Well, it’s a whole month late but I am finally sitting down to write February’s Lookback … the months of February and March have almost been a blur amidst a crazy-insane work schedule that have included extra long days and lots of weekend shifts. And any time not spent working, I’ve tried to fill up with time spent outside or with the ones I love! Luckily, this particular show is wrapping up and I feel like I’m finally starting to get back to my normal schedule! So I’ll try to keep this one short and sweet and then I’ll be back soon with a March update!
^^I have the laziest (but cutest) coworkers! 😉 ^^
FEBRUARY IN REVIEW
Early this month we saw an incredible WWI documentary in theaters called They Shall Not Grow Old. The film, directed by Peter Jackson, features a ton of never-before -seen footage that has been beautifully restored — both color and sound! For two people in the television and film world, this had Alex and I geeking out. Al is also a huge history buff, so he was doubly-excited about this doc. The end of the film featured a sit down with Jackson where he explained how he went about restoring this 100 year old film … it was absolutely fascinating. I’d recommend this to anyone (you don’t have to be a history fanatic!) because it truly was amazing to see these people that we’ve only known in black and white, come to life and tell their story in color and sound.
A really fantastic documentary on NatGeo right now (that you can catch OnDemand) is called Into the Canyon. This doc follows a filmmaker and writer duo as they make the 750 mile trek through the length of the entire Grand Canyon !! I originally didn’t sit down to watch this, but was sucked in almost immediately when Al had it turned on one evening. There is so much to learn about the current state of affairs within and surrounding the Grand Canyon … definitely check this one out!
Lately, Al has been completely obsessed with The Beatles, and so we watched a documentary about them on Netflix, entitled Eight Days A Week (named after just one of their biggest hits). This one came as a recommendation from one of his good friends, and so we watched it over breakfast one morning! There was so much about the Beatles that I didn’t know, and this doc really presented an inside view of how they rose to be a worldwide phenomenon at such young ages! If you’re a Beatles fan, grab some popcorn give this one a watch!
And lastly, we met up with some friends early in the month to catch a midnight showing of The Room — the infamously terrible film by Tommy Wiseau. Although we’ve (read as: Alex) has seen this movie countless times, seeing it in this particular theatre at midnight is more about the experience, rather than the movie. If you’re at all familiar with the Rocky Horror Picture Show experience, it’s kind of like that. The film is so terribly done, that it’s developed this crazy cult-following full of weird inside jokes and references. If you’re not familiar with them all when you attend the midnight show, don’t worry … you’ll catch on quickly! And by the time the movie is over, you’ll find yourselves wanting to go again so that the next time you can be in on all of the crazy antics — like throwing plastic spoons at the screen, yelling out “water!!!” endlessly, or watching a guy beat the clock to shave off his beard in front of the entire audience (yes, that really happens)!
February sort of kicked off a bunch of weaving orders for me! Someone reached out to see if I could make a piece for a friends’ baby-on-the-way, and from that piece, I’ve gotten a number of similar requests. So I’ve been happily weaving away in the mornings before work! I am so thankful for this little side-hobby of mine.
The name of the game this month seems to be Vegetarian Meals! While Al and I still eat meat, we’ve drastically cut back on the amount of it that we consume on a daily basis. It’s been fun to put a different twist on a lot of the meat-heavy meals we already know and love! (Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of any of these meals, so you’re just gonna have to take my word for it!…or click the links and see the beautiful *professional photos!)
Although I was a little skeptical at first, these Slow Cooker BBQ Chickpea Sloppy Joes were the perfect meat alternative to one of our classic favorites! While I still enjoy the ground beef classic more, this was a good way to still get the same flavor, and would be a great dish to bring to a friends’ place! My only recommendation would be to drizzle a little extra BBQ sauce on top before you put your top bun on. And I think serving it with some coleslaw could be a game-changer!
This Roasted Zucchini Flatbread with hummus, arugula, goat cheese, and almonds, was one of Al’s picks and a great option if you don’t have much time to prepare dinner! This is also a super light and fresh meal, which would make it a great choice to eat on a warm spring or summer day on your back porch! Maybe with a chilled white wine!?
This General Tso’s Tofu Stir Fry by The Minimalist Baker was a recommendation from a friend…and although Al and I figured out our huge mistake (ahem, we used spicy sesame oil…yowzah!), we both agreed that we would try it again with regular sesame oil because we could tell the taste was there! We were just too busy burning off our tastebuds to fully appreciate it 😉 I get a lot of recipe recommendations from friends that lead me to this site … it’s a good one!
This Sheet Pan Chickpea Tikka is the perfect Sunday evening meal-prep recipe for your busy week ahead! You chop and season a couple veggies, throw ’em in the oven, and whip up a yogurt sauce while everything cooks. I liked eating these leftovers over a small bowl of rice throughout the week.
Two new places were added to our list this month! The first being Phanny’s in Redondo Beach, known for their famous breakfast burrito! Boy did this place not disappoint … I think Phanny’s takes the cake for my favorite breakfast burrito in the Southbay! It was so good, that I actually went here twice during the month of February … once with Gabs after a morning hike, and again on my own after a Saturday morning spin class and some errands! The other new place we tried this month was Spoke Bicycle Cafe in Glendale, right along the LA River. This place had actually been on our list for quite some time, and so we decided to check it out after we had hiked with the pups (Marty and Lucy) up to Griffith Observatory one weekend morning! We absolutely loved this place … all seating is outside and it just has a really cool, laid back vibe to it. What makes it extra special is that it sits right alongside the bike path on the LA River, so it’s full of cyclists stopping to grab a bite to eat, a beer, or a cup of coffee (which is bomb, by the way). They also have a full bike shop on site so you can get repairs or buy some new swag! This place really had me feeling all of the nostalgia for Pittsburgh, I gotta say!
This month I was lucky enough to be paid another visit from my friend, Gabby! She is the Queen of Cheap Airline Tickets! 😉 One item on her bucket list was checking out Joshua Tree National Park, and so I thought I could easily make that happen! Since the weather was just a tad bit too cold for camping, we made a day trip out of it instead and left bright and early to spend the majority of the day in the park. I’ll post more on this in the next couple of days, but I have to say my favorite part of the whole day was summiting Ryan Mountain with her … a short but steep couple-hour hike. Gabs actually picked this hike out and it was one that I had never done before! I was a little bummed by how windy and cold it was out there in the desert, but I think I’ll just use it as leverage to get Gabs to come back and check it out again in the warmer months 😉
^^ California experienced so much rain in the last couple of months (yay no longer being in a drought!!), that a ton of cool rocks washed ashore the beach in Playa…I was loving it!^^
Just after Gabs’ visit, my friend Steph popped into town with her mom for a long weekend, and so I got to spend an entire Sunday with them! Highlight of their visit was definitely cruising down the coast in their rental convertible with the top down, but a close second was taking them to get Salt & Straw Ice Cream on Abbott Kinney 😉 It’s always fun getting to play Tour Guide/Tourist when friends come into town. We grabbed breakfast in Hermosa, took a little cliffside walk in Palos Verdes, and snagged a beach sunset in Playa del Rey … I’m so thankful to have had so many friends make their way out to California since I moved here almost five years ago!
^^these two seriously melt my heart when they’re together^^^^really pushing to become a two-dog household 😉 … or maybe we’ll just be regular dog-sitters?!^^
We were so excited to get to watch our favorite golden, Lucy, for another weekend this month! We took the pups up to Griffith Observatory for a hike we had never done before and once we got to the top, we were the most popular ones there! There were hoards of school groups up there just going nuts over both Marty and Lucy! We had just sat down to take a break and people-watch, when we were approached by about twenty young kids asking to pet the pups, ha! We let them get their celeb moments in (yes, there were lots of photo opps), before we politely told the kiddos we had to head back down the mountain…
^^Gabs is one of my very favorite adventure buddies … I think she’s one of Marty’s too 😉 ^^
Since we’ve been experiencing so much rain here in California, LA feels like a completely different place! There’s so much greenery around us, the air feels cleaner, and areas that were badly affected by the wildfires are actually starting to grow back again! We’ve had so much rain that the Superbloom is currently in full effect! While Gabs was here, we ventured up to PV for a hike — which proved to be a little tougher than we expected because most of the trails up there were closed !! We found one though, and trudged through some thick mud on a beautiful Saturday morning 🙂
Celebrating / Loving / Feeling:
February of course brings with it, Valentines Day! We continued our tradition of celebrating with our neighbors, Josh and Lauren. Only this time, Josh spoiled us rotten with homemade lasagna and steak! We ate like real kings and queens. I, personally, am a huge fan of staying in and cooking on Valentines Day, but it’s made even sweeter when you get to do it with your best friends too!
And that just about sums of the month of February! March has been nonstop, with a visit from my brother, a trip to Death Valley National Park, and a weekend spent in snowy Mammoth! Lots of fun blogs to come … I promise it won’t take me a full month to write the next one! 😉
thanks for stopping by!