Guest Post: Beyoncé went vegan… could you?

annieThis week, I’m happy to introduce my wonderful friend Annie for the first-ever guest post on Life of La!  Annie is truly one of the loveliest people I know, and she writes a blog on food and spirituality (what a fun combination, right?) called Breaking Bread.  She’s agreed to share some of her thoughts for eating ethically as a twenty-something.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy her writing as much as I do.

We’re all getting cabin fever these days – the calendar may have told us that spring arrived last Thursday, but the forecasted snow is starting to suggest otherwise.  What is a twenty-something to do in a situation like this? How about try a fun and trendy challenge to spice things up as we wait for the weather to pick up? (more…)

What do you do to treat yourself?

If you’re a fan of Amy Poehler’s NBC show Parks and Recreation, I’m sure you’ll recall the episode when Tom and Donna (played by Aziz Ansari and Retta, both of whom are worth a follow on social media) celebrate their annual “Treat Yo’ Self” day – a shopping excursion and spa day where anything goes.

As someone who can always find a good excuse to indulge, the “Treat Yo’ Self” motto fits me well.   (more…)

La Lip-Syncs: Alone on Top

We’re inundated by love every day in stories, television shows, online articles, and advertisements.  Most often, though, the message presented through these mediums is the same: you need another person to be happy.  This is particularly true for women, who are presented with two extremes – one must either be deeply lonely, or deeply in love.  Where’s the portrayal of the person in between?  One who feels whole as they are?  Who is open to love but not desperate?  We don’t see this person in the media, but he or she exists a million times over in the real world.

With this in mind, I’m equal parts proud and embarrassed to present a new segment on Life of La, in which I make a fool of myself to both make a point, and provide you with some Friday afternoon entertainment.

Things to consider while watching:
Where did Lauren get those dance moves?
How did she get to be such a good lip-syncer?
Can I get those five minutes of my life back? [Answer: no.]

Inspired by Jimmy Fallon, I present: Alone on Top:

Think you could take on my immaculate skills?  Let me know in the comments.

Special thanks to my roommates Julia and Alannah for their help!

“I’m not bossy. I’m the boss.”

I love this new campaign by the Girl Scouts and Sheryl Sandberg’s non-profit Lean In that seeks to #BanBossy.  According to the website, young girls shy away from leadership roles once they discover that instead of being called a “leader,” like boys are, they’ll be branded “bossy” because of their gender.

Here are some fascinating facts from the campaign that might make you think twice before you use the “b-word”:

  • Between elementary and high school, girls’ self–esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys’.
  • Girls are twice as likely as boys to worry that leadership roles will make them seem “bossy.”
  • Girls get less airtime in class.  They are called on less and interrupted more.

Check out what some of my favorite women have to say about banning bossy:


What do you wear when you want to feel fabulous?

Ever hear the phrase “dress well, test well”?  It really just refers to the idea that when people feel good about they way they look, they perform better.  While I don’t know of any studies that support the idea, I still love a good confidence boost and think that a carefully drawn streak of eyeliner or a new pair of jeans can do the trick sometimes.

If I wake up with a cold (or just a bad mood) I actually feel a little bit better if I put on an outfit I love or borrow a look that I usually reserve for special occasions.  It’s an odd quirk of mine, but I like to take happiness where I find it.

Now, I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to think that I don’t love a day spent in yoga pants and my favorite sweatshirt – in fact, I’ve enjoyed more of those days than I’d care to admit as a college student, but sometimes the trick to making a gloomy day good, or a good day great, is a look that makes you feel fabulous.

In the spirit of self-confidence and shameless materialism, I’m going to share a few of my favorite things in a two-part installment.  First up: beauty products and jewelry. (more…)

Chelsea Handler Handles Sexism

Chelsea_Handler_2012_Shankbone_2 (1)

To appreciate Chelsea Handler, you have to have what some might call an “inappropriate” sense of humor.  Thankfully, I do.  As the only woman on television right now with her own late night show (Chelsea Lately, on E!), Chelsea is someone I look up to professionally (although we have different opinions on what a reasonable serving of vodka is).  So, I’m proud to hear of her sticking up for herself as a woman in a male-dominated field. (more…)

I’m excited to read…

B.J. Novak’s new book!  He recently released a collection of short stories called One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories.  Check out his hilarious promotional video featuring one of my favorite television writers and actresses, Mindy Kaling:

The pair worked on The Office together and have an on-again off-again relationship but a permanent best-friend-ship, so they’re great fun to watch together.

Catch Mindy on her show The Mindy Project!  The series doesn’t return until April so you have a couple of months to get caught up.

Why should you read (and write) short stories?


Short stories take a lot of heat as a literary form.  Infrequent readers of fiction might find them to be an “easy way out” of writing something longer or complain that a story’s brief plot line would be better if it were extended into a novel. As far as good short stories go, this isn’t the case.

In writing short stories, the first challenge is to give the reader a complete story (although some details may be left ambiguous as a creative choice) in a brief format.  I guess that’s pretty obvious from the name, though.  The second challenge is to use brevity to one’s advantage and control what’s left unsaid.  The best short stories I’ve read have left me with more questions than answers at the end.  They haven’t told me what to think, yet I still take away a message.  I’ve connected more to characters who appear for a single scene in a short story than to characters around whom an entire novel is based.

Check out a few of my favorite stories and collections after the jump: (more…)