Motivation, or lack thereof

You know when you’re at work and you spend the whole time thinking about how much stuff you could get done if you didn’t have a job? Like, you think you would totally get up and go to the gym, make buttermilk pancakes from scratch followed by a big batch of fresh strawberry jam that you could pass around to your neighbors, all while organizing your over flowing desk drawer with cute little colored files in one hand and catching up on summer reading in another.

And then, you get some time off and what do you do? You wake up at 10AM, stumble into the kitchen for some cereal and watch Law & Order SVU re-runs for 5 hours. Or at least, that’s what I keep doing. And every day I tell myself, “Alright, today is my last day to just chill out for a while. Tomorrow I am going to get SOME. SHIT. DONE.”

And that has summed up my life for the last week. It has to stop. Soon. I thought today was going well when I got myself to a spin class by 8:15AM, but all that really did was give me an excuse to nap away the rest of the day. (I worked out for a whole HOUR! Surely I can’t be expected to do MORE THAN THAT?)

Tomorrow! Tomorrow I am going to be out of pajamas before 10AM and avoid the TV and I am going to get my food from my kitchen and not from the In-N-Out drive through. And then I’m going to clean my car, make a lunch date with friends, sweep the floors, organize my desk, bake cookies and reply to all the emails in my inbox.**

**This is all depending on what SVU marathon is on tomorrow. Old episodes from the early years? No thanks, I’d rather clean. New episodes focusing on twisted family drama? My butt will be glued to the sofa ALL FREAKING DAY.

To anyone out there that actually has their shit together and doesn’t face problems like mine:

1) Congrats
2) I sort of hate/am jealous of/don’t understand you
3) What are your secrets?

5 Things to Love

This song is my official summer anthem. It also makes me want to high-tail it back to the South in ways I can’t even describe.

It took me three days to get through this book and that was mostly because I kept embarrassing myself by laughing out loud in public places, and so I would have to put it down for a bit and go distract myself with something a little less laugh-inducing, like election headlines or Channing Tatum.  Seriously, if you’re not reading Jenny’s blog by now you should GET ON IT, and if you haven’t already bought her book DO IT NOW. And when you’re exhausted from laughing out loud you can totally thank me. Or her. Mostly her.

Fresh coffee out of a coffee press. I’ve used this for so long I don’t even know how to use a regular coffee maker anymore, and some days it is the only thing that gets me up in the morning.

The other thing getting me up in the morning these days: smoothies. No need for a recipe here: just blend together fresh or frozen fruit, some Greek yogurt and almond/soy/cow milk with a little vanilla extract (secret ingredient!). You won’t go wrong.

I went to Goodwill to look for some canisters to store dry goods in my kitchen, and this is what I bought instead. But honestly, if Chase wanted me to come back with ONLY the things I intended to purchase, he shouldn’t let me go to Goodwill alone. Or with any of my friends. Or with any money. Same goes for Target.

Also – is it weird that I have these fantasies about owning a huge house one day and filling it with fun, quirky finds from thrift stores and flea markets? And then when people ask “Oh that painting is so lovely, where did you get it?” I’ll be all “Oh, I found it at the bottom of a pile at Goodwill. It only cost me $2. Don’t you feel stupid for buying expensive shit at a gallery?”

Honestly, it’s like I’ve been infected with some new hipster disease that most likely originated in Silverlake. Someone take me to Pottery Barn before it’s too late.

Creamy Polenta with Beans in Tomato Sauce

I had totally planned on my first post back from vacation to be filled with beautiful photos of sandy beaches, tropical drinks and plates of fried seafood. However, we spent most of our time passed out by the pool because the beach near our hotel was filled with rotting seaweed, which I guess is a commonly known fact about Galveston but not something they put in bold letters on the brochures, and Chase’s family are decidedly light drinkers so I unfortunately avoided many tropical beverages since I didn’t want to seem like “that lush that he married,” and there actually was a lot of great seafood but I was so concerned about covering up my sunburn with my tank top that I kept forgetting to take any photos.

Side note – if you ever have the chance to stay in a resort condo community that is completely empty because it’s about to go into bankruptcy – take it! You get all the perks of staying at a nice resort, only without the screaming kids doing cannon balls in the pool, and you can have the lazy river all to yourself whenever you want, and if you ask the concierge if they’ll do a private movie screening for your family they will scoff and be like “ummm…there’s no one else staying here, how could it NOT be private?” but ultimately it will happen. And that’s all that matters. I’ll admit, our vacation was a little, “The Shining” meets “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” but it really was the only way to go.

Moving on…here’s a recipe I made a week before I left! Just imagine that you simmer tender kidney beans in a super simple tomato sauce, and then pour it over smooth, creamy polenta. I know, right? It’s so delicious and amazing, and you need to try it. Almost as badly as you need to try an almost-bankrupt resort stay.

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Blueberry Frittata with Vanilla Creme Fraiche

You guys, I am writing from Galveston, Texas from a trip that first began with me and Chase flying from Los Angeles to Kansas to see my sister-in-law graduate college (go K-State!). Side note: did you know that most colleges don’t know the final grades of students when they walk across the podium to get their degrees? Which means there’s a chance that in a month or so my sister-in-law could get a letter that says “haha, you didn’t really graduate, you still have to pay us more money to take some other classes. Bet all those family photos you took with your cap and gown feel really awkward right now.” I’m assuming that isn’t what the actual letter would say, unless the people working at universities have a better sense of humor than what I imagine. Or unless they’re hoping to get fired.

This pseudo-graduation was immediately followed by a 13 hour drive to Galveston with 7 people in the car so that we could all have a beach vacation and not waste money on gas by taking 2 cars. However, when we got here we found out that the beach outside our hotel isn’t so much a beach as it is a pile of rocks next to the ocean, which seemed like an awfully cruel joke for the property manager and/or God to play on us. But then we found out our hotel has it’s own lazy river so we got over it.

Note to self: next time just drive to nearest hotel with lazy river.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with my recipe, and the answer is absolutely nothing. Except that the only thing I can tell you about this recipe is that it is insanely easy to make and tastes 100% better than I thought it would. (honestly – I really low expectations about how eggs and fresh fruit would taste together, and now this might be my new favorite breakfast) However after writing that one sentence my post felt a little short so I figured I would throw in a little something else since you took time out of your day to come read this. I’m sure you found the time well spent.

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Five Things

A sneak peak of my next recipe, which tasted a lot better than I expected, so I’m pretty pumped to show it to you. A hint – there aren’t many other ingredients then what you see here.

You guys, I can’t stop cracking up over this photo Chase took in Seattle. I can only imagine how many tourists got lost before this sign was there to guide them.

I’ll admit that at the end of a long day of drinking for Cinco de Mayo I was totally being a little Debbie Downer about going out to see the super moon.

Me: “Guys, it’s THE MOON. The same one that’s been there SINCE FOREVER.”

Everyone else: “Yeah, but it’s bigger tonight, and it isn’t going to be that big for another 10 years. That makes it way cooler.”

And you know what? Everyone was totally right.

A Mother’s Day card for my mom. I honestly don’t even know if she’ll be able to read it, but I tried to pick one out that had lots of colors and textures in hopes she might be able to connect to it that way. I ache for the days when I would pick out cards with witty jokes instead.

Our suitcases are packed. AGAIN. We’re leaving bright and early for a whirlwind trip to Kansas to see my sister-in-law graduate college, followed by a long drive to Galveston, Texas for a much needed family vacation. I’ll try my best not to neglect my blog duties, see you back here soon. xoxo

Vegetarian Gumbo

I really wish this gumbo was prettier.

If this dish was a person, it’d be the kind you would describe to someone as having “a really great personality” when you tried to convince them to take him/her on a date. Seriously, I get it. You’re looking at some darkened vegetables swimming in a murky tomato broth and thinking “there’s no way I’m going to make this, I wish she’d posted a recipe for cookies instead.”‘

The thing is, I’m not a big fan of vegetable soups myself. Whenever I inquire at a restaurant about their soup of the day, I’ll normally jump on it if it’s something like “corn chowder” or “broccoli cheese,” but tell me it’s “vegetable stew” and I typically go with a sandwich instead. I’ll admit, I can be a bit judgmental.

But this gumbo breaks the mold. First of all, it has okra in it, and okra always makes things better. Always. Second of all, it is absolutely DELICIOUS. All that stuff about it having an amazing personality? In this case, it’s 100% true. You NEED to give it a chance; just take it out for dinner one time. I promise you’re going to fall in love.

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Chase and I took off this past weekend on a trip to Seattle. We had no agenda, no overall purpose for being there. I want all of my vacations to be this way, where we just have the freedom to explore and wander. And I didn’t have to explain or justify why I don’t want to eat at chain restaurants on my vacation. I’m not always so fortunate.

The Bookstore Bar @ The Alexis Hotel: Cozy decor. AMAZING clam chowder. More whiskeys in once place than I have ever seen before. We loved this place.

Delancey & The Pantry – You might have heard of them from this girl or this girl. It is absolutely not fair that I have now eaten this pizza and can’t order it here in Los Angeles. It also isn’t fair that Brandon, the owner of Delancey, was teaching a class about making pizza at home and we weren’t able stay due to the fact that those classes sell out in nanoseconds.  I may or may not be planning a trip to kidnap Brandon and force him to tell me all his secrets.

Brunch at Revel. The only regret I have from the trip is that we weren’t able to taste everything on the menu. It’s entirely possible that I considered asking the people next to us at the bar if I could have one little bite of their dishes. If you’ve ever eaten there I’m sure you understand.

Molly Moon’s makes some of the BEST ice cream I’ve ever had. I tasted chocolate, Earl Grey and then finally settled on salted caramel.

Pike Place Market, where we found…everything. Continue Reading →

PSA – hotels don’t always have free internet

A few things:

1) Thank you to everyone that left a comment or email offering your support and condolences. It means a lot. If it I didn’t respond, please take it as evidence of my debilitating internet awkwardness and not my lack of emotion over your words.

No really, thanks.

2) I’m in the Seattle airport, about to fly home. I haven’t had internet in 4 days because I refuse to pay $12.95 for internet on my computer when I own an Iphone, but that means I’ve pretty much been unable to work on a blog post since then. Once I tried writing something on my tiny phone screen, but when uploading a photo proved to be more complex than putting together an Ikea desk I almost threw it into a wall, which would have been more expensive ultimately than just paying $12.95 for internet, but a $5 beer was cheaper than all those options so it’s the one I went with.

I have things I want to share. Lots of photos from Seattle and a recipe that you should make before it gets too hot to even consider boiling big pots of food over a stove. I promise, it’s coming.

Until then, please check this out:

PS: I did not make this. Honestly, I can’t draw nearly this well, and I only wish I could be this funny. I found it here, and I can’t tell from the site who did create it but you should give them credit. Thanks.

PSS: Actually, I can’t even take credit for finding this on the internet. My hilariously funny friend did, and I would totally link him here, but he doesn’t have anything like a blog or Twitter even though he SHOULD, and if he’s reading this blog like ANY GOOD FRIEND would do he would take it as a subtle hint.

PSSS – If you made it all the way to end of this post you are really awesome and I can’t believe you thought I was interesting enough to read all the way down here. I wish I had more to offer…

Here’s a link for your troubles.