Tag Archives: beach

#clowclanstaycation

29 Aug

Earlier this week I spent two nights in Hermosa Beach with my family for a little “staycation” action.  My brother recently started working at a music venue in Hermosa (Saint Rocke) as a Digital Marketing Assistant, and he also hosts their Open Mic Nights on Tuesdays.  My parents wanted to see him in action, but making the trek home to the Conejo Valley didn’t sound too appealing to them, so my mom booked an awesome beach house via VRBO for all of us for two nights.

Our #clowclanstaycation began on Monday.  While my brother was at work, my parents and I had an early dinner at the Hook & Plow on Pier Ave.

10469077_10103417585418233_3217101513280783736_n

I enjoyed this Atticus IPA from the local Strand Brewing Co. (Torrance, CA).  For my dinner, I had a delicious salad made with arugula, buratta cheese, a peach, and organic chicken. Yum!

After dinner, we headed to Saint Rocke’s trivia night.  My brother was too cool to play on our team, so my parents and I tried to be contenders.  We named our team Santos L. Halper (because #EverySimpsonsEver).  We started out pretty well and then TANKED.  There was an entire round on movies about magic where we got zero right.  I’m not the biggest movie fan (they’re SUCH a commitment and most movies suck) so I’m okay that we didn’t get those right.

10426114_10103418196473673_1701252068199761625_n

Proud of my Dad for getting a bonus question right (you have to not only know the answer but be the fastest team to tell the guy the right answer). The question was: “What is the name of the song that begins ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.'” Answer: “The Christmas Song.”  My Dad knew it right away (I knew it, but it would have taken me a second).  Glad I was raised on Mel Torme!

A question I am embarrassed I didn’t know: What is the most popular wine varietal in Australia and what is the same grape called in France? Answer: Shiraz/Syrah.  #notawineo.

The next day, my parents and I spent a lot of time walking around Hermosa — we walked to the Manhattan Beach pier and just spent some time enjoying the strand and the pier. We also had a delicious and inexpensive lunch at The Standing Room. Loved my $7 kale + candied bacon salad!

10612700_10103420800684813_6445580658659877521_n

10649986_10103420800679823_3772629290949894229_n

10559816_10103420800689803_8637909351405352134_n

That night, we spent a couple of hours enjoying Saint Rocke’s surprisingly delicious $1 tacos and $5 margaritas, and watching my brother channel his inner Carson Daly during Open Mic Night. There were some good acts! 10603558_10103422063324473_4671654060378486421_nOn Wednesday morning, my mom and I took a couple of bikes (included in our vacation rental!) out for a bit.  We rode just a few miles to the Redondo Beach pier and back, but I was glad to add another thing to my “do something fun every day before I start work” list.

10653823_10103423431622393_5179931980619994938_n

Where is your favorite place to #staycation?

Do you have any vacation traditions? 

 

Advertisements

jamba juice fit trends.

25 Apr

Wednesday was a day jam-packed full of fitness for me.  I subbed a 6 am spin class and then headed out to the gorgeous Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica for an event put on by Jamba Juice called FitTrends.

It was a great day sampling Jamba concoctions and learning about their recipes, trying the new “it” workouts, and mingling with my favorite LA HLBs (healthy living bloggers, duh).

20140424-163905.jpgWhen I arrived, I grabbed a Kale-ribbean Breeze smoothie from their “Whole Food” line of smoothies.  My fav Jamba Juice growing up was Caribbean Passion, and I’m trying to avoid sugar, so this was a good go-to.

I immediately met up with Katy, Monica, Melissa, and Tiffany!

IMG_6632It was great seeing all of these women — it is so nuts how social media has allowed us to go from strangers to real life friends. The future is awesome.

We kicked off the morning with a warm up with Venus Williams and celebrity trainer Samantha Monus. It wasn’t anything too strenuous — and I immediately envied Venus’ top.  Athletic apparel envy is REAL. (I later learned it’s from her own line – EleVen by Venus).

IMG_6630Throughout the day  we sampled four different workouts that have popped up.  Everyone loved the Pound workout.  We used drumsticks and moved to the beat, hitting the sticks above us, on the ground, and to the side in unison.  It was a good mix of cardio, strength, and some ab work, and a lot of fun.  I’d definitely love to take a full class sometime, especially after a particularly stressful day. IMG_6636

Monica had a great Instagram video of the class here.

After sweating it up with the Pound girls, we headed upstairs for a little blind tasting of different Jamba Juices to see if we could guess the ingredients.

IMG_6643These were actual fresh-squeezed juices (not smoothies).  We tried:

  • Tropical Greens –> my favorite
  • Veggie Harvest –> they call this one “the kitchen sink” because there’s so many different veggies packed in it.
  • Citrus Kick –> VERY ginger-y
  • Great Greens –> the most “green” tasting smoothie.

I went 4/4 on the guessing, but it was pretty easy.  I also thought it was cool that even the apple juice included in these juices is fresh.

After we sipped, we spoke with Carol Chen of Jamba Juice who told us all about how Jamba creates it blends as well as the ingredients it uses.  Check out the gorgeous farmer’s market display behind her (which we all got to raid at the end of the day!)

IMG_6646Carol talked about a lot of interesting things including…

  • how Jamba Juice works with their Research & Development team to see what the trends in the industry are.
  • Kale is no longer a trend — it is a mainstay and that can be seen from the fact that major grocery stores carry kale chips, dips made with kale, etc.
  • A trend for 2014 is “global spices” — ancho chile was one she mentioned.
  • Consumers are getting sophisticated and want to be put on a culinary journey — that’s how Citrus Kick (orange juice, apple juice, pineapples, ice, and ginger) came about

After we were all Jamba-fied, we tried workout #2 – Pop Physique.   I’ve tried various bar-type workouts before and am not really a fan, I prefer lifting normally (BODY PUMP!!!) instead of the small, “tucking” movements of bar-type classes.  The pop session was challenging though and the instructors were both upbeat!

IMG_6648IMG_6651

Melissa, Tiffany, and Kara tucking away.

Next up was lunch! I chatted with Katy, Melissa, and Lindsay over some salad and sparkling water before moving inside for a chat with Venus and Jake “Body by Jake” Steinfeld.  But first, Gigi and I took a selfie…

20140425-070827.jpg

Loved meeting you, Gigi! [photo credit: instagram.com/gigieats]

IMG_6658

The conversation was light-hearted, but full of interesting facts and tips about Jake and Venus’ approach to healthy living.

How they got their start in healthy living

  • Jake said he was a chubby kid with a stutter who used to eat everything, but his life changed when his Dad got him a set of weights at 13.  He started eating more moderately and became hooked on physical fitness.
  • Venus started training to become a pro tennis player at the age of FOUR. (FOUR!)  Her mom didn’t keep junk food in the house at all so she learned to love healthy foods at an early age

Jake and Venus’ 3 Tips for Healthy Living

  1. Don’t expect to be perfect.
  2. Be consistent – healthy living is about longevity.
  3. Just get started.

Why Jamba Juice?

  • Other than their orange juice and wheatgrass shots, and the fact that she is a franchisee, Venus says Jamba is aligned with her beliefs ever since her mom “hid the cookies.”
  • For Jake, he believes Jamba is aligned with what families need.  This is important to him because he is working to help put fitness centers in elementary schools.

How do Venus and Jake stay motivated?

  • Venus said she often has a “battle with the bed” — but hearing Serena get out of bed to go to practice helps her get out of bed too!
  • Jake does a 42-minute workout, 6 days a week.  He uses that time to plan out his day, so by the time it is over he has worked out his body and mind.

Least favorite workout? food?

  • Venus HATES planks (funny, because I love ’em) and she is NOT aboard the broccoli train.
  • Jake hates squats and liver.

IMG_6656

After our chat, we explored workout #3 – Hoopnotica.

Hoopnotica is a hula-hoop based workout.  You can burn up to 350 calories in an hour hooping.  I was able to keep the hoop up pretty well, but wasn’t trying to do any circus-like tricks.  This class was fun, but it felt way more like play and not at all like exercise (totally fine for most people, but I like a little bit greater bang for my buck). Also, I somehow got a bruise on my side from 15 minutes of hula hooping. Cool, Gillian.

Tiffany caught this photo of Kara — and I’m in the background hooping away:

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 5.05.04 PM

photo credit: instagram.com/runninghutch

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 5.05.31 PM

post-hula with my twin for the day, Katy [photo credit: instagram.com/katymarie5]

Definitely a good option for the coordinated people out there!

The last class of the day was the one I was the most excited about — Surfset Fitness!  Surfset uses surfboards strapped to exercise balls — so balancing is a challenge as the surfboard moves with you. It reminded me a little bit of plyometric devices we used to use in cross country.

IMG_6672 This workout was tough — we did all types of core work, burpees, and some yoga moves. I’d love to try this again! And you know, actually learn to surf.  Fun fact:  these guys were on the show Shark Tank! IMG_6679We wrapped up the day with some sweet swag bags (I’m stoked on my new Jamba yoga mat – I needed a new one badly) and took photos with Venus.

IMG_6682

It was an awesome day and I am grateful I got the chance to participate — and I am sure there are other awesome things that happeend I forgot to mention. Thanks so much, Jamba Juice!

P.S. My legs HATED me later that night when I taught two more spin classes back-to-back.  Thursday was obviously a rest day.

Answer one (or both!) of the following:

  • Favorite smoothie? (Jamba or homemade)…
  • Favorite “trendy” workout? (I think we all know mine is Soul Cycle)…

because I’m happy.

16 Apr

I have about a month left of law school – so weird.  Before bar studying consumes my life and this little blog goes on an inevitable hiatus, I’ve been enjoying frolicking around DTLA and doing fun stuff when I’m not pretending to study or working out. Here’s a little glimpse of what’s been making me happy lately…

Last Thursday, I went to a reception for admitted students to my law school who are also scholarship recipients.  I talked to a bunch of 0Ls about the perks of choosing Loyola and soaked in this epic view from the City Club. Major #swoon.

10002980_10102999757209313_782799004368901258_n

I recently moved — but only a block from my previous apartment.  Jenn moved in with her fiancé, Daniel, and I’m doing the solo thing. So far, so good!  My mom was a HUGE help in moving me and helping me furnish the apartment.  My mom also spent the day with me last Friday to do some major furniture shopping.  I fell in love with this coffee shop at a random Habitat for Humanity ReStore. It was a steal, is one-of-a-kind, handmade, and all the money goes to Habitat for Humanity. Love. 10155400_10103002199040863_7297606057553916044_n

After #WESTWeekend, Whitney and I went on a walk and ran some errands together in Santa Monica. I love where I live SO much. 10155157_10103008183947063_195483132211681008_n

On Monday, I kicked off the week with a 3.5 mile run with Back on My Feet.  I love Team Homeboy and how we all support (and make fun of) each other.  At our turn-around point, I made Gordy, Brian, and Gavino take a selfie with me.

The funniest part of the morning occurred when I jokingly said “vamanizos” when a light changed and we started to run again.  My friend Andres immediately says “Gillian, you’re trying to hard to fit in.”  So funny, and probably true.

3047_10103009150959163_3170815800999053271_n

love mah homeboys!

My DTLA Running Group — I started running with them exactly a year ago (the day after the Boston Marathon last year).  It has been amazing getting to know this diverse group of people who constantly push and challenge me to be a better runner.

unnamed-1As an added bonus, on Tuesday’s run my friend Kristina joined us.  Kristina is SUPER fast (she BQ’d at LA last year, and her 13.1 PR is sub 1:30). So that was pretty awesome!unnamed

What is making you happy this week? 

the most relaxing friday.

28 Sep

Yesterday was the most relaxing day, ever.

I am insanely lucky to not have class on Fridays — and to have a pretty relaxed 3L schedule in general — which allows me to have a lot of fun.  But my posts will be way less fun come a year from now, when I become a real person. Until then, though, I will enjoy my (somewhat) joke of a life.

I spent the afternoon and evening kicking it in Malibu with some of my law school friends: Taylor, Armita, Marty, Connor, and Avi and I hung out at Taylor’s parents’ house. It just might be one of my favorite places on earth.

IMG_4703

I make fun of Taylor (for a lot of reasons) but mostly because he develops these insane hobbies — the latest one is spearfishing.  I didn’t go in the water yesterday, but I was so relaxed hanging out oceanside and just taking it all in. Taylor spent about 2 hours out there (in full algae-camo wetsuit attire, I kid you not), and returned with a leopard shark (legal to catch) and a seabass.  Avi also caught a leopard shark. I didn’t stick around for the lobster session, but Taylor and Marty had success on the first night of lobster season!

IMG_4697

this is my scary friend Taylor.

While Taylor and Marty gutted the fish, Armita and I used this as the perfect excuse to stop by the Malibu Country Mart to caffeinate ourselves, and to check out Grom gelato — recently recommended to me by my roommate who had it in Italy, as well as by Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere in this post.

IMG_4704

It was good, but not “OMG THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER TASTED” good.

When we returned, Marty and Taylor prepared a delicious feast of leopard shark tacos (surprisingly delectable) and we all hung out as the sunset.  Dessert was Marty’s concoction of homemade vanilla ice cream and grilled peaches, with a little honey and cinnamon on top. I died and went to foodie heaven, and it is conveniently located in Malibu.

IMG_4706

so. relaxing.

so. relaxing.

I need to hang out by the water more because this was possibly the most relaxed I have ever been in my whole life.

Such a great day with fun people in a gorgeous setting, and such a nice reminder of how lucky I am.

 

could I be any more LA?

30 Aug

I realized the other day that I was “so LA” when I was out to dinner with my friend/neighbor/walk-to-work buddy Peter and his new roommate, Fadi, at Sugarfish (the best sushi I’ve ever had).  My schedule this year is really laid-back (#3LFreeL or #3LOL will be used a lot in the next year), so I have a lot of time to do fun things and generally be obnoxious.  In between bites of halibut, Peter asked me what I had planned for the next day.

This was my response: “Well, in the morning I’m going on a #SOULDate with my friend Katherine.  We met through each other’s respective blogs and became friends in real life. And then later that day I’m meeting a law school friend in Malibu to do some snorkeling.” It then dawned on me…I could not, if I tried, be any more “LA.” HOW DID THIS HAPPEN. Whatever, LA is the best.

Sugarfish was incredible.  I am new to delicious sushi. I only really realized I liked it in the last few years – I used to be weirded out by the idea of eating raw fish, and before that I didn’t even like COOKED seafood.  I ordered the $30 fixed-price meal called the “Trust Me.” All of it was delicious, but the halibut was my fav.

1234250_10102379761001683_1088165201_n

The next morning, I set my alarm for 7 to make it to Soul Cycle in Santa Monica to meet Katherine for the 8:30 class.  I left at 7:35 and got there an HOUR later, walking into the class a solid 10 minutes late.  As heartbreaking as that was, I enjoyed the class and liked the instructor, Molly, a lot, although she’s no Laura Crago (mine and Katherine’s fav ever). Katherine and I grabbed coffee after and she filled me in on super important (not sarcasm) healthy living blog gossip.

Although I joke about my LA hobbies (spinning, blogging for two) I love the fact that my blog and social media obsession has allowed me to get to know people and make real friends! Katherine and I have gone spinning together at least 4-5 times now and have definitely become friends in the process.  One of these times we’ll take a photo together – but post-spin is never when I am looking my greatest. Anyway, Soul Cycle is the best.

After our spin fest, Katherine and I parted ways and I drove down PCH a little to meet one of my law school budz, Taylor, at his parents’ house.  He has all kinds of weird hobbies, the latest being spear-fishing.  Since we both don’t have Thursday class, I jumped at the chance to snorkel/be in the water while he tried to kill some stuff.  Multiple victories were had:  I fit into a wetsuit made for a tiny child, I saw a bunch of fish and MULTIPLE seals, and Taylor did not puncture me with his harpoon. Yay!  The visibility wasn’t awesome as the day went on so no fish tacos were consumed, but all in all it was great to be out there!

1236133_10102380823951523_670517889_n

I left the ‘Bu and headed back to DTLA where Loyola was having its first “Turf Club” of the year. Yes, I went to school by choice when I didn’t have class, but it was because they were literally giving out free beer.  And, as my friend Ross pointed out, they weren’t keeping to the prior “two drink” minimum.  Beers were had and “networking” was conducted.  A win for all!  Also – HUGE upgrade on my law school’s part for switching from Coors Light to Golden Road’s Hef this year for a beer option.  Clearly my priorities are in order.

source: instagram.com/loyolalawschool

source: instagram.com/loyolalawschool

Other “LA” things I’ve done recently include seeing the Dodgers lose (sadly) to the Red Sox last Sunday, and going on a run to U$C with my running group.  Although I didn’t go there, running a couple of laps around their track is pretty magical. Eww did I just say that?

1239636_10201179251997720_1816494706_n-1

My status as an annoying social media…enthusiast was revealed today when I went to pick up a package for my subscription-box obsessed roommate. (She’s on vacation and has 4 boxes of loot waiting for when she gets back. Everyone has their vices.  I am not judging).  Anyway, there was a package for me too – my own bag of loot c/o Klout!  KIND bars sent me a bunch of bars to sample and INCREDIBLE high-quality incase brand headphones.  I will never use earbuds again for anything other than running.

1185462_10102384109766723_2130291565_n

 

That’s about all the news I have. I’m off to sub a spin class in a couple of hours and then beat the heat by (probably) listening to Miley Cyrus “We Can’t Stop” remixes at length.

Oh, last thing, I binge-watched Orange is the New Black in the last week after making fun of my mom for doing the same thing. SO good.  And of course, someone told me I look like Piper Chapman so now I have completely internalized the show.  The other day I thought I saw Crazy Eyes on my run to SC.  Nope, Gillian, you are not Piper Chapman, the show is fictional, and fake prisoners are not roaming the streets.

Have a great Labor Day weekend y’all!

Fav LA stereotype? I probably embody it, let’s be real. 

a good friday.

7 Apr

A benefit to going to a Catholic law school? We get Good Friday off. While some of my professors weren’t completely happy with this (Thanks for the extra class, Torts prof), it was a bona fide day off – no classes or work actually had to be done on Friday.

One of my friends in my section, Blake, had enough foresight to suggest a group of us actually make use of this day off and hang out. We kicked around a bunch of ideas – the beach and/or bottomless mimosas and brunch being the main contenders, but none of us could quite come to terms with making a decision. Finally, our buddy Taylor suggested we merge the two and hang for a bit at his family’s house in Malibu. Boom. Best Friday ever.

We drove along PCH and spent the afternoon eating, drinking (bottomless mimosas for the girls, bloody marys for Blake), soaking up the sun, and strolling along the beach.

It was the perfect way to spend our day off, and most definitely whetted my appetite for summer.

Here are a few photos of my good Friday…

mimosas & malibu. (sounds like a rejected title for this blog - hah!)

mussels and crabs. (we also spotted seals and dolphins).

blake, armita, and me.

blake, armita, me, and taylor all pretending we like each other. (aviva was our photographer.)

Did I mention how great of a call law school in LA was? #patsselfonback.

The weather in LA was insanely beautiful today so I tried to spend as much of it being active and outside as possible…as well as reading Civil Procedure and Torts and preparing for my first Oral Argument on Monday! Woot.

Lots of other fun stuff to re-cap from this week, so stay tuned. I hope everyone has a happy Easter/Passover for those who celebrate either holiday!