A Lovely Week 6.28.13


1. when nature & urban meet 2. ikea round two! 3. brunch at the beale's 4. little j & big b 5. blue moon tasting 6. full moon 7. i see you 8. pretties on my desk 9. his & hers bicycles 10. trying to catch up 11. loving my new dress 12. through rose rimed sunglasses 13. insisted on sharing the closet 14. clean green with blackberries 15. snack time 16. bam! 17. messy hair, don't care 18. pattern on pattern 19. christmas lights in june 20. last flower standing

>>>follow along all week long here!<<<

My hair... I swear it acts differently every time I wash it over here! I don't know if it's all the sea air... the humidity... the smog... but it hasn't been this crazy and unpredictable since my Miami days. And the annoying thing is, it photographs really, really well... So while I'm over here complaining, I keep getting compliments via instagram, facebook, and twitter on how gorgeous my hair is looking! Seriously guys, my hair is ridiculously photogenic and meanwhile, I'm contemplating chopping it all off (she says with scissors in hand)... Assembling Ikea stuff... I know that they drew those drawings to try and make it as easy as possible to put together their stuff... so easy in fact that there is no need for actual written instructions... then why do I still find it so confusing? I tilt my head, squint my, eyes and even rotate the instructions around to see if it'll make a difference and sometimes it does... but my desk is still standing and it's been over a week so I guess they work hu? Me on Bonnie (my bicycle) only less so with each outing... hooray for me!!! I am happy to report less bruises down my legs from awkwardly getting on/off and carrying her up the stairs... I think I'm actually getting the hang of it! When you are trying to get some work done but can't concentrate because of all the chattering going on downstairs from the group of girls that just lunched at the restaurant next door... and you can't look over because you know they'll look over at you at the same exact time (its a law of the universe).... and you can't drown them out by turning up the music because that too will draw attention to yourself... and there's nothing really to do but browse pinterest for the next 15 minutes while they wrap it up because you can't actually focus with all the squealing that's going on... don't they know people are trying to work... from home?!?

Having hubs home BOTH days this past weekend and him coming home pretty early (eightish) the whole week... winning! You know I actually like spending quality time with my husband advertising agency... If you could just share him with me like you did this past week/weekend then maybe, just maybe, we can be friends again... Smoothies every.single.day... I am obsessed and in love with them! Chucking in all of my favorite things into a blender and then sipping them through cute straws... um yes please! Though I can't help but feel a little bit lazy in then sense that I keep thinking "this is just like eating a whole apple, and some berries, and some nuts, etc. only I'm not, I'm drinking it"... smoothies... nutritious or just the lazy girl's way of eating? You decide folks and I pass no judgement... Putting up Chirstmas lights and yes I know it's nearly July and no I don't care because these are for decorating people... decorating and making this little nest of ours extra special with the soft glow of twinkling lights that will stay up all.year.long. No discussions about that one! Finally hand washing a pile of stuff I kept putting off since London and there is only so much procrastination that even the world's best procrastinator can do... is it bad that I had to google "how to hand wash" because that's how long it's been since I had and didn't want to run the risk of ruining my clothes... true story, I googled it... Oh yea and that grey sweater dress up there that I am trying really hard not wear every day it's so comfortable... and no I'm not getting paid to say this (I wish!) it's just honestly one of the best purchases ever! Not to mention it's the perfect dress to cycle in, guaranteed...

***Today I am thankful for the end of the week... it's been another looong week and I can hardly wait to relax with hubs!***


Walks Through Ringwood No.2


 ^^^it was safe, i promise!^^^
^^^it's all about the fur guys^^^
 ^^^this guy i tell ya, always has me laughing!^^^
 ^^^lace curtains AND brick^^^

Another Thursday... another throwback! I have to admit that I probably stood out quite a lot during my time in Ringwood and for many reasons. The fact that I looked like no one else out there being Hispanic... and yes everyone thought I was Indian and no there weren't really any Indian folk around either so regardless, I looked different. That when I opened my mouth and spoke, this cultivated slightly American accent with a mish-mash and hints of other accents including some Britishisms would come out. What can I say, I'm a language sponge! It was really funny having people constantly trying to guess where I'm from and not quite being able to pin point it. But most likely I stood out because I was the only person in the whole of tiny old Ringwood that would take pictures of EVERYTHING! I was that random new girl that the locals probably discussed... "she must be a tourist or something". But then again, it's not like Ringwood is a happening spot or a tourist destination so I couldn't even camouflage with other picture taking enthusiast like I did in London. But I didn't care and no amount of gawking is ever going to stop me from capturing beauty.

I might have (most probably did) embarrass hubs a little with my obsessive compulsive picture taking habit, but he took it all in stride. Bless his little heart, he's a trooper! I think it also helped that he hadn't really been back home for long periods of time in years so a lot of people didn't recognize him and he was happy about it... especially when out and about with the likes of me that is photographing stuff like signs. I just can't help myself, I see the world through a camera lens at all times now, even when I don't have a camera on me. I'm always thinking "that's a good shot" or "I love that composition". I think the camera has really helped me look at life... I mean really observe my surroundings and bring out the beauty in it all. A few people (locals) even mentioned that I made Ringwood look so charming and beautiful through my pictures. I insisted that it's always looked like that, it's just that sometimes people forget to really look that's the problem.

And in case you are wondering, no children are ever harmed during any of my shots including my lovely niece in her stroller up there. It was a windy little back road that looked like a main road and so we thought it would be funny to capture a "baby in the middle of the road with groceries" shot. Hubs was on the lookout should any cars have come and I took the snap in like two seconds... it was all under control people. Hubs and I had actually thought of a whole running series that we could have done had we stayed longer... baby in stroller in random situations sort of thing. Here's baby in a field with groceries. And J (the mum) if you are mad about this, then it was all your brother's idea... but if you are amused by this, then we came up with it together. Best baby sitters in the world, that hubs and I!

***Today I am thankful for a new way to look at life... beauty is all around us if you just look***




 ^^^color coordinated guys! i died!^^^
 ^^^how awesome is that tiger shirt!?!^^^

Last weekend I had a girl's night followed by brunch and Sunday shopping with an old friend from college that also happens to be living out here. She showed me around her cute little neighborhood known as Los Feliz... whose literal translation is "the happy" and a happy little place it was indeed! She was actually the only one of us east coasters that went the L.A. route after college, the rest of us migrated north to NYC. It was really nice seeing her again after so many years and we picked up right where we had left off. M was the sweetest hostess and made sure to show me all of her favorite spots including this one, Squareville.

This place met two of my biggest musts when it comes to thrifting... spacious and organized. It just makes the whole thrifting experience so much nicer I think. They had a great selection of womenswear downstairs, all neatly organized on racks by garment type AND color coordinated... I think my heart literally stopped when I saw this! They definitely had a great assortment of clothes that were season specific which is always nice. I rummaged through some purses and had to talk myself out of getting lovely snake skin one you see in the pictures above... and it was hard too because the price was so good but you know... trying to stick to the whole minimalist thing over here. Upstairs they had a really great selection of menswear that I think hubs would just love! I'm going to have to insist we come back here and maybe even find a piece for our next how she & him style it if were lucky. Then there were the shoes... oh the shoes! All kinds of goodies where you could spot a pair and name that decade (one of my favorite games to play) in a second! But I was good... hard as it was, I was good. M found a few things that she placed on hold (yep they'll even hold for you while you think about it) and I have yet to find out if she ever went back for them. I sure hope she did because that way someone took home some treasures.

***Today I am thankful for friends like M showing me around this new city I'm calling home, I had so much fun!***


A Dress For Cycling...


sunglasses: target (similar) | dress: madewell | belt: bottega veneta | sandals: shoemint | purse: bottega veneta | watch: vintage | bracelets: mint julep | rings: beacon's closet & h&m | lipstick: revlon (british red) | nails & toes: o.p.i (mo-dern girl) & essie (pink parka) | bicycle: r.e.i.


Walks Through Ringwood No.1


 ^^^caught in the round-about!^^^
 ^^^how lovely are those red shutters?!^^^
 ^^^charming little touches like this lamp make this town special^^^

Happy Thursday everyone and like promised, another throwback. I took a lot of walks around Ringwood while we were living there... partially because there wasn't much to do but also because I like stretching my legs and getting fresh air as often as I can. Here is a random selection of pictures accumulated through many walks, in no particular order... no rhyme... no reason. Part of the whole letting go guys, this is me kicking my heels up and laughing at structure and order... haha! You hear me old me? I'm posting out of chronological order and with no self imposed guidelines to follow. Gosh I feel like a wild woman! I'm going to go seize the day while I'm still running on this high... who knows, maybe I'll even cross the street NOT at the crosswalk!

***Today I am thankful for my little camera... she is old, held together by tape but still clicking away!***


Recipe: Chicken & Avocado Enchiladas


One of the things that always seems to work for me (when I'm ready) to kick the nasty old blues away is throwing myself into a project of some sort. Being a creative soul by default, using my hands and mind in unison to create something always eases my soul as it momentarily distracts from my woes. Last week I was randomly inspired to start cooking again when my favorite cookbook literally fell out of one of the boxes I had yet to unpack (I know, not even the act of unpacking and organizing was doing the trick!) and that led me to pinterest which led me to this particular recipe and then...
 ...something went off in my little brain and I just had to make this! Cooking through depression sounds like the sort of thing you might find in the self help section at the local bookstore, but it's actually something I'm attempting. Creating yummy and healthy(ish) foods for the soul, mind, and stomach. Hubs laughed (in a playful, you might actually be crazy but that makes me love you all the more, kind of way) and then counted his lucky stars that I had finally decided to grace our new kitchen with some sort of love. I'm pretty excited too!

Closet Cooking Recipe (which I adjusted), makes 8

for enchilada filling
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped with seeds removed (for less spice)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 a lime (juice)
  • 4 cups shredded chicken (cooked)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 2 cups shredded skin cheese (I used the mexican store blend)
for topping enchiladas with  
  • 2 cups shredded skin cheese (I used the mexican store blend)
  • 8 tortillas (7 inches)

  • Using a blender or food processor, puree the first 11 ingredients until smooth.
  • Separate the sauce in half. Mix in the chicken, green onions, diced avocados, and cheese to one half. Make sure to mix well.
  • Divide the chicken and avocado mixture between the 8 tortillas and wrap them up nice!
  • Coat the bottom of the baking dish you are using with the other half of the sauce. Feel free to use more than one baking dish if they don't all fit (I had to) and also aluminum foil works but remember to build little walls to prevent leakage.
  • Place the filled tortillas on the baking dish(es) and top with remaining sauce and cheese.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the exposed tortilla pieces are slightly browned. 
  • Serve with sliced avocados (can't get enough!), chips, and salsa... enjoy!
***Today I am thankful for avocados... man I love them soooo much!***


Sandy Toes...


sunglasses: mossimo via target | cardigan: sparkle & fade via urban outfitters | top: madewell | shorts: new haven via madewell | sandals: madewell | bracelets: madewell, mint julep, & anthropologie | lips: m.a.c. | nails & toes: essie (cocktail bling)


Rocket Fizz...

 ^^^duff beer!^^^
 ^^^peanut butter, ranch dressing, & buffalo wing sauce?!?^^^
 ^^^hers & his picks^^^

One of my favorite past times ever is weekend dates with hubs spent aimlessly wandering around this new city of ours and discovering neat things together... that is when he can peel himself away from the office long enough! On just such a lucky occasion, we happened to be walking back from a Target run... which by the way, was the WORST Target run of my life and probably the only time I'd rather go somewhere without hubs because he didn't let me buy anything... we stumbled across this crazy little place called Rocket Fizz (the Westwood Village location) and just had to pop in for a quick look. The place was impressive with never ending rows of all the soda pops you could possibly ever imagine and then some! They had all kinds of brands and limited edition collectors bottles... which the geek in me secretly loved. On closer inspection, I realized that they didn't just have your every day, standard flavors... oh no. When I actually started reading the labels I was amazed and slightly in awe at flavors like peanut butter and jelly, sweet corn, and bacon! But get this, they had a whole section devoted just to bacon flavored things... I'm talking soda, candy, gum, toothpaste... you think of it and it was probably there. Not going to lie, I was little grossed out.

That was the other thing, not only did this place have pretty much every soda in the world (or so it seemed), it also had all of the candy I could remember from childhood pasts. Vintage sweets and treats as far as the eye could see. The expression like a kid in a candy shop came to mind... only remember I'm not a fan of the sweets so much. Still, this place had me feeling like a kid in a candy shop regardless and so we just had to pick out a drink and treat each to try. Hubs was a little bit daring with his selection I think... unfortunately he wasn't a fan of his raspberry ginger brew bt he did like his carbonated grape candy. I decided to play it safe with flavors I was more familiar with like orange soda (I mean who doesn't love orange soda?!? Is it true??? Mmmmhmmm... I do, I do, I dooo-ooooh) and dark mint chocolate m&ms. While the orange soda was little more sugary tasting that I would have liked, the m&ms on the other hand... well let's just say I bought a whole bag (the big kind) and ate it all by myself during last weeks hiatus it was so good.

I'm already looking forward to our next trip back and if I'm being completely honest, I will probably pick a safe flavor again and be persuaded by the packing... because these cute soda bottles are just perfect for holding a few hand picked flowers, don't you think? I'll just let hubs be the daring one again which works well for me because I can always have a taste of his crazy pick.

***Today I am thankful for little places like this one... they will be an ever lasting memory for hubs and I***

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