Friday, April 25, 2008

Just 'Cos

I LOVE this.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Making a Difference

Sometimes we struggle to figure what we can do to make a difference. At least I do. I saw two articles today that inspired me. Both from the LA Times.

1) Chinese Samaritan Saves Lives
I love this story. This unlikely hero has spent every weekend for the past four years patrolling the Nanjing bridge, looking for people about to jump off the bridge to a watery death in the Yangzte River. He estimates he has saved about 140 people. The article says 28,000 people kill themselves every year in China (twice the number in the US).

2) Officer gets friendly with Laguna Beach's homeless
Rather than shoo'ing away the homeless living under the boardwalk down in Laguna Beach, this officer knows each one by name and spends each day getting to know them, and treating them like real human beings. The idea is to persuade these folks to seek whatever aid is available to them, rather than persecuting them only to have them return to the boardwalk the next day.

I'm sure this is what we (the human race) are meant to be doing. What do you think of these stories?


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

FO 2

As I have been telling y'all, our favorite place to get a burger is called "Father's Office". It's a gastropub featuring a wide variety of beers, and it's the place that introduced Bren to his favorite beer, "Terrible". Despite the name, it actually is quite delicious. It's made by the Canadian company, Unibroue.

Anyway, we've been fanatics of this place -- I celebrated my birthday there last year, and Bren wanted to celebrate his big day at the new one that is opening up 5 MINUTES from our house. 5 minutes if you walk. 30 seconds if you drive!

Well it finally opened, and we made sure we were there before the mysterious doors opened for the first time on Monday. In fact, when the doors swung open, Bren and the 20 or so people waiting with him started cheering!

The food was just as good as always: burger, sweet potato fries, tons of beers. A few months ago, Sang Yoon, the owner, had printed some recipes in Food and Wine magazine, so I made sure to try those newer menu items. I had the Lemongrass Curry Mussels, which I highly recommend. Very very yummy. Bren of course had the burger and didn't talk for a few minutes whilst he inhaled it. A perfect end to his birthday week I think!

And as a bonus, LA Eater, a well-trafficed food blog here, posted this photo! Look in the corner! That woman in the crocheted hat and black hoodie with the pink unicorn horn... is me!!!

Also if you cruise LA Eater for more on Father's Office 2.0, you'll see a photo of people waiting outside. There's a man standing in the middle of the crowd, in a red shirt with a brown hat, looking down. That's Bren!


Book O' Love

Drumroll please!

Bren's favorite present ever is... THIS!

Don't judge a book by its cover. Turn to the first page!

In case you can't read it, it says "30 (or so) things we love about you!".

About a week before his birthday party, I asked 30 or so friends to email me a little blurb that detailed what they loved about Bren. A pretty simple task I think, with the only tricky bit being knowing when to stop. :) Then I asked those same friends to send me a photo of themselves. And then I spent ALL WEEK putting it together! I stuck the photos down, wrote the quotes in my very best handwriting (thanks mum!) and then decorated it with stickers, yarn, ribbon and little hand-drawn doodles. It took forever. I even stayed up 'til 3am on Saturday in order to finish it!

But oh! It was so worth it! After we sang Bren happy birthday and he blew out the candles on his cake (yellow layer cake with chocolate chips and coconut-pecan frosting), we presented it to him. I was so excited that I forgot to take photos guys, but after he got over the surprise, he found himself a corner and read each page.

When he was done, all I heard was, "Baba! Put the stupid beer down!" (I had my arms full of beer he got as presents), and I saw a red-faced Bren, tears streaming down his face, coming in for a big ol' Brendan-Bearhug. And then he mumbled in my ear, "that is the best present ever." He was so so touched. So well done everyone! We made him cry! More importantly, we made him realise that he is a wonderful man, whom we love because he thoroughly makes everyone he meets feel special and loved. Yipppeeeee ba!

More pics for ya:


Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Hey guys!

Sorry I didn't write last week -- I was wicked busy getting together things for Bren's birthday party on Saturday. I will post more later today (right now I have to drop Bren off at work) but, as a tease, I will be writing about:
1- What Bren called his "best present ever"
2- Father's Office 2 opening, and our experience last night!
3- um, i dunno.

Ok, see you soon!


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ice cream: The Verdict

Sorry to have kept y'all waiting!

The verdict is: awesome flavour, but the texture needs work. It could be that I overchurned it (since I'm using my friend Ross' machine, I don't have the manual), or it could be that since it's made from buttermilk and not cream, there's not enough fat to make it creamy. Not sure.

Oooh, but it does taste good. It sort of tastes like a creamcicle (sp?) with a little chewy banana in there. Next time, I'm going to add the banana post-churning, so that the pieces remain chunky; I feel like since both buttermilk and orange are pretty tangy, it needs something to round it out, which big, chunky sweet pieces of banana might accomplish... I also think I could use less sugar next time. I'd also like to try it with brown sugar and see if that makes a difference to the texture.

So exciting! As a former (but not reformed) fat kid, there is no bigger luxury IN THE WORLD than being able to make a batch of your own ice cream, whenever you want! HA!

Anyway, here is the recipe in case you'd like to try it yourself:

Buttermilk-Blood Orange-Caramelized Banana Ice Cream

1 banana, sliced thinly
a little butter (optional)
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar (maybe less depending on your taste)
Zest of one small blood orange
A squeeze of blood orange juice
2 tsp vanilla extract

1) heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat
2) add the banana slices and allow to brown. if you like, add a little butter to the pan to enhance the caramelization (i added the butter after a few minutes tho). flip the slices to brown the other side. your kitchen should smell unbelievable at this point!
3) in a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk, sugar, blood orange zest and vanilla extract. whisk until just combined. taste and if you like, add some blood orange juice.
4) place banana slices on a plate. transfer banana and ice cream mixture to the fridge to chill thoroughly, about 2 hours
5) churn according to your machine's instructions and then freeze.

i can't wait to try something wicked exciting (read: FULL FAT!) for bren's birthday! i'm sure it'll be full of weird combos of ingredients, knowing bren.

oh, and ThANKYOU Ross for letting me use the machine!


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Making Things

I started on this hat a long time ago, nearly finished it and then frogged it because it was entirely too big.

But now it's done! I present to you, my crocheted slouchy beret!

The design is from interweave crochet.

I loves it!

I am also in the process of making a buttermilk/blood orange/caramelized banana ice-cream. It's freezing right now. I'll let you know the verdict (and the recipe) tomorrow!

For now, just a teaser:



Guys! He did it! Bren PASSED!!!!

Wheeeeee! Bren is now a Level 3 Orange belt in Krav! Woohoo!

Bren returned from his belt test Saturday at about 8p. The test started at 130p. Yup. That means Bren both had his butt kicked, and kicked someone else's butt at 100% of his energy for between 6-7 hours. Oh, except for one 5-minute break.

Clearly he loves it. I don't know anyone who would pay $40 to get beaten up for 6 hours, then come home with a weary smile on his face.

The best part comes the day after: the show-and-tell bruises session. I figured this much joy should be shared with the world.

Bring on the zombies!


Saturday, April 5, 2008


Hey guys!

It is a weird day here today, alternately gloomy and cold... then sunny and hot! Typical LA weather. Bren just left, and when he returns he'll probably be close to death. :) Bren is going for his Level 3 orange belt today! As you may know, Bren practices Krav Maga.

The last time he completed a belt test, he arrived at the house panting, white as snow, and shaking. Then he got on all fours for about 10 minutes, just breathing with his eyes closed! Ack! The belt test is apparently pretty intense and lasts for a number of hours. This time though, he's prepared; he slept a good 10 hours, and I got him a couple of cans of coconut water which apparently is full of nutrients and vitamins and sweet island loving. :)

So think some strong, arse-kicking thoughts as you read this! My husband is such a bad-ass!

Also, Kuv started a blog, so take a look!

Here's a few photos of the hike Bren and I took the other week.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

More Bren stuff

Hey y'all! For those of you who asked for a link (Andy!), here is where you can see Bren's photos of the new Father's Office. Hopefully it'll be open in time for Bren's THIRTIETH birthday on the 15th. Aghghghghgh!

ALSO Bren has been writing a blog for the channel he works for, Ripe TV. I think it's hilarious. Check it out!

That's all from me for now. But before I go, a couple of photos that might make you smile. Ah Bren.

all text and photographs on aartilla the fun © 2005-2009 Aarti Sequeira unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.