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1. guitars and tiki bars

so...i still haven't found a bed, a couch, or any lamps, but i did find this today!

today i went to my very first yard sale and somehow snagged these awesome tiki torches for a dollar. yep, ONE dollar. the bottoms are pointed and meant to be stuck in grass so i'll have to jam them into some flower pots. i also got some brand new globe lights for two dollars. what a steal! bring on the fruity drinks. oh who am i kidding...

2. now THIS is a steal

for some reason, los angeles decided that they could sell coors light six packs here for two more dollars than in north carolina. in raleigh, you can walk into any gas station, any grocery store, or any CVS and find a six pack of coors light on the shelf for $5.99. my very first night in hollywood i stopped at gelson's on my way home to pick up a few necesarry groceries--coors light being one of them of course. i mean, you can't unpack without beer. i couldn't believe my eyes when i saw $7.99. so tonight as i strolled into ralph's and saw this special ($6.99 for TWELVE coors light), well, i think you can guess what happened next.

3. out with the old, in with the new

i finally said bye bye to my portable air condtioner today. no, not because the temperature has gotten cooler. no, not because i broke it and wanted to get my money back. no, i didn't hire abercrombie models to fan me with banana leaves instead. .....yet. of course i had to un-macgyver this piece of crap from my window and it took me just about as long to pull off all the duct tape as it did to stick it all on there. as it turns out, the apartment manager here has an extra airconditioning unit and said that if i wanted to have it for the new apartment, it was mine. getting the air conditioner out of this apartment wasn't only great because it took up a look of space and was ugly to look at, but it was kind of like closure. closure from that whole first chapter of moving here where i was eating with my feet in ice water and couldn't keep the curtain rod from falling down on my head twice a day. thank goodness for thirty day return policies.

highlight of the day:

typically, the most exciting part of my day is when i get to decide what kind of granola to put on top of my yogurt. tomorrow, i get to drive to LAX and...well, i'm pretty sure you can figure out what happens next.

other than celebrating my birthday, this is what we have planned for the majority of the trip.



don't worry, santa has some signifigance in this blog.

1. "always start out with a larger pot than what you think you need" ~julia child

just because i have a small kitchen doesn't mean i'm not going to rachael ray every once in a while. did i just use rachael ray as a verb? anyway, today i made two fantastic meals and they of COURSE made my teapot list. i also made a pretty kickass fruit and yogurt granola parfait for lunch, but i was so excited about eating it i forgot to take a picture. i used a combination of my pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon granola from whole foods. my breakfast was two sunny side down eggs with parmesean, diced roma tomatoes, and hashbrowns with fresh herbs, garlic, parmesean, and caramelized onions. i pride myself on my hashbrowns...and this morning i believe i outdid myself. the second meal was a chicken, cheese, tomato, hot sauce, and red onion quesadilla with whole foods guacamole and salsa. the chicken i used was leftover from my mom's dinner the other night. she had ordered half a roast chicken and it was from a french restaurant so of course it was loaded with butter, garlic, and herbs. it MADE the quesadilla. i don't know if it was my new pan or the perfect amount oil, but the quesadilla was so perfectly brown and crispy it looked like it came from las margaritas. oh how i miss las margaritas. but we'll get to that later. as for HOW i made these delicious meals, check out the fan-fare section!

2. pink

i think everyone deserves to feel sexy in a nice pair of victoria's secret undies.

..yes. this is my neighbor's dog wearing underpants.

3. timing is key

i walked into home depot for key copies, and walked out with a job interview. no...not at home depot. don't get too excited, this story doesn't end like you might think. as i was waiting for the woman to cut my new keys (how rad is that tye dye one!), the man behind me struck up a conversation. people in los angeles are friendly like that. he told me that he's the general manager of a new hollywood nightclub called spot 5750 or "elxr lounge" and as he passed me his card and told me a bit about the place, he casually said "we just finished our hiring today." i sighed and told him it was just my luck, i've been looking for jobs since i moved here a month ago.

he had originally began telling me about the club because i'm a young twenty-something woman and he wants to get the word out to people my age (he obviously didn't realize this very saturday night my plans involved making quesadillas, eating ice cream sandwiches, and watching a lifetime movie), but once i mentioned i had been looking for a job, he asked me about my serving experience and then told me to come by the club tomorrow afternoon.

i was stoked. talk about the right place at the right time. i was sitting here writing this blog it occured me to grab his card out of my wallet and check out the website that was on the back. i typed the website address into my browser bar. website. i googled the name of the club. information. oh wait, here's something in an article from the los angeles independent:

"fictitious business name statement: the following person(s) is (are) doing business as: 1. spot 5750 2. elxr"

apparently GOOGLE is key
(and yes mom and dad, i know you're proud of me for being so cautious)

highlight of the day:

guess who's coming home for christmas?! well, i already knew i was coming home in december, but as of today my ticket is officially bought! (thank you mom for doing all the research and buying it for me) i was planning on coming home for around ten days, but because i'm coming so close to christmas (my sister comes in town december 20th), it turns out that the three days on either side of christmas are INSANELY expensive. so instead of shortening the trip and having less time at home while my sister is there, it'll be a two week vacation back to raleigh :) although it seems like a long time to visit, i know that when you live so far away, getting to come home is a little more rare. also, by the time i arrive, i'll have been gone for three whole months. i still can't believe it's already been a month here.

 this long trip home will give me a chance to do all of the things that i've been missing. eat boondini's. play with the cats all day long. pack a duffel bag and head straight for little river. celebrate my sister's birthday and mine with all four of us together. ask my dad very nicely to make me breakfast on a saturday or sunday. get a hot dog from a street vendor on glenwood. see all of my friends. shop in normal stores that have normal parking lots. eat bojangles in my pajamas with my sister. make a daytrip to wilmington and go back to kilwin's. order a to-go pizza from bella monica.

i'll even get to go to las margaritas.

thursday, october 21st

1. "great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together." ~vincent van gogh

today i set my very first thing down in my new apartment. yes, i believe this toilet wand will go here.

2. they should call it pier AWESOME

although our trip to target was very successful, my mom and i still had more apartment shopping to do. we luckily found a pier 1 right around the corner and as soon as i walked in i knew we were going to need a cart. yes, this was my first trip to pier 1. sadly, they don't allow carts because people tend to knock things over (i'd like to meet the clumsy dumbass who knocked over a six hundred dollar apothecary table and shake his hand), so instead we brought our purchases up to the counter and made a pile. they had all kinds of great bowls, mugs, and funky furnishings. i knelt down to pet a poodle and then realized it was a throw pillow. i also got a GREAT to-go mug which i've been needing. nope, it's not the one pictured above. i guess you'll just have to come back another day to see which one i picked out :) in the meantime, i will give you a sneak peak at one of my new mugs ONLY because i happen to have socks...well...why don't you just check it out for yourself:

3. wait, if you're here...

so, my mom and i walk into the bed bath and beyond in encino and immediately look at each other with raised eyebrows. it is, by far, the BIGGEST bed bath and beyond either of us have ever seen. not only is it very spread out, but there are two stories. we push our shopping cart around for about ten minutes and then realize that everything we're looking for is on the second floor. as we began to search for an escalator, my mom suddenly called out behind me, "how are we going to get the cart up to the second floor?!" i remembered something very strange i had seen in a Kmart a few weeks ago and i realized that i knew EXACTLY what we had to do. take a look at the picture above. you must be asking yourself "wait, if you're there...then where is..."

yes. in los angeles, shopping carts ride upstairs by themselves.

highlight of the day:

after lots (and lots) of searching for perfect accesories to dress up my bathroom, we finally found the yellowbrick road. and it led us to this bathmat. not only did we find the CUTEST rug, but we found a shower curtain and hand towels to match! well, the hand towels aren't the same pattern, but the colors are bright and will make my bathroom look so much more cheerful! and if there's one place you should be happy, it's in the bathroom.

as my dad would i right? ...or am i left? 

friday, october 22nd

1. always expect the unexpected

i've never really understood that quote about expecting the unexpected. how are you supposed to know what to expect if you're expecting the unexpected?! wait, now i'm confused. anyway, let's talk about feta.

i got a few wonderful unexpected surprises today, one of them being the cheese bar pictured above at whole foods. i've seen the olive bar, and the taco bar, and the hot bar, the soup bar, the sushi bar, the gelato bar (someone stop me)...but i have NEVER seen the cheese bar. see all of the white in the above picture? that's ALL feta! my dream come true. unexpected surprise #1 came after i dropped my mom off at the airport this morning. i had planned on swinging by the awesome whole foods in el segundo (by LAX) on my way back, but i did NOT plan on finding a home goods right next door where i found all kinds of amazing things for my new apartment! i spent two hours in there filling up my cart with all kinds of inexpensive goodies. i found everything from a cute little accent table to mixing bowls to a scrapbook. surprise #2 was the cheese bar, surprise #3 actually did NOT come with the ridiculous make-your-own half sandwich i created at the sandwich station:

(roasted turkey, fresh mozzerella, lettuce, tomato, pesto aioli, and olive tapenade) BUT it came with the side of pickles that i ordered.

i generally am not a fan of bread and butter pickles. there's just something about the sweet flavor that i've never been crazy about. HOWEVER, when i popped a pickle chip into my mouth on the way home (yes, i took my sandwich to-go because it was a long drive back to hollywood) i was stunned at how much i loved the flavor. i wasn't expecting a sweet pickle so you can imagine my surprise, but before i knew it, my little cup was empty! don't tell dill pickles.

and surprise #4 came in the form of a picture message that made me laugh outloud.

someone had a rough night.

for another surprise from today, check out the spotted section of the blog.

2. clean house

although my toilet wand looked spectacular as the centerpiece of my new living room, i decided that it was time to start tidying up and organizing the rest of my findings from the last few days. i'm still missing some essential pieces: a bed, a couch, lamps, a TV stand...okay i'm missing MOST of my essential things, but as for the smaller components, my mom and i did pretty well. although i'm not planning on hanging anything on the walls or doing any actual decorating until the place is painted, i still wanted to do some cleaning (big surprise). when my mom and i were measuring things in the new apartment the other night, i glanced at the bottom of my bare feet and it looked like i had been walking through a cave. clearly, the floors were a little dusty. tonight, i swept, i swiffered, i wiped, and i welcomed.

i probably shouldn't have had that second cup of coffee.
(homemade iced vanilla cinnamon coffee thank you very much!)

the blaring country music also kept me going.

and four minutes later i called in some help from an old friend.

3. A.I.S.

for as long as i can remember--well, from the first time we saw that certain episode of everybody loves raymond--my dad has always had a special expression, or nickname, for getting everyone in the car on time. my dad is the kind of person who likes to show up early. and by early, i mean two hours ahead of time. he gets it from my grandparents, who showed up to my sister's high school graduation when they were setting up the chairs a week prior to the ceremony. in my parents' house, whenever we're leaving for the airport, for dinner, or for any sort of scheduled occasion, my dad refers to the time we will leave as A.I.S. if we have dinner reservations at 7 PM, A.I.S. will be 6:45. that means ASS-IN-SEAT at 6:45 or you're getting left behind. well dad, i hate to tell you this...but you were wrong.

highlight of the day:

today, i finally started to feel a little better. today, the sun finally came out for the first time in two weeks. today, i unexpectedly discovered that i like sweet pickles. today, i brought home three amazing things to hang on the walls of my new apartment. today, i found six different kinds of feta.

today, i accidentally wore my shirt inside out the entire day.
always expect the unexpected.


so, i generally write my TEAPOT at the end of the day, but it's been a long one and i have to wake up super early--or as they would say in california "hella early"--so tonight i leave you with an I.O.U.

tomorrow, this blog will be replaced with the one that you expected to see when you clicked here today. as for now, goodnight! or as my sister in hawaii would say "nighty noodles!"



so of all the things my mom and i put into our shopping cart at target today, this was by far my favorite. i mean, i really like my new hamper and hand towels, but a welcome mat was something i was really looking forward to finding. i was so sure that i wasn't going to find exactly what i had envisioned in my mind for a welcome mat. to tell you the truth, i thought i was going to have to customize my own perfect design with the words "knock if you love hushpuppies" embroidered across the center. but as it turns out, the instant i saw this mat, i fell in love. the pattern reminds me of stones that i have next to my bed in raleigh and of course i love the idea of having the word "peace" close to my front door. so please...wipe your feet, grab a lemon, and come on in!

2. mets parking only

those of you who are either in my family or have been to my grandparents' house probably have some idea of what this picture means. or everyone may be thinking to themselves "what the hell is this?" well, for as long as i've been visiting 20 warwick circle in new jersey--about 25 years this tuesday--i have always loved three things about the garage:

1. tennis ball: there is a tennis ball that hangs down from a string and is centered in a way so that it hits the windshield when the car is pulled in just enough. clever, i know.
2. mets parking: although it is a one car garage, for as long as i can remember, there is a sign that hangs on the wall claming that this parking area is strictly for mets fans only.
frozen water: in the garage fridge you can be sure to find all kinds of random things. coors light for the repairmen and yours truly, leftovers from marco polo, bagel and lox platters from so-and-so's bar mitzvah. the list goes on and on. but the one thing you are guaranteed to always find if you open the freezer door (besides yodels for my uncle mitchell), is bottled water.

you may be wondering why anybody would choose to put their bottled water in the freezer, but it's quite simple really. when you go out to run errands and grab a bottle of water from the fridge, it only seems to stay cold for about ten minutes. now i'm just guessing on this one, i'm sure my grandma could tell you a twenty five minute story--which would somehow involve her hairdresser, a butcher, two sales clerks, potato salad from king's, and her good friends norma and al--about the first time she decided to put water in the freezer, but i would assume that a long time ago, it occured to her that if the water starts out as a bottle-shaped block of ice, it's only going to melt and give you, well, ice water. it's quite brilliant. and today, i followed in her footsteps.

3. i'd like to make a toast

i would love to tell you about some funky meal that i got from an off-the-beaten-path restaurant for dinner, but this was as fancy as it got for me tonight. feeling completely drained (seriously, i've been blowing my nose seven times a minute) and still under the weather, i decided that tonight my dinner needed to be as simple as it can get. i put peanut butter on everything, ESPECIALLY toast (i mean, it just belongs there), but tonight i actually had to sacrifice the "peanut" and just stick with butter. wow, that was a lot of puns.

holy sh*t i'm turning into my dad.

 let's just say, the fact that my toast was peanut butter-less should give you an idea for how crappy i'm feeling. i know this is just a cold that will pass shortly, but it's been kind of a bummer in the meantime. although my scrambled eggs and toast were delicious, the reason this made my TEAPOT list today is so that i could tell you about the awesome meal that my mom got to eat.

i've been telling her about the kale greek salad at the 101 diner for a while now. i've never had it--i prefer their grilled cheeses and sweet potato fries--but i knew it was right up her alley. we picked this up for her on the way home and (of course) she topped it with california's entire supply of avocados and paired it with whole foods vegetable soup., a cracker with hummus, and a side of vitamins. i lived vicariously through her delicious meal; sadly, my tastebuds have left me this week.

i think they're just resting for my best friend's visit :)

highlight of the day:

"just because it's called a "cake fork" doesn't mean i'm going to eat cake with it!"

no, my highlight of the day is not these pans--but this will lead me into my story. as we zipped our target cart in and out of every single isle, my mom and i discussed things to buy for my new place. our first laugh came when we saw the tiniest pan we had ever seen (pictured above on the left). i wanted to give you some idea of it's size, so i placed it next to the pan on the right which is a regular small skillet.

i don't know about now, but at the age he is pictured below, this little frying pan would have been the perfect size for...

it probably would have always been too small for...

anyway, back to the story. after my mom and i had our laugh at the mini cookware, we began seriously debating what items would be going into my apartment. my mom and i see things from two very different perspectives.

she sees a brand new beautiful dining room set with dark cherry wood that features stylish carved trim accents and has matching chair sets with plush cushions.

i see a table.

i love every detail she has put into decorating our home in raleigh. every space in every room, down to the inch, was calculated and had a lot of time and thought put into it. of course i'm happy to have her here with me helping me figure out what to do with my new space, but our styles (decorating-wise and spending-wise) are slightly different. i'm happy with a $10 silverware set, and she would rather buy me the one that's $30 because it "feels nicer in your hand." i realize that i don't need to be buying everything as cheap as it comes, but i like the idea of trying to save money in places that you can.

as my mom was unpackaging and unwrapping box sets of silverware, leaving me to fear that we would end up handcuffed by target police and i wouldn't get to bring my new welcome mat along, she began handing me utensils and explaning why it was important that they didn't feel clunky in my hand. as i tried to reason to her that i would be happy stocking up on plastic sporks from the chinese restaurant and that i really prefered smaller forks in general, she finally said something that put me over the edge.

"no, no, no. these smaller forks are your cake forks."

"just because it's a "cake fork" doesn't mean i'm going to eat cake with it!"

as we both burst into laughter, i thought that would be the final argument over expenses. i was wrong. when we strolled into the toilet paper isle, i began looking for the discounted angel soft i normally buy. of course my mom went straight for the fancy quilted northern ultra brand, waving it around and yelling "this is what we use at home!" i took a deep breath and then, there it was again. the edge.

"wait. is this the one with the hearts on it?"

as i opened my mouth and out tumbled the words, "SERIOUSLY?! I USE THAT TO WIPE MY A...." we laughed so hard that we forgot all about the cake fork.


1. pea soup: 1
fanny : 0

i've really never been a big fan of peas. and let's face it, i blame my dad. although my dad is the most amazing cook i know and loves all kinds of different varieties of food, he has always feared one thing: the pea. the truth is, i was never really crazy about them. they always seemed a bit bland and a bit mushy. growing up, i don't know if one pea ever found it's way to my dinner plate unless it came inside of a chicken pot pie from boston market. i wasn't afraid of them in the same way that my dad was, but already not being a big fan of the taste or texture, my dad's strong dislike of peas only pushed them further from my belly.

my mom, on the other hand, has never had a problem with the tiny green vegetable--in fact, she loves the occasional bowl of pea soup. today as we ventured into west hollywood for lunch, she decided she wanted to return to blu jam cafe for another fabulous bowl of their homemade vegan split pea soup and one of their great big salads.

*check out the fan-fare section for more pictures and details about the food*

before the soup even arrived at the table, she had explained to me nine times why it was "the best pea soup she's ever had." her soup arrived first while i was still menu studying, and just the smell of it suddenly perked up my hunger. the last time we were here, i was so starving that i ate a few of the green-tinted croutons that floated on top. i'll admit that i liked the flavor, but i blamed that on the delicious homemade croutons. as i blew my nose into a balled up tissue and scanned the menu feeling stuffed up and COMPLETELY indecisive, my mom held out a spoonful of croutons covered in the green velvety substance. i hesitantly took a bite and to my surprise, my body was suddenly filled with a warm, comforting feeling and all of my tastebuds--which have been recently absent thanks to my cold--began to high five each other. it was rich, smooth, and had more depth of flavor than any other soup i've ever had. my mom asked if i wanted another bite and when i said no, she looked back at me with surprise.

i lowered my head, "i'm getting my own bowl."

2. whole-y foods

holy foods is right. today, my mom and i went to whole foods to stock a few things in my fridge for us to snack on for the next few days. the best thing about whole foods is that you can get as much or as little of anything as you want. you don't have to buy a bunch of ingredients to make greek orzo pasta salad, you can just buy a small container of it. you don't have to get a whole pint of soup, you can fill it up as much or as little as you like. i know this is how most prepared foods places work, but every time i go into whole foods i'm reminding of how much variety and options there are for a quick and easy--while at the same time EXTREMELY delicious--meal. my dinner pictured above is roasted vegetables, a potato zucchini pancake with miso ginger dressing for dipping (i think i just heard both of my sara(h)s shriek with delight), greek orzo pasta salad with feta and olives, and chicken noodle soup (for the cold of course). we also picked up some of these...

the one on the left is a blueberry bran muffin and the one on the right is a honey nut muffin. who doesn't love muffins?! we didn't pick up these but i just had to take a picture...

3. because sometimes, you just need to melt cheese on things

i'm happy to announce that i'm the proud new owner of a hamilton beach toaster oven! up until this point i've been using a regular old two-slotted toaster for my english muffins and wheat bread, but my mom didn't want me to go any longer without a real toaster oven. and let's be honest, you can't melt cheese on top of a silver foil surprise breakfast sandwich without one of these contraptions. it's my first appliance for my new apartment! if you know my dad, it seems very appropriate that the first thing i'll be able to serve to my houseguests is toast.

i also got one of these...

margaritas anyone?

highlight of the day:

i don't know about you, but when i see this picture, two words come to mind:
1. hell
2. YES

today it is OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL :) i now have the keys to my brand new apartment. welcome to #9.

obviously it's hard to get a great feel for this place when there's absolutely nothing in it. well, besides me...

but my mom and i made a few lists...

and over the next few days we'll start filling the place up! of course it will take me a while to really get everything i need, but you gotta start somewhere. luckily, soon after my mom leaves...enter interior decorator number two:

although her visit here with me will be mostly centered around eating, sightseeing, birthday-related things, eating, shopping, exploring, and eating, my best friend happens to have a very good eye when it comes to decorating and i know she'll have some awesome ideas to make this place a little more home-y and lot more fann-y.