March 14, 2013

Exciting News

Hi Everyone! As promised, here is an update as to what has been going on in my life. In addition to moving, I have started another blog! Since we are no longer living Downtown, Downtown Chic, just didn't seem appropriate any longer. Furthermore, I've decided to focus on what I'm passionate about, and coincidentally, which posts are the most popular. My apologies for not posting on a regular basis recently, but I am proud to introduce, Beach Babe Fitness

I found a great designer, who has been helping me put together my vision. It is still a work in progress, but I'd love for you to check it out and follow along! I promise to be diligent on my posts :) Check-in for Tips & Motivation, Workouts & Exercises, and Diet & Recipes. Love you, babes! Thank you for following along on my journey through Downtown and click here to visit my new site! 

March 11, 2013


As some of you already know (especially if you follow me on instagram) Chad and I moved! It was a whirlwind of a week and it happened so suddenly. Chad's work has been bringing him back to Orange County and well, lets be honest I am still a beach girl at heart. Our year in downtown however was monumental, both personally and professionally. Personally, Chad and my relationship blossomed so much. I think it was a combination of getting past that year-one of marriage mark, and also the fact that we were on our own -- completely independent from our friends and family. We embarked on a new journey together, one that we will remember for the rest of our lives. We were talking the other day, and imagined telling our (not yet existent) kids about the year we lived in Downtown Los Angeles. They are going to think we were so cool! 

I am so thankful to Chad that he forced me out of my comfort zone and back into LA. Despite my attempts to move to the Westside, or back to South Bay (yes, post-college I lived in Hermosa for a year and a half), we were meant to spend a year in the heart of the city. Downtown continues to grow at an alarming rate, and I must say I was hesitant to leave. I will certainly miss walking to bars, restaurants, coffee, the grocery store, the dog groomer... the list goes on. I will definitely miss the creativity and originality of the city. Did I mention the food and drinks?! It's aace I will forever hold dear to my heart. For our last night in the city, we celebrated Chad's birthday by taking the subway (yes, we took public transportation in LA!) to Hollywood. We spent the night being wine, dined and entertained by Supperclub. Although a part of me wishes we would have stayed downtown, we had such a fun last night! 

Downtown is a place I will forever hold dear to my heart. And yet, on the other hand, I am so happy to be back in Orange County. Simply put, life is easier. It's been one week back at the beach and I feel so great. There's something about that ocean air that makes everything okay. 

I continue to commute to Pasadena, teaching Barre Fly three times days a's so weird driving through downtown to get back to Laguna. Yes, I've moved back to my hometown, Laguna Beach. If you're wondering what else I've been up to... stay tuned for an exciting announcement later this week! xo

February 27, 2013

Best of Downtown

Chad and I have been talking about moving back to Laguna Beach (my hometown) soon. Shocking, I know. Knowing that our move is imminent, I've been visiting my favorite places. While on my quest to enjoy the best of downtown, I thought I'd share with you my best list!

Best Hangout : The Standard
With everything from a ping pong playing venue to a biergarten, there's no better place to have a mini vacation downtown. My favorite part about the standard is of course the rooftop pool. Open all day to the public, there's no better place to enjoy the wonderful view and soak up the sun.

Best Sushi : Sugar Fish
Trust me is one of three choices on the pre-fixe menu and trust me, it is the best sushi I have ever had. It's simple and fresh and so, so good.

Best Bar : Pattern Bar
It's chic, it's fun. the cocktails are delicious, the food is scrumptious, the crowd is cool, and the owner is super nice. Enough said. 

Best Park : Elysian
The views, the hikes, the parks, the vastness, this park wins for so many reasons. I think Patrick agrees! 

Best View : Perch
Overlooking Pershing Square, Perch has the best view of the downtown skyline. I must add that they also have delicious food and drinks. 

Best Cocktails : Coco Laurent
The drinks from Coco Laurent taste so delicious. While I love a simple cocktail that I can recreate at home, CoCo offers one of a kind awe inspiring cocktails. I've tried three or four, and even a few off the menu. All of them are fantastic. 

Best Food : Blue Cow Kitchen
The food at Blue Cow is some of the best I've ever had. I crave everything from the salads to the french fries to the sandwiches on a daily basis. I could seriously eat here everyday. It's fresh, clean eating that is so scrumptious. To boot, it has a great dining experience. 

Best Breakfast : Panini Cafe
Just a few blocks from our loft, Chad and I love to spend Saturday morning sipping coffee and ordering our favorite egg dish at Panini Cafe. With an extensive menu, the food is great, the prices are fair, and they have a wonderful patio where Patrick can enjoy the morning with us (it's the little things).

Best Building : The Eastern Building
From the impeccably decorated lobby, to the stunning rooftop pool, all topped off with the most amazing art deco architecture, The Eastern Columbia never ceases to amaze me. Everytime I walk by I think, how is this building real? It truly is a sight to see -- a beacon of the city. 

Best Dessert : Bottega Louie
Bottega Louie is by far the hottest place to eat, drink and be merry downtown. Unfortunately, the space is too loud to actually have a conversation and the wait time for dinner is usually over an hour. Even still, from the decor to the packaging... absolutely everything in this restaurant is so beautiful! The desserts are not only pieces of art, but they are such a tasty treat. My favorite are the Eclairs and the Macarons! 

Best Venue : The Orpheum 
Sorry, L.A. Live, but not only is the Orpheum a gorgeous theatre with history and character, but it's small enough to remain intimate. There's really no bad seat in the house. 

Honorable mentions go to Cana Rum Bar and Las Perlas. Both are amazing locations to enjoy a cocktail with friends or that special someone. 

If you haven't checked out any of the above mentioned places and you spend a lot of time downtown, get to it! I will definitely be missing these spots when we are no longer living downtown. Did I miss any categories? Still so much to explore! xo

February 21, 2013

Apple Cider Vinegar Elixir

Apple Cider Vinegar is magical. Truly. If you enjoy sweet drinks, including juice, soda or sports drinks, may I suggest this healthy elixir as a replacement? 

The benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar include healthy skin and hair, aides in digestion by killing harmful bacteria in the mouth and gut, boosts energy and metabolism, and is said to regulate blood sugar levels. See, I told you... magic! One draw back -- the taste! I've known about this amazing antecdote for several years now and would always power back a shot of the stuff when I felt like I was coming down with something. Over the past few months however, (sorry, I've been holding out on you!) I've concocted a wonderful way to enjoy Apple Cider Vinegar on the regular. Major plus -- it's zero calories so even someone on the strictest diet can sip this baby all day. Give it a try...

Apple Cider Vinegar

Make sure your find yourself organic ACV -- my favorite is Bragg's. Apple Cider Vinegar is potent so to make, add just 2 tablespoons of ACV to a full glass of water (at first you may want to try just 1 tbs). Add a teaspoon stevia (or more to taste) and a bit of cinnamon or shaved ginger. For other variations, try adding cayenne pepper, lemon, honey or fruit.  

PS. I've heard of people using Apple Cider Vinegar as a facial toner to promote clear skin. Has anyone tried it? Perhaps I'll give it a whirl the next time I have a breakout. Stay healthy, babes xo

February 13, 2013

Heart Cookies

Although Chad and I don't make a big fuss over Valentines day (all I ask for is a card), I absolutely LOVE this holiday. I love the pinks and reds, hearts and just all the LOVE goin' around!! My dearest friend Susanna and I got in the holiday spirit over the weekend by baking some delicious heart shaped cookies. I must admit, the process was a little more time consuming than either of us thought it would be, but the cookies are absolutely delicious and the perfect Valentine for a friend, co-worker or lover ;)

Here's the recipe if you'd like to try making them yourself. Apart from normal baking ingredients, we used a special cookie cutter by Linzer. You can also use two different sized heart shaped cutters for the same effect.

1 Cup (2 Sticks) of Butter
2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Egg
2 Cup Flour
2/3 Cup Almond Meal (finely ground almonds)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon  Cinnamon
Seedless Raspberry Jam
Confectioners Sugar (optional)

Special Equipment includes:
Two heart shaped cookie cutters (one large & one small)
Rolling Pin
Parchment Paper

Combine flour, almonds, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Beat sugar and butter (softened) until light and fluffy and add, vanilla and egg in a separate bowl. Slowly add in the flour mixture. When all ingredients are mixed together, place dough in plastic wrap and let it cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (this is where we initially failed - make sure the dough is cool before you try to roll it out). On a floured surface, use rolling pin to roll out the dough until it's about 1/8 inch thick. Use large heart shaped cookie cutter for the bottoms, and use the small cutter to make an additional cut for the top of the cookies. Make an even number of cookies for both top and bottom. Place cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookies to cooling rack and when they are completely cooled, sprinkle the "tops" with powdered sugar and spread a thin layer of jam on the "bottoms." Sandwich the bottom and top of the cookies and you've got yourself a wonderful, tasty Valentines treat!

Also, if you're still looking for something a little extra special for your Valentine, you can find instructions for a thoughtful Paper Hearts DIY project here.

February 11, 2013

10 Day Detox

I've just come off of a 10 day detox and I feel absolutely FANTASTIC!!! This detox is one that I've done before through a company called Metagenics. I try to do this detox about once every year. After the holidays, I was really feeling sluggish and this is exactly what I needed to clean out the junk and get back on track. Contrary to popular belief, this was not a "cleanse" or a "fast." Unlike a juice cleanse (like ones I've done before by Pressed Juicery) on the Metagenics detox, I am able to eat as much food as I want and part of the process includes drinking a shake (sometimes four shakes a day!). It's also not a weight-loss program, although this is a common side-effect :) For me, it helps to "re-set" my healthy diet when I start having incessant sugar cravings!

After the 10 day detox, studies have shown a 50 percent reduction in toxicity levels, which is huge! The contents of the shake, in conjunction with a supplement, actually pull the toxins from the cells. This results in a few days of feeling a bit crummy... that plus the fact that I have to give up my daily cup of coffee. I must admit, this is always the hardest part for me. I try to start weening myself off of caffeine a few days before the detox, so that by the time I cut out dairy, sugar, gluten and most meats (yes, this is for a whole ten days), I don't have to also deal with caffeine withdrawals!

So now that I've told you a little bit about the detox diet, you might be wondering what I did eat. Lucky for me, I enjoy the shakes, so drinking up to four of them a day was not only a bit of a treat, but they really filled me up. I also ate a lot of legumes (beans) and vegetables. One of my new favorite dishes has become roasted brussel sprouts! I cut the brussels length wise and sprinkle with lemon pepper, salt, garlic, and toss with olive oil. Sometimes I'll add a little amino acids. I then bake on a tray at 350 degrees for 20 mins. Yum!

If you're interested in doing a detox, I highly recommend the one from Metagenics. Click here for the full day-by-day breakdown. Since I've re-incorporated some of my normal dietary foods, I have been feeling so good, my skin is glowing, and I've even lost a few pounds (buh-bye bloating!). It really puts a spring in my step! I'd love to hear your comments if you have any questions! Have you ever tried cleansing or a detox? xo

February 1, 2013

Happy Weekend

Friday has finally arrived. I hope everyone has a fun-filled and relaxing weekend --  that's exactly what I intend to do! Chad and I are staying Downtown, keeping it low-key, and perhaps we'll finally eat at Downtown's newest hot spot, Figaro Bistro.. What are your plans?

Ps. Sorry for not posting at all this week... all I can tell you is, stay tuned for some changes :)
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