pie contest

vegan_pie 222I went to the KCRW pie contest this past weekend, even though it was quite warm out, I couldn’t resist the allure of pie. They had a vegan section and I was able to sample a few of the pies. There were a handful of savory pies like the one above, but they were mostly sweet pies. There was a lot of pie (so please excuse me if I get some of the flavors slightly off).

vegan_pie 219 This fruit pie had an awesome shortbread crust.

vegan_pie 221 Some of the vegan pies were also gluten free, like this cherry ginger pie.

vegan_pie 220 I ran into Trina who made this delicious lemon cream pie.

vegan_pie 224 Veronica made this amazing pumpkin pecan pie. I’m not even a fan of nuts and it was really good.

vegan_pie 225 Did I mention it was hot out? It was rough on the cream pies like this chocolate pudding pie with coconut cream.

vegan_pie 223vegan_pie 226 There were lattice berry pies and apple pies. I kind of just wanted to eat pie forever. I ended up making seitan pot pie for our food share inspired by all these pies.

There were lots of pretty pies that weren’t vegan that I’ll share below for the sake inspiration, because they could of course easily be made vegan. In truth I don’t know who won but it was fun to sample. Perhaps next year I’ll enter a pie myself.

heart desk

heart_desk 219It all started when I spotted this sad but cute little desk on the curb. Even though it was really beat up and we didn’t exactly have a space for it, I decided it should come home with me.

heart_desk 222It was in really bad shape but I’ve been wanting a little desk so it seemed like a really good option to test it out. I sanded it down and cleaned off some cobwebs, then painted it with some leftover paint from when I was choosing colors for the living room in Woodland White.

heart_desk 221It cleaned up really nice and I found a little spot for it in our dining room. It’s a little rough around the edges, quite literally, and not very well made but it’s cute and more importantly, free. Plus it’s nice to have a tiny workspace of my own and a few drawers to stow things.

heart desk


halloween_party_julia_pott1It’s the first week of September, hot as hell, and I’m already starting to plan for Halloween time. I can’t help it, I’m excited. It’s also possible my brain might be melting. Perhaps if I think about cooler times they will arrive.

First, I love this Halloween Party print from Julia Pott. She also made one of my favorite short films, BELLY, which I highly recommend you watch.

saltwater_quilts_halloweenI can’t stop thinking about this Halloween Table Runner from Saltwater Quilts. I made this Halloween table cloth last year with some of the same fabrics but I really like the quilted version. Looking forward to going to the fabric store to see what new prints are available this year.

coffee & donuts

Also I’ve been fiending for an apple donut. What? I don’t even know that I’ve ever had an apple donut but thanks to instagram I’ve seen tons of them and want one for myself. I guess it’s time to get in the kitchen and start testing out some recipes (because it’s obviously a great idea to mess with frying oil when it is a billion degrees out).

labor day

labor_day 226labor_day 225labor_day 227This labor day seemed particularly long. Saturday feels like forever ago. We started out with hike in the San Gabriel valley. Since it was so hot, we chose a trail that we knew was shady, but it ended up being quite a bit warmer and more strenuous than we intended. It was still really nice to get outdoors though.

labor_day 220labor_day 224birthday_cake labor_day 219labor_day 228We celebrated my mother’s birthday with some friends. Isabelle made a lovely cake, and when it was remarked that she was becoming a regular Martha Stewart she replied: “Who’s that?” I still don’t feel remotely old but it is slightly strange to see kids I used to babysit grow into adults. Time is curious.

I made some baked spinach artichoke dip for the occasion. I tried something different from the last spinach artichoke dip but I think I like the original recipe better. I’m still tinkering.

I tried this new vegan ice cream that my mom picked up. It was quite good, but more than that, the cold brewed coffee was serious stuff. I probably wouldn’t be writing this post right now if it weren’t for that ice cream.

labor_day 221labor_day 222labor_day 223 We played games including a short but lively game of baseball, where one of the dogs would steal the ball if you hit it too far. Does this make it sound like I played? I did not. Though I did enjoy playing a game of Minotaur. I’m more of a board game kind of girl.

Other things:

  • Meeme and Mochi turned 5! Those little rascals. I love those cats so much it’s ridiculous.
  • We saw Blue Jasmine which I really loved. I’m usually not particularly fond of films about ultra rich people, but Cate Blanchett is truly fantastic. I really thought that everyone was great actually. Even though it’s a tale of distress, it’s still fun to watch. I like many Woody Allen films, but I am not an uber fan as I find many people are. Yet, I think that the “Allenness” of this film makes it work. It was entertaining and surprising. Shawn pointed out it’s has some similarities to A Woman Under the Influence, one of my favorite films.
  • I guess this weekend means that the end of summer is nigh, but it’s been terribly hot. I can’t wait for the cool fall air to make an appearance.

Did you do anything fun or relaxing this weekend?

carnivorous birds

giant_sequoias 229There was one other unexpected special thing that happened in the sequoias. There was a nature presentation at our campground on carnivorous birds. When I first saw it listed on a flyer, I wanted to go, expecting to see some photos of birds and just learn at little. I was so surprised when we arrived to find a presentation with real live birds: a red tailed hawk, a great horned owl and a prairie falcon.

giant_sequoias 228These birds were all rescued and rehabilitated after they were seriously injured (hit by car, hit by a plane [!], shot) but were unable to be returned to the wild.

giant_sequoias 230Each bird was presented with such caring by Diane. I was in awe of not only the beauty of these creatures, but also how she cared for them; delicately straightening ruffled feathers and cooing to them when they were nervous.

giant_sequoias 233 I feel very fortunate to have been able to see these birds up close, though I wish there was a way they could have not been hurt in the first place. It was amazing to hear about what amazing hunters these birds are, in particular the owl. Though I’ve known since childhood they’re carnivorous, I usually just think about owls docilely perched in a tree. Of course, they kill all manner of creatures, crushing them with tank like force. It’s a big reminder that not all cute animals are so cute and cuddly.

You can see more from our sequoia camping trip here and here.