a few quick things

1. For those celebrating Easter this weekend, one of my mom's best ever posts (see above photo of challah french toast) full of what to bring to Easter brunch ideas is something I should have posted yesterday but totally forgot about because my brain has gone fishing.

2. This morning my dad did an experiment with my kids that I wanted to share with you guys because it's way cute. 

3. This has had me laughing all week and apparently I'm alone because everyone I send it to is like... uh... oh heh? But maybe one of you will think it's funny too and then we can be best friends because there are, like, two of us...?
MOM thumb ben L
- via thumbs & ammo

3. Thanks for your love this week (and last week and every other week). You guys are the best. Enjoy your weekend with your people. xo 


Eat Well: Gigande Beans, The Magical Fruit

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
I am hopelessly lacking in organizational skills. A failure. It’s not that I don’t want to improve. Believe me I try. But unfortunately when they were giving out the “neat” gene, I was passed over. Keeping cupboards organized is a constant battle, which I am sure sounds odd to you tidy types, but as hard as it is for you to imagine my plight, that is how difficult it is for me to visualize uncluttered drawers and orderly closets. “When the kids grow up, it will be different,” thought my younger self. But, alas, it isn’t so. One of my biggest challenges is my food cupboard, especially since I buy lots of grain, beans, nuts, and other foods in bulk, so I always have bags of these products in a jumble. Why it has taken me THIS MANY YEARS to actually figure out a solution, I will never know. Part of the problem has been that I haven’t wanted to spend $15 at Bed Bath and Beyond for plastic quart containers, especially since I need A LOT of them—probably about 20—which would set me back about $300. Obviously this would be a one-time investment and I could have had all these years of pleasure as I happily opened my cupboard to blissful orderliness—definitely worth the $300—but for some reason, that logic never sunk into my thick head.
When we were at David’s, I noticed his large array of grains used for brewing beer, all stored in large mason jars. MASON JARS!! DUH!!!!! What a great idea! Where have I been? $12 for 12, less than ONE container from BBB! And, they aren’t PLASTIC!!! So yesterday I bought a case and this morning I cleaned out the cupboard. I filled all 12 jars and need at least another 8 to finish the job. As I happily gaze upon the sight of shiny jars lined neatly in my cupboard, I am instantly a little girl in my grandmother’s pantry reaching for green-lidded glass canisters filled with Ritz crackers and flour, macaroni and cookies. Too bad it has taken me this many years to follow her lead. I wish I had remembered to take a before picture, but here is the after. I finally have some Greek Gigandes beans c/o my friend Mary who found them at a wholesale market in San Diego. Several months past you might recall I wrote about this recipe, which is delicious but requires frying the beans. I wasn’t in the mood to fuss the other day so came up with this recipe and I like it even better.

The black sesame truffle salt comes from my farmer’s market but I have contacted the seller, a local couple who have a sprout and salt business, and they told me they are just starting to sell their salt on Etsy. (Here is the link.) The salt is unbelievably delicious and makes these beans. It is yummy on sprouted beans—or just about anything you can imagine. If you can’t find the Gigandes in your city, you can order them here. They are worth every penny….by far the best beans I have ever tasted—creamy and sweet. They work great as a puree or substitute for any lima bean recipe. They are also the base for the very popular Greek dish, Gigandes Plaki which I hope to make this week when Rebecca’s family comes down for a few days—maybe next week’s post?  I am obsessed with these beans!
lima, dry gigande, soaked gigande

Gigandes beans with garlic and sesame truffle salt 

1 lb Gigandes beans
½ cup good quality olive oil (more to add later)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
2 T Vitalsalts sesame black truffle salt* (more to taste)
freshly ground pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight in lots of water (they soak it up like a sponge). Drain.
Cover generously with fresh water. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium for about an hour, or until beans are tender. Drain. Put olive oil in a pot and heat on medium high. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds or until garlic is aromatic.
Pour over beans. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. I serve as a side dish and top with generous amounts of olive oil and add another pinch of salt. Or, add to chopped greens for a fabulous main-dish salad.
You can also take the beans and puree them, adding more lemon and oil to make into a spread that is out of this world! Add tahini for a white bean hummus.

*NOTE: Vitalsalts sesame salt is not pure salt—hence the 2 tablespoons of it in the recipe. If you substitute for other truffle salts, cut this way down—maybe to 2 teaspoons—and add more truffle oil to give it more truffle flavor. But I highly recommend getting Vitalsalts salt—it is truly unique! Enjoy!


Liner Notes 3/27

IMG_7194 IMG_7048 IMG_7102 IMG_6891 IMG_7101
Cooper had a stroke in the kitchen last Tuesday and then a second stroke in the car on our way to the vet and that's when everything fell apart. I had been holding it together until then, or so I thought, and then I lost it. I lost every ounce of dignity and "fuck that, man!" attitude and became fetal and impossible to console.

Cooper spent the day at the vet and I don't want to talk about next steps because I have no fucking clue how to be all no worries sunshine person about a dying animal. I've had Cooper since I was twenty. I don't remember life without him and certainly don't want to. He's like an appendage at this point, but he's also in pain. And I don't want to hurt him. I want to keep him alive as long as I can but I don't want to hurt him.

I was so exhausted last week trying to respond to people and not be pissed off, to mourn and explain to the kids what was happening - to figure out what our next steps were, to hold babies down so they could get their shots, to carry on... to listen, to ignore, to yell at things and Hal for not being more upset and everyone and everything and LEAVE ME ALONE I JUST WANT TO BE ALONE BUT EVERYONE IS ASKING FOR SHIT AND WANTS TO BE PICKED UP WHAT THE FUCK NOT NOW OKAY FINE I LOVE YOU. 
IMG_7206 IMG_7489
It's funny because last week was a repeat offender in the shit department and yet, as I was sorting through all of these photos, I couldn't see any of that. And then I was like, "well, fuck me. Maybe my photos do seem staged? Because last week looks amazing but it was actually totally horrible. Last week was a mess of tangled necklaces."
... but not completely. 
I guess that's what I wanted to write about today. The fact that there are things nobody can control and that there are days and weeks and moments that feel completely impossible to ride - to accept - to understand and that beyond them, there are other things. There are moments. And moments are everything. They are bigger, even than the story. There are worlds away from pain and anger, just across the table. 

I wanted to punch things last week and I did. I punched the floor. I punched a pillow. I had a panic attack in front of my babies while Hal was with the big kids at swimming lessons because Revi would not stop throwing garbanzo beans and I didn't understand why.

I tried to explain to the kids what was happening with Cooper and became a belligerent person even though I know that was the absolute worst thing I could be.

I failed.

I stuttered.

I was late to pick Archer up from school. He was upset.

I was late to drop Archer off at school. The school called.

But the world continued to spin and children continued to eat and sleep and go to their eighteen month check ups and bathe and brush teeth and get dressed and live and laugh and play house and drag each other around in wagons and upward and onward Spring Break, whooo!!!
IMG_6753 IMG_7109
And that's just it.

That's just it?

There are moments of beauty and goodness everywhere and they are happening simultaneously. They are happening during the worst weeks even though everything feels terrible. Even though you think, everything is terrible... everything is the worst. I will never understand anything ever. 


When you have kids you're afraid they will see you as who you truly are. You're afraid they will see you crying because of the dog and that they will cry, too. You're afraid they'll see you angry and become angry, too. That you will fail them because you're a complete mess of a crazy person. Because you sneak out for cigarettes when they're sleeping and you curse and you overreact to things you shouldn't react to. You're afraid that your tears will make them feel out of control. Because they are your children and if you can't hold it together how can you possibly expect them to?

You're supposed to be the rock.

And when you're not...

Then what?

What happens when you're not the rock?

And then they surprise you. They surprise you because they don't cry when you cry. Your son puts his hand on your shoulder and says, "Mom. It's okay. Cooper's had a long life" and your daughter will ask if she can draw him a picture and suddenly you're sitting there and the people you are supposed to console are consoling you. And you have a picture on your lap of a rainbow wearing a crown.
IMG_7513 IMG_7351 IMG_6735 IMG_6751
And you needed this. You needed them. You needed this moment of sadness with them coming to your aid. They are your children and you're supposed to protect them but sometimes they protect you. They protect each other and they protect themselves and they protect you.
IMG_7344 IMG_7345 IMG_7346 IMG_7347 Spring Break, whoo. 



I think I may be a little late to the Kate Earl party but I OH I AM HERE NOW. I am here now with my hand in the air singing amen like whoa. 

One Woman Army by: Kate Earl


Places to See: The Getty Villa

Somehow i've managed to live in Los Angeles for fourteen years and have never set foot in (at?) The Getty Villa - a place so beautiful and magical we were able to trick ourselves into thinking we were on some kind of huge amazing vacation. Thirty minutes away.
IMG_7618 IMG_7614
The place was EMPTY. Especially for a Saturday afternoon, which... again... LOS ANGELES, WHERE ARE YOU? I feel like everywhere we go lately it's just us? And then I looked at these photos and realized, um.... it is? Which is another reason you should totally Getty it up and bring your entire extended family and pretend like the Villa is your house.
Hal trying to keep Bo and Revi from falling off a two inch drop into soft plants. 
IMG_7619 IMG_7620 IMG_7623
People are always asking where they should go with their families in LA and I always say Griffith Park Observatory! Travel Town! Kidspace! LACMA! Petersen AutomotiveNoah's Ark! The Getty (the other one)! But please let me add one more magical place to that list. And free! (Parking is $15.) And gorgeous! And so huge, the kids were able to make their own little worlds and run around in them.
The Getty Villa is our new house boyfriend and if you're an insane Angeleno like me, and have never been... DUDE. GO. Now. 
IMG_7630  IMG_7629IMG_7607 (And bring your favorite people.)

ChildStyle: Archer and Fable's Bedroom

Oh, hello. The next ten episodes of Child Style recently posted on HGTV.com and I have been trying to figure out how to embed the codes without autoplay pretty much ever since. Thankfully my pals at HGTV let me post Archer and Fable's bedroom episode to my YouTube channel (and maybe everyone can see it? Hopefully.)

This video was shot back in October when Archer's hair was long and Fable's hair was short and oh, man, where does the time go and how does everyone look so much older now WHATISHAPPENING. 

For those unfamiliar with the set up around here, Archer and Fable share a bedroom. And they think it's awesome and we think it's awesome (for now, anyway) but trying to decorate a bedroom for a seven year old boy and a four year old girl is kind of tricky. SO! I decided to draw an invisible line in the middle of the room and give them each creative license to do what they wanted with their side(s).

Archer, of course, wanted NEW YORK CITY EVERYTHING and Fable wanted "fashion, dolls rainbow flower sparkle things".

It was really fun to shoot this piece and much like with Bo and Revi's nursery episode, I will treasure this video until I'm one thousand years old. Thanks to HGTV.com for the opportunity, Tracy at Nurseryworks for hooking us up with a super generous deal on the much adored bunk bed and all the amazing shopkeepers in Little Ethiopia/SoFax and Melrose Trading Post.

Do not be afraid of the boy/girl shared space, my sisters (and brothers)... It's totally rockable.

P.S. here are some still photos I took of A&F's room the day of shooting. (Which now looks like this.)

Fable's Side
Fable in her "art nook" with her birthday crown. (She has just turned four when we shot. Sigh.)
Rainbow knobs: Anthropologie. Dresser: swap meet
bulletin boards: Target, art by: Fable & Archer
dresser: swap meet, green chair: ikea, drapes: my mom
Archer's Side
shelves, CB2, Lego structures by Archer, Archer sign via where the streets have your name
dresser: swap meet, dry erase board: target, subway map: etsy, archer in hollywood book lamp: typewriter boneyard.
NYC decal: etsy
For more on this bedroom, you can check out the stills, here (and the entire fifteen episode series, here) and if you have any questions about what/where anything came from, you can absolutely ask in the comments.
"rainbow" flowers

Have a lovely weekend, friends.