This Weekend In Malibu

Chrissy Teigen has highlighted Instastories of her cooking recipes in semi real-time from her cookbook. I made the pan-seared fish this weekend. I followed it step by step, and my fish (sea bass) turned out beautifully. It was perfect. Like an actual chef had cooked the dinner.  I’m not the kinda girl to brag, but… My sea bass could be served in restaurants. I don’t think that’s bragging as much as it is just plain, ol’ facts. I substituted garlic & basil butter (from Whole Foods) instead of plain butter, but that’s the only thing I changed. If you like to cook and you’re not following Chrissy Teigen on Instagram, what are you even doing? She is single-handedly responsible for taking my cooking game from a seven to an eight. I’m at an eight, guys.  With some dishes anyway.

This past weekend we drove to Malibu and stayed at an AirBnB for the weekend. It was picturesque and relaxing. I don’t really think of myself as a city girl because I’m happiest and most relaxed barefoot and away from people. But… But I need to be close to the action. And I think that the distance from L.A. to Malibu is just right. When we used to visit my grandma every summer in small town Mississippi during my childhood, I don’t think I ever put on shoes. And my cousins and I used to beg my grandma to let us ride in the bed of her pickup truck, which of course is illegal now. I mean–I know that some of that was just the ridiculousness of youth, but–I still don’t care for shoes much. I’m just a country girl who likes the city sometimes! Malibu would be perfect for the rest of my life if the weather was colder during the winter. Also if it were cheaper.

Spring in Malibu is something special, though. The Bae and I went sailing, and although he was loathe to get on a boat with me as the lone sailor, he knew that it was best to at least pretend that he believed in my sailing skills if he wanted a conflict-free weekend.

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Guys, I took sailing lessons for like three years as a kid in Chicago. And again for another couple of summers as an adult in Chicago. CHICAGO IS ALL ABOUT SAILING IN THE SUMMER. I’m very good. Even better than I am at parallel parking. You can trust me.

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Wear your life jacket, though! #trustbutverify

Last weekend, I also binge-watched the entire season of Selling Sunset on Netflix. It’s a reality show about realtors in L.A. selling multi-million dollar properties. I usually hate most reality shows, but this one was catty without being too catty. Ya know? Like the perfect amount of drama combined with stunning and jaw-dropping real estate. I happily consumed every second, and now I want more. Who knows when they’ll drop the second season, though. I’ve been patiently waiting for the next season of Narcos, and…nothing!

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Talk soon, kids! Bisous!

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I’m getting better at driving in L.A. But parallel parking? That’s a whole other can of worms.

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Don’t blame me–blame the southern school system into which I was thrust while all my Midwestern friends were taking drivers ed in school.

Guys, it’s difficult not to be in a good mood in Los Angeles. The sun is shining, it’s not too hot (yet), people are wearing sunglasses indoors, there are food trucks everywhere. I mean, come on!

Sometimes when I’m in Atlanta I listen to this song

on repeat in the mornings to get my mood into the right space, but here I don’t even have to do that! I still do, though, because this song is magical. If you want an instant good mood, just blast this song when you wake up. That’s it, you’re done–you’re happy as f*ck now.

And if that’s not enough, L.A. will send you uplifting messages throughout the day.

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This past weekend we did go to the Griffith Observatory at night, and it was pretty but there weren’t that many stars visible. The planetarium made up of for it, though. Beautiful. We also found some good French restaurants. My favorite, so far, was Oriel Chinatown.

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I also went to The Row store, which is my favorite clothing brand that I can’t afford. That’s okay, though. I just buy secondhand, which saves my bank account and the earth.

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I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to go to the store, though. The Olsens have great taste, and I had to see it firsthand.

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I live.

Alright–I’m hungry and there’s a taco truck somewhere with my name on it. G’bye!

Bonjour, Los Angeles

The Bae is in L.A. working for a few weeks. That means that I am in L.A.–not working. Not technically, anyway. But I am working at trying to discover the L.A. French scene. I don’t know what that looks like exactly apart from French restaurants, but…I’m working that out. On Monday I’m gonna go to the French Alliance in Los Angeles and see what they can tell me.

Until then, I’m going to the usual haunts. Yesterday, I strode down Rodeo Drive to the beat of Pretty Woman playing in my head. I didn’t buy anything–I didn’t even go into any of the stores. But it was still fun for me! The weather is lovely and I’m getting the chance to figure out my L.A. fashion vibe. I’m thinking Nicole Richie but a little less bohemian. I already packed a stupid amount of kimonos, so I think I’m on the right track.

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I also went to the Glossier store yesterday. It was beautiful! I wanted to leave with everything, but I was good and only bought another bottle of the body wash because I was low.

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I planned on going more places yesterday, but driving alone in a new (and crowded!) city turned out to be more stressful than I had anticipated. Every time I parked the car safely at my destination I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

This weekend I have lots planned, though. We are definitely going to the Griffith Observatory, but at night so I can see some stars in the sky! And I have a couple of French restaurants I wanna try. Right now we’re leaving to hike Bronson Canyon. I’m not complaining because it isn’t too hot and I should be able to get some nice photos out of it!

À la prochaine !

The Bright Side

I feel like I’m flailing in my French fluency goal. I am studying every day (almost), but I don’t know if I’m getting anywhere. It’s difficult to know without tests of some sort. And there is also no plan. I guess I follow my study book chapter by chapter, so there’s that. But how do I test my improvement? How do I know if I’m really advancing? I still can’t understand most of my favorite French movie (Priceless). I understand some of the French YouTube fashion videos that I watch, but not enough to celebrate or anything. I’ve started increasing my listening time, and after about forty-five minutes my brain fights me every step of the way. After an hour, my brain is like

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and I can’t cajole it back into submission. Maybe if I split up my listening sessions–one hour in the morning, one in the evening? I don’t know–it’s pretty annoying. IT’S MY BRAIN! It should listen to me! Understand this fucking language, brain!

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I gave up sugar four days ago, so I’m taking everything a little harder than usual.

I bought a French decor magazine a couple of weeks ago, and I didn’t know like seventy percent of the words in it. How is that even possible?! That’s probably my fault for limiting my French listening to Barbie and Caillou. Not the most sophisticated vocabulary, right? But…everything else is so hard to understand!

Today I hung out with my friend, Julie, who is French, and that helps a lot because I can understand her and when I can’t she explains things so that I can. It’s just bizarre to me that I can understand a lot of what she says, but everyone else is so difficult to decipher. Why won’t my brain stop betraying me? I’ve always been so good to it.

I should really switch the narrative and frame all of this in a more positive light, huh? I understand some French YouTube videos. I can talk with Julie in French. I can listen to forty-five minutes of French. I know thirty percent of the words in my French decor magazine. I can understand a lot of Caillou and Barbie en français. These are all things I couldn’t do a few years ago. Perhaps my brain is not betraying me. I mean–it is being stubborn…but then look who it belongs to.

Okay, yeah. I should learn to be more positive. That’s just really tough to do on your fourth day without sugar!

À bientôt !