Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: coffee

I See Your Dunkin’ Donuts and I Raise You Rita’s

Holy heatwave, Los Angeles.

We’ve officially turned our a/c on and let it run all night while we slept, then all day for the dog while we worked. It hit a record high of 106* F in the Valley today. It is disgusting.

You would see my tears if they weren’t evaporating immediately into the incinerating air.

Recently, Los Angeles got its first Dunkin’ Donuts. Being originally from the east coast, this is a pretty big deal in our house. We’re looking forward to getting our iced coffees and breakfast sandwiches with a side of nostalgia, but the line has been wrapped around the block since it opened. Um, it’s good, but not that good.

And yes, working-class iced coffees the size of your head are a hot commodity during a heatwave, but there is no limit to my excitement for the fact that we now have Rita’s.

Which means I get to eat GELATI!

Let me explain

Take mango water ice, which is the consistency of a thick slurpee or a very melty italian ice and top it with a swirl of thick, delicious vanilla custard to create the gelati. My preferred method is to eat it with a spoon, taking a bit of custard and a bit of ice in each bite.

So if you’re trying to stay cool, LA, go do yourself a favor and get to Rita’s. But don’t worry about rushing there, we probably have another 4 weeks of this hell. #toohotforpumpkinanything

day 6: diagonals

A trip home to PA is not complete without a trip to Wawa. We went not once, but TWICE today, where we ate egg sandwiches the first trip and hoagies the second. I love how they have tons of coffee, tea and milk options, not to mention healthy food options.

It really is the best convenience store ever.

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See all of my August Break 2013 posts here


Met a friend for coffee today and we hung out a bit, chatting about work and then deeper stuff. I shared with her some of my hesitations / hang-ups around music. I respect her as a musician and I really like the songs she writes, even though pop music isn’t my go-to choice.

She encourages me (and I quote) to write an EP, record it and then do a two week tour with her this summer, which seems so ludicrous that I’m actually toying with the idea. Here is someone I like, who I believe has talent, and is interested in me finding music again.

When I really think about it, I miss it. And anything related to it feels scary as hell. But I also feel like I have a few songs left in me.

It’s been so long since I’ve written anything… like 8 years.

But last night we were at dinner with a bunch of people who live in our neighborhood, organized by a musician and a comedian, and I chatted with a choreographer, and dammit – if I don’t miss the creative spirit. If I don’t want to have something to contribute.

I don’t know. Just using this space to throw a marker down, as I sit in my bed with the Bon Iver station on Pandora on a Friday night. So I can look back as say “What a crazy idea” or “This is where it all started”.

Sundays Are For (Week 17)

Sundays are for… brats and bbqs, for football playoffs and coffee with a dear friend. For cleaning, though I did little compared the other housemates. Mostly I put away the Christmas decorations. This didn’t take as long as I thought. It’s for my sister baking cinnamon coffee cake muffins and for making H scrambled eggs. For taking the dog to a big field and letting him run off-leash on purpose. He loved it, and came back again. It’s for sitting in traffic on the 405 N and having to drive H’s car home in the dark on the 405 S. It’s for ranking on the Patriots and then feeling bad when they lose… kind of.

And it’s for finally getting some quiet time, right now, by myself… almost. xo

Sundays Are For – Family Time (Week 13)

A good night’s sleep, morning pages and cuddles. A long walk with H & Carter Cash to Starbucks for breakfast. Rain and sun peeking through clouds. Naps and hot showers and decorating. Christmas music. Lots and lots of reading. Ordering pizza and writing and hot tea. Watching football and not leaving the house. Both of us typing on our laptops at the kitchen table. Throwing out a few worn items and refolding a drawer of stuff to keep.

Dreading Monday but also grateful for this time. See more of my Sundays.

This Grateful Season – Perfect Lattes

2012 can go down as the year I became a pretentious latte drinker. It started a year ago when I found my favorite latte in LA (so far) Espresso Profeta. My old love of pumpkin spice lattes do not even cut it anymore. ::gross:: I want whole milk, well pulled, one-shot lattes. I even have a weekly ritual. I’ve tried lattes in Boston, Hawaii, Vegas and San Francisco. My Boston go to was Espresso Royale. But, San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee was the best I’ve ever had (pictured).

The morning I sat writing in the beautiful sunlit of San Fran, sipping the latte pictured above, was awesome. I walked from my hotel in Union Square down to Mint Street and into a expansive coffee shop with floor to ceiling windows and a line out the door. Everyone seemed perfectly dressed in cozy layers, wire-rimmed glasses and tattoos peeking out, with the baristas working double-time to fill the orders. I loved it.

I sat at the bar, a window seat, and started writing my morning pages. A skinny guy with a perfect salt-n-pepper 5 o’clock shadow sat down next to me with his coffee and iPad.

“That’s pretty analogue of you,” he said, pointing to my handwritten pages.

“Well, I have an iPad for work and I can’t stand typing emails on it, let alone writing anything more.”

In response, he showed me a stylus in his hand and we laughed. He pulled up an app and showed me he can draw and write all of his notes as if it’s paper, but it’s all digital. Awesome. And as I looked at his notes, I saw sketches of toys.

“Are you a…toy… designer?” I ask.

“Um. Actually, yes. That’s exactly what I am,” he said. Hah. Amazing.

So we had a really engaging conversation about toy creations, my plans for San Fran, and then on to the space shuttle traveling through Los Angeles. Haha.

After we said our good-byes, I went to photograph a corner of the room where a white plate and napkin were waiting to be cleared. A barista came over to clear the counter and paused so I could take my photo.

“Are you a photographer?” she asked.

“No. Not really, but I’m visiting and I can’t get over how gorgeous the light is here” I said.

And she went on to tell me she’s a film photographer, old cameras, and she doesn’t have a website yet… but such a fun conversation too.

So, my trip to San Fran was awesome and landed me the best latte of the year. Grateful for the whole experience.

Here’s last year’s latte post (at least I’m consistent…?)


For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

Weekly Ritual




Each week, mostly Wednesdays, you can find me at this cute coffee shop in Westwood – Espresso Profeta. It’s just pretensions enough that the service / quality is worth the $4 latte, and just laid back enough for me to feel comfortable. They have wi-fi but no electrical outlets. The baristas are friendly but have a too-cool-for-you vibe behind the counter. They serve minimal food – pastries, toast, pb&j. There’s outdoor seating and so much sunlight.

And the lattes are fucking fantastic.

It’s become a weekly ritual, one that I allow myself to indulge in. I wish it was closer to my apartment. I’d be there more often, but then maybe the magic would dissipate. It’s a small gift that I give myself, usually holding a work meeting there, but even better when I go alone, with a book and my journal. A quiet little retreat mid-week.

Do you have a weekly ritual? xo


What Sundays Are For (Week 1)

Thinking of starting a weekly post: “Sundays are for…”

Walk to a my favorite coffee shop with my husband (still can’t get over that)

Blackberry & thyme muffin for me

Almond croissant for him

Lattes like these are why I love this place

And this guy, joining us

Looking for more? #sundaysarefor (instagram – Leonie Wise may have started this. Also @postcardsfrom )  | #sundaysarefor (twitter)

And then there’s also this for Ms Wise – Weekends Collected

How was your weekend?


This Grateful Season – Latte Art

I’ve missed a day due to WordPress accidentally shutting down my blog for a night and then having last night’s happy hour turn into a long night of drinks with friends. My intention is to post each day, which I’m *loving*. Calling the missed day “practice” working through my perfectionism tendencies. Crazily enough, I have so much I want to blog about, it’s not a content issue, but a time. Life’s gotta be lived first 🙂

So delighted with the pleasant surprise of (3) different images in lattes this week. So gorgeous and fun.

Espresso Profeta – large decaf latte



Urth Cafe – large honey vanilla latte


Urth Cafe – large latte (for my friend Mike)

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**For the month of November, I’m posting something each day that I’m grateful for. It may be as long as an intricate post, as short as a quote, as simple as a link or as wordless as a photograph. A friend has come on board. Join us? #gratefulseason