Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 2014

Heard: I didn't think that Lily Allen's newest album, "Sheezus", was quite as good as some of her previous work, but I'm glad she's back on the scene and I've always appreciated her rawness. I'm guessing the song "Take My Place" is about losing her first son, which breaks my heart. I love that many of the songs on the album are about her family, even if it's not as edgy as her previous work. My favorite songs on the album are actually bonus tracks, "Who Do You Love?" and "Miserable Without Your Love". I also liked a few tracks off of Little Dragon's new album, particularly "Cat Rider" (not least because that's such an awesome song name). Though the full album doesn't come out until June 2nd, I'm already gaga for Gabriel Kahane's "the Ambassador". I really like concept albums, and each song on this record correlates with a particular address in LA. I'm a fan of the cover art as well. This particular single has some Simon & Garfunkle vibes, don't you think?

Read: I've long loved listening to David Sedaris read excerpts from his books on NPR, but I finally read one of his books, "Me Talk Pretty Some Day", cover to cover, and I was the crazy person on the plane laughing out loud every few minutes to herself. In this particular book, I love his take on living in France and never seeing all the sights because the only reason most people do that is because someone told them "they had to see such and such" (that's how I like to travel too!). Isn't it great when you read something and think, "No way! Someone else feels like that too?" I identified with his tendancy to assume everyone is just like him, particularly worrying that everyone else is going to observe and remember everything you do because you are sure as the dickens going to go home and write about the ridiculous or otherwise noteworthy thing they just did.

Tasted: I was a big fan of this healthy Thai-inspired summer salad with herbs, grains, and nuts. I was also pleased with this chicken katsu recipe, which was very similar to a dish we used to get in China. Duck prosciutto cured in espresso with pickled mustard seeds was the highlight of dinner at Luna Red (the cilantro grapefruit fiz soda was also yummy and unusual!), and I ate lunch at Hardy's new Moxie Cafe here in Santa Maria for the first time, and quite enjoyed my grilled cheese with tomato and bacon and the mashed potatoes. Neither tasted healthy at all, totally my favorite. I made a pretty killer summer minestrone from the latest issue of Bon Appetit, which I will add to my Tried & True Pinterest board when the recipe becomes available online. Finally, we've been loving combining softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and any jam on hand for a scrumptious crepe filling. // Btw, isn't this a lovely dining room?

To be remembered: 
  • My 90-year-old great grandma Peggy passed away on the 31st. I will write a separate post more about my memories of her, but she will be missed. 
  • I can't get enough of being a mom on mother's day. My boys made it extra special for me with a hand painted flower pot, help with getting our little garden going, and home made meals with our families. I love being a mama so much, and it's extra special to be able to celebrate with my mom and my mother in law now, too. 
  • We got to go to Disneyland for free with In-N-Out, but Ishmael couldn't have cared less, and I kind of hated it. I'm preparing a whole separate post just about that trip. The Tiki Room, baby ducklings, and free food were the highlights, transport to and from Disneyland were miserable low points. 

Boys: Baby #2 (now nicknamed "Taco") really started taking a toll this month. I've hit a wall in terms of fatigue, and I've had a few Braxton Hicks contractions as well as increasing back pain. My ankles have disappeared and it's painful to have Ishmael constantly jabbing my stomach and chest as he does his usual scampering around. He's been a pretty happy little guy, and is learning SO fast (particularly words and potty training), but we're also struggling with being a good listener and not falling to pieces over the smallest things.

Since this post is lacking in pictures, here's a pin I especially fancied. Lotuses are one of my favorite flowers.

Loved: "Loved" might be a strong word for my recent self-reflections, but this month has been good for me as I examine some things about myself - trying to learn to be a better listener, contemplating whether I focus too much on myself in general (um, yes), fighting insecurities about my pregnant body, and thinking about how to be a good friend rather than someone who is disappointed when my needs aren't met by others. 

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