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.