Rainy Day Blackberry Lavender Spritzer

I try to be a pretty positive person.  I really believe that you get what you give out into this world, so might as well make it happy.  Might as well find a reason to smile even when it seems like everyone else has lost their minds.

A good friend used to always quote “the sun is shining somewhere, even when it rains.”  I like that.  I try to think of the sun shining while I’m sloshing through the puddles.  It’s just the better way to spend my time.  And I swear, the energy is contagious.

But man, every now and then you take your car in for an oil change two weeks before an exciting, big vacation you’ve been trying to save a tiny bit of money for, and – instead of just oil – your car needs a month’s rent worth of repairs.

Puddles.  Big, muddy puddles.  Maybe even without rain boots.  Because who owns rain boots in Los Angeles?

After we authorized radiators and belts and whatnot, Brad hung up the phone and I made a decision.

It was officially happy hour.

The good thing (sunshine!) was we had also just gotten home from the market, where we had gone crazy buying all kinds of fruits, vegetables, cage free eggs, raisins, and pork.  I figure we were stocked food-wise until at least vacation in a couple of weeks, so we would just have to live off of our bounty and spend our food budget instead on radiators…

I was starting the saving with my cocktail, going right for these giant, tart but kind of sweet blackberries that I had bought on a whim from my favorite cherry stand.


And then I muddled them up, because muddling always makes drinks feel more festive and happy.  Yes, I used a blue Rolling Stones tongue glass as a shaker.  Because why not?  Mick Jagger makes me happy.  This happy hour was all about finding happy.

Finding sunshine.

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I added some gin, some of my lavender simple syrup (lavender again for the win!), and a little bit of bubble, then I threw a berry and a sprig of lavender on top.  By then, my drink was so pretty that I took it outside for it’s very own photo shoot.

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And I stuck a purple/blue party straw in there…

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Yep, this was definitely the cocktail to cheer up with.


Well, this cocktail, plus FaceTiming with the parents who were sitting on their screened-in porch during an actual rainstorm back home.


It was kind of nice to hear the rain behind them.  I forget how much I love a good rainstorm – literal or figurative.  The downpour brings growth, brings new life, brings the green to plants that grow delicious blackberries for cocktails…

And although the rain might just bring mud at first, things will dry up.  That sun is still out there somewhere.  It’ll be back.  We will work things out.

Until then, pour yourself something festive, muddle it, shake it up, and find yourself a party straw in whichever color you’d like.  Because nights at home being broke aren’t so bad when you have a lovely husband to make you dinner, a pup to give you kisses and cuddles, a fruity cocktail to keep you cool, and a million ideas and projects on the horizon to devote all of your energy into.

Thanks for being my rain boots, guys. 🙂


Blackberry Lavender Spritzer

2 oz gin (I used Bombay Sapphire)
3/4 oz lavender simple syrup
3 large blackberries
2 oz soda water

In a shaker, muddle blackberries and lavender syrup together.  Add gin and fill shaker with ice, shaking to mix.  Pour into glass and top with soda water.  Garnish with whole berries or fresh lavender sprigs.

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It Never Rains In Southern California

Just before I moved out west, my mom introduced me to a song by Albert Hammond called “It Never Rains In Southern California”.

At the time I thought nothing of it. I had just left Ithaca, NY where it had snowed every day for the last month. And I was sitting in Columbia, MD where February is typically grey and wet. Bring on the sunshine!

I mean, when the sky looks like this 99% of the time, its hard to complain…

But a year and a half of sunshine later, rain is the one thing I tell everyone that I miss most about the east coast. Yes, even more than crabs and Natty Boh. Even more than awards shows being live. Even more than eastern standard time.

I miss rain.

So after recovering from the weekend’s hangover and getting all of my work done on time for Monday, I heard that there was actually a little bit of rain in the weather forecast!! I just knew it was going to be a great week. I made mental lists of what is so great and so weird about rain in LA…

What do I love most about rain in LA?

  • A free car wash
  • Goodbye allergies
  • Humidity
  • Puddles
  • Rain clothes (boots, jackets, hoods)
  • My windshield wipers that are stuck on are finally appropriate!

What is kind of silly about rain in LA?

  • Weather warnings. For an inch of rain. Serious.
  • Drivers that don’t understand what is falling from the sky. Panic!
  • My car’s trunk still leaks. Can’t use it when it’s raining out.
  • I’m short. The ends of my pants ALWAYS get soaked.

So I got all excited about the upcoming rain and went to bed Monday night feeling good.

Wouldn’t you know it, Tuesday I woke up with a sore throat. Brad woke up with a stuffy nose.

I’ll admit that I am pretty miserable when I am sick, but nothing can compare to Brad’s level of miserable when he is sick. And both of us together with double miserable going on? It wasn’t pretty… We didn’t talk much that day. I sat outside because it was NOT raining and brad laid on the couch. I went to work and toughed it out.

And wouldn’t you know it, Wednesday morning I woke up super early, and it was pouring. Normally I’d curl up under the covers next to Brad and listen to the pitter patter against the pavement. I’d listen for cars splashing through puddles. I’d take Gibson out for her walk and smell that fresh rain smell and watch all of the people hurrying around under their umbrellas. I’d make hot cocoa and read a book on the couch and just love every second….

But I was completely stuffed up and completely cranky. I couldn’t smell any rain smell. The sound was actually giving me a headache. I took Gibson out because Brad was way sicker than I was and I cursed every minute of my pants getting soaked and cars splashing up water onto the sidewalk. And what was worse? I had to go into work all day. I couldn’t even take a rain nap. This was not working out the way I had planned.

Brad and I are both almost recovered from our nasty colds, and definitely back on speaking terms. It took a little R&R and a lot of Momma Bylsma’s chicken noodle soup recipe, but I expect us to make a full recovery. And fall here is the “rainy” season, so I’m expecting a storm I can really enjoy sometime soon.

As for my car? My windshield wipers are totally inappropriate again and my trunk is drying out, but it sure is hard to recognize in a parking lot because it is so freaking white! :). Even though I didn’t really get to enjoy the rainstorm, I still got my free carwash out of it!


Now just waiting for the next one…