A Los Angeles Fall ~ 2017

So it may not be time for the “look back at 2017 and ahead to 2018” type of post but as we edge closer to the beginning of the 12th month and the close of 2017, I thought I would look back at what I had seen, experienced, and accomplished or at least in the last few months.  (*Being type-A, “accomplished” tends to be one of my favorite words).

Moving back to California has been a phenomenal change of pace – something that isn’t always guaranteed with a big move.  I had acquired a job back in July/August-ish and had an idea of some things I wanted to do when I got back.  I wanted to move closer to the west side of LA, I wanted to see what November Project was like out here, and I wanted to join my sister’s running club.  As you can see, I still seem to work and workout so some more “fun” might need to be added in.

Los Angeles isn’t entirely new since I grew up near Pasadena but it is entirely different when you are 26 versus 10 or even 18.  My job is much better for me in terms of environment and content.  I still encounter the daily stresses but it keeps me on my toes and I have a stand-up desk so some days I literally am on my toes.  For about 6 ish weeks, I was living at home and that meant driving 80-90 minutes each way day.  Traffic – the double edge sword of living in a car congested county like this.  Anyways, there was no way I was going to plop down and sit at a computer for even more time to detail out my (what I think is boring to read) day.  So then there was the question of if I blog on weekends.  Maybe?  But over the last few months I’ve been so busy that again, sitting down to take time to blog hasn’t been the first priority.

I started this blog as a way to fill my 2012 summer if I didn’t have an internship but it slowly melded to become my travel journal and a means of keeping in touch while living across the country.  I still see it as a creative outlet but as I’ve most definitely mentioned before, I am 100% focused/addicted/interested/obsessed/addicted (yes twice for emphasis) with Instagram.  It’s a quick picture/video and a few words and boom, you’ve got widespread media that people from all over will consume.

** some pictures of November Project shot by fellow tribe members (always important to share photo creds) 

For those of you who have followed me over the last few years, you’ll know how much November Project means to me.  Well, thank goodness for tribes located around the world (44 currently to be exact) because I was able to start showing up to workouts when I touched down in LA.  It’s true that I knew a few friendly faces from when I would #justshowup during the holidays but leaders had changed, people had moved away, and it was a pretty new start for me.  Somehow I decided to start working out at the 5:27 and 6:27 group to see more faces.  As in New York, each workout has a different vibe.  Both are amazing but it’s great to see the differences and get to know so many people.  This is tough remembering names since 4 workouts means 2x the number of people but thank goodness for Facebook and the ability to just re-ask (at least once or twice).

When you move to a new place, you have the ability to re-invent yourself in a way.  You can take the parts of yourself you want to change (not like in a superficial way, but then again this is Los Angeles…) and lean into the person you want to be.  No one is forcing you to act like you did in high school or even college.  Unless you were a nice person and then don’t ever stop being a nice person.

So re-inventing yourself.  For me, I wanted to be that strong and positive person I had grown to become in New York.  When I arrived in LA, I thought hm, most of my friends back east called me Kait and there’s already a girl at NP named Katelin and I wouldn’t want to make it confusing for people.  So I introduced myself at NP and my running club as Kait.  That really threw Meghan for a loop and even confuses a few people when they are on Facebook and see “Kaitlin”.  Basically, call me anything and I’ll answer.  I have no preference and it just felt really comfortable to be known at November Project as Kait because my best NP_NYC friends called me that.

Now of course I’ve begun to type a novel when I only meant to drop a few lines.  Who knows, maybe I’ll check in a bit more frequently in December or 2018 😉

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” ― Sheryl Sandberg

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Life of Late ~ 10.23.17

I know I know, there have been a few too many “life of late” posts going on.  I truly wish I could muster up a few other prophetic posts, buuuuut I’m coming up short.  This week has actually flown by and hey, it’s everyone’s favorite day of the work week.

Some of the random things that I have learned in the last week?

  • Gluten-free bread is delicious but also starts to crumble after one week.  This doesn’t make for a great sandwich or grilled cheese.
  • Going to watch baseball games (even in the bar) with friends is fun, except when you decide to get up early to workout in the morning.
  • Running on 5 hours of sleep?  Not exactly recipe for the most success during the work day and sure doesn’t help with your eating decisions.  Common sense Kaitlin. Duh.
  • I’m pretty good at eating healthy, but boy I have such a craving for something sweet at the end of the day.

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Sure, people complain about the MTA but I have to hand it to NYC, I’ve never had better methods of transportation.  Think about it, there may be tons of people and sure, some delays, but we actually get places relatively quickly.  If you aren’t going to follow me on this train of thought, just enjoy the different tile patterns and pictures in each subway station.

IMG_2779^^ Don’t these just look divine?  A little trip to Chobani SOHO is always a good idea, especially when you get to take the little glass bowl home after you finish!  My friend Whitney and I met up for a little massage in Chinatown and then caught up over Chobani (sweet for me, savory for her).

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IMG_2813^^ BIG thanks to this gal for meeting me on Staten Island just to run the last few miles of the half with me.  I may have still had to have my earbuds in and jams flowing but having her there certainly helped.  I realized that running back to back to back races probably wasn’t the best idea for my body (some people are bionic) and I certainly need a little break.

IMG_2818^^ But first, we brunch.  Quite possibly my favorite combo >> running + eating.  Yes.  I may have gone to Chobani both Saturday and Sunday, but when Staten Island has NO FOOD OPTIONS AFTER THE RACE, you get a little hangry and go for whatever you want.

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^^ Facebook now does this thing where it posts things that you have posted on that day (or around that day) in the past.  In honor of the San Francisco Nike Women’s Marathon last week, it was fun to not only see the most recent race, but the first SF NWM race back in 2010!

IMG_2906Here we are, just three sophomores in the city 🙂  Look at how young we look!  You can see the difference between the top and bottom (both Sam – middle girl – and I are in the same spots year over year)

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^^ Last Friday’s workout was RIGHT down the street from me.  Even though I was so.darn.tired and probably could have benefited from the sleep, I just had to go.  It’s something about FOMO and guilt-tripping myself.  Anyways, afterwards, we decided to climb up oodles of stairs just for fun.  Hey, don’t you wish you had that view?

IMG_2885 ^^ Just some crazy kids getting a workout in.

Strava ~ “No White Space

Well + Good ~ “8 Tricks for Being More Confident” ~ TRUTH – be passionate – be hardcore – be bold – be resilient.

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^^ Making this vegan pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin on point.

November Project (NYC Post by an amazing person) ~ “Hunger” ~ I have found that NP is just something out of the ordinary.  You think that when you graduate school, it will be tough to make friends – meaningful friends – who enjoy the same things or don’t pass judgement for something you think, say, or do.  Well, not to get too sappy but a lot of us have discovered that through working out and through November Project.  Pretty much everyone that I have met has taught me something.  Most of us share stories – the good and the bad – training tips, social events, etc.  We are there to help each other and not judge.  It’s amazing how we have all come together across the country and have this sense of belonging in a seemingly confusing adult world.

Peanut Butter is My Boyfriend ~ “What’s Next on My Fitness Journey?” ~ Good questions.  There are a lot of things that I would like to do in my life, train for in life, and places I want to race.  What happens if now just isn’t the right time?  How do I continue on this fitness journey?  What is that fitness journey?  All good things in Lauren’s post 🙂 

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My Domaine ~ “Splurges to Make in Your 20’s” ~ Does daily cold brew count?  Just kidding.  Experiences are some of the top ways I spend my money.  I’ll get around to a car and a better mattress (moving on up from the twin).  #14 – some workout. CHECK 😉

Women’s Running ~ “How to Get Over Having to Miss a Race” ~ I always fear the dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish) or DNS (Did Not Start). Something about disappointing people or really just disappointing myself.  If it’s an injury, one must listen to the body, even if that race has been on the mind for months.  Of course, this is a moment where you should do as I say and not as I do.  I tend to run through pain, sickness, and negative temps.  Not smart, Kaitlin.  Not smart. 

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^^ One last pic of the trip to Miss Lady Liberty last Sunday.

As for this weekend, I’m thinking of scheduling in some relaxation time.  Yes, the only way I’m going to be able to chill is if I schedule that.  😉  The weather should be glorious, a run in on the calendar, plans to see a Halloween Dog Parade (yes, that’s a thing – and annual thing), and maybe some more delectable autumnal recipes.

“There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.” – Freya Stark

It’s Time for Dodger Baseball

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A trip to Los Angeles is never complete without a Dodger Game.  Sure you have the Lakers and Clippers and even USC Trojans, but let’s be real – the Dodgers are where it’s at.  Having been born in raised in the Los Angeles area, I’ve been lucky to visit the Ravine since I was just a baby.

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^^ No joke, here I am just over a month old!  (benefit of visiting home means access to perfect throw-back pictures) 😉

So, factoring in about 25 years worth of games, that means that we have had the privilege of seeing the Ravine change over the years.  From faulty food choices to the addition and removal of gaudy advertisements, from the omni-presence of the 76-ball in the outfield to the flashy 21st century ads from advertisers that pay bigger and better prices.  There was the time that Frank McCourt took over and then there was the time that he made such poor decisions that when we saw him at the stadium, my mom gave him a piece of her mind.  But we also met Tommy Lasorda and hopefully will one day run into the great Vin Scully.  He truly is a piece of history and a piece of the Dodgers. 

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Though New York does play host to a couple decent teams, I will never stray from my National League roots (Heyyyyy Brooklyn Dodgers!).  There was almost a time where I purchased a hat at Met’s Stadium (because souvenirs are plain ‘ol fun) but refrained to stay true to my boys in blue (the REAL blue).

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Not only has the stadium evolved over the years, but the food options have improved tremendously too! 

IMG_7567  This was a nifty addition to the park – a decent looking bar overlooking the field (located behind right field)

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Tommy Lasorda’s presents a little bit of Italian flare and flavor with options like classic NY pizza (one would have to sample in order to verify the “classic” element) chicken parm sandwich, or Italian sausage with grilled peppers and onions.

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 If you are looking for some hot dog options, this is definitely your paradise.  It’s one stop short of Pink’s, without the extra drive or wait!

IMG_7573^^ I was tempted by the bacon wrapped hot dog, especially since they used to serve them after every MLS Galaxy Game, but went for a  turkey burger on wheat bun option instead.  (we packed in our own peanuts + veggie bags to help supplement the stadium eats)

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^^ SWING BATTER SWING

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^^ Anyone remember the Olympic dancing sensation Kate Hansen?  Kate actually grew up in my community and I played soccer with her (and we were in 7th grade choir together…), so it’s neat to see what she is up to these days.

IMG_7587 IMG_7588Because we are suckers for tradition, we had to purchase a cup of soft serve frozen yogurt – something that we have done for years and years.  I even recall the original pink booth that we used to buy it from – about three changes ago – and would secretly have them top the ice cream with rainbow sprinkles without my dad knowing 🙂 (I do have to watch myself because I’m already starting to pull the “back in my day” card)

IMG_7590 IMG_7591 ^^ And it’s a DODGER WIN!  With a great come back for the boys in blue, I’ll add my own cheesy touch and say that my attendance was a good luck charm at that night’s game 🙂

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The best part about the Dodgers winning is that they end the game with Randy Newman’s “I LOVE LA” song.  It’s all just too darn true.

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We even stayed to the very end of the game and watched the Friday night fireworks! I say actually because the typical Los Angeles fan will arrive late and leave early to an event – all to avoid that lovely traffic.  But, all in all this had to have been the very best game that I have been to with my family.  Good food, good baseball, a win, and post-game spectacular 🙂

“The roar of the crowd has always been the sweetest music. It’s intoxicating.” – Vin Scully

Dodger Days

It’s Friday and I’ve been ready for the weekend all week.  But really, who hasn’t?  So, while it may not be the weekend juuuuust yet, it doesn’t hurt to look forward to something. Now I’ve been a Los Angeles Dodgers fan my entire life.  As some sports fans say, I bleed blue and white (no, I’m not steeling Penn State’s or Indianapolis’s line).  If I were at home and had access to the thousands of pictures my family took to document their first child, I’d be able to include the one from my very first Dodger game – me smiling and gazing lovingly over our seats in the Ravine.  Ok, get real – I was probably less than a year old so it was clutch to actually catch me smiling rather than bouncing all over the place.  I probably was entranced by the camera contraption and sights and sounds of a ballpark.  Nonetheless, I was there and the love for the boys in blue started about 21 years ago.

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Even as I moved north for school, I avoided jumping on the San Francisco Giant’s bandwagon.  A true fan knows how to support his or her team through thick and thin.  None of this, oh, they are winning so of COURSE I’ll purchase every piece of affiliated clothing possible.

PICT0043Here’s a throwback picture to high school (boy do we look young) and I was obsessed with my cross country sweatshirt.  It’s been a blast to attend games throughout the years and see how the stadium changes.  Thank goodness the McCourts are no longer in charge.  There may be a few choice words we would like to share with him, but I digress.

In anticipation for tonight’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals, I’ve compiled a few fun pictures and links for your morning and afternoon enjoyment. 

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Will Ferrell announcing game 4’s lineup.  When in Los Angeles, bring out as many celebs as possible.  I mean, Magic Johnson is one of our owners.  It’s just an known rule.

Flashback to when the Dodgers played at the Los Angeles Coliseum.  Many not know this but when the Dodgers first moved out from Brooklyn, they spent their first four seasons splitting time with the USC Trojans and playing at the Coliseum.Copy (1) of PICT0058

And if you really need to know why the Dodgers are so great (according to the only decent source) 😉 check out this article by Buzzfeed.  “17 Reasons You Should Be Rooting for the L.A. Dodgers” – Because these creators can seemingly make a list about anything. 

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“The roar of the crowd has always been the sweetest music. It’s intoxicating.”
– Vin Scully

Tuesday Truths

Truth is … I don’t want to live without coffee.  I’ve had some difficulty adjusting to the weather out here and debated giving up coffee to see how it affects my acne and stress levels.  Ultimately I decided I don’t want to.  I think the main issue is the humidity and grime that comes with living in a city and there are ways to combat this – drinking plenty of water and making sure to clean my face often.  Sure, I shouldn’t fall into the trap of drinking copious amounts of coffee, but just stepping into a coffee shop, especially Starbucks, seems to turn my whole day around.  Call me crazy but a cup of coffee is something of comfort.

Truth is … I’m so stoked for the Dodgers.  They haven’t had this much success in years! I was born and raised a Dodger’s fan, so none of this bandwagon stuff.  Please, I went to school in the Bay and avoided jumping on the SF Giant’s bandwagon.  No, no, no.  This girl bleeds blue for life.

Truth is … I am bummed that I won’t be in Los Angeles to see any of the games.  Of course when I go to college and then move across the country, they start kicking butt.  I had debated flying home four years ago if they made it to the World Series, but that was just a quick flight from San Jose.  I already checked the flights and boy, I’m going to have to live vicariously through my dad, radio podcast, and the Internet.  Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to find a local bar that will play the games.

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Luckily my dad was kind enough to send us pictures from his amazing seats both Sunday and Monday.  He almost wanted to sell the tickets but I’m glad he didn’t.  The moments when you get to see your favorite team win a huge series, is priceless.

Truth is … I have amazing roommates.  We like to cook, we all like similar shows, and the apartment is starting to feel like home.  We all agreed that the key to any good roommate is to have your own room;  so I guess we are housemates.  🙂

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Truth is … I have an obsession with Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, and Williams Sonoma.  Last week after my run in Central Park, I wandered through the stores and picked up some of their magazines to glance through back at home.  Whenever I’m feeling down, it always comforts me to wander those stores; all the possibilities that are within.  I told this to a blogger last week and I’m sure she thought I was somewhat crazy.  She told me she had never done such a thing when she was 22, but there you have it.  We are all different.

Truth is … Trader Joe’s has some of the most amazing products, especially in terms of celebrating the pumpkin craze.  I’ve had my eye on the pumpkin ice cream for a couple weeks now but have to hold off or it will be consumed in one sitting.  Ok, maybe not, but everything from Trader Joe’s is that delicious.

Truth is … I’m excited for the fall holidays, the leaves to change, college football, and plenty of decorating.  However, I’m not ready for it to get dark so early.

Truth is … moving away has really taught me who my friends are.  I’ve had so much support from friends and family, that the distance (~2,790 miles to be exact), feels like nothing at all.  It’s also opened me up to so many different opportunities to start fresh and meet new people.  Not to mention all the blends on the east coast that I can now meet up with!

“Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.” – Bertrand Russell

Life’s Little Pleasures

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that bring the most pleasure.

  • Hearing my favorite songs on Pandora while running
  • Catching up with a good friend from college (sometimes talking on the phone is so much better than just a few texts!  Goodness knows we share so much more 🙂 )
  • Eating breakfast out (waffles, eggs, guava juice…too many choices) Continue reading