On Repeat: Rhye

Oh my, I can't seem to stop listening to Rhye - Woman

This band seems so secretive. Although the lead's voice sounds a lot like Sade - spoiler alert! - it's actually a man. I did a quick search for a photo since I wanted to have some sort of visual of the man behind the voice...but there doesn't seem to be any! In an age of over-the-top celebrity appearances, I can respect that they don't want their "look" to interfere with their music. Their recent feature on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic continues to peak my curiosity but I guess I will continue to wonder because I will be out of town when they return to LA's El Rey Theatre on May 10th. Somebody do me (and yourself!) a favor...buy a ticket and snap a photo, ok?!

Hear the entire MBE/KCRW session here! // Another cool article on NPR if you care for more.



Spring is finally here!

Around this time of year, I always notice how much the sun affects me. I don't really understand Daylight Savings Time (why do we think we can literally change time when the rest of the world carries on like normal?) but when we have to "spring forward", I will absolutely take every hour of daylight I can get! This last weekend was warm in LA and all I wanted to do was be outside. After Jackie and I got some practical things out of the way, we finally revamped the garden with baby kale, thai basil, and beets. Nothing beats fresh veggies but in addition to that, I really do love spending time digging in the dirt - is that weird?

During her visit last weekend, Erin and I talked a lot about ignoring what we think we're "supposed" to do. Sometimes when the weather is so nice and I have a weekend totally free, I stress out because I want to make the best use of my time.  I want to see everyone, spend time by myself, go to the far corners of LA, try new restaurants, go to every flea market, do a yoga class, hike, make smoothies...(the list goes on!) and then I get so bogged down with choices, that I ended up disappointed when I couldn't do it all. This weekend, I tried to leave that mentality behind, and go with whatever my heart desired at the moment, which resulted in tan lines from reading the first Girl With the Dragon Tattoo book outside and going for a long run as the sun set over Santa Monica. Bliss!


Sidenote: It's Hanami season and I want to teleport myself to Japan to walk through the beautiful  sakura and ume (cherry & plum blossoms) in person! For now, I will resort to Flickr.

Photo Credit: AdrianG



I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the most organized host. Sure, I'll save you a cat-free pillow case, fluff you a comforter, vacuum the couch, and have Jackie make pumpkin pancakes in the morning...but when it comes to figuring out what to do throughout your stay, I won't have an entire agenda planned. LA is a wonderful city with a lot of things to do but it's so widespread that you almost have to choose only 1 or 2 things a day. Typically those activities include food, shopping, or something active like a hike or a yoga class.

When Erin came to town, we didn't do much of any of those things! I've known Erin since first grade, so whenever we're together, it doesn't take much to keep us happy and I love that about her. Instead of stressing over where to take her or what to do, we just decided to do whatever would make us happy at the moment, which ended up being the Stanley Kubrik exhibit at the LACMA (probably the closest either of us will get to seeing The Shining since we're both babies!), climbing walls at Rockcreation, skipping the gym to play card games and eat pastries at Sweet Lady Jane, taking our time shopping/gawking at LA Marathoners at the Promenade, split-and-swapping at the new Burger Lounge, and a few more...[life-changing, totally awesome, wish-i-could-post-photos] unmentionables.

Come back soon, Erin! I promise not to plan anything!


Guilty Pleasures

Don't call me on Monday night because I'm busy. Busy watching my new favorite TV show, The Biggest Loser!

Ok sure, it's quality entertainment to see overweight people get yelled at for an hour...but it's so much more than that! Trainers Bob, Jillian and Dolvette drill awesome little nuggets of truth into every work out and I have to admit, they stick with me and help me through my own. I'm lucky enough to have my own built-in Jillian (Jackie can be scarier in her own way!) but here are some mantras from the show that I have floating around in my head when I feel like giving up...

"Give yourself a goal everyday, and just get better"  (mine is 1500 burpees this month, what's yours?)

"This is when it matters the most... in these moments when you can choose whether or not to say "I can't" or "I can.

"At the end of the day, your health is your responsibility." 

"You have no idea of what you are capable of until you try."

AND if that's not enough...


Hearty Chicken Soup is Love.

Everyone shows and receives love in different ways. Some people show love through quality time, letters, chocolate and flowers, rides to the airport....and how about biking around the city in a heart-shaped route? I prefer food.

For me, this recipe from Chicken Recipe Box is love. It's a two-parter, so it definitely requires planning. But you (and whoever you decide to share it with...or not!) will be so happy you did. To get the base to taste just like your favorite "tong" (broth) made by your grandma, you must make the chicken stock from scratch. Sorry Swanson's! Roast a chicken and use that as meal #1. Save the chicken bones and stick them in a large pot with onions, carrots, garlic and water and let all the flavors develop by simmering the yumminess for four hours. Strain all the veggies and bones out and you have your chicken stock!

Click the link above to find the rest of the recipe! It's super easy, guilt-free, the ultimate comfort food, and doesn't require too many ingredients. Happy Valentines Day!

**Photo Credit: Chicken Recipe Box via Pinterest


Broccoli Blooms

Ah ha! I've never been so excited about broccoli before!

To be honest, I was a little skeptical about the broccoli plants. Our garden plot neighbor had a few extra so we figured, why not try it? It was really happy for a few months with lots of steady growth and humongous leaves. I didn't even know how or where the crowns were going to form until this weekend, voila!, they were there! We're going to let them form a little more before we bust out some stir fry with these. But how cool?! This whole process of "urban farming" (can we even call it that??) has been so rewarding. Just yesterday we had some chard from the garden with steak and roasted peppers. While I was kind of nervous about finding a slug in my food, it tasted delicious! To top it off, this whole experiment as totally paid itself off. We've had lettuce for weeks and it doesn't show any signs of stopping.

Local readers out there -- does anyone know of a veggie swap? It would be so fun to trade some of our butter lettuce, arugula and radishes for peas, tomatoes, peppers...


Where I've Been

As mentioned in the previous post, January has been completely taken over by the NAMM show. Now that it has come and gone and February 1 is right around the corner, I can finally sit down and catch up!

I might write about this every year, but my level of exhaustion post-show gets worse and worse as the event becomes more my responsibility. This year was no exception as I shuttled around Los Angeles and Anaheim to gather materials, renovate our booth, contract union workers and make sure every little detail was taken care of. I was given a little more creative freedom in regards to the overall "look" of our display, so I took the liberty to spruce up some walls with paint, upgraded light fixtures, a few rugs and plants and storage/platforms. It felt like I was working on an HGTV show and it was so fun! The end result was a space that seemed larger, warmer and cozier than before. I promised my family some photos, so here they are!