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The List: What to Do This Week

Our Editor's guide to the best things to eat, do, and read this week.
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Note to Self: Go to more movies, read books instead of watching shows during the week, and spend more casual, unscheduled time with friends. This (long!) weekend, after a casual birthday party for a friend on Friday night, I spent the next day going to galleries and art exhibits with my boyfriend and his mom, followed by brunch and a movie party (unexpected perk of living in L.A.: Somehow at least one friend has access to movie screeners!). Where I used to schedule weekends to the minute, I've found that under-scheduling opens up weekends and weeknights to more spontaneous, fun activities I actually want to do as opposed to those I feel obligated to go to. (Am I the last person in L.A. to realize this?) Last night, neighbors stopped by and ended up staying for dinner, splitting a bottle of wine, and chatting well into the night. It was the perfect end to a perfect weekend that never would have been possible, had I over-booked it. Here's what I'm up to this week:

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Something I've always wanted to do, but never quite got around to, is joining a book club. As an English Major, I miss the completely indulgent class discussions that followed a chapter, where we'd spend hours debating a line or sentiment. This year, I've already joined three clubs, two of which are hosted by my favorite independent book store in L.A., Skylight Books. Yesterday, I attended their "Current Events" Book Club (this past month's book is All About Love by bell hooks which I also recommend), followed by the Coyote Reading Group next Monday at 7:30 PM. The book is Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets by Svetlana Alexievich if you want to join! 

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Sometimes the most beautiful meals are also the simplest. This avocado salad from Tending the Table has a bite from fresh-squeeze blood orange juice that's balanced by the fat from the avocado and oil in the dressing. When I made it this weekend, I subbed half of the olive oil for sesame oil for a slightly nuttier dressing that's a significant step up from a halved 'cado with salt. Serve it over buttery Jasmine rice and arugula, with seared tofu for a full meal. 

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After competing on Juan Pablo's season of The Bachelor, Andi Dorfman paved her own career as the Bachelorette, then author and personality. Her new book, Single State of Mind, picks up where her first bestseller, which was largely about her very public breakup with Bachelorette contestant Josh Murray, left off and includes more reality show secrets—but the best parts are her hilarious stories about dating in New York. After receiving an advance copy, I reached out to Andi and asked her to share what her life looks like now, along with some of her top clothing and beauty tips:

What's changed most dramatically in your life between your first book and this one?
My level of happiness. The first book took readers through one of the darkest times in my life, my breakup. This book has a lighter tone to it because I found that once I got through my heartbreak, I found happiness.

What's your favorite part about living in New York? 
The vibe. There is nothing like the energy you feel in New York City. There is an electricity and a buzz that you can't help but be infatuated with.

One thing our readers would be surprised to learn about you? 
I think readers see me as a pretty serious person so they'd be surprised to know that I know how to let my hair down and have a great time. 

Single most important life lesson you've learned from your journey on the Bachelor to now? 
Greatest lesson I learned is to chuck the timeline. I never thought in a million years I'd go on a reality television show and then on to live in New York and write two books. But had I stuck with what and where I thought I'd be at this point in my life, I would have missed out on all of that.

You have great style! What item of clothing is most worth splurging on? 
I splurge on shoes and bags. When it comes to clothing, I'm pretty basic, but I feel like a great bag and a great pair of shoes can spruce up the most mundane of outfits.

What's your holy grail high-end makeup ($$$) product & low-end makeup (drugstore) product?
My holy grail beauty splurge is SK-II eye cream. It's unbelievable, both in quality and price. My low-end product that I can't live without is Vaseline lip balm. If I had to rely on one beauty product, it would be that! 

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After watching I, Tonya this weekend, I felt so bent out of shape by Tonya Harding's story that my boyfriend and I joined Happy Hour at a bar down the block to rehash it. While there, I overheard a couple talking about the move they'd just seen: The Shape of Water. As soon as I asked them about it, they launched into a description of why they consider it to be one of the most beautiful movies of all time. They were so convincing that my boyfriend and I saw it this weekend and were equally moved by it. It's so, so bizarre, as most Guillermo del Toro films are, but entirely memorable and worth seeing.

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I've always loved turning on music as soon as I get home—like lighting candles, it helps set the mood and unwind from any stresses during the day while I cook dinner. Recently, I've been all about the "Cafe con Leche" playlist, which strikes the perfect vibe and makes me feel like I'm somewhere in Cuba. 

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