Monday, March 9, 2015

Weekend.

Why do weekends go so quickly?? Wahh. What do I have to do to obtain a permanent 4 day work week? Mondays are so much better spent at home. :P

I am feeling pretty drained on Fridays lately. Work is a bit tough. The man I'm working under is well intentioned, but SUPER critical...often where it doesn't matter. It can be really draining and confidence destroying. Couple that with some frustrations in the results we are seeing...and blahhhh. 

Needless to say, I wasn't in the best mood leaving work on Friday. I arrived home to find our TWO smoke detectors (somewhat ridiculous in our small space) both screaming 'BATTERY BATTERY'. I HATE these things. They are just SO unnecessarily loud and annoying. I don't think even the most deep sleepers need to be warned of fire by any noise that makes your ears bleed. The detectors were shrieking and demanding a battery change (don't even get me started on what happens when a smoky oven sets them off..FIRE!! FIRE!! FIRE!! FIRE!!). The best part is...you can't even remove the batteries to silence the damn thing...it just continues. I have NO idea what you'd do if this happened in the middle of the night and you had no batteries. You would legit have to run out to the store. Since these detectors also seem to EAT batteries, I now keep a stockpile just in case. 

Another fun fact is that these detectors CANNOT be removed from their base...so unless you are 7ft tall...you're going to have some trouble changing the batteries. I left my stool in our storage unit that is 30 miles away and my tall husband was out surfing...so I was on my own. I did my best to remove and change those damn batteries, but I just COULDN'T. I had been on the phone with my mom, but she abandoned me because she couldn't take the shrieking. hehe. I finally managed to get one of the batteries JAMMED in the darn thing. It had now been about 20 mins of this horrible cacophony and the device started yelling 'CARBON MONOXIDE' at me. LIAR!! 

I had an out and out break down. I sat on the floor with my hands over my ears and SOBBED for a good five minutes. I'm not afraid to admit it. My smoke detectors drove me to a complete breakdown. :P

I pulled myself together, drug the ottoman over, got a screw driver, and finally fixed the dang thing...45 mins later. Nightmare!!

Poor Preston arrived home to an emotionally drained wife and was super nice about having a quiet, relaxing evening at home...despite his original plans to hit up Chez Jay again. 

We enjoyed a tasty dinner of 'The World's Best Chicken' (eh...it was ok, World's Best might be a stretch, but I do think chicken from Whole Foods just tastes better. Less torture? Better chicken? Haps.)  under the lights in our newly designed side yard and watched "The Imposter" on Netflix. Have you seen this documentary? It's CRAZY! 




On Saturday, Gianna and Marcy came over for a hike. Gianna wanted to head up to Topanga Canyon and it was my job to pick the hike. Of course, in my emotional exhaustion from the night before...I had completely forgotten about this. However, the hike I hastily picked ended up being quite awesome :) 

We took a hike to 'Eagle Rock', which I thought was appropriate since it's also the name of the neighborhood where Gianna lives. :D I'd done a hike to this rock before, but not from this same starting point. 

The three of us drove up the Pacific Coast Highway and turned onto Topanga Canyon Blvd. Topanga is surreal. As soon as you turn off the main road...it's like being in another world...or West Virginia. You completely forget about LA and get immersed in the little, hippy, mountain town vibe of the place. Dozens of cute second hand stores line the road. It's very bohemian and very cool. (OF course I took zero pictures)

After traveling up a very winding and narrow road, we parked and set off on the hike. 



The desert winds are blowing again and it's hot and dry. My favorite LA weather! The hike was about 4 miles round trip with an easy elevation gain along a dirt road.





Though Marcy and Gianna had never met...we got along great and had a terrific time talking about nearly EVERYTHING under the sun. 

All along the dirt path were views of the valley and the ocean. It was magnificent. 





Once we reached 'Eagle Rock', we sat and talked for a long while-enjoying the warm breeze and ocean views. 













We headed back down and found some people on the trail TOTALLY freaking out about a snake in the path. Haha. We three brave girls trudged ahead...excited to see the snake!, but no such snake was seen. Womp wa. 





Back at the car, we headed down into the little village area for a bite to eat. Gianna has been wanting to try the charming "Inn of the Seventh Ray", but there was a super long wait...so we headed across the way to the only other restaurant in sight..."Abuelitas". 




Oh my gosh. "Abuelitas" was HORRIBLE. For one, there was NO small grandmother in sight and for two, the service and (for three) food were TERRIBLE. The hostess actually made us wait before helping us so that she could finish sending a text. We were seated and parched for water, but didn't receive ANY attention for a good thirty minutes. 

Maybe it was our fault for ordering a salad at Mexican restaurant, but none of us felt like anything heavy and the Mexican dishes looked pretty soggy and overloaded with browning guac and too much sour cream. We all three ordered an avocado citrus salad that was, in a word, dismal. Canned tangerines, cubed red delicious apple, tasteless pineapple, and a greasy dressing resided over bagged spinach. Blech.

Finding humor it it all, we ate what we could and got out of there. We crossed the road to a eccentric thrift store and laughed at all the fun and ridiculous clothes. Gianna and I each bought some cool feather earrings--something I've had my eye on since seeing a pair at one of the apartments we stayed in during our time in Paris. 



I rushed home to quickly shower and head to Long Beach for dinner with Erica and her visiting Mom. Wendy joined us at one of my favorite restaurants on 2nd Street in my old neighborhood. Nick's has tasty cocktails and food, but is a little expensive. It was a nice time with good conversation. 




On Sunday, I lounged around a bit and did yoga before getting started on making food for a potluck we were attending in the evening. 

I made a pasta salad with roasted tomatoes, that was quite tasty despite my oven's ability to burn ANYTHING. Even when I put it in for much less time than requested. It's always like...not cooked not cooked...burned! Blast. 

I also made Almond Joy Cookies. Someone had made these cookies and brought them into work. Oh my goodness...they are delicious!! And no wonder....here's the recipe:


Ingredients
1 cup butter

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

4 eggs

3 teaspoons vanilla

4 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

5 cups chocolate chips

2 cups sweetened coconut

2 cups chopped almonds

 
Directions
Pre-heat oven to 375°F Lightly grease cookie sheets.

Combine dry ingredients, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stir in the vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until well mixed then stir in the chocolate chips, coconut and almonds. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

That's right!! THREE CUPS OF SUGAR AND ONE CUP OF BUTTER. I think this will make anything good. :P

Anyway, while it might seem obvious that this would make A LOT of dough...I was just blindly adding ingredients until I realized that I might be making cookies for the next day and a half. ;)

However, the gigantic amount of dough really only made about 6 dozen large cookies...which I think is still in the bounds of a normal cookie recipe. 

After all the cooking, baking, and enormous clean up, Preston and I headed to the beach to enjoy the warm weather and do some reading. 






It was beautiful afternoon and I think I even dozed a bit!

In the evening, we headed to a friend of Gianna and Gavin's for the potluck. Everyone invited had lived at Gianna and Gavin's old place at one time or another (Preston included!). I spent most of the evening eating and listening to everyone reminiscence about their time together. 







All in all-it was a lovely weekend. 

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