Beer with a Blogger: Newhall Refinery in Santa Clarita

When you find yourself stressed out with finals and job applications and the holidays, sometimes all you need is to grab a pint with a new friend.

And my get-together with Stephanie was long overdue. Back when she was pregnant, we had planned to meet up but never got around to it. Now she has an adorable three-month-old son and is allowed to drink again, so it all worked out! (Except the part where I forgot my DSLR. Low-light iPhone photos FTW.)

Beer with a Blogger: Stephanie from Loudmouth Lifestyle

THE BLOGGER

Stephanie Shar from Loudmouth Lifestyle and Baby Loudmouth. (Stephanie is a new mom, works full-time and she runs two blogs. WHAT.) Stephanie moved to L.A. five years ago from Detroit and worked a few “normal” jobs before pursuing her own creative business. I adore Steph’s blog because she has an authentic—and appropriately loud—voice. I’m always engaged when I read her posts and feel like I know exactly who she is. And what you see on her blog is what you get in person. She’s warm, open, funny as hell and is one of those people who cuts right through the bullshit and calls it like she sees it. She’s a really easy person to talk to and is launching a kickass program called Loud Ladies to make 2015 awesome.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent post of hers that I loved and sums her up perfectly:

I tried to keep my thoughts and feelings about the events in Ferguson on Twitter and Instagram. I wanted to stay ‘professional’ and keep this space for my ‘business’ and keep the personal shit at bay. But I’m in the business of getting personal. Welcome to The Loudmouth Lifestyle.

Newhall Refinery in Santa Clarita Newhall Refinery

THE BAR

Newhall Refinery in Santa Clarita, a city 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. I loved the area right off the bat when I turned onto the adorable main street where parking was both free and a breeze. The bar itself has a very cozy, neighborhoody vibe (enhanced by their Christmas decorations) and is staffed by very friendly folks. They had at least six different kinds of Sierra Nevada on draft, and it looks like they change that out every once in a while—now their beer menu lists eight different kinds of Goose Island! I wasn’t hungry, but it was so tempting to order food. The place smelled of fried goodness, and the couple sitting next to me had a cookies and creme dessert that looked delicious.

Newhall Refinery Newhall Refinery

THE BEER

I love me some Sierra Nevada, so I ordered a Nooner Session IPA (4.8%). Steph, in true Loudmouth form, asked the bartender for the strongest IPA on tap. So she got an Avery DuganA Double IPA (8.5%). Also worth noting that the prices were totally reasonable. I had two beers (one 16-oz. and one 12-oz.) and paid 11 bucks plus tip. Considering what most L.A. bars will charge you, this was a refreshing change of pace.

Cassie and Stephanie

Needless to say, we had a blast. If I didn’t have to drive home, I would’ve had another beer or two and gotten a little silly. But we’ll definitely get together again. (I still need to meet that sweet babe of hers!) Make sure you check out Steph’s blog—and say hi on Twitter while you’re at it.

Are you a blogger living in (or visiting!) L.A.? Do you like beer? Shoot me an email at wittycassiehere (at) gmail (dot) com, and let’s go to happy hour!

Interweb Finds: Body farms, homemade cookie butter & more

Bradbury building

Oh hey guys. Remember me?

I’m officially on Thanksgiving break, which means I finally feel like I have a moment to exhale, relax and get back to this blogging space I love so dearly. I’m sorry I’ve left you so long.

A few updates from my world: I’m working on a couple of longer stories that I’m really excited about (and hope I can find a home for). I’ve made some very tough but what I hope will be rewarding decisions to take career-related risks that one day I might not have the luxury of taking. (As in, when those student loan bills start rolling in.) And John and I are cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the second year in a row. (This time, with his sister as our guest!) All very exciting things. I’m planning on having a much-needed catch-up session on my blog reader this week, but I’d love to hear what’s going on in your lives.

I thought this space was about due for roundup of the best web finds from the past couple of weeks. Check ’em out!

How to make homemade cookie butter. (I die.)

Good news for grumpy people: they get the details right.

If you’re fascinated and awed by all things morbid, check out this piece on body farms and how they’re used to learn about the decomposition process.

“The bodies are donated and left out in the elements as part of research aimed at better understanding the process of decomposition, mainly to assist in criminal investigations. When an unidentified body turns up, the first question police typically ask is how long ago the person died — and the observations made at body farms have been crucial in allowing them to answer it.”

Did you see the video of the woman getting catcalls all day as she silently walked around New York City? Here’s a hilarious video depicting what it’s like to walk around as a white guy in NYC for 10 hours.

Best gift ever: a woman wondered if she and her mom would’ve been friends if they weren’t mother and daughter. So she Photoshopped pictures of both of them growing up and the results are perfect.

You should move at least five times in your life.

Check out this awesome, trippy and totally acoustic instrument handmade by the artist playing it. I’d like to meditate in that room.

Is Banksy a woman? This writer makes a case for it. (And if you haven’t seen Banksy Does New York yet, it’s a great documentary available on HBO.)

Here’s how Alexandra Franzen met the love of her life.

“I also expressed — by ticking the appropriate boxes in my profile setting — that I was interested in a long-term relationship. Not short-term-and-let’s-see-where-this-goes. Not casual. Long. Term. Love. That was the truth, so that’s what I put.”

The Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles has its very own gay wing unlike anything else in any other jail or prison. Instead of violence and racism, there is fashion and love. (My badass classmate and friend Ani Ucar knocked it out of the park with her first cover story in L.A. Weekly!)

Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough? Stephanie from Loudmouth Lifestyle talks openly about her own experience with self-doubt and gives us all a much-needed reminder of realizing our worth.

On a similar note, Hannah Brencher kills it with this one: you can’t be all the things.

 

That’s all for this week! I promise not to be gone so long again this time—after the holiday, I’ll have another featured Feminist to Follow.

In the meantime, have a happy Thanksgiving! How are you celebrating?