The Whaling Club Aviation Gin Cocktail + Oyster Shucking Workshop

IMG_6841At the end of April, The Whaling Club hosted a gin cocktail and oyster shucking workshop at The Jefferson in Culver City. Gin and oysters are one of our favorite pairings, and we loved sharing some knowledge on both from the professionals: Chef Noah Rosen and House Spirits Distillery’s Director of On Premise Outreach and Education, Brooke Arthur. IMG_6846Noah kicked it off with the oyster shucking lesson. He brought three kinds of oysters to shuck and taste: Kumiai, Beausoleil, and Shigoku. I was so proud of everyone! Bunch of pros right off the bat (and no one cut themselves!). IMG_6916IMG_6886IMG_6901IMG_6904IMG_6957IMG_6910Once everyone had shucked and enjoyed a few oysters, Dan taught everyone how to make their first cocktail: The Blind Date. The Blind date is a refreshing and delicious shaken gin cocktail with lemon, Lillet rose, and St. Germain. IMG_6933IMG_6862IMG_6943IMG_6947Dan then discussed the history and evolution of the classic martini, and lead everyone in stirring their own. IMG_6974Brooke taught us all about Aviation Gin; the flavor profile and how it’s distilled in Portland. At the end, she offered tastings of the other House Spirits products, and I think I caught a few people tasting out of their oyster shells! Love it!IMG_6883 IMG_6955IMG_6984Thank you to all who attended! We had a wonderful time meeting each of you!IMG_6998

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venice shoot with chelsea briggs

IMG_7483Today I’m excited to share this lifestyle session with Chelsea Briggs in Venice. Chelsea is a host and executive producer for the entertainment site Hollywire and has a huge online and social media following–spend a little time with Chelsea and it’s easy to see why! Her energy and smile is infectious, and she’s the kind of client who instantly feels like a long time girlfriend. Capturing Chelsea’s goofy and adorable personality is a breeze–she doesn’t hold back and is willing to try anything (like ask a skater if he will let her hope on his skateboard)! And her sense of style certainly doesn’t hurt. We chatted about a few potential locations for the shoot, and Chelsea settled on Venice for its rad colorful walls and beachy vibes.IMG_7428 IMG_7431 IMG_7443laughingIMG_7522IMG_7523IMG_7565IMG_7573IMG_7591IMG_7599sidewalkIMG_7622IMG_7678IMG_7681IMG_7756IMG_7765skaterwallIMG_7913

the whaling club XIII with house spirits

IMG_9735We were thrilled to host The Whaling Club in February with House Spirits Distillery! Dan has been a longtime fan of their Aviation Gin, and we were excited when our friend, Brooke, approached us with the possibility of partnering for a very special Whaling Club event. IMG_9713brookedanWe were also honoring the departure of our dear friends, Chef Frank Anderson and Chef Rebecca Ambrosi, who are moving to Maine. Frank has been a part of The Whaling Club almost since the beginning, serving up oysters, mussels, Cuban sandwiches, crostinis, and last month he and Rebecca pulled out all the stops with an epic raw bar. Oysters, mussels, Peruvian scallops, shrimp, uni shooters, and lobster tacos! Dan started the night off with a refreshing cocktail named the Prop Plane, featuring Aviation Gin, and pomelo (a pink citrus that is a sweeter grapefruit varietal). menupropplaneDan followed that with a Pineapple Daiquiri #2 featuring House Spirits Rum. And we finished the night with the Hart of Portland, featuring Westward Whiskey, super bright blood oranges, and spicy ginger. Brooke was also tasting guests on a variety of House Spirits, including their coffee liqueur which seems to me like the perfect night cap. buttonscoffeeliquormenurawbarpropplanedanielIMG_6516IMG_9791IMG_9818IMG_9820IMG_9814IMG_9829A very special thank you to Brooke and House Spirits Distillery, Chef Frank, Chef Rebecca, and all our guests who joined us! It was an unforgettable night!IMG_9747See more pictures on instagram: @thewhalingclub | @acozyboat| @b_arthur

fido

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 7.03.44 PMI’m thrilled to finally share these photos I shot many months ago for the current issue of Fido magazine! Shooting these dudes from The Young & the Restless and their dogs was such a delightful challenge. Photographing dogs can be so unpredictable in both good and bad ways. Yes, they don’t always sit still like a human will, but they provide beautiful movement and personality to a photo, and tend to spark something in their owners I might not have captured otherwise. Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 7.13.28 PMScreen Shot 2014-01-25 at 7.13.47 PMScreen Shot 2014-01-25 at 7.14.04 PM

delights of 2013

For me, the end of a year and the beginning of a new one always brings a bit of mixed emotions. A little bit exciting, a little bit daunting. 2013 was such a special year for me. Reflecting on some of the highlights the other day as I browsed my photos from the past year helped me realize that you never know exactly what’s coming, and that’s part of the fun. And that sometimes what feels like a failure or scary in the moment, actually turns out to be a positive or lead you down a path you might never have tried otherwise. So, in no particular order, here some of my highlights from 2013. photoboothengagement-EditDan and I got engaged. It makes me tear up a little (trying to hold it together, I’m currently on a plane) to think about. Our engagement was so sweet and special, and I don’t know if you’re supposed to say this, but I just love my ring so much! And the engagement, of course, led to the beginning of wedding planning, dress shopping with my mom and girlfriends, an engagement shoot, and asking our loved ones to be a part of the wedding. For this reason alone, 2013 will always be a favorite. IMG_0149Photography. Being a freelancer and starting my own business is challenging, but I’m finding my way and am so grateful to have a job doing something I love. I’ve had some really cool opportunities come my way this year, and I’ve worked with so many lovely and creative clients. My photos were published in the LA Times, Bon Appetit, Los Angeles Magazine, and Angeleno Magazine. And many of my headshot clients signed with new representation and received countless auditions based on their new shots. As with any creative field, it’s a journey not a race, and I’m excited to continue to learn and expand my technical skills, as well as stay creative and see things in a new way.  IMG_6524-EditThe Whaling Club celebrated one year. When Dan and I started The Whaling Club we didn’t know what would happen. Would people like it? We quickly learned the answer was yes, and we’re so happy for that! I can’t wait to see where The Whaling Club takes us this year, but we have a few ideas in mind. Thank you to all of our 2013 guests, the writers who have featured us in their publications, Chef Frank Anderson for joining us over the year, and Sarah Mullin for her ongoing illustrations.

I booked a co-star in my first pilot. The best part was being invited to attend the network table read. I felt like skipping the whole time! And I worked with some of my female comedy idols. grush ss-2Margot and I created “Margot & Marie”! You can watch all the episodes of Season 1 here. Working with Margot on this show has been so rewarding, and there’s more to come. IMG_2046Mexico. Dan’s parents took the whole family to the Riviera Maya to celebrate their wedding anniversary and vow renewal. We swam with sea turtles, lay on the beach, snorkeled, and spent a very memorable day in Tulum. facebookSpank Show. One of my goals this year was to write a sketch show with my hilarious and talented friend, Tim, and put it up at Upright Citizens Brigade. We put a lot into it and it felt AMAZING to perform. Tim is a gem of a person and performer, and the brilliant Drew Droege directed. Our friends came out to pack the house and laugh when my wig flew off!IMG_9658Weddings. We went to a lot of weddings this year, and I’m not just saying this, but each one was really special and unique to the couple. I know it’s partially because we’re planning our own wedding, but I really loved seeing all the details each couple and their families chose and focused on. The majority of these weddings brought me back to Chicago to reunite with my girlfriends and get a little extra time with my family. IMG_5163And of course, everything in between… Caitlin and Emilie coming to visit me in LA. Seeing my brother’s beautiful musical. “Matilda” on Broadway with my parents. Quality time with my Grandmom both at her house in Connecticut and at Thanksgiving in Chicago. Dinners at Bucato, Longman & Eagle, The Publican, The University Club of Chicago, Hartwood, Baco Mercat, Bar Ama, Water Grill… Quiet nights at home in our apartment. Our first Christmas Tree. Bootcamp getting me out of bed in the mornings. Weekly improv practice with my team. Auditions. Watching Downton Abbey with my family. A day trip to Santa Barbara. Camping in Ojai. Ivan & Alyosha at the Troubadour. Support of friends near and far. The love and encouragement of my family.

Happy New Year to my little group of readers out there! I appreciate you stopping by!

bar cart

IMG_2225For the past year, we’ve been looking for a cool and classic bar cart for the apartment. We really wanted something with a gold or brass detail–they’re surprisingly hard to find! We have a couple of wood bars from Ikea that we’ve stained and hold a lot of our glassware and alcohol, but the bar cart we were looking for was to display our nicer bottles and the gorgeous decanter and rocks glasses we had received as an engagement gift. We had an eye out every time we went to the flea market or thrift store over the past year, and most new bar carts are going to cost you a pretty penny. We were planning on buying this one for a while, but even that seemed a little pricey for what it was.  Then Cupcakes and Cashmere recently posted a link to this Wood and Brass Bar Cart from Target. I knew as soon as I saw it and read the reviews online that it was a steal for the look. I called Target, put it on hold, and picked it up at 10:30pm right before they closed. It’s so rare of me to pull the trigger like that (can’t decide what prints to frame for the life of me), but I just had this feeling it would sell out. Nothing like a little fear of missing out to get you going! IMG_2229IMG_2233IMG_2235Dan filled the cart with all his favorite cocktail books the night I brought it home. The whale migrated over from the mantel for the time being, as well as our beloved Heath vase (another thoughtful engagement gift). IMG_2230I didn’t even realize until I was processing these photos that the fourth rocks glass was in the kitchen sink and not on the bar cart. Oh well! Bar carts are pretty trendy right now, but I have a feeling we’ll always have one (or three) in our home…

the whaling club, one year!

three cocktailsThis month we celebrated our one year anniversary of The Whaling Club! I really can’t believe it’s been a full year since we started brainstorming this idea. Dan and I had been slowly piecing it together, and then our friends Sarah and Noah came over and we really hashed out the details–like the three drink progression, how we would invite people, and designing our logo and menu. Then several months in, Frank joined us with oysters and took the night to a whole new level. IMG_1386This month we went back to The Whaling Club in its most original form: three knockout cocktails. The menu has been different every month so far, but for our anniversary we brought back highlights from the year. The Mint Daiquiri is one of my favorite cocktails, and I love when people have it at The Whaling Club and it totally shatters their idea of what a daiquiri is. Dan loves ginger cocktails, the spicier the better, and the Presbyterian has that yummy kick. The Bowline is one of Dan’s original recipes. Like a good stirred drink, it’s one you slowly sip on to finish the night. dan menuIMG_1366IMG_1364IMG_1368guestsIMG_1371IMG_1380A very special thank you to Sarah Mullin for her perfect illustrations, Frank for sharing his talent and passion with us, everyone who is has written us up and featured The Whaling Club online and in publications, and most importantly, all our guests who have made The Whaling Club what it is so far. We promise to keep the party going and always deliver simple cocktails executed with care! marie cocktailingIf you’d like to attend The Whaling Club, email reservations@thewhalingclub.com to be added to our mailing and invite list.

the whaling club X

IMG_5251-Editdrinkmenudandoublefood-menu-doubleSeptember may technically be the end of summer in other parts of the country, but it kinda feels like we’re still right in the middle of it here in Los Angeles! Dan’s cocktail menu featured seasonal ingredients, starting off with a simple and refreshing gin cocktail called the Pipe Dream with watermelon and mint. Next was the Sinker, which always tends to convert people who think they don’t like Scotch into loving Scotch. And lastly, the Grand Canal, a stirred drink with rye, cardamaro, cucumber, and an absinthe rinse. Cardamaro is an amaro flavored with cardoon, a thistle like plant in the same family as an artichoke. Chef Frank Anderson (and Rebecca Ambrosi!) joined us again and really pulled out all the stops. The beef tartare with quail egg was my favorite. Hello. Also, how pretty are those little quail egg shells? IMG_8628IMG_8622IMG_8620IMG_8631IMG_8637IMG_8638IMG_8641IMG_8644IMG_8645Next month will be our one year anniversary of The Whaling Club! We love hosting and sharing cocktails–it always feels celebratory! Dan and I were just talking about when we sent out the first invite–we were so worried no one would come! Thank you to all who have supported this adventure over the last year and attended TWC.

Logo and artwork by Sarah Mullin.

bon appetit

Screen shot 2013-08-12 at 10.41.40 PMI was thrilled (like really really pumped!!) to have my photo on Bon Appetit last week! You may remember this shoot I did for Allumette a while back? Special thanks to my friend, Hannah, for referring me. And congrats to all the nominees!

p.s. You may remember another restaurant near and dear to my heart who made the top ten list a few years ago.

allumette

IMG_0149I’m thrilled to share these photos! I had such a wonderful time shooting some of Allumette‘s gorgeous dishes and drinks. Chef Miles Thompson’s plating is such a treat to photograph, as is capturing Serena in action behind the bar. These images really speak for themselves.portraitsIMG_0167IMG_9863IMG_9945IMG_0019IMG_0119IMG_9936IMG_0082Allumette | Echo Park Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90026