NY-LA

Friday’s Featured Female – Girls Night Out at Paint & Sip Studio LA

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Friday's Featured Female, NY-LA | 2 Comments

So, I’m cheating a bit by not featuring an actual female for #FFF but when the female-owned Paint and Sip Studio Los Angeles offered a Girls Night Out for a few of my favorite local bloggers, I figured it was a great way to experience the cultural offerings of LA, gab and drink a bit.

 

Paint and Sip Studio LA, paint, sip, socialize

 

After coming back from my New York trip, I needed an LA grounding experience and painting, sipping (BYOB) and socializing with 3 very funny and smart ladies, AJ@ConfessionsofaFatGirl, Chris@WhatIRunInto and Anne@AnneHogan seemed like a great way to make that happen.  Facebook had been already taunting me for months with group photos featuring a bunch of happy (slightly drunk) people all holding the same masterpiece from similar painting parties so I figured, why not? Read more

Making My Way Back – A Unique 13 Step Program

Posted on by Melissa Burton in NY-LA | 28 Comments

I’m back from my nearly month-long break.

 

In the blogging world, not posting content is considered blogger-suicide.

 

My inconsistency wasn’t intentional but it was necessary.

 

My head, heart, soul and body needed to retreat….and so I did.

 

But I’m ready to talk about it all now so here goes……

 

My last post mentioned that I was in New York City saying good-bye to my beloved Brooklyn apartment.  With no offense intended to anyone who has used traditional 12 step programs to deal with addiction, this final act of truly leaving New York was quite an ordeal for me.  After living in Los Angeles for nearly 2 years, I didn’t think that the act of selling my New York apartment wouldn’t be so devastating but it was.

 

It’s taken me nearly a month to be able to write about my unique 13 steps to dealing with my own transition but here goes:

 

Step 1:  Arrive at midnight to an empty apartment except for a mattress on the bedroom floor and this thoughtful table set by a loving husband.  Cry.

 

Maker's Mark, lonely table

Notice the Maker’s Mark and the unseen gift left by loving husband.

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Fitness Magazine Blogger Meet & Tweet LA – Stay Tuned

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Fitness, NY-LA | 8 Comments

Ever spend a ton of time on something only to hit a wrong button on your computer and make the whole thing disappear?!  Well, then you understand why there will not be the full write up of this week’s Fitness Magazine Blogger Meet & Tweet LA (aka #FitBlogLA) today.  I promise the full deal on Monday but as a preview, I’ll give you this…..

#FitBlogLA, Fitness Magazine, Annenberg Beach House

 

There were friends from FitBloggin’, FitSocial and some amazing chicks from my blogger tribe, the So Cal Lady Bloggers!

There was very interesting health and fitness advice from leaders in the field that included:

And you’ll die when you see the quality of swag.  The sponsors were so incredibly generous but you’ll have to wait until Monday for all the juicy details.

Thanks for being patient with your technologically challenged friend!

BTW, this Sunday is Simon Le Bon’s 55th birthday (yes, it even sounds old to me)!  

If we’re friends on Facebook or you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, be ready to see some SLB birthday love dedications.  Last year (before I ever let a soul know I was secretly writing a blog) I wrote this post to my fake rock star boyfriend on his 54th birthday.

You can go throw up now….but don’t forget to come back on Monday!

4 Days in NYC – Almost A Hugh Grant Movie

Posted on by Melissa Burton in NY-LA | 7 Comments

In case you wondering why there was no post on Friday, it was partly because I was in New York and we have no Internet connection in our Brooklyn apartment and partly because I ran around like a chicken without a head over a 4 day period.  I’d say a funeral, a business meeting, multiple reunions, a bar mitzvah and the loss of 2 teeth.  It may not quite have been “Four Weddings and a Funeral” but it ranks damned close.

Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn

Grand Army Plaza is right near my apartment and I barely got to wave to it.
Image: Dannyman

Normally, when I go to New York I get the chance to have epic runs, get reacquainted with my favorite bridge or try out a unique fitness class but on this trip, I didn’t even workout once.  I had reservations for a class but needed to cancel and I had the opportunity to attend a Reebok/Tara Stiles event but that didn’t work out either.  The only chance I had to go for a run, I decided to go to a cafe and have a civilized (and child-free) meal.

Milk Bar, food, decadent

Eggs, Smoked Salmon and Avocado from Milk Bar, Brooklyn

Technology was not my friend on the plane (I haven’t been having luck with that lately – I broke my Chromebook on the way home from FitSocial if you remember) but there were some highlights from my crazy trip that do deserve sharing like:

  • Surviving the plane ride from hell -It didn’t matter that I was on a luxurious Virgin America flight from LA to NYC, it didn’t do a thing to make me feel like I wasn’t going to die when we hit so much rough air that they cut food and beverage service on the plane.  I’m surprised I didn’t give myself arthritis from gripping the arm of the seat so hard!  Luckily, the flight home was better.  I’ve been toying with writing about my transition from young and excited cross-country flyer to the unbelievably anxiety-ridden crazy flyer I’ve become over time.
Virgin America, flight

Swanky doesn’t exclude scary.

  • Learning about what’s to come from FiTMAPPED – Even if you’re not in NYC or LA, FiTMAPPED is looking to come to fitness oriented cities around the country soon.  If you haven’t heard of FiTMAPPED, check them out.  I’m proud to be a FitRep and I’m excited about the big things coming for the communities around the country that enjoy fitness.  Check out FiTMAPPED and let them know where you sweat.

Fitmapped-badge

  • Reuniting with friends and family – Jay had been in NYC for a few days already so it was really good to be a reunited nuclear family first!  With only 4 days and 2 major events, we didn’t get to see everyone we wanted to see but we were lucky to see so many friends and family members that we don’t often get to see!  Thank goodness for Facebook because it helped facilitate a reunion with someone I hadn’t seen in over 25 years on this short trip!
One never looks their best when captured by a 6.5 year old.

Viv, not our best shot but no one never looks their best when captured by a 6.5 year old.

  • Just being in NYC….in Fall.
Brooklyn, Manhattan, autumn

A (gorgeous) tree grows in Brooklyn and the ESB.

  • Needing to create Starla the Tooth Fairy – Wild Boy not only turned 6.5 years old on Wednesday of this trip but he lost his first tooth on Friday and his second tooth on Saturday!  The teeth were loose (the adult teeth had grown behind the baby teeth) but Jay and I didn’t expect to need to create the back story of Starla, Wild Boy’s personal Tooth Fairy and her mysterious star-filled pathway on this trip!  Certainly not for two days in a row!  It was all worth it to see the delight on the little guy’s face.
Tooth Fairy

I know, you wanted pictures of Starla, the Tooth Fairy not Wild Boy’s smile but I forgot to take pictures.

It was a great trip and I look forward to going back to NYC at Thanksgiving…once I get over this trip.   I am really looking forward to getting back to some fitness endeavors (especially after all of the bagels, pizza and fig bars I consumed).  If I don’t get back to working out today, I might not be admitted to the Fitness Magazine Meet & Tweet (or FitBlogLA) this week!

In case you didn’t know, I have a fitness giveaway contest going on until 10/31/13.  Enter for your chance to win a Pink Packet!

How do you feel about flying?  Have you become a scaredy-cat like me?

Three Local Running Loops For LA Beginning Runners

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Fitness, NY-LA | 10 Comments

Today I’m thrilled to have a guest post from one of my newest LA friends, Chris Lam of WhatIRunInto.com.   Not only does Chris share my love of fitness and pop-culture but she has a wicked sense of humor.   Today just to prove my point about out-and-back runs being something I need to get used to in LA, Chris is going to give her take on where to do (and park) loop runs in LA.

Three Local Running Loops For Beginning Runners

Let’s be honest. I’m not a natural runner. I hate running. But a few of my running friends inspired me to start training for a half marathon. There’s nothing like “I can’t” to make me want to say “Fuck this, yes, I can.”

I weighed about 170lbs when I first started to learn how to run. (I’m 5’3” and yeah, that’s not healthy.) It took me three weeks to figure out how to run a mile without getting frustrated. Then I began to earnestly train for a half marathon. (For the record, I spent 14 weeks training for my first half marathon in 2009.)

In the beginning, my strategy was to run loops because loops would force me to finish to get back to my car. After a while, I just liked running these loops because they let me “zone out” a little and I didn’t have to worry about crossing streets or being run over by cars. Since not everyone lives next to the beach, I’ve come up with three easy run/walk loops on the Eastside of town to start your training!

1. Silverlake Reservoir – 2 – 2.25 mile loop

Silverlake Running Loop, running, LA

Silverlake Running Loop

This short loop around the entire Reservoir of Hipsters and Other-State-Transplants as well as the dog park and community center. You will hit dips and hills as you run/walk your way to two miles of sweat.

On the opposite of the route are lots of single family homes where you can fantasize about living in. Alas, you are not rich so daydreaming is all you can do.

I like this path because it’s been recently re-constructed for runners and walkers, and it has a couple of inclines.

Try to sprint up the hill if you can. It makes for a good cardio workout, plus hills work your butt, and who doesn’t want a shapely butt?

Where to park: Anywhere along the Silver Lake Blvd or the streets that circle the loop. It’s all residential parking, but there are no permits required. Win!

2. Griffith Park Golf Course – 2 – 2.5 mile loop If you like running on dirt, this is the place to be. A large stretch of this loop has been repaved for runners and walkers, and it is pretty much an all-dirt loop. (Before you freak out, dirt is great – it’s easier on the knees. When you weigh as much as I do, dirt is your friend.)

Griffith Park Loop, running, LA

Griffith Park Loop

The route is relatively flat save for a couple of small declines and inclines. You’ll run along the golf course where you can watch people hit small balls and/or dodge horses. Yes, when the loop rounds between the golf course and the 5 Freeway, that’s a horse trail!

Note: It’s best to let the horses and their riders pass you, or make sure you give them lots of room. If you want a longer run, you can stretch this loop to behind the Autry National Center and up to Travel Town and back! That’ll get your heart going with that steady incline.

Where to park: Any of the park parking lots. I like the Autry’s parking lot because you can start your loop there. You can also park at the Zoo (across the street) or at the south end of the golf course. There is a park and parking lot near the ranger office, too.

Note and bonus: On Saturday mornings, the Autry hosts the Griffith Park farmers market, so park farther down the lot or somewhere else.

3. Rose Bowl, Pasadena – 3 mile loop

Pasadena, Rose Bowl, running

Pasadena Rose Bowl

My usual runs (haha! I have the humor of a 15-year old) are over at the Pasadena Rose Bowl – home of the giant flea market and UCLA football games. This is a paved route that runs along the park south of the Rose Bowl and up around Brookside Golf Course.  I’ve run into my fair share of bad stroller etiquette and a ton of dog poo. Beware of dog poo.

There are two small inclines to work with. Use those as your warm-ups! My favorite part of the loop is when you come around the bend (running counter clockwise) on Washington to West Drive. This is where I get my groove on and can run all the way to the parking lot.

On weekends, there are lots of activity. Soccer games, walkers, Team-in-Training runners. Once I even saw a huge gathering of youth lacrosse teams competing. Be mindful of the Rose Bowl’s event schedule as some events like UCLA football games will prevent you from parking and using the loop.

Where to park: All along the south side of the loop are parking lots and dirt parking. You can make things a tiny bit further if you park near the Aquatic Center!

So there you have it. One mile starts with one step. Don’t think you can’t do it. You can.

If you’re interested in training or just want to run a mile or three, I recommend the Couch-to-5K program. It’s been praised a zillion times but that is because it’s an easy (and slow) way to get your body used to running without killing yourself or your goals.

Runner’s World is a great resource for Runners 101 and 5K training as well. If you want to train for a half marathon, I recommend Hal Higdon’s website for plans. I trained with the “novice” plan for my first half back in 2009. Good luck and I’ll see you on the paths!

Chris Lam, WhatIRunInto

This is @thechrislam

 

Chris Lam – http://whatiruninto.com@thechrislam

Visit this funny girl’s blog and find out the reason for her blog’s name!

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