The Sunniest of Mondays to You

August 20, 2012


How was your weekend? Mine was FAB.

We hit the beach, hiked through the mountains, slurped smoothies, worked on projects, slept in, and just generally enjoyed being together.

Yesterday I spent some time playing with these interesting flowers I got from the farmer's market - they feel like paper and don't smell like anything, but I really like them. Anyone know what they're called?

So here's some flower power to get you through your Monday :)


Mike & Meghan | Calamigos Ranch Wedding

August 13, 2012

Look at these two.

Seriously, the loveliest couple.

I got to spend Saturday at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, documenting Mike and Meghan's beautiful day.

And beautiful it was - Meghan is one of those brides who just has an eye for design and details. She DIY'ed most of the decor and really, it rocked. The bridal party - hysterical and oh-so-fun. Shooting with Josh and Tara - awesome.

Overall - gorgeous wedding, amazing people, and lots of true love.

Congrats Mike & Meghan!

Click through to see more! 

From Above

August 11, 2012

Since moving back to the land-o-the-sun, I can now look at photos like these and not be totally depressed. These lovely shots are part of photographer Gray Malin's aerial project - he jumps into a helicopter (because you know, that's just what you do) and he shoots famous and not-so-famous beaches across the world. Aren't they cool? You can check out more of Gray's work here.


It's Friday Baby

August 10, 2012

Happy happy Friday! This has been such a crazy week, I sort of neglected some of the other cool posts I had rolling around my head. Ah, well. Next week. (Thanks for the sweet comments and emails about my last post - it's times like those that really make the blogosphere feel like a close community. I love!)

This weekend I'm shooting marital bliss down in Malibu, so get excited for some pretty people pictures coming your way.

Also, I just finished reading The Happiness Project and I want to talk about it with you all. I enjoyed the book, just a lot to think about! If you haven't heard about it/read it, I suggest you do. Do it and then we can chat about it. You know, a long distance virtual book club.

Have a great weekend! xoxo

Her Laugh, His Nose

August 7, 2012
Dad taking a picture of Mom taking a picture of Dad. 

So yesterday my sister Kate came for a visit.

It was a quick, but wonderful visit. We had such a great time. Delicious dinner, coffee date, beach time, walks, Cajun Kitchen breakfast, laughter, and good conversations. And there was a fair amount of picture taking.

But my favorite part of Kate's visit was late last night, when we sat together and looked through album after album of our family photos.

Our family history is a difficult one to recall - most notably our mother died of breast cancer when I was 18, Kate 16, and our father died six years after her. They weren't married when she died, they'd divorced long before, but were still great friends with endless inside jokes that marked a friendship that originated in their awkward middle school/high school days and continued right to the end.

When my mom was sick and had secretly (from the kids) been told that her days were numbered,  my dad did a video project with her - a few hours at a time he would ask her random questions ranging from how she was feeling that day, to what she wanted us girls to know down the road. It really goes without saying that these DVDs are such a gift. They didn't film more than 4 or 5 discs, and most of the time it's just them sparring and joking around, but I love them.

Last night Kate and I went through all the old photos and watched our parents laugh, joke, cry, and attempt to pass on their own bizarre wisdom. It was such a meaningful experience for us - we wheezed and laughed hysterically at our awkward kid photos, and praised our parents for their truly old school hipster looks. We marveled at how young they looked. We soaked in the sound of our mother laughing and our dad's sarcastic, drawling tone from behind the camera.

And it hit us all over again - I have mom's laugh. Kate has mom's hands, we both have dad's nose. We  share jokes, mannerisms, crinkled foreheads and a certain sort of resiliency that can't be forgotten, no matter how many years we've been apart.

I am so blessed. I am so grateful. Every single day is an absolute gift, and yesterday with my sister felt like an extra big, triple decker present with a huge bow.

Love you sis.

Shine Like Sunbeams

August 6, 2012

Roald Dahl is one of my favorite authors, and some of my first memorable and enjoyable reading memories are tied to his stories. The first book Matthew and I ever read aloud to each other was my old worn copy of James and the Giant Peach. It was back from my elementary school days - a book that I'd checked out from the library, spilled an entire glass of water on, frantically attempted to dry, and returned to the librarian like nothing had happened. 

Yeah, you can see why I still have it. 

My man Roald hits it right on the nose - the happiest people are always the prettiest people. 

So here's to a great Monday, and a wondrous week -may happiness and beauty abound!


P.S. Did you know that Roald Dahl's niece wrote a cookbook? And did you know that it looks really good and that I want it? I think it's the phrase voluptuous delights that really gets me...

Image via Just Be.

FIESTA! | Old Spanish Days 2012

August 4, 2012

Blueberry Peach Crisp | A Late Night Baker's Delight

August 3, 2012
 Since we've moved into our new place, I've kept the cooking pretty simple. Don't get me wrong, I L-O-V-E to cook - but our new kitchen is small and I've been preoccupied with a million other things. We've been noshing on salads, bruschetta, burritos, and other easy throw-together sort of meals. Not really share-worthy.

But the other night I was hit with a I-need-to-bake-something sort of mood. Normally, my go-to is some sort of cookie that involves whatever we have in the cupboards - walnuts, cranberries, chocolate chips, oatmeal, and other assorted goodies. Still being so new in the house though, I haven't had a chance to build up a store of cupboard goodies.

Luckily I did have an abundance of farmer's market blueberries and peaches. Which meant one thing: crisp. So easy to throw together, and it's a sure crowd pleaser. 

And if you have a husband that likes to eat dinner, dessert, and second dessert - a recipe like this is perfect. :)

Blueberry Peach Crisp
Yields 6 healthy servings

Note: As always, I'm more of an eyeball-it sort of gal. These measurements are approximate, but feel free to adjust as needed!

For the filling:
2.5 Cups Fresh Blueberries
2 Yellow Peaches, sliced
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar (substitute honey if you're so inclined)
1/2 Lemon, squeezed
2 Tbsp Flour

For the topping:
1.5 Cup Oats
1/2 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar (substitute honey if you're so inclined)
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil, melted
Pinch of Salt

Super Simple Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all filling ingredients, set aside.
Combine all topping ingredients, set aside.
Grease a standard 9" glass pie dish (or equivalent) with a bit of coconut oil.
Spoon filling into dish.
Spread topping over filling.
Bake for 40 minutes or so, or until filling is bubbly and the topping is golden.
Let cool for...well, I'm not good at that part. I never let things cool.

Note: Normally I'd serve with vanilla ice cream, of course. But we didn't have any, so I poured a little bit of honey sweetened almond milk over the top just for extra deliciousness.

Every Summer Has A Story

August 2, 2012

It's August folks! I'm really happy: Summer is truly HERE.

(Who am I kidding, this is Santa Barbara. Well, it's my first real Summer in years, so I'm celebrating with gusto.)

Summertime makes me want to have a huge al fresco dinner party on the deck and invite everyone I love. I'm thinking bruschetta, asparagus, salmon, cocktails, huge salads, crusty bread, cioppino, fruit crisps. I love food.

It makes me want to slather myself in sunscreen and spend the entire day on the beach, where a Blenders magically appears for me around lunchtime. Fairy Godmother, I'll take a Blue Orange, thanks!

It makes me want to wear nautical stripes and let my hair make friends with the humidity and walk around with beachy waves. (Author's note: this will never happen.)

Mostly, this summer I'm hit with a love and fondness I haven't felt before.

Here's the truth:

After graduating college, I fell a little bit out-of-love with Summer.

In college, you enjoy a blissful thing called SUMMER VACATION - months of sun and sea and trips and part time jobs. You think, heck, since I'm normally in school all the time, I'm going to tear it up for the next few months!

But then I graduated.

And I had a major realization:

In real life, you enjoy something called THE REAL WORLD.

I know, this sounds a bit obvious.

But really - my lovely 3 month long Summer vacations were gone. I had entered that part of adulthood where come May 5, you simply keep going to work.

So needless to say, Summer sort of lost it's magic for me for a time.

But then we moved to Spokane, and... we don't need to go into it. Summer there is fleeting, like chasing a fox through the forest: you see the fox, chase after it, and only ever end up catching the slightest glimpse of it. You sit down to rest and accept the next 8 months of winter weather.

So I've learned my lesson. I will take Summer