April + May in Review

How's it going? It's been quite an eventful past two months for us. Lots of changes - some good, some not so much. But such is life and we move forward. Around here, these Spring days have been filled with 2-hour long neighborhood strolls with Hoku looking for wildflowers and entire afternoons in the garden repotting plants, chasing lizards (all Hoku) and harvesting broccoli rabe, snow peas and strawberries. 

We've also been jet-setting quite a bit. Back in April, we spent a few days exploring Portland and visiting friends in Seattle. Then in early May, I took a solo trip to Hong Kong to work on some fun, new things for Fox & Bagel. A couple weeks later, we were off to New York City to celebrate my sister's graduation from grad school. (She's a Nurse Practitioner specializing in pediatrics so if you're reading this up in the SF Bay Area, hire her! She is awesome.) And from NYC, we set off to Montreal where we finally, finally got to try their namesake wood-fired bagels. And let me tell you, these bagels are as good as they say, maybe even better. 

But wait. There's more! The traveling continues next month with Japan and a return to Hong Kong! Are you exhausted yet just reading this? I am. I know this blog is focused primarily on the adorable, furry dude, but would you guys like to see more travel posts on here, even if Hoku couldn't come with? :)


A little garden update! We have a garden bed with 3 types of carrots, 2 types of eggplant, chives, beets, purple cauliflower, edamame, basil and broccoli rabe. We have corn stalks that started off shorter than Hoku and are now taller than us humans. In our wooden barrels, we have snow peas, jalapeños, yellow bell peppers, strawberries and 6 types of tomatoes.

And we're attempting peanuts again! We tried growing peanuts last year and it was all going well until the plant suddenly withered away due to unexplained, natural causes. (Ok fine, it was me. I killed it.) It was a goner, leaving behind only shattered dreams of what could have been an excellent accompaniment to our Friday night libations. Or so we thought. Little did we know, our peanut plant had produced actual peanuts and these peanuts that had been sitting in this bucket of old soil, getting no consistent source of water or sunlight, had grown actual roots. We plucked them out, planted them in the garden bed and boom, hello new peanut plant!


Hoku, of course, has been busy with his garden patrol duties. See how he stealthily blends into the plants, ready to pounce on a moment's notice at any sign of illegal critter activity. The corn stalks have eyes. Adorable, puppy eyes. 


In other backyard news, I finally took the leap and lime-washed the crap out of red brick paver patio. It has been a source of much grief but replacing these pavers with something cool like limestone or weather-resistant redwood planks just wasn't in our landscaping budget when we overhauled the yard a couple years back. So I rolled up my sleeves, channeled my inner Chip and Joanna Gaines and bought some lime-wash along with a cheap paint brush at Home Depot. All for under $100. I call it the poor man's hardscaping and I couldn't be more thrilled with how it turned out. More on this and a full reveal on the blog later!


Some other things that made me happy this month: this little plant propagation corner aka my mad plant scientist laboratory. And also, being reunited with Hoku after ten days in New York City and Montreal...and subsequently giving him a bath just to wrap him up in a towel and make him look like a jedi. 

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March In Review

March came and went, bringing rainy days, pup allergies, human allergies, Spring cleaning, Hokkaido milk bread, green tea lattes with cat faces, and a return to the garden. In case you missed it, we took a mini road trip through Arizona and Utah, all documented in a five part blog series here. (We also revamped our Travels page!) Without further ado, scenes from March with this fluffball around these parts.


My office/studio has been in a constant state of flux since we moved in but I am determined to finally have a shelfie worth gramming this year. Maybe. In the meantime, here is the most orderly corner of my office that I share with my favorite co-working space buddy. And because I get a lot of questions about these hanging wires on Instagram, I've decided to share my super secret source (not really) here


One of the best things about Spring is being able to spend a lot more time in the garden even though pollen is the dust the devil. I've had this Xerosicyos danguyi (silver dollar plant) cutting in an old medicine bottle (that I found on a beach in Brooklyn) for about half a year and even though I loved the way it looked in the glass, it was getting too root bound and needed to be transplanted. Giving plant friends new homes is my favorite therapy. 


In the garden, the yu choy and baby bok choy seeds we planted back in January had turned into beautiful, healthy veggies and it was finally time to harvest and feast! Our broccoli, carrots and beets planted at the end of February had a bit of a rough start with all the rain but are finally coming up nicely. From the garden store, we brought home snow peas, tomatoes, broccoli rabe, purple cauliflower and corn. Very excited about this year's veggie line up.  


Southwest Road Trip Part 5: Under Canvas Zion

After three nights at the Hampton Inn in Kanab (which is an excellent dog-friendly option by the way - economical, clean, free hot breakfasts that fueled us for a full day of adventures), we treated ourselves to a night of glamping under the stars at Under Canvas Zion. We stayed in their Stargazer safari tent perched high on a hill, giving us this stunning, unobstructed view into Zion National Park right from our very own deck. Hoku wasted no time making himself and his coyote friend comfortable on the King bed, which boasts a Casper mattress and a viewing window for stargazing at night. There was also a wood burning stove and all the firewood we could burn to keep us warm as the temperatures dipped. "This is so not camping," David laughed as he propped his legs up on the deck chair and took in the dramatic, red mountains surrounding us. "But I'll admit...it's pretty sweet."

The harshest glamping critic I know had finally been swayed. 


As sunset approached, we walked down to the lobby tent to grab some dinner at the onsite restaurant, Embers. Hoku snuggled up in his blanket under our table as we chatted with two other guests from Oregon who told us how they were woken up the night before by a pack of coyotes howling loudly into the valley. The food, the beer (David tried Utah's very own Polygamy Porter), the company, the views (again with views, I know), the super friendly staff at Under Canvas, it all made for one heck of a good evening. 


After dinner, the mountains began glowing a bright, fiery orange and we headed back to our tent. We didn't want to miss a single minute of magic hour light from the deck. Southwest sunsets are just something else entirely. While some clouds lingered into the evening, we were thankful that it had cleared just enough for us to enjoy a sky full of stars and a faint glow of light that was the Milky Way. It was a chilly evening, but because we had our viewing window, we could take the stargazing party inside and stay warm and toasty. So under the stars, we all fell asleep to the crackling of logs in the wood burning stove. It was the best night's rest we had the entire trip.


Along our journey through the Southwest, we had seen our fair share of incredible sights. And just when we thought we had seen it all, we unzipped our tent the next morning to find THIS. No words.


Hoku slept in and missed the amazing sunrise over Zion, but I think he much rather preferred snuggling with his coyote and having breakfast in bed. The kid sure knows how to vacation in comfort.


After Hoku finally decided to get out of bed, we took a quick stroll down to the lobby tent and helped ourselves to coffee from the complimentary 24/7 beverage bar that included an assortment of teas and hot chocolate. We took our coffees back to the tent and soaked in the Zion morning sky one last time before packing up our things for the long drive back to LA. I can't think of a more perfect way for us to have concluded our short but sweet journey through the Southwest than right there on that deck, with a hot coffee in hand and a warm pup on my lap. 


Thanks for an amazing time, Under Canvas! We can't wait to come back again.