Monday, January 31, 2011

The weekend, briefly

rain drops
{rain drops}

huevos rancheros, sort of
{huevos rancheros, sort of}


terrier tail
{terrier tail}


for planting
{for planting}

circe, bored
{circe, bored}

circe + d
{circe + d}

byblos baklava
{byblos baklava}

We had a fairly laid back weekend with significantly less running around than the last few, and it was such a nice break. Southern California suddenly remembered that it is supposed to be January and we got a bit of rain. We let ourselves start thinking about wedding projects, which might have been a mistake because now neither of us wants to look at catering menus or rental information. Instead we watched an entire season of Party Down, while playing around with project mock ups. D drew a set of mustaches with such beautiful crosshatching detail that I couldn't bear to tell him he wasn't the first one to come up with the idea of using them as photobooth props. Sadly, he discovered it the next day while searching a wedding blog. Cue sadness. I maintain that you should do whatever you want for your wedding, no matter how played out it might be online. Because the majority of our guests will have never seen a wedding blog, so they won't have any idea. But I still get the sadness.

Friday, January 28, 2011

p.s. (mini wedding planning update)

We are still deep in the thickets of wedding planning, the NOT FUN part. We are keeping focused, spending inordinate amounts of time looking at venues and caterers and doing cost comparisons. I think we almost have a place nailed down (fingers crossed times one million) but I'm getting more and more desperate to start on the fun stuff. FONTS! STREAMERS! TISSUE PAPER! I'm totally sick of the logistics (and normally, I'm all about anything you can put in a spreadsheet).

So we're taking a tiny break. Apparently, you are supposed to have inspiration photos* to show people, so they know what you're thinking. We have none. We are wedding failures. So tonight, we have a six pack of Raging Bitch IPA,** two laptops and a mission. Will report back.

* Actually, we are supposed to create a "storyboard" and we had to look up what that meant. Because I was pretty sure that they wanted an actual storyboard - you know, frames that show what happens when. So we'd start with us setting up the site and then move on to getting ready and then show the aisle walk, etc. I was so confused, because I figured that was pretty standard and wouldn't require actual illustrations. And neither of us is great at drawing. Thank god for Google. Turns out a wedding storyboard is just another name for an inspiration board, which is those collages of pictures that you see on all the wedding blogs. Which makes more sense in the context of the request.


Friday flowers

A simple little arrangement.

white, purple, green
{white, purple, green}

I think the cropping of photos is so interesting - I don't crop post-photo for some reason, but I almost always take a range of distance shots and then pick and choose. It can totally change the feeling.

Close in ...

simple bouquet
{simple bouquet}

Way out ...

white, purple, green
{white, purple, green}

I used to try to tidy up for my flower shots, but I don't anymore, for the most part.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Meet Snowy

He's not exactly new, seeing as he accidentally joined our family back in October, during the epic weekend of dog misadventures. We tried to find his owner, by putting up flyers and spreading the word and checking Craigslist. Nada.

snowy grinning
{snowy grinning}

After he had lived with my parents for a couple weeks, they theorized that he might have been purposely lost, due to his complete lack of house training, his tendency to chew on furniture and bolt for the front door whenever it opens and his crack addict like level of energy. In addition, he is admittedly bizarre looking, with a long body, a pronounced underbite and a tail so long it curls over and touches his back. He was white when we got him, but he keeps darkening (making his name more and more ridiculous) and he's developed a racing stripe on his back.


He does have redeeming qualities - he's the most snuggly dog we've ever had and it's wildly entertaining to watch him slam into the walls when he gets worked up. Most importantly, Circe is in love. They spend all day playing and gnawing on each others ears. He cries hysterically if you try to separate them even briefly. She's happier than she's ever been (no longer starts fights with other dogs, no longer hides under the couch in a sulking fit), and now we feel terrible that she was an only dog for so long.

Accidental pets are the best.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kick it up a notch

Several of you mentioned adding a little heat to my January breakfast. I was feeling the need for some extra protein as well.

poached egg + avocado toast
{poached egg + avocado toast}

Poached egg on avocado toast, liberally splashed with Tapatio.

So good, you guys. 

I had a total yuppie crisis while making this - I ran out of our usual Maldon flaked sea salt and had to use regular old table salt. I felt genuinely sad and a little put out and then I felt completely ridiculous.

P.S. Poaching eggs is really easy. I finally got up the courage to try it one weekend and now I feel silly for waiting so long. Please check out Deb's excellent post and get to it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The weekend, briefly

Mild weather continues and it feels freakishly good. The light is soft, the afternoons are beautiful. Is it actually January?

circe sidekick
{circe sidekick}*

sunday afternoon
{sunday afternoon}

light, chopping
{light, chopping}



* Sometimes Circe likes to stick very close - this weekend was one of those times. She's usually very independent, so it's kind of sweet to have her underfoot, although it means quite a bit of tripping.

** Grapefruit is so much work to peel completely, but sometimes I like to eat it this way. So satisfying.

*** D experimented with ceramic molds in college, so we have lots of these funny baby doll parts lying around. We arrange them in random places around the house and I tend to forget how strange it must look to other people.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday flowers

Guys, we have a house plant. It was a Christmas gift and so far it is still alive and hasn't been watered or anything. I haven't had to start reading gardening books.


I'm tentatively calling it a success. But I'm refusing to get too attached. I've killed enough orchids over the years to know a thing or two about that.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New house rule ...

... if you want to watch Jersey Shore, you have to do ab exercises at the same time.

It's strangely effective motivation.

The winter vegetable

The weather may be trying to trick me into thinking that it's July, but I know better. Cabbage is piling up in our fridge. Clearly, it must be eaten. I'm easy because I like it Greek - sliced, tossed with lemon juice, white vinegar and pinches of salt, pepper and sugar. Add shredded carrots if you're feeling fancy.

Others in our house must be cajoled. And so I try. I make Molly's braised cabbage - tender and mixed with onions and carrots. I eat it for lunch and dinner, adding a poached egg for protein.

braised cabbage, egg
{braised cabbage, egg}

I saute red cabbage gently with sage and butter, finish it with vinegar, keeping it just slightly crisp. Almost like a salad, but more interesting.

red cabbage
{red cabbage}

D gamely tries each of these but cannot get over the very cabbage-ness of it. As we approach the end of January, I must admit I can sympathize. I find myself staring at the drawer full of cabbage and willing myself to feel enthusiastic. At least, I think, it lasts for a very long time. I can put off this decision for another few days.

To investigate, soon - more recipes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reading, lately

This turned up in the mail, an unexpected gift from my mom.

comfort reading
{comfort reading}

My childhood copy had been tattered and torn to bits, eventually losing several chapters. The Teddy Bear Habit is one of those random gems of young adult literature. Set in Greenwich in the 60s and full of slang, cultural references and foot chases across Manhattan, it's far more hilarious than I realized as a kid. 

Sadly, it isn't widely available. It was briefly re-issued in 2001, and luckily there are still a few of those editions floating around (like the one pictured here). The paperback 70s edition had fabulous sketched illustrations, but it seems impossible to find.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The weekend, briefly

The weekend was a blur of driving, venue visits, budget heart attacks, and dilemmas. Seriously improved by the crazily perfect summer weather we're having. The world was exposed to my bare legs for the first time in months. Hopefully no one was blinded.

summer in january
{summer in january}

the casino, ballroom ceiling
{the casino, ballroom ceiling}

the casino
{the casino}

skeleton suspended
{skeleton, suspended}

summer in january
{summer in january}

oranges, eaten
{oranges, eaten}

parsley, against all odds
{parsley, against all odds}



Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday flowers

The china mums from last week still look perfectly fresh - if anyone is looking for a long lasting flower, these appear to be a good bet. I put two of them in my bathroom and they definitely distract from my scattered makeup and the clumps of hair on the counter. Or so I tell myself.

china mums, week 2
{china mums, week 2}

At least one more venue visit this weekend and I'll probably report on progress next week. This part is tough, kids.

china mums, week 2
{china mums, week 2}

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Loving ...

The brand new boots I purchased as my post Christmas gift to myself.


It was one of those rare occasions when I went looking for something specific and emerged victorious, purchasing exactly what I wanted and nothing else. Round toed, good leather, flat boots that fit perfectly. I've been wearing them at least 3 out of 4 days since I found them.


They were originally $268 at Anthro, marked down to $150 and I got the additional 25% post Christmas discount, so they were $112. But honestly, they would have been worth it at the original price, for the wear I plan to get out of them. Which I think should be a good rule of thumb for me - don't buy something on sale if you wouldn't buy it at full price.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The breakfast of January

Avocado toast.


As easy as it sounds. I take half a large avocado and use a fork to mash it up on one slice of perfectly toasted bread. Sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat for the next several weeks.

avocado toast
{avocado toast}

I wish I could tell you what kind of avocados we have, because I'm convinced they're the most delicious ones in the world. The tree is on my parents' property, a vestige of the old fruit farms. It's some kind of hybrid - definitely part Fuerte, which used to be the standard around here before the Hass took over.

p.s. awesome pictures + history for the california avocado afficionado here

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The weekend, briefly

Quite a bit of running around this weekend, but weather and traffic cooperated beautifully, making it a good kind of hectic.

The orange tree back home is so full that several of the branches are starting to drag on the ground. Thus commences January in southern California - soon people will resort to leaving full bags on porches at night. Circe has discovered that she loves oranges and she won't leave you alone when you start peeling. She's even convinced the little guy to beg for them, although he isn't as wild about them.

sink, oranges
{sink, oranges}

circe, orange
{circe, orange}

pups, orange
{pups, orange}

We did some venue hunting (here and here), following each visit with a food + drinks session.

san juan capistrano
{san juan capistrano}

Haven is a newish restaurant in Orange, with an excellent rotating beer menu. The hamburger, topped with roasted red bells, pickled red onion and arugula, was seriously good. 

haven - custom beer flight
{haven - custom beer flight}

haven - beer flight finished
{haven - beer flight finished}

Sunsets have been gorgeous this week - definitely makes the freeway driving more fun.


january sunset
{january sunset}