In Category: ‘Obsessed’

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July 14, 2016 Black Garlic


Black Garlic Crostini 0005 1024x765 Black Garlic


A year after McCarty began demanding all of my attention, I’m starting to find some time to get back to the things I love.  The magazine pile is out.of.control.  I have piles of them everywhere, subscriptions have long expired and am now getting around to reading that great issue of Sunset Magazine from April 2015.  It’s crazy talk, but I’m so glad to be getting back in the swing of things!

So, I wish I could tell you which magazine it was that had a lovely little article on Black Garlic.  I’d guess Bon Appetit probably.  Black Garlic is regular old garlic, fermented and aged until it’s black, sticky and almost paste-like.  They sell it at Whole Foods in these little bags, I think it was $5.99.  It’s smokey and a little sweet and has so much flavor!   A beautiful amazing bang of flavor!  I can’t even imagine all of the things that will be so much better with Black Garlic.  Pizza. Pasta. More crostinis.  (I decided to stick to meat, fruits & veggies today… it’s been like 22 hours without a carb and I’m already craving it so hard.)

So, I came home, slathered it on a bit of french bread and died.  Then I put together one of my favorite little salads (which is oh so good on it’s own!) and topped some toasted french bread and the black garlic.  Done.  Done.  Done.  Try it guys!

Black Garlic Crostini 0003 1024x765 Black Garlic

Black Garlic Crostini 0002 1024x765 Black Garlic


Black Garlic & Summer Salad Crostini



Black Garlic (found at Whole Foods)

French Bread

2 Peaches

1 basket of Cherry Tomatoes

1 container of Mozzarella

Olive Oil




Cut the french bread into slices and toast (I use the broiler function on my oven for about 5 minutes.)  Spread the french bread with black garlic (about one clove per crostini, but more if you really like!)

Cut the peaches, tomatoes and mozzarella into tiny pieces and mix with a few tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Sprinkle the salad onto the crostini.  Enjoy!



The kind of amazing part of having a new baby is that you get little free passes. Because you don’t sleep so much and life is thrown upside down for a bit, you are allowed to slack off on certain things.  This blog, the gym, all the little extras that bring so much joy, but that don’t really fit into the new juggling act of baby, house, work, life.

But, nine months in, we’re really getting this juggling act down (Some days.  Some days, not so much.) and returning to the extras is making me so happy!   Maybe I’ll blog more than two times in 2016!

classpass CLASSPASS, My New Motivation

I love exercise classes.  And if there’s a fancy machine, or sexy lighting, or something weird/unique I’m even more excited to try it out.  ClassPass started to get really popular right around the time I found out I was pregnant, and I didn’t want to try too many new things while I was also trying to grow a human, so I’ve had to wait until now to test the waters.  I just finished up the two week trial and I.Am.Obsessed.  I tried 13 classes in 2 weeks and I loved every single one of them.  Sure, the logistics can be kind of tough… where do you go? where do you park? what do I need to bring? That all gets a little exhausting.  And because you have to sign up in advance, and are charged a fee if you cancel with 12 hours, you are forced to show up.  Some days that is truly terrible, and sometimes after being up more than a few times with a screaming infant, it might be worth $15 to stay snuggled in bed just a little longer.  But the excitement of tackling and conquering something new that’s just for you when you’ve been giving your all to someone else for all those months has been the most amazing feeling for this new mama.  I feel so good about myself and about life, in turn making me a better mother to that darling little girl!

So, thirteen classes in my ‘hood (I guess this is only helpful if you live in the valley!)

Forever Young Pilates – a super tiny studio with 5 reformers, the sweetest teacher and literally blocks from my house. The only class that fit into my schedule that day was a Level 1 class, but it was still a bit of a challenge, while still making me feel so long and stretched!

RPM Fitness Studio, RPM Spin – The first time I tried spin I thought it was spinning around on the floor with ribbon wands.  Seriously.  (I was 16.  So young, so dumb)  Turns out, spin is different!  This class has huge windows overlooking the road, so it was nice to have a little bit of a distraction people watching.  It was a good class, but there were only two others in the class, so I missed a bit of the group mentality in just buckling down and working through it though.

Barrys Bootcamp, Full Body – So badass.  Treadmills and floor exercise that make you want to die.  I walked out and snap chatted “fuuuuuuuck”.  But I’m ready to go back because it was so good.  The lighting is dark and sexy and the music makes you want to work even harder.  I kind of got lost in it all because I was just trying to keep up, but it seemed to be 5-7 minute segments on the treadmill and then switching to floor exercise with weights.  You are a sweaty hot mess when you walk out.  The next day wasn’t super great for walking.  My butt thanks me for it.

Up Flying Yoga, Aerial Yoga – Because you’re suspended three feet above the ground in a giant piece of fabric, you can stretch your body in ways you’d never imagined.  I.Love.This.Class.  I’d originally signed up for Aerial Dance, but got a notice that I needed to take Yoga first (you’ll see why when I talk about Aerial Dance later.).  The savasana, completely suspended in a silk the smells like lavender… heaven.  I literally could have spent the complete hour doing that, it was so good.  But the class itself is so much fun and you feel long and lean and kind of amazing.

The Bar Method – I do love barre classes.  You feel all long and ballerina-y afterwards.  Bar Method is a good one… definitely on the slower end, but on days that I’m all cardioed out, I love the calming feeling of Bar Method.  The holds are killer and the stretch makes me feel so strong!

CrossFit Horsepower, CardioFlex - Oh man.  I’d done CrossFit before and didn’t really care for it.  But my French tutor is a huge fan and encouraged me to come to this cardio class.  Similar to CrossFit, but less lifting enormous weights and more cardio until you die.  People throw up here.  Each class is totally different, but this day we ran through a deck of cards… hearts were burpees, spades were squats, clubs were lunges and diamonds were v sit-ups with a medicine ball.  The number on the card is how many of each exercise you do.  Oh, and aces, 200m run with that medicine ball.  I snagged the only 5 lbs weights in the place, but people around me were killing it with 20 lbs (I literally would have died.)  The heavy exercise part takes about 35 minutes, and that’s about all you can take.  The thing I do love about CrossFit is the camaraderie though… everyone is so friendly and encouraging.  You feel like a part of this badass team, even if you’re the one dragging ass and collapsing on to your mat and praying for it all to be over soon.

Pilates Plus, Megaburn55 – I did this class twice, once in Studio City and once in Encino.  They’re similar, although the Studio City location has fewer machines.  It was sooooo intense!  Hands down, the hardest reformer class I’ve ever taken.  There are lots of moves and accoutrement, so the learning curve is pretty steep.  I’m sure when I get it all down and can focus on the actual moves, it would be even more amazing.  I was sweating and my body felt it for days.

Shift – I actually attended the very first Shift class there ever was and I loved it!  They’ve moved to Sherman Oaks in the last year or so and the new location is incredible!  I forgot how hard this class is, but so good!   It’s a great mix of cardio and strength training on a boxing-style floor with weighted balls, small hand weights and resistance bands.  It’s all very encouraging with a focus on shifting your body into a new and amazing place.  A great class!

Sandbox Fitness, Surfiest Strength – It’s a giant sandbox and you workout with surfboards balanced on balls.  Sure you can do squats, but can you do them on a wiggly surfboard with a heavy barbell?  This class was so much fun, even though I don’t really care for sand and it gets everywhere.  I believe it’s only 45 minutes, which is kind of nice for quick mornings! And if you want to be crazy, it’s next door to Pure Barre, so you could park once and workout two times!

Up Flying Yoga, Aerial Dance – If on a scale of 1-10 Aerial Yoga was a 4, Aerial Dance would be a 372.  This class is so hard and requires so much body strength… upper, lower, core, all the strengths.  My friend Heidi and I took it together and were laughing out of sheer awkwardness… graceful we are not.  At one point I fell out of my silk and onto the floor like a sack of potatoes.  At another point, I wrapped myself into an awkward cocoon while the teacher spun into an incredible aerial split.  BUT, I kind of can’t wait to go back.  Pulling yourself up into this crazy acrobatic display is one of the most gratifying moments.  If you can pull it off, you look AMAZING! I didn’t expect to feel like I worked out at this class, but I was sweaty and I definitely felt it the next day!

Pulse, 30/20/10 – This class is like Barry’s Bootcamp little sister… sweeter and less intimidating, but still pretty badass.  The treadmill portion is pretty similar to Barrys but the floor exercise are much less intense.  The music is great, the lighting is sexy… I do really enjoy sexy lighting when I workout.  This is also in the same shopping center as Shift, so if you want to work super hard one day, it’s a one stop shop!

Yoga NoHo, Yoga Sculpt – This studio is so close to my house and they had perfect afternoon classes.  After a grueling two weeks, I thought this could be a nice stretchy and calming class to end my trial.  I was wrong.  I was sweaty.  I did handstands (what!?).  It was amazing and just what I didn’t realize I needed.  The savasana was so amazing… dark room, the teacher covered us with blankets and spritzed a citrusy spray and I could have slept there all night.

Whew… two weeks of such good workout!  I wanted to make sure that I got my $19 worth and I’m so happy to say that I did!  I love finding new places to workout and pushing my body to try new things.  I dropped a few pounds, am seeing so much more definition in my body and just generally have so much more energy and excitement for the day. I’ve loved it so much that I’m going to stay on for another month at least!  There are some classes that I can bring McCarty along, so when Chris goes back to work and the Daddy-Daughter dates get cut back, I can still use ClassPass if I don’t make it out before he goes to work!  It’s pricey, but if I use it 3-4 times a week, definitely worth it!

I have a few studios that I still want to try, but if you have any favorites, throw them at me!

March 4, 2013 Entouriste


I have an obsession with travel, as you likely know by now.  It’s pretty much the only thing I want to do with my life.  So, when Ami from Elizabeth Anne Designs told me she was launching a new travel site I was so over-the-top excited!  For her, and for her new venture, of course.  But mostly for the beautiful eye candy that would be coming my way everyday!   Today, Entouriste launched and it’s more beautiful then I ever could have imagined!   I am so looking forward to all the goodness that I’m sure will be coming my way!

And to make it all the more amazing, one of her first posts is our Tuscan cooking class from last summer!   I am honored and thrilled Ami!  So, go over, drool over all the pretty images and just try to stop me from opening up a new tab and booking plane tickets to every single destination!

Screen Shot 2013 03 04 at 9.55.43 AM Entouriste

February 25, 2013 House of Cards

house of cards final poster 691x1024 House of Cards

Are you watching House of Cards?!  After the debacle that was Lilyhammer, I didn’t think much of this new offering from Netflix.  I’m usually one for sticking to what you know, and was pretty sure that Netflix was going to go down.  But, Holy.Crap.  It’s smart, it’s interesting, it’s creative and it’s ranking up there with the HBO shows that I have come to adore.  The relationships are complicated, the interiors are so classic and I want to wear almost everything that Claire Underwood puts on her amazing body.  And lucky for us, they released all thirteen episodes at once, so I can stuff in three an evening before falling asleep.  Seriously, go watch it.

February 21, 2013 Basil Hazel

Never in my life did I imagine that I would love a dog so much. Those sad eyes get me every.single.time.

Valentines 0003 Basil Hazel

February 1, 2013 The Juice Cleanse

BakmanCondo 1 The Juice Cleanse

No matter how much I think I’m not going to overeat over the holidays, I tend to eat, well, everything.  All the things.   Sweets and savories alike!  And then come January, I feel gross.  And the scale is so angry at me!  I’ve always wanted to try a juice cleanse, and this seemed like as good a day as any to jump right in!   Three days of nothing but juice.  No chewing of any sort for three whole days.   I was prepared to be so hungry that I was going to fail miserably.  I had events to go to all week, and I braced myself to eat entire cheese plates at said events.  But none of that happened and it was AMAZING!

Well, OK, that word may be a teeny bit strong.  It was better than I expected and I will definitely be doing it again!   I feel strong & clear & healthy.  I was never super hungry, but I never felt completely full… and that was a bit annoying.  And on the third day, I was a little bit coocoo.  But the flat tummy and the glowing skin was well worth it!   I used The Real Juice company and was super happy with them!  The juices were delivered early, along with a little cooler and ice packs for taking the juices on the go.  They were all tasty and a few had pretty unique flavors!   And when I had an issue, their customer service was incredible and I even got a follow up email to make sure I was doing just fine.   The only change I would make is that it’s the same six juices everyday.  A little bit of variety would be nice, espeically after the third day of a liquid diet.  But, I hear that it’s in the works and that’s super exciting!

So, if you’re thinking of it, I would highly recommend it!   Good luck!


kp4 1024x576 I Think We All Need A Pep Talk

Such a beautiful and sweet little video from Kid President.  A little inspiration for your Monday morning.


January 11, 2013 Workout Classes


I have a little bit of an obsession with workout classes.   And I want to try them all.  It helps me stay somewhat interested in working out, and I workout so that I can eat, and I love food.   So, all in all, a good thing, no?  I especially love when a class is offered on Groupon, such a great way to try new things!  Here are a few of my favorites…

Body Theory, Drenched – If you feel like you need a really good ass-kicking, this is your class. It’s like Tae-Bo, kickboxing and the occasional small weight lifting.  It’s fast, the music is loud, you’ll sweat your face off and burn an enormous amount of calories.  I absolutely love it!  I will say that the room gets quite hot though, and it has carpeting, so the sweaty stench hangs in the air.  The classes are also ENORMOUS and you really have to watch where you throw a kick lest you knock out the person standing next to you.  I forgive it all though because I love the way this class makes me feel!  Definitely bring a towel and a water bottle though, you’ll need both!

Pop Physique – I bought a Groupon for Pop Physique and actually never made it through all six classes.  It’s intense and will definitely change your body!   The rooms are decorated beautifully, the classes are small and it’s on the more luxurious end of small gyms.  Unfortunately, I felt that most of the movements were direct rip-offs of Bar Method and I like Bar Method so much more.

Bar Method – I really do love Bar Method.  The classes are small, the gyms feel inviting, the receptionist knows your name and there’s a locker room to store your things or take a shower.  The workout is a combination of ballet and isometrics to stength and elongate.  And it works, I saw changes in just a few sessions.  Because the classes are so small, there is a lot of one-on-one attention.  My favorite, a little Keurig to make my morning tea when I’m heading out the door.  I will mention that the workouts are quite slow and I found my mind wandering.

Cardio Barre – The workout is similar to Bar Method, but with the addition of cardio, loud music and a much faster pace.  The workout is one of my favorites!   It’s intense, but doable and I always feel great.  Unfortunately, they pack the classes so tightly that you’re basically standing on top of the person in front of you.  The classes back up onto each other so that when I’m spending my five minutes stretching and feeling amazing about myself I have to listen to the women waiting for the next class chat, loudly.  It makes me so angry that I lose that zen you’re supposed to revel in after an amazing workout.  (If you want to try, there’s currently a Living Social deal going on!)


I have a tea problem.  Obsessed with tea.  There’s an entire cabinet in our kitchen dedicated to teas… maybe fifty different types.  Love love love tea.  So, a few months ago I got a sample in a Birchbox from Kusmi, their Detox tea.  It is so.freaking.good.  So good.  And, perfect for those days that I feel gross and bloaty.  Takes care of it right away!  I always bring a few sachets with me when I travel, wonderful for getting rid of the plane ick.  With a bit of honey & lemon, it is perfection!

Italy 114 Obsessed: Kusmi Detox Tea


I’ve always wanted to be one of those women who had an arsenal of really incredible beauty products.  The best products for my skin, hair, nails.  I wanted to have a really great response when someone asks “What product can you not live without?”  But, I don’t.  I use the stuff I’ve used forever… not because it’s the best, but because it’s what I’ve always used.  I have an irrational fear of trying something new.  That feeling that I’m going to spend too much money on something that doesn’t live up to it’s expectations.  Or that I’m going to have a bad reaction.  Or that I simply won’t like it.  And then I read about Birchbox… and it became my new obsession!

Basically, you pay $10 a month and they send you an adorable little box of great new products!  Something about those little samples make me so happy!   It’s such a wonderful way to try new things and either fall in love, or realize that the moisturizer I’ve been using for my entire life really is pretty great. And because I travel so much, I love that they’re perfect little travel sizes!

This month felt a little light… not as many products as there have been in the past, but some really delicious things!

birchbox 049 Obsessed: Birchbox

birchbox 050 Obsessed: Birchbox

BVLGARI Omnia Crystalline Eau de Toilette Spray – It smells incredible!  Rich and perfect for an evening that involves ball gowns and diamonds!

fresh Sugar Rose Tinted LIp Treatment SPF15 – now this I might not be able to live without!  It’s smooth, smells delicious, just the hint of pink and makes my lips feel super moisturized.  Pretty sure this will be a new addition to my purse!

Kiehl’s Abyssine Cream + – I have friends that swear by Kiehl’s!  And I really like this moisturizer!  It’s light and creamy.  But, it doesn’t have sun protection, so I only use it at night.

Miracle Skin Transformer Body SPF 20 in Glow – um, it’s tinted treatment that is supposed to erase blemishes and scars on arms, legs and decollete.  It’s very, glittery.  I don’t know that I would actually use this… maybe for a sexy night out?

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Birchbox, nor was I compensated for this post.  Just a happy customer!

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