True Food

True FoodI am always on the hunt for healthy restaurants and last week I discovered True Food in Santa Monica, which is perhaps the quintessential Southern California spot. They don’t serve sodas but instead serve “Natural Refreshers” like Kale-Aid (Kale, Apple, Cucumber, Celery, Lemon & Ginger) and Strawberry Rhubarb & Lime Soda.  Their menu is so great that I wanted to order everything, luckily it lends itself well to sharing.  We ordered the edamame dumplings, kale & avocado dip, kale salad, turkey burger and fish tacos and shared them family-style.  The waiter even split the salad in two bowls without us having to request it.  Definitely give True Food a shot if you find yourself in any of these locations.

True Food MenuTrue Food

Walnut Grove Wedding

walnut grove weddingLast weekend we attended the wedding of a young couple in our church at Walnut Grove in Moorpark, CA. Jeff performed the ceremony and Luke was the wedding crasher (I threw out the invitation envelope and couldn’t remember whether Luke was invited or not). The bride was gracious to us and I felt very humbled.  The setting could not have been more beautiful among the trees and the food was the best I think I’ve ever had at a wedding.  Walnut Grove is an ideal location for any event.

walnut grove weddingchris and natalie weddingwalnut grove weddingwalnut grove weddingChris and Natalie CakeJeff and LukeJeff and LisaJeff Lisa and Luke

Boxing Love

Boxing loveI took up a lunch-time boxing workout last Summer at the local gym near my office and it has become one of the things I most look forward to. My instructor, Coach Marc Coronel, is challenging but effective.  He recently trained Rachel McAdams for her role in “True Detective”. In my first class, he had me drop and do 10 pushups for every time I messed up the combination he called out (let’s just say I did a lot of pushups that day). Since then I’ve gotten better and now I work mostly on speed. I love it because it makes me feel strong, even though I am weak.  My love for boxing is contagious and a few of my co-workers have since joined me in the class.  It’s a great stress relieving workout and a nice way to break up the work day.

Boxing LoveBoxing love

AOL Gives Back

Heal the BayLast week was a bit of a whirlwind at AOL, with the announcement on Tuesday that Verizon would acquire us for $4.4BB and the stock soar that ensued. I sold all of my shares right after the layoffs at the end of January, so I did not get to reap the rewards of the announcement but was happy to hear the news anyway. We ended the week with our annual “Monster Help Day” where we all volunteered in our respective communities across the country. I participated in the Santa Monica Beach clean up with Heal the Bay and the drizzly weather cleared up beautifully just as we finished.

Under the Boardwalk

{I picked up trash under the boardwalk}

Under the Boardwalk

 

{The tide started coming in so we decided it was time to clean up elsewhere}

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

Baseball Boys

Baseball boysWe finally had a Saturday together after all my weeks of travel where we could get outside and enjoy the day. We went to the local baseball field and took turns hitting a few balls. Standing in the outfield reminded me of those wonderful weekday afternoons of high school softball. One of the greatest things about being a Mother is getting to re-live your childhood.  I can’t wait until Luke plays baseball again.  I missed not watching him play this year.

Baseball boys{playing catch with Dad.  Husbands are definitely at their sexiest at times like these}

Baseball boys{Batter up}

baseball boys{Luke has quite the arm for an 8-year-old with only one year of organized ball under his belt}

Lombardi’s Pizza

Lombardi'sLombardi’s Pizza is famous for being the first pizza place in NY, but it’s also frequently voted “Best Pizza in the City” time and time again. I had always wanted to try it but had never been able to find the time until this last trip, when I happened to be staying on the Lower East Side.  Lombardi’s was walking distance from my hotel so I pulled up a table for one and enjoyed what is in fact my favorite pizza experience in New York City to date.

Lombardi'sLombardi's Pizza{Lombardi’s Pepperoni Pizza.  Simply the best}

New York Photos

Empire State BuildingOne of the best things about getting to travel to NY is that I get unique opportunities to exercise my passion for photography. The picturesque skylines and the everyday sights alike inspire me.  Here are some of my favorite photos from my most recent trip to NY.

NY streetsNY SubwayNY Freedom Tower{Freedom Tower}

NY BridgeEmpire Stat Building{Empire State Building}

Brooklyn BridgeThe Smith Floor{Floor at The Smith}

Mother’s Day 2015

Mother's Day 2015I work full time so I typically blog on Sunday nights, but since this last Sunday was Mother’s Day, I decided to take a break even from blogging. Instead I spent the evening watching the remake of Karate Kid (2010) with Luke and Jeff.  Luke is aiming for his Taekwondo green belt in June so this served up some inspiration for him.  The day was perfectly low-key, after church we went to brunch at our favorite local diner and I had whole grain pancakes with mounds of butter. I opened my presents and cards from my boys in the car and was overjoyed at this gift. You’ll see it in a fashion post coming soon! I Hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day!

Nordstrom{My favorite gifts come in silver boxes..}

Mother's Day 2015{Shout out to my Mom. I posted this picture on Instagram of her, my brother and I on Mother’s Day, but she deserves a second call out.  My Mom is the incredible woman who instilled all the things in me that I hold most dear- faith, hope and love. I love you Mom! Thank you for being such an incredible rock in my life}

Grace House

Grace HouseOn my way to catch the train last week, I happened to walk by this church and the sign stopped me in my tracks. “Grace House” was written on the gate and a nearby sign said “we’re open. come in and pray”.  Of course I had to pop in for a moment.  The beautiful stained glass windows and old school pews reminded me of my days in Catholic school.  So much had been going on in my life and though I’d started that day in prayer, I’d been running so fast I was nearly on empty by mid-afternoon and I still had so much more to tackle ahead of me on into the evening.  I sat down in a pew toward the back, bowed my head and thanked God for His grace to me. I felt peace flow over me like a river.  Just the thought that God knows exactly what we need before we ask Him and that He knew I needed to pass by this place that day brought me such comfort.  NYC really does have everything, including a quiet place to stop in the myriad of things going on all around you, in order to breathe, pray and regain your peace.

Grace HouseGrace HouseGrace House{Grace Church, 802 Broadway NY, NY.  I encourage you to stop in. It’s worth it}

Grace Church

AOL Newfront 2015

AOL NewfrontThe Newfronts were last week in NY.  The number of companies participating has exploded over the past two years.  AOL hosted our Newfront on the 54th floor of 4 World Trade Center, which was a pretty spectacular view.  This year AOL announced we would be upping the stakes on our competition by shifting to a year-round content strategy where advertisers can buy the shows they want, in the formats they want, at the times of year that suit them best.  You can view our full slate here. We had various celebrities on hand to introduce their shows, like Making a Scene with James Franco and the Emmy Nominated, Park Bench with Steve Buscemi. The biggest announcement was that AOL will now partner with NBCUniversal to produce and distribute content together.  Looks like my job just got a bit more fun!

AOL Newfront 2015AOL Newfront 2015{Live streamed the event from our NY office}