5 Things Friday

Oh, what a long and stressful week it has been. I’m so happy to finally relax a bit. Here are my five things of the week:

gelato

I’ve had the nastiest sweet tooth lately. Seriously. I’ve never been too huge on sweets, I would rarely crave them. Now, I need them all the time. Recently the Boyf and I discovered a Neveux within a short walk from the house. Not only do they have crazy, unique flavors like Basil Olive Oil and Pepper Peach, but they have some of the best knock-you-in-your-face coffee around. If I ever need a boost that a simple cup of coffee won’t fix, I head straight to Neveux. My absolute favorite is the Salted Caramel affogatto. The flavors blend perfectly.

pug

This little guy. Earlier this week I was sitting on the Annenberg patio and someone sat down for a meeting right next to me with this sweet little pug. I’m not a massive fan of dogs (I’ve always been more of a cat person) but I had to get out of my seat and put him. His person said his name was Hugo and is super friendly. I didn’t realize until I was petting him, but he was missing an eye! I think owning Michael has made me a total softie for “broken” animals. I know, it sounds worse than it is, but I just want a collecting of special needs animals to spoil them rotten.

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5 Things Friday

Since yesterday was Thanksgiving, this post will be slightly different than my normal Friday posts.

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Michael got a milky treat on Thanksgiving.

In the past I’ve been a big complainer. It’s way easier to point out why I’m annoyed with things than why I enjoy things. I’ve been doing a bit of reflecting these past few months and part of the purpose of the 5 Things Friday series was to force myself to appreciate things just a bit more. Even if they’re only small things. Here are a few things I’m thankful for this year:

  • School: This is one that I can complain about until I turn blue in the face. Finals are next week and to say that I’m feeling overwhelmed would be a massive understatement. I’m frustrated with group assignments and uncomfortable with my own projects. See how easy it is to start complaining…? Either way, I’m thankful to be here. I worked my butt off to get into USC and I feel lucky to be able to go to graduate school. I love my classes and my professors and I can’t wait to see what next semester holds.
  • The Boyf: This past year has been one of the most challenging and trying, not just for me but for our relationship. He’s always been extremely supportive and he’s talked me off of the ledge so many times when I just wanted to throw my computer across the room and give up on school. I’m so thankful that I have him in my life and that we’re in a good place.
  • My Family: I have an extremely large family. Unfortunately, no one actually acts like a family. I have family out here in southern California that I’m pretty tight-knit with and I love that I’m finally nearby. Though I don’t get to see them nearly as much as I would like, I know that they’re never too far away. It’s a nice feeling.
  • Dear Sweet Michael Jackson: I’ve always known that I was bound to end up a crazy cat lady. It’s been in my blood since I was 4 and dressed as a cat for Halloween a good seven years in a row. I was doomed from the start. I couldn’t imagine my life without a pet and I’m glad I have this little dingbat to keep me company and snuggle with me on those extra tough days.

There it is. Things I love and things I’m thankful for. After this upcoming week I’ll have a full month off (WHAT?!) and I can get back to blogging a bit more.

Winter Pastels

I was browsing the new J.Crew catalog and absolutely fell in love with this:

ssx4sYmF8_Cklb5XWwY-YHdYANonyIFoo6mxWAIAwGfiOncs2_hN72MyV75g4PFpSH61JTGhSCQ=h540I love that it’s bright but simple at the same time. I’ve always been a fan of the mint trend but always stuck to a pair of mint jeans. Obsessing over this look has reignited my pastel obsession so I put together some pastel items that would be perfect for the winter season.

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Visions of Vodka

The Russian speaking community in West Hollywood is the largest population outside of New York City. We constantly hear Russian speaking families in the surrounding apartments and there are plenty of little Russian markets within walking distance. Being a lover of food the boyf was dying to try one of the nearby restaurants. traktir

This past week we decided on Traktir which is a little hole in the wall on Santa Monica Blvd. and Crescent Heights.  Of course no Russian experience is complete without vodka.

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Traktir infuses their own vodka which was super intriguing so we had to try it. We first tried the horseradish vodka which was served with a pickle chaser. I was expecting it to be extra spicy but it had a nice subtle flavor. We also tried the garlic and raspberry which were both nice and subtle. The raspberry was especially pleasant since it didn’t have that ultra sweet taste like a typical flavored vodka.

Last month I had the brilliant idea to make my own flavor infused vodka for holiday gifts. Since I’m on a college student budget I thought it was a great way to make something with a personal touch that could actually get some use around the holidays. After our experience at Traktir I can’t wait to plan my recipes.

I found a great recipe via Craftsy with a few flavor ideas and infusing times here. I think I’ll make a batch with savory flavors and a batch with sweet flavors.

Fortune Cookie Soap Winter 2013 Soap Box

It’s finally here! At this point it should not at all be shocking that I’m in love with Fortune Cookie Soap. The Soap Box is released quarterly and has a sampling of products from the upcoming seasonal release. It’s $19.99 but it also includes a $10 code to use on a future order. Score! The theme for their winter box and collection is The Nightmare Before Christmas and I’ve been dying for this box ever since they announced it a few months ago. Not only do I love this subscription and all of the creative new scents from FCS, but I adore anything Nightmare related. Here’s the first look:

firstlook

infocard

Fortune Cookie Soap always includes a nice little product description card and this month the code was printed directly on the card. I love this since I’ve saved all of my cards from previous boxes and I think the boyf has accidentally thrown out a code thinking it was trash. Now I know there’s not a chance I’ll misplace it.

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Birchbox: November 2013

I’ve been a Birchbox subscriber for almost three years now. Actually, next month will make it exactly three years. Even though I’m not always completely thrilled with the contents of my box, for $10 a month it’s such a great way to try new products. I’m also completely in love with anything miniature sized.

November’s theme is “More Good” which is an entire month dedicated to bringing more good into your life. For the entire month of November Birchbox is dedicating a portion of the proceeds form the Birchbox Shop to No Kid Hungry, an organization that works to end childhood hunger.

birchbox  moregood

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5 Things I’m Loving This Week

Following in the footsteps of many other bloggers, I decided to make a quick ‘5 Things’ post. It’s also to remind myself of the simple pleasures that keep me smiling throughout the week. Here are 5 things I’m totally into right now:

LeafPile

I added a new Fortune Cookie Soap to my soap dish. I absolutely love this company, obsessed is more like it. Their scents are completely unique and they’re constantly releasing fun new collections. The owners are completely engaged with their followers on social media and I love the feeling of actually being connected to the company.

This cookie is from their fall collection. It’s called Leeeaaf Piiiile! and it smells like apple and acorns. I’ve never been fantastic at being able to differentiate scents, but it smells so fresh and lovely. I can’t wait to get the matching body butter.

campussquirrel

Oh, the darling little campus squirrels. I’m fortunate to go to a school with a consistently green and leafy campus. On my way to class I generally see about 7-8 squirrels. I know, I know, it’s just a squirrel, but they’re so adorable. I clearly didn’t see enough wildlife in my childhood because I want to feed them snacks and run after them with open arms. This little guy was hanging out on that tree and squeaking at me so I snapped his photo.

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Feeling Like a B+ in a Type A World

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I never considered myself to be a slacker. I never considered myself to be a perfectionist either. I was a hard worker and I was always proud of my work. Back in Albuquerque when I realized that I wanted to try working in sports I emailed the marketing department, set up an informational interview and was invited to intern at that interview. The next summer I wanted to move up and work for our Triple-A baseball team. I filled out an application, went for an interview and was hired that same day. I realize now that I was extremely fortunate to have things just fall into place.

That isn’t how things work in L.A., or in real life. There are hundreds of students that are just as, or even more qualified. All of those great little qualifiers that used to end up on a resume (driven, hardworking, detail oriented, etc.) go without saying and they’re all fighting for the same coveted spot you are. The competition is fierce and it’s intimidating.

I’m applying for internships for the first time since I’ve been in L.A. and in graduate school and my mind is full of doubt, excitement, insecurities and anticipation. Why haven’t I heard anything? When will I hear back? What if I don’t get a call from anyone? How am I setting myself apart? When will that magical-rainbows-unicorns-and-perfection internship finally come to me? I wish I knew. Until then I have to keep reminding myself:

  • Be patient: Seriously. Just wait. If the application deadline isn’t for another month, chances are they haven’t looked at your resume yet. If it’s three weeks past the deadline– it may be reasonable to think it isn’t going to happen.
  • Be confident: There is that magical-rainbows-unicorns-and-fluffy-kittens place for everyone. I’ll find my place. Someone will want me and it’ll be great.
  • Make connections: A friend of mine just scored a fantastic internship with a company because she set up an informational interview with a panelist at an event on campus. She was invited in to shadow for a day and it happened just like that. I sent a request for an informational interview to a person at a place I would love to work for. Two weeks later–nothing. Sometimes things just don’t happen. Sometimes they do. Take a chance.

I need to keep reminding myself that things will work out. They really will. It’s not time to worry and even if it is, it’s not the end of the world. One thing at a time. I still have a semester to finish.

Also, there’s this thing I’m trying out: optimism. So far, it feels good.

Sunday Snacks

Today the boyf and I decided to walk over to the Melrose Trading Post hoping to find some fun vintage things to decorate our barren apartment. Though our treasure hunt was unsuccessful, I found myself tempted by an ice cream sandwich truck on the way out.

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Cool Haus‘ fun menu.

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I chose red velvet cookies and Tahitian vanilla ice cream. I was also extremely excited by the fact that I could eat the little wrapper.

We wandered down Melrose to find some food and ended up stopping in at Village Idiot for brunch.

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Love these coffee mugs.

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I opted for the Yank breakfast and the boyf had the traditional English breakfast.

The girls sitting to my left ordered some sort of beer cocktail that looked so intriguing I went ahead and ordered one for myself.

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It’s called a Michelada. It’s chili paste, lime and a Pacifico. It was like a light, refreshing bloody mary. I was hoping it would have more of a kick to it since I like a spicy drink, but it was perfect considering it was so warm out today.