Work Hard, Play Harder

Good morning!

How was your first weekend of 2015? Ours was jam packed with workouts, happy hours, selfies, arts, and crafts.

Friday started with an early hike in Temescal Canyon. Despite the chilly temperatures we’ve been having in LA, it was a beautifully warm and sunny day in the canyons.

hiking temescal canyon

The 4 miler took us a little under an hour and a half. The trail is fairly steep at times, nothing terrible, but our legs felt it the next day.

10515 hikerdrew

By the time we finished the hike, we had worked up quite an appetite. Dani had already planted the seed of having lunch at Sugar Fish, so that’s exactly what we did. Sugar Fish is easily the best sushi restaurant in LA, the fish is always fresh and the experience is always so consistent that you know you’re going to leave completely satisfied every time. Unfortunately, the Sugar Fish phenomenon is no secret, so there’s almost always a line out front. That’s why we strategically went for lunch, rather than dinner.

Andrew and I ended up having a quiet night in watching movies, while Dani went out with some of our cooler, hipper, non-married friends who can still handle partying two nights in a row.


Saturday morning started on a very fit note. Andrew and I have a few extra guest passes for LA Fitness, so we took Dani along for a morning workout. Dani was a really good sport and let me practice some of my NASM personal trainer skills on her.  I took her through an arm and shoulder circuit and then we finished with some cardio.

After cleaning ourselves us up, Dani and I made a quick Trader Joes run to pick up some appetizer supplies. We made hummus from scratch, as well as another ranch-like dip, to go with some veggies later that evening.

Around 5pm, Andrew, Dani, and I walked over to A Frame for a couple happy hour cocktails and small bites. A Frame has some pretty wacky food combinations on the menu, so some of my experiences there have been better than others. Saturday night, we managed to pick an A+ selection of appetizers, including one of Dani’s favorites: the pickle platter.

Pickle platter at A Frame
Pickled radish, pepper, fennel, carrot, potato, tomato, apple, hot pepper, and cauliflower with a spiced yogurt dip.

After doing our best not to fill up, we walked back to our place where we met up with a few more friends for some drinks and snacks before heading out for the night. With six girls in the house, we took a lot of pictures.


We finally made it out the door and into two Ubers that took us to the Townhouse Venice, where we danced for approximately 3 straight hours. We were exhausted when we left, and frankly, I was still exhausted when I woke up the next day.

Sunday was a lazy day. We slept late, and then drove over to Metro Cafe for a late brunch. For the record, the Culver Omelette (bacon, caramelized onions, and cheese) is the best thing on the menu.

The rest of the day was spent coloring and crafting.

10515 crafts and coloring

Have you ever heard of Shrinky Dinks? They’re these clear plastic sheets that, when baked in the oven, shrink down and harden. One of my Christmas presents from Andrew was a Klutz book of Shrinky Dinks projects and it is amazing.

10515 shrinks

The jewelry you can make with this book is pretty impressive.

shrinky dinks

My finished bracelet:10515 finished

Once we were satisfied with our projects and could craft no more, we moved to the kitchen to prep a nice Sunday meal. Dani wanted to show me how to roast a whole chicken in the oven (because it’s about time I learned), but Trader Joes was completely sold out of whole birds. We got the next best thing, which was a family pack of organic, free range breasts, thighs, and drumsticks – essentially a whole bird already broken down.

10515 chicken dinner prep

We oiled and seasoned the chicken, and placed the pieces over a heaping pile of chopped vegetables. We roasted everything together for about 40 minutes at 425 degrees.

10515 done

An easy, healthy meal that we’ll definitely make again.

. . . . . .

Sadly, today I have to say goodbye to Dani. She’s flying back to chilly Boston, but not before making another trip to Moon Juice, a little shopping, and a final stop at Mendocino Farms to grab some food for the plane.

10515 mix

Dani has been THE best house guest. She’s tidy, considerate, and doesn’t need to be entertained every single second. Plus, she put up with the cats who act like possessed squirrels as soon as we turn the lights off at night. Dani and I had such a fun time together, I’m really going to miss her!

Have a good Monday, everyone.


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