9.2 August’s Lookback

August is officially over and with it, it’s taken the last of our cool summer days! We are officially in the “dog days of summer” it seems, where we sometimes go sit in our cars just to feel a little bit of air conditioning in the middle of the day or take sleepy afternoon naps because we can’t imagine mustering up the energy to do anything else. *sigh* it was nice while it lasted! Luckily, super hot days don’t last toooo long around here, and I suspect we’ll be back to feeling comfortable again come late September … here’s to hoping, at least!

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August turned out to be a really great sort of “reset month” for me. I had zero travel plans, I started each morning off with a cool walk around the neighborhood with Marty and a cup of coffee in hand, I watched my garden grow bigger than it ever has before (!); there were lots of puppy play dates, weaving commissions to be worked on, and a couple bouts of dog-sitting. I finally jumped back into the habit of reading with a book I couldn’t put down, and we filled our weekends and weeknights with little local excursions down to our beach for walks and bike rides and ice cream cones. It has really truly felt like summer…

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AUGUST IN REVIEW

Reading:

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I read a fantastic book this month, recommended by my mom, called Hotel On The Corner of Bitter & Sweet, by Jamie Ford. This historical fiction novel takes place in Seattle and jumps from the 1940s to the 1980s. It tells the love story between a young Chinese boy named Henry, and a young Japanese girl named Keiko, chronicling their love story despite Keiko being sent away to a Japanese Internment Camp during the war, while also depicting the struggling father-son relationship between Henry and his war-obsessed dad. I was so moved by this novel … I couldn’t put it down. It was exactly what I needed to get me back in the mindset of reading regularly again. I was happy to purchase this book at our little local used bookstore, while they were celebrating twenty-five years of business! That’s pretty impressive given how much technology has taken over the book scene in the last couple of years … I don’t know about you guys, but there is just something about the smell and feel of books, the act of turning the pages, that I just can’t seem to give up… and I’m always more than happy to support our ever-changing street of local businesses!

 

Watching:

Glow, Season 3 – Netflix Original Series. I’ve watched this series since it first aired on Netflix, about the “Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling” during the 80s. This scripted series is one of my favorites, I think because of the large cast of leading ladies. This season especially impressed me because many of the characters finally revealed their backstories, which I felt added a whole lot of dimension that some of the lesser characters had been missing.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004, starring Jim Carey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, and Tom Wilkinson (a truly epic cast). This romantic/science-fiction/drama/comedy is a classic that neither Al nor myself had seen before! We thought it was finally time to sit down and watch it. The film has won multiple Academy Awards and some critics even refer to it as one of the best films of the 21st century. Although a little heavy at times, we both really enjoyed it (Al was especially impressed with the editing) and I think its definitely deserves the title of being one of those “must watch” movies on everybody’s list.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, 2005, starring a young Robert Downey Jr., is a black comedy crime film that, I, for some reason, was really drawn to. Downey’s character — an individual involved in a life of crime — is brought to LA to audition for a movie, but things get derailed when he gets involved in a murder case of a young girl. If you enjoy Robert Downey Jr.’s tongue-and-cheek sense of humor, you’ll enjoy this flick.

Once Upon A Time, In Hollywood — Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie — weaves together a couple different storylines to pay tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s “Golden Age.” With a freaking killer cast, including Pitt and DiCaprio, this film was made in typical Tarantino style including his sense of humor and goriness. One of my favorite bits about the movie was that the entire music soundtrack was depicted only through media outlets in the actual movie itself — the car radio, the local movie theatre, etc. Which I thought was really unique.

 

Making:

I was commissioned for two more college weavings this month: Ohio State & University of Michigan. Perfect timing for football season! These two pieces kept me busy alongside my normal day job as well as a big passion film project I’m working on with a growing team of driven women! As Post Production is really getting underway, I’m dedicating a lot more time to this project, but I think the rewards are going to be huge! It’s been especially satisfying seeing all that I’ve learned in these last five years of working in the industry carrying over to a project I feel very strongly about, with a team I really care for!

I also found this amazingggg rattan shelf with missing actual shelves on the side of the road one evening…so I scooped it up and made my own wooden shelves for it! It sits perfectly next to our front door, and I can’t wait to get some fresh herbs on there! I still can’t believe that someone would throw away such a treasure! I love easy little projects like this one!

 

Cooking:

This Pancetta Pasta from TheModernProper was delicious and filled the house with the best aroma! I couldn’t final pancetta at the particular grocery store I went to, but thick-cut bacon substituted perfectly!

This Grilled Salmon & Avocado Corn Salad on top was to die for. I tag teamed this recipe with our neighbor, Josh. He kept an eye on the fish on the grill while I prepped the salad that goes on top of the fish. It was a major hit and I will most definitely be making this again and again and again! You absolutely need to grill the corn…it makes all the difference. I think next time, I’ll prep the salad in the morning so that all I have to do after work is throw the fish and corn on the grill and call it a day!

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These Chicken Meatballs and spaghetti noodles were delicious the first, second, and even third day that we ate them! They were made even a little more special because I used tomatoes from our garden! I especially loved this recipe because its more or less a sheet-pan recipe and a pot of boiling water for the pasta. You can even prep the meatballs ahead of time and store them in your freezer if you want. What I’m saying is, it’s ridiculously easy and delicious!

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I made a fun side of a classic Caprese Salad with both tomatoes and basil from our garden and joked the whole night that we were eating “Lewis Farm to Table.” But actually, I cannot wait to one day have a giant garden of herbs and vegetables. So many that we would ideally never have to buy any at a store! And of course we’d throw in a couple chickens for good measure… 😉

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This Four Ingredient Mac N Cheese was quite literally the easiest recipe I have ever followed and only dirties up a single pot and a single pan. So go make it right now and eat it all week for your lunches if you want to #ballonabudget 😉

I made this Asian Coleslaw Salad for a BBQ with friends with all fresh ingredients (win!) and a homemade peanut dressing (also a win!). My only advice would be less dressing next time, or maybe let everyone dress their own salads.

 

Local Explorations:

We’ve got a new family-owned cafe and market in town, called Natural World Market & Cafe! The entire place is dairy-free and vegetarian, and they have a huuuuge selection of vegan choices. Oh, and the coffee is v. good. You can go grab a couple of organic ingredients and then sit down to a fresh and yummy breakfast or lunch while you’re at it. The greatest part about this place is that it’s walking distance from our apartment! So those weekends where we maaaaybe drank a little bit too much, don’t hurt quite so much now that we can just hop across the street and get a juice packed with fruits and veggies 😉 But in all seriousness, I love this place. I love seeing the family that owns it sit down together for dinner inside after they flip the sign on the door to “closed.” I love that they serve their coffee in clear, glass mugs and ask you how you’re enjoying your food at least twice per meal. And I love seeing the owner of the store take a product off the shelf because “this tastes disgusting!” ha! Please go support this place! We need more small & thoughtful places like this in our world!

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I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about our summit of Cucamonga Peak. You can read all about it –> here!

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I mentioned before that we’ve been spending a lot of time down at the beach this month…partly to beat the heat, partly because the sunsets have been out of this world this month, and partly due to the fact that Al is back to working close to home this month so we try to take advantage of all the after-work-dates that we possibly can! I spent a fun Saturday morning bike riding with some girlfriends (and Martin in tow, of course), we spent a Saturday evening with the neighbors catching a comedy and concert act on the beach at sunset, and then Al and I spent a morning running Marty at the dog beach in Orange County! I feel so lucky to live close enough to the beach that I can escape there after a long day spent staring at a computer screen, or for an early morning jog to catch the sunrise.

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Listening:

This is usually where I tell you what I’ve been listening to as of late, but honestly I’ve been listening to the same old 80s rock songs for the last month, so can you guys actually give me some recommendations this month!? Thanks in advance!

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And that’s August in a nutshell! We’ve spent this long Labor Day Weekend at home, taking lots of walks at the beach and hitting up a brewery here and there to beat the heat, & we’ve got one more lazy weekend at home before we’re out in the wild for the last three weekends of September! Camping, finally!! Until then, I’m logging some extra hours at work and keeping my nose in the books! Wishing you all a wonderful September … my favorite month of the year, as it seems to kick off the rolling holiday season!

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thanks for stopping by!

xo!


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