Post-Thanksgiving food coma feels

Yes, I’m still full. Full of thanksgiving food but also full of gratitude (sorry that transition was so cheesy). This was my first Thanksgiving away from my family and I decided to spend the morning a little bit differently than I had in the past. Normally my Thanksgiving starts off with some cinnamon rolls and the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade. My mom is normally in the kitchen, doing all of the baking she should have done the night before, and then we roll over to our family thanksgiving a good 20 minutes late.   No worries, I still got my traditional cinnamon rolls and even enjoyed a traditional holiday feast later on in the day…but I spent my morning feeding the homeless just a few miles away from my place.

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Fellow Clippers ladies Carsyn, Mikayla, Kyla and myself

I had always seen photos and heard people tell stories about the homeless in LA- particularly in skid row, but I had never seen it in its fullest. Of course, it’s no secret that there is an overwhelming about of homeless people in Los Angeles. In fact, LA county has the largest homeless population in the country. But what’s wild to me is just how close to the high rent and lavish areas they are living. People are within blocks of each other living polar opposite lives. Someone is living in a penthouse apartment enjoying top shelf wine and online shopping for the holidays while, less than a mile away, someone is living on the street unsure of where their next meal is coming from. How can there be a lifestyle difference of that degree within the same block??

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Anyway. It’s the holidays and no matter who you are, everyone deserves to spend them with full bellies and a smile on their face. This year, I’ve been so lucky to make some incredible new friends- one of them being my fellow Clippers spirit member Kyla. She and her family organized a donations based food/clothing drive for Thanksgiving morning. We all met downtown, packed meals and care packages and headed to set up shop to start the hand outs.

img_8028Going into the morning, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Like I said, I had only ever seen photos or driven past a few tents under an overpass. Once we parked our cars and started walking around, I was stunned. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. Initially, I thought we would be volunteering at an actual homeless shelter or mission. But we took it into our own hands and set up a folding table with all of our meals (complete with dessert) on 7th and San Pedro, if I remember correctly. Not 30 seconds after we set up, we had a line of about 20 people. Most all of them expressed their extreme gratitude and even stayed to chat with us for a little bit.

I know it’s not much, but even being able to help out the people on that block alone gave me such a warm feeling along with a wake up call. I think in the past, I had been too scared to open myself up to even seeing that side of life. I preferred to live in my own little bubble, blissfully unaware that was a life that people so close to me in proximity lived. It’s so easy, especially living in LA, to get wrapped up in material things. I’m guilty of it for sure. I think we all are. Seeing this side of life gave me a whole new outlook on the lifestyle I live. A whole new level of gratitude for my upbringing and all of the blessings I have received. And finally, a whole new motivation to help in whatever way I can.  I’m so thankful for Kyla and the friends who organized and participated in this event. Thank you for reminding me just how blessed we are and what Thanksgiving is all about.

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DISCLAIMER: I have not joined the pumpkin spice craze

I hope everyone rolled out of bed before I did this morning……which may or may not have been somewhere around 12:30….. What’s even better is that despite the late wake up time, I was still full from yesterday when I finally rose from the dead. Love that!!! Although I definitely had my fill of pumpkin pie, cinnamon rolls, and dump cake (which all worked together to have me feeling like an absolute slug for the 4 hours I’ve been awake), I also made room for my new favorite paleo/gluten free pumpkin and banana muffins!!! YAY.

When I was scouring the internet for something to bake for friendsgiving, I came across this recipe from Jen Eddin’s blog. I didn’t trust myself to make an actual pie and since I figured I would be stuck with some leftovers, I wanted to make something I could still eat past my Thanksgiving splurge (and boy did I splurge). Enter these delectable little guys.

I ended up doubling the recipe but it calls for the following:

  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350, start with the wet ingredients in one bowl and dry in the other, mix and fill the muffin cups about 3/4 of the way then bake for 20-25 minutes (highly recommend spending this time with a mimosa in hand. Probably don’t follow my lead and leave your apartment while they bake though) and VIOLA.

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They are painless to make. Actually, my biggest concern was not setting off the fire alarm in my apartment like the last time I used the oven. No, seriously. I tried to make cauliflower pizza and literally spent the entire 12 minutes of bake time fanning the smoke detector in my unit with my denim jacket. There was no smoke so I have no idea whyI was so unlucky, but I definitely got an extra arm work out for the day. img_8024-1

To my surprise, I didn’t set the place on fire and they actually went over pretty well even amongst all of the traditional Thanksgiving deserts. Friendsgiving was not only filled with amazing drinks and foods (I literally had thirds) but incredible people and hilarious games. If you have never played What Do You Meme or had Shannon’s caramel apple sangria you are doing life wrong.

I got back to my apartment feeling extremely lucky. I was even lucky enough to take some of my muffins home (score!!!). The best thing about them is that they double as a little fall breakfast treat and pair perfectly with coffee. So although I take pride in not joining the pumpkin spice bandwagon, these little guys will definitely be a new staple to my holiday season.

Must do: Solo concert

One night after moving into my new place, I had one of the top 10 favorite nights of my life. For once it did not include a group of my closest friends, some crazy vacation or a mass amount of surprises. This time it was me, one of my favorite bands and an overpriced t-shirt.

It all started with me being stuck in traffic and on my phone on the way to rehearsal, as most things do.  A song by LANY came on my Spotify and I was like wow I bet they’re great live, I’m gonna check tour dates. Magically, they were playing in LA that Friday just 2 miles away from my apartment. It was as if the stars aligned and God said “SPEND YOUR MONEY ON THIS!!!” If God is practically telling me to spend money, who am I to say no? When I first looked the GA tickets were only $35. So I’m thinking ‘Great, I’ll find a friend who’s down and we’ll endure the mosh-pit-like-standing-room-only seats’. Small problem. While I think my taste in music is flawless, not too many of my friends like the same stuff. And when I say not too many, I mean like 5 total friends. Try convincing people to spend money on a band they don’t even know.

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I waited until 2 hours before the concert to pull the trigger on tickets. *Ticket. And by the time I bought it, the prices had gone up. Naturally. I actually ended up getting an actual seat cause standing in the middle of 300 strangers in GA sounded like the worst thing in the world. A glass (or 2) of wine later, I was in an Uber on the way to the Wiltern. I didn’t get in until 8 pm and thought I was a full hour late. The opener hadn’t even gone on yet. So I moseyed around the theater and ended up at the bar where I ordered a Titos and tonic…..for $20 hahahaha. This had turned into a full on treat yourself evening so naturally I went to the march table next and picked up a $30 LANY tee. No buyer’s remorse.

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Dagny was the opener and, although I had never heard of them, I’m definitely a new fan. A few of my favorites were Wearing Nothing and Love you like that. I sat in between two couples (probably the way you should be listening to songs with names like that) so no, I did not meet my husband or socialize much for that matter. But it was actually a really cool experience to be a bit isolated. Literally felt like it was just me and the music. Especially when LANY finally came on.

I wish I could say I had a favorite song, or part of the night in general..but damn, the whole thing was just too good. Maybe a toss up between Herricane, Purple Teeth and ILYSB. Oooh or maybe when he broke into a cover of Harry Styles’ Sign of the Times. Regardless, they are SO incredible live and for a fellow entertainer it was pretty inspiring to hear their story. Apparently the whole thing started in an apartment just a few blocks down from the theater with a keyboard and a computer. They couldn’t even justify charging people for tickets a few years ago and now they are selling out shows. So cool.

I have this thing for boybands (WATCH THEM DANCE HERE, HOW DO YOU NOT LOVE BOYBANDS???!) so in typical Holly fashion, I left the concert practically in love with the front man (who is very much happily taken by another famous singer). Whatever.

But to conclude, take yoself on a date and go listen to your favorite band. I highly recommend adding this experience to your 20-somethings bucket list. It was awesome to enjoy the concert exactly how I wanted to, without any distractions between the performance and myself. I also was allowed to sing along as loud as I wanted without any of my friends recording me for blackmail purposes. Also a nice perk.

Year two

I’m not sure how this is physically possible, but after what have been the most lightening speed 365 days of my entire life, I’ve officially lived in Los Angeles for a year. How? Feels like just yesterday I was loading up my Kia Sorento to the brim to start on the 27 hour journey to my apartment at Academy Village, so naively excited to be an official Californian.

Fast forward to today and I could never have predicted that I would be writing this from a studio apartment in DTLA about 3 friends down and 6 jobs later. To quote old school Taylor Swift and good ole Ed Sheeran, everything has changed.

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Last you heard from me, Kelly was leaving me for the cruise ship. Update on that: she’s loving it. Although the wifi is spotty, it’s the best thing ever to get 30 second Facetimes from her, chillin’ on random islands. She told me she literally goes to bed not knowing where she’s going to wake up on. Not sure if this is because that’s the standard cruise ship life or because she sucks at reading the itinerary, but either way- what an exciting job. Kristyn is about a month in of living in Los Vegas and is thriving. She’s already had a few dance gigs out there and seems to be loving it. Annie’s Visa just ended so she’s back in Australia and currently recovering from getting her dang tonsils out (FINALLY). Seriously though, this is a big deal cause she had strep 9 times during her stay in LA. But what’s even more exciting is that she’s about to choreograph Perth’s We Will Rock You the musical!!! Jordan’s still in LA and has been side job free for several months now and is killing it with dance, videography and photography. Yay for friends doing things. Even if that means leaving me in the dust over here in LA. It’s fine. I’m fine.

After much searching around and string pulling, I finally landed the apartment of my dreams. Seriously, it’s really hard to leave the complex cause I love it so big. I’ve pretty much been wanting to have a studio apartment since I was 19 so this is major. I’ve only ever had good roommate experiences, but there’s something about coming home to your own space that just feels so good. I will say the process of moving was the funniest thing ever. Obviously I don’t own a truck and am not the most skilled at moving a full size bed 30 minutes down the freeway, so I hired movers. Very strange experience for me cause I’m the worst at sitting back and letting other people take the wheel. I had an interview right after the move was scheduled, so I’m like ‘great, I’ll dress up and then I won’t be as tempted to try to help the movers!!’ Wrong. They had to tell me to (kindly) back off like 5 times. I felt like a Beverly Hills housewife sitting on my counter on the phone in my heels telling them where to unload things. After a hefty target run and a large order from Urban’s home decor section, it’s starting to feel a little bit more like home. AND I HAVE TV NOW. Have yet to turn it on but COOL!! Once everything arrives and I finally unpack all of my boxes, I’ll do a little post on my bachelorette pad.

Clippers has been keeping me pretty busy with the craziness of basketball season. But I really do love it. Performing at the Staples center is a dream and the team is made up of so many incredible women. I feel like I’ve known for much longer than a few months. Between that, my current side job, the job search, class, auditions and my newly rejuvenated love for fitness I can’t say I’ve had a lot of downtime. I guess for those of you that know me, this is no shocker. I’m the absolute worst at downtime. Which is why it’s been ages since you’ve heard from me. I must say, it feels great to write again and (even though I’ve said this in probably every post I’ve put out there in the past year) I’m pretty set on getting a consistent posting schedule going. So get ready for a little bit of post overload (I’m sure at least my family is happy to hear this).

Okay yay. I think that oughta do it for now. Bring on year two!!