this week

This week is for:

Sunday New York Times

Favorite reads this week include

  • the Sunday Style cover story on Tavi Gevinson who was a better blogger at 11 than I will be in my entire life. I want to read Rookie even though I am about 10 years too old for it.
  • Vacationing like a Candidate in the Travel section. Not the part about New Hampshire, but the part about the Obama’s not going to Martha’s Vineyard. Barry and I have both shopped in the same book store and like fried sea food. Now I want to go to the East Coast.
  • Which Mother for Isabella? The article is about the Miller Jenkins family which we talked about extensively in my LGBT Family Law class last fall. In a nutshell: a lesbian couple met, married, and had a kid. One of the partners later became super religious and renounced her lesbianism. Since then they have been in a massive custody battle moving between two jurisdictions (one that allows gay marriage and one who doesn’t). Oh, and the partner who renounced her lesbianism up and moved to Nicaragua with the kid to avoid the custody order. Needless to say, a fascinating read.

Plotting total kitchen domination

My kitchen has been dormant since at least the bar but lets be really honest, since about 6 months ago. When was the last time I broke out the Flour cookbook? I can’t tell you. It is on this week.


Its been over a week since I went to yoga. The need for a solid chaturanga cannot be over stated.

Cocktail with an umbrella sipping with friends

Because life is about balance right? Also FRIENDS! I’ve missed them.

But for now, I’m off to make magic with some figs. 

It’s good to be back.


Let Freedom Ring.

The rumors are true: I survived the California Bar exam and am now a free woman!


At the Getty.

I have so much to say about the bar exam. I plan to sit down, reflect and write something thoughtful and potentially useful. However in the meantime I will say this: easily the most challenging thing I have ever done. I would gladly run another marathon before I would retake the California Bar Exam. Three days, 6 hours a day is a long time to be thinking intensely about the law. I think I broke my brain last week. Despite this I stayed calm, cool and collected. There were no tears, meltdowns or panic attacks. Having my mom here helped a lot. I could have probably done it without her but it would have been much more painful.

Overall, I am very happy the exam is over and I am beyond ready to start the next chapter in my life.

Immediately following the exam I got martinis with mom. She bankrolled several rounds of drink and onion rings at Tavern. Random people in the bar were congratulating me. It was amazing. After not eating all day (or really, much all week) and my tolerance of alcohol gone to nothing the past two months three martinis put me more or less under the table and I was in bed sleeping by 10:30 pm like a Grandma.

For my first day of freedom I decided that I wanted brunch at Clementine…

Followed by shopping in Santa Monica. I haven’t blogged about it but due to some combination of stress, yoga, and just eating less I have managed to lose a pant size and two shirt sizes since graduation. I’m not sure if the reduction in stress will lead to weight gain but in the meantime I was in dire need of clothing that actually fits. I got new jeans, a belt and a bikini plus some smaller shirts. I like wearing pants that aren’t baggy.

Then we hit the Getty. I’ve been dying to check out their special exhibit on Herb Ritts.

I’ve loved Ritts’ work for years. I remember first seeing his photos in my Mom’s Vanity Fair Hollywood coffee table book when I was young. When I was 13 I started to read Vogue and Vanity Fair. Many of Ritts’ photos have appeared in both magazines.

The exhibit was mostly made up of celebrity portraits, fashion photography, nudes and some of his commercial work. Lots of the photos were in black and white and are iconic.

I really love this one:







and this one:

Everything is so luxe and glamorous. I want to live in that world. The exhibit is around until August 26th so check it out while you still can.

After we strolled the gardens, had a fantastic dinner at Tavern (twice in two days!) and then I went out with friends.

Being done with the bar didn’t really hit me fully until yesterday when I was enjoying my day off without guilt that I should be doing something else. Next week is going to be all about cooking, the farmers market, yoga and catching up with all my classmates. Cannot wait.

Thanks for all the comments, texts, tweets, and facebook posts. It really kept me going over the days of the exam. Ya’ll are the best!  

the bar exam is in 48 hours…

What better time to redesign Left Coast Contessa?

I’m back after weeks of radio silence with a short PSA. Apologies for being a dead beat blogger. Like I said before, my life is boring and after the 4th of July I started pulling 12 hour study days. This is something I hope never to do ever in my life again.


I felt like I needed a little blog over haul. I’m starting a new chapter in my life with the bar exam ending and I felt like I should mature up LCC a little bit too. Its still a bit of a work in progress but I’ve gotten a lot done in the past 48 hours. You’ll notice a new theme and tagline (since the old one became obsolete with my law school graduation). I’ve updated my contact info and my about me page. I also updated the recipe archive for the first time in over a year.

You’ll also notice that I deleted posts about weigh loss and will be shifting my content away from “healthy living” canned content. I want to incorporate more personal narrative, posts like the recent one I wrote about Ina, and general “lifestyle” posts. I’ll always write about food, fitness, whatever but I want to vary my content a bit and give myself the freedom to see where it goes.

I’d love to know what you all think of it. If there is anything you totally love and never want me to stop writing about lemme know. If there is something you’d like to see more of lemme know. I’m open to suggestions.

I’m off for an afternoon of shopping, gossiping and fried chicken eating (at FARM SHOP! I can barely handle the anticipation) with my mother who is in town to organize me, whip me into shape and feed me a steady stream of cupcakes during the bar exam. Hopefully after the exam ends on Thursday regular blogging will recommence! Until then, thanks for all the positive comments regarding the bar exam. You readers are the best.

xo Katherine

How do I love Ina? Let me count the ways.

Thanks to Lynn’s facebook I stumbled onto this gem of an article today.

Obviously, this makes me want to travel to the Hamptons with the hope that Ina will take me in, feed me a diet of solely consisting of her chicken chili and cart me around to all the best spots in Montauk. No? Not possible? Creepy and weird? Fine. At least she gives me something to aspire to. I need to break down some of the hidden and not so hidden gems in the article.

1) My mom eats the same breakfast as Ina and my dad wakes up at the same time as Jeffrey. Does this mean that I grew up with the North Suburban Chicago version of Ina? Discuss.

2) She eats a lobster roll at lunch because she “doesn’t like fancy food”. I’m not one to turn down fancy food (if offered and paid for of course) but I like her attitude. Also, I like that a meal with lobster isn’t automatically considered fancy to her. And by like it I mean that I find it equal parts bemusing and charming.

3) I can’t really get behind all of her gardening. Remember that time I was going to grow basil for like a week after I moved to LA and the plant automatically died and started decaying on my balcony of my old apartment? Yeah. Different strokes for different folks.

4) Weekly massages. Nuf said.

5) She thought she was boring so decided to stop being boring and did something about it. I love that she basically had a stereotypical male mid life crisis where she bought a sports car.

6) Despite the fact that she is THE barefoot contessa she and Jeffrey eat two of their three meals out at restaurants. I can totally get behind this as I am a well documented restaurant addict.

7) 60 Minutes is dullsville but she also watches The Newsroom. I now have an image of Ina and I in her what I’m sure is fabulous living room, wearing terry cloth robes and slippers post-massage. We’d sip tea, eat cookies for dessert and watch Newsroom together. It would be sort of like when Tom and Donna have treat yo self day on Parks and Rec but it would happen weekly. I’ll just quietly sit in the corner and quietly check my twitter during 60 minutes. Don’t even worry about me.

Overall, completely obsessed. Now that I have indulged myself with a little escapism I need to get back to California community property.

23 more days.

Back by popular request.

Gee whiz guys, I’m so flattered!

I know. I was blogless in June. This has not happened since, well December 2009 before I started this blog. In my defense I’ve had my hands a bit full over here.

Don’t let Izzy’s docile stare fool you, she is not amused with the lack of attention she’s getting.


At the end of May I started my bar prep class with BarBri. The class is every day from 9-1. After class we have homework, around 5-8 hours daily. The most overwhelming part of the process is the sheer amount of material I need to learn: contracts, criminal law, criminal procedure, torts, property, civil procedure, California civil procedure, remedies, evidence, agency and partnerships, corporations, community property, professional responsibility, federal evidence, California evidence, constitutional law, and wills and trusts. Some of the information has flooded back along with some amazing 1L memories and other bits and pieces have come back more slowly. Some of the topics are brand new. No surprise that I had no interest in taking corporations in law school yet I managed a large number of classes involving constitutional law. Yes, I still find boardrooms and stocks boring and affirmative action sexy. This will never change.

The process thus far has been long and tedious. I’ve been putting a lot of energy into keeping mental inventory of my adrenaline and anxiety while staying motivated and positive. The standard for passing the California bar exam is actually a failing score. The perfectionist in me still hates seeing anything less than the personal standard of acceptable I’ve more or less arbitrarily set for myself. However I’ve mostly been happy and focused on staying positive. In the past week I’ve really harnessed my adrenaline and I’m starting to actually feel excited to take the exam. Obviously, the feeling waxes and wanes but I’m feeling like I will soon be ready to take this exam out.

The last exam related thing I’ll say is that there is a big analogy to be had about marathon running and bar exam taking but I’m going to explore that more thoroughly another time.


In terms of food, my eats have been super dull recently. A lot of the stress I’ve experienced has been internalized and my appetite has been suppressed. I’ve been eating lots of KIND bars, Greek yogurt with granola (homemade sent from my mom!), take out from Subway, Lemonade, and Whole Foods. I’ve cooked salmon precisely once. I’ve cooked orzo precisely once. I’ve had more ramen and mac and cheese than I am comfortable admitting to. Despite this, the new jeans I bought the week after graduation are super loose. Go figure.

I did go to an amazing food truck fest with my fabulous friend David over the weekend. No photos made it out (I know!) but I ate at the Lime Truck, White Rabbit Truck, Ludo Truck, and Boba Tea Truck. The food was amazing. We had Wagyu beef foie gras cheese steak (getting in the foie before the ban started today) and carnitas fries at Lime Truck. Fried chicken was sampled at the Ludo truck and it was as tender and juicy as ever. No surprise there. We split a pork belly burrito at White Rabbit truck and got a taro bubble tea. It was a meat extravaganza and totally what I needed after a long study day. No photos as I mentioned but enjoy this vintage image of the fantastic fried chicken from Ludo truck:


I’ve resolved to make more of an effort with my eating and cooking in the next few weeks.

In terms of working out, that has been the biggest shift. I’ve been hitting yoga way more than I used to. I’m up to three or four times a week with long walks and periodic short runs in between to expel my extra energy. I super miss zumba and I will probably track down a class in the next few weeks since I am no longer able to use the UCLA gym. Farewell 18 year old weight lifters bathed in Axe body spray. I will not miss you.

I’ve been going to mostly heated vinyasa flow classes or “detox flow” classes where the heat is jacked up to around 90 degrees and I look like someone threw me in the ocean at the end of class. I love that feeling of lying on the mat at the end of class completely spent. Yoga has strengthened my arms and core and I think it’s partially responsible for my appetite suppression. Running distance makes you hungry. Very true story. The yoga is helping with the random hip stiffness (it band stiffness? Who knows?) and eventually I will ease back into running more regularly.


That is about all I have to report. What can I say? My life is boring right now. Things like discussing the merits of doing essays over multiple choice problems or the relative attractiveness of Chief Justice Roberts as compared to the other Supreme Court justices are about as exciting as its going to get at any given time. Sad I know.

24 more days.