This is starting to become a thing. Every Monday morning I roll out of bed and shuffle to my light filled office (at home east side of house). and take a conference call or catch up on 35 emails. Then I unglue myself from my chair. Why is that so hard when really who wants to work on Mondays? AND then I go to the kitchen and make coffee, do the dishes and then turn around and inevitably something I have baked over the weekend is right there to go with my coffee. So sugar, though not really a good thing for me, is my friend on Monday's morning. If it helps me conquer this day, then why not. Enjoy your Monday.
I feel this way after a stressful day at work. If only I had that dress and actress Margaret Qualley's move. Seriously I've watched this over and over again. Enjoy some crazy, creative and great advertising, makes you want that perfume doesn’t it.
Written & Directed by: Spike Jonze
Actress: Margaret Qualley
Executive Producer: Humberto Leon & Carol Lim
Costumes: Heidi Bivens
Song: Mutant Brain (feat. Assassin) by Sam Spiegel & Ape Drums
Production Design: KK Barrett
Director of Photography: Hoyte van Hoytema
Choreographer: Ryan Heffington
It's already been a two years since we visited Belize. This was such a great trip. Was the first time in many years we've been out of the country. It was also the first time traveling with a family with three pre-teen, teen girls. Most of all I love the reason we choose Belize.
Many months before this trip my friend Sherry came up to me after one of our Sunday meetings. No context to this conversation AT ALL. She says to me "you want to go to Belize?" In my mind I'm thinking is there a restaurant called Belize, I was hungry what can I say. I asked her "are you talking about the country or are we talking about a restaurant?" She said the country and proceed to tell me why. Belize is predominantly an English speaking country, it's not too far, and she wanted to put some goals in front of her three girls. Give them a chance to see what it would live to move to a foreign country and do our volunteer work. She said the girls wanted us to go with them. I was sold. Rob was sold. We're all about putting goals in front of young ones, let them see the possibilities in life and open their minds to other cultures and peoples.
Also it didn't hurt us that we happened to have good friends from Belize who have property down there. They have asked us many times to visit with them when they are down there. So it was in motion. All we had to do was coordinate the timing when the girls were off school. We calculated our expense, frequent flyer miles, friends to stay with, we could do this on our limited budget, or really NO budget. So about 2 months before we left, literally while I was at a conference in Salt Lake City, she texted me, told me the days the girls were off and she was booking it. I flew home, booked the tickets and well the rest is history.
We spent 2 weeks and I have to say we saw more of Belize then some native Belizian's. We went from the top to the bottom to the interior of the country. Our Belizian friends were nice enough to fly back down just before us and help Rob and I get settled before the family came down. We had 3 days to do this and then regrouped with the family.
We stayed in a little village called Carmelita, just south of Orange Walk town. We had a few days of volunteer work in the surrounding villages surrounded by malty fine powdered dirt roads, sugar cane jungles and humid hot heat. We loved it. When I asked our hosts for directions to their house, all she told me was Bus Stop #2 when you get to Carmelita, I was perplexed, what in the world does that mean. Well this image below is what that means, that's the only marker to know your in Carmelita, turn down this road go to the end and the house is right there, gated with chickens and dogs running in the yard. What an adventure.
We drove to Orange Walk town to attend the meetings and make more friends. Lots of American's have moved down there to be "need greaters" in other words they volunteer their time and completely change their lifestyle to preach about promises of a better future. These are truly self-sacrificing HAPPY people.
Walking down the roads doing our volunteer work.
Our friend Anita introduced us to this taco stand, you get six rolled up Chicken tacos for $1. You order by saying $1 tacos. I got this with Horchata and was happy as a all could be. Food was really good. Lots of stewed chicken and coconut rice and beans. YUM! And they serve it on the best disney plastic plates ever.
We came back to this taco stand many times.
Many more adventures from this trip still to come.
Last year was the year of the twentieth for us. Not the anniversary of this blog, but the anniversary of 20 years of marriage. For some reason after long days away from this space I always feel the need to explain where I have been. This is a milestone in our marriage and considering the year we had before we just wanted to enjoy and experience it all. It's kept us incredibly busy with many experiences. I may share snippets of that here and not necessarily in chronological order.
First off we've moved, and while I thought I'd never miss LA, which I really don't, I have concluded I am an Angeleno, maybe a westside Angeleno, but one, none the less. So I look at the image above and smile, even if it's really because I'm not stuck in that crazy traffic anymore.
I want to get back to posting just because I like an image or a trip or something I made or somewhere I ate without the pressure of creating this GREAT post. This is my space to be free with my own creativity. I have enjoyed immediacy of Instagram and the lack of having to write something long or meaningful. Just small edited snippets of life. So this space may become that as well. We shall see, this is a start.
This is how my mind feels today, only much slower. What a great weekend celebrating a dear friends anniversary and then a trip down memory lane to the the 80's bands Psychedelic Furs and B52's at the Hollywood Bowl.
Although you hear me complain, often, about the traffic here in Lala land, I should celebrate the great things we have here. This venue, Hollywood Bowl, being one of them. Every artist, accept maybe Patty LaBelle (who has a love hate relationship with the Bowl) loves this venue. They all seem genuinely honored to be here and as they travel all over the world to many venues, they always remark on what a great place this is. So I must say the Hollywood Bowl is special. It's a fun outdoor venue. From your seats, especially if your way up high, you can see two more Lala land icons, the Hollywood sign and Griffith Observatory. You can eat and drink alcohol at your seats and thru the entire performance. If you get box seats you can even have a waiter bring you food from the restaurants that surround the Bowl. Why is it called Hollywood Bowl, well for one it's in Hollywood and two it really is a big bowl carved out in a canyon. One of my favorite 80's movies has a great scene here at the Bowl, watch "Some Kind of Wonderful, " you'll love it.
So as you walk down the heart-attack hill you've climb to your seats at the top of the bowl, or ran to your shuttle bus, or hike up another hill, to your stacked car parking, only to wait for the person who was parked at the front of the line to finally come back so you can join the other thousand people trying to get home an alternate way you came here, try 3 freeways to get home, you are still happy that you've experienced great music, fun conversation and good food with your friends. Here's to hoping the Bowl buzz stays with me for the next 5 days, till the weekend.
It's Hot. I'm done with the heat, are you SoCal peeps? Is it raining in your region of the world? Can you send some of it our way, we so need rain here. The humidity bodes well for a rainy winter, so hopefully that really happens.
This weekend was beyond hot. and hardly anyone has air conditioning on the Westside, they all think we get ocean breezes. Uhmm no, I'm 10 blocks away, with multiple buildings blocking my breeze. Seriously SB and I couldn't wait to get into our car just to put the AC on. Getting ready for a meeting or going out to eat was miserable, dripping sweat and make-up is no bueno.
Something had to be done so I decided to make yogurt popsicles. Did your mom ever make these for you growing up, mine did all the time. I have to tap her brain for what she put into them. However for me the questions was, "what did i have in my refrigerator?" Yogurt, check. Left over sweet condensed milk, from my last popsicle trial, check. Oranges and lemons, check. I decide I wanted an Orange Dreamsicle. This was the easiest recipe EVER.
2 cups yogurt (I used Vanilla, next time maybe i'd try Greek plain yogurt)
1/3 cup sweet condensed milk
Zest of one Orange
Mix and pour into your popsicle molds and freeze overnight. Seriously the mixture was so good I was dreaming about these till the next day when I could eat them and I almost ate them for breakfast, I mean it's the equivalent of orange juice, right? These were easy to make and a welcome little treat. Too bad today I'm starting a 2 week NO SUGAR kick. How will I ever make this happen! Happy Monday.
This may be more of a Wanderlust post then a Mindless Monday. My Monday is filled with "where am I going next?" I'm antsy. I'm comfortable, too comfortable. Time to detach from "stuff" and get ready for changes, whatever they may be. I need to think "simple", SIMPLIFY. It's exciting and scary to think about moving, but I know we're going to do it soon, just not sure when and the big question WHERE. We have no idea, we just need a change. So here's to thinking outside of the comfort box of SoCal and seeing where the "spirit" moves us.
P.S. I'm obsessed with these luggage tags. My former boss bought me the orange one while he was in Tokyo, the others I bought on Amazon.com. So easy to find my homogenous grey luggage, in the sea of black and grey, revolving round the baggage claim. Turquoise square find here. Round lime green and similar orange found here.
Mindless: having no apparent purpose or rational cause. That's what I call my mind today. I can't seem to focus. The humidity last week has pickled my brain. Trying to be present with the task at hand. Here it goes:
During one of my shortcuts through the LA traffic I stumbled upon this mural. Literally down the street from a place I use to work at for over 7 years. I love these little pieces of sunshine that you find in random places. Who said a building had to be boring grey or white or cream. A little splash of color goes a long way.
Below are few of my favorite "red" things that are inspired by this mural. Some affordable some on my wish list and others are a pipe dream (uuhhuu Valentino Camo Sneakers!)
It's the beginning of another busy week for me with not much time for this space. While I work away to get caught up on real life work, I miss this creative outlet and wish I had more time to dedicate here.
Summer has been busy and fulfilling, lots of travel and outings. I've thoroughly enjoyed them all. Today I wish I was outside at the beach instead of in my office typing away. I long for the summer breaks from school when you had nothing to worry about other than getting the perfect suntan and where you were going to eat or what movie you were going to watch. Here's to dreaming on a Monday!
It's March, it's Spring and it's actually warm still in California. We've not been hit by all the snow storms the east has had this year. Though I admittedly wish we had a little more "seasons" here in Cali, I know I should be grateful for the nice warm weather. Spring is my favorite part of the year. Activities get in full swing, day light savings time is here, which only took my over a week to get used to. I finally starting to go to bed at a reasonable hour and waking up my usual 7AM without an alarm clock. It's a good time of year.
I've had lots of time to be away from this space. Time to reflect on what I liked about blogging. After attending a few conferences and listening to LOTS of outside sources on blogging, which is needed, I forgot to remember why I started this blog. It was my own personal project, to make me be more creative, to explore things I enjoy. Hopefully I get back to MY basics and what inspires ME and what I want to share, regardless of what others are doing.
I am not a DIY blogger, I am not a mommie blogger, I am not a fashion blogger. Most of the conferences I attended and the ladies I had the pleasure of meeting are in these categories. I respect these ladies immensely, they are super woman. However, I am NOT in those categories.
I am a SUPER woman in my own right. I love my volunteer work, I love food, travel, architecture, COFFEE, and design. I am curious. I am a "single" couple, that's my definition of those of us couples who are blessed to be in a long married relationship with no children. I am an explorer. I am creative. I am a photographer, an artist, a baker, a friend, a wife, an aunt, a daughter, a mentor. And I am OK with all that. As I have time, in my very hectic life, I will share some of the things that inspire me.
Happy Spring my friends.
Where have you been oh Tanya, well it's been a needed not necessarily welcome break. But as they say, "absence makes the heart grow fonder." I feel the creativity bursting inside. The Fall season has been one of my favorite times of year, but I've barely just started to enjoy it. Why the absence you may ask, maybe only the two readers that are left are even asking. But here it goes.
When all seemed to be returning to normal for us, during an extremely busy year, is when you suddenly get hit with things that are just unfathomable. This is what happened at the end of August, in the middle of a class that me and SB were attending we ended up in the hospital that evening. SB had complications from a surgery 8 years ago which decided to wreak havoc on us. Two surgeries later and 7 total weeks in the hospital found us "crushed and broken." We've tried to find a new rhythm and adjust accordingly. Learning "modesty" with our selves, being fully aware of our limitations, and succumbing to those is extremely hard and humbling. But the dark road we were on always had patches of sunlight. These spots of light came from us drawing closer together, a timely call, or a text or visit from a friend and family. We even found things to laugh at, just imagine the hallucinations that come to those drugged up on all kinds of things. Can you say "giant marshmallows." Prayer kept us sane and we knew we were being heard. Just when you were at a low point a card would come in the mail with thoughts of warmth and caring from so many dear ones. So I'm slowly getting myself back in gear, so i hope to be in the space more in the coming weeks and share a bit more.
For now I eat cookies and drink coffee for breakfast, well only sometimes. In my attempt to fatten up SB i've been backing a lot. Hopefully Ill have some good recipe's to share with you. For now enjoy a welcome day off here in America.
Quick update here to account for the quietness. We've had a few medical emergencies and that has been my primary focus. I promise to get back to the creative things that excite me. In the meantime, thank you for all the support and love you have shown. We hope to get back to "normal" real soon.
In Los Angeles the food options can be limitless. Recently opened Superba Food + Bread is making headlines already. I love to see seemingly old abandoned buildings repurposed to new adventures. This building was once a auto mechanic garage and supply store. Superba Food + Bread is located at 1900 S. Lincoln Blvd. in Venice, CA, on the corner of Marco Pl. between Superba Ave. and Amoroso Pl. Ambitiously they opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the week, with the addition of brunch on the weekend. That's a big deal to open with serving three meals a day, but I can say after driving back and forth pass this place, it's always busy and in the evenings the lighting looks magical.
First time here was a few days after opening, we really just wanted to get a quick coffee and breakfast snack, not a full service sitting. This didn't seem like an option, but they were nice enough to accommodate us. At the time they were serving Stumptown coffee, but have since switched over to Heart Roasters, which at the time I wrote this Heart Roasters is only served at three places in LA.
I've gone back a few times for breakfast and lunch and really just love this place. It's decor is beautiful and simply designed, and already winning awards [2014 AIA Restaurant Design Award Winner].
I am kind of coveting the custom made Heath Ceramics that they serve their food on. The teeny tiny jars of lemon curd are amazingly delicious, if not a bit pricey, but a splurge once in a while is ok, right?
I am obsessed with this color combination. When driving back and forth down Lincoln Blvd, where Superba is located I was drawn by the mural being painted during construction. Subliminally I may have been influenced by this color as my newly updated bedroom indicates the same palatte. I'm seriously considering painting the doors with these stripes. I know they will replace our old doors when we move, so what do you think?
Say "Yes" to Super Food + Bread. Incidentally I've noticed this simple circular sign design everywhere now. It seems to be standard use on old Route 66 auto shops in the day. Just love the nostalgia of it.
Superba Food + Bread
1900 S. Lincoln Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90291
(East side of the corner of Marco and Lincoln, 1 block South of Superba)
If we ever needed a better excuse to put our own life on hold, be it blogging, working, spending time with friends, being in your own home, there is no better excuse then your 95 year old grandmother. I count myself blessed to still have this lovely woman in my life. She is the fourth of five children and the only living one. She's outlived her husband and two of her children. She's born and raised in New Mexico and has a long-term memory that amazes me.
She's lived in her house for 50 years and this year we've spent the greater part of the Spring and Summer in NM making the move from her house into my moms. This has been no easy task. Her property and house were full to the rim with stuff, a lifetime of memories and cherished things. Making these changes so late in your life is no fun, and she was a good sport even if we did verbally spar about crazy things, she LOVES her clothes, and she has LOTS of them.
She's had two hip surgeries in one year and a fractured back, she doesn't hear well, even with the hearing aids, but she moves faster then most of us ever will. She still thinks she is 20. She loves music and singing, anytime she hears a tune she starts doing a little jig with her walker as a partner. She can be stubborn beyond belief and hilarious on the other hand. I used to cry laughing on the phone when I'd call to say hello, she just has tall tales, not all based in reality, but funny none the less.
She told me when we were sitting in a restaurant: "I like to watch the old gals be all prissy," when I told her they were probably watching her watch them, she said "I am watching them to see if I can learn some new tricks." When we passed a Hooters, which I swear she's never been to, she said "I was going to join Hooters, but they talked me out of it." Seriously I could go on and on. She talks to EVERYONE (I might have inherited this part of her). People stop and listen and laugh out loud at the outrageous things she says. She's a real charmer. She's proud of her age and swears that she'll live to 100, and she probably will. She's planning on throwing herself a party when she turns 100 and getting drunk.
At 95 she told me the other day she was bored, she doesn't like to watch TV much and is so used to waiting on people, cooking, gardening, cleaning, doing their laundry and now with some limitations she can't do it all. I asked if she ever had a hobby, she said no, she never had time for such things, she was too busy with a houseful of people. She strongly dislikes be alone and will follow you around everywhere. My mom swears she's stalking her.
She loves boys, men, the male gender, period. She told us when she was growing up farming she was always out in the fields with the boys, she just got comfortable. She'll flirt with the best of them, and they just love her. She'll come to Rob first for just about everything, she only wants him take her for a walk or take her socks off (which he flatly refuses to do, shoot he'd doesn't even like his own feet).
Speaking of farming, she use to can all the food they grew. i'm convince she ate so well, (organic, before it was a fad) that this is why she's lived so long. When she cooked more it was always delicious. She still has a apricot tree in the backyard and this year it produced a small batch of fruit. I talked her into helping me make her apricot jam, which I used to eat by the spoonful. She couldn't remember the recipe, she NEVER wrote any recipe's down, but we tested it a bit and got a good jar out of what you see above.
While in New Mexico this last time I found out the Rail yards were open to the public for a Farmers Market. Mom and I took Grandma down there to see them. She was amazed, she'd never been allowed in these buildings, even though she used to live down the street, the Rail yard were always full of trains and workers. Now they are all abandoned and used for quite a few movies. She lamented that she wished she could have shared this experience with one of her older sisters and younger brother. It was a treat for the three of us, who had never been inside ourselves.
So while it's been quiet in this space, my life has been full of good memories and family duty and a great sense of accomplishment and pride in this lovely lady, who may just out live us all.
Longest day of the year was this past weekend, did you know that? Although I just posted about Spring, it's already Summer. SB is busy giving surfing lessons, poor him, has to spend all day at the beach. Whatever!
I'm trying to enjoy Summer as much as possible, though in July we'll be back on the road again to NM to take care of some family business. It's been a challenging year, blogging wise for sure. I'm still trying to enjoy this space, but my time is limited these days in between all the other projects in the pipeline. We are planning a little Sante Fe trip for our Anniversary, but our big trip this year was Belize so no more tropical vacations on the horizon. I'll eventually catch up and share some tidbits from that amazing trip. Enjoy your week.
In our attempt at redoing our bedroom, I was able to afford one lamp, it's on my side of the bed, and of course SB says "why do you get the new lamp." So I decided to pimp his lamp, so he got a new old lamp, same difference.
With spray paint cans in hand I went to town. I have to say this one wasn't easy. I had a hard time getting the tape perfectly around the lamp, who knew. As you can see there are flaws and had to spray several coats on it since the paint dripped and wasn't adhering to the old glaze. I tried sanding it down with a steel wool, but that didn't even help much. So it's not perfect, but I have to say it looks really nice. We bought a new white lampshade from Target and all was complete.
Here are a few of my Spring Favorite items. The new Anthropologie BHLDN collection is stunning in person, the rose gold and lace is just lovely, so pretty and delicate you will have a hard decision deciding on which one to buy. And the poufs, there are on sale now, just saw them in the store for $99, so go get em. My visit to Tom's flagship store in Venice had me trying on half the sunglasses, the ones feature are brand new. So great for Spring and Summer. I promise I'll get on the Summer bandwagon in a minute. Or maybe by the end of the month.
Have you ever admired a piece of furniture that someone else owned? Well I admired this dresser that my friend Michelle had. A tall dresser with various drawer sizes, this was a departure from the dressers I had growing up. She had her things displayed just right. Well she moved to Texas 10+ years ago and I gladly bought this piece of furniture from her. It fits in my small room, where my King size bed takes over the WHOLE space. After 10+ years I wanted an update. I struggled with whether to sale it, buy something brand new, or makeover a piece of cheap Ikea furniture. Budgets came in and inspiration hit me here. I couldn't afford a new chair or sofa in that amazing green couch, nor did I have room for such a thing, so I drew from that color and the rest of the dresser and room fell in place. I am incredibly happy with the result and now I can say I LOVE this piece of furniture. I'm addicted to this makeover, looking around the house for what else I can pimp!!
Here's what I did and what products I used.
Step 1: Empty all drawers and remove all the hardware.
Step 2: Sand off old paint or stain. I did a light sand as it wasn't a thick stain on the wood. Afterward make sure you wipe the dresser and drawers clean, you don't want any dust or sanding on the drawers before you prime them.
Step 3: I used Benjamin Moore - Primer and painted all the drawers and the dresser. Let this thoroughly dry before the next step. My take two coats.
Step 4: I used Benjamin Moore - Amazon Moss (2037-10) color in Eggshell finish. I matched this as closely as I could to the green couch in the inspiration image. I probably painted up to three coats, you may need more or less depending on the piece of furniture.
Step 5: After the paint thoroughly dries, you might need a few days, then apply an acrylic polyurethane to seal the paint. I did this as an after-thought, and only after I made a few scratches in the top of the dresser (yes I had to sand and repaint), I knew I had to fix this. So I used Benjamin Moore - Stays Clear Acrylic Polyurethane.
Step 6: Spray paint your hardware, a can of spray paint is so much cheaper than buying 13 new knobs. I used Krylon - Metalic Gold Spray Paint. Again I'm addicted, I ended spray painting some old picture frames in Gold after starting this project.
That's it. This literally only took me two to three days and made such a huge difference in our room.
I know I know, we're close to Summer, but I missed Spring for all the traveling I've done in the past few months. On this June Gloom day I present you with Spring and all the beauty in the flowers and fruit. There might be a white peacock and probably an over saturation of Peonies. I am kind of obsessed with them. Enjoy!
Chirp, chirp, chirp. I know it's been extremely quiet here. One must set a few priorities in life, and mine has been helping my 95 year old grandmother and my Mom in the good state of New Mexico. This is a Monday that I can try to access the past few weeks. During my stay here we've uncovered quite a few treasures and lots of stuff that I have no idea what we'll do with. We have had to decide to sell, keep, donate, or toss. No easy task, especially as there are so many memories attached. Oh I forgot the other option, what should we burn. More than once we've thought what a relief it would be if the house completely went up in flames, but we've just looked at the other option, to burn all the old paid bills oh and few pure weird things that just needed to be disposed of quickly. Below are a few of the things we've uncovered.
Biggest lesson learned here is "keep your life simple." Seriously the accumulation of stuff is beyond my comprehension, yet we so easily slip into keeping every sentimental thing. I can't wait to go home and clean out my house even more.
Just guess which one of these items I am actually keeping.