The month of June was somewhat of a hectic one, as we spent an entire week with our Marty in the Vet ER, and then lots of trips back afterwards for followup appointments. And then there was lots of dog sitting our favorites: Lucy and Banjo. In the midst of all the craziness though, we rang in Al’s 32nd Birthday (!!) with a homemade cake and balloons, and we counted ourselves lucky to all being healthy! At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters, anyway.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris: I was recommended this book by my mom, and I was immediately captivated. So much so that when I reached just about the halfway mark, I physically couldn’t put the book down until I finished it and so I ended up staying up half the night reading until it was done! Written as Historical Fiction, this novel follows the Protagonist, Lale, a Slovakian Jew, who was imprisoned at Auschwitz in 1942 and forced to tattoo the numbers on the arms of the thousands who were imprisoned there. Through all of it, he still manages to remain hopeful and to find love.
On Netflix: The Perfect Date; a movie for teens/young adults. It follows a high school boy as he creates a phone app where he stands in on dates to be whatever the applicant asks him to be, in order to make money for college. This was your classic cheesy teen-flick, but I enjoyed it! Always Be My Maybe; 100% recommend this one! Starring Ali Wong and Randall Park, this RomCom had me laughing through the entire thing. Two childhood friends have gone completely opposite ways in their adult lives, but are suddenly brought back together… I think anyone could enjoy this flick. Murder Mystery; one of Adam Sandler’s movie-deals-with Netflix…his co-star is Jennifer Aniston. Quite frankly, I thought this movie was a good, funny, non-crude comedy! I’m not sure about the rest of the Adam Sandler movies he signed on for … but this one was good! A husband and wife with a lackluster marriage are invited on a cruise … but the cruise ship guests keep mysteriously dying. I thought the comedic relationship between Sandler and Aniston was great. Watch this one for some good laughs! Nappily Ever After; starring Sanaa Lathan, this flick follows a young African American advertising professional who’s life is turned upside down when her long-term boyfriend dumps her and she drunkenly shaves off all of her beautiful hair. Now she learns that beauty is what’s on the inside that matters. This was a touching flick … good for anyone to watch and learn something from.
On HBO: Barry, Season 2; This series is about a young man (Bill Hader) who returns from war and becomes a hit man. When he’s assigned to kill a young man in an acting class, though, he suddenly finds himself in love with acting. The series follows him as he tries to get out of the hitman businesses and into the acting world. It’s dark at times, but mostly it’s hilarious, and Hader brings the perfect balance. Season 2 has not disappointed. Big Little Lies, Season 2; My neighbor and I get together every Sunday or Monday night to watch the next episode of this series. It’s just that good. With a powerhouse female cast, season 2 picks right up where season 1 left off … a husband is dead and the police are still trying to figure out just how these five women were involved. This series has been brilliant so far!
In Theatres: Late Night, starring Mindy Kaling. Ahhhh! You guys, I loved this movie. I went to a special screening with a friend where Mindy and a few of the other cast members did a Q&A afterwards, and I was floored by what a low-budget film this actually was (they shot the entire thing in 29 days. Twenty. Nine. Days.) The film is loosely based on Kaling’s own experiences coming up in the television world … she is a young, female, Indian woman hired on to the Writer’s Room (full of middle-aged white men) for an older British female Late Night host (Emma Thompson). Kaling finds herself having to prove that she was not just some “ethnic sympathy hire” to make the company look good … and she ends up teaching everybody a little something along the way. I can’t recommend this movie enough. Go see it in theaters and support the wonderful actors who played in it !!!
I’ve been *slowly* working on a larger-scale weaving this month, playing with shades of blue and neutrals, for a friend of mine back east! I’ve got two more commissions on the table as well!
We made this Lentil Bolognese in the crockpot early in the month, for any vegetarians out there! Forewarning that this recipe makes a lot. I would recommend freezing some of it or making it for a larger party of people because by the end of the week we were a little tired of eating it, ha! It was a liiiiiittle too salty for me, so that’s something I would cut back on in the recipe, but overall I really liked it!
A while back I posted a Tortellini Soup with Sausage recipe from The Modern Proper, that I couldn’t stop raving about…I passed that recipe along to so many people who also loved it! Well, The Modern Proper released a similar recipe for Keto-lovers, a Chicken and Veggie Tomato Soup. Instead of tortellini noodles, this recipe calls for cauliflower. And instead of ground chicken, I substituted ground turkey. This is basically a lower-cal option to the best soup in the world. I thought it was worth making … but I’ll always go back to the original 😉
We made this Broccoli and Cheddar Soup and paired it with a fresh baguette from Trader Joes (they have the freshest bread in the mornings!!!) and shared it with the neighbors and it was soooooooooo good. The recipe was designed to be a somewhat healthier take on the classic, so Al really took the reigns on this one. I couldn’t eat enough of this soup, paired with fresh bread. I know it’s in the dead of summer for everyone over there on the east coast, but save this recipe for the colder months .. I promise!
This 5-ingredient Rigatoni with Homemade Sauce is now on regular-rotation in our household! I mean, how could it not be? We’re making it this weekend and adding in sausage. Pretty much all of the ingredients you can easily keep on hand, so you can make this dish whenever you don’t know what to make for dinner! All you need is a blender and a pot and about 15 minutes! It’s kind of insane how this recipe is both easy and freaking delicious. If you only make one of these recipes I mentioned, make this one !!
We took some friends up to Hollywood for an afternoon to check out a pop-up art installation called I Like Scary Movies. It was basically a bunch of rooms converted to different artists’ takes on different scary movies. Although I’m not a huuuuge scary movie buff myself, Al loves them! We had a really great time wandering through the different rooms and snapping photos. Afterwards, we decided to make an evening of our time spent up there so we took them to one of our favorite “secret bars,” Good Times, where you enter through an old refrigerator and you can order Old Fashions on tap! Afterwards we found this reallllyyyyy cool tiny secret bar called Sunset and Vinyl where you enter through the back of a pizza shop. The room is small, fitting maybe only 20 patrons in at a time, and they play all the music on vinyl. It felt so Old-Hollywood, I loved it.
I posted earlier about my morning hiking Mt. Wilson with my friend, Julie. You can read all about it –> here!
This month I’ve been on a real chill-music kick. Artists include: Langhorne Slim and Nick Drake !
On June 19, we celebrated my wonderful husband’s 32nd birthday !! Although it took place smack dab in the middle of the week, and after a long and stressful week of Vet ER visits, I snuck in a little cake-baking one morning after Al left for work. I got some of those gold HAPPY BIRTHDAY balloons, and a friend of mine from work helped me blow them up over our lunch break! So that when Al came home that evening, he would see them right when he walked through the door. Our neighbors were incredibly kind enough to cook dinner that night, and then we had a few of Al’s friends over afterwards to chow down on some cake! It wasn’t anything fancy or grandiose, but I think he loved it. He was surrounded by so many of his best friends. I love this guy of mine. I love his appreciation for the small stuff. And I love how he loves life. My birthday wish for him this year is a full spinal-recovery, so that we can get back out on those mountains together SOON !!
And finally, now over a month later, we are celebrating a healthy Marty. If you follow me over on Instagram then you may already know what was going on. But basically, our Marty wasn’t acting like himself: he was extra lethargic, and not eating his meals. I had spent an entire night up with him watching him drool excessively, before I rushed him back into the vet on a Monday morning. They immediately admitted him into the ER as he was starting to turn yellow. Over the next week, he stayed in the ER under around-the-clock- supervision and continual medications as they tried to figure out why his liver was failing and his spleen was enlarged. It was a long, long week for us. Finally, on one of my later visits, he ate some boiled chicken for me, and that was the start of his turnaround. They diagnosed him with either ingestion of a toxic substance or a rare strand of Leptospirosis…we still aren’t sure exactly what caused all of this. But 5 weeks later on an extensive list of meds, his liver levels are back to normal and we’re in the clear !! His energy levels have finally come back and he’s acting like the Marty we know and love again. To say I’ve been worried and stressed out over the last month would be an understatement. But I finally feel like I can relax again! The day I brought him home, I literally just laid on the couch with him and watched him sleep; I couldn’t believe he was there. One thing I am so incredibly thankful for, is the outpouring of love we received from everyone — from our closest friends and family, to complete internet strangers! It seems like this little Bully of ours has touched a lot of people in one way or another. The kind thoughts and words really helped us through a scary time over here, and we just wanted to say thank you.
And that, more or less, sums up our month of June! I spent the first week of July in Yosemite National Park with my brother, hiking to the summit of Half Dome! I can’t wait to share our trip with you guys! In the meantime, though, a ton of shows are picking up at my job and the busy season is among us! We’re planning on laying low here in SoCal for the next couple of months, and don’t have any big trips on the horizon! I’m okay with that … there isn’t much I love more than summer evenings spent drinking wine in our backyard! Happy Summer, everyone!