los angeles

What I'm Into Wednesday - LA is in Retrograde

Ok, so some of you who are tuned into the more spiritual side of things (and Instagram) might know this already, but Mercury is in retrograde from now until the end of the year. Yay. (That's sarcasm.)

Mercury in retrograde lends the universe to feeling a little more chaotic. Technology tends to quit working like it should. Communication definitely breaks down. And you have more of those "WTF are people doing/thinking" moments.

BUT Mercury in retrograde is also a great time for things like creativity, dreaming, brainstorming, and creating in general. So there's that.

Last Thursday I took a day trip to LA and man, was Mercury felt. It started with a plan going completely awry thanks to the serious (and crazy) wildfires and the day ended with me showing up to take a yoga class (that I was super excited about) at Wanderlust Hollywood - only to find out they had cancelled all of that afternoon/evening's classes to hold an event (without emailing or telling anyone - major communication breakdown). 

All of that being said. I still managed to have a great day in LA - so here are some of my favorites. 

SEE

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One of the things I wanted to do on this trip was go on a mini architecture tour. Little known fact, I wanted to be an architect for a very long time and I have a small fascination with architecture. So when I realized that there was a Frank Lloyd Wright house in the middle of a park in LA that I had never been to, that went on the list. And that quickly led me to wanting to visit one of his son's houses as well. 

I made my way to Barnsdall Park and got to see the Hollyhock House. Even thought it is fenced off and currently being renovated - it was beautiful. 

From there I took a drive into the Los Feliz hills to search out the Ennis House. This one is much tougher to get to. The drive is windy, narrow, and steep - and surrounded with beautiful, giant mansions the whole way (so fun to look at) and then you turn this corner and BAM the Ennis House is staring out at you. It literally took my breath away. There wasn't a great way to park and get a better look (you could if you walked or biked) but man, was that drive worth it.

Lastly, I sought out the Sowden House (by Lloyd Wright - Frank's son). This was literally on a normal street. You could park and walk right up to the gate.

This whole architecture adventure reinvigorated my love for architecture itself. Now accepting applications of other cool places to see. 

DO

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The major win and surprise of the day came in the form of beautiful gardens at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. In my quest for cool architecture, I came across Greystone and was stoked to discover that the surrounding landscape and gardens are open to the public (even though the mansion itself isn't). It was the perfect oasis in the middle of LA. A beautiful, large open space with gardens, fountains, statues, a koi pond and so many small hidden paths. Beautiful views of both the house and the city were aplenty - and on a Thursday afternoon it was almost empty. 

Do yourself a favor and go. It was so perfect and peaceful. 

SMELL

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The other part of my day trip excitement was food (duh) and one of the main stops on my list was the newly opened Eataly. A few things - 1. I totally forgot I've been to the Eataly in Boston (I'm an idiot). 2. I definitely didn't know Eataly in LA was in a mall - until I had to park there. 3. Wow. Overwhelming.

The Eataly in Boston was set up so much more smartly - spread out, easy to navigate, easy to meander through. I felt like Eataly LA was kind of the opposite. Tall ceilings but a warehouse-y feel that was loud, crowded, and difficult to take your time moving through. It felt rushed and like people were impatient. So I guess it felt like LA.

Either way, it's a fun experience if you do go. And yes, some of the food is amazing.

TASTE

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SALT AND STRAW. SALT AND STRAW. They saved my evening after finding out the yoga class was cancelled. I took myself over to the location on Larchmont and indulged. 

Their December flavors are ridiculous - peppermint hot cocoa, a grapefruit eggnog, gingerbread cookie dough, and apple brandy pecan pie to name a few. The clear winner was apple brandy pecan pie. And to my surprise (and delight) they still had sweet potato casserole on the menu from Thanksgiving!

Also to my delight - the lovely guy told me that the Little Italy San Diego location should be open BEFORE CHRISTMAS! There is a Santa after all.

HEAR

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Long drives call for good podcasts. It was tough to pick just one... but this week goes out to:

Radiolab for their episode titled Super Cool.

I won't ruin it for you. Just listen. 

What I'm Into Wednesday - The Fuck Yeah Edition

Life ebbs and flows. There's an undeniable ride that it takes you on - from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows and all of the mini stops in between. Whether I'm at the top of looking up from the bottom, I'm always searching for and utilizing ways to stay mentally engaged, in the game, and motivated.

This week is dedicated to the tried and true and new and amazing things I've found that keep me moving towards being the best version of myself.

xoxo

LP

DO/FEEL

This week is more of a feel, a sensory experience, than an action or activity. There's a clothing brand called good hYOUman. They're stuff is Made in America, is SO SOFT, and has some of the best design. My personal fav? An old tank that says "Hustle: never stop, ever". It's a great boost and reminder. 

SEE

A few months ago I read You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. I thought it was hilarious, poignant, motivating, and really, really spot on. So I was excited to see she wrote another book. You Are A Badass At Making Money released recently and I jumped right on it. We all have such unique, complicated, and frankly fucked up viewpoints of money. How much is enough? How much is too much? What does money do to people? Is it okay to want more money? Does that make us bad people? And in reality, money is a necessity. It isn't evil. Or good. We choose how we use it and how we let it influence our lives. But we need it. And wanting it isn't inherently bad. So cheers to abundance - and not feeling weird about it. 

TASTE

I try to shy away from being too vocal about my dietary choices because I believe each person should make their own choices based on their own bodies and nobody likes to be made to feel shitty about the decision they make. For the purpose of sharing this info, it is important to note that I've been dairy and gluten free for about a month (and it's going well for me). But I desperately miss donuts. Luckily, my friend Amanda discovered the amazing Coronado's Gluten Free Pantry which sets up shop weekly at the North Park Farmer's Market (on Thursdays). Last week we meandered up and tried out the strawberry vanilla donuts. YES YES YES. Donuts inspire me to happiness. 

SMELL

Y'all know all about my obsession with Saje essential oils, but this smell comes from another brand: Pharmaca. I don't personally buy them but the lovely ladies at Buddhi Yoga have the studio stocked. This week I tried Pure Joy. It was the right amount of floral meets earthy to be just perfect for a Monday boost for the week!

HEAR

Watching You Breathe by Jacoo. Rhythmic, sexy, soft, and great lyrics. All the wins. 

 

What I'm Into Wednesday - The LA Edition

Work-life balance is something that I am constantly toying with. When your work and your life overlap in almost every single way, is there a balance? Should there be a balance? Does there need to be a balance? Or can they overlap?

I think they can safely overlap, and consistently overlap, but that taking a break from actively thinking about work is important. 

After all, leading an inspired life is what leads to inspired work. 

So last Thursday my friend Amanda and I took a #daycation to LA. LA is a town that is so close, yet so far away. Just far enough that I tend to forget that it exists. This trip was the perfect reminder that La-La-Land truly is nearby and, when done right, is a gem.

So this week's post is dedicated to LA!

xoxo

LP

Do

Hike Griffith Park. Our first stop of the day was Griffith Park, LA's greenest, and most fun, urban trail playground. Our intention was to hike with Amanda's cousin-in-law (yes, that's a thing) up to the Griffith Observatory, which has one of my favorite views of LA of all time. Buuuut we weren't moving that fast. So we opted for pausing most of the way up to take a selfie video of us with the Hollywood sign on one side and then spinning around to showcase the Observatory on the other. Either way, it felt touristy and it was awesome. I know I've said this a few times already on this blog, but the rain in Southern California is doing magical things. The park was beautiful!

Taste

Tofu Banh Mi tacos at Tacos Tu Madre. We bolted down the trail (almost landing on a snake, whoops!) and bee-lined for lunch. Stephen brought us back to one of my favorite neighborhoods, Los Feliz, for tacos at Tacos Tu Madre. They were so good! My personal favorite? The Tofu Banh Mi. It was unbelievably delicious and I could have eaten three more of them. But we were in a rush to escape to...

Smell

Get a scrub and massage and bathe at the Korean Spa. The Korean Spa! We went to Olympic Spa in Koreatown. This is something I've wanted to do for ages and I can't explain how excited I was. You ditch your shoes and clothes in a locker, throw on a robe (for a little while), and make your way to the showers. Rinse off and then a whole bevy of options are yours! Dry sauna, steam sauna, Himalayan salt sauna, mineral bath, hot tub, cold tub. This large, open, room full of other naked ladies is where you spend your time sweating or soaking or detoxifying while you wait for your number to be called. Truth be told, I felt a little like cattle being herded into my pen at first. But any initial wariness wears off quickly. I was scrubbed, rinsed, massaged. I had my hair washed, my face covered in seaweed, and my body moisturized. I was rinsed again and then an hour and a half or so after it started, I was hand dried. And officially the softest I've been since I could be called a toddler. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Get over feeling weird about being naked. It's worth it. 

See

Read books at the Last Bookstore. Our spa-d out, blissful selves had a few more stops to make. Next we ventured downtown to the Last Bookstore. This is a place I've wanted to see for years. Books used as walls, art, and Instagram backdrops. We did a quick walk through, but I'd love to go back and actually explore. 

Hear

Rescue puppies at the Dog Cafe. However, the rescue pups were calling our name. This "dog cafe" is so fun. You pay $15, which is a donation to the rescue organization, to get your coffee and an hour with the pups. There were about 10 adoptable dogs, ranging from 3 months old to a few years old. You literally just get to play with puppies. Be prepared. It smells a little like pee (cause all they do is pee) and you'll still want to take one home.

 

Whew! A whirlwind of a day in LA. Perfect for pressing re-set. 

What I'm Into Wednesday - The Freak the F Out Edition

We all have those days (or weeks, or months, or minutes - it really doesn't matter the length of time) where all you want to do is panic and scream. It could be for a variety of reasons, big or small: someone cuts you off on the freeway, your significant other gives you a weird vibe, your dog eats your shoe. 

None of those were my catalyst. Instead, Monday morning I woke up to an email from my bank saying my account was overdrawn. By a lot. I've never, ever, overdrafted my account. Ever. I freaked out. Turns out, instead of scheduling a deposit from one financial institution to my bank, my financial adviser had accidentally scheduled a withdrawal. Whoops. Big whoops. Especially when he told me they couldn't fix it for three or four days. And, you know, the first of the month is coming up. Where things like the mortgage payment and rent get taken out of that same (already overdrawn) account.

I kept my cool with him, as even though it was his mistake losing my shit on him wouldn't change anything. And I was left figuring out how to rearrange things to get by for a few days. The minutiae, the details, were not a big deal. I know they are temporary and that it will all be resolved. But the aftershock of the reality of the situation kicked in: I'm not where I want to be financially. I'm vulnerable and living on the edge of needing paychecks and autodrafts to all fall perfectly on the right days or else I'm screwed. I know I'm not the only one there but this freaked me out. 

What am I doing? How am I going to make this work? Should I even be trying to create this business and life? Should I go back to my 9-5? All of the self doubt and the questioning and the panic grew really, really loud. 

So this weeks What I'm Into Wednesday is dedicated to the things that bring me back from the edge. That help me to tell myself that I'm okay, that I'm doing okay, and that it will be okay.

Have you ever been in one of these "on the edge of losing it" moments? What helps you?

LP

See

One of my favorite books of all time is called the War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It's all about resistance. Resistance is that force that tries to keep you from doing what you are made to do, what you know in your heart is your calling. Resistance shows up all the time, in many ways. It's questioning friends and family, it's procrastination, it's self doubt. And it gets louder and louder as you get closer and closer to that ultimate goal that it's keeping you from. And as it get's louder it pushes you harder and harder to quit. It has a thousand reasons why you should just give up. This moment was all resistance in my face. Re-reading that book has saved me many, many times. 

Do

It's impossible to be creative and motivated and passionate when you're coming from a place of fear. Sometimes you just need to get out of your own head, away from your work, and give yourself space to be present and to enjoy something, anything. Tomorrow I'm taking the day off and going to LA with my friend Amanda. We're going to hike, get a massage, go to a bookstore, and drink good coffee. And it's going to be amazing. A day off and a day away. It's not selfish, it's necessary. 

Hear

MUSIC! Ah, how it heals. My favorite jam of this week? Soldier of Love by Sade. It's just so good, groovy, soulful. Digging it. Did you know you can follow me on Spotify?

Smell

This Saturday we took our Spirit Yoga teacher trainees to the Self Realization Fellowship in Encinitas to visit and spend time in the meditation gardens. This is another space where the rain we've been getting is magical. The flowers, the greenery. Gorgeous and smelled so good! If you haven't been, it's a perfect space to find a bench and meditate or journal. I spent my time journaling about this idea of being a mindful badass

Taste

Nothing fixes a sour mood faster than a cheese board and some chocolate. A much needed date night happened on Monday night. We created a charcuterie plate complete with too much cheese (never too much) as well as all the accompaniments and headed on a walk to Bird Park to watch the sunset and snack. My favorites? Trader Joe's mushroom brie and pesto gouda and the dark chocolate coconut almonds. Heaven.