European Vacation: Amsterdam

By December 14, 2014 Life, Travel

I’m finally sharing photos from our trip to Europe in October, starting with the first city we visited and (spoiler alert!) our favorite: Amsterdam. It was a short walk from Centraal Station to our apartment in De Wallen, affectionately known as the Red Light District. We spent the first night exploring the neighborhood, our mouths dropping at every turn. The red lights, the girls.. the boys looking at the girls. De Wallen at night is the mecca for people-watching.

The days to follow were filled with coffee shops, markets, museums, parks, and lots of sugary concoctions. We walked everywhere — every street, every canal, every house prettier than the last. Amsterdam charmed us for five days straight, and out of everywhere we visited in Europe, Amsterdam felt the most us.

IMG_0930The front door to our Airbnb, right in the heart of the city.

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We randomly walked through a carnival in Dam Square. I may have had a stroopwafel or two while here.

IMG_0950A view of De Oude Kerk (“The Old Church”) from a narrow street of red-lit cabins.

IMG_0947A joint, space cake, and yes, coffee (!) at Coffeeshop Baba.

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IMG_0948Febo! Walk-up fast food. #notpaleo

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IMG_0931His and hers at Coffeeshop Bagheera before a day of exploring Amsterdam.

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Bloemenmarkt, a floating flower market.

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IMG_0946IMG_0945There aren’t many places with craft beer in Amsterdam, so if you’re craving some, In De Wildeman is an absolute must.

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IMG_0958Surprise! Another charming canal.

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Slow Cooker Turkey & Butternut Squash Chili (Whole30/Paleo)

By September 8, 2014 Food + Drink

Los Angeles has been hosting 90+ degree days for what seems like forever, so perhaps I can tempt fall to come this way with a batch of chili. Whole30 and Paleo compliant, this turkey & butternut squash chili is so good I promise you won’t miss the beans.

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Feel free to make the chili your own way. This is only a guide to what I did. Want more broth? Less squash? Go for it. It’s impossible to mess up.

Ingredients
1 pound ground turkey
3 cups butternut squash
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup bell peppers
1 cup green chiles
1 cup onions
4 cloves minced garlic
2 cups beef broth
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
salt/pepper

Directions
1. Chop squash, pepper, onion and garlic. Place in slow cooker and mix in tomatoes, broth, and spices.
2. Brown turkey in a skillet, drain, and mix into slow cooker.
3. Cook in slow cooker for 8 hours on low or 6 hours on high.

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Our Wedding Invitation

By September 7, 2014 Art, Life, Wedding

Justin and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary last week, so this is the first of a series of posts in honor of our big day.

Our Wedding Invitation

An invite is the first peek into a wedding’s look and feel. Because both Justin and I are creative types, the pressure was on to do something really special for our wedding. Around the same time we were brainstorming the invite, we had our friend Dave Kloc walk us through the process of screen printing. Dave is an amazing artist who illustrates and screen prints a different poster for each week’s The Meltdown, and you’re missing out if you don’t see his work. We met up with him in downtown LA and had a fun few hours filled with screens, ink and paper. And then it clicked — why not make a poster for our wedding invite?

Collaborating with Justin on the invite was a lot of fun (with a tiff thrown in for a good measure). Justin did a few other elaborate illustrations before landing on the perfectly minimal and sweet final — just him and me on a hill under the moon and stars. I kept the typography clean and made sure the color palette played nicely with the must-have French kraft paper. We ended up with a 4-color beauty masterfully screen printed by Dave. I rolled the posters in baker’s twine and attached washi tape to the poster tubes to dress them up a bit. Simple but magnificent, right Don Draper?

Our friends and family really enjoyed getting them in the mail. Shipping was pricey per invite, but because we had so few invites to send we happily ate the cost. It’s something we can now hang on our wall and always puts a smile on our already happily married faces.

Our Wedding Invitation

Our Wedding Invitation

Our Wedding Invitation

Our Wedding Invitation

Our Wedding Invitation

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LAX to PDX

By August 7, 2014 Life, Travel

In late May we took a trip to one of our favorite cities: Portland! We went there for the first time in 2012 and immediately fell in love with the city, but that trip was slightly derailed when I got The Worst Cold Of The Century. So I was really excited to get back to that river town and do it right.

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We pulled up to our Airbnb and were greeted by chickens roaming around in the neighbors front yard. Typical. We rented a 2-bedroom ranch adjacent to the Alberta Arts and Mississippi neighborhoods. The house was decorated in mid-century goodness and had a huge backyard space and sun porch. You can check it out here.

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No trip to PDX is complete without filling a pink box at the cult classic donut shop — Voodoo Doughnut. Bacon Maple Bar? Yes, please. Perfectly paired with some quarter games at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade.

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The highlight of the trip was a hike up Multnomah Falls right outside of Portland. Absolutely gorge (see what I did there?). Justin’s eyes were a little more wild and boyish as soon as we got to the top. He’s the best, guys.

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Brightly painted houses line the streets of Portland. I’m not sure if the paint is actually brighter, or the dreariness makes them pop. Either way, I’m in love.

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We ate at so many delicious spots: breakfast at Pine State Biscuits, lunch at Helser’s, and odd/delicious ice cream flavors at Salt & Straw. We also spent an evening barhopping throughout Kennedy School, an old elementary school turned hotel. The photo below shows Justin playing pool at the appropriately named Boiler Room Bar.

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Until we meet again, Portland.

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Maryanne Moodie

By May 7, 2014 Art

One of my favorite art projects in elementary school was a silly little tapestry I weaved. I got to make my own loom and used big, chunky yarn to weave the tapestry. I remember visiting a weaver’s home and being so impressed with her loom that at the time seemed larger than life. So when I found out DLF would be hosting a weaving workshop, I was stoked. The workshop will be taught by Maryanne Moodie, an Australian native now living in Brooklyn. She creates these gorgeous woven tapestries with geometric patterns and color palettes that make me smile. Make sure to check out her website.

Maryanne Moodie

Maryanne Moodie

Maryanne Moodie

Maryanne Moodie

Maryanne Moodie

Maryanne Moodie

Maryanne Moodie

Maryanne Moodie

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Flashback: 2012 West Coast Road Trip

By April 13, 2014 Life, Travel

A road trip is one of the best tests of a relationship. I once dumped a guy after a day trip to Milwaukee because I couldn’t stand his voice by the end of it. He also didn’t have any money for gas. I’m not a gold digger, but I’m not an idiot either.

I intro with this because traveling with Justin has always been a walk in the park. In August of 2012, we hopped in my VW wagon and spent two weeks driving up the coast from Los Angeles to Seattle. My two best ladies Nikki and Ashton were with us through San Francisco. All photos below were taken on my iPhone.

Our first stop was a berry farm in Santa Ynez, California.

TTB: Road Trip

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This donut shop is where I first saw the Garfield clock that is now sitting on my kitchen wall. Thanks, eBay.

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Big Sur is hands down the prettiest spot on the West Coast. I will admit, I teared up a bit because it was just so damn beautiful.

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Justin immortalized The Duke on a rock.

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We found an amazing vacation rental in San Francisco on VRBO. Vacation rentals are my favorite way to experience a city. You get to pretend you live in the city and are allowed to really submerge yourself in the culture. Plus they’re typically much cheaper and bigger than a hotel.

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We went to Outside Lands at Golden Gate Park. Metallica, Neil Young, Jack White, The Kills to name a few.

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After San Francisco, Justin and I departed from Ashton and Nikki and made our way to Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Absolutely stunning. I became a tree hugger.

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Driving through a tree. No big deal.

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Our campsite outside of Waldport, Oregon. Right on the beach. The cold, windy beach. This is where my awesome cold that tried to ruin our trip set in.

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A quick stop at Rogue in Newport before heading to Portland. I got a root beer float because I’m real mature.

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We stayed at an urban farm in Portland, complete with chickens and goats. It was the perfect amount of weird to introduce us to the city. You can read more about the farm here. Although our trip was overshadowed by my cold that was in full force by now, we still managed to do a lot of eating, shopping, and goat walking. Yes. I said goat walking.

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Our last destination was Seattle. Pike Place Market was first on the list. We visited the original Starbucks and The Crumpet Shot (yum).

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We also got to visit the EMP Museum. They had an exhibit on Nirvana which was pretty magical. I nerded out a bit over the cover layout for Bleach and the photo retouching notes on the Nevermind cover. “If anyone has a problem with his dick we can remove it.”

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Sadly we aren’t hobos and had to get back to work, so we began the seventeen hour drive home. Now I’m determined to someday do the East Coast version of this trip. Someday.

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European Vacation

By April 6, 2014 Life, Travel

OMG, people. Justin and I booked a trip to Europe. I’ve only been once during college, and Justin, sadly never. I’ve been obsessing about going back for awhile, and it reached a new high when I stumbled across a cheap flight. Thank yooou, Internet. So the flight has been booked, and I’ve been drooling over Pinterest and Airbnb since. Where are we going, you ask?

European Vacation

For a magical twelve days in October, we will be traveling to Amsterdam, Bruges, Paris, and Copenhagen. It’s a short amount of time for four cities, so we’re focusing on Amsterdam and Paris with overnighters in Bruges and Copenhagen. We have a few must-sees on our list, but overall we plan to get lost in each city… eating, drinking, and being (really, really) merry along the way.

Been anywhere on this list? Help us plan our trip in the comments below!

Photo credit: George Czyrba, Kris Atomic.

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Sunday at the Melrose Trading Post

By March 30, 2014 Life, Los Angeles

I spent my Sunday afternoon rummaging around the Melrose Trading Post with my girls and Jackie Boy. MTP is a great little flea market on the corner of Melrose and Fairfax in Hollywood, stock full of cut-off shorts and rehabbed furniture. The plethora of flea markets in the Los Angeles area is definitely on my short list of reasons I love this city. That and taco trucks. Mmm, tacos.

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Melrose Trading Post

Melrose Trading Post

Melrose Trading Post

Melrose Trading Post

Melrose Trading Post

Melrose Trading Post

Melrose Trading Post

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Melrose Trading Post

Melrose Trading Post

Melrose Trading Post

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Melrose Trading Post

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Melrose Trading Post

Melrose Trading Post

Melrose Trading Post

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Veggie Spaghetti & Meatballs (Whole30/Paleo)

By March 24, 2014 Food + Drink

Sghetti & meatballs, you say? HELL YES. It took throwing out those deliciously enriched gluten-lovin’ noodles to realize that what’s most important about this classic dish is the sauce & balls (ahem).

Three things I want to mention before you run out and stock up on zucchini:
1) Buy a julienne peeler. It will make a huge difference in the texture of your veggie noodles.
2) Read your labels. If you’re buying sauce, many are full of soy, sugar, etc. If you can’t find a compliant sauce at your store, simply make one. Don’t stress. Life is fun.
3) No, this is not our kitchen.

Veggie Spaghetti & Meatballs (Whole30 & Paleo)

Veggie Spaghetti & Meatballs (Whole30 & Paleo)

Veggie Spaghetti & Meatballs (Whole30 & Paleo)

Veggie Spaghetti & Meatballs (Whole30 & Paleo)

Veggie Spaghetti & Meatballs (Whole30 & Paleo)

Veggie Spaghetti & Meatballs (Whole30 & Paleo)

Veggie Spaghetti & Meatballs (Whole30 & Paleo)

Veggie Spaghetti & Meatballs (Whole30 & Paleo)

Veggie Spaghetti & Meatballs (Whole30 & Paleo)


Meatballs

1 pound ground beef or turkey
2 tablespoons chia seeds (wahoo fiber!)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
coconut oil

Sauce
24 ounce jar marinara sauce
1/2 cup basil, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1.5 cups mushrooms, sliced
coconut oil

Veggie Spaghetti
5 small zucchini
4 parsnips or carrots


Directions
Use julienne peeler to peel zucchini and parsnips (or carrots), and throw them into boiling steamer pot. Steam for around 10 minutes.

Knead meat. Mix in chia seeds and black pepper. Roll meat into 1 inch diameter balls. Coat pan with coconut oil. Cook meatballs until well done.

Coat a separate pan with coconut oil. Sauté mushrooms. Once mushrooms begin to look moist, add shallot. Once shallot begins to brown, add basil. Stir in marinara sauce.

Place on plate, garnish with basil, and enjoy.

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Baked Coconut Shrimp (Whole30/Paleo)

By March 17, 2014 Food + Drink

There are few recipes even I can’t screw up, and here is one of them — baked coconut shrimp that is Paleo and Whole30 approved! You can use this same breading recipe for coconut chicken as well. I know, brilliant! I like to make more than I need so I have leftovers for work. They’re not the best reheated in the microwave, but if there’s a toaster oven near, you (and your shrimp) are golden. Scroll for recipe.

Baked Coconut Shrimp

Baked Coconut Shrimp

Baked Coconut Shrimp

Baked Coconut Shrimp

Baked Coconut Shrimp

Ingredients
1 pound raw shrimp
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon chili powder or paprika
sea salt + pepper to taste
coconut oil

Mix dry ingredients. Peel shrimp. Beat eggs. Cover shrimp with egg. Coat shrimp one by one in the dry mix. Place in pan coated with coconut oil. Bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes. Serve with dijon mustard. Done.

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