Hello hello! Two months of 2018 are already under our belt! We are feeling thankful for warmer weather on the horizon, good reviews at work, and a silly pup who continues to make us laugh each day! And so with that, I bring you all:
February’s Lookback List:
I finished reading The Heart’s Invisible Furies this month, while in Hawaii, and I’ve got to tell you, I never wanted to put it down. It was heartbreaking and enlightening, and made me feel all the emotions that I didn’t even know I had. It follows a gay man’s life as he embraces who is in a 1950’s Catholic Ireland and beyond. I cried a lot. I felt for the Protagonist. I’ve already recommended it to friends; my neighbor is reading it now and is already hooked. Check it out, if you’re looking for something a little different.
I’ve started reading The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd. My mom sent me this one, and although I haven’t had as much time to devote to it as I would have liked yet, so far I’m intrigued! Will keep you guys posted.
We had the absolute pleasure of attending the Broadway musical, Aladdin this month at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood! It was fantastic! Aladdin was Al’s favorite Disney movie growing up, so when some friends asked if we’d like to go with them, we jumped at the opportunity! The music was great, the Genie stole the show, but the set-changes were my favorite part of it all. I’d love to sit backstage at a show sometime to see all the craziness behind the curtain. If Aladdin comes to a city near you, go check it out! Who doesn’t love a good Disney musical anyway!? After the show, we went to one of those secret Hollywood bars — the entrance was through a refrigerator! There was a really cool girl band playing when we went. We stayed for a drink, but I want Al to take me back!
We decided to check out Hermosa Brewery – the newest brewery in town – again this month, but this time we got some of their food items. I ordered the Korean Tacos and they were dynamite. Everything we ordered was really really good. A lot of the breweries around here don’t have their own food – they usually have food trucks on certain days – so the fact that this place has its own kitchen and makes bomb food, is a huge game changer.
A bunch of us attended a Los Angeles Kings beer release at King Harbor Brewery called “The Hopitar.” Named after the Kings player, Kopitar. It was great! A very drinkable beer.
Al and I, per a coworker’s recommendation, went to Blue Butterfly Café in El Segundo one Saturday morning while waiting for my car service to finish up. First of all, I love El Segundo. But secondly, I think this place had the nicest staff that I have ever encountered. Al and I had such a wonderful experience there – we ordered a latte, a black coffee, and a bagel to split – that we said we want to make going there a more regular thing because we are more than happy to give our business to a little local shop where the employees are genuinely happy to be there. It may be our new favorite coffee shop in town!
In an attempt to challenge myself, expand my creative mind, and build my Etsy shop, I’ve joined in on a monthly fiber challenge via Instagram! Each month, the account running the challenge posts the criteria for a weaving –whether it’s a certain color scheme you have to follow, a weaving technique, or specific shapes used. The challenge for February was using the rya knot, at least five colors, and at least one of those colors had to be pink. If you’re interested in the piece, it’s for sale! And will be listed in my Etsy shop soon 🙂
I posted –> here about my trip to Maui! So I won’t get into anymore details in this post. Usually after a big trip like that, I am so content with staying home and spending time in our cozy little town. The older I get, I think the more of a homebody I am becoming! I guess that’s what happens when you love the space you’ve created for yourself though!
Since this month brought with it National Adoption Weekend, I’ve found myself loving all of the adopted pups around the office! Alex and I are extremely lucky in that we work in a dog-friendly office. It makes being puppy parents a heck of a lot easier, and only has had a positive influence on our little guy! A lot of our coworkers have taken advantage of the opportunity too by adopting their own pups and bringing them into the office to socialize with people and pups alike! It warms my heart to see these animals being given second chances and also seeing the time that their owners are pouring into them. Rescue pets might require a little additional work, but I promise they are so worth it.
The obvious celebration this month was Valentine’s Day! Al and I don’t exchange gifts for most holidays, but we always make it a point to write one another a thoughtful card. And this year, I got a card from both him and Marty! 😉 We exchanged cards in the morning with coffee in bed, and in the evening we got together with our neighbors, Laur and Josh, and made chicken and waffles! Al and I were put in charge of the waffles, Laur handled the wine, and Josh of course made the best fried chicken ever. My mouth is salivating just thinking about it…
Otherwise, February brought birthdays for our friends Julie and Rachel! We celebrated Rach’s in downtown Los Angeles at Clifton’s Cafeteria in one of the cool hidden themed-bars, and then a night full of karaoke! We celebrated Julie’s with a trip to Maui 😉 and then we all pitched in and got her pup, Stone, DNA-tested as a surprise!!! Leah put together a whole slideshow of what Stone is made up of, and we celebrated with bundt cakes and wine! We’re a big fan of group birthday gifts over here at The Redondo Condo.
I wrote my last post all about the Cycle For Survival event that I took part in this month, and about how it made me feel. You can read all about it –> here.
Aside from going out for Ramen and Sushi double-dates with our neighbors this month, we made a little trip up north a bit to our friends’ Sean and Hayley’s for World Cup Dinner nights! The tradition went off the rails for a little while there, as things tend to do around the holidays, but we got back together again for a Mexican night! Sean and Hayley are vegetarian, so they made all meat-free dishes! And I’ll tell you what, not only was everything delicious, but everything was filling too! I think we were all surprised at how full we were afterwards! Hayley has been vegetarian for awhile now, but Sean is relatively new to it. They said they’ve been enjoying how much it has expanded their cooking range!
And this month, Al and I finally went to the cutest little italian restaurant down the road from us! Seriously, we walked there, it’s so close. I don’t know why we always overlook Italian food when going out, but he’s been going here regularly for the last few weekends to carb up for his long weekend runs. The portions here are huuuuge, so you always leave with lunch (and maybe even dinner) for the next day too! It’s super cozy inside. And the wine pours are also very generous 😉
Al and I have started a new tradition in our household this month! We typically do our grocery shopping for the week on Sundays, and so each Sunday the two of us pick our own recipe, add the ingredients to our grocery list, and then we decide which days we’ll make each dish together. It’s been so much fun to pick new and exciting things, and a lot of the times, we’ll come home and prep it on our lunch break so that we have less to do when we get home from work in the evenings. We typically like to pick larger dishes so that we have leftovers for lunches throughout the week. Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of them here with you guys! (And I actually remembered to photograph our meals this month, because I don’t know about you guys, but I’m always more inclined to make something if it’s accompanied by a pretty picture.)
We made –> this recipe for One Pan Balsamic Chicken & Veggies per recommendation of our neighbor, Laur. We liked this recipe because it has few ingredients, cooks quickly, and there aren’t many dishes!! I recommend chopping all your veggies beforehand (like when you make the marinade for the chicken) so that when it comes time to cook, all the hard work is done, and all you have to do is dump everything onto the pan! We had ours with brown rice, and there were a lot of leftovers for the week!
A coworker recommended –> this Rich Red Curry with Roasted Vegetables to me when I saw her eating it at lunch in the office one afternoon! This recipe is a little more involved and requires more ingredients, but we are big curry fans over here, so how could I say no!? I definitely recommend having a second set of hands to help out with this recipe, as there’s a lot going on all at once. I also doubled the rub that you put on the veggies, because I didn’t think it covered enough with the recommended serving. If you’re not into the vegetarian thing, I think this would be an easy one to add chicken to! We served ours over basmati rice, but quinoa would be good too!
Al picked out –> this recipe for Chicken Shawarma, because it’s one of his favorite dishes to order out! He prepped all the marinade at lunch, and I finished it up after work since he was working late at the office! I paired it with a simple cucumber and tomato salad, and served over rice! We had leftovers for a couple of days after this one! I really enjoyed the flavor in this dish.
A go-to recipe that my mom always made for us growing up, is Tater Tot Casserole. I made this for us over our lunch break the day we were going to see Aladdin, because I knew we wouldn’t have much time to eat between work and the show. This recipe is especially good for the end of the month when your grocery budget is dwindling 😉 All it calls for is:
- 1 lb. ground beef (browned)
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 2 cans green beans (drained)
- 1 bag of tater tots
- shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper
Line the sides and bottom of your crockpot with tater tots. And then mix together all other ingredients (except cheese) and add to crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. Top with shredded chedder cheese before serving. Seriously, how easy is that??
For the Superbowl this year, we had a collection of specially made burgers and ribs. I whipped up my famous guacamole, Al made his delicious buffalo chicken dip, and Josh made his own garlic hummus for the first time! We eat a lot of hummus in our household, so I think I might give it a go here soon for myself.
And that’s a wrap on February! March will be a big month, as Al is finally running his marathon! It feels like he has been training forever! I’ll be happy to have my hiking buddy back after that 😉 We also have friends moving to LA, and more dog-training with our favorite Good Choices Dog Training. Busy busy! If you have any go-to dinner recipes that you swear on, please please send them my way!! I currently have some chili cooking in the crockpot since this afternoon, and I can’t wait until it’s time to eat!