I’ve been trying to think of what to say about the Brainwashed Love screening last Friday, but I just can’t come up with the words to express it. Shawn and I have worked so long and hard on the film so there isn’t any way to wrap it up in just a little recap. We produced it completely ourselves and we really wanted to send it off into the world right. We held our screening for just over 200 of our cast, crew and closest friends at the Downtown Independent.
The whole week prior, I was a ball of nerves. Neither Shawn nor I got much sleep, Shawn especially, as we tried to make everything as perfect as possible. By the time we actually made it to the screening, I was pretty overwhelmed with all the people that came. It was so awesome.
I would say without a doubt the screening was a success. Since no one had seen the movie in it’s complete form, it was the first time we got to hear any feedback. So many people told us they were shocked at how good it was. I can’t express how good it felt to know that people actually really liked it. It really validates all the effort and time and money and caring we put into the film.
We were really lucky to have a photo booth donated by Polite in Public, to take shots all night. We chose a Halloween themed backdrop and they had a ton of great props, perfect for the start of October. I figured I’d just share these photos and a few that I was able to snap during the night instead of trying to describe the event itself.
Hopefully, there will be more screenings in the future. Maybe good things will happen for us. You can always follow us on twitter if you want to keep up with where the film goes.
It’s been a crazy weekend. The Brainwashed Love screening was Friday. It was such an amazing experience. The theater was packed and we got such good responses from everyone. So exciting! More about that later though…
Since most of Shawn’s family lives out of state, we thought we’d make the weekend a double feature and have our engagement party on Saturday night. Oh the joy of throwing a bunch of people who don’t know each other together in a room over food. Not to mention, hoping that the vegan meal you serve a bunch of non-vegans will convince them that the wedding food is going to be awesome as well.
Luckily, we had a secret weapon…Madeleine Bistro. We chose the most gourmet of vegan restaurants in Los Angeles as the venue for our dinner. It was outstanding and everyone was more than impressed.
We started with a selection of appetizers. I tried them all. They all were awesome. They included the mini mac, farmers cheese and caramelized onions in filo, pesto pizza and smoked farmers cheese on crostini. Oh man.
I just realized how hard to write this post is going to be. This food was so good. I’m salivating.
Each was a perfect little burst of flavor and taste of what was to come. I was particularly impressed with the farmers cheese, which was smoky, rich and left me wanting more and more.
I think the big hit of the bunch was the mini mac. A cute, bite sized burger with all the flavors of the full size version.
The next course was a french onion soup. One of my favorite soups that it so hard to find vegan. I loved the thick bread soaked in the savory soup.
We were lucky to have gorgeous flower arrangements made by Shawn’s uncle, Gordon. He showed up to the restaurant and surprised us by decorating the tables with these lovely flowers and candle before we arrived. It looked amazing and really made the dinner just that much more special.
On to the next course. We had a choice of either the red beet tartare or a ceasar salad for our guests. Both Shawn and I had the red beet tartare. I can’t believe I haven’t ordered this off the menu before. It was SO good. The beets were sweet, magically creamy and perfectly matched with the crispy croquette. Even the oil and vinegar drizzle on the plate was superb.
But wait…there’s more! For the next course, we again had a choice of two items. Shawn ordered the chicken fried seitan with rustic mashed potatoes, pan gravy and vegetable medley. I’m pretty sure Madeleine bistro makes the best seitan ever. Especially the chicken fried seitan. It’s simultaneously crunchy and moist. It’s like the perfect southern meal, made vegan.
I went for something new to me, the grilled lemon rosemary seitan with a savory crepe and black kale. Again, the seitan was fantastic. It had a light sauce and was so juicy. The crepe was mind blowing. I’m not even kidding. Filled with asparagus and a sort of cheesy filling, it was unlike anything I’ve tried anywhere else.
Finally on to dessert. I was so full at this point (but pleasantly full, mind you). Shawn had the cheesecake.
I went for the brownie sundae. It was everything I could have dreamed for in a dessert. Chewy, chocolately brownie with sweet ice cream and a decadent fudge sauce and a touch of fruit sauce. Loved it. So much.
We made it! Stuffed and happy and families introduced! Success!
It was really a special night for us and I’m so glad that we were able to impress our guests with such wonderful food. A few family members admitted that they had backup plans if they didn’t like the ominous vegan food, but in the same breath told us they loved everything they had. I love being able to show people that vegan food can really be wonderful and delicious and break through any misgivings they might have.
Three years ago today I met the man I’m going to marry.
Here’s the setting…it’s the second Friday Midnight Ridazz ride. The Clown Ride to be specific. Hundreds of cyclists swarm the streets of Los Angeles from downtown to, in this case, mid-Wilshire. Here we are stopped at a 7-11 to refuel. This photo in particular doesn’t quite grasp the magnitude of how many of us there are. I’m going to say this was during the second golden age of MR.
We met on this fateful night moments after I caught him taking this photo above. I tried to get out of the frame, and he told me I wasn’t in the photo. Obviously that wasn’t quite true. I kind of love that there is a photo of the moment we first saw each other.
The next day he broke all the rules and asked me out. In fact, he asked me to go get ice cream at Scoops. How could I say no?
So we met up, ate ice cream and talked for a long time. I found out he was vegan too (major bonus points), was crazy about movies just like me and of course, loved riding bikes. I honestly couldn’t believe how much we had in common.
Since then, everyday our life together gets a little more awesome. We love Halloween. We love spending a whole day (or weekend) watching movies and eating vegan pizza. We love dressing up like zombies. We love biking around every city we visit. You might find us taking photos of all the food we eat. Or you might find us hanging out and snuggling our cats, Meeme and Mochi.
Last summer we wrote and shot a feature film together…Brainwashed Love. It was by far the craziest, most stressful and most awesome thing I’ve ever done. I know it was only possible because we did it together. Not to mention the work we’ve done in the past year to make it as special as we can.
I wish I could put into words how awesome being with Shawn has made my life. I’m so happy and excited all the time. We get to do the coolest stuff. We get to do all the things that people are nervous about and not worry because we’re together.
I couldn’t be happier that in six short months we’re going to be getting married. I can’t wait for all the things our life together holds. Last night I stayed up late stamping save the dates. I can’t wait to show you guys some of the cool stuff we’re going to be putting together for our wedding, but for the moment it will have to stay under wraps. I promise, cool stuff ahead though.
So here are some old (but always good) photos to remind us of the past few years. It’s crazy that nearly the whole time we’ve been together Shawn has had a beard and now he doesn’t.
Happy Anniversary Shawn. I love you more than anything. xo
How cute are these guys? While in Portland, we got to visit the show of awesome, part of the Summit of Awesome. The Doug Fir lounge was filled with so much creativity and craftiness. I wanted to buy one of basically everything.
Going to a craft show like this is just so inspiring. I couldn’t believe how much talent was packed into this room.
I loved these rings. I couldn’t decide which one I liked best.
I probably could have spent most of my day roaming around this place and checking out all the handmade stuff. I also got to meet Becky from Glue and Glitter, which was cool. It’s times like those when you realize you’re a total internet nerd. Oh well.
After all that crafty fun we checked out some vintage stores nearby and then headed over to the Bye and Bye. You know the Bye and Bye right? Only the coolest vegan bar around. I think so anyway. Check out that amazing mixed drink in a jar. So darn good. Oh and then some other awesome stuff happened.
I think I’m in love with just about every aspect of Portland. I suppose I should share some of the great food we ate as well…perhaps next time…
This past weekend I participated in the Homemade for Haiti bake sale hosted by Home Ec Shop in Silverlake. We were able to raise an amazing $1,220 for Doctors without Borders.
I cooked up some of my favorite cupcakes and some of my best sellers in hopes that they could get the most money to those in need.
While the bake sale itself wasn’t exclusively vegan, they had a whole table full of vegan goodness (and even soy milk for coffee)! The shop is so cute too and all the bake goods were packaged up to be exponentially adorable. You can see more photos on flickr.
If you want to do something really easy to help with the relief effort in Haiti, there are a ton of vegan bake sales going on across the country. I’m particularly envious of the NYC vegan bake sale at Mooshoes (which coincidentally uses one of my cupcake photos taken by Studiodrome). There is even a bake sale here in Los Angeles this Sunday.