After a nearly month-long hiatus, I’m back. For reals. While I haven’t been blogging, I assure you that I have certainly been keeping up with my cooking and trying to chip away at my summer to-do list. As a way to quickly catch you up, in case you don’t follow me on Instagram, here’s my life lately…


Hiked to the Escondido Waterfalls in Malibu. For awhile, I was enjoying Runyon so much that I thought, maybe I was beginning to like hiking and should take it to the next level. After freefall-sliding down the hill coming back from this waterfall, and having to repel at times, I’m certain I do NOT like hiking. This waterfall is beautiful though and I highly encourage you adventurous people to try it.


Working through a stack of summer reading for a project, I perhaps misguidedly undertook.


Surprised my brother and drove down to catch his game.


The end of the Happy Thursday cake I made for my coworkers. There’s nothing better than cake for no reason!


Rerouted my run to catch part of the free concert Katy Perry did on Hollywood Blvd.


I love working near home so I can catch up on my reading at lunch!


My get-up when I’m in writing mode.


Gorgeous day at the beach for my run.


Just another Runyon hike.


Motivational marquee for no reason. If there’s one reason I love living in West Hollywood, it’s that everyone is so positive!


Driving home. I love LA.


My cat Chiquita who now lives with my parents and let me hold her for the first time in over a year! (she’s not the nicest of kitties)


At the driving range with my dad and brother.


Hanging out on the Paramount lot.


My Birchbox! Seriously, I love getting these SO much!


Nighttime jog on Sunset.


Huge sparkly flag on the wall. Just because.

Don’t take this the wrong way, but I really enjoy morning drinks. Not necessarily drinking in the morning, although that’s lovely on occasion, but the drinks that are typically reserved for “daytime.”

I ran across this recipe, and it seemed amazing (especially since I’m constantly whining why coffee shops don’t carry Baileys).

What You Do:

Make your favorite coffee, let it cool, pour it into ice cube trays and freeze

Fill a glass with the cubes, then with Baileys

Enjoy!

The older I get, the more I realize how fast summer gets away from me. Between work, travelling to my parents’ house for holidays and just lazing around, I really don’t take advantage of summer like I did as a kid. This year is a bit different for me too. Since making a career change, I am going to be very busy during the week, so I need to make the most of my free time! These are some things I really want to do this summer…

1. Run a half marathon (I already have one in mind and am training… let’s hope my knees hold up this time)
2. Hike somewhere and watch the sun rise over LA… preferably somewhere with a waterfall
3. Read a few books
4. Buy 90 percent of my food from Farmers Markets (you can’t find everything there, but you can definitely get some veggies!)
5. Try paddle boarding
6. Revamp my closet/wardrobe… it’s time to grow up and get rid of my bazillion t-shirts.
7. Take a staycation. There are so many amazing things to do in this city that I really need to experience.
8. Use more fresh flowers around the apartment
9. Bake a pie… from scratch
10. Get a tan. I’m usually the tannest in my family, but have been working A TON the last year or so. Needless to say, my mother thinks I’m sick because I’ve lost my color. Her words: “Natalie, when you’re this pale you just look gray. Gray and sick.” This must be fixed!

Phew! Another whirlwind week in the books! And it’s only Thursday! Here’s my life lately via instagram pictures…


Beautiful butterfly on my daily hike.


Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at Jimmy Kimmel


Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at Jimmy Kimmel


With my friend Brittany at the concert


FINALLY up to my leg press max… in my rugby days


My next read. It’s SO good so far. Another job well-done Roland Lazenby.


Watching Lolita on a mausoleum wall at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. If you visit LA in the summer, you must do this! So much fun.


I of course love anywhere that lets me drink my black and tans in public… or anything for that matter.


Painting. It’s my favorite when words fail me.


Homemade ice cream sandwiches. My new favorite dessert. Bake some cookies, buy some ice cream, thank me later.


Gorgeous hill full of wildflowers on my hike.


Can’t wait to start reading this!


Beautiful display of God’s creation. If you know what this plant is called, do share. I need to know :)

Thanks for reading!! Have an excellent day. Let’s be better today than yesterday!

Updates from my Instagram…

Poolside at The Standard


New Logo for my t-shirt company. Check it out here


I got in the LA Times again! :)


View from Runyon


Other view from Runyon. Can’t believe I get to see this all the time!


Last minute Berlin tickets with great friends. Wow! This woman is amazing #TakeMyBreathAway


Chevron nail polish


Beach lunch break


The stack of reading that’s piled up during NBA and NHL playoffs

It’s been awhile since my last book review, because it’s been awhile since I was able to finish a book. But I finally finished my first book of the year. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do if I want to reach my goal, but I’ll get there.

Before Christmas, I was walking through a store when I saw a book that caught my eye, “The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters” by Lorraine Lopez. If intrigued me because my Spanish family, from Spain are Gabaldons. I thought it might be a fun gift for my Nana based on the name alone. Then it got weird when I read the back of the book. It was about four sisters growing up in East Los Angeles and their mother had died at a young age. I froze, was I reading my Nana’s story she’d published under a penname or something? Granted, she had more siblings than this… many more, but the similarities were uncanny. I scooped it up into my basket and gave it to my Nana as a “just because” present.

She’s a voracious reader, constantly giving me books she knows I’ll love, and I always do once I get around to reading them. So, six months later, I’m able to give it back to her, having finished this wonderfully delightful tale of these sisters. It’s a coming of age story, which I’m typically not a fan of because they’re all essentially the same. This one was different though.

Without giving away a lot of the story, I can tell you this:
1. You will fall in love with these girls. They are all so flawed, and real with themselves. It’s refreshing to find people who aren’t overly flawed or a bit too perfect, and these girls are as real as characters can get.

2. You’ll relate with them, even if you didn’t grow up in East LA. It’s impossible not to see some of you in these girls.

3. It’s an easy read. It’s not as shallow as cheeky romance novel, and it’s not as simple as a lot of adolescent literature, but it’s somewhere in between. Not quite for adolescents, because there’s a lot of “life lessons” in here. You’ll go on a journey with these girls and love every disappointment and triumph.

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