Smoothies: My New Obsession

SmoothiesI am a cyclical kind of eater, I suppose. Breakfast generally operates in two-week spurts: bagels, then yogurt with flax meal, then graham crackers with peanut butter, then scones, glorious scones. I’m the same way with snacks. It’s all almonds and yogurt and granola bars, until I decide I hate them all and never want to see any of them again (not to worry, dear almonds, the feeling passes). Somehow, I can always manage to keep things interesting enough for lunch and dinner, but I get bored so frequently with my breakfasts and snacks. I got the idea to make some healthy smoothies after seeing this post on Daily Garnish. Emily offers tons of great vegetarian recipes (and cute pictures of her son!), and I’ve been reading her blog for years. I found myself staring at her recipe and thinking, “Hey…that might work for me.” And it did!

SmoothieWhat I really love about the smoothie is that it’s so easy to incorporate things that are really great for you. I use fruits, veggies, seeds, and grains, but no one flavor overpowers another. And you would never know you were drinking a hefty bunch of spinach or five carrots. Another thing I *really* love is that the fruit is a natural sweetener; I don’t add any sugar at all.

SmoothieThese are wonderfully filling, for breakfast or for snacks. I make a whole blender full and then keep it in a pitcher in the fridge. I drink some most afternoons, and sometimes when we’re running out the door for dinner, and I’m too hungry to personably get through all that waiting for the eating part of dinner (to all those who have experienced this with me in my pre-smoothie days…sorry).

SmoothieSmoothies are, of course, endlessly customizable. I usually start with two veggies and then add three fruits and a good handful of ground nuts, seeds, and grains. It makes me feel super virtuous, and boy do I love that. I also love the texture that the nuts and grains give it. I can really taste almonds and pistachios when I use them, and I like crunching down on the little pieces that escape the food processor.

SmoothieEric (affectionately?) refers to my smoothies as sludge, but I can see in his eyes that he knows they are delicious. Because they are. I’m including a rough recipe for one of my favorites here, but you should definitely add in whatever you like and/or whatever you have. Happy sludging!

Fruit, Veggie, Nut and Grain Smoothie

4 c spinach/kale mix
1/4 head of red cabbage
2 c milk
1 mango, chopped
1 c strawberries
2 c mixed berries
1/2 c ground oats
1/4 c ground almonds
2 tsp chia seeds, pre-soaked (they form a gel when soaked that aids in digestion)
2 Tbsp flax meal
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp orange blossom water

-Grind the nuts and grains in a food processor.
-Add the milk and veggies to the blender and combine. Then add the fruits and seeds, one by one, followed by the vanilla and orange blossom water. Voila!

*A few notes*
-I often use frozen fruits in smoothies, but you might consider thawing them before blending them. Our blender is a beast, designed to crush ice, but it still got kind of mad at me when I put in too many frozen berries.
-We ordered orange blossom water from Amazon for Turkish cooking (along with pekmez and pomegranate molasses), and it is heavenly in smoothies. It’s very potent, though, so just a few drops will be enough to give your smoothie a delicious fragrance and flavor.
-Other ingredients I have tried/plan to try: pistachios, carrots, cashews, greens of all kinds, coconut, cucumbers, avocado. Bananas are a common smoothie ingredient, but I haven’t used them yet because bananas are the imperialists of the fruit world: put them in, and they take over everything. However, I will give them a chance someday. Even imperialists can reform. Here are some further delicious-looking ideas.

One Little Word: April

One Little Word: AprilI finally got my fat stack of photos from Snapfish, so now I can get to work on Project Life and finally do this One Little Word exercise from April. I really loved the idea of it–simple but expressive. It’s really easy to add text to photos in Picasa, and, of course, they’ll be printed just as you send them to Snapfish, or anywhere else. As soon as I saw these, I knew a green background would be perfect.

One Little Word: AprilThis page came together so organically, with very little planning on my part. I decided which specific things I wanted to use as my “open” examples, and then I found pictures that expressed those things. This is one of my favorites. It’s the library where I did a lot of freelance work this spring. It was a gift that it came my way, and I am so glad that I totally impulsively said, “Yes!” as soon as I found about the opportunity. Sometimes your instinct just knows best. I do my best to remain as open as possible to anything that comes that my way that might be fun or fruitful.

One Little Word: AprilI am always working on a handful of projects at once, but I get so excited to try new things. This year has been a marvelous one for exploring new creative territory. I’ve been painting and cross-stitching and quilting. And I have plans to do a lot more! Creating things somehow soothes my soul. It’s just about my favorite thing to do in the world. This means being open to things I’ve never done before and may not ever do well (which has not always been easy). This means letting go of perfectionism and embracing the messiness and mistakes of the learning process. This means valuing the journey, not the end result. It’s a wonderful way to live.

One Little Word: AprilOne rather hilarious thing about me is that I make new schedules for myself all the time. Sometimes I have work on a deadline, sometimes there’s a series of classes I want to attend, and sometimes I just feel stagnant and want to change things up a bit. It helps me so much to just ask myself in the evening if I did what I truly wanted to do during the day. Some things, like oil changes and laundry and dishes, can’t be avoided, but I want to be sure that I am spending my time productively and in ways that energize me. Part of that is an openness to trying things in different ways, shaking things up, and letting go of old ways of doing things. I don’t want to shut any positive thing out of my life, so I strive to stay as open as possible.

One Little Word: AprilOur travels this year have really left me in awe of the world around us, and I don’t ever want to lose that wonder. I don’t want to miss one little beautiful thing around me. But I also don’t want to miss one little thing within me. This year I have been doing a handful of things with our church, which have led to some wonderful friendships and insightful discussions. It’s been so glorious. And I want to remain open to any other opportunities in that line that come up in these next few months. They are so rewarding for me.

One Little Word: AprilI think this last one sums it all up: I am more aware than ever that, despite our myriad circumstances, we do have a lot of agency to choose how we spend our time. I want to be learning and loving and creating and traveling, and I want to be aware of the little things that make life so sweet. I want to be open to any way I can maximize my experience of this beautiful life. I want to live expansively. I want to live joyfully. I want to make whatever choices will lead me in that direction.

Blueberry Cinnamon Oat Cake

Blueberry Cinnamon Oat CakeI feel like at some point in early summer, my brain switches into “Berries! Berries! Berries!” mode. I am also in love with oats and always looking for new breakfast inspiration, so I was excited to try out this new recipe. If we’re being honest, it’s really more cake than breakfast, but I added a lot of walnuts, so, protein!

IMG_3441Blueberries and I have a weird relationship. They have never been my favorite, even though I heartily believe they should get the gold medal at the Berry Olympics for not having tiny seeds that get stuck in your teeth (I’m looking at you, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries). And yet, I do love them with lemon and baked into some sweet concoction such as this one. And, from what I hear, blueberries are one of the best foods for your brain, and they are full of antioxidants, so I always feel so virtuous and like a health champion when I buy them.

Blueberry Cinnamon Oat CakeAll berry rankings aside, this cake is so refreshingly delicious. It really is like a giant moist muffin, crammed full of tangy and gorgeously purple blueberries and lightly crunchy walnuts. Any berries will be fantastic in this recipe, but I give blueberries five stars. If you are into feeling extra virtuous,  a good handful of chia seeds or flax meal would be a welcome addition.

Blueberry Cinnamon Oat Cake
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons quick-cooking oats, divided
2/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups blueberries, divided
1/2 cup-1 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons coarse sanding sugar

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch square metal baking pan, tapping out excess flour. Combine 1 cup oats and water and let stand until oats have softened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
-Beat together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a medium bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and beat in egg and vanilla until just combined, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary. Add flour and oat mixtures and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Fold in about half of berries.
-Spread batter in pan and sprinkle with remaining 3 tablespoons oats and sanding sugar. Scatter remaining berries evenly over top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes; cut into squares.

How I Want to Live

Every Grain of SandI am re-reading Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov for the first time in ten years, and I’m falling in love with it all over again. You go merrily along, chuckling here and there at the narrator’s jokes and the ridiculous foibles of the characters, and then something like this jumps off the page and grabs you by the heart. I should say, first and foremost, that I adore Dostoevsky. I don’t think any writer has ever understood the ecstasy and agony of the human heart, and especially the hearts of the downtrodden, as well as he did.  And I can’t think of any writer who has ever expressed something so oft-discussed as love in such a new way that it makes you feel like you’ve never encountered it before. That is pure magic.

This passage, a quote from the Elder Zosima, the novel’s spiritual core, has been much on my mind these past few weeks. As we’ve been traveling quite a bit this spring and summer, I have been in a near-constant state of awe at the beauty all around us. I’ve seen the rarest seahorses and jellyfish, so improbably bright in hue that it knocked me off my feet. I’ve touched the rocky surface of starfishes and felt the cool velvet of a bat ray. I’ve watched ocean waves crash into rocks, gently flowing from royal blue to aquamarine to palest turquoise and then into a bubble bath of foam. I’ve seen the hugest and most majestic bears and the tiniest of lizards darting across mountain paths. I’ve seen redwoods and cypresses, permanently bent away from the ocean winds, as if raising their shoulders in defense. I’ve smelled the most decadent of wild sage, juniper berries, and jasmine. I’ve seen tiny pale green pine cones and mule deer antlers still in velvet. I’ve stood, jaw dropped, for fifteen minutes watching a 100-year-old tortoise walk across the sand. I’ve seen enough beauty to break my heart.

And Zosima is right, the more attuned we are to the incredible things around us, the more we see of them. It builds upon itself, every day. I have lived in California for almost ten years, and I treasure the plants and animals I’ve come to know. I love seeing manzanitas and star of jasmine, lady finger succulents and harbor seals, leyland cypresses and lupines. I’ve become obsessed with the idea of learning more of them. Today I brought home a fat stack of field guides from the library: cacti, wild flowers, trees and animals. These beautiful things around me, I want to know what they are called. I want to greet them each day as I run my errands and go for afternoon walks. I want them to become part of me, their beauty reminding me of something that is deeper and truer than I can see or touch with my hands. Whether you are a person of faith or not, there is something transcendent about nature, something of two worlds touching, as Dostoevsky would put it. It isn’t a stretch at all to say that the flowers and the trees and the birds bring me joy on a daily basis. And that’s how I want to live. Loving every grain of sand.

It boggles my mind to this day how someone who had as hard and sometimes dark of a life as Dostoevsky could have such a luminous faith in humanity, in love, in grace. He wrote The Brothers Karamazov while grieving the loss of his beloved three-year-old son. And yet he still found a way to write a book about darkness that nonetheless blinds you with pure light, with pure love. People often think that Russian literature is depressing, and Dostoevsky’s novels in particular, but that could not be further than the truth. In every word of his text, you can feel his joy at the gift of life, his laughter at the tiny comedies that make up our days, and his relentless hope in forgiveness. I never feel so uplifted as when I’m reading his novels. It’s simple and true: light shines brightest in the darkness.

in dostoevsky's flatIn 2004 I had the incredible opportunity to intern at The Dostoevsky Museum in St. Petersburg. It’s housed in Dostoevsky’s last apartment, right across the street from a church, so he could hear the bells every day. The room behind me is his study, where he breathed his last. The clock behind me was stopped at the moment of his death. Being in this space overwhelmed me in the best possible way. As I walked past his black top hat, carefully preserved under a glass cloche, and listened to the old stairs creak under my feet each day, I liked to think he was looking down on me and smiling at all my many grains of sand.

Big Bear Lake

Big BearEric knows that I love to travel, and he does too. Exploring new places together is one of our all-time favorite things to do. Each year we try to take a few little trips together to see new things and to have a little time away to reflect and talk about the big things as well as the little ones. It is just so good to do that. For our two year anniversary we headed east to Big Bear Lake, a mountain retreat and adventure playground. And, as a side note, Eric has really long arms and is thus very good at taking these shots. It’s one of his many talents.

Big BearWe arrived Friday night, but as we were approaching Big Bear, traffic just stopped. Everyone was trying to see what was happening up around the bend, and soon, amidst all the lights from the sirens, I noticed a helicopter flying low. I realized it was trying to land on this curvy mountain road. And I knew that was not good. It was a terrible wreck, terrifying to imagine, and all we could do was pray. Eric and I talked about the prayers that had been most meaningful to us as children, and we sent ours along, hoping for the very best. (I haven’t been able to find any news reports about the accident, so I hope that is a good sign of a positive outcome). Needless to say, moments like that remind us that life is so precious, and so fragile. That every minute you’re laugh-singing to Ace of Base in the car with someone you love is a gift, not to be taken for granted. In an ideal world, it wouldn’t take an accident like this to remind us of that truth, to draw our minds back to gratitude. It’s something that I try to do every day, but every day is a fresh experience, with as many opportunities to be grumpy as to be grateful. There isn’t anything in the world I’m more grateful for than Eric, and this weekend we made every moment count.

Big BearEric found this very aptly named street for me. In the afternoon we kayaked around the lake, which was such awesome fun, but I have zero pictures of it because we decided to leave our phones in the car in case the whole thing tipped over. Thankfully, there was no flipping, but we did get a lot of splashes of perfectly cold ice water from the oars, so we probably made the right call. I don’t think I had ever kayaked before, but it was so much easier than paddling in a canoe or paddleboat, and I have already told Eric that wherever we should stumble upon a kayaking adventure in the future, I’m on it.

Big BearBig Bear has a wildlife rehabilitation center (which we hit up right after the kayaking), where they nurse injured or abandoned animals back to health so they can release them back into the wild. There were mountain lions and grizzly bears (one. thousand. pounds.) and owls and bald eagles and pelicans and wolves and deer. It was glorious. I also have zero pictures of that, since I was too busy oohing and aahing, but I will never forget it.

Big BearThe village is really quaint and charming, even though it was under some kind of heavy construction. I hear they’re putting in heated sidewalks and fire pits along the walkways. Fancy. Can you see the bear on top of the sign?

I'm A Monster!We found these hand chairs and, of course, could not stop ourselves from making one hundred Arrested Development jokes, but I am telling you: I did not know Eric was doing this Buster pose until I loaded these pictures onto my computer. He is always making me laugh.

Big BearBig Bear has the most impressive fudge and ice cream shop I have ever seen. We spent such a long time deliberating! Eric says that, for the record, it turns out that a quarter pound of fudge is too much for one person to eat. So, I pass this knowledge on to you.

Big BearFor our anniversary dinner we went to a tiny Italian place, tucked away under a bowling barn. It was way more elegant than that sounds. And I wore a new secret dress, which was lots of fun, since Eric always notices when I wear something new.

Big BearOn Sunday we rode the chairlift up to the top of the mountain for lunch. This one operates year-round; when the final snow melts for the season, mountain bikers take over, sending their wheels up on the lift and then riding down. It looks awesomely scary.

Big BearAlthough there was nothing but thirty feet of air between our feet and the craggy mountain, it was very peaceful and not at all frightening.

Big BearOnce we got to the top, we went for a little hike, and Eric became king of the mountain. Best king I’ve ever seen.

Big BearThe views behind us were really breath-taking.

Big BearWow.

Big BearAfter lunch and our ride back down the mountain, it was time to hit the road. We had such a beautiful weekend, and I’m so glad we crammed as much fun into it as possible. But the things I think I’ll really remember about this trip are the conversations we had, the smiles we shared, the laughter and the ease we have with each other. We had such a great time talking about our favorite memories from the last year and talking about our hopes and goals for this coming one. We came up with so many fun things that I had to rush to write them down when we got back to the hotel. Having a partner who is also your best friend is just the greatest joy in life. I can’t wait for all that year three has in store for us.

One Little Word: June

One Little Word: JuneI have really loved taking Ali EdwardsOne Little Word class this year (my word is open). A little burst of inspiration, all ready for you, awaits you in your inbox on the first of every month. One of the fun things about it, though, has been making the exercises my own. OLW is designed for an 8 1/2 x 11 format, so I always change it to a 12 x 12 to fit my Project Life album. And sometimes the prompts are print-outs, which, instead of filling in, I transform into a collection of little papers, each answering one of the questions. I love the way it looks, especially since I’m a bright color addict.

One Little Word: JuneI didn’t think too hard about the questions–I just let the answers come to me, and I felt that they were right.

One Little Word: JuneThere’s been a lot of magic in how my word has played out so far this year.

One Little Word: JuneAnd a few challenges. But I never brook challenges without trying to think of ways to overcome them.

One Little Word: JuneI love how this word spread out across the bottom. It’s so true! Even when I am dragging my heels to the computer or the craft table, I always come away feeling so refreshed.

One Little Word: JuneIt’s always such a positive experience to reflect on the things that you’re proud of.

One Little Word: JuneThis was a bit of a random thought, but I’m glad it’s included here.

One Little Word: JuneBut the most fun part by far was to set three audacious goals for the rest of the year. I let the idea simmer for a few days before I wrote them down, and I feel really happy with them. The third one is covered up–it’s a little project I’m not quite ready to share yet. But it was great to get it in writing and commit to it. I’ll share it as soon as I can. Do you have a word for this year? I would love to hear how it’s going for you!

Red Pepper Pizza

Red Pepper PizzaPizza is a real go-to around here, not least because I like to pile it high with lots of veggies. And lots of cheese. Everyone knows that it’s the cheese that’s the secret. There have been several pizza obsessions in my day, from mushroom pesto to zucchini tarragon to potato dill. But this one is special. Eric loves red peppers, and I like them pretty well too. But I was unprepared for their magnificence here, thinly sliced and marinated. It’s a pizza we both get excited for. Just look at this gorgeousness. It’s like a gigantic open-faced salad sandwich.

Red Pepper PizzaVery high on the list of things I can’t abide: raw onions. But marinated onions? Sliced paper thin? Sign me up. We have been using our mandoline twice a week so far this summer. It’s such an awesome tool to have (thank you, Amanda Lynn!)

Red Pepper PizzaThe magic of this pizza is that this succulent tower of vegetables and parsley rests on top of the cheese, so the moisture runs off the side instead of making the dough soggy. Genius!

Red Pepper PizzaThere are not any after-baking pictures of this pizza because it is immediately devoured. I nominate it for pizza MVP.

Red Pepper Pizza
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

3 red bell peppers
1/2 small red onion
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1/4 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 ounces mozzarella cheese

Pizza dough for one pizza (I use Bittman’s recipe and toss in some chopped herbs if I have some on hand)

-Preheat the oven–with a pizza stone in it–to 450 to 500 °F. [If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can bake this on the back of a baking sheet, sprinkled with cornmeal.] -Slice the peppers and onion as thin as possible, using a mandoline if you have one, and roughly chop the parsley and basil. Toss in a bowl with the olive oil and the vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Coarsely grate the cheese and set aside.
-Roll out a disk of pizza dough 12 to 14 inches in diameter and place it on the back of a lightly floured sheet pan or pizza peel. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the dough. Spread the pepper mixture on top of the cheese. Slide the pizza directly onto the pizza brick and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough is crispy and thoroughly cooked. Slice and serve immediately.

Hand-Stitched Cards

Hand-Stitched CardsThank you all so much for your sweet comments yesterday about our anniversary! You are the best, and I so appreciate you sharing in our joy. We had a great day–I secretly bought a new dress and got my hair done, and we went out to dinner at a Thai place across the street from the hotel we stayed in two years ago, when we were looking for an apartment in Pasadena. For birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas, Eric and I like to make gifts for each other, but then we work so hard on them that we don’t get to spend any time with each other the week before! This year, I suggested that we just make cards for each other, and Eric agreed. His was totally adorable, and it totally made me cry. He is the greatest. Our anniversary and Father’s Day are always linked in my mind, since they come so close together, and now that these cards have been safely delivered to their recipients, I can show them to you. I honestly can’t remember where I got the idea to hand-stitch lettering on them, but it was really easy, and I love the way it looks.

Hand-Stitched CardsI traced out the lettering in pencil before getting started and just used a basic backstitch with two-ply embroidery thread on one of my cross-stitch needles. I stabbed myself a few times (okay, maybe twelve times), but the good thing about cross-stitch needles is that they are not at all sharp. And the other good thing is that eventually I learned to poke a tiny hold before pushing the whole needle through. Old dogs can learn new tricks!

Hand-Stitched CardsI kind of like the way it looks on the back too. I taped down the loose threads to keep the stitches from popping out.

Hand-Stitched CardsI put these checkerboard washi tapes on the top and bottom because they remind me of racing flags, and my dad loves cars.

Hand-Stitched CardsI made this one for Eric’s dad, and I doubled up on the stitches because it’s a shorter word. I love the look of it.

Hand-Stitched CardsIt was so cool to see the letters come together. That is probably my favorite thing about embroidery!

Hand-Stitched CardsAnd similar fun on the backside. Eric and I are so grateful for our wonderful dads, and we were sorry to be away from them, but glad that they’re always just a phone call away. Hope you all had a fantastic Father’s Day too!

I Still Do

Our Wedding DayTwo years ago today, my Daddy walked me down the aisle, and I sobbed the whole way, out of joy and gratitude. When I was a little girl, I didn’t dream of my wedding, but I did dream of love: romance and flowers and that butterfly feeling in my stomach. And this love, it definitely hasn’t disappointed in that arena. There have been, and continue to be, all kinds of romantic surprises, and I still get pretty giddy every day when Eric comes home from work. When he’s away from home, my eyes fall on a scrap of paper with his handwriting on it, and I can’t help but smile and clutch it close to my heart. I feel that way about every single little thing about him: I love them all so much.

But the greatest thing about this love is not that it fits the bill of the romance I imagined as a little girl. The greatest thing is that it is so much more. It’s the peace I feel every time we make a decision together for our family–we are such a good team. It’s the deliberations over plane tickets and car repairs and what to make for dinner. It’s the million and one ways Eric makes me laugh in any given week. It’s the private language we share, that only the two of us understand. It’s the deep knowledge that I am known and loved more deeply and intimately than I could ever have imagined. It’s the comfort of always being with your best friend, someone who has your back to the very end, someone who finds as much magic in you as you find in him. When we are together, everything is fun, and everything is funny. And the things that are not fun, and not funny, they are okay too, as long as he is by my side.

In my favorite pictures of Eric, he is looking away from the camera and smiling at something in the distance. Something about that makes my heart overflow every time I see it. It’s such a perfect image of the man I love: happy, hopeful, sweet, loving, compassionate. I love to tell him how much I love him. The trust and respect between us is something that I’m not sure I ever I thought I’d experience, not even in my wildest dreams. It’s an embarrassment of riches over here, and I am so thankful for it every single day, from the first morning smile to the sleepy good nights before bed.

To say that these two years, and the five years that we have been together, have been the happiest of my life would be the understatement of the century, akin to saying that maybe chocolate is a little tasty sometimes. Eric reminds me all the time, with his endless support of my work and play, with his gentle compassion, with his bright enthusiasm for life and learning, that he is more than wonderful, more than marvelous, more than amazing. Thank you for two incredible years, baby. I still do. And I always will.

June, Currently

June, CurrentlyPriming some wood canvases for painting.

Preparing to celebrate our anniversary this week. Crying already as I think about all the things I want to say to Eric on that special day.

Catching up on Project Life, One Little Word, and our Istanbul scrapbook. My craft table, it’s very crowded these days.

Looking forward to a little weekend getaway in Big Bear.

Enjoying being home, making messes, and having more project ideas than I do time.

Feeling so grateful for weekends–a chance to unwind and spend lots of quality time together. Mostly laughing.

Eating tons of fruit, gigantic leeks and huge bulbs of fennel, and making smoothies out of spinach and carrots and fruit and nuts and seeds. So far, pretty awesome.

Watching the new episodes of Arrested Development, and really loving some of them. Ron Howard has seriously outdone himself in terms of narrative structure, and it’s blowing my mind. Tarantino’s got nothing on this.

Reading a motley collection of books by Jesuits and Dostoevsky. Good stuff!

Listening to my Regina Spektor Pandora station like there’s no tomorrow. Sia, Tori Amos, Feist, Cat Power, Regina, repeat. It’s perfection for photo editing.

Hoping the tiny succulents we bought tonight do not meet an untimely death. So far I’m two for three.

Setting big, audacious goals for the second half of this year.

Marveling at all the gorgeous flowers in bloom and not yet wilted by summer heat.

Loving Eric, loving life.

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