los angeles

hello from the air! i am en route from los angeles to maui with alana, who is asleep already, lily, who is crying about hunger games, and stephanie, who is dusted with a pleasant coating of furikake due to a minor snacksplosion upon boarding. i can’t blame her, we were up before the sun to catch our flight after a very wild night of meat, gossip, and backstreet boys sing-alongs in koreatown. my stop in los angeles was entirely too short but i managed to squeeze in time with loved ones and some very meaningful firsts—some more overdue than others:

  1. my first bite of spam. wow! spam musubi packs a deceptive amount of satisfaction into one compact delight. it’s, like, fried baloney sandwich satisfying and upon first bite it shot straight to the top of my list of things i’m most excited to experience in hawaii. 
  2. my first time subbing out the bagel in my bagel and lox with *wait for it* a freshly baked popover, c/o karen. it was a textural revelation since lox and popovers require a very similar amount of energy to be exerted in order to bite through them. i would do this again, absolutely.
  3. my first visit to canter’s!!! you didn’t tell me they had beaver mustard! what a jolly condiment. ordering a pastrami sandwich and an egg cream so far from new york made me a little uneasy, but from the comfort of a big squishy booth and over talk of paparazzi and time travel, i slowly settled in for a proper first canter’s experience. 
  4. my first shaved ice. which also jumped right to the top of my hawaii list. so fluffy, so sweet, so perfect with black sesame mochi bits hidden throughout. 
  5. my first time going directly from an 85-course korean barbecue carnivorgy to an alta california taco obligation where no menu item was left unordered and no hyperbolic shouts of joy were spared during the passing of the chorizo vampiros. 
  6. my first spork tattoo sighting. should i reconsider my decision not to get a tattoo in hawaii?
  7. my first dollar taco. small but extraordinarily mighty. 
  8. my first gjusta, my first olive & june, my first boozy push-up pop (!!!).
  9. my first time meeting adrianna, karen, lynn, and kelly, who are all every bit as wonderful as their internet presences suggest.
  10. my first zankou chicken garlic sauce, which looks like nothing but tastes too good to be true.

phew! i am off to go have some seconds now. seconds of water, because getting dehydrated on a plane is a fear that i have. thank you, los angeles and all of your lovely people, for a perfect pre-hawaii weekend <3 <3 <3



we made the five hour journey to ikea this weekend. i think i love that place more than pie. it is so worth the trek. i mean i really miss being a bike ride away from an ikea, but at least now we get to make a fun weekend trip out of it complete with drive-through egg mcmuffins and a san fermin/son lux concert, you know? 

eggboy and i officially have about half a dozen wildly successful ikea voyages under our belt, so i think this means that we can safely cross off any comparison to liz and criss in this regard and i am just too smitten with this realization. somehow we were plopped on the same ikea wavelength and each time we go to that store it gets better and better. we get in early, we get out before we're too crabby, and in between a few wonderful things always happen:

1. we share meatballs and he always lets me have the last one. 

2. if there is an extra cute dessert (especially one covered in marzipan of a pretty color), i obviously get it and bounce up and down excitedly and basically improvise a short broadway show about it at our table and he never gets embarrassed. (and yesterday it was a mini princess cake and omg it was the cutest thing ever ever everrrrrrrr!@!!!! jazz hands!!!!!!!)

3. we usually agree on aesthetics and if we don't, we stay calm and logical. if necessary, we spend an appropriate amount of time with, for example, hektar, getting to know him, envisioning how he would get along with our kitchen, meeting his family. we're not afraid to decide at the last minute to buy a twin set of mini hektars instead of the papa hektar that we had originally planned on.

3a. we keep receipts incase mini hektars need to go back. 

4. by the time we get to the kitchen accessories and i have to do that thing that i do every single time which is debate whether or not i need a pony shaped cake pan, he usually has an idea for a song lyric and will happily hang out with the mountains of tupperware, finding words that rhyme, while i decide for the "final" time that no, i do not need a pony shaped cake pan. 

5. egg is real good at calling me out on wanting to impulse buy things that i'll never use, so on the rare occasion that he does support a random thing i found and suddenly had to have, i know it's for real. 

6. and on the even rarer occasion that we both stop dead in our tracks in front of a really cool thing that is about to be sold out, we grab one. even if we have no idea where we will put it. (because planning out our lighting is officially my least favorite thing, because i have no idea how to light a house, because can someone come over and do it for me? and not crush my filament lightbulb dreams like this new york times article just did?)

...which is all to say that our ikea trip has made me even more excited about our farmhouse facelift and it has given me the motivation to whine less when eggboy suggests that instead of watching house of cards we go and sand some cabinets. 

and speaking of our home, a little thing i wrote about living in the country has been published in the kinfolk home issue and i am so excited i could poop. i talk about elk and eggs and how my concept of home has changed since moving here from the city. the issue officially comes out next week!

ok, i am off to go browse wallpaper and possibly make chocolate mint meringues. or rosewater meringues.




i enjoy rooting for the lesser known city in a pair: the moorhead of fargo-moorhead, the st. paul of minneapolis-st. paul, the east grand forks of "the greater grand forks area" (aka our future place of residency, aka the butt of everyone's jokes around here), for really no other reason than i feel bad that more people know about their bigger sibling. so when the eggdad told us we'd better explore scottsdale instead of phoenix, i was extra excited. 

so excited that i wore my favorite grey t-shirt.

our first stop was the cutest farm fantasyland i ever did see. singh farms is a little farm in the middle of the desert that primps itself for visitors every saturday. chickens and a horsy greet you and then you can walk around the winding wooded paths that are lined with herbs, onions, flowers, and other cute things. you may come across a yoga class, you may find a jam stand, and you most certainly should buy a fresh english muffin. eggboy did a hot pepper juice shot at a little juice truck and only winced once. it was the greatest place ever! eggboy actually took a lot of these pictures so that he could get ideas for his farm. (i hope that means a pony is in my future!!!)

after the farm, we danced around old town scottsdale, eating yummy thing after yummy thing. there was the best darn cauliflower i ever had, some crispy polenta topped with fresh tomatoes, a salad with a facebook page, and pastrami with rye spaetzle. 

at night the city lit up with string lights everywhere. it was so pretty and welcoming.

we had the perfect amount of time to explore. we saw the sun again, i filled my pockets with vitamin d, and i filled eggboy's pockets with the rosemary that grew along the sidewalks all around town. such wonderfulness. 

here is a little list of restaurants that we tried and loved. (i wish i could hug all of you guys who gave me these recommendations!! alas, i am far away and haven't showered in three days.)

america's taco shop // the old town scottsdale location is in a cute little house with a patio out back that has ping pong and a massive chalkboard wall. you feel like you're in somebody's home! my favorite taco was the carne asada.

fnb // fnb is basically everything you want in a restaurant when you want to counter all of the blobby feelings of eating too many tacos: local fresh vegetables done incredibly well, really nice service, and just a few great options. we had a perfect lunch with perfect cauliflower and polenta.

citizen public house // fancy cocktails, great creative food. i'd totally have my birthday party here if i was a scottsdale gal.

pizzeria bianco (phoenix) // valentine's day fell on pizza night! so we spent the evening at pizzeria bianco's second location (not their downtown phoenix location, which we heard would have a super long wait) and it was just the loveliest experience. everyone was so sweet and the decor was a really hip mix of vintage and new, and the pizza! ok once you get out of the mindset that it isn't supposed to be the chewy and slightly soggy goodness that is kesté or motorino (even though it kind of looks like it), you can really get into it. it's a bit thinner and crisper, but oh! is it good. i'd recommend the sonny boy. 

gallo blanco (phoenix) // any place that will allow me to order a breakfast torta at 10pm with a margarita pitcher has my heart. furthermore the waiter had a man bun. furthermore there was a pretty good crowd on a monday night. egg and i got to catch up with two of our juilliard friends on the patio and it was the awesomeist!!!! and i loved the torta. 



i have an idea! let's go to a place that's colder than the one we're in now. was essentially the thought process when we last minute decided to take a day trip to canada this weekend. and what eggboy was thinking when he grabbed his one year expired passport and failed to realize it until we arrived at the canadian border, we will never know. but being the honest, soft spoken, innocent farm people that we are (he is), we somehow got through (?!?) and then celebrated with the sweet canadian sounds of arcade fire as we drove through the sprawling snowy fields and into winnipeg.

first stop: obviously dim sum

you know, there is a gigantic weight off of my shoulders now that i know that the end to a painful dim sum craving is just over two hours away from my new home. if ever i express this craving and then suddenly disappear from the social media world (on account of roaming charges), you will know exactly where i am.

egg and i bopped all around town for the remainder of the afternoon. we stopped in shops of the record, stationary, and cake variety, we met a saskatoon berry (have you ever had a saskatoon berry? it is like a blueberry!), and all the while we had our bomber hats glued to our heads because, sweet lord, was it cold! again, though, i'm finding i really don't mind the extreme cold when i'm aptly prepared with three pairs of socks, three sweaters, and my sorels.

a solid block of time was spent with those hudson bay stripes. what is it about those stripes? when we tracked down the entire section of them in the hudson bay store, we immediately hyperventilated in unison out of such excitement. because we are silly americans and we like those things and yes we do spend entire minutes petting the wool blankets, dreaming of the day that we'll acquire one.

we also found a bakery that makes a hudson bay striped cake! oh, for cute.

as if the shortest day of the year could get any shorter, the sun went down at around four. it really didn't have far to go. it felt like it was setting from the moment it showed itself. so through the night we drove on home, but not before eating curry and picking up a pair of fleece lined leggings. oh yes, i am never taking these off.