eleven hours. Didn’t know I could still do that.

Here are some things I hope YOUR fourth of July celebration is filled with:

So much laughter
Corn on the cob
Hot dogs
Potato salad
An obnoxiously decorated American flag cake
Pie, pie, pie
Happy little sweaty children
Cold drinks
A pool or a beach
Cleverly worded “Proud to be an American” t-shirts
Big, BOLD, Beautiful fireworks!!!

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! I was going to try and make you a Fourth of July playlist, but I just didn’t have time. So enjoy this for now!

inspiration: closet walls and interiors

Posted: July 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: fashion, home | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

I’ve never really been one for decorating the inside of my closet, but thanks to the internet and blogs that specifically highlight closet decor, I’m recognizing the potential of my own walk-in at home. This photo below has especially stuck with me – I love the soft chandelier light and the framed Jackie O poster on the wall for inspiration. The shelves aren’t that fabulous, but what a great idea it is to have photos hanging in your closet to inspire you as you get dressed each morning. If that were hanging on my wall, I’d be wearing a lot less jeans, that’s for sure.

everything fabulous

So what WOULD I be wearing? This picture makes me swoon, for starters:

flimsy pastels

P.S. Still really, really loving Pinterest, which reminded me about this photo. 2 invites left if you want em, just leave your email in the comments or shoot me a line (if you can find my email, muahaha).

More awesome closet interiors:

his & hers

hallway closet

attic closet