Loving: spring edition

First it rained, and I thought the way the clouds were resting on the El Cerrito hills was especially pretty.

Me and Reggie just hung out and knit for a while.

I whipped through the second Hunger Games book. I actually thought it was pretty good.

Mike and I enjoyed spring rolls at our favorite Vietnamese place, Nong Thon.

I also finally broke down and bought some dried billy buttons to put around the house. They just belong in that little vase.

When the sun finally came out, my outdoor flowers were so happy. The gerbera daisy fully opened, revealing a bright orange flower.

The rest of the daisies in the ammo box and pretty irises opened, too.

Sadly, something ate my mint. But I did decide to move both the tomato plant and the orange tree into the sunniest spot in our front yard garden. They both really seem to like the extra light.

Sadie has been doing this thing where she plops down in a sunny spot next to the house and refuses to come inside. Such a diva.

The best thing that happened this week, though, was an impromptu barbecue we had in our tiny backyard. We invited our next door neighbors, so I thought it would just be four of us. But it ended up being nine people and three dogs!

Party people. 🙂

This is Monkey. He lives next door.

Mike made lamb burgers with caramelized onions and feta cheese.

I mixed up a little vinaigrette for heirloom cherry tomatoes.

I also made strawberry shortcake for dessert. I’m still using the same perfect recipe.

We strung up the lights from our wedding throughout the yard, and that really transformed the space into a great spot for entertaining. Now we definitely want to get more furniture and a firepit so we can do this again.

Fun times!

Old Oakland

We made a fun little discovery last weekend. We decided to try a gastropub in Oakland that specializes in our favorite, Belgian beers. It’s called The Trappist, and if you are a beer snob, a foodie, or both, you will love it.

I had a Rodenbach grand cru, which I can never remember the name of, and a tasty pastrami sandwich. Mike tried the sausages with potato salad and red cabbage. My favorite part, though, was the sampling of pickled green beans. Usually when people make their own pickles I find them kind of meh, but these were phenomenal.

Actually, the best part of going there was discovering the neighborhood of Old Oakland.

It is just the cutest shopping and restaurant district. I can’t believe we didn’t even know it was there. And I can’t wait to go back and try some of the other restaurants there.

56 Up

Have you guys seen the Up series? I’ve confessed my love for documentaries before, but the Up series is kind of the ultimate. It’s been following a bunch of British people (of various socio-economic backgrounds) since they were 7 years old. Every 7 years another film is released, and usually most of them participate. It is fascinating! You get really caught up in their lives, rooting for some of them to be successful in their careers or get married, etc.

So I was excited to hear that the next film, 56 Up, is coming out in May. At the time I watched them, only some of the DVDs were available on Neflix instant, but now it looks like they all are. So you should definitely watch them if you haven’t. You will be hooked!