The Weekly Collective: Good food, good friends, good times...

At the beginning of this month I made a promise to myself: Cook more. Giving Will a break from the burden of meal planning every day of the week. Yes, we are not your typical couple. As much as I love to cook, he's home a lot more than I am (for now), so he usually takes on most of the cooking and cleaning during the week. Which I totally love and appreciate him for. But lately, I've been trying to get in the kitchen at least twice a week, giving him somewhat of a break.  So far, it's been doable, and I'm quite proud of the meals I've made thus far (even though these particular two aren't my own recipes), so I thought I would share them with you all. I love salads- I mean, what girl doesn't? But I get insanely bored with the typical lettuce, tomato, and dressing salads, so I've been looking for more creative ways to do salad that don't contain any lettuce.  I saw these two recipes featured on one of my absolute favorite blogs (unrelated to photography) Cupcakes and Cashmere. I instantly fell in love with the idea of these two recipes below, and I just HAD to create them for myself...and boy were they delicious!

1. Peach, Tomato, Red Onion, and Avocado Salad

This salad is the BOMB! It originally came from Mark Bittman's 101 Simple Salads recipes.  If you haven't had a chance to see/try some of these recipes for yourself, it's an absolute must! You can find the recipe along with 100 other delicious and simple salad recipes here...

2. Smoked Salmon BLT

I found this Smoked Salmon BLT to be the perfect compliment to the above salad (when making a full meal).  I also found this recipe on Cupcakes, which was originally created by Giada De Laurentiis. I made a few modifications like subbing real bacon for turkey bacon (personal preference) and made them open-face sandwiches instead of the full thing, because they are a lot easier to eat.

With a mellow week, comes a very un-mellow weekend. Friday I photographed an awesome wedding with Kaysha Weiner, and Saturday I worked at the restaurant all day.  Sunday was packed full of fun activities with the Rose Bowl flea market in the morning, brunch, then furniture building in the afternoon, and the Orange County Fair at night.  Phew! But I love days like these.  Especially when it includes great food and good friends, and that it did. :)

So the furniture building part of our day was, um, educational? We (my friends Kaysha, Drew and I) were feeling unusually crafty after purchasing some vintage wood boxes at the flea market, and we decided to make a coffee table for Kaysha out of these old wooden boxes.  We thought it would be a super simple project, with a few screws here, and some wheels there....ummmm, no.  It ended up being several hours of drilling, wood cutting, and figuring out the right sized screws.  Needless to say, instead of it being "our" project, my wonderfully handy dad ended up doing most of the work. But I will say, Kaysha learned how to use a table saw, and that right there, makes it all worth it! Plus, she has an AMAZING and unique new coffee table she can be very proud of!

And then there was the fair.  I'll let the photos do the talking this time....

Happy Monday!!!


A BIG congrats goes to my amazing husband, Will, for scoring a teaching job at Irvine Valley College this week! We are SUPER excited because we only live 5 minutes away, which means no more commuting all the way to San Marcos, and it's a REALLY great District to work for! So, YAY FOR HIM!!!!