California Girls Take on the Nation's Capital.

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Maple and bacon donut from VooDoo Donuts.

LG here! I know you all love hearing about my low-carb diet. I know it’s your favorite thing to read about all the things I do with vegetables or sugar substitutes. I know you love it.

But have I told you about cheat days? Once a week I give myself a cheat day. It’s usually Saturday or Sunday. I think that cheat days are really important for a diet–for me it makes it a lifestyle and not just a diet.

I love my cheat day. I think about it every day of the week. And now, I’m sharing my obsession with cheating on my diet with you.

So, what am I obsessing about?

CARBS!

Donuts, croissants, pho, CANDY! I’m obsessed.

What do you eat on your cheat days?


East Coast Elle is back to teach YOU how to watch TV in the summer!

Suits
USA, Tuesday 10pm EST

Last month, my second favorite show of the summer premiered just in time to help me deal with the loss of Falling Skies (can you BELIEVE that season finale!?).  Thank goodness.

Suits follows the nefarious and borderline illegal activities of the hottest lawyers, paralegals and legal aides I’ve ever seen at a top law firm in New York.

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Seriously, legal secretaries usually look like this.

Not like this:

Not like this.

Nope.

Harvey Specter (played by Gabriel Macht) is the hotshot at the firm and favorite of managing partner Jessica Pearson.  He’s looking for a new mentee and protégé and settles on Mike Ross (played by Patrick Adams) who is smart as a whip…but has no legal degree to speak of.  The two fake Mike’s credentials and work to hide his real past, while solving problems for their high-class clients and keeping themselves ahead of the games that are played in big-time law firms.

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But don’t think this is the next LA Law or Law & Order.  It’s WAY better.  While each episode often focuses on a specific client or case, the actual story here is about the characters.  And you will find yourself loving them all…even the evil Louis Litt.

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who, like the Grinch, secretly has a heart of gold.

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Don’t worry his heart will grow three sizes before the end of season three!

Two reasons to tune in each week…

1.       You get a weekly visit with this little slice:

Um, yum!

Um, yum!

2.       And this Hottie McTottie:

'Nuff said.

‘Nuff said.

Crossing Lines
NBC, Sunday at 10pm EST

This show follows six police officers from different countries who work together as a team solving crimes in Europe that cross borders under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC).  Not only is each criminal they hunt twistedly awesome, the characters in the show are deep and intriguing.  The show’s just getting started but has become a new staple in my TV watching.  Plus, there’s a hottie Irish guy in there.  And we all know that any guy with an Irish accent is EXTRA HOT.

Motive
ABC, Thursday at 9pm EST

When I first heard of this show, I wasn’t convinced. How can it be fun if you already know who committed the crime.  But I love crime dramas so I had to give it a shot.  And boy am I glad I did.  Great show with a great new twist on crime dramas.  Set your DVR stat.

Orange Is the New Black
Netflix, Any Dang Time You Want to Watch It

This is the new show that everyone you know is watching and talking about…so why aren’t you?  Taylor Schilling stars as Piper Chapman, a woman in jail for transporting drug money for her former lover, played by none other than Hot Donna, aka Laura Prepon.  The show is witty, hilarious, and definitely worth tuning in.

Tune in next month when I will pick the top five new shows I can’t wait to watch.  If you’ve got a favorite, vote in the comments!


California beaches. There is nothing like them.

I have yet to meet a Californian who doesn’t love the beach. The sand is warm, the water is blue, and everyone can just sit on their towels soaking up the sun and enjoying life.

If you’re a West (Best) Coaster on the East Coast your beach options are limited. You can head south and go to the North Carolina Coast–otherwise known as the Outer Banks–or you can head north. We head north.

Our destination? Dewey Beach, DE. If you’re an East Coaster you know Dewey. It is infamous. It will change your life (if not for the better, then definitely for the interesting.) Our group even calls itself The Dewey Family, after we all bonded during a trip on Memorial Day weekend in 2011. If you’ve watched Jersey Shore, you have an idea of what we do one weekend every summer. Drinking, dancing, singing, drinking, bbqing, tanning, drinking, pranks, bonding and oh, did I mention drinking? It’s kind of dirty, fairly trashy, and just a good time.

Here is how you too can have a perfect beach vacation, even if you’re on the East Coast.

Step 1. Have an extremely organized friend to lead  the troops – a Dewey Overlord, if you will. This persons jobs will include finding the house, purchasing food and liquor, making car and room assignments and compiling an insane list of rules that will actually save all of your lives at one point. Do not question the Dewey Overlord.

Step 2. Rent a hella bomb house. Patios and/or roof decks are preferred. Mentally prepare yourself for the fact that someone is going to break something in your awesome house and you will not be getting all of your deposit money back.

Rooftop decks are CLUTCH! (photo courtesy of JDB)

Step 3. Load up the car with your favorite friends. Have snacks. And a super awesome playlist that you can sing your faces off to. Dancing in your seat is highly encouraged. At least one of your songs should reference California. Because we said so.

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Step 4. Drive. Forever.

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? (photo courtesy for JDB)

Step 5. Now here is where it differs from CA: don’t go to the beach. Hit the bars. In CA, there would be bonfires and beers and comfy seats to sit in. In Dewey, there are bars. LOTS OF THEM. Want fried chicken at 2 am? We got you. Need to dance to some dub-step? Not a problem. Want some live music and to be surrounded by critter pants (eek)? Follow us.

Really, we can enjoy any beach.

Step 6. Dance. Drink an Orange Crush. Dance. Drink an Orange Crush. Repeat as necessary.

This tastes like a creamsicle. Solid.

Step 7. Share a bed with your 2 favorite gal pals. Photo shotos are strongly encouraged. (Fully clothed photo shoots – keep your mind out of the gutter.)

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Step 8. Go to Cracker Barrel. Order something wtih gravy. Get an extra side of gravy as well. DON’T RUN OUT OF GRAVY.

In California we may have gone for the parfait…

Step 9. Day drink. Wander from bar to bar. Trick your friends into buying absurd outfits. Forget to put on sunscreen. Make friends with strangers. Find a bar game and dominate it for 3 hours, to the disgust of the rest of the bar. The options are endless.

It’s 9AM. Do you know where your Orange Crush is?

Step 10. Wake up early. Load up the car. Drive home. Be torn between never EVER wanting to return and never EVER wanting to leave.

Byeeeee!

It’s easy enough, and it satisfies that craving to hit the beach. Sometimes people actually even go to the beach. Sometimes.

This is what you find on Delaware’s finest beaches.

But it’ll never beat California beaches. We’ll always be California Girls.


Reason enough to move to DC. Photo courtesy of East Coast Elle

Reason enough to move to DC.
Photo courtesy of East Coast Elle

Lest you are concerned by our many ravings about the wonders of California and rantings about DC weirdness, we want to reassure you that we really do adore DC. It’s an interesting and historic city with tons of cool things to see and do. And if we hadn’t both moved here, we may have never met, despite growing up 20 minutes away from each other. So we’d also like to take a little time each month to talk about something we LOVE about DC that cannot be found in California. First up, crab feeds.

T and her favorite food

Our lovely friend T and her new best friend.
Photo courtesy of East Coast Elle

I participated in my first crab feed shortly after I moved to DC. I lived in a group house (typical) with some DC vets and they decided to host one on our patio (that’s what we have instead of yards). I was initially perplexed. The “crab feeds” we have in California involve buying tickets to an event put on by the Lions/Kiwanis/Rotary Club and getting a couple of crab legs, coleslaw and rolls. What my roommates set up looked nothing like this: we had a bushel of crabs from the Waterfront Fish Market, bowls of Old Bay and butter, and a half keg of beer. And newspapers. Plates? Please. Crab claw cracker? Don’t make me laugh. What on earth was going on here?

Freaking magic, that’s what. DC crab feeds are the best. And all you really need are the things mentioned above (though a mallet can come in handy). I will admit that learning how to pull apart the crabs can be a bit of a challenge and the “mustard” leaves a little something to be desired, but it is totally worth it for the glorious Maryland blue crab goodness that’s inside. You don’t even have to do any cooking! Just run down to the Waterfront Market and you can purchase pre-cooked bushels and half bushels, already covered in Old Bay (which is probably deserving of a Well Played post of its own….mmmm Old Bay).

After you devour all of the glorious crab, your hands will be covered in minor cuts, your clothes will smell like the ocean (not in a good way) and it’s entirely possible that you will have gotten crab juice sprayed on your face or Old Bay in your eyes. Trust me, you will not care. Because, mmmmmmmmm crab.

Well played, DC. Well played.

Devoured.

Devoured.


LG and I have lived in DC for four and three years, respectively. That’s a fairly significant chunk of time. Despite that, we are occasionally AMAZED by some of the extremely strange trends and habits that we run into out here. So once a month we have decided to bring you a “WTF DC” post, where we talk about things we have found here inside the Beltway that totally confuse us. Let’s kick it off with critter pants.

There is no question that different parts of the country have their own distinct style. Some things are adorable and some are, well, perplexing – I’m looking at you, Nantucket Reds. DC is a strange hybrid of East Coast and Southern style, so there are many interesting sartorial displays to be found but by FAR the weirdest to us is the critter pant.

Fish Shorts

Where are they swimming to? What are they swimming away from?

Let me explain the standard critter pants:

1) Take a perfectly normal pair of pants.
2) Dye them a bright, obnoxious color.
3) Cover them with any random animal.
4) Throw on a belt with an equally random pattern (no need to match it to the shorts).
5) Add a button up and boat shoes and walk out into the world like what you are wearing is normal.
And finally
6) Don’t just stop at pants! Washingtonians feel free to do this with what ever they might want to wear – dresses, shorts, flip flops, belts, ties, sunglasses. THE MADNESS WILL NOT END!

I want to meet the guy who said, "I should put swordfish on some shorts."

I want to meet the guy who said, “I should put swordfish on some shorts.”

Our friend KC sent us a few examples from his own critter pant collection, to demonstrate for our California readers who have no earthly idea what we are talking about. We love KC and he is a perfect Southern Gentleman but DEAR LORD does he own a lot of critter pants.

The most confusing thing about critter pants is that they seem to be acceptable casual/beach wear. This is where we must take our stand. How is this even remotely acceptable??? Everyone knows that appropriate casual wear is some board shorts, Rainbows and a tank top! Where, oh where, did DC go so wildly astray? I am now on a mission to civilize (or decivilize, as it may be) all our male friends and get them into some appropriate board shorts, even if it’s the last thing I do in this town. Bonus points if I can get them to embrace suns out, guns out.

Of course, even the righteous can occasionally succumb to the Dark Side.

Sellout.

Sellout.

Oh LG. Sigh.


Whitney Reading

You’ll never want to put these books down!

I’m a book worm. There’s really no other way to put it. Fiction, scifi, romance, autobiographical, humor – I’ll read almost anything and I’m always looking for something new to try. I recently stumbled across a Buzzfeed list (I know, I know) that suggested a number of series to read if you were a fan of The Hunger Games trilogy. Since I was mildly obsessed with that series, I decided to give one of them, Divergent, a shot. It was all uphill (or downhill, depending on your perspective) from there. I’ve literally read 10 books that fall in the DYA category in the last month. I have a problem.

The appeal of the books, besides the fact that many of them are simply well written and entertaining stories, is that they present you with an opportunity to picture yourself in these weird alternate realities and ponder how you might handle such a situation. Or think about which sort of society would be the easiest or most difficult for you to live in. A world where the government decides your career and your spouse and forbids artistic pursuits, as in the Matched trilogy? Or one where you are divided into a societal faction based on your strengths according to a test you took at age 16, as in Divergent? I conned LG into reading a few of these along with me and I was pleasantly surprised by how differently we saw some of these fictional worlds and how we thought they could be dealt with. One theme in all the novels was constant though – America totally gets overthrown and taken over by some sort of dictatorial, mysterious group in every single series. Democracy is not impressing these authors. We should probably consider moving back to California soon, as I’m fairly certain that DC is doomed if any of these books ever become reality.

I highly recommend that you give one of the books mentioned here or on the list a shot. They’re easy reading (because let’s be honest, they’re written for 12-16 year olds) and they’ll give you something to think about. Pick one out, grab your handy BC, head to the pool or beach and read away. And then let us know what your favorite alternate world is!


The sugar free/carb free lifestyle can be boring. And by “can be boring,” I mean I have been bored out of my mind. And all I’ve wanted is a milkshake. Omg, a milkshake. Well, the heavens (google) opened and I found THIS recipe. I altered the recipe just a bit, so let’s see how it turned out.

1.5 cups of almond milk to freeze

1.5 cups of almond milk for the shake

1/2 cup splenda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I started with 1.5 cups of almond milk (less than 2g of sugar for every half cup!)

1.5 cups of almond milk.

Then, I poured the almond milk into an ice cube tray…

We definitely did this twice so I could put that apron on.

…and froze it.

You can see where Big Sug hides the carby snacks…out of my reach.

I took a teaspoon of vanilla extract, half a cup of Splenda, and the frozen almond milk and threw them all in the blender.

Everything you need for delicious milkshakes!

Then I added another 1.5 cups of almond milk.

What shape is a measuring cup supposed to be?

And voila! A beautiful milkshake to curb those cravings. Yum Yum!

Yummy! Now I’m craving a milkshake…again.

Evil LG drinks your milkshake.


There is only one thing in this world we love more than California. You guessed it: ‘Murica! The parades, the food, the FIREWORKS: America is really the best! The Fourth of July is our favorite holiday, and we are going to show you how to celebrate in style! So buckle up cowgirls and cowboys and let’s git ‘er done.

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Whit gets to be the blank canvas, ’cause she doesn’t bite her nails.

Start with a blank canvas. Get that pretty pink Barbie nail polish off those dainty little fingers! Or was that just me?

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Paint eight nails with the raddest red nail polish you can find. We used this gorgeous Sephora nail polish.

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Wait for your nails to dry and use this hella tight nail art pen to start your embellishments. For a star, start by making a dot in the middle of your nail. Make sure the dot is a tad bit runny, so that you can use some of the polish from the center for your star points. Star points? That sounds like something you win in a video game. I think…

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Personally, I think it’s easier to star with the top point of the star.

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Use the pen (and a little more polish from it) to do the upside down V of the star. Then do the two horizontal lines one at a time.

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Voila! That’s hella rad.

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Then we used this Wet ‘n’ Wild nail polish in Moon Blue. Yes. We used Wet ‘n’ Wild. Yes you may judge. Yes I bought this a while ago when I was on more of a budget. And yes, it works perfectly.

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LG had those sunglasses, too. But she sold them to some drunk guys at a 300% profit. What’s more American than scamming drunk dudes?

Wow. Whit may be beating you in America pride.

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Then our friend K let us do hers. K is a true American.

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Then for my nails. Don’t worry, the best embellishment is coming soon.

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All the ladies! Here are 3 different ways to choose an accent nail with different embellishments. You and all your friends can be American without being too matchy-matchy.

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B receiving his first pedicure. Or as my mom calls it: his first MANicure.

Got some boys around who think they love America, but don’t feel comfortable wearing nail polish to work? So do we! So we painted their toes. And yes, we did have to make threats, promises, and give up our first borns.

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What gorgeous feet our boy B has. After this, he showed us his “monkey toe” tricks–meaning he can hold my hands with just his feet. Weird or cool? I think that’s up for debate.

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The best part about painting toes is that the big toe is large enough for lots of stars. ALL THE STARS!!!

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Real men paint their toes…or just give in when we beg.

Our friend D didn’t want to be left out, but Brazil was playing, so I gave him a special pedicure. We’re a mutli-cutli bunch!

And now you’re ready for your BBQ, trip to the beach, or in our case a crab feed! So go forth, salute that flag, and remember: ‘Murica!

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Love, Whit and LG: Patriots fo’ life!


For those of us who are TV lovers, the summer used to kinda suck. Every show was in hiatus and that meant reruns…or nothing. Thanks to USA and TNT, new episodes of some great shows are now here to make your summertime bearable.

East Coast Elle here (can you believe these Cali girls got an east coaster to help them out with television shows – I mean they are from the home state of Hollywood?!) and I’m here to teach YOU how to watch TV in the summer!

Falling Skies
TNT, Sunday 10pm EST

 For those of you who have missed out on Falling Skies…I just don’t know how to express how sorry I feel for you.  Even if you aren’t a sci-fi junky like myself, you would love this show.  I mean, Steven freaking Spielberg is the producer.  Imagine ET meets Indiana Jones – coming into your homes every Sunday night at 10:00pm on TNT.

Falling Skies picks up six months after an alien invasion has destroyed almost all of humanity, and unlike most alien apocalyptic stories, though, this isn’t told from the perspective of the president or someone in charge who knows what’s going on.  Instead, it’s told from the perspective of every day people who have somehow managed to survive.  That means, the characters have no idea why the aliens are here or how to defeat them.  They don’t have access to weapons and none are really experienced or trained in strategic military thinking.  And since we are at a point six months after the invasion, it isn’t an Independence Day plot that focuses on lots of big battle scenes.

I really don’t know where to begin to tell you how much I love this show.  First, it’s not just some sci-fi show.  There are historical elements and references to the founding of our nation and the formation of our country that the political nerd in me just loves.  I mean, the fact that the story starts in one of our country’s most historic and storied cities – Boston – should immediately let you know that much of the undertones of this show allude to the American Revolution and our forefathers fight for freedom and the struggle to set up our republic.  But it’s not really a show about aliens – it’s a show about people.

Six Reasons to Watch This Show…

  1. It will make you remember why you fell in love with Noah Wyle when he was on ER…and then make you fall in love with him all over again.  #DrJohnCarterWeLoveYou
  2. Steven Spielberg, the end all be all schiznit, is the producer.  If you can honestly tell me there isn’t a single movie directed or produced by Steven Spielberg that you like, then fine.  Don’t watch because clearly you are a communist.  Honestly, if you can tell me there are less than FIVE movies this man has directed or produced that you like, I would still call you a commie.  We are talking about the man behind ETSchindler’s ListSaving Private RyanIndiana JonesStar Wars (well one of them),JawsThe Goonies, and Jurassic Park. And another TV show he produced – Band of Brothers. Maybe you’ve heard of it?!
  3. The end of almost every episode will end with you sitting on the edge of your seat with your mouth wide open, unable to move because you cannot BELIEVE what just happened.
  4. John Locke makes an appearance on a few episodes in Seasons 2 and 3.  Well, really it’s Terry O’Quinn, the actor who played John Locke. But for those of us who still miss Lost, Locke is reason enough to tune in.
  5. Drew Roy, who plays Hal Mason, will have you drooling in your seat.  And for you boys out there, Sarah Carter who plays Maggie is hot enough to make me consider playing for the other team.
  6. You know you are secretly a sci-fi nerd.  Embrace it my friends and tune in.

Franklin & Bash
TNT, Wednesday 9:00pm

Zach Morris himself is one of the two leads in this humorous crime drama. He still looks good and he’s upgraded that skinny body for one that looks HELLA fine without a shirt on. The show follows Zach, aka Franklin, and his law partner Bash, as they take on the legal system’s stodginess while defending their clients. Cute and fun.

Necessary Roughness
USA, Wednesday 10:00pm

After a disagreement with the new Hawks’ coach, Dr. Danny is forced to leave the team. Thankfully, Uncle Jesse…uh, I mean John Stamos…steps in to offer her a new job at his sports management company. Sadly, we appear to say goodbye to Matt, Danny’s ex/Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s boyfriend Riley, but thankfully Nico returns.

Continuum
Sci-Fi Channel, Friday 8:00pm

Like I said, I’m a sci-fi junky. But this show is wicked awesome. It follows Kiera, a cop from a future where corporations control all. After going bankrupt, corporations stepped in to bail out the federal government of Canada. But the bailout came with a price tag: personal freedoms. Kiera is accidentally brought back to 2012 by a group of terrorists from the future who are hell bent on taking down the corporations. Like Falling Skies, not everything is what it seems and you will often find yourself sympathizing with the other side. Don’t let the fact that it’s Canadian fool you. I mean, Canada gave us Ryan Reynolds, so every once in a while they get it right…eh?

Arrested Development
Netflix, Any Dang Time You Want to Watch It

It’s brand new episodes of Arrested Development, one of the most awesome shows ever on television. ‘Nuff said.

Tune in next month when I talk about my other favorite summer show: Suits. Premieres July 16th at 10:00pm on USA.


Basically, more fun than you’ve ever had at a grocery store.

It’s Friday! Congrats–you made it! You know what would have made your week so much better? SnapChat. What is SnapChat? It’s an app on your iPhone (or whatever smartphone you’re using) that allows you to send pictures to your friends that only last on their phones for up to 10 seconds (you determine how long the picture can last). You can add captions, draw on your pictures, or even take short videos that your friends can only see for a short amount of time. It will even tell you if your friends try to screenshot you (Big Sug is always screenshotting me–creeper!). Now, there are techy people who can find SnapChat pics in your phone despite the 10 second thing, and there will always be a way around all of that–so don’t be dirty (or if you don’t care, be dirty). However, for people like me–pics only last for up to 10 seconds.

It’s essentially the most personal form of electronic communication ever. For real. SnapChat lets you take ridiculous photos of yourself, draw all over them, and then caption them. That means that people are not only seeing the real you, they are seeing the you that you think is the real you. That’s deep. SnapChat is deep. It also lets you convey more than just words. How will someone know you’re joking over text? Take a SnapChat of you laughing. Totally fixes any misconstrued notions. Take, for example, my lobstah tail picture seen above. I sent that SnapChat to a lot of cool cats. What does it say about me? It says I love lobstah. It says I’m hilarious. It says that I definitely think my food is smiling at me. It’s deep.

Do yourself a favor: download SnapChat. It is the most fun you can have by yourself. Or, if you’re like me, you can send creeper shots of your friend who is sitting next to you to your friend who is sitting next to you. Whit knows that one all too well. So get on it now, and share with us your clever SnapChats (you can save your own). Do not send dirty pics. I will post them on the internet and I will make sure they come up when people google you. You’ll know I took a screenshot  ’cause SnapChat will tell you.