The Non-Definitive Guide To Life

a blog for people who still read

Posts for EATS & DRINKS Category

Fun Size

EATS & DRINKS - October 31, 2019

A handful of candies are perfect in their fun-size form and lack the same appeal when at their counter non-fun sized proportion. My 30 years as an American Halloween candy connoisseur has awarded me the tireless research and expertise needed to make these definitive conclusions. The fundamentally better candy when fun-sized includes Mr. Goodbar, Dots, and Laffy Taffy.  

With this knowledge, I wish you a prosperous Halloween.  

Happy Halloween.

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Life Lesson from an Ice Cream Sandwich

EATS & DRINKS, SNAIL MAIL - August 24, 2018

When I was a kid I LOVED ice cream sandwiches, and it taught me a valuable life lesson.

I basically smeared chocolate cookie and ice cream everywhere.

When I was a kid I LOVED ice cream sandwiches. I’m not a huge ice cream person, but I still have a soft spot for the ice cream sandwich. The other day, as I was snacking on this tasty treat at Thinkspace Gallery, it reminded me of this mischievous story from my childhood.

One hot summer day during the commercial break of my favorite Disney Channel show, I grabbed an ice cream sandwich from the freezer. Obviously, I had many tasks to complete during this break, so for some reason, I took the treat with me to the bathroom, but promptly left it on the counter when I heard the tv show come back from its commercial break earlier than I anticipated. Well, as I was enthralled with the storyline, my ice cream sandwich was melting on the counter. I never went back for it. I think I left it there for a good hour. Don’t ask where my parental supervision was, latchkey kid all the way – BUT after whatever I was watching was over, or something uninteresting came on the tv, I returned to the bathroom to find ice cream all over the counter. I freaked out! Being only 5 years old I cleaned it up the best I could, with toilet paper. I basically smeared chocolate cookie and ice cream everywhere. Clearly unable to hide the evidence of my irresponsibility. I just locked the bathroom door and walked away.

It was another few hours until anyone attempted to open the bathroom. I continued watching tv, playing, doing what you do when your five years old. When my parents attempted to open the door, I denied knowing why it was locked. When they finally were able to get it unlocked to discover the ice cream sandwich madness within, my tiny handprints all over the counter and mirrors, I continued to deny knowing why it was locked. Eventually, I confessed to being guilty for locking the door and leaving my ice cream sandwich on the counter to melt.

Now as I reflect on this, I have to say my 5-year-old self had some real gumption to try and figure out how to clean up the mess they created all by themselves. It was my ice cream, so I should clean it up. Great sense of responsibility. Also, I learned at a very young age closing the door on a problem doesn’t make it go away. You have to face it straight on, and maybe asking for help when it’s a little too big to manage is smart too.

Next time you eat ice cream while feeling like life’s problems are a little too much to deal with, make the choice to find your sister and have her help clean up your mess before Mom and Dad find out.

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Birthday Cheese Board at LACMA’s Ray’s & Stark Bar

EATS & DRINKS - March 14, 2018

Life Clifnotes:

  • My birthday was in February
  • I’m trying to finish my AA with a transfer in psych this year
    • which means I’m in school Tuesday through Thursday night, taking a French class and an Astronomy course
  • I’m still doing Freelance
  • I’m still editing the young adult book I wrote with my sister (this process has been 9 years and counting)
  • I’ve sent out 283 tweets to Congress, and need to send more.
  • I started a foodie Instagram account called lovetastyadventures 

And since I did start a foodie Instagram account, I thought I would share the cheese board my husband and I had at LACMA’s Ray’s and Stark Bar for my birthday. The wedding last year has me feeling really burned out when it comes to planning anything, so I decided I wanted my birthday to be simple with just Dan and me. I was inspired to have an evening at LACMA to celebrate, and on the way we decided to stop in Ray’s and Stark Bar for a glass of wine. Our dinner plans for the night would include our latest favorite restaurant Exchange in Downtown LA. We will need to return and take decent photos of the food there, right now they are blurry and don’t highlight their deliciousness properly. But the photos of the cheese board, on the other hand, are lovely and the cheeses were delicious. I feel restaurants never serve enough pieces of bread, so we enjoyed the soft cheeses and apricot compote with the crostinis and paired the Marcona almonds with the hard aged cheddar. At this point, I don’t recall the other cheeses, but I’ll be stepping up my foodie game in the future and will be taking notes.

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Friday Night In – Boggle & Pizza Party

EATS & DRINKS, READ - February 18, 2017

*this blog post includes affiliate links

I’ve had two kinds of pizza so far this evening, frozen CPK Sicilian pizza and the best cornbread crust pizza by Vicolo. I’ve also enjoyed one highball, which is a glass of La Croix plain sparkling water topped with High-West Rye Whiskey, and have watched the first part of episode two of The OA with Dan. All the elements for a perfect “Friday Night In” survival kit. Later, we will be busting out Boggle and seeing how well we can spell with a few glasses of whiskey in our system.

I love words but have major spelling insecurity. Dan is an impeccable speller but isn’t as confident with word selection.  I feel this helps to even the playing ground. This week I became a Grammarly affiliate! I love Grammarly because it helps me feel a little more confident before I hit publish. I was using the free version for over a year, but last month I purchased the premium subscription after I made a mistake on whether a sentence was supposed to say ” Bekka and me” or “Bekka and I.” When I was a child I was a terrible student; I was tested for ADHD and Dyslexia because I would disrupt the class and be terrible at my spelling exams. I won’t go into the details of my childhood and education, but at the end of the day, because I rebelled in school while I was supposed to learn the fundamentals of grammar and spelling, I grew into an adult not knowing any of the rules. I excelled at reading comprehension, and I was enrolled in AP English classes. My love for words and knack for patterns helped me pass, as my essays were acceptable and although my grammatical errors were circled in red, Word Doc corrected all my weak spelling. Now, with Grammarly, I’m able to learn all the rules while I am writing. I absolutely love the program and can proudly say this blog is powered by Grammarly.  It tells you when a word is overused or writes in a passive voice. My writing is getting stronger because I finally have a responsive teacher, it’s always been the nuances of grammar that has eluded me but Grammarly takes away that mystery.

I wasn’t intending on writing about Grammarly this evening, but my Boggle filled future made me want to share about this awesome program. If you haven’t installed Grammarly’s free program for Google Chrome, you should ASAP – you’ll never mess up their, there or they’re again!

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FRIDAY FAVORITES OR FINDS | WK2 2017

New year, new ideas – welcome to Friday Favorites or Finds

*this post may include affiliate links, those items will be marked with an asterisk

The new year always brings on a surge of inspiration and motivation for me. My creative engines are revving and I’m seeing the world with a new vibrancy. Given the collective emotional hangover that was 2016, I am taking a zen approach of letting things be and approaching life one choice at a time.

So, one of my choices was to add a FUN category to the blog. I wanted to create a space on here for more silliness, randomness, and plain old fun.  And I think it would be fun to share the things that I found or fell in love with on a weekly basis. I truly believe sharing is caring.

Each post will be accompanied by a video highlighting the art, music, and life adventure aspect of my Friday favorites or finds. Then here I’ll sprinkle in some more awesome items and things I think you should know about. So here it goes!

Friday Favorites

 

*Plant Believe It Earrings: Adorable little cacti in pink pots! I just love them and they are 60% off.

Sakara Morning/Beauty Water: It’s a total luxury item but I LOVE this water. It contains rose water, silica, and 72 ionic trace minerals to hydrate and keep you glowing. It’s silly, but I feel prettier drinking the water because it tastes so pretty. p.s. I purchased a whole reset program from Sakara that I will be reviewing later this month.

Brain Dust From Moon Juice:  I raved about the Brain Dust over on Instagram. As it says on the box, it’s an alchemy to align with the mighty flow for great achievement. It’s made with organic and wildcrafted herbs, adaptogenic plants, and bioactive minerals. So basically, it tastes like bitter dirt for the first five cups, but by your sixth cup, you’re hooked and feeling good!

Ubrand Monterey Ballpoint Pens: $8.00 for two pens might seem like a lot but when you have this pen in your hand you feel ready to take on the day. It has a substantial weight and writes like a dream. I’m an office supply nerd and this pen has earned a whole sticker sheet of gold stars.

Oliver Hudson’s Instagram account : Oliver Hudson is an actor, Kate Hudson’s brother, Goldie Hawn’s son, and the honey badger of Instagram. My sister turned me on to his account and it’s hilarious (or at least my kind of humor). At first, I didn’t understand why my sister told me to check out his account, but after watching a few videos, I was totally hooked. Plus, both Kate and Goldie comment on his posts and it adds to the absurdist comedy.

Pixie Geldof’s I’m Yours: review in my video

Magical Universe: review in my video

 tweet it -“Don’t let mild inconvenience get in the way of your joy!” 

I’m still unsure of what name I should commit to, so if you have an opinion feel free to take my poll!

 

Love &  Light

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Summer and Fall Recap of Gilmore Girls Revival Now Live on YouTube

EATS & DRINKS, WATCH - November 30, 2016

Summer and Fall Recap of Gilmore Girls Revival while eating Chinese food and apple pie! 

I was anxiously waiting for ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life’ on Netflix like every other twenty to thirty something who watched the cult status worthy television. My sad attempt at last-minute binge watching took me half-way through the last season and a few Brit and Co recommended episodes. But mostly I relied on my steel trap memory for recall when triggered.  To celebrate the revival, I made plans with one of my best friends to eat like a Gilmore and watch Gilmore Girls: “A Year In The Life”. She was kind enough to allow me to record our gastric adventure and post-episode discussion. We had SO MUCH fun making these videos, and I hope you enjoy watching our thoughts and feels. Fall and Summer recaps are live now!

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Winter and Spring Recap of Gilmore Girls Revival Now Live on YouTube

EATS & DRINKS, WATCH - November 28, 2016

Winter and Spring Recap of Gilmore Girls Revival while eating pancakes and cheeseburgers! 

I was anxiously waiting for ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life’ on Netflix like every other twenty to thirty something who watched the cult status worthy television. My sad attempt at last-minute binge watching took me half-way through the last season and a few Brit and Co recommended episodes. But mostly I relied on my steel trap memory for recall when triggered.  To celebrate the revival, I made plans with one of my best friends to eat like a Gilmore and watch Gilmore Girls: “A Year In The Life”. She was kind enough to allow me to record our gastric adventure and post-episode discussion. We had SO MUCH fun making these videos, and I hope you enjoy watching our thoughts and feels. I currently only have the Winter and Spring recap of Gilmore Girls: “A Year In The Life”  ready, but make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for Summer and Fall.

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OR: Goonies & Tillamook Cheese, Oregon Treasures

ADVENTURES, EATS & DRINKS, TRAVEL - August 20, 2016

October 23, 2015 | #ontheroad1015 (previous post)

When Dan and I travel we have no shame about trying to make it to a destination right before closing. We parked and ran to the Molly Brown museum in Denver, Colorado  and we parked and booked it into the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  Now that I’ve edited all the footage from October 23, 2015, I’m really damn impressed with the amount of fun we squeezed into that day.  But since the internet can be deceiving I also want to confess, that by the time we were racing to Tillamook my anxiety was sky high. That when we went to the Goonies rock, I was definitely on edge and had to apologize for momentarily turning into a mega bitch, because I’m not perfect.  I also had tunnel vision and wasn’t the best listener, as you’ll see in the video. These anecdotes are my truth, but my memory is that Dan and I flipping killed it that day and from Seattle to Eugene, Oregon we saw everything on our travel list. We laughed and ate a sandwich from a Seattle deli around the Oregon / Washington border.  We created more dorky memories for us to treasure. Since I’m not super proud of my 2015 vlogging skills, here are pictures from inside the Goonies Museum and Tillamook Cheese adventure. I highly recommend these road trip stops for any big kid!

Based on my 90’s pop-culture obsession, I assume that it would be obvious that my pop-culture obsession dips into the 80’s as well. So, yes I was raised on Goonies and I recommend looking at the following photos with the Cindy Lauper classic “Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” playing at the same time.

Goonies Museum Oregon Road Trip

Goonies Museum Oregon Road Trip

Goonies Museum Oregon Road Trip

Goonies Museum Oregon Road Trip

Data_Goonies_RoadTrip

Cory Connection_Goonies_Roadtrip

Goonies Museum Oregon Road Trip

Goonies Museum Oregon Road Trip

Goonies Museum Oregon Road Trip

Goonies Museum Oregon Road Trip

Goonies Museum Oregon Road Trip

Goonies Museum Oregon Road Trip

Goonies Rock_RoadTrip

Tillamook Cheese Oregon Road Trip

Tillamook Cheese Oregon Road Trip

The employees were really nice and snapped this picture for us. I was trying to take a quick selfie since the factory was closed, but one of the workers said, “No let’s do this right and get in the bus.”

He took my camera and this photo is now in existence.

Tillamook Cheese Oregon Road Trip

Tillamook Cheese Oregon Road Trip

Tillamook Cheese Oregon Road Trip

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OR: Portlandia Breakfast at Sweedeedee

ADVENTURES, EATS & DRINKS, TRAVEL - May 28, 2016

October 20, 2015 | Day 6 of #OnTheRoad15 (previous day)

Our Airbnb hosts told us about Sweedeedee, as they put it, the breakfast spot is a quintessential Portlandia style experience. As two Los Angeles hipsters, there was no way we could skip out on a spot like that and off to Sweedeedee we went.  Everything about the eatery was perfect and everything about me that day was falling apart. I was dealing with major in the moment fear of missing out anxiety. That terrible anxious feeling I get where I question my experience while I am experiencing it, wondering if I’m having enough fun – when that question alone takes all the fun out of it. Sitting in our adorable corner booth in this darling restaurant, looking at an old couple eating their food and reading the paper, I tried to slow down.

I tried to enjoy the moment and my amazing fiance tried to remind me that we were on vacation. I ordered corncakes with greens and bacon, and Dan ordered the smoked trout with eggs and potatoes. His breakfast was much tastier than mine, I’ve come to find out I’m not a big fan of corncakes – I can’t blame the restaurant for that. I did, however, drool over the plate my breakfast was served on, the mugs for our coffee, the dish for salt and everything else on the table. When we walked in there was no line, but by the time we left it was clearly out the door. Here’s what our breakfast at Sweedeedee looked like before our adventure in Portland.

Check out the vlog for our full day in Portland post breakfast.

Playing Vinyl at Sweedeedee Pies at Sweedeedee Bowerbird getting us coffee at Sweedeedee Ceramic Coffee Cups at Sweedeedee Corncakes Breakfast at Sweedeedee Salt at Sweedeedee Trout and Egg Breakfast at Sweedeedee How To Order at Sweedeedee

 

 

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GA: A Half Day in Athens

ADVENTURES, EATS & DRINKS, LISTEN, TRAVEL - February 3, 2016

Athens, GA – October 19, 2014 / DAY 20 of #ontheroad1014

Our road trip had already been steeped in music history, having gone to the Grand Ol Opry in Nashville and Muscle Shoals in Alabama, so it’s to be expected we hit up Athens, GA as well (or at least that’s what Bowerbird felt). The day we visited Athens, we grabbed an awesome breakfast in Atlanta at the Rosebud café. When we picked the restaurant it was unbeknownst to us that the owner, Ron Eyester, was a contestant on Top Chef Season 12.  After our yummy breakfast I dropped off a few of my postcards, that invited people to tweet me while we were on the road, by the door and Ron was one of the awesome people that said hello!

Rosebud Breakfas

From Rosebud we drove over to the Martin Luther King Memorial Center also in Atlanta, it was extremely important to me that we explore the history of the civil rights movement while on our trip. We were going to go to Montgomery, AL before we went to New Orleans but my Atlanta friends told me it was better to experience the Martin Luther King historical sites instead. I’m glad they had suggested the memorial center; I was filled with sadness, joy and humility as I walked through the center seeing relics of segregation and reading Dr. Kings story. Next to the memorial center is Ebenezer Church, the spiritual home to Martin Luther King where he was baptized and was a minister till his passing. Inside the church, they play his speeches and sermons, Bowerbird and I sat for a while in a pew listening to his powerful words until it was time for us to head to Athens.

MLK Memorial Center

Now, I was completely oblivious to the Athens roots many of my favorite musical acts had come from, like the B-52’s, REM, Of Montreal, and Drive by Truckers. But Bowerbird knew about that Athens’ sound and wanted to see the city that gave birth to it. I made my own Athens artists playlist that’s below and there is definitely a common note. Seeing Drive by Truckers or Lucero while in the South was another goal of the trip, but their tour schedule never synched with our road scheduled. To add insult to injury, when we drove into Downtown Athens and found a parking spot, it happened to be right across a music venue advertising Drive by Truckers would be playing October 31.

Georgia Theater Athens GA

Athens is about an hour and a half away from Atlanta. We arrived just around the same time our breakfast was wearing off, 1:00 pm. We didn’t know where we were going, only that we wanted to explore, so we just started walking in a general direction down one of the streets. In our aimless wandering I spotted a sign saying “This Is It”, since at the moment I needed a restroom in my life, I took the sign as a sign that this was the place to go. Eventually, we came across an interesting area on Washington, where Low Yo Yo Record store and Clocked diner are located. First we grabbed a quick snack at Clocked, a colorful retro dinner that looks like it could be the post-party destination for a Love Shack rager. Then it was on to crate digging at Low Yo Yo, Bowerbird found a lot of records he wanted to purchase but because we were on a road trip we were afraid of buying vinyl and then leaving it in the car. The potential damage of goods just left in the car to be warmed up by the sun prevented us from many wine and vinyl purchases.

Clocked Cafe and Diner

Bowerbird and the shop owner geeked out over a few obscure bands. I picked up a silly bookmarker at the worlds tiniest art gallery located in a closet at the back of the store. We bought a few CDs as we didn’t bring any of our own music on the road; a bad idea for one’s data plan. And after about an hour and a half worth of record window shopping, we continued on to wander the streets of downtown Athens.

Low Yo Yo records in Athens, GA

We hopped into a few other vintage and record stores before settling into a pub/coffee shop that was located across from the college. There were a lot of students in there and since I had my backpack on me, I felt like blending in with the locals and busting out my laptop. While on the road I had every intention of blogging on a regular basis, little did I know that isn’t exactly easy when one’s sleeping arrangements doesn’t have wifi or my only downtime is right before bed at midnight (brain dead). So with our bit of downtime, I ordered a hard cider and wrote a blog post, TN:  Johnny Cash & Nashville.

Shopping in Athens GA

We headed back to Atlanta around 6:00pm and had every intention of grabbing dinner in the city, until an accident caused the highway to shut down and our hour and half drive turned into three and half hours. I felt terrible as our ETA kept changing and we had friends waiting for us in Atlanta. We got to our friends place around 10:00pm where they fed us Trader Joes quinoa stir-fry, we watched The Walking Dead, and went to bed.

If you’re visiting Atlanta, I highly suggest taking a day trip to Athens. It has a small town feel but a lot of unique shops and character. If it wasn’t a Sunday, Bowerbird and I might have tried to find a college rager to crash.

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