university club

IMG_4434Attending a Christmas dinner at The University Club of Chicago has become a favored family tradition. The building is a classic; collegiate and festive. The main dining hall always has an impressively huge, decked out tree–almost as impressive as the number of oysters I consume in one evening. Seriously, the guy serving said “back again?” on what was only my second out of three trips to the raw bar. What am I? An amateur?!oystersIMG_0123double-photoHope you’re all having a lovely day, celebrating Christmas or enjoying a “day off”. I’m still in my pajamas and plan on wearing them to the dinner table if I can get away with it. (And yes, The University Club is totally Hogwarts! Or so I’m told.)

happy holidays

happyholidaysI’m on the plane headed home to Chicago for Christmas where Mom, Dad, Willyman, Grandmom, and girlfriends await. I’ll be missing my best friend Caitlin who will be in CO for the holiday (we grew up across the street from each other), and of course, Dan, who’s headed back to the east coast to see him family. Last night Dan surprised me with a Pendleton blanket, and I’m currently obsessed. That guy knows me so well. With my new blanket, the tent Dan gave me for my birthday this year, and a January calendar that may actually allow for two days off in a row together (!), I think a camping trip is in order. I’d love any suggestions! I’ve heard good things about Ojai.

2012 has been an incredible year. Dan interviewed for a job on my birthday in March, got the job, moved to LA a month later, and in August we moved into our first apartment together. I took Blogshop and launched my photography business, and have been thrilled by the support and response from friends and clients. I spent a luxurious week in the Outerbanks with my family (and the weather was perfection!). I spent two incredible months writing and creating characters that culminated in a show at The Groundlings–some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. Dan and I created The Whaling Club, which continues to grow and challenge my creative side. The first of my group of girlfriends married her high school sweetheart, and their wedding was beautiful and so special (we also got to eat at Next on that trip!). I pumped myself up and found courage while dancing to Beyonce. And we re-elected Obama!

2013 you have a lot to live up to! Yet there’s already so much to look forward to. I’m excited to have a strong team supporting and working with me on my acting career. My best friends, Caitlin and Emilie, are coming to visit LA in February! Dan and I are planning a getaway up to San Francisco. I hope to visit New York, see my brother’s talent in action, and visit friends and family. And there will be a lot more dancing to Beyonce, duh.

Happy Holidays! Cheers!

aww yeah

I think this is my favorite picture of Barack and Michelle. It captures exactly how I feel about the election results! Glad you’ll be staying a while longer, Mr. President. And a big thank you to those who volunteered and campaigned on Obama’s behalf. YOU did it!


The last month has been very busy with amazing things, and thus the blog has been neglected. Among those things included performing in a play, taking Writing Lab at the Groundlings, and settling in to our new home. We’ve just returned from an awesome weekend in Chicago. My mom scored us a last minute reservation at Next (!), and we attended a gorgeous wedding at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and watched two very dear friends get married.

The blog will get a lot more attention this coming month, and my next projects will be apartment related. I’ve been pinning up a storm of inspiration, and I can’t wait to add a couple key furniture pieces to the place and some personal touches. Here are some photos from the wedding weekend!

Ruxbin Kitchen

While home in Chicago over the weekend for a bridal shower, my parents and I had dinner at Ruxbin Kitchen, one of my favorite spots to dine. You must go! I’m smitten! My first trip there was back in November with my boyfriend Dan, and we absolutely fell in love with the food, decor, and spirit (did I just say spirit? yup!) of the place. I mean, real yum. In November (when it was freeeezing), we savored an unbelievable calamari dish with Korean flavors, garlic fries, and an epic linguine and clams. This time around, highlights were the escolar crudo, octopus with fried chickpeas, beef and broccoli, and the lightest pot de creme EVER.  Nate, the kitchen manager, door greeter, expediter, and in-house dry soda maker has welcomed me both times–and remembered that I was from LA. We also got to chat with Vicki, who opened Ruxbin with her brother and chef, Edward Kim. It’s so obvious they’re all passionate about what they do, which is part of what makes it such a special place to visit.

Bon Appetit named Ruxbin one of the best new restaurants of the year in 2011 (along with my one of my favorite LA spots, Son of a Gun). It’s just one of those places that manages to feel special and new every time you go. AND it’s BYOB–both times I’ve taken this bottle of Pinot Noir. One time I saw a table shaking their own martinis! They don’t take reservations (both times I went at opening on a Sunday and was seated right away–but there was a gathering outside before the doors opened). See the current menu here.

Can’t wait to go back next time I’m in Chicago!

(photos by Emily Johnston Anderson via Ruxbin Kitchen)

bridal shower

I flew home to Chicago over the weekend for my friend Carly’s bridal shower. Carly is my first girlfriend from high school to get married, making the whole event that much more special. And to top it off? She’s marrying JB! Who also went to our high school! It’s such a treat to be from the same town where their families still live. Somehow I lucked out because the two are currently living in Santa Monica, near me.

The bridal shower was gorgeous and intimate. Lots of ladies gathered together to celebrate Carly’s August nuptials with lunch, (several) bellinis, and gifts. It was so wonderful to spend the day with my best friends. Carly wore a beautiful cream dress from Anthropologie. And how adorable is her mother in those polka dots?! I see a strong family resemblance running among those Andersen ladies.