"If you had fun, tell everyone you know. If you didn't have fun, don't tell nobody".

My friend Robyn recently wrote about a private supper club I brought her to last week, and below is my own account of this exciting experience. Aside from rubbing elbows with some other foodies and meeting the elusive chef I'd been emailing with, I was looking forward to the food most of all. As you'll see from the menu below, the meal was seasonal, vegetarian, and rich with so many amazing flavors and spices. I left satisfied and with a warm fuzzy feeling in my belly and heart.

* Sauvignon blanc, white vermouth, tangerine seltzer, bitters served in hi-ball glasses - such a beautiful blush color, perfect for summer entertaining

* Carrot puree with cumin, yellow-eyed peas, red pepper strands, served on thin flatbread

Family style selections:
* Rustic bread, olive oil and sea salt
* Quinoa with roasted pecans
* Parsley pesto
* Charred, roasted baby yellow beets
* Edamame salad with sesame, seeds, toasted sesame oil and red pepper for a little kick
* Whole roasted shallots
* Mashed rutabaga and potato
* Whole, sweet roasted garlic cloves
* Marinated chanterelles and crimini mushrooms
* Roasted broccoli rabe with garlic
* Simply dressed salad of radicchio, field greens and fennel, lemon, olive oil, sea salt
* Cheddar cheese, apple butter and spiced almonds

* Stone ground Mexican chocolate, dark chocolate with cherries and almonds


your eyes could steal a sailor from the sea

I'm heading back to Los Angeles today for the first time since I moved home to Boston three years ago. A good friend is running in the LA marathon and I'm using it as an excuse to make the trip out to catch up with other friends who live there, one of whom now has two small children. I'm really looking forward to eating some delicious, fresh food, breathing in the Santa Monica air, and visiting some of my favorite haunts.

When I moved, my brother drove down from San Francisco to help me pack up my apartment (a fond memory for him, I am sure!) and before he left I took him to one of my favorite restaurants, The Galley. For a place with sawdust on the floor, dusty lights and cramped booths, they have a lot of nerve to charge $20 for shrimp scampi, but the atmosphere is really something else, and it's totally worth it. From the outside it literally looks like the exterior of an old ship, complete with porthole windows, ropes and anchors criss-crossing the wood shingles. After drinking a few too many IPAs with my brother, I smuggled about 30 of these cocktail napkins into my bag.

The image and caption really illustrate the vibe of The Galley, and when a special occasion calls for me to use one of my stockpiled napkins, I can't help but think of this song...

"Brandy" - Looking Glass (1972)

If you're ever in Santa Monica, stop by and enjoy a drink on their back patio.

The Galley Restaurant
2442 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405

And wherever you spend this weekend, I hope you are happy and in good company!

rainy saturday DIY..

One can find hundreds of tutorials online, so I won't bother instructing you on how to build your own terrarium. After all, I did this four days ago and just because they are alive right now does not mean they won't croak at any moment. I bought the bowl about a year ago, and then each of the tall cylindrical vessels at Target. They were all under $15 - such a steal. Once my terrariums die I'll find another use for the vessels. What, you ask? A layered sand jar, of course. Or I may fill them with holiday lights for my next roof deck party. Or maybe I'll use the big one (standing around 14" tall) to store my orphaned socks. There are many of them, unfortunately.


"multi-tasking arises out of distraction itself." - Marilyn vos Savant

Searching for quotes about distraction can be really.... distracting. I have no idea who the hell this Marilyn vos Savant character is, but this statement perfectly illustrates what I sat down to share with you today. Or perhaps the word that best describes what I mean is not multi-tasking, but discovery.

With about eight months having passed since my last entry, there's really quite a bit to catch up on, but I'm only going to update on this past month. Perhaps later on I'll go back further, but I do hope my life is busy and exciting enough with new things that it won't be necessary. The first thing I'll share is a little "episode" I had about a week ago when I was at home trying to accomplish something. Really, all I set out to do was take my holiday wreath to the basement, as it had been waiting in a plastic bag in my front hall ever since I hung this....

And here is what happened.

Bring holiday wreath to basement storage, spy bamboo blinds from old apartment and grab them, remove cheap blinds from bedroom windows, go in search of hammer and nails in grandmother's old side table, find hammer, bud vase, and vacant glass picture frame in top drawer, accidentally remove drawer but save it from falling to floor, poke around in back of now-empty drawer opening, encounter two vintage scarfs and flawless dry cleaning ticket from 1959, tie one scarf around neck and admire myself in mirror above fireplace, light candle on mantel, try to fit old dry cleaning ticket in glass picture frame (it doesn't), find a picture box frame on side table, remove current photo and insert dry cleaning ticket (fits), rearrange and dust side table, make mental note to buy flowers for empty bud vase, think of what to do with glass picture frame, find photo of mother and trim it to fit, dust bedside table and place newly framed photo of mother next to lamp, remove potted succulent from bedroom and introduce it to sunny living room, return to bedroom to find shirt to compliment new scarf, admire still-empty bedroom windows. Still have not hung bloody blinds.

It's no secret to those who know me well that I have a tendency to get side-tracked and attempt to tackle dozens of tasks at a time.. "WOW! Something shiny!!" Well, I did eventually hang my blinds, which look gorgeous. I will be doing a post on my bedroom sometime in the future, but I'm overjoyed to report that despite the absence of a headboard, I am officially loving my urban nest.

Anyway, here's the neat dry cleaning ticket that I framed. Yes, I see the coffee stain, but in my opinion it is still almost flawless.

I find it almost eerie that this paper was stuffed into the back of my grandmother's side table for the past 51 years. And it's also pretty amazing that she only spent $4.90 on what appears to be several items. Simpler times, no question about it. Out of curiosity, I did a little research on "Carl's" and it appears that 373 Trapelo Road is now home to a music studio. As unfortunate as that is, I can still envision my sophisticated grandmother bringing her beautiful clothes to Carl's in the 50's. Busy raising three sons at that point in time, I can only hope she saw this errand as a bit of a respite from the chaos and screaming at home.

My grandmother and great-grandmother holding my older sister as an infant.

i do believe we have a pulse..

Seeing as I find myself in (rainy) Boston while my friends in Austin are celebrating SXSW exactly a year since I was there, I've reflected on the past year and have come to accept that I am not longer a "Bostonian Transplant in Texas". I let this blog become a vault of good memories, and starting today I'm determined to turn it into a platform to record all of the special new experiences I'm having every day. Almost every element of my life has turned around for the better - job, health, happiness, relationships - and I'm getting creative with the free time I have. I hope you come back to visit me!