April Mood Board

It's Mood Board time...

April showers bring May flowers...

And carrots! I keep picking them too early, I'm just so impatient. Hopefully, my May mood board will be filled with all the veggies I'm trying to grow in my garden.

Linking up with Karin A's Mood Board challenge. It's my sixth one, here are some of the others. Come join the fun!


Week Sixteen and Seventeen, lots to be seen

So it would appear that I have taken to posting my 366 every two weeks. And it would also appear that I have changed the layout of my photos. As a Photoshop novice, it was taking me too long to put things together, and sometimes I wanted to write more about the photo than the little box would fit. Hence, the new layout. What do you think?

Week 16+17 (106-119/366)

And a little bit about the photos:

106: A yummy salad with an egg from my grandparents' ranch
107: Homemade turkey meatballs, layered in cheese, with a glass of Chardonnay from  Rams' Gate Winery
108: Made a quick chicken dish with pea shoots using Trader Joe's Green Curry Sauce
109: Cauliflower Crust Pizza! (I obviously love my new striped plate from Target)
110: Oops. Forgot to take a photo (crazy day at work, running around getting ready for my road trip to Coachella)
111: Fruits de mer dish at the Westin Mission Hills Resort (where we stayed during Coachella, yay credit card points and I'm too old for car camping.)
112: Huge banana pancake (along with chicken fried steak in the background) at Palms Cafe. So good we went back the next day for more.
113: Technically 114, as I ate this lovely Double Double Animal Style at 2 am.
114. Driving back home, grabbed a sandwich from Broome Street General Store. It was ok.
115. Back to work. Coffee most important, food secondary
116. Not much in the fridge, tomato soup from a box and the last beer in the fridge
117. No time for grocery shopping, so it was take-out Mexican
118. End of a short but long week. Joy the Baker came to the rescue. Made Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from her book (without the nuts), similar recipe here.
119: Homemade turkey meatballs, it was so good the first time that I had to make it again. Perhaps I'll post a recipe (yeah right, along with the million other posts I want to do).

So there it is! That was fun. And I thought I would spotlight my favorite photo for the two weeks. Drumroll please...

What day is it?

I love how with Instagram you can blur out certain parts with their tilt feature. It conveys exactly how I felt in the morning. How I even managed to make breakfast is beyond me.

Have a great Sunday!


Capturing Coachella

This past weekend I traveled south to Indio, CA, for the Coachella music festival. It was so nice to get away from the stress of things up here. Unfortunately, the stress really beat up my immune system, so the entire weekend of music was overshadowed by some sort of laryngitis, achy-all-over, headachy, sneezy thing.

to infinity and beyond

And it was hot! 100+ degrees hot. And of course the day we left, it cooled down to 80. Ah well.


What I love about music festivals is the energy. Even in 100+ degree weather, people are still dancing and singing (although much of it is under much influence of other things). For me, the music can take me over, bring goosebumps, smiles and even tears.


I love capturing those moments as well, but unfortunately, no big cameras are allowed. (Although I did see plenty around so I'm sure people smuggled them in.)

Still, there were plenty of things to take photos of with my Ai-phone. It was also a fun challenge to try and find different ways of capturing some of the scenes there.

recycled inspirations

The art installations were just fantastic. Colorful, peculiar, creative, and just plain cool.

Mmm... palm tree


monster flower

the do lab

I thought this one was fun. It was from the guys over at the Do LaB. It reminded me of Marge and Bart. 


rays of light

I took a million shots of the balloons. They just made me happy.

al lined up

And of course there was the ferris wheel. There are a million photos on Instagram of Le Grande Roue, some of them really creative, like this and this. I'm particularly fond of the one I took :-)

Le Grande Roue

There are a lot of cool pics over on Instagram of the Coachella festivities. Feel free to follow me at ailoves to see my favs!


A quiet day

Some calm today, so thankful for it. Took advantage of a sunny day to get some fresh air and go for a light run. Always a good way to clear out my mind a bit.

Made some cauliflower pizza...

And went through some old photos, hoping to get together some new posts. Here's a sneak peak:

Girls' night out

It may take me a few months. It's a lot easier just posting photos than it is writing something about them! That's why I love Instagram! If you're on it, come find me (ailoves)!


Cauliflower Crust Craziness

After much carb inhalation in February (especially Week 7), I decided to do a few weeks of low carbing in March. It definitely helps in making me feel better overall. While carbs (bread, potatoes, and candy are favs for me) give me major instant gratification, later on, I am weighed down, both physically and mentally. The past few weeks, I have needed all the energy I can get, so doing this has been helpful.

Anywho, I decided to put my Pinterest pin to use and try this Cauliflower Crust Pizza.

I made this big one a few weeks ago and burnt the edge to a crisp.

Three main ingredients: 
1 head cauliflower, l egg, and 1 cup cheese of your choice.


The cauliflower goes in the food processor and is spun around until it's kind of grainy. Then into the microwave for 8 minutes. Then into a cheesecloth where the heck gets squeezed out of it, leaving you with a dry "dough" base. (Much too messy to show on film.)

Mix in your egg and cheese. I threw in some oregano too.

Shape them into little mini-crusts. Put on parchment paper. I don't know if you need cooking spray, but I just put it on. Last time I made this, I threw it straight on a baking sheet and it got really stuck and burnt (see top photo).

Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or so.
Then add your favorite toppings. Sausage and cheese for me. Bake at same temp until the cheese melts.

Then it gets too dark to take photos. So you use your iPhone and Instagram, which can make any bad photo look artistic with just a few taps.

It's good stuff, yo. (sigh, I can't believe I just wrote that.)


Week Fourteen and Fifteen, not so peachy keen

I'm glad there are only a few more "teen" weeks, since they wreak havoc on my rhyming prose.

My hopes of resuming weekending posts have disappeared like a steak in my dogs' food bowl. Real life is still tossing me around, although during Week Fourteen, I did find some time to meet up with friends for dinner a few nights.

This past week, a cold and allergies came a threatenin', so it was a lot of chicken soup. Stress is trying to catch up on me, but I'm still fighting. And eating.


Resuming proper weekending posts

I started up yesterday morning with a lovely message that I was being featured over at Shutter Sisters for their weekending feature. Happy dance happy dance! This was then proceeded by a mini freakout. Why? Because my weekending posts have been rather paltry.

"Ai spends her weekends "brunching" with friends and enjoying time outdoors."

More like "Ai spends her weekends going buggy-eyed from staring at a computer and working."  I have had a few lovely weekends since my last real (only?) weekending post, including two day trips to Napa and another brunch with college friends at our alma mater. Lots of photos but no time to post. So I thought I'd start this morning with my current weekend happenings. Hopefully I will get to posting the other weekending adventures before the year ends.

After doing my happy dance and then freak out, I needed some calming moments with a yoga class. The only thing this photo has to do with the yoga class is that it's a building across the street from the studio.

There is a day care center in this building (!)

Now thoroughly relaxed, I went off to the Farmer's Market. I wanted a little basket of strawberries. Well, for $10 you could get three. And then the lady practically forced me into buying double, for only $12! How could I resist?

Now relaxed but getting buried in strawberries, I headed home to work in the garden.  Oh, and deal with this guy.


He's not mine. I'm dog-sitting this weekend. He's 70 pounds of energetic puppiness. He's keeping my old guy busy.

Catch me if you can!


My little guy is not a fan. Not a fan at all. If the pup gets too close or takes his toys, Archie starts snarling and baring his teeth; it's like he's possessed by the devil.

Gardening produced a few things for dinner. I think I pulled the carrots too early.

The evening was spent cleaning this mess.

Spooky glow of the chandelier

This morning, I woke up to the pup whining. Not quite ready to get out of bed, I caught up on some blog reading. And trying to figure out what to do with all my strawberries.

Luckily, I came across this post for Strawberry Crepes by Ez. I didn't have gluten-free flour though. I didn't really have much regular flour either. Or whipped cream. Or milk.... But I sure had a lot of strawberries!

So I made crepes with whole-wheat flour, almond milk, and marscapone.

Strawberry crepes

The crepe turned out a bit thick, so it was more like a strawberry burrito. But a very tasty strawberry burrito.

Breakfast of champions
A sausage link joins the party

Now that I am seriously carbed up, I need to clean up the mess in the kitchen and take this whining pup outside.


(and happy easter too!)


March Mood Board

Despite the craziness of life right now, I still try to take time and smell the roses. Or in this case, the ranunculus, poppies, and blue bells. Which don't have much smell. But they sure are pretty!

The rain came down last week, giving life to these guys in my garden.

A rainbow of color, now tucked into a little glass.

I'm linking up with Karin A. I've been doing this for a few months now (February, January, November, October). It's so neat to see the progression of colors in my own backyard. 


365 + 1, Week Twelve and Thirteen, no calm foreseen

A poet I'm not. It's been another crazy two weeks. I'm pooped.

Food Week 12

I've been really cutting down on carbs, although I give myself a day or two in the week to have a bit more, usually in the form of beer.

Food Week 13

I forgot to take day 87 of food. So I took one of my extremely early morning cup of jo on day 88 to make up for it. Coffee is food!

Activity Week 12

Activity has pretty much been squeezing in walks with my dogs and spin.

Activity Week 13

Alas, could not squeeze much of anything in this past week.

After 91 days, I've done about 14 sessions of yoga, 19 spin classes, and run about 9 times. With the way my schedule has been lately, I've decided to drop this 366 project. For sure, I'll still be active, but how many times can I take an interesting photo of a spin class?

So it will just be 366 Days of Food. Only 275 more days to go!
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