Wednesday, August 3, 2011

[] Favorite Things []

Ahhh, is that time of year again for me when California welcomes me with breezy, open arms...this trip is especially great for many reasons...I left the week of record high temperatures where I live (think 100+ degrees) only to be living among the 85 degree digits and lower, and getting to wear my white, zippered hoodie at is blissful...

Another great aspect is having 6+ hours during each day to explore on foot and bike...Anna, my friend that I visit, works 20-30 minutes away from her home, so instead of staying at her house the entire day while she is gone, I catch a ride with her and then head out from often do you get to explore, out on your own, venturing out into the unknown? Make a plan soon to do this, it's the absolute, necessary fun you should be having...

I've made a photo block of my favorite things from yesterday...I was on foot in the city of Orange, and anytime I saw something I really loved looking at, I took a photo.  I choose my favs and make a block out of them, kinda like a visual summary of the day.  But obviously, I cannot fit everything that I love...Anna is so great to me out here, it would impossible to show you everything.  I've met two of her "new" friends, David and Ann.   They are two wonderful, insanely special people to Anna, so now they are a part of my heart as well...

And just to be totally clear, I do work when I am out here, honestly! I spend hours and hours in coffee shops, parks, and the beach editing client work, culling images, answering emails, booking new online clients, and all other behind the scenes things good business owners just happens that I love business and its easier for me to keep up with it on a daily basis, even while on vaca...

So, what are you going to explore today? a new website, a walking trail, a relationship, a conversation?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

[] the Make-up Quiche []

Ok, so I'm not going to spend much time apologizing about my absence. I've been busy. Very busy. So there. I'm sorry...

I was really inspired to use up the eggs in my fridge tonight, so I made veggie quiche.  I debated on what to call it, but since I just couldn't leave it at a "6 ingredient quiche" (too boring), I went with something more Martha-Stewarty: the Garden Quiche
  • a bunch of eggs
  • 2 orange, sweet bell peppers
  • 1 red onion, sauteed in coconut oil
  • a handful of broccoli
  • two leafs of kale from my neighbors garden
  • 2 pie crusts thawed
 I threw the onion in a food processor then cooked them down in coconut oil. It still smells so delicious in my house. While that was cooking, I threw both the bell peppers and kale into the processor.  If you don't own one, you should.  The uniform sizes that it slices and shreds everything into makes cooking a bit more predictable.  Apple pies are amazing, carrot jello salad is a breeze, and well, quiches are a cinch.  The broccoli was steamed in the microwave and then just chopped up a bit. 
I beat the eggs into oblivion and added everything into the mix.  Eyeballing the amounts is the only way I know how to cook.  Come to think of it, my sister Grace and I are self taught chefs.  Ok, chef on the level of we can make something out of almost nothing. (Wow, I just stopped to cut a piece off and try as I blog tonight, it is so goood)

The last steps were the easiest, I just poured the mix into some pie crusts, threw it into a 360 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.  Anytime you cook something, always let them sit for a good five minutes before cutting into.  I cracked some sea salt over the top right before eating and this really brings the flavors together...

You might be thinking to yourself "where the f is the cheese, butter, Crisco, the tongue of my favorite sneakers" and all of the other unnecessary crap people put into quiches.  YOU DON'T NEED THEM...the sweetness of the bell peppers, coconut oil, and the caramelized onions is simply heaven next to the flaky crusts. Yum...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

[] underwater self []

Megan is a friend of mine that has knack for outdoor adventure.  She's the type of friend that will walk across the rotten, soggy fallen tree to "test it" for the rest of us waiting to cross the river.  She is usually right about everything nature, and so is her boyfriend.  He can spot an ant on a tree from miles away and can handle a canoe like nobodys business.  They are a great team. They are also gracious enough to invite me with them on their adventures.  If it weren't for them, kayaking would have never crossed my mind as something fun to do.  But it is.  Unlike the wild canoes I get into, the kayak is easily, completely self controlled.  Well, for the most part.  Megan is super good at it, while I am ok at it.  I have a way better time in the 'yak maneuvering and exploring the rivers than I do in canoes. 

Megan is fearless, (thats her on the right jumping off) which is amazing to watch.  She will float down a rocky path, jumping from rock to rock, very confident and sure of her footing. This is just not me, I place one foot, make sure- triple make sure- its secure and then place the next.  She never seems bothered by my lameness, which really allows me to be comfortable being me.  I think we all want this in some way, in every part of our life.  Over analyzing and being too critical with others comes way to naturally to us.  I try really hard to let people be, and I love when I get that in return.  But don't get me wrong, I love challenging people to figure out some way to become better versions of themselves: to use their Starbucks money for the day to bless someone, or to take their huge helping of leftovers to the homeless people that sit outside downtown, to flip people off less often, to stop talking so much about Hollywood and more about real life...

Anyway, all that to say, I took a underwater camera with me this past summer to the rivers and then had left over film for my parents pool.  It was an experiment, and with the learning curve of film, I doubt my next set will be any better.  For now, enjoy!

Side note: Its 30ish degrees outside as I write this, and to think of my parents pool as warm and inviting isn't easy, but I love their pool.  I remember as a kid taking the mandatory swim lessons in 5th grade.  Do you remember taking lessons? During the testing phase, I swam the entire width of the pool, putting me into the "well now what do we do with this kid that already knows how to swim?" category.  They figured something out.  For the rest of the sessions I got to hang out with the high school dive team at the other end of the pool.  I felt so cool, so knowledgeable about swimming or something.  Sitting on the edge of the 1970's style pool, I can remember listening to the highschool girls talk about smoking and cute boys.  Neither appealed to me at the time, however cute guys are definitely on my radar now...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

[] Salvation Mountain []

Last part of the great summer LA trip. The best thing I have experienced in a long time was by far our trip to Salvation Mountain. A few years ago I saw "Into the Wild" and there was this one scene with this amazing little mountain painted with scripture and other saying of love. Anna and I had tried to plan this trip out to Niland, California last summer, but I am glad we waited. It was about a four hour drive from LA, going from nice 70 degree weather to over the 100 degree "bake your face off" mark. I still can't believe people actually take up residence out there.

Anyway, the amazing little mountain was thought up by the cutest 80-ish year old, Leonard Knight. He has lived and worked out there for decades, dedicating his life's work to spreading lavish love through Bible verses and personal stories. I prayed that he would be out there, willing to engage. We heard that he only comes out at night because of the heat, but that is not true. We arrived an hour before sunset and climbed the mountain and once on top I spied him below in a different, new section of his creation. I was so excited to get to talk to him, I was a bit nervous as I didn't know if he wanted to talk or if he wanted to be just left alone.

We walked up behind him and he slowly turned around with a big, perfectly white, symmetrical smile on his face.  A greeting of "Welcome, do you have time for me to show you around?"  Of course we did, I was so happy to see how personable he was and to think, we had him all to ourselves.  He explained as he walked through the different sections and told us he's been out here for several years, all by himself and actually pretty "spoiled" by the people that come to visit.

 Insisting that he is taken care of, he refuses money, food, and anything else, but notes that if its on someones heart to donate any of these he doesn't turn it down.  Standing so close to him, listening to every word, I got a great close up of all his deep wrinkles around his kind little eyes and the smile lines surrounding his mouth (which, by the way, he had amazingly white teeth contrasting against his sun tanned skin). 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

[] the Getty got it goin' on []

On another day we traveled up to the Getty Art Museum where we didn't know what to expect. Our experience there was kinda mind blowing, really. First, I smiled and giggled and they let us park for free and then we followed signs that took us to a modern tram station. The tram arrived, we boarded and it glided off, following the carved out contours of the hillside. The view over the freeway down into L.A. was actually pretty.

 I thought this was going to be like all other museum experiences: park, walk to entrance, and then proceed to exhibits. Uhhh....the Getty got it goin' on! It was amazing. The glass tram doorways open to a outdoor marble mezzanine, dotted with minimal sculpture and modern water features.

Going over toward the edge, the courtyard below opens up to this Edward-Scissor-Hands-esque garden will rolling green hills and couples picnicking on the lawn. We ended up spending the majority of our time outside, so we basically ran through a very small portion of the indoor exhibits as they closed.

Best museum visit...ever

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

[] Anna, she is good []

Wow, time has really flown this past few months, I haven't even thought of blogging until I came across photos from this summer.     Blog time, fo' sure. 

Ok, so I've been going out to L.A. for the past few summers and I am totally loving it.  This past trip was totally different in that I got to do more touristy things, which at first I would have never thought I would be into.  Anna, my dear friend is soooo good to me when I am out there.  For example, she lets me sleep in, and then she lets me take her car and explore for a few hours. My first destination is always a coffee shop where (with my decaf) I can sit and watch people, the bike culture, and think about things...Anna is soooo good to me because she knows I need time by myself each day to feel like myself.

Anna had a very relaxed itinerary for the week, which she knows I would be totally content sitting in her back yard looking at the sky, but I was excited for the things she had planned.  Three of the best things we did:  a sunset tour of Hollywood, the Getty Art Museum, and Salvation Mountain.  I'll do three separate entries just so I can really write out the details and make each post as photo rich as possible.  But I will start out first with our sunset tour.

The 10 passenger van with the top chopped off  beckoned us as we waited just outside Graumans Chinese Theater (the place where stars put their hand print in cement for us to oogle over).  Our driver was super at two things: being really sociable and driving like a maniac.  It was so much fun.  We stopped at various famous places and drove by tall hedges, shielding important people from being bothered by people like us. Riding through the hills and back down to old Hollywood was beautiful, and since we weren't the ones driving, we could actually look around and relax.

Hollywood has so many different personalities: dirty, immaculate, filthy rich, calm, jumpin', vast, cramped, squiggly, straight..we got to see all of these in about two hours...

 My camera and my brain are on high alert when I am out there...everything seems so new and fun...maybe that's why vacation is so important for the human mind? I know it is for mine...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

[] serve somebody []

Often, when I am overwhelmed, that feeling drives me to figure out a new plan of attack.  And since I usually procrastinate, it takes me a few tries before anything is tackled.  Specifically, the only time this really bothers me and I wish my emotional response was different is when I am asked to remember several personal prayer requests at once.  Let me explain: I'm a part of small group and at the end we usually go around and state where we would like God's attention to help change, awaken, or show wisdom in.  Usually 5-7 concerns are put out there for us to remember and intercede for.  This overwhelms me, to completely honest.  I 100% believe in the power of prayer and know it can bring understanding beyond anything else. But with the addition of extra prayers adding to the heaping stack in my brain completely stop me from moving forward at that moment.  As I said before, I wish my response was different.

I see my close friends writing furiously as the people in the group voice their needs, as I sit and pray a blanket prayer over everything, sincerely, with details and love.  I know that writing them down and keeping them to look over for the next week or two is great, but I know myself all too well.  That list will end up lost before the end of the night.  I wish my process was different.

It is one of my life's expectation to be in the Word everyday.  Writing thoughts and praying for wisdom in everyday life and things.  If I were to sit down and pray until all the needs for those on my heart AND on paper were spoken for, it would take until the sun came up.  Something has to change...