DWTS Season 25 Recap: Ballroom Night

Season 25: Episode 2: Week 2

I went to the gym early this morning so I could watch live tonight.

They are announcing everyone and their partners, which is a good move. They should do this every week. It's like the opening credits to Bachelor in Paradise, or Real Housewives, or probably any other reality show.

Erin just said lets start with "the singer and broadway star," and I immediately thought she was saying Jordan Fisher was going to lead off, but NOPE. It's Debbie Gibson. Again, who???? I'm bored.  Don't care about scores anymore.

How Much Does it Cost to Prepare for an Earthquake?

On Tuesday night, there was a 3.6 earthquake with an epicenter in Westwood, where I live. I was in bed reading What Happened, when suddenly my walls and bed started shaking for approximately 10 seconds. I did not get up. I just laid there, thinking "wow, this is still not ending?"  Then it stopped. Nothing in my apartment fell, but everything did shake.  I texted Andrew, and he said he jumped up and was ready to go outside.  This thought did not even occur to me.  I guess I would have just been crushed by my apartment in the event that another earthquake occurred.  But is outside really better than staying in?  I guess it's infinitely better than being crushed.

In the aftermath, I am now obsessively researching earthquakes and what I can do to be more prepared.  Being from the Bay Area, I also decided that midnight after an earthquake was the best time to learn more about the Loma Prieta Earthquake of '89.  I was very surprised to learn that the epicenter of that 'quake was in Santa Cruz, and not actually in the Bay Area.

Because of my lack of preparedness, I've decided to get prepared. Andrew and I have a designated rendezvous spot if something happens and we are both at our respective apartments.   Now I just need a "go-bag" to grab if anything happens at home.

Supplies needed (full government list here):
  • A bag
  • Non-perishable, high-calorie food (govt says a 3 day supply)
  • Cash
  • Passport
  • Flashlight
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Tissues
  • Wipes
  • Change of clothes and shoes
  • Extra contacts and solution
  • Bottled water
  • First Aid Kit
  • Back up battery
  • Matches (govt: in waterproof container)
  • Govt also says: battery-powered or hand crank radio; extra batteries; whistle for help; dust mask; manual can opener; local maps; etc.
What I already had:

Yes I put my shoes on a table for this pic.

Bag: I bought a gym bag at Big 5 once, and then I was annoyed of it because it was too unstructured and it was hard to find things in. Maybe that's not the best description of a bag for a "go-bag," but I'm not too interested in finding another bag for the occasion, and this bag was going to go to goodwill anyway, so I just saved myself a trip and a few bucks that I may have wasted on a new bag!

Cash: I think $200 is good? Should I add more?

Passport: This reminds me, I need to get mine renewed.  This seems like an extreme measure, but if I'm grabbing just one thing and not my purse/wallet, I should probably have some identification. Plus, what if the only option is to go to Mexico or Canada? I can't currently imagine a scenario in which that would happen, but it seems important to put in the go-bag, just in case.  This will be my passport's new home.

Bottled water: 2 big SmartWaters from Costco. This bag is getting heavy...

Extra contacts, solution, glasses: I constantly worry about if I was stranded on an island and my contacts dried out, and if I didn't have glasses I would be blind.

First Aid Kit: I got a free one from some random law firm at a networking event. It has bandaids, ibuprofen, wipes, tape, and some other stuff, and I haven't used it since it's been living in my bathroom cabinet, so in it goes.

Change of clothes and shoes: Old leggings, underwear, t-shirt, sweater, a pair of old Nike frees I was about to give to Goodwill.

Tissues: I always seem to buy these packs of tissues and only use one. Glad I am taking another one out of my stores.

Makeup wipes: I bought a box of Kirkland brand wipes from Costco, so I just threw one in for good measure. I mean if I can't shower for a few days these seem like they would come in handy.

Backup battery: My dad got me one for long road trips, day trips, or any other time I might be in a situation where I would need a charge and would be without an outlet (sitting in the pews of a courtroom for several hours was one of them). I don't need another battery, so I'll just store the one I have in my go-bag.

Matches: I just took a pack I got from a restaurant and put them in my first aid kit. Hopefully that makes them waterproof enough.

What I bought:
Food: It's hard for me to determine how much to pack my bag for just me, or include Andrew in the scenario in case he is with me at the time of the emergency (and also considering if we meet up after the emergency, he likely will not have his own go-bag and will still take some of my stuff). I ended up choosing a 6-pack of Luna Protein bars (Chocolate Peanut Butter) ($5.99), a 4-pack of pineapple tidbits ($1.69), a can of pinto beans (idk? I just heard beans were good and I don't understand beans) ($0.84) and a can of corn (again, ?) ($0.99). Is this a 3-day supply of food? Maybe! There are 6 Luna bars so there are 6 meals right there! Cost: $9.51

Swiss Army Knife: I don't know how to use one, but it seems like this would be a helpful tool. Looked around Target for one but settled on this Amazon one. Cost: $10.97

Fire extinguisher: not for my go-bag, but I don't have one in my apartment and the earthquake got me worried about it. Plus, last weekend some lady in front of me at Target bought approximately 9 and now I'm worried my local City Target isn't going to have any stock left. I ended up buying two, because there was a "house" version ($24.99) and a smaller "car" version ($15.99) that I'm going to keep in my car (duh). Fire extinguishers are weirdly expensive and hard to find in the aisles of Target without asking for help. Tip: they are by the heating filters and smoke detectors.  Cost: $40.98

Flashlight: I thought I had a wind up flashlight/radio somewhere in my apartment but since I can't find it I ordered a new one on Amazon. I didn't spring for the /radio ones because those are expensive!! Will I come to regret this decision in the future? Only time will tell.  Maybe I'll even find my old one. Cost: $9.95

Total: $71.41. But really, cost of knowing you are prepared to survive for a few days in an emergency, priceless.  If I already had those fire extinguishers it would have cost a lot less. Such is being prepared!

Should I Buy This? Vintage Fendi Baguette Bag

Rewatching Season 3 SATC episodes and the re-emergence of 90s fashion has gotten me wanting a nylon/non-leather shoulder bag.  I was leaning towards this embroidered Elizabeth and James bag for a long time, and I think when admiring the lower price on TheRealReal.com, the Fendi baguette was calling to me from the "You May Also Like" section at the bottom of the page. [update: the Eliz & James bag was sold so I can't even buy it anymore anyway!]

I never really considered the baguette too much before, I knew it was catapulted into fame because of SJP in SATC, but since shoulder bags have been out, no one seems to have thought about them since then.  Now that they are on their way back in -- and also why not? It's comfortable to keep clutches under your armpit, why not a clutch with an added shoulder strap so you don't have to struggle to make sure it doesn't fall on the floor?

PLUS it's vintage and less than $100. I dream of one day owning a Fendi Peek-A-Boo, but I have a lot of other bags I want to get before then, and it also costs way too much. This way, I would be able to have a little piece of Fendi for a miniscule fraction of the cost!

I see this bag filling the void that I had hoped would be filled by a Louis Vuitton pochette, but I haven't been able to commit to anything with the monogram print.  The straps on the Fendi look removable, as both sides are adjustable belt buckles that aren't connected to any other part of the bag[uette]. Is that why it's called a baguette? Because it's a little bag? Like a bag-ito? Because I read elsewhere it was named after the baguette like a french roll, because it was convenient to carry around. It does not look like an actual baguette bag though.

Anyway, I had promised Andrew last week that I would give it two weeks before buying it. So far, it's been one week but I'm already getting impatient and I still want it. I'm also trying to cut back on spending and I really want to come in under my $500 shopping budget for the month.  But I WANTTTTT. It's the perfect thing to throw my phone, wallet, and keys in when I am running out to dinner or running to get groceries and I want to be casual.

FURTHER, one of the bags in my cart was just sold! Now I know that this bag is going to be in demand! I have to get it while it's still under $90!

I just want to be casual! But with a Fendi bag!

Is that too much to ask?

Let me know, thanks!

DWTS IS BACK! Season 25: Episode 1 Recap

I have been waiting weeks to break out my $35 DWTS Tour T-shirt for tonight's instagram, and to celebrate that the best Monday night ABC show is back on and Bachelor in Paradise (like I said previously) is OVER.


Pre-show thoughts: No new season's casting will ever match up to last season's, which brought me back to the show through Erika Jayne and Nick Viall, but also endeared David Ross and Rashad Jennings to us all.  Not to mention the insanely talented dancers Simone, Normani, and Heather Morris, all eliminated too soon.  That being said, I am very excited for the second love of my life (second only to Michael from Barney) Nick Lachey to be on the show and partnered with Peta.  I also love Vanessa Minillo because PiNaY PoWeR amirite?

Lin-Manuel Miranda just tweeted his support of Jordan Fisher (he sings a song on Moana and is Philip/John Laurens in Hamilton on Broadway) sooooo I also want to support him bc I do whatever LMM endorses.

I Need Everything in J. Crew's New Arrivals

I know the rugby shirt is going to be back this season and I can't wait to get my hands on one. I have seen on instagram that J.Crew has some good colors out, so I started browsing their "new arrivals" section to see how much it would cost, and how many colorways I would want to buy.

I hadn't even gotten to the rugby shirts yet when my jaw dropped as I came across this pink velvet blazer.  I am still drooling for a gucci velvet marmont in either teal or pink (teal is last season so I guess I would settle for the fuchsia) and this would potentially quench that longing. Potentially. I would rather have the gucci bag than this blazer. Maybe.  I would wear this (to work) with any of my white button up shirts, and even the black and white patterned shirts, and clearly even a blue and white striped shirt as seen below.

V into this dress because its brand is WORK APPROPRIATE but still sassy.

I would say the new arrivals are all pretty Gucci-inspired, with the velvet and the bows, but I'm definitely not complaining.

This ruffle top with black bottoms is the perfect all black lewk to pair with the pink velvet blazer

Ok, the rugby shirts aren't even on the first page of new arrivals...guess I will have to keep browsing through these 5 pages..

FINALLY on page 2, my future rugby shirt, available in 3 colors.

I'm very into all 3 colors, even though I'm a little overwhelmed that only 3 were available. I'll have to see the colors in person to determine which one I'm going to buy first... I also really want a Cal rugby now, which I have wanted since college, but never pulled the trigger. This year will be the year.

Also a big YASS to these pants:

This dress is potentially the perfect LBD that I have yet to add to my collection.

That's it for the New Arrivals. I'm digging this new direction that Jim Brett is taking this in. LOL. I just googled "J. Crew Executive Director" and his name was the first result, I don't actually know anything about fashion.

A Trip to New York City

Compared to D.C., this post is not going to be as long, considering we only really spent one day and two half-days (two days?) in NYC.  But we did do a lot of stuff. I didn't seem to take my phone out and take pics as much though, probably because I was just ~LiViNg iN tHe MoMeNt~. Plus it was Fashion Week and it was crowded and I was too in awe of all the fashion people in the city to document them.

A Trip to Washington, D.C.

If you know me, you know I didn't go on our 8th grade trip to Washington DC. I went for the first time in November 2016, and I loved it so much that I'm back again in less than a year! Here are some day-by-day highlights from our FIVE-DAY trip (warning: long post, but lots o' pictures).

Weekend Update: September 3

What I bought this week: Nothing!!!!!!

What I wanted to buy: Also nothing! Mostly in preparation of this upcoming trip in which I knew I would be dropping a bit of $$$.

LA life: A and I ate dinner at Mercado, an old fav, but left feeling nauseous from too much animal fat (carnitas). The carnitas there are truly the best though. Afterwards, we went to an old classic we had never actually tried in LA - Baskin Robbins. It was a little gross in there though.

DC life: Saturday was spent mostly on a plane. I accidentally booked a flight with a stop (no plane change) in Dallas so the flight took an hour longer than a direct would be. Oops! The Virgin planes had some good movies on board (Hidden Figures, The Nice Guys, Gifted) but I wanted to finish my book and also was too lazy to get my headphones out of my bag.

Empty, brainwashing plane.

Anyway, we are in DC now, and I think I'll just recap our entire trip at once. On Saturday night we went to have TAPAS AND CHURROS at Estadio, then got a cereal milk soft serve at Milkbar, because we are gluttons. Sunday we tried this amazing liberal coffee shop called Emissary (instagrammed), walked down to the National Botanic Garden, then went to the Hirshhorn, then the Hamilton for snacks and drinks, then to 2Amys for pizza dinner, bc Girl Meets Pizza. More to come!

My Fjallraven out in the wild (literally, at the National Botanic Garden park),
 and a Voss water because I forgot my swell bottle at home. I'm Scandinavian.

Girl Meets 2Amys Pizza.

Articles I've shared: Wasn't at work for two days last week, so didn't get a lot of sharing done.
Berkeley Rep apparently gets a bunch of pre-Broadway previews of musicals, which I never took advantage of when I lived there. This new musical seems like a must-see for Andrew and I!

What I'm Listening to: #LookWhatYouMadeMeDo, especially in light of continuous revelations of snakes at work.

What I'm reading: Finishing up A Little Life, but it's the only book I brought to D.C. so I guess I'll have to buy another new book this week!

Where's My Money: August 2017

This is a sort of money diary, although it's not separated out by day and doesn't actually include all of my expenses. Just the ones that I think are interesting and want to reflect back on. Who doesn't want to know how people spend their money????

Ok, so I spent over $700 on restaurants alone this month, which is not so bad considering I spent less than $100 on groceries.

I spent a total of $142.77 specifically at Amandine Cafe, over a span of 14 visits this month, which is really not as bad as I was expecting. Some days I just get a croissant, some days I just get coffee, and some days I get both AND a $16 steak salad for lunch.  It's my refuge from the office, so I consider this a worth-it expense that I will and have continued to make.

I went approximately $500 over my shopping budget this month, but mostly because Melanie visited twice! LOL it's not her fault at all, I go over my shopping budget EVERY month because I have no self control and I am addicted to shopping. Here is what I bought:

& Other Stories Patterned Dress (similar): $19.73 (on sale!)

& Other Stories Striped T-Shirt (similar): $29

COS Jacket: ~$75 (on sale!)

COS Dress (similar): ~$50 (on sale!)

Sam Edelman Red Felicia Flats: $76.48 (on sale!)

Louise Et Cie Black Patent Oxfords: $89.14 (on sale!)

Dancing With The Stars Live! Tour T-Shirt: $35.00

Le Specs Round Ziggy Sunglasses: $30.04 (on sale!)

APL Pink Running Shoes: $158.41 (discounted!)

Uniqlo Wide-Leg Pants: $29.90

Uniqlo White High-Waisted Shorts: $5.90 (on sale!)

Fjallraven Ocean Green Backpack: $87.40

OK, my life would be the same if I didn't accumulate all of these new things, but now its BETTER! Plus, the only thing I bought that was over $100 were the APLs.  They were still discounted!!! But clearly all these nearly-$100 purchases add up over time. I have already worn everything purchased except the COS jacket (because it's hot), the DWTS shirt (saving for the premiere on September 16), and Uniqlo pants (just bought them, but are also packed for my trip to NY next week).

Worst purchase: The Le Specs sunglasses were probably the MOST unnecessary purchase, but I had been going through an obsession with the Stace Face from Alice & Olivia and bought them to wear with my hair in a bun. I still love them though. I don't wear them as much as either of my Celines, as the Ziggys only go with certain Looks, but I got them at Nordstrom so I can always still return them.

Best purchase: I actually really find that the rest of these purchases were really great and useful for me. I truly love the COS jacket even though I haven't gotten a chance to wear it yet...The backpack I just opened up yesterday and am already using it, and plan on using it all next week for my trip! Also really loving the oxfords, they are very comfortable and make me feel cool and edgy with my typical boring work clothes.

I think my new obsession with books is just an example of my shopping addiction directed at something more "productive." I spend an absurd amount of money on books every month, especially considering I can really only finish about 1.5 a month. This month, I spent $35.11 on 5 books. That price is totally not bad for 5 books! Especially when one of them (A Little Life) costs around $27 full price. This is due to my recent discovery of book monster, a Korean used bookstore that just opened up off of the Promenade in Santa Monica.  I already love perusing book stores and finding new books that I never knew I wanted to read, but when they are literally a fraction of the price and are still in very good condition, how can I resist???? Fortunately, I only went twice this month. So far, I have finished My Brilliant Friend and am halfway through A Little Life, so it's been pretty worth it.

Persuasion by Jane Austen: $0.99

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante: $8.10

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara: $2.99

The Idiot by Elif Batuman: $8.92

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami: $10.86

I also have a B&N membership, because I got sucked into it, and plus I do want to support them in their war against Amazon. I'm over Amazon at this point, unless I really need a book right away and I don't feel like trekking 4 miles to Santa Monica.  I mostly want to support independent book stores, and feel comfortable spending $50+ on books at these locations so they can stay alive.

Getting around in LA is not cheap. Andrew and I avoid going a lot of places because parking is either impossible to find or expensive, as evidenced below. Sometimes we just take Lyfts places because it's cheaper than paying for parking and worth the expense of not looking for parking. Sometimes, like when we eat dinner in the Sawtelle area every week, we drive around FOREVER until we find a free parking spot. We have never paid the $6 for the public lot there.

8/3: Lyft from Andrew's to my apt: $7.74
8/4: Parking in DTLA: $11.00
8/5: Parking in Beverly Hills: $9.00
8/5: Lyft from Grand Central Market to the U.S. Bank Building: $6.05
8/6: Parking in Santa Monica: $4.00
8/8: Full tank of Gas: $38.38
8/21: Southwest roundtrip flight from LAX to OAK: $247.96
8/30: Lyft from LAX to my apt: $23.31

I wasn't sure if I should include my flight home, but since it's an added travel cost of me living here, it seemed appropriate. Since my office is only 2 miles from my apt and sometimes I walk, I only fill my tank up about once a month. Minus the flight, $90 for transportation isn't so bad, especially considering I ventured out farther than Santa Monica.

The only thing I feel gross about this month is that I spent so much on restaurants and spent less than $100 on groceries. That means I was eating out sooooooooo much. This needs to end. But it will have to wait until after our trip to DC and NYC next week!