Monday, November 28, 2011

The Only Kind of Cheddar I Love

And it begins: Cheddar decides my lap is the comfiest spot.

Autumn, the calm little calico girl who likes to share the bed when possible.

No Cheddars were harmed in the making of this photograph. Goofball posed like this all on his own under my bicycle!

I get ready to say goodbye to my little foster baby. 

I'm hours away from heading to the airport for my trip to London and Dublin but while my stomach is in knots and I'm worrying about anything I've forgotten or how I can squish another pair of shoes in my too-small suitcase, I'm also missing Cheddar and Autumn, the foster kitties Mark and I somehow ended up with in our too-small apartment for about two months. When we got them, they were tiny. I'm serious-they looked like little kitty aliens with their giant eyes, wobbly legs, and lack of personality and I figured that since I am not particularly crazy about orange and calico cats I'd be fine caring for them and letting them go. Yeah right. That all changed as I got to see their personalities emerge (and the more Cheddar decided we were going to be buddies), and when Saturday morning I took them back to Sante d'Or, the awesome animal rescue where I volunteer, I wanted to bawl (so I did a little bit last night, whatever). These goofy little lovebugs will thankfully be going home together since they are bonded, and who ever gets them better be as balls to the wall awesome as they are! If you live in LA and need a little extra love in your life please consider this wonderful pair.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mini Meal Woman

I'm a major snack ho. I'd much rather each a bunch of snacks throughout the day than have proper, sit down, meals. Lately I've been obsessed with both goat cheese and figs. I am probably one of the only people out there that really doesn't care about cheese one way or the other (I, gasp, even think soy cheese is okay so long as it's melted), but the creamy tang of goat cheese is the perfect foil for my annoyingly insatiable sweet tooth and compliment to the veggies like spinach and beets which I love. As for the figs, I had a fig tree growing up and my dad couldn't have paid me to eat one, so who knows where that one has come from. Either way, thankfully the two go perfectly together and after picking up some Feral Honey from local LA bees (take that, allergies!) at  The Village Bakery in Atwater Village, I've been treating myself to a snack that's akin to a simple summer picnic in my mouth. I spread goat cheese on crackers and top with either the honey or this ridiculously tasty fig jam from Girl and the Fig that I picked up at the Cheese Store of Silverlake. Next time I'm out I will pick up some nice peppery, dry salami to take it over the edge.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fonuts According To A Real Nut

A few months ago the former pastry chef of Jose Andres's Bazaar opened up Fonuts, a shop devoted to baked donuts. While the reception has been lukewarm at best, with most people annoyed at the idea of selling round pieces of cake as donuts, I am willing to try anything simultaneously sweet and cutesy. What can I say? Sometimes even if  don't believe the hype, I reaaally want to anyway. Besides, tempted by the holiday flavors of pumpkin and gingerbread, I was willing to risk disappointment for the sake of sugary comforts.

The gluten free pumpkin was delicious. Seriously, the moistness of the cake coupled with just a touch of overtly sweet glaze, the spiciness, and the fact that it was devoid of wheat flour, made it something worth coming back for and a delicious morning treat with some strong coffee. Sadly, there was no gingerbread on the day so I went with salted caramel. Mistake! The salt suffered from the stickiness of the caramel and mostly stuck to the bag it was packaged in. But even the salty-sweet combo couldn't have saved this sad donut imposter. The cake itself was incredibly dry and sort of spongy, with the caramel weirdly textured. It reminded me of childhood experiences back in the day when my mom would buy a box of hideous Kosher for Passover cake mix for the sedar dessert and the result was something even a sugar-crazed kid wouldn't touch. Not sure how that's even possible, but after one bite I was ready to chuck it in the bin. There seems to be a real inconsistency in the cakes here (some of the donuts are half the size of others but still upwards of $3? Bitch, please) and unfortunately, it leaves me feeling like Fonut is a bit bipolar rather than just acting like something it's not. So would I still be willing to risk it on gingerbread? Well...I did say I'm a nut, didn't I?

Ist photo courtesy CurveWire

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Decor From the Parlor Room Days

Gold tone bamboo detailed casserole dish by Hall.

Crystal table lamps by Leviton that would be perfect on matching nightstands.
Royal blue velvet bench for the end of a bed. 

This mirrored dresser is actually far prettier in person, without the antiqued mirror effect the photo suggests.

Brass pineapple figure that doubles as a bell (for back in the days when it was customary to have help?)

While I've always been a fan, I'm particularly loving the Hollywood Regency style at the moment. Lacquer, lucite, nailhead trim, tufted fabrics, bamboo detailing, brass figurines, and mirrors galore make for a glamorous (if bordering right on the edge of tacky) look that is so deliciously girly and decadent. My apartment is currently looking more like a junkyard than a sophisticated glamazon's parlor, but thanks to resale sites like 1st Dibs, Etsy, and eBay there's hope for the future.

1, 2, 3,4, 5

Monday, November 14, 2011

Can We Talk About Harajuku Mini For A Sec?

Gwen Stefani. She's bordering on annoying most of the time but homegirl undeniably has style. And her line for Target is so perfect, because the things that make me roll my eyes at her are things that are perfect when done in kid version. I like a lot of what she puts out in her L.A.M.B. line but the prices are simply not realistic for me; I managed to snag a few pieces when it first came out, but those days are long gone. So while I wish she'd made some things for us extra-large children, I'll take what I can get. The designs feature a level of detail that's hard to come by in diffusion lines like these, and extends so far as to have puffy burger tags on the baby clothes. How can you not love a cranky looking lion with a hair pick in his mane or a plaid dress that's bound to make your little girl look like she's a mini Vivienne Westwood creation? Yes, this is another post about kids clothes written by someone without kids.

Yet More Things I Will Always Be Obsessed With

Some of my favorites: The Dresden, Red Lion Tavern, Madonna Inn, El Carmen, The Standard Downtown, Bar Lubitsch, etc. 

This jar is getting full fast...

My Japanese treasures. Kawaiiiiiii!

I'm not a pyromaniac or a smoker but I cannot get enough of matchbooks. My great-grandma collected them and I have saved them from my own travels and adventures since I was about 20 years old. They are wonderful little pieces of art, often quirky, and a fun way to track my favorite haunts and destinations. I only save ones from places I've been to but have some ancient ones from a stockpile in Mark's grandparents' house-while I can't imagine a day when Smokey the Bear approved of a National Park putting out matches, they had the Yosemite-issued ones to prove it. Obviously times are a-changin' and matches are harder to come by; when I was in Japan last year I found the world's cutest matches but they didn't come from a hotel, restaurant, or bar. They were in the gift shop of Tokyo's Tobacco and Salt Museum (which is run by a tobacco company and which I went to specifically for these matches-kitty paws and bunny faces people!). I didn't find any matches anywhere else, though. Thankfully, Los Angeles is still replete with places that use them as advertising. Hurrah!

Kitschy Baked Goods.
 Bake Lab cupcake kit turned decor. 

How to keep greedy hands off of your cookies.

I rarely bake, because if I did I'd weigh 500 lbs. but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the science and art that goes into the process. Because I am a planner and am always thinking about the make-believe time when I'll need to bake or have someone to feed my treats to, I do have a few baking supplies, and you know they are not the type of shit you'd find at Williams-Sonoma. I bought this cupcake kit because it was adorable, but until I need deer-studded mini cakes with fabric flags sticking out of them, I let them serve as decor in the kitchen and get some use out of this little cheese cloche I found on Etsy. The ABC cookie cutters are perfect for making gingerbread men and for making their eaters laugh.

 My first pair of heels, Marc by Marc Jacobs snagged on sale and still one of my faves.

Nude Footwear patent and ruffle suede beauties.

Crazy Marc Jacobs shoes I got on eBay. Believe if or not they are pretty comfy. 

If you told me a few years ago that this would make the list, I would have laughed at you. I am still a flats girl-when I'm running errands, I just want to get them over with, not worry about having to add emergency room to the list when I break my ankle. But in the evenings I'm reluctant to go out without heels. I feel like I'm a normal height for once and it's sort of amazing to be able to see people eye to eye. The higher the better! Plus, I love being able to wear shoes that are playful-there are so many ways to re-imagine the heel shape, or if you are crazy like me, wear a pair with backward heels.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Black and Tan

The past few days here in LA have been alternately rainy and cloudy. I'm not complaining-it's the perfect opportunity to bust out my furry leopard coat, which happens to go very nicely with my new metallic gold polka dot ballet flats from Zara (thanks mommy)!

The Kitten Covers

What is better than good music? Good music and kittens! The Kitten Covers tumblr page takes iconic album covers and re-imagines them with kittens. Best idea ever. Or at least best that I've seen today.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Merry Happy Whatever

Growing up Jewish but with a mom who converted from Christianity (with her own mom and grandma who wanted to bake their grandchildren gingerbread men, buy them stocking stuffers, and show them how to drape tinsel on a tree), I have always celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas. It was definitely great in terms of fun and presents, but stressful because my dad was uber-paranoid my brother and I would get "confused" and forget we were Jewish. If only he knew I didn't believe in the message of either religion and only care about the traditions...

When I moved out on my own for the first time a month before the holiday season, I wanted to show how mature and together I was by sending out holiday cards. Because apparently I'm an old lady like that. But which holiday? I'm not looking to offend peeps when all I'm trying to do is tell them I care about them, so to keep things simple I go the P.C. season's greeting/peace on earth route, focusing on the design of my cards and the messages I write inside rather than on which holiday each recipient is actually celebrating. And let's be honest-I don't really know enough people to buy a pack for each holiday anyway.

Rifle Paper Co. card

Monday, November 7, 2011

Brrrring on the Winterwear

On Sunday I worked on a film for twelve hours starting at 7:30am, mostly outdoors all the way up in Valencia while it rained-like all day and evening long. My toesies all but fell off from frostbite and there was nothing so pleasurable as the hot shower I jumped into immediately after getting home. I followed that up today by rolling in to shoot for Glee at 7am. Needless to say, while writing this at 5:30pm I'm ready to go to bed! But more importantly, I had a real wake up call as to the sorry state of my winter accessories. I'm the dummy you see walking around in the rain wearing soggy ballet flats and the same fake, faded pashmina scarf I bought in London for 5 quid six years ago. With a trip to Europe around the corner, it's definitely time to start thinking about some updates!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reminder: You Can Do Eeeeet!

Are you by any chance one of those people who beats yourself up regularly? I sure am. Whether it's my body, my intellect, my tendency to freak out over the smallest things, or whatever, it's easy to be self-critical. That is unless, conversely, you're one of those people who has your head up your own bum and still thinks your ish don't stink. It's been a tough year for me emotionally; I've let things overwhelm me, make me less fun, less happy, and I actually started this here ol' bloggy to help pull me out of the funk. Now that it's November and the year is coming to a close I'm starting to see the light at the end of my personal tunnel of stress. Once this semester of school is over I will just have one class left before graduating, and will have so much more time then to job hunt, do the crappy bill-paying background acting work that's keeping me afloat, overhaul the apartment, and-gulp-even get back to the exercise I have totally abandoned this year. I feel like I'm (unfortunately) the type of person who really needs catalysts to make major changes and this year has been a huge wake up call in terms of my expectations, my weaknesses, and learning to follow Mark's mantra for me of 'take it one thing at a time.' It feels extremely fortuitous that my amazeballs trip to London and Dublin will start during my last week of this semester, so that once I get back emotionally recharged I will have the time to build on that progress. I highly doubt I'll wake up feeling magically wonderful any time soon, but I'm trying to spend more of my days reminding myself to live life with the spirit of the photo above!

Photo of Alexa Chung for Madewell.