With the end of March, comes the end of one of my most demanding shows … meaning the long hours have subsided (for now!) and I feel like I have a couple weeks to get my home-life back together before the craziness picks up again! I’ve been soaking up all the time I’ve gotten back with lots of evenings at the beach, watching the sun go down, and giving thanks that I live in such a beautiful state full of a trillion fun things to do and see!
A LOOKBACK AT THE MONTH OF MARCH
This month I finally got around to watching the Free Solo documentary about Alex Honnold’s free solo climb up El Capitan in Yosemite. Since being to Yosemite twice now and seeing the massive wall in person, I think I had a whole different respect for the feat. That, and having now taken an outdoor climbing class … I think he’s absolutely bonkers for doing that without any ropes or safety! The doc was extremely well-crafted though — I really admire that group of filmmakers — and I hope that these are the kinds of projects that I’ll be working on sometime in my future career! Would definitely recommend this flick if you haven’t seen it yet. Forewarning though: your palms will sweat profusely.
Alex and I sat down to watch Season 1 of HBO’s Barry this month, starring Bill Hader and Henry Winkler — both of which won Emmy’s for their performances. It’s a quick first series with only 8 episodes, and if you enjoyed the evolution of Walter White’s character in Breaking Bad, then I think you’ll enjoy the growth that Barry goes through as well. It’s a dark comedy series (seriously, Hader is amazing. You probably wouldn’t ever expect to see him play this kind of character based on past performances, and Winkler steals the show in some scenes) and the second season has just started airing, so hop on the train while you can! It’s available on HBO and Amazon Prime.
Wow! What can I say, I am completely overwhelmed with joy over how many people have reached out for one-of-a-kind weavings in the last two months. I’ve had so much to keep myself busy and happy in my own little studio. It’s been especially great lately, as the daylight hours are longer and I can keep the windows open to get a fresh breeze inside. I’m truly in my happy place !! I recently purchased a monster-sized loom from a gal in town, and I am *very excited to get rolling on a couple gigantic pieces. Stay tuned!
This month, our kitchen consisted mainly of repeat dishes! Sometimes you just want to cook something up that you know is going to be good. Luckily, I got my hands on probably the coolest recipe app I could find, called AnyList. The app makes it easy to store all of the recipes you find online in one place — separated out into multiple categories, with pictures to go alongside so you can remember what it was exactly that you made! What I especially love about this app is being able to quickly tap the items on the ingredients list and add them to my grocery list, which then sorts my items by category in the grocery store. I’ve been hooked on this app, and it’s a major step up from my original Word Document with links copied and pasted from the internet! If you’re a regular in the kitchen like we are, you need to purchase this app in the App Store, ASAP!
For St. Patricks Day this year, I made our regular Corned Beef & Cabbage dish in the crockpot for us and the neighbors. This is seriously one of my favorite meals of the entire year and it’s so so so so SO simple !! Few ingredients, few steps, and then you just set it and forget it. I posted the recipe a while ago, but you can find it –> here! for reference!
One new dish that we did make this month was a Tofu Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce from TheModernProper. My brother, Jim, and his friend, Angie, came to LA for a couple of days and so one night we whipped up this dish (which is totally manageable in half an hour) and had a birthday cake afterwards for Angie! This is one of my favorite dishes that we’ve made, and have since made it again. Next time I think I’m going to get a little more creative and add some additional veggies in, along with some whole peanuts for a little added crunch. I really love everything that TheModernProper puts on their site … I have a creamy mushroom sauce from them pinned and ready to tackle next!
One way we like to treat ourselves some weekends is by stopping in one of our favorite little juice bars on our neighborhood Marty-Walking-Route, Green Tree! It’s a little shop that also serves sandwiches, but the juices are really where it’s at! My favorite is the Green Detox, although I’m tempted to try some of their specialty coffees next time…
While in Mammoth for a weekend, Laur and I sat down in the coziest little coffee shop for a couple of hours to get some work done, called The Looney Bean. Great vibes in there, if you find yourself in snowy Mammoth looking for a place to just chill out for a little bit!
If you’re on social media at all, then I’m sure you’re well aware of the famous Super Bloom that is happening in California right now! The Super Bloom is an incredible event that, believe it or not, doesn’t occur every year in California. It only happens when we’ve received enough rain (which, thank god, we have and we are now officially out of a drought !!!) After said rain, all of the California Poppys and wildflowers pretty much explode in color all over the state, and you can go to a couple of state parks to see them in full effect — Lake Elsinore is a great one, as well as Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. Unfortunately, both places had to put more restrictions on the land this year, as people were trampling the flowers to get “photo opps,” but I think since the initial bloom, it’s calmed down quite a bit. If you trample the flowers, they’re unable to grow back in that spot the next time. My friend, Katelyn, and I decided to take a weekend morning to go hiking in Simi Valley in a place where there was a small hillside of Poppy blooms. We hiked all the way up to Rocky Peak, which was a really challenging hike, I will say. It was an absolutely beautiful morning and we were greeted with bright orange poppy’s during the first mile of our trek. What was even more amazing, I thought, was seeing how quickly these areas — which were drastically affected by the wildfires — bounced back into life. We would be walking the trail, and on one side were bushes that were completely charred and burnt, but on the other were orange poppy’s, blossoming out of previously-charred earth. Nature always finds a way, and it’s pretty incredible to witness.
It was so great having Jim and Angie in LA for a couple of days to visit…although I had to work during the week, I was glad that they had each other to explore the city! Jim got to play Tour Guide this time. After a couple of days, Ang returned back to the East Coast, and my brother and I continued our National Park tradition … this time with a weekend spent in Death Valley! I have *literally hundreds of photos from our trip that I can’t wait to share with you guys on here — separate post to come!
We spent a weekend up in Mammoth with a couple of our best friends, enjoying the snow and some quality time all together. This was Alex’s first time on skis in sixteen years, and I’m happy to report that he absolutely killed it. Everyone was super impressed with his skills. We’re so thankful to Mel and Greg for letting us stay in their beautiful Mammoth home, and we’re looking forward to making many many more trips up that way in both Spring and Winter!! So much biking to be done … It’s fun getting to explore these “vacation towns” with locals because they always know the best spots to take you for dinner and drinks, too 😉
And lots of time this month has been spent down at the beach! With the days getting longer, it’s been so nice to pop down after the workday and get a couple of walks in while the sun goes down. It’s my favorite way to unwind after a long day spent in front of a computer screen!
This month I had the pleasure of taking a small-group Beginner’s Camera Lesson from a local photographer who I’ve sort of been “Instagram Friends” with for a few years now! A girlfriend from work, Jeanne, took the class with me and man, we learned SO MUCH. Alex and I recently bought a 5D Camera off of one of his friends, without having any real sense of how to shoot on it manually. Jessica, the photographer I’ve been following, was kind enough to reach out to me to confirm dates, and when I told her my availability, she opened up the class! It was held at one of my favorite local coffee shops, and she dressed the table up with wine and cheese and chocolates … it doesn’t get much better than that! It was so much fun learning a new skill within a little community of people. Everyone was there for different reasons — some to learn to take photos of their babies, some who were starting their own small businesses who wanted to take photos of their products, and others who were avid boaters or hikers. It was so much fun getting to know everyone and to all learn a skill together. I highly recommend one of Jessica’s workshops … I promise you’ll walk away knowing so much more than what you knew when you walked in! You can visit her website –> here!
And while in Death Valley, my brother attempted to teach me the basics of water coloring! He gifted me the cutest little travel set, and now I think it’s just up to me to practice! Jimbo is an incredible artist — he watercolors, sketches, makes prints … you name it, he does it. I was mostly just in awe of watching him sketch and paint the entire time. You can visit his site and see some of his work –> here!
Aside from being on a huuuge Mumford & Sons kick this month, I’ve been slowing it down with a bit of Ben Howard and Ziggy Alberts vibes while weaving. My brother introduced me to Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, which are a great kind of funk and soul mix of tunes. Go give ’em a listen!
Celebrating / Loving / Feeling:
Overall, I have to say this month I am most thankful for my brother’s visit. His trips out to Cali are always my favorite weeks of the year … we have such a great time together, and I always find myself missing him just a little bit extra when it’s time for him to go back home. I’m thankful for our early LA mornings, and our long hours in the car, looking out over the desert and listening to Sheryl Crow! There’s no one else I’d rather grab a Brother’s Burrito with and eat by the ocean! I miss you, Jimbo!!!
Until next time … thanks for stopping by!