Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's been a while since I posted an honest-to-goodness, what's-happening-in-my-life, housey-goals, writing-writing-writing sort of post.  Sometimes, I'm in the mood to write, and to share, and to talk it all out, but lately I've been more in the mood to just look at pretty pictures and repost them.  If you've been reading for a while, you know there's a lot that has been going on lately.

In the last two months, we moved, I quit my job and started a new one, I was the maid of honor at my oldest friend's wedding (no, that's not me in the picture).  And oh jeez, I've written about this before. We had houseguests and plants and a trip to Washington for Will's grandmother's 90th birthday.  I had my first paid freelance writing job (more on that when I'm legally allowed to disclose information - the product hasn't been released yet).  I fell behind on my unpaid freelance writing.  We still haven't finished unpacking.  I went to IKEA and ordered curtains from Cost Plus, and due to some sort of terrible measuring, I have to go return things to IKEA and re-order curtains from Cost Plus.  The fun, it never ends!

Life is as it is, though, right?  The good and the bad and the being fall-asleep bored and the being so busy you don't know what to do with yourself.  It all happens, and it all happens together.

For now, I make lists.  Of things I want to write, and of things I want to do, and of things I want to share.  I have so many recipes stacked up in my mind that if I just quit it all and did nothing but cook and bake every single day I'd have enough recipes to keep me going for at least a year.  I had this whole "when we move, I'll be better at making healthy food" thing going, except then we actually moved, and I was drowning in cardboard, and the last thing I wanted to do was shop and bring MORE into the house (or cook and make a bigger mess), so we've been eating out or ordering in a lot.  Much more frequently than we used to.  Not good for the body, not good for the wallet.  I also said that "once we move, I'll exercise more," except then I got tired from unpacking, and the gym was no longer on my way home, and I came up with all kinds of excuses to go home and sit on the couch.

All this is to say that sometimes we make goals for ourselves that we don't reach, even if they seem totally reasonable and achievable.  Sometimes we need to remind ourselves, in public, online, that we had things we wanted to do.  Sometimes the goals need specific, attainable, trackable elements to them (ie: "I will exercise 3x per week every week"), but I find those goals to be a little hard in my real life.  If I am too specific, I put too much pressure on myself, and don't cut myself enough slack when life gets in the way.  There's something kind of reassuring about softer goals, goals that you set just to remind yourself of the path you're choosing to walk.  While there are definite benefits to concrete objectives, general lifestyle goals can be helpful too, I think.

Here are mine:

  • Cook more.  Healthier, fresher, with more frequency.  Substitute white spelt flour for A/P flour the next time I buy (thanks, Shanna)
  • Take a ballet class, starting Wednesday of next week (I miss ballet - it's exercise, and it makes me happy)
  • Regularly go to yoga, starting Thursday of next week (good for the body, good for the mind)
  • Share more recipes on the blog
  • Post something about our patio garden and the weird white spots on the squash plant's leaves
  • Knit, even though it's not cold yet (my next project is for charity)
  • Finish unpacking, but don't stress out about it.  But finish soon, because it's time for Fall decorations.
So there you have it.  Some goals, and some brain-dump.  

It's French Week at The Kitchn, and they posted about
French-influenced kitchen design. Beautiful. 
One more pretty French  kitchen from TheKitchn

Monday, September 27, 2010

Too hot for an original post topic. So here are some pretty kitchens.

In case you didn't know, it's really hot today.  Where I am, at least.  And where all my Los Angeles people are, at least.  Lordy, lordy, it's hot.

Beat the heat by looking at some pretty kitchens?  Sure.  This recent post from Young House Love has so many wonderful pictures, I figured I'd just link you to the post.  Check it out, because they are some crisp, white, lovely kitchens! Ok fine, I'll show you one.

See? So pretty!
via The Kitchen, and check out the link because the other
pictures are just as gorgeous.
via The Kitchn, Latin American kitchens
via The Kitchn, this one's in San Francisco!
Covet covet covet...
via The Kitchn,
Martha Stewart cabinets from Home Depot.
Y'all know I love a good organized cabinet.

My friend Gabe was right; I absolutely tend to love photos with loads of natural light.  I'm a California girl, to be sure.  And growing up in the San Fernando Valley has taught me to embrace today's 90 degree weather...because at least it's not 113 up here in San Francisco!

What are you doing to beat the heat?  Do you have any kitchen renovation or redecoration plans underway? Do you love to peek into pretty kitchens too?

Friday, September 24, 2010


Emily posts beautiful pictures over at Emmaterial; these are a few of my recent favorites.  They just make me feel like sunshine, you know?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Josey from My Cheap Version of Therapy tagged me in a little Q&A blog thing, which couldn't have come at a better time. I was home sick today, recovering from a little stomach bug I happened to get on the night before the wedding this weekend. Between being busy and being sick, I just haven't blogged much in the last week. And yes, I was home sick on my second day of work (which, by the way, so far so good). Thankfully, I'm feeling much better this evening, and finally have some food in my stomach!

Also, since I just started, I didn't have a crazy inbox full of urgent demands. I spent the day researching ideas for the office redesign I am working on, and hopefully tomorrow I'll just be able to pick up the training where we left off. :)

Without further ado, Josey's questions!

1) What is your dream occupation?
I want to work in Human Resources, specifically in the areas of new hire onboarding and employee training and development. And ideally, once I have kids someday, I'd love to work from home a couple of days a week (we're talking dreams, right?). When I see friends of mine going back to work full time just a couple of months after giving birth, it makes me sad, and I'd love to be able to have a flexible enough schedule so that I'm not away from my kids 50 hours a week.
2) How many children (if any!) do you want?
Two, I think. But not for another 5 years or so at least!
3) What's your favorite memory from high school?
So many memories, and it seems like so long ago. I think my favorite memories are of the little things, like running to our cars and jetting to McDonald's to grab burgers in the 20 minutes between the final bell and play rehearsal. Or "12-hour Day" pins, where each cast member of the play wears a safety pin on his/her clothes to signify the first day we spent 12 hours on campus due to rehearsals (we felt so exclusive and cool). Or choir trips to San Francisco and Boston, winning trophies that we could show off when we got back (our football teams never won anything!).
4) What's the craziest thing you've ever done?
I honestly don't think anything I've done would be considered "crazy" by any normal standards. Once I drank 12 mimosas at Cafe Biere (over the course of about 5 hours) rode Splash Mountain at Disneyland three times in a row when there was no line? Yeah, I'm exciting, I know.
5) Who is your idol and why?
Gosh, I don't think I actually have an idol. I love Tina Fey though, and pretty much want to be her, even though I don't want her career.
6) If you could go back and change one decision you've made in your life, would you? If you're comfortable with it, please share the decision!
As cliche as it sounds, I don't really have any do-overs on my list. I have a lot of want-to-dos on my list, but not a lot of wish-i-hadn'ts.
7) Stilettos or flip flops?
Oh, flip flops all the way. One million percent of the time.
8) What's the #1 place in the world that you'd like to travel to and why?
I would really like to do a grand Europe tour. I'd love to go to Italy and Greece, and I've been thinking lately that it would be cool to go to Russia...and I'd love to go back to France. Any place with good food, really. ;-)

And a little freebie to make up for the fact that I'm not passing this on (sorry!) - this is my favorite photo from our friend Corinne's cell phone pictures from the wedding. Reed is just glowing (and it's not just the camera filter) as her sister Emma fixes her hair after the ceremony. It was such a beautiful day - and I don't think I've ever seen her so happy! I'll post more pictures as they show up on Facebook and such.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Can Anyone Identify?

It's almost time to decorate for Fall (and y'all know how I love that), and I have at least three recipes I want to try like, yesterday, but I cannot focus on that because we still have a few boxes to unpack.  I just can't bring more stuff into the house (or take decorations out of their boxes) until there are clear surfaces on which to put them.  I have a pile of papers to file, and stacks of things to go through, and right now, the idea of decorating for Fall makes me feel more stressed than excited.  This does not a happy me make.

I think the next few nights after work are going to be spent cleaning, decluttering, and cleaning some more.  Figuring out where some stuff is going on the walls and putting it there.  It's time, people.  It's time.

Am I the only one (aside from you, mom) that needs to get fully settled (and cleaned up) to really feel relaxed and comfortable?  Is it weird that I feel like I can't embrace the tiny pumpkins without feeling stressed out, simply because we have boxes to unpack and stuff on the tables?  I just don't want to bring anything else into a messy house, if that makes sense.

But ah...Fall decorations just make me so damn happy...seeing those adorable little gourds and stalks of wheat in the grocery store might just be the motivation I need to get this shiz done already.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Feast For The Eyes

It's gotten to that point again, where I have amassed a little collection of "keep unread" items in my Google Reader.  Pictures that I want to share but don't have time to blog the first time around.  I save them until I can't take it anymore and I just have to free them from my Reader and share them with you.  Because they are always so pretty.  And I love to dream of clean, colorful, wonderful kitchens.  And what better way to start off the weekend than by looking at pretty pictures?  (ok, maybe drinking a beer and curling up on the couch with a movie...but that comes next)

Mostly kitchens, with a little bit of cozy thrown in at the end.  Covet, covet, covet.

via The Kitchn
via The Kitchn
via The Kitchn
via Young House Love
via Emmaterial
via Emmaterial
via Lovely Little Things

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

L'Shana Tova!

That's Happy New Year to all the Gentiles out there.  Tonight marks the start of the Jewish New Year, and as we enter the year of 5771, I just want to wish everyone a wonderful, safe, happy and healthy new year.

For me, the New Year is marking a lot of changes - the new job, the still-sort-of-new apartment, and my oldest friend's wedding, to name a few.  I'm sure there will be more along the way, so here's to celebrating and embracing the New!

Tomorrow, my sister comes to visit, and we'll eat apples and honey and the round challah I bought at my neighborhood Jewish bakery.  A little celebration to start things off right!

And many pretty HouseLust pictures to share, oh my goodness.

Shana Tova!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Save ComedySportz, and a Giveaway

Hi Friends,

This post bears bad news.  ComedySportz Los Angeles is in trouble, and they need help.  At this point, they are planning on closing their doors at the end of October, after 22 years of continuous performances (it is the longest running show in Los Angeles).  I can't even begin to explain how deeply my heart sank when I received an email from the theatre explaining that the lousy economy is finally taking its toll on the theatre.

Let me explain.  I first heard about ComedySportz in high school, when I discovered that a friend's high school had a High School League team at their school.  ComedySportz is improvisational comedy played as a team sport (think Whose Line Is It Anyway? but better) - two teams compete for audience laughs, performing scenes based on audience suggestions.  There's turf, a referee, fouls, and uniforms.  Every show is different, and a lot of fun, but it also a wonderful learning tool for its players.  

Soon after learning about ComedySportz, I talked to my school's theatre director and we decided to bring CSz HSL to our school.  I organized a team, my friend Taylor was the assistant coach, and the rest is history.  We competed against local high schools, attended trainings, and had professional coaching from the ComedySportz pros.  Personally, I know I learned how to be a good team member, how to think creatively and how to present myself with confidence even when I felt nervous or when put on the spot.  My friend Danny said it better (here), but I can say from experience that improvisation teaches many valuable skills, and ComedySportz Los Angeles provides unbelievable opportunities for students at all levels.

After high school, I wanted to continue my ComedySportz education (and fun!), and though I was working for the theatre part-time as a ticket-taker/concessions girl, there weren't many opportunities for those of us in between high school and the professional league.  My friend Nick (a leader in his high school's program) and I met with the directors and decided to start a College League.  I'm proud to say that the College League is still going strong, and that other shows have developed as well (including the hit high school spoof, The High).  Even after my schedule got too hectic for regular practices, I continued to stay connected to the theatre, attending shows and keeping tabs on my second family.

This theatre company has been a huge part of my life for the last ten years, and the thought of its closure makes my heart hurt.  I've seen them grow from a tiny company, sharing a tiny theatre with other theatre companies to having their own two room, multi-functional, beautiful theatre space.  I honestly can't talk about it without welling up with tears, because people, this place was home.  Reading comments from other fans and former "actletes"reminds me that I'm not alone.  So many people have been positively affected by ComedySportz Los Angeles, and it would be a real loss to the community for it to simply disappear.

The good news is that they may be able to stave off closure if they sell enough tickets for upcoming shows, and they are selling heavily discounted ticket packages right now. They're not asking for handouts; they're just asking you to buy tickets to the show.  You can see more information about their current situation and how you can help here.  If you are in Los Angeles, I strongly urge you to go.  It is a guaranteed good time, seriously (and the fouls guarantee a family-friendly good time).  If you've never been to a show, now is your chance!  If you have been in the past, but not recently, well here's your change to save a wonderful company from going under.  

Now obviously, I am not in Los Angeles, and I know many of you are not either.  If you still want to help, you can donate via the donation button on their Loyal Fans website.  OR, you can buy a ticket package and give it away to a friend in Los Angeles, or donate it to ComedySportz Los Angeles to give away on your behalf.

I don't often reach out to my readers on behalf of other causes, but this is so close to my heart, I feel compelled to help however I can. To kick things off, I am giving away a 4-ticket pack.  You can gather three friends and go to a show together, go to four shows yourself, or give them away to family or friends in the Los Angeles area!  It's up to you.  

To enter, just leave a comment below.  I'll choose a winner on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 (enter by 11:59pm on Tuesday, September 7th).  

Thank you for listening, and for helping if you can.  If you are at all moved, or care about sustaining theatre and helping out an incredible arts program, please spread the word.

Most Sincerely,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More on those tomato bugs!

Thanks to the macro setting on my camera, I've taken some up close and personal shots of the bugs that are currently inhabiting my tomato plants.  Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Bonjour! Je suis une buggy bug!  J'adore les tomates!
(I have decided that he is French)

The little buggy colony.  There are clusters like this on most leaves.
The poor, adorable, vulnerable tomatoes.
They're just starting to turn yellow.
And just for fun - I've got three blossoms on the squash starter
plant I bought at Whole Foods! Yum yum yum!

And because I didn't give a wide-angle shot in the previous post,
this is what the patio currently looks like. It needs a little work,
but it's getting there!