LIT SHIT: February

Where the hell did the last 28 days go? Went by in the blink of an eye and I think it’s because I was so crazy busy. Lots of cool stuff happened, but my schedule was so packed I feel like I didn’t really take enough time to check in with myself and appreciate much of it. Also. I feel absolutely all over the place right now so forgive me if that’s reflected in this blog in any way shape or form. I also just drank a latte faster than any human being should. Get ready for some scatterbrained writing. You’ve been warned WOO.

Me pretending I’m not having a quarter-life crisis! Also-check out Joe Ward for all your photography needs!!!

I spent this morning taking some time to try and get my life together by setting a plan and some goals for the next few weeks. I started by reflecting on February. Looking back on the last 4 weeks, it’s no wonder I feel a little psychotic right now. My planner is full of white out, scribbles and a series of me stretching myself way too thin week after week after week…after week. Moving forward with this year, I’m trying to find a little bit more consistency in my life and learn how to say NO when ya girl just needs a break- easier said than done. So. I’m sitting here trying to think of ways I can start to do that and I figured I’d start with Riffs and Raffs. What better way to start than with a more regular writing schedule? Up until now, I’ve kind of just put out posts about random shit whenever I feel like it. Which has been fine, but in the spirit of consistency, I’m going to try to put something out each week of the month, with the last post being a review of some of my favorite shiz from the previous 4 weeks. I figure ending the month reflecting on all of all the good stuff is a surefire way to start the new month on a positive foot. I have also given a name (soft opening in the title of this post, stay tuned for the grand opening in about a paragraph. OH BOY OH BOY!!!).

PSA: I’m writing all of that blabber above to hold myself accountable to this schedule. I’ll probably try and do a few posts and mental/physical wellness, navigating life in LA and some on dance life as well. That being said, if there’s anything you want to see me writing about- PLZ HOLLA AT YO GIRL. If you could not give less of a shit I guess you could also tell me that. I’ll only cry for a few hours.

SO. Without further ado here’s some LIT SHIT February edition. And yes, I am calling this monthly blurb LIT SHIT. Yes, it will always be in all caps. *Cue Demi Lovato’s Sorry Not Sorry*

DRANK. Bulletproof coffee. The addiction is real. I was spending way too much on them every time I went to Whole Foods (which is too often) so I took matters into my own hands and bought the ingredients to make my own. The recipe calls for black coffee, ghee (or butter) and Bulletproof brain octane oil. I also add collagen (I use Vital Proteins) and sometimes a little coconut milk and maca. I throw it all into my nutribullet and blend for a frothy drank that keeps you going for hours, helps you metabolize fat and curbs cravings.

TUNES. I know I already confessed my love for Taylor Swifts new album, so I won’t talk about that anymore…but really it’s great. But I recently found this song “I Don’t Wanna” by a band called the Ivy. SO good from the beats down to the lyrics. I’ve also started making a playlist for each month on my Spotify and have been told I have great taste in music by several strangers (friends) who are completely non-bias (definitely bias). March is still a work in progress but I’ve got lots of good stuff on there and more to come if you’re trying to get some new sounds in your headphones.

ESCAPE. Ojai, California. I need to treat myself to more weekend getaways because DAMN. It was the trip I didn’t know I needed. My friend Arielle turned 25 and a bunch of us pitched in for an AirBnb over there. I forgot what it felt like to step outside and hear literally nothing but birds. Didn’t even know I missed that. It was such peaceful weekend with lots of heart-to-hearts, wine, food, more food and hiking. If you’re in the LA area and haven’t taken a second to escape the tall buildings and build up of trash on the sidewalks in a little while, treat yourself to a quick little road trip to Ojai to recenter and remember that there’s more out there than just Los Angeles.

NETFLIX BINGE. The End of the F*cking World. WATCH IT PEOPLE. I actually watched the entire series kind of by accident while I was in Ojai. We had all come home after lunch and needed a nap but that turned into about 4 hours of wine and Netflixing. It’s a super easy series to finish because none of the episodes are over about 20 minutes long and there are only 8 of them. Basically it’s about this teenager who is a psychopath and wants to kill this girl (she’s actually such a badass) so he befriends her and basically he catches #feelings. There’s a lot more to it though. It’s suspenseful, sad, romantic, funny and also really f*cking weird.

you+are+a+badass+by+jen+sincero+review+the+b+diaries+self+help+book+self+improvement+growth+blogREAD. You are a Badass. I put off reading it for a long time cause it’s such a fad read and sometimes I like to be a hipster about things. But it’s the real deal. I love the voice that Jen Sincero writes in. Kind of reminds me of the tone of my blogs- pretty laid back and casual. Kind of feels like you’re sitting in her living room on the floor drinking wine and she’s preaching at you how to take control of your life. And like, you wanna listen cause she’s cool and also drinking wine.

OVERATE. The Farmer and the Cook. Yooooo. THIS restaurant. Another find in Ojai. It’s this little hippy dippy spot with lots of vegan options, a market place, live music, outdoor seating, juice/smoothie bar and full coffee menu. LET’S GO. What more could you want. I got the Hurrache which was better than anything I have eaten in a long time. I also was blessed enough to consume the best cookie I’ve ever put in my mouth. Ever. I’m not either of these two things but for some reason I got the vegan and gluten free oatmeal raisin cookie. I realize to 78% of you that sounds absolutely awful, but I am not exaggerating when I say I’ve never eaten anything that good. It had this crazy brown sugary mapley aftertaste and ugh I can’t talk about it anymore cause I’m hungry and it’s making me sad.

#FITNESS. In the Yoga studio. As you know by now, I do class pass each month. I used to have a yoga membership at White Heat yoga in North Hollywood and it truly felt like home. I loved the staff and the way I felt walking out of the studio. As hard as I tried to make it work after I moved downtown, I had to cancel the membership. They recommended I go to Evoke yoga downtown and let me know that a lot of the teachers also teach there. Cool. That was in November and I just now made the time to go see what Evoke is all about. It’s about 1.5 miles from my place and I learned the hard way that it’s more efficient to just take an Uber (if I can’t get my ass out of bed early enough to walk) because parking downtown is not a thing. As in I missed my first class cause I couldn’t find a place to park good ole Snoop. I’ve been going to hot flow 2 and am so thankful to have yoga back in my life. Taking the time out of my day to get centered is really beneficial for my scatterbrained self.

These last few weeks have felt a little off for me, so here’s to looking at the positive side of things from February and knowing that it’s only up from here.

And, as always, please please reach out if there are any questions you have for me or anything you’d like to see me write about.


Do not sleep on the T-Swift album

FML. I really don’t think I’ve ever wanted to dislike something so much as Taylor Swift’s most recent album. From the annoying names of all the singles that were released to the annoying name of the album: Reputation??? COME ON. IT’S ALL ANNOYING. And don’t even get me started on the music video for Look What you Made me do…AKA the worst song ever created in the history of forever. Yeah. I had decided I was good on never listening to the rest of the album and had committed to frantically changing the radio station if I happened to be so unlucky to come across any of those songs while I’m trying to enjoy my drive somewhere. Heaven forbid.

Truly horrifying

Fast forward a few months. My friend Grant asked if I had listened to it. And I answered passionately with an “Absolutely not.” He said I was missing out and I just chalked that up to him loving to disagree with me and his tendency to be a dramatic. I mean, the kid is an actor. So then I’m in my car and I feel like belting some bangers (and probably recording myself singing on Snapchat cause that’s another embarrassing thing that I do). I didn’t even know that Taylor had decided to put her music up on Spotify, but I found some ultimate old school T-Swift to annoyingly sing in my car. Great. Life is good and the people who are passing me on the freeway probably think I have some sort of medical condition. I’m cool with it. A few songs in, I accidentally skipped to one of the ones on her new album. Shit. What is this and why the hell do I like it. And the next one….and the next one and also the one after that.

By far the best one is Dress. But Gorgeous, So it Goes, New Years Day, Delicate……I mean she killed it. And I’m pretty unhappy to admit this, but I was wrong. And there are few things in life I hate more than being wrong. But whatever. I’m fully accepting it and have since added most of the album to my saved songs on Spotify. Taylor, you crazy. But job well done. I’m officially converted.


  • Pale Waves: There’s a Honey, My Obsession
  • The Cure: Close to me, In Between Days
  • Honne: Good Together, Woman
  • Sufjan Stevens: Visions of Gideon
    • SIDE NOTE. This is the song that plays in the credits of Call Me by Your Name, which if you haven’t seen that movie, do yourself a favor and change that.
  • James Blake: Radio Silence, Put That Away and Talk to Me
  • Frank Ocean: White Ferrari, Nights
  • Junior A: Sleep Machine
  • Drake: God’s Plan
  • Banks: Fuck with Myself, Crowded Places
  • Childish Gambino: Retro
  • Post Malone: Candy Paint
  • New York Movie: Teenage Love
  • Phoebe Ryan: Dark Side (really a curve ball and unsure why I’m so into it)
  • Exes: Sherman Oaks, Memorize, 18

And a bunch of other ones you can check out riiiiiight here!

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.


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.


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.

Holly at the Hollywood Bowl



A few months ago, Kelly, Kristyn and I were sitting at a coffee shop (Romancing the Bean for those of you who are coffee shop hunters) trying to get our lives together when Kelly randomly signed up for updates from the Hollywood Bowl. To be honest, I wasn’t even entirely sure what that was. I knew there were concerts and stuff there but that’s about it. Part of the perk of signing up was a discount on tickets. Impulsively, Kelly bought 3 tickets (only $18 each) to Mama Mia. I’ve seen a lot of shows (small secret I’m a huge musical buff), but I had yet to see Mama Mia.

When we bought the tickets, it felt like July would never come. The show seemed sooo far in the distance but, like I keep saying, It felt like it was time for the show only a week later. We all took off work for the evening and planned to get there hourrrrrs before the show to picnic our lives away. How fun?! On our way over we hit up Trader Joe’s for cheap(ish) wine, and plenty of snacks.


Once we got there, we headed to the very top of the hill (our seats were front row…..of the very back section of the entire Bowl). They have cute little picnic areas set up for you to chill out at before the show. We’ve all been staying busy with different things and completely opposite schedules so it felt so good to catch up with Kelly and Kristyn about life over a bottle (or two) of wine and a ridiculous game of Cards Against Humanity. Also very lowkey announcement that the vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe’s are actually burning hot lava fire flames. And yes, I said vegan. To be extremely LA, I challenged myself to two weeks of it to see if I could do it. Still going strong for your information.

I do this weird thing at musicals where I cry….and that was already happening by the end of the national anthem. Nice! The rest of the waterworks held off until the end of the second act (thank God). The song that always gets me in Mama Mia is ‘Slipping Through my Fingers’. So good.

The talent on the stage was overwhelming and I couldn’t help but wish I was up there. Definitely on my list of goals. It was so unbelievably cool to see so many people from all different backgrounds singing along to ABBA and enjoying themselves just as much as we were. There is such a large community of support for the arts out here and I truly can’t express how thankful I am for that. With this in mind and the Hollywood sign in the background of the stage, I could help but get a little teary eyed (again).


Dang. How did I get so lucky?

Weekend getaways & why they are 1000% necessary

It’s May. That means it’s about to be one year since I walked in the commencement ceremony at Iowa. Wtf. As I sit here typing this, in what might quite possibly be the polar opposite of where I would have typed this a year ago, I can’t help but feel incredibly blessed and proud that I made the leap. And while LA is great and all, I think I kind of forgot that life existed outside of good ole La La Land. This huge bubble of a city. Luckily for me, this realization that I needed to gtfo for a hot second came at the perfect time. So I put my wheels to the road (and also reimbursed my friends for gas monies…thanks friends) and have spent the last four weekends basically running around like a crazy person.

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Let’s start with my first weekend trip away from LA in the 6 months I’ve been here: Coachella. I caught a wild hare the day tickets went on sale and treated myself to weekend 1 tickets with my coworker #splurge. And yes I still made rent that month (god bless). I’ll preface this by saying that contrary to popular belief; I had never been to a music festival of any kind until Summerfest in Milwaukee last June. While that was literally the time of my life (shout out to the squad that weekend), Summerfest and Coachella have little in common other than music and alcohol. You may be wondering what more there is to a music festival? Well first of all, three days in the desert heat is HARD. Yes everyone wants that “do it for the gram” photo moment at Coachella, but dang I don’t know how some of those people survived the heat in those outfits. I tried to choose my wardrobe wisely and made sure to have a bandana to protect my lungs from the dirt/dust/sand/god knows what else that’s blowing around all day and night. I was blessed to have gone with some ‘Chella vets, so I had a bit of an upper hand on the must-do’s.

We had an absolute blast frolicking through the desert, people watching and of course finding open space to do literal choreography. It really is so special to see SO many different types of people, enjoying the festival in whichever way they felt fit (and there are about 1 million ways to do so), coming together because of music. And let me just say that the music was INSANE. Especially Bon Iver, The XX and Gaga. It made me realize how many different types of people are in California. Duh, Holly that sounds like a no-brainer. But in North Hollywood 98% of everyone I come into contact with is an actor, dancer, singer etc. Yeah, I definitely gravitate towards those types anyway…but it was a good reminder that there is so much more to see outside of LA. And it’s so wild that these different places and sights are right at my fingertips. Coachella always seemed so far away when I admired pictures from afar growing up but now that I finally got to experience it for myself, It was only a three hour drive, filled with snacks and catching up away.

After returning back to LA, I had a whole three days to recover and head home for the first time for a few short days. Going home, even if it’s just from college, is always a tough one. There are a million people you want to see, sights you want to revisit, and events happening…where do you find the time to relax?? For me, the challenging part of this trip home was leaving my dogs and my parents. I spent the whole first day cuddling next to my (very old, like fossil old) poochies and watching movies with my parents. The next few days were spent trying to see everyone I possibly could in a short amount of time. I started by going to an old dance friend’s wedding and WOW was it great to see her so happy, as well as all of my old friends from the studio days. I could have sat and talked to each of them for hours, but time is limited and my trip was so so short. Next, we met as much of the family (AND MY BEST FRIEND THANK GOD!!! If you know India and I you know we have the most polar opposite schedules ever) at ice cream in between the wedding and our next stop, the Carrikers (aka my second family). We enjoyed a night of home cooked food, drinks and multiple desserts. Before I knew it, I only had one more day left. I had enjoyed a lot of down time so I was PUMPED to spend it dancing.

I taught my first class, since moving to LA, at Dance Vision. To say that I was inspired by the dancers that attended would be an understatement. I always get so stressed before teaching. I start questioning myself, doubting my choreography, my class structure and my qualifications. But from the second the class began to the final time doing the combination I felt so respected and at ease. I left with my heart SO full and even got to see my Des Moines crew (minus 1 @kaylameyer) for dinner before heading home. What a good freaking week. I said my goodbyes, and hopped on a plane back home. I was inspired and ready to crack down on my eating, workouts and goals.

I started the week back with a trip to Trader Joe’s (my favorite). I’m gonna write a separate post eventually about this, but I decided to commit to the #PaleoLyfe. Not so much because it’s trendy, but because I do so much better when I have specific guidelines. I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater but calling myself “paleo” with specific do’s and don’ts makes it a challenge. And I love a good challenge. Especially when it comes with so many health benefits.

After a week of getting back on track, Kelly and I headed to Vegas for an audition on a whim. We woke up at 3:30 am, packed some healthy eats for the day and headed down the road. Although the audition didn’t turn out how we had hoped, we decided to make the most of our little adventure to Vegas. One of Kelly’s old friends from Illinois happened to be there so we headed to the nearest bar for a few drinks. I may or may not have ordered a dirty martini at 11 am. The bartenders treated us to a few on the house which then led to us sneaking into the pool at the Aria thanks to our new friend, the old man security guard. Lit! After a few hours of sun, we hit the road…after all we were heading back to Vegas in 4 short days for Kristyn’s 21st. HERE’S THE BEST PART. We stopped to see the Seven Magic Mountains, an art installation in the middle of the desert, which honestly made the whole day worth it.

Like I said, we had plans to head back to Vegas for Kristyn’s 21st birthday extravaganza with me, Kelly, her coworker Rocco, and of course the birthday girl…AND BONUS GUESTS the Hoffman superiors!!! I had been working with her mom during the weeks leading up to the trip to surprise her. For those of you who know Kristyn, she is the absolute hardest person to surprise. But we did it, y’all!!!! Between the nightclubs, day clubs, casinos, shows, restaurants, surprises and memories, the weekend could not have gone better. To say that she rung in her birthday the right way would be an understatement. I can honestly say I have never laughed that much in a weekend…ever. Our abs were actually sore and definitely not from working out during that weekend, although we did do our fair share of dancing. As in we literally never stopped dancing. So now the 362 clan is officially all legal…and very over drinking after this last weekend’s liquid diet (so in line with my paleo-ness)

SO. I’m back in LA, most likely until I go home in August for a bit, back on track and can’t wait to continue this kick I’m on of being adventurous. Seeing all there is to see and meeting everyone there is to meet.

I think a lot of times people our age get too caught up in the whole “I’M BROKE” mindset. Yeah. So are we. Who isn’t at this stage? It does not by any means equate to staying in your apartment to “save money.” Not only are you making yourself miserable by focusing on your lack of extra money, you’re missing out on SO MUCH of the world around you. Pack food, skip the expensive drinks, Google free shit to see. It’s out there. Stop making excuses.



Who’s with their s/o right now? How great is this day? Did you get breakfast in bed? How cute is that bouquet of flowers gonna look in your room? How will you ever finished that box of heart shaped chocolates and still stay true to your spring break diet? How much Formosa are you going to devour? And OMG how much Netflix are you going to binge watch afterwards???



It’s Valentine’s day folks. The holiday that holds the record for most cliches. I’ve never been your biggest fan St. Valentine. Half because of my perpetual single-ness half because in high school I thought leading an anti-Valentines day revolt and wearing all black was bad ass (no one joined the movement by the way).  And how freaking annoying is social media on this day every year??? We get it you have a boyfriend. We get it he rocks. We get it if you’re single and that means you’re like required by some unwritten law to post a photo talking about how pizza is your Valentine. Still probably tossed it a like though.

So as I sit here doing non-Valentine’s Day things (by myself), I have taken it upon myself to hand select ten songs for you to listen to as you sulk about your lack of V-day plans (alone).

1.  Love on the Brain by Rihanna. Let’s just take a moment to TRY and get in the Valentine’s mind set.


2. The appropriately titled UGH! by my favorites. Listen to this when you “literally can’t even deal” with all of the red and hearts and pizza.

3. Nicest Thing by Kate Nash . You know hat person you’ve been silently stalking for the last several months? You’ve invested a lot of time into that and I’m gonna go out on a limb and say he/she has yet to acknowledge your existence as a being.


4. Bridges by Broods. Watch the music video and recall the three thousand times you’ve fallen victim to the classic “Oh you thought we were more than friends…?” ordeal. *Cringe*

5. The Rose by Bette Midler. This song goes out to all those rose photos on Insta. Keep being you. Oh and also Ben Higgins. This song goes out to Ben Higgins too.

6. Never Be Like You by Flume. This song is you hoping that you will never turn into that person that you h8 when (if) you’re ever not single on V-day.

7. Touch by Shura. Oooooooh those lyrics. Also probably a lot of what you’re not getting.

8. Linger by the Cranberries. That guy/girl you liked last year is still not your Valentine.

9. Don’t Wanna be your Girl by Wet (who rocks, go check out their other music). No. I am still not interested.

10. And finally, My Heart Will Go On. You should have seen this one coming from me.


You’re welcome. Now go eat chocolate.

Wilkinson – Afterglow

Ok, so I’ll admit the first time I watched this I thought it was some sort of advertisement. I stumbled onto Wilkinson after watching a few of Wet’s music videos (which if you don’t know who that is then do yourself a favor and check them out). I paid zero attention to the song in the background, but yes. It is, in fact, a music video. And it’s sick. Song isn’t bad either.