The month of May went from 31 days of relatively no plans, to 31 days of action-packed craziness all at once…in the best possible way. So much so, that the month came to a close almost before I even realized it! Between dog-sitting Banjo for two weeks and living through a bunch of apartment renovations, Al and I kept ourselves prettyyyy busy. And it looks like our month of June is going to be just as action-packed! I think that’s what I love most about summer though – the extra long days that bring out all the energy inside you.
MAY’S MONTHLY LOOKBACK:
Wish I Was Here on Amazon Prime. While the movie itself wasn’t five stars, it was starring Zach Braff – one of my favorite actors from Scrubs – so I wanted to give it a watch! Al and I made a stay-at-home movie date night of it. Braff plays a husband, father, brother, and son who is a struggling actor. He gets news that his father is dying and sort of goes on this adventure searching for an epiphany. Al wasn’t a huge fan, but I enjoyed it! I don’t think I’m as harsh a critic though 😉
Wild Wild Country – a docu-series on Netflix. It chronicles the controversial times of Indian guru, Bhagwan Shree and his Secretary, Ma Anand Sheela as they built a community in Oregon in the 80s and 90s. While there’s debate as to whether or not they should be classified as a religion or as a cult, what is comes down to is a whole bunch of crimes that were committed. The story is absolutely fascinating and the docu-series itself is fantastically put together. As two people who currently work in the docu-series world, we were super impressed with the series!
The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes on Netflix. This is a new show that Al and I randomly started watching…and we’re hooked! We really love the female host, Caroline Quentin and how she plays off of her male counterpart, Piers Taylor. The two travel the globe in search for the world’s most extraordinary homes. What I find most interesting about the homes we have seen, is how many of them were built with such precise care towards nature. So many of them are built in remote areas where certain plant species are protected, so the architects and crew had to be mindful about how they would build around this wildlife. I can’t get enough of it. Definitely give it a watch!
Wow, we have been on a serious cooking spree over here! Lately, I’ve just found that after a long day at work, I am so excited to come home, zone out, and make a home-cooked meal. We really have been enjoying spending time together in the kitchen, whether it be in the mornings for a big breakfast, at lunchtime prepping for dinner, or after work. Here are some of the dishes we made this month:
From Magnolia Table: the Brussels sprouts recipe, I made twice. The first time I kind of messed up the proportions cus I was halving the recipe for just Al and I, but the second time I made it for us + the neighbors, it was heavenly. We paired it with steak and it did not disappoint 😉 Definitely making this one again, although I need to perfect my balsamic reduction skills…
From Magnolia Table: Joanna’s Chocolate Chip Cookies – omg I “can’t even” with these. They are maybe the best choc. Chip cookies I’ve ever had (besides Costco of course because holy cow are those good). I think I’ve made these like 3 times already. I always halve the recipe so I don’t eat a million of them. The secret is all in the butter … use less of it! I’m not generally much of a baker, but this recipe keeps it simple and I always have the ingredients on hand.
From Magnolia Table: Banana Bread – I replaced the walnuts with dark chocolate chips because that’s just the person I am. Wow. This bread is moist and delicious. So delicious, in fact, that we brought some up to the summit of Baldy! It tasted even better up there … I can’t wait to make more 😉
From Magnolia Table: Bow Tie Pasta – warning: this recipe makes A TON. But that was okay with us because we love having leftovers for the week. Sundried tomatoes and artichokes also fall into my favorite foods category, so this was a win in my book. This would be great if you’re hosting 8 – 10 people!
We made this easy chicken and veggies recipe in the crockpot! Seriously though, it doesn’t get much easier. I think next time I make it, I’ll add even more veggies because carrots in the crockpot are one of my favorite things. (ps. I love this site because most of her recipes have options to cook in either the crockpot or the instapot!)
Al picked out this eggplant parmesan recipe, because we’ve been talking a lot lately about learning how to properly cook eggplant! Does anyone have any tips, especially when it comes to grilling? I think we were both surprised at how filling this turned out to be! The best part was that we had leftover sauce, so we used it over some pasta the next night!
I picked out this vegetable vegan stew as a suggestion from my neighbor and holy cow, I think it’s turned into one of Al and my favorite meals! It’s loaded with chickpeas so it’s filling too. This recipe also makes a lot so there’s leftovers, but the leftovers I think might even be better than the day-of because all those flavors!! They soak right in! Pin this recipe for a cool day, you won’t regret it, I promise!!
We had a couple of repeats this month too, because why only make a recipe once if you love it, right!? We made our Mexican casserole again, the thai peanut curry chicken, tacos, pork loin, and chicken verde in the crockpot. You can find most of these recipes in my other monthly lookback posts!
Since we were kicked out of our apartment for two days while they redid our floors (praise!), we had to find a lot of things to do that were pup-friendly! Obviously our number one activity then was to go to a brewery 😉 We spent an afternoon at The Dudes Brewery in Torrance, and an evening at Commonspace LA in Hawthorne. Commonspace is on the up and up and has changed so much since our first visit there! They’ve just started installing some art on the walls too, so I’m excited to continue to watch it evolve.
We spent most of our month of May cooking, so we didn’t go out for too many meals! We did, however, squeeze in an ice cream date at Craigers in Hermosa Beach…they are home to Al’s favorite ice cream!
There was one random day that both Alex and our neighbor Lauren were gone for the day, so Josh and I went to his favorite Ramen spot in Torrance … it was hands down the best Ramen I’ve ever had. I already have plans to take my brother here this month on his visit 😉
This month started off insanely busy with quite a few weaving orders! It’s so funny how that works … it’s either nothing at all or all at once! I squeezed in a few custom orders early in the month, and finished up with a large neutral weaving for my brother and sister-in-law’s baby on the way! This piece has quickly turned into my favorite of all time, but I think a big part of that has to do with who it’s for 😉 I also had the challenge of weaving a Georgetown “G” this month…it wasn’t easy! But I am insanely proud with how well it turned out, and the gal that it was for was so happy with it, so that’s a win to me! Having this creative outlet is such a huge thing for my sanity … I think everybody needs some sort of creative outlet, especially as we get older. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the adult necessities…we need to remember to make time for the things we love!
Otherwise, we didn’t take any weekend trips this month, but we did spend a morning at the Huntington Dog Beach, which is one of my very absolute favorite ways to start the weekend 🙂 We went to an event in Valley Park, down in Hermosa called “Pets in the Park” where we ran into Marty’s camp along with his trainer! We were happy to go and show our support. And then I spent a weekend day up in Highland Park checking out the new digs of my friends Rachael and Virgil! It’s such a fun scene up there! We spent the morning at the Pasadena Flea Market in the Rose Bowl, before we got rained out, and I scored an awesome rug for our new living room floors! We spent the rest of the day hopping around the little town … it’s so cute, I’m excited to have friends there and an excuse to head up that way more often!
^^marty finds the only sliver of free couch during painting || our new & improved accent wall!^^
^^Marty was less than impressed during the roof replacement process || also less than impressed watching our friend’s basil plant while she was away! ^^
What can I say, I love our “new” apartment…it’s a total upgrade! If you’re an HGTV junkie like me, then maybe you too appreciate seeing a less-than glamorous space turn into something magical. We are lucky enough to have a landlord who ripped out our carpets for us and installed these beautiful wood laminate floors. It makes a world of a difference. And once we had the new floors in, I knew that our walls needed some love too, and luckily for us, Rachael and Virgil just so happen to be two of the nicest souls on the planet. Virgil came by on a Friday while Al and I were at work to fill up any holes in the walls and start on the edging, and then he and Rach came back on a Saturday to help us paint our living room, kitchen, and hallway! I finished up the bathroom on Monday since we had the holiday off! It’s insane what a bucket (or two!) of fresh paint can do for a home. The best part about the project was that we only spent about $25 to do it! Thank goodness for credit card rewards points, am I right!? While we still have some finishing touches to tend to, I love our little home so much; we are so blessed to have the space that we do and the yard that we do, I’m happy living here for as long as we’re able! I’ll be sure to share some photos when we actually get some things on the walls! 😉
I wrote a little bit in my George F. Canyon post about how much Al and I enjoyed having Banjo, but I think it’s worth repeating: we love that dog. Banjo is turning 5 this month, and we were so ecstatic when Josh and Laur asked us to watch him while they were in Europe. He is an angel dog, and such a good example for our Marty. We took him to work with us everyday for two weeks and the entire office fell in love with him, he’s such a good boy. While we loved having him, we love even more, having Josh and Laur back at the Redondo Condo with us! Weeknights, especially, just weren’t the same without them!
We celebrated Memorial Day and Mother’s Day this month! We are thankful for all those who have served past, present, and future. And we are thankful for both of our wonderful mothers who have provided us with the best examples of how to crush life. I love you, mom!
I feel like blessed is an understatement. I just have felt so happy this month – fortunate and lucky and grateful for friends and home cooked meals and my family and my surroundings. I’ve felt motivated and inspired, and I think a lot of it has to do with all the gorgeous weather and longer days we’ve been having. It’s amazing what summer can do for your attitude … anyone else!?
Oh my gosh, I’ve been on a huuuuge Norah Jones kick this month. She’s like, the most soothing voice in the world. I just listen to her songs on repeat all day long.
A bunch of artists got together and redid a bunch of Elton John’s hits, on Revamp, which is fun! My favorite is P!nk’s version of Bennie and the Jets, which is a great gym jam!
John Mayer’s new single, New Light is a jam! But the music video is actually hilarious, if you haven’t seen it yet. I’m excited to hear what else he brings out!
And that wraps up May! We’re already a full week into June! This month I’ve already made a trip to Philly for a bachelorette party, we have our weekend trek of Mt. Whitney scheduled, and my brother is coming to visit! I’m sure I’ll have lots of adventures to fill you all in on 😉 Happy Summer-ing! 😉