The Weekly Edit #11: Podcast Festival, Charity Dinners & Plaid

What a week! When I woke up on Monday morning to the horrific news out of Las Vegas, I felt so confused and angry with the world that I found myself in a daze for the entire day (that I wrote about here). I didn’t want to talk to anyone and I certainly couldn’t fathom meeting anyone new…except it was already organized that I would be spending the week couch-surfing with new friends in Long Beach and Laguna Beach. Yet, I should have trusted one of my defining life philosophies — travel brings us closer together than anything else, especially in the moments we need it most.

This week’s hosts have been some of the kindest and most interesting that I have had the pleasure of meeting in the 6+ years I have been Couchsurfing. They both went above-and-beyond to make sure that I had a comfortable stay and continuously checked to ensure I felt welcome in their homes. A vlog from the past few days will be coming to my Youtube channel next week (scroll down to see today’s vlog – the last part of my cross-country road-trip) and you will be able to see what I got up to in the beach towns, as well as the craziest view from my Laguna Beach pad (where I am currently writing this from); but, until then, here is what else I am up to over the next few days…

As an avid podcast listener (you can see some of my favourites here and here), I was super excited to see that this weekend is the LA Podcast Festival! Over the next couple of days The Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles will have all sorts of podcasting greats (My Favorite Murder, Doug Loves Movies, Jackie & Laurie Show, Lovett or Leave It, Dork Forest, The Dollop, Comedy Film Nerds, to name a few) doing live performances of podcasts, as well as panels, parties, a DIY podcast lab, and a live stand-up comedy show! Single-day passes are $60-$100 and a 3-day pass is $170 — on the pricier side but totally worth it!

On Friday the 13th (oooooooo spoooookyy), Pasadena’s collection of museums and performance spaces open up their doors for free at the biannual art celebration, ArtNight Pasadena. Free shuttle buses will move you around the installations and institutions (if you so desire), so you can concentrate on discussing and dissecting the works of art at the Norton Simon Museum, Pacific Asia Museum, and Pasadena Museum of California Art. No fear, Pie N’ Burger and Coolhaus will also be there for your consumption pleasure.

In response to the devastating tragedies of the past few weeks, LA chefs have come together to host a number of specials, events and other ways to raise both funds and awareness for those hit by natural disasters, cancer, food insecurity and more, both in America and abroad.

L.A. Loves Puerto Rico

Starting tomorrow and lasting for a week, more than 70 members of the L.A. food and drink world are coming together with a menu of more than 100 dishes and cocktails to benefit Unidos Por Puerto Rico. Incredibly, 100 percent of the proceeds from each item will be donated to the organization, which was founded by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, to aid those hit by Hurricanes Irma and María. Check out the participants here and maybe choose somewhere new from the list to dine in this week?

You can read about other charitable food events happening this month here.

Ever since I first read Angels & Demons in 2002, I have been a massive fan of Dan Brown and his thriller fiction. So much so that each time I have been to the Vatican, I can’t help but envision myself as a character racing through the shadows, trying to crack the treasure hunt like in The Da Vinci CodeBoth of these books, as well as The Lost Symbol, Infernoand the newly-released Origin, are part of Brown’s “Robert Langdon series”; a series of books that centre around the fictional character of Langdon, a brilliant Harvard University professor of religious iconology and symbology (a fictional field related to the study of historic symbols) and portrayed by Tom Hanks in the movie adaptations. I (along with millions of others) love how Brown is able to so masterfully intertwine history, art, codes and symbols into thrilling novels. You better believe that Origin has just shot to the top of my “must-read” list. Before you get your hands on a copy, have a read of this NYTimes profile of Brown — he is such a fascinating character and ridiculously disciplined!

Last month, my friend Ava very kindly invited me to go and see Lady Gaga perform in NYC. To be honest, it had been a few years since I had properly listened to any of her music and I certainly was nowhere near being a “little monster“, but I love seeing all forms of live music and I was very excited to be invited! Within a couple of songs, I was a convert. It didn’t take long to realize that she is a full-on super-star. They were promoting her new HBO Documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two at the concert, but it has only been in the past few days (aka when I have seen everyone and their Mum posting about it) that I have really got the urge to snuggle up in bed and watch it. Hailed as an up-close and personal documentary, I am really curious to learn more about the very real human behind Lady Gaga. Here are a few sneak peaks of her revealings!

This week has got to be all about Miley’s new album, Younger Now. I (of course) love Malibu, but some of my other current favourites from the album are Rainbowland, I Would Die For You, Thinkin’, and Week Without You. I am also pretty excited about Alina Baraz’s new song Buzzin, Langhorne Slim’s Life Is Confusing EP, Ibeyi’s sophomore album Ash (I always played their first record on my radio show in college!), and First Aid Kit’s new tune It’s A Shame. So much good music out!

Damn, I have really been slacking on the water intake, the fitness regime, and the meditation morning this week. I have hardly done anything in this regard! However, I did go back to my old reformer pilates studio last weekend and managed to squeeze 4 sessions into just as many days. Oh, I love reformer pilates! Every-time I lay back on that strange contraption, push off from the bar and “fire-up my glutes”, I thank Joseph Pilates for being such a genius. (If you are curious, here is an interesting article explaining the differences between mat and reformer Pilates!) Before another week passes me by, I am at least going to do these 5 pilates-at-home-moves on the daily and super-glue my water bottle to my hand!

Despite it continuing to be denim shorts weather in Southern California (this is what I have been wearing pretty much all week), my browser history shows that I am very much feeling the plaid. Instead of going all out with oversized sweaters and coats, I have been looking for plaid pieces that are still appropriate for LA’s “fall” and “winter”
weather. At the moment, those pieces include this very chic structured top and flared pants co-ord, these striped joggers, this interesting open-shoulder dress, a date-night lace and plaid little dress, a contrasting check miniskirt, a stripe and check midi dress, and (obviously) a double-breasted check coat. If you are really feeling like treating yourself, this Miu Miu plaid wool beret is calling your name.

Friday Vlog

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