Friday, June 14, 2013

back to your regularly scheduled programming

My blog has felt like an extended vacation this year. Two weeks in Hawaii turned into two months of blog posts. And while my blog became All Hawaii, All The Time, in real life we had a very busy spring here in Virginia.
new art
Sneak peek | New art coming soon!

There have been good things: weekends out of town (Western Maryland, Durham, Richmond), cooking challenges, lots of books being read, the creation of new art, a book signing, lunches and happy hours with friends, dinners out with family, a concert, the start of a sewing project, and yes, believe it or not, a return trip to Hawaii...

And bad: jet lag, an injured pup, snow, a fender bender, tax and business stress, headaches, and the Boston Marathon bombing and ensuing manhunt.

sad pup
My poor pup was prescribed two weeks of "bed rest." He was not happy about it. (He's all better now.)

And just general busy-ness: We've traveled every month of 2013 so far. We can't keep up with the yardwork. (Being out of town for a good chunk of the spring results in an overgrown yard - we're those weird neighbors who live behind the giant hedge...) We had another last minute trip to Hawaii to plan. (I'll spread out my blog posts and share the photos from Hawaii, The Sequel throughout the summer.) I have a truly sickening amount of unresponded to e-mails clogging my inbox. (Sorry!) My shop vended at two art markets in April and will be at two more this summer. (New art finally coming soon!) And my Etsy shop has been out of control while I've been traveling and on bed rest. (Thanks so much to my patient customers!)

spring bada bing
Richmond Craft Mafia's Spring Bada-Bing

welcome to the jungle
Welcome to the Jungle! (AKA, The Vine That Ate Banjo.)

shipping department
Funnelcloud Studio's "Shipping Department." Ack.

And that doesn't even account for all the hours I've wasted playing Candy Crush!

I've kept a running list of a few of our favorite things to remember from this spring, since time seems to have disappeared into a black hole this year:

During these jet-lagged post-travel weeks, I've turned to books to get me through sleepless nights and sluggish days. I polished off five alone in the week after returning from our last trip. By far the best book I've read this year is The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. I can't recommend this book enough - by the end I had bookmarked 60 pages and added 30 new titles to my To Read list.

Evidently political shows/thrillers set in DC are my thing right now:

Our cable provider gave us a free month of Showtime this spring and Larry and I immediately became hooked on Homeland. Yeah, we're late to the party, and still haven't finished watching the first season, but we love this show!

We're still huge fans of VEEP - the perfect Before-The-Work-Week-Starts way to laugh your ass off on Sunday night.

My friend Sarah recommended Scandal, and I recently finished the first season and am hooked. The plot is definitely far-fetched (as seems to be the norm for Shonda Rhimes shows), but it's definitely entertaining.

And since I still have a trial subscription to Netflix, I've just started watching House of Cards. I'm intrigued. Kevin Spacey creeps me out, and like most political shows, the plot is complicated and a little confusing, but I'm interested to see what happens next.

josh ritter at 930 club
Josh Ritter at 930 Club. Our favorite - I think this is the 5th time we've seen him live.
Larry and I have a travel tradition of buying new music before going on a trip - we listen to a few albums on repeat as we travel and this becomes the soundtrack to our vacation. Even years later, I can't listen to Josh Ritter's The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter without thinking about driving around Olympic National Park in 2007 or Pinback without reminiscing about driving through Utah and Arizona in 2006. The soundtrack to our trip to Hawaii was Lord Huron's Lonesome Dreams which not only brings up visions of exploring Oahu's windward side, but has definitely earned a spot on my list of favorite albums of all time.

Other favorite albums this spring:
Tegan & Sara's Heartthrob
STRFKR's Miracle Mile
Stars' The North
Phoenix's Bankrupt!
Metric's Synthetica

I'm addicted to the food at the new Cava Mezze Grill that recently opened up near our house. It's like the Greek version of Chipotle! Falafel and crazy feta on a pita? Yum!

I'm crazy for pistachios. I can't get enough of them on salads, in ice cream, or straight out of the shell. Have you tried pesto made from pistachios? It's the best! Throw it on some pasta with a couple of shrimps/scallops for a delicious, elegant, and easy meal. (We like a recipe from a Cooking Light cookbook, but the one from Food & Wine is also delicious.)

I bookmark and pin a lot of recipes, but I made Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Coconut Bread immediately after reading her blog post. It did not disappoint!

coconut bread
Did someone say coconut bread?!?!

Our time in the islands whet my already fruit-loving appetite for tropical treats: I've always loved pineapple, coconut, and mango, but now I'm obsessed with lilikoi (passion fruit) and especially guava. I LOVE guava and predict that many of our summer cooking experiments will contain guava in whatever form I can get here on the mainland.

sleeping boys
Whew! We're pooped!

So that's Spring 2013. I have more to say on a few things we've done in the first half of the year, but am ready for a fun and busy summer. Onward!


Sarah said...

I love so many things about this post! Great TV shows (House of Cards is next on my list), I just added The End of Your Life Book Club to my list, and may have to try out Cava Mezze Grill this weekend. Hope you're feeling better. :) :)

Bonnie said...

House of Cards, Homeland, Candy Crush...yes yes and yes, totally addicted.

Jillian said...

LOVING the Tegan and Sara album!