Monday, October 5, 2015

Read, Seen & Consumed

Santa Barbara, CA. What a difference 72 hours makes...
Hello friends and happy Monday! I am finally back in NYC after an outstanding 9 days on the west coast, having worked in LA and attended a stunning wedding in Santa Barbara since I last checked in. Things are a bit of a grind here with my move to Brooklyn just 4 days away (EEK!!!!) but I have some very share-worthy items from my travels so here goes!

(1) Read
While I was traveling, I read Mindy Kaling's newest book Why Not Me? and I lurved it. I am a huge Mindy fan and this follow up to her first collection of short stories, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, was even more touching, personal, honest and funny. Mindy is not just a tv superstar (producer, writer, actress... not just the dark skinned chick from the Office!) but she's also truly a role model for anyone (but especially women) who want to work hard and achieve great things. Mindy tackles everything from her body image and confidence to dating and Hollywood with no fear and it's simply a great read.

(2) Seen
I watched three airplane movies during my travels and I would recommend them all highly. In order of viewing:
I. St. Vincent is a touching film starring the always amazing Bill Murray, an impressively dynamic Molly McCarthy, the funnier-than-expected Naomi Watts and superb child acting by Jaeden Lieberher. The story was at times very sad, but generally uplifting and it made me shed a few happy tears at the end. 
the greatest invention since airplanes themselves?
II. Magic Mike XXL requires no description other than "HOT". It's incredibly cheesy but very worth seeing. MMXXL will make you want to fist pump and scream "hell yeah women are sexual creatures too!" and then it will make you want to do something that I don't need to get into on this blog... hehe. See it. Trust me. 
III. Me Earl and the Dying Girl was a critically acclaimed indie movie I had wanted to see over the summer (because its cast included Tammy Taylor and Ron Swanson) but any film involving a teenager with cancer isn't always at the top of my date night movie list. Nevertheless, this was a seriously charming and at times deeply sad film which led to some unembarrassed public waterworks by yours truly. A commentary on friendship, human nature, illness and adolescence, I highly recommend you grab a box of tissues and tune in.

(3) Consumed
I ate with the tenacity of 500 lb man deserving of my own reality show during my travels, but 2 culinary experiences stole my heart during this past week in California: a trip to Malibu Farm on the Malibu Pier and the 29th Annual California Avocado Festival.

Malibu Farm is such a gorgeous spot that they could have fed me rocks and I'd probably have been happy, but thankfully the stunning view and gorgeous decor are matched by totally tasty farm fresh fare, prepared with lots of flavor, but a "light" vibe well suited for the beach. Everything from the cauliflower pizza appetizer to the burger and salmon sandwich pleased the pallets of our entire group and the cocktails were pretty darn tasty too!

This is a real thing that exists and for 2 avocado lovers like Dr. H and I, it was nearly heaven on earth. Avocado everything to eat (did you know there's a type of avocado with a soft skin meant to be eaten!? There is, and we brought 5 of them home!) avocado paraphernalia and more. We just might have to return to Santa Barbara next year for another fix :)

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