The last few days have been full on June Gloom and I realize how much the sunshine (or lack thereof) really can effect people’s mood — mine included. This morning I woke up and the sun was shining so bright I was practically blinded while making our morning protein shake. Life just feels better when you have some sunshine, particularly the golden rays in California. It’s pretty hard to top magic hour here right before the sun goes down.
Speaking of sun, we did something pretty bold the other day and booked a two week trip to Kauai for Tim’s 40th birthday and Christmas. It’s the first time in my life that I won’t be with my family for the holidays, but since I’m so lucky to get to see them whenever I want, we are just going for it. It will be our first time back since our honeymoon and the longest we’ve ever stayed on an island.
I’ve been known to get in the ocean in the summer (or all the time when we’re in warm water Hawaii), but I rock a sad Billabong rash guard that has seen better days. Perfect for surfing, body boarding or just sun protection, I’m feeling these new stylish rash guards from Zimmermann, Basta,Pret-a-Surf and Cynthia Rowley.
We headed to the Ace Hotel to celebrate our one year anniversary. It was a perfect weekend filled with spa treatments, delicious food (the Parmesan hash browns at King’s Highway are now in my top 5 favorite foods ever), swimming and bike riding.
We went to the Viceroy, where we were married, and stood right where our ceremony was before a special dinner at Citron. The next morning we boarded the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which was a little more intense than I expected. The view from 8,500 feet was incredible (the giant windmills on the desert floor looked like toothpicks) and snow was on the ground. Then it was back to real life, which is still pretty great.
Wow time sure does fly. We are heading to the desert this weekend to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. It couldn’t have come at a better time as it’s been pretty hectic selling our place and trying to find a new one. Most of our weekends and evenings are spent consumed with house-related stuff. I’ve seen so many inspectors, plumbers, realtors and even a mold team wielding microscopes (thankfully we had none) that I am ready to just sit by the pool, look at the mountains and chill.
I usually like being in control and making the plans, but Tim handled everything (he even made a fancy itinerary for us), which I so appreciate. Feeling really grateful and excited for what’s to come.
Just got back from a wonderful weekend in San Francisco and Sebastopol (a rural community about 45 minutes north of the city where my aunt and uncle live). Within minutes of arriving we were eating our way through the Ferry Building, a charming marketplace of gourmet food, wine and shops. The salumi from Boccalone was my favorite part of the day. We stayed at the Clift Hotel, shared a Scorpion Bowl at the tiki Tonga Room and met up with our friend Drew at the delicious and authentic Lupa in Noe Valley to celebrate his 40th birthday. It was a perfect night!
Do you guys know about Craftcation? It’s an indie business and DIY conference in beautiful Ventura, California that was started by Delilah Snell and Nicole Stevenson of the popular Patchwork Indie Art & Craft Festival. From March 21st to March 24th there will be workshops on accounting, merchandising, Etsy, food, knitting, jewelry making and much more.
Writer/author Kathy Cano-Murillo of Crafty Chica, KCRW’s Evan Kleiman and Amy Tan of Amy Tangerine are just some of the awesome crafting and business heavyweights who will be in attendance. I’ll be hosting a social media workshop at Craftcation on Thursday, March 21st, so if you’re able to get away, come see me!
A few months ago Tim and I made a list of date ideas that we wanted to do together for whenever we have a free day. We each picked 4-5 places, most of which are things we’ve never done in LA even though we’ve both lived here for almost 15 years. One of my picks was Angels Flight, the landmark funicular that’s also known as the shortest railway in the world. It was so old timey and only 50 cents!
Christmas came early for me this year. After four trips to Florida, one membership in the Save the Manatee Club and a manatee adoption (Paddy O’Doyle) I finally saw a manatee! I actually saw at least eight manatees, which was mind blowing and so exciting that I could barely take pictures.
Tim’s cousin James is a fishing boat captain in the Florida Keys and he took us out on his boat. I’ve had many failed attempts at finding manatees even though people tell you they are everywhere. This was one of the best days ever and I owe it all to my new family who made it happen. We had an amazing trip that I’ll share more about later.
Watch this short video for more manatee love (you can hear me gasp “Oh my god babe!“)…
We are finally going camping at El Capitan this weekend (well it’s like half camping since there are Egyptian cotton sheets, a heater and S’mores kits on demand.) It’s gonna get chilly at night, but I’m excited as I have cozy sweaters, hats and scarves I want to wear. We did not camp growing up — at all. In fact the last time I did anything remotely like this was at age 5 in Yosemite with my favorite aunt and uncle.
Have a wonderful weekend and huge congratulations to one of our favorite couples on earth, Scott and Claire, on the arrival of their baby girl June last night!
Several people told us we’d have the best sushi in Austin. I was suspicious, but Uchi may have been the best Japanese meal of my life. We dined there on Friday night and had a three hour six-course meal — the pork belly (pictured below) was my favorite.
The next morning it was off to Magnolia Cafe for breakfast: cornmeal pancakes, eggs with garlic and Serrano ham and portabello omelettes. We burned it off walking down South Congress and eventually into Downtown. We saw lots of charming shops (and fantastic neon signage everywhere), but the most unusual was Uncommon Goods, an antique shop filled to the brim with various oddities from clown masks to vintage rubber stamps.
We enjoyed a late lunch at Stubbs (the beef brisket is a must) and then took a taxi home so we could power nap. We went back out to hit the “trailer park” of adorable food trucks on South Congress. I had the best dosa at Nomad Dosa and hydrating water right out of a nutty young coconut. We then proceeded to enjoy a few cocktails, bar games at Doc’s and a 1:30am run to 7-Eleven to get a snack.
It was so fun discovering a new city with great friends. Although we were exhausted on Sunday, I perked up when I realized Benecio del Toro was on our flight home and that we were going to meet Ayesha and Robin’s twin boys who were born while we were gone!