2 months and 1 day later…

What do you get when you combine a beautiful venue and an amazing photographer?

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At the Santa Barbara Courthouse

Needless to say, we loved seeing all our photos when we got the full set. And even though it’s been just 2 months, I’m already nostalgic. I might do a wedding day post a little later, and maybe put up a couple more photos, too.

Plus, Emily just blogged Part 2 of our (epic) engagement shoot. That was so fun!


Jonathan Lethem likes video games, too

We already knew he’s a music lover, but it turns out Jonathan Lethem knows a little something about games, too.

Also, Lethem shares a 10-song playlist that inspired Dissident Gardens.

Top 10 signs you’re addicted to spinning

Totally true image courtesy of RateYourBurn.com

You know you’re a spin addict when…

  1. You spend more time browsing workout gear than regular clothes
  2. You are very attached to your special spin class water bottle (you know, the one that holds the perfect amount of water for a class, fits in the cup holder, and has a fliptop or nozzle)
  3. Your car smells perpetually like sweat
  4. Your musical taste has likely gone down a couple notches
  5. You mentally categorize a new song you hear as a sprint, climb, or jog. And when you hear a new song, your first thought is often “Can I spin to this?”
  6. You schedule important appointments around your favorite spin class
  7. You have taken one class earlier than 7:00 am
  8. You get more excited than needed when you hear a requested song played in class
  9. You feel elated when an instructor compliments you in class
  10. When a favorite instructor stops teaching your class time, your response is close to mourning

Any of these describe you? If you exhibit more than 5 of these signs, you’re surely one of us. Welcome! We are a very nice bunch.

“If You Build It” Project H documentary screening in LA

Today’s post is a little bit different.

Several months ago I went to a UXPA LA event and was introduced to Studio H, the 2013 IxDA Future Voice Award winner.

The idea of the class is to empower kids by having them design and construct actual projects (from coffee makers to chicken coops to farmers markets), in the process learning architecture, industrial design, business concepts, research, and community organizing in a very hands-on way. Studio H launched in a rural area of North Carolina called Bertie County and is now housed in Berkeley, CA.

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Just another link of Benedict Cumberbatch’s dramatic reading of R.Kelly

Oh, and a beautiful b&w photo, too.

People Magazine portrait by Ruven Afanador

As Wired‘s Angela Watercutter notes, it is impressive how Cumberbatch is able to get all the way through the verse on the R. Kelly song without breaking character.

Here’s the clip from the Jimmy Kimmel show site on ABC (Note the promo poster in the background. They went all out with the ambiance. Nice!)

Tartine Bakery: Lemon Shortbread

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Gosh. I really could devote a couple posts to the happenings since my last update (namely, wedding) but that will have to be another day. I do have some ideas for some posts about the wedding, though. So stay tuned if that’s of interest!

In the meantime, I decided to make shortbread this morning. This will be shortbread attempt #2. Attempt #1 was using Ina Garten’s recipe, pre-blog. (It was mediocre, I thought). #2 was a rousing success: light, buttery, and the recipe couldn’t be more foolproof. It’s so straightforward, the list of ingredients is super short, and it’s technically a one-bowl recipe if you’re doing the basic shortbread (not lemon-flavored). Me, I find an excuse to add lemon to anything. Like garlic and pepper, I feel like lemon makes most things better.

As an experiment, I actually made a couple of mini-cheesecakes in a mini-muffin tin using this shortbread. Those turned out nicely, too. To do that, pat the shortbread mixture into mini-muffin liners. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove and add the cheesecake filling on top (I just used the Philly mini-cheesecake recipe, but only followed it loosely. I added sugar, vanilla, and butter to cream cheese – to taste). Bake for another 25-30 min or so. Then I also added a layer of sour cream topping after they’d cooled.

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Lemon Shortbread (Adapted from Tartine Bakery’s recipe, courtesy of the Dessert Before Dinner blog)

3/4 cups wheat flour
1 cup + 2 Tbsp soft unsalted butter
¼ tsp salt (I used kosher)
1 ¾ cup +2 Tbsp flour
⅓ cup sugar (+ more for topping, if you wish. I omitted this)
Zest from 2 small lemons

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Zest lemon and add to sugar
  3. Cream salt, lemon-sugar mixture, and butter together. Mix flour in with butter until smooth
  4. Pat dough into a 6×10 inch pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden
  5. Remove from oven. Cut into small fingers while warm but let cool completely before removing from pan

I had a piece right out of the oven and it was delicious. The shortbread retained their lightness long after they’d cooled, though, and they were just as good.

Baking this morning gave me a chance to catch up on one of my favorite music podcasts. And I have to say, zesting a lemon while listening to Greg and Jim list their favorite Lou Reed/Velvet Underground albums felt like the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning. So was hearing one of the listeners talk about how there’s a belief in Ireland about a river of creativity that flows and is shared from artist to artist (meant to illustrate his point about U2 being influenced by Van Morrison).

Am I the only one who finds that poetic and beautiful?

5 Things…

I’m loving right now.

my favorite!

J Crew Matchstick jeans, especially in the “Classic Rinse” wash

Sharon Segal tees – My favorite t-shirt brand. Quite possibly the perfect v-neck. Everything about this shirt is perfect: Fit, length, fabric, the shape of the V. I like the crew neck, too, but the v-neck is perfection.

Tegan & Sara’s new album (“Closer” is a great spin song)

Buffalo Gal Organics lip balm

Flywheel  – More like a year-long addiction. Review coming soon!