#100HappyDays - Week Eleven

Week Eleven of my #100HappyDays challenge was full of happy discoveries in the everyday stuff. (If you’re curious, here are Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8 , Week 9 and Week 10).

 <<June 10, Tues – Thai tea with chewy boba, brought home by my thoughtful roomie>>Week 11-1

<<June 11, Wed – This mysterious wooden door, flanked by stone and ivy, discovered on a walk around my old LA neighborhood>>Week 11-3

<<June 12, Thurs – Challenging myself to create a dish with just pantry and freezer staples>>Week 11-7

<<June 13, Fri – Introducing Wally to his new buddy Yoda>>Week 11-2

<<June 14,  Sat – Vintage kitchen tools at an antique shop - a reminder of how much cooking has changed and stayed exactly the same>>Week 11-5

<<June 15, Sun – Father's Day brunch and just being with my family>>Week 11-6

<<June 16, Mon – A leisurely twilight stroll along the Venice canals with my man>>Week 12-1

#100HappyDays - Week Ten

Can't believe it's already Week Ten of my #100HappyDays challenge! Writing this post every week really lets me appreciate these moments all over again. (If you’re curious, here are Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8 and Week 9).

<<June 3, Tues – Getting in touch with my inner kid at the  LA Natural History Museum>>Week 10-1

<<June 4, Wed – Admiring my old-school neighborhood on an evening walk>>Week 10-2

<<June 5, Thurs – Wandering around Santa Monica with an old college friend (even the parking lot was gorgeous!)>>Week 10-3

<<June 6, Fri – Spending an evening volunteering for an amazing organization>>Week 10-4

<<June 7, Sat – Browsing the irresistibly colorful sale section at Anthropologie>>Week 10-5

<<June 8, Sun – Discovering this sad, slumpy bear while cruising the local shopping mall>>Week 10-6

<<June 9, Mon – Catching up with old friends over classy Tex-Mex at Bar Ama>>Week 10-7

#100HappyDays - Week Nine

Week Nine of my #100HappyDays challenge and going strong!  This week was full of new discoveries and old comforts. (If you’re curious, here are Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7 and Week 8).

<<May 27, Tues – Discovering delectable Mexican pastries at a bakery down the street>>Week 9-1

<<May 28, Wed – A 3-mile run through my neighborhood in the golden afternoon light>>Week 9-2

<<May 29, Thurs – Perfect little billy button arrangement in a vintage tin at Salt's Cure>>Week 9-3

<<May 30, Fri – A light and simple dinner of DIY nori rice wraps with my parents>>Week 9-4

<<May 31, Sat – A trip to the breathtakingly beautiful Getty Villa in Malibu>>Week 9-5

<<June 1, Sun – Tart mango pineapple Italian ice with creamy vanilla custard at Rita's>>Week 9-6

<<June 2, Mon – A plastic cup full of wine and the sunset at my sister's downtown LA loft>>Week 9-7

#100HappyDays - Week Eight

Here's Week Eight of my #100HappyDays challenge! This week, I indulged in some of my favorite comforts and saw inspiring design while out and about.  (If you’re curious, here are Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6 and Week 7).

<<May 20, Tues – My ultimate comfort food: Korean spicy, crunchy, sizzling stone pot rice>>Week 8 1

<<May 21, Wed – Playing Secret of Mana on an SNES emulator and watching Center Stage>>Week 8 2

<<May 22, Thurs – A 2 hour lunch with an old friend capped with the cutest coconut cake>>Week 8 3

<<May 23, Fri – Treating myself to a soothing, meltingly relaxing Thai massage>>Week 8 4

<<May 24, Sat – A bold and playful upholstered built-in bench nook with delicate mobiles>>Week 8 5

<<May 25, Sun – Large scale text installation at the beautiful (and free!) Hammer Museum>>Week 8 6

<<May 26, Mon – A refreshing take on the mounted animal head trend: a 3D printed deer on black canvases with gold washi tape at a super stylish friend's home>>Week 8 7

#100HappyDays - Week Seven

Week Seven of my #100HappyDays challenge was full of sweets, of the literal and emotional kind =)  (If you’re curious, here are Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5 and Week 6).

<<May 14, Tuesday – Gorgeous display of gourmet candies at Sugarfina Beverly Hills>>iPhone 4001 (2)

<<May 15, Wednesday – This is what makes dog ownership worth every bit of the hassle>>iPhone 4001

<<May 16, Thursday – A delicate and delicious strawberry cream puff at Republique>>iPhone 4002

<<May 17, Friday – A night of fun and games at Two-Bit Circus, housed in an old brewery>>iPhone 4003

<<May 18, Saturday – A walk on the beach with my man>>iPhone 4004

<<May 18, Sunday – Butter pecan ice cream in a warm red velvet waffle cone at Sprinkles>>iPhone 4005

<<May 19, Monday – Taking in all the colors and textures at a local fabric store >>iPhone 4018

The Best Way to Store Fresh Herbs

Gold Rim Bowl 013 My friend came to visit recently with bunches of fresh-cut herbs from her backyard. Instead of hiding them in plastic bags in the fridge like I usually do, she treated them like flowers and put them in a glass containers filled with water.

Herbs via FuzzyCloudDesigns

They kept fresh for two weeks this way! All I had to do is change the water every few days when it started to get cloudy.

These herbal displays added such a vibrant, natural touch to the kitchen (even the curly parsley looks gorgeous!). And since they were right in front of my eyes, I used them all up instead of letting them go slimy in the fridge.

Gold Rim Bowl 042

This is so perfect for me because I've never been a huge fan of cut flowers. They're beautiful for special occasions but then they die and go in the trash and I can't help but think about how much land and water it's taken to cultivate them, just to be looked at for a few days.

But herbs! They're so wonderfully useful and flavorful and nutritious. They're key to the culinary identity of so many cultures. I heart them. And I can't think of a better way to store them than this natural, low energy, beautiful display.

Gold Rim Bowl 029



#100HappyDays - Week Six

Almost halfway through the #100HappyDays challenge! This week I watched two very different, but both brilliantly skilled, musicians and got inspired to to get creative.  (If you’re curious, here are Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4 and Week 5).

<<May 6, Tuesday – Rodrigo y Gabriela and their breathtaking, rhythmic guitar music>>iPhone 042

<<May 7, Wednesday – Piles of familiar, yet exotic, produce at the Korean grocery store>>iPhone 045

<<May 8, Thursday – Exquisite piano playing by Lang Lang at the Disney Concert Hall>>iPhone 089

<<May 9, Friday – Meeting old friends from high school over good ale and pub grub>>iPhone 106

<<May 10, Saturday – Channeling my inner child through paint and canvas>>iPhone 108

<<May 11, Sunday – Finding a perfect fallen flower on a long, mid-day hike>>iPhone 115

<<May 12, Monday – My very first try at painting an accent wall>>iPhone 125

Lunch for One (Starring Leftovers!)

These days, I usually eat lunch by myself at home. Which sounds sad at first, but is actually blessedly peaceful compared to how I used to eat lunch - hunched at my desk, shoveling food into my mouth from a container pinned between my arms and my keyboard as I furiously typed emails and reviewed contracts. And that lunch was often an overpriced salad or soggy leftovers from the dinner I had delivered to the office the night before. Not that it really mattered because when I ate that way, I never really appreciated or truly savored my food. So these days, I look forward to my lunch for one, usually made from leftovers and random ingredients from my various cooking forays that week. I enjoy cobbling those bits and bobs together with things from my pantry to transform leftovers into brand new dishes. See some recent lunch creations after the jump!

~~Pasta with tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil and parmesan cheese~~

Leftovers: cooked linguine

Fresh Ingredients On Hand: tomatoes and basil

Pantry Staples: garlic, olive oil, grated parmesan cheese008


~~Soba noodle bowl with kale, chicken and egg~~ 

Leftovers: teriyaki chicken with onions

Fresh Ingredients On Hand: kale (see my recipe for two-minute kale here)

Pantry Staples: soba noodles, egg, soy sauce, sesame oil, ground gingerBlog - Kale Three Ways 046


~~Turkey burger sandwich with broccoli~~

Leftovers: turkey burger patties

Fresh Ingredients On Hand: broccoli, lettuce, tomato

Pantry Staples: whole wheat bread, mayonnaise, dijon mustard 001 (3)


~~Chicken salad tartine with soft boiled egg~~ 

Leftovers: chicken salad

Fresh Ingredients On Hand: a loaf of really good multigrain bread

Pantry Staples: egg0 005

#100HappyDays - Week Four

Week four of #100HappyDays - a challenge to find one thing that makes me happy each day for 100 days. Still going strong! (If you're curious, here are Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3).

<<April 22, Tuesday - Enjoying my very first delightfully sweet and tart loquat>>iPhone 084

 <<April 23, Wednesday - Finding cute crafting supplies at the hardware store>>iPhone 092

<<April 24, Thursday - A trip to Ikea: blissfully empty and an unbelievably cheap lunch>>iPhone 085

<<April 25, Friday - Wood-fired pizza and a wicked jazz show>>iPhone 086

<<April 26, Saturday - Luminous clouds after the rain>>iPhone 087

<<April 27, Sunday - Playing like a kid again at Two-Bit Circus>>iPhone 088

<<April 28, Monday - Red Velvet cake for breakfast>>iPhone 090



#100HappyDays - Week Three

Week three, or about 20% of the way through the 100 Happy Days Challenge! There was so much to choose from this week. Just putting this post together and remembering each day puts a smile on my face. (Check out Week 1 and Week 2!)

<<April 15, Tuesday- First place win for our team at Springbok Bar Trivia!>>photo (13)

<<April 16, Wednesday - Finding this crazy junkyard while wandering the streets of LA>>iPhone 086

<<April 17, Thursday - Leftovers make a perfect Vietnamese rice bowl for lunch>>iPhone 087

<<April 18, Friday - So many flavors of Mast Brothers chocolate to choose from>>iPhone 001

<<April 19, Saturday - A hike with friends, followed by ice cream>>iPhone 088

<<April 20, Sunday - A lazy morning reading in bed>>iPhone 093

<<April 21, Monday - A visit to LACMA and the La Brea Tar Pits>>iPhone 094

#100HappyDays - Week Two

Time for week two of my 100 Happy Days challenge (read about the challenge and week one here). I have to admit, there were a couple days when I felt sluggish and uninspired, but writing down my happy thing was a positive way to end even those harder days. Which I guess is the point, so... onward! =)

<<April 8, Tuesday - Dance Dance Revolution! So much fun and such a workout!>>photo (12)

 <<April 9, Wednesday - Daffodils tell me spring is really here>>iPhone 169

<< April 10, Thursday - Tennis outside on a beautiful day>>iPhone 177

<< April 11, Friday - Discovering this amazing, real-life house in Beverly Hills>>iPhone 001

<<April 12, Saturday - The cutest jar of strawberry jam for a crusty French baguette>>iPhone 003

<< April 13, Sunday - A blue sky and a neighbor's beautiful roses>> iPhone 234

<< April 14, Monday - A veritable Vietnamese feast prepared by my roommate's mom>>iPhone 004

#100HappyDays - Week One

Have you heard of the 100 Happy Days challenge? It doesn't ask you to be happy all day every day for 100 days - that would be a real set up for failure. What it does ask you to do is make note, each day, of one thing that makes you happy. It sounds stupid and obvious until you read all the studies showing that it's not just good things that make you happy, it's noticing those positive things as much as you can. Gratitude for your life, whatever that life may be, makes you feel happier. So I'm trying it and sharing my results here, one week at a time.

<<April 1, Tuesday - Spotting these gorgeous deep red leaves during an afternoon stroll.>>photo (12)

<<April 2, Wednesday - Good bread and a soft boiled egg make leftovers shiny and new.>>0 004

<<April 3, Thursday - Wally gets a toy stuck around his neck. Hilarity ensues.>>photo (11)a

<<April 4, Friday - Watching The Muppets movie for the first time - charming and funny.>>


<<April 5, Saturday - Discovering that easter egg hunts are still fun at 32.>>100DaysofHappy 003

<<April 6, Sunday - A hearty, delicious brunch alfresco.>>photo (10)

<<April 7, Monday - Catching up with a friend I haven't seen in over a year. And finding this very relevant-to-my-life-at-the-moment book.>>photo (13)

What happy things will next week bring?