People in Your Neighborhood

I’ve been a vampire all week long with night shoots for Jake Helgren’s latest thriller, The Neighborhood. My ritual has been sleep a few hours in the morning, act like a zombie for a little while, and then take an afternoon nap while watching cheesy comedies from the 80’s and 90’s. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to watch Three Men and Baby (although TBH I didn’t watch most of it).

Since we don’t eat “lunch” until midnight or 1am, I snack like a squirrel every few hours until it’s time for a regular, large meal. I found that keeps me energized and awake until the wee hours of the morning without overstuffing myself all day long.

Balloon Moon Light Night Shoot LA

Here are my fake neighborhood friends: Julie McNiven, Trevor Donovan, Brian Yang (actual friend from the last decade), Helena Mattsson, and Matt Raimo.

Behind the scenes of The Neighborhood with Julie McNiven, Trevor Donovoan, Brian Yang, Matt Raimo, Helena Mattsson, and Brian Yang

This past weekend, life imitated art: my real neighborhood had a block party! I didn’t know if I’d be awake enough to attend, so I wound up whipping together a quick coffee cake out of pancake mix (recipe below) to bring to the potluck.

Neighborhood Block Party LA

We even had time to do a little meal prep on Sunday. Our Farmers Market haul: two zucchini, one tomato, one avocado, two ears of corn, and a pint of kalamata olives. We grilled the zucchini and corn, and topped white rice with rest of the ingredients.

Meal Prep Veggie Bowls

I get a few days off to catch up on sleep, Vitamin D, before I wrap up this film and head to NYC for the next one – best way to see what’s going on behind-the-scenes is via my InstaStories!

Quick Coffee Cake

Quick Coffee Cake


    For the Cake
  • 2 cups instant pancake mix
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • For the Streusel Topping
  • 2/3 cup pancake mix
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter


  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray/flour.
  3. In a medium bowl, use a pastry cutter to mix all the streusel ingredients. Set aside in the refrigerator to chill.
  4. Mix all the cake ingredients together (I used a blender).
  5. Pour the batter into the pan, top with the streusel mixture.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.