Burgertime at Pie ‘n Burger

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PIE

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‘N BURGER

For February, I’m going to feature a long time favorite burger joint of mine, Pie ‘n Burger. It’s a classic burger that can only be found in good old classy Pasadena. It first opened in 1963 on California Blvd., just east of Lake. And there it still stands! A truly old school diner, with mostly bar seating at their original 70s style formica bartop, complete with wooden swivel chairs and a menu (including at least 20 types of pie!!) permanently posted on the wall. I have had lots of Pie ‘n Burger in my 30 years of life, seeing as my Grandmother introduced me to this place at a young age. But there’s a simple reason we keep coming back… the cheeseburgers are DELICIOUS. The patty, the bun, the whole package will not disappoint. I promise. And if you don’t believe me, then Ill let Zagat and Jonathan Gould convince you.

 Ps. They cater too. xo Cait

Conscious Consumption: Further Products

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Back in high school, my best friend used to take me hunting for used vegetable oil. We’d hit the local chinese restaurants, siphon out wasted oil from drums located out back and haul it back to his home where he’d distill the oil to be used as biodiesel for his converted Mercedes, or as I lovingly called it “the veggie mobile”. His car always smelled like french fries from the oil but he was doing his part to recycle, reuse and help the environment.

When I first stumbled upon Further Products, I immediately loved this product for obvious reasons. FURTHER Products is owned and operated by Megan & Marshall Dostal. Their soap line was born from the byproduct created from the biodiesel distillation process for Marshall’s “veggie mobile”. When you distill the used vegetable oil grease, glycerin is made! What an a-ha moment and an amazing way to truly take this waste product one step further. Not only is the used vegetable waste being used to fuel his car, but the glycerin is being made into the most lovely hand soap that smells like bergamot, olive and grasses.

Marshall still picks-up waste grease from local restaurants. Megan has traded-in her SUV for a vintage diesel wagon and Marshall’s biofuel now powers two family cars and one company truck. The soap has been joined by a hand lotion, a dish soap, two candles and a bar soap.

 

 

 

 

Burgertime at Oinkster

IMG_4840The Oinkster had been on my list of places to try since I moved to LA 10 years ago.  It seemed like when talking burgers, the original Oinkster in Eagle Rock always came up in conversation. But it was only when I moved to Mid-City this past year that I became a frequent customer (at the Hollywood location). As it says on their site, “House-cured pastrami or sloooow-roasted pork  compete for diners’ attention with juicy burgers made from freshly-ground Nebraska Angus beef, first-rate rotisserie-roasted chicken and crispy Belgian fries.” And I couldn’t agree more. Normally, I’m the girl that finds the one thing on the menu I like, and then I stick with it, but not with this place…. I personally have had the cheeseburger, the chili cheeseburger (seen above) and the Cluckster. OMG. All three are awesome. A trusted Rueben connosier tells me theirs is also a must have! You can’t go wrong… xo Cait

ps. They sweeten the deal with ice cream shakes made with the always delicious Fosselman’s ice cream!

Saying Goodbye to 2014

photoI’m writing this post from a hotel room in New Orleans. Although I’m traveling for work over the New Year’s holiday, I have some downtime to reflect on 2014 and ready myself for the year to come. As December comes to a close, so does my shopping fast. Ultimately, this fashion diet was much easier than I had expected and really, I didn’t even miss my shopping fix. By abstaining from shopping, I created more physical, financial and mental space to focus on bigger picture goals. I’m happy to say that I achieved my biggest goal within this 6 month period and I truly believe it happened because I was able to shift my energy to pour all focus into the desired area (which had to do with my career). Along the way, I used a few tools and I can’t sing their praises enough. You may think these are little woo-woo but they worked for me so I’m sharing in case they could potentially help along your journey.

Blissbombed: 7 Miracles – Intention setting workshop, next session begins in March. This program provided an incredible foundation, support and the tools to achieve major goals.
Lotus Wei: Flowerevolution – 6 month transformative flower elixir program featuring a new flower and focus each month.
House of Intuition: Middle Pillar Ritual with Naha – Energetic healing session using mixed modalities followed by a reading.
Kundalini Yoga: Yoga West – Called the “yoga of awareness”, this practice focuses on breath, meditation and chanting.
Soundbaths: Jamie Ford (Yoga West uses gongs and crystal bowls at the end of each class too) – Experience of sound and vibration
Have a wonderful New Year. Cheers to 2015!

xo

Conscious Consumption: Sackcloth & Ashes

Although I’m coming to the end of my “shopping fast”, one of the greatest takeaways for me is the need to truly be thoughtful when it comes to the items I purchase. I no longer want to waste my money on disposable products but invest wisely in items that have meaning and will last. I want to curb the need to engage in shopping  for those quick emotional fixes but rather support small businesses, local craftsmen and companies that give back. With this intent, I present a new series titled Conscious Consumption where we highlight artisan crafters who are simply doing great things.
Founded by Bob Dalton, the great grandson of an outlaw and the husband of his high school sweetheart, Bob has poured his adult life into serving the youth, creating a mentorship program and developing other leaders to make a difference. Sackcloth & Ashes began in the summer of 2013 when his educated, business minded mother was facing homelessness. Bob says, “My beautiful mother had become homelss. It was then that I realized that not all choose to become homeless – that some just need a second chance.” And with this sentiment, the company was born. With every blanket purchased, Sackcloth & Ashes will give a blanket to the LA Rescue mission. This simple gift of warmth and comfort is a not just a sweet gesture, it’s a real need.
The blankets are simply beautiful, check out a few favorites:
bluetealgraycream alpacabrown alpacaorange

Burgertime at Grill Em All

The Bohemoth. Now this burger, is a serious burger. Named for a Polish death metal band of the same name, it is a ridiculous burger with grilled cheese sandwiches for buns, tons of cheese, bacon, pickles and beer soaked onions.

IMG_4792It is decadent. And craveable. Oh my, it is good.

IMG_4786If you live in Los Angeles and aren’t familiar with Grill Em All, you should be. They have a food truck roaming around town as well as a restaurant in Alhambra (right next to a movie theatre! make it a date!) where they dish up crazy metal themed burgers. A lot of fun. And oh so delicious. xo Cait

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Burgertime at Mo Better Burgers

The burger at Mo Better is so good, you wont believe your taste buds. I think the picture below speaks for itself. I took one bite, and I immediately wanted everyone I knew to meet me there. It’s one of those sneaky strip mall places in LA that may look unassuming from the street (corner of 9th and La Brea), but is turning out high quality, amazing food. And the staff is THE BEST. So friendly and equally as welcoming. You should go, soon. Note: THEY CLOSE AT 5PM so get there early my friends. I hear they are expanding, and will be open for dinner again soon! Until then, go for lunch Tues-Sat xo Cait

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Healing Matters: Sound Bath Training

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Sound Baths- where to begin? Just the thought of the intricate overtones and frequencies that you experience during a sound bath makes me giddy. A sound bath is the experience of sound and vibration that’s played as an improvised concert. You are literally bathed in the vibrations from the planetary gongs and crystal bowls. Music and dance are my church, so it’s no surprise that I would be so drawn to the healing modalities of sound. Sound healing means “coming back into tune”. If you live in an urban city (like I do) then you’re constantly surrounded by stressful frequencies like cell phones, radio waves, traffic, chatter, stimulation, noise and the like. As individuals, our nervous system will entrain with the frequencies around us and all of this commotion can affect our moods, sleep, energy, thoughts and the like. Therefore, the theory behind a sound bath is to tune us to a higher frequency, open our right brains (the creative side) and ground us to a state of “om”.

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This is Jamie Ford and she is a sound bath goddess. I first attended one of her sound bath events at Yogala in Echo Park. I couldn’t believe how powerful and intense the experience was. I had never felt sound like this before, it was as if I could hear the entire universe moving. I immediately wanted to learn more, and not just learn, but play these powerful instruments.

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Fast forward through pregnancy, birth and newborn phase, I was ready to take a class with Jamie. My dear friend, Kristen Huffman, had attended one of Jamie’s Integratron retreats and immediately jumped on the opportunity for a 1:1 session with Jamie.

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Oh what a powerful experience it was!

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Words can’t even describe the immense power you feel from the sound generated from the gongs, bowls and tuning forks. Did I mentioned that the gongs and the forks are tuned to the frequencies omitted by the orbits of the planets & moons in our universe? Playing these gongs literally feels like you’re standing at the precipice of the universe while each speaks to you.

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After the session was over, my entire being felt lighter, brighter and focused. I can’t wait to learn more and start to amass my little collection. First up, I’d like to find a 14″ crystal bowl tuned to G#…

 

 

Burgertime at Top Round

topround3-e1371508730478Time for another entry in the Burgertime Chronicles. This week it’s Top Round at the corner on La Brea at Olympic. A fast food joint started by “chefs and fine food fanatics who wanted to make real, tasty food, fast.” It’s pretty much a glorified Arby’s, but much fresher… And yes, it is more of a roast beef sandwich than a burger, but I make the rules here, so it qualifies. It was one of those that I kept driving by and thinking to myself, that place is kind of adorable. I have to go to there. And it delivered. I’m a fan of the basic Beef and Cheese (and by cheese I mean homemade cheeeeze ‘wizz’) with a frozen custard ‘concrete style’ meaning with the toppings mixed in (think Dairy Queen blizzard). I’ve now been here multiple times and always left happy.
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Healing Matters: Yoga Booty Ballet + Esalen

kristenThis is Kristen Huffman, isn’t she beautiful? To know Kristen and call her a friend is a true honor. She is a beacon of positive energy and a true healer. For 4 years now, I’ve been a student of her dance class, Yoga Booty Ballet. The name doesn’t quite sum up what you get from this class because it is so much more than dance.

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Each week, I make the trek to Atwater Village for the 8:30 class at Heartbeat House; that’s a 30-45 minute drive on a weeknight, after I’ve had a full day of motherhood & work. But this is my church and I would travel to the moon and back to dance with these ladies. During this 75 minute class, you can expect to meditate, to set intentions, to clear your mind, to dance your heart out and to cultivate a true sense of community. During years past, I worked for FILTER Magazine as a music curator and talent buyer. Music have always been an enormous part of my life so it makes sense that I experience so much creativity and inspiration while dancing.

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So clearly YBB is one of my favorite activities and now it might collide with my favorite place in the world: Esalen, Big Sur. My heart could explode just thinking about this possibility. Kristen applied to teach a dance workshop at Esalen so I have to plant the seed and send the wish out into the universe. If I blog about, then it has to happen, right? I could write endlessly about my love for Esalen and how it’s this magical place tucked into the cliffs of Big Sur. It’s just simply perfect and to experience this place is to understand how to live in a constant state of happiness.

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If you’re interested in taking Kristen’s class, please check her website here.

And if you’re not familiar with Esalen and would like to lear more, click here.