Gibson Goes to Hollywood

One really awesome part about having friends in town is that you get to do all these “touristy” things you wouldn’t normally think about doing.  For example, the Ferris Wheel, wine tastings, Hollywood Blvd… After our extravagant meal at the … Continue reading

The Long Weekend

It actually happened that this past weekend started off just about perfect.  Brad and I met Suzi for breakfast at Huckleberry, where we ate about a million incredible pastries and hung out with Moo, our friend Kristin’s dog who Suzi watches on Fridays.  Moo and Gibson met, and although they definitely weren’t instant friends, Gibson was interested enough to go on a pretty decent walk.

Gibson hates walks.  Win #1 of the weekend.

So afterwards, Gibson was tired and Brad and I decided it was time to get our Christmas tree.  We walked to two tree lots where we discovered Santa Monica trees are ridiculously expensive, and then drive to two more lots before just giving in and buying one from a lot that Brad says was run by “a bunch of ex-cons.”  They were really, really friendly and nice ex-cons, though, and profits from our tree went towards their continued education.  So it was worth the $90.

Ugh.  $90. Serious.  This was the most reasonable price we could find.  Other than Home Depot but we were NOT getting our Christmas Tree from Home Depot.  Ex-Cons are way more holiday appropriate.

Anyway, got home. Decorated the tree.  Christmas has begun!!  And we even got to hang our “First Christmas” ornament from Pat & Ed.  Our first married Christmas!  Win #2 of the weekend!!

Nap time, then off to downtown for the soft opening of “Artisan House”, which is a restaurant that Brad’s friend is the executive chef at and was trying for months to get Brad to be his sous chef.  Incredible dinner.  Awesome place.  Most definitely win #3.

See?  Pretty much perfect.

Fast forward to the AM.  Like, 2AM.  Brad’s pancreatitis starts acting up.  Fast forward again to 11AM.  He is still doubled over in pain.  I am completely freaked out, Brad is really hurting.  We have slept about 2 hours all night.  We head to the ER.

By about 4PM on Saturday we are home and Brad is on some nice drugs.  I am trying to figure out how we can get our new insurance (that goes into effect Wednesday…  arrrgh) to cover what is sure to be a crazy hospital bill and Brad is sleeping.

At one point the apartment was totally quiet and I went in to check on him…

Win #4.  Brad is home, resting and Gibson is sleeping at his feet, keeping him company.  That is true puppy love.  My heart melted a little.


And then after all that, the next morning I forced Gibson to get out of the house with me and get a little exercise.  We walked all around the neighborhood.  Her tail didn’t wag once and it wasn’t the most normal dog-walking experience in the world, but for Gibson it was amazing.

She was especially interested in all the palm branches that were down from the Santa Ana wind storm last week…

Taking Gibs on an actual walk and having her be super tired afterward?  Win #5.

Oh, AND that silly “Bark-Off” contraption that I bought to get Gibson to stop barking at everyone who walks by is actually working.  Win #6.

Looks like Gibson and I are starting to get each other.  Am I on the way to having a normal dog?


So its been a terribly long weekend and I was still so nervous about Brad as he went back to work this morning, but overall I am still a very lucky girl with a lot of wins on my score card.  I am so blessed and grateful to have a husband who is on the mend, a crazy but lovable dog, and a health insurance plan that starts this week so we can get Brad in to a doctor and get him looked at without another crazy bill on the way…

As my mom has told me many times before, just keep breathing.


My Dog Gibson

I decided last night that there are many reasons that I love our new apartment.  But reason #1?

Gibson likes it.

And not only does she like it, she likes to be outside of it.  And this, my friends, is a HUGE deal.

If this confuses you in any way, let me introduce you to our dog, Gibson.

Gibson is a very special dog in the most sarcastic of ways.  Brad and I found Gibson (then Truffles) on, where we had sort-of-kind-of been looking for a dog but not really.  Then we came across this picture:

I mean, seriously.  Isn’t she adorable?  I even still have the link saved because those pictures are so freaking adorable.

The only thing that scared us a little was #1 the mention of St Bernard in the mix and #2 the size of our one bedroom apartment.  But we were in love – with each other and with this “Truffles” – so we called and made an appointment to go check out this adorable little mutt.

We drove out to some house in the middle of the woods way out in the middle-of-nowhere Orlando (yes, that exists), and were greeted by this tiny puppy who was absolutely terrified of us.  Kim, the woman who runs In Harmony With Nature Animal Haven, practically had to drag her over to meet us.  She explained that the whole litter of puppies had been to three or four different puppy mills and had been miraculously saved each time.  In their 4 months of life, they’d had a pretty rough go of it.  “Truffles” was one of three of the puppies left at her shelter to be adopted to good homes.  She was the smallest of the litter and definitely the most shy, but she seemed to perk up a little around her brother.

Then a woman in a full spandex bicycling suit (I will never forget this detail – wtf?!?) came out with another puppy who looked exactly like “Truffles”, but had long, shaggy hair.

Meet Mr. Freeman, whose hair was even more ridiculous than this picture in person.

Instantly, “Truffles” perked up a little and started sniffing around and playing with her brother.  It was like she forgot that scary strangers were trying to pet her.  And Mr Freeman, besides having a really fantastic name, was hilarious.  We wanted to get them both, but couldn’t afford it and REALLY didn’t have the space for two St Bernard mixes.  And just to seal the deal, because I am a terrible impulse buyer, Mr Freeman got heart worm pretty bad in one of the puppy mills and was not up for adoption until he was all better.


We may have been a little leery to adopt such a shy dog until right before we left, Gibson built up some courage and gave me a little kiss on the face.  I was hooked.  (Nice work, girl) We left a check with Kim and rushed off to Target to get all the necessary puppy things.  Oh and “Truffles” had to go.  Brad named her Gibson,after the guitars obviously.

When we got Gibson back to our apartment, she was incredibly shy.  Her favorite place was under the coffee table and she was terrified of the busy city street that we lived on.  It was almost a shame she was so cute because everyone wanted to pet her and play with her, but she was so scared.  We started prefacing everything with “Sorry, she’s really shy” so people wouldn’t feel bad about themselves when this cute little puppy didn’t like them.

We took her to dog parks, we had a lot of people over to visit, I took her on runs, we socialized her every way we knew how and every way Google told us to.  But our dog went outside to do her business and come back in.  And when anyone other than Brad or me was at our apartment, she would do her own thing.

Gibson is four years old now and has lived in as many apartments (7) and states (3) as Brad and I have together.  It was a lot to ask of a shy dog to get on a plane and fly to California, but she did it.  And she was even delivered to us at LAX in her crate on a forklift.  True story.

It’s taken a loooong time, but Gibs is definitely starting to come out of her shell.  Inside the apartment, she is neurotic and hyper and loves to play with anyone who will play with her and one of her toys. She’s still cautious around new people and afraid of almost everything, but she tends to trust who we trust and will get into a good game of tug-of-war wherever she can with whoever is willing.  She barks at and chases reflections of lights on the walls and ceiling, she loves Brad’s cooking and the dog park, she keeps my feet warm in bed every night, and she even has a few tricks up her paws.

But she still hates walks.

Which is why last night, when she walked confidently ahead of me down the block in front of our new apartment building, I just followed and let her do her thing.  Maybe Gibson has found a neighborhood that suits her.  Maybe this block has a good vibe.  Whatever it is, I immediately knew I was in love with this new apartment when my scared little Gibson felt like exploring.  It was worth every stressful minute of moving the day after getting back from vacation and every penny we’ve had to (and are going to have to) pinch to make this work.

Oh, and Mr Truffles?  We actually went back about a month after getting Gibson and decided if he was still there we were getting him.  When we got there, a mom and her son were packing him up to take back to Tallahassee and renaming him Reilly.  It is probably our biggest regret, especially because Mr. Freeman is a WAY cooler name than Reilly.

PS.  And she’s totally NOT a St Bernard.  WTF??

My Husband, the Chef

Have I mentioned I am married to a chef?

Seriously, ladies – If you are not already in a serious relationship, find yourself a chef to marry.  It makes life delicious.  And it helps if he’s really hot and a pretty amazing guy, too.  That makes life delicious, attractive and awesome.

This is my delicious, attractive and awesome chef husband Brad.

When Brad and I are not working in a restaurant, we are eating amazing food or planning the next amazing food that we have to put in our mouths.  For us, life pretty much revolves around meals.  What we are eating  now, what we will eat next, and where we have to eat soon.

We get two nights a week off together (if we’re lucky) and we usually have planned out early in the week what we are cooking one of those nights and where we are eating the other night.  When you live in LA, there are a million amazing hole in the wall restaurants just waiting to serve you up your most amazing meal ever.  We are seldom disappointed.

This weekend (our weekend is Thursday/Friday.  It’s kind of awesome.), we finally got to try out Son of a Gun, which is an AMAZING restaurant on 3rd in Hollywood right by the Farmer’s Market.  The chef/owners used to work with Brad’s boss, Ben Ford, and then branched out to write a cookbook, a catering business and eventually started their own place.  Their first restaurant was Animal, a meat based concept that is also down in Hollywood and also amazing.  Brad loves the amount of bacon, pork belly, and foie gras that is on this menu.  I wish there were more vegetables.  But last time we were there we ate across from Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, so I don’t complain too much.

One day I will give Son of a Gun a proper review, but for now I’m just going to tell you it was amazeballs.  Reminded me of a classed up East Coast seafood shack…  Felt like home.

So this brings me to tonight.  I felt like steak.  We decided we would grill.  We went a little crazy at Whole Foods and thought we were having more people eating, so we got a ridiculous amount of food.  This is usually the way our nights go when we decide to stay in instead of go out for dinner.

I skyped with my mom and dad while Brad chopped, diced, mixed and tenderized, so I cannot take credit for hardly anything on the table.  I did , however, make the horseradish cream sauce, and I did do a lot of the dishes afterward.  And Gibson helped out whenever she was needed to clean the floor, so we all contributed in some way.

The final menu?

Heirloom tomato salad with burrata.  Grilled potatoes and corn on the cob.  Olive oil bread (Brad called it “Mario Bread” because he totaly stole the recipe from Mario Batali’s restaurant).  And last but certainly not least – Skirt steak with chimmichurri and my horseradish cream sauce.

Just a typical Friday night meal.

I die.

To those who we thought were coming over for dinner, you totally missed out.  But don’t worry, we have lots of leftovers.  And we will probably do it again next Friday night, so clear your schedules.