A week ago I woke up thinking it would be fun to go back through a year’s worth of photos and remind myself of my favorite moments of 2013. What a trip! It’s incredible how much happens in 12 months. I went through my photo stash and picked some of my favorite pics. At the risk of boring everyone to tears (with the possible exception of our parents), this is how 2013 went down for me and Jon, according to my photo album:
We kicked off the year off with fish tacos at Aquario, our favorite taco spot in San Jose del Cabo
then came home and ordered a big delivery of firewood for our woodstove because it does get cold in San Diego. Really. Jon discovered a weird looking fox in the woodpile.
After scaring off the intruder I cooked one of my favorite healthy meals, Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Quinoa and Caramelized Onions.
Lasagna was also made and devoured (this happened repeatedly using variations of this recipe from CHOW.com – we make two at a time, use low-fat ricotta and add lots of veggies).
We gathered our prettiest dishes and artfully crammed them in there where they can be easily seen, used and enjoyed.
The kitchen “remodel” got Jon all fired up, so he built us a beautiful steel banister.
and then, because we just can’t stop the romance, Jon made me the best ‘meet-a-versary’ present ever… another banister! (Anyone who questions the awesomeness of this gift has obviously never been given a handcrafted banister).
Then things got a bit hectic but it did bring together a lovely group of friends to help convert my sister’s backyard weed lot into a lovely, relaxing oasis. I wish I had a before picture and apparently don’t have an after picture either. Oh well, these ‘during’ pics will have to do:
By the time May rolled around I really needed a haircut!
We installed Wally the Wader at San Diego Botanic Garden for the annual Art in the Garden exhibit.
I tried some new recipes, including these Quinoa Patties which I made using this recipe from Epicurious.
They were so good that I immediately made another batch ‘caprese-style’ – topped with thick slices of organic tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil and served atop pile of sauteed kale and a little balsamic glaze.
Finally the garden kicked into high gear! The rainbow swiss chard, Russian red kale, Japanese eggplant and cucumbers were all thriving.
And my garden harvests were finally picture-worthy! (and I guess I must have started using Instagram again after a long hiatus).
When I wasn’t grilling I spent most evenings as most girls my age do… hunting for slugs. Wearing a headlamp and armed with a bamboo skewer creating a slug-kabob as I went. It was really gross, so I tried experiments to keep the slugs off my seedlings, like this little penny fence around my baby eggplant (it didn’t work):
I continued to harvest gorgeous piles of fresh organic greens from the garden and the first tomatoes and cucumbers ripened.
I joined a group on facebook called The Great American Seed Swap, thus beginning a downward tumble into the addiction that is Seed Swapping. I had no idea there were people all over the country swapping non-GMO, heirloom vegetable and flower seeds! By August I was mildy obsessed with seed collecting and headed out to my own garden to see what I could find to offer up in trades. My Red Garden Amaranth did not disappoint.
Then we hung pretty lights on the back porch and celebrated my birthday!
We climbed up to the roof to enjoy some epic sunsets (yes, we really say that in Southern California). Like this one:
The shop kept growing (thankfully I was there to help).
I became totally obsessed with Black Swallowtail Caterpillars, like this guy who was showing off his osmeterium (okay, I call them horns)
and this guy, who was heading off to find a place to build his chrysalis where he’ll spend the winter magically transforming into a beautiful butterfly!
I built a pallet box garden and stuffed it full of greens and beets.
The shop made amazing progress and we finally were able to stain the concrete floors,
and hang the doors that Jon made almost entirely (except the rollers) from recycled materials. The solid wood doors came from a neighbor’s 1920’s beach cottage and the handles were rescued from a dumpster. And they are AWESOME.
Finally we started moving OUT of the old shop
I stopped by San Diego Botanic Garden to visit my bird sculpture Wally and was blessed with this wonderful monarch butterfly and Mexican sunflower photo op:
Refreshed from our adventure, we continued our moving and cleaning efforts by converting the old shop into my new garden room. A fresh coat of drywall mud, plenty of paint and sweat equity and voila! Now I have a place to store and grow all my newly collected seeds.