Escondido Falls, Malibu.

Yesterday to curb our sickness (and because it was pre-planned, who are we kidding?) Jeff and I headed out on a couple hour hike in Malibu with Ellen, Melissa, and Cricket. It was a great hike – challenging, but worth it. I’d like to go back in April when I am sure the waterfall is flowing faster, but August’s falls were great, too. Here are some photos.


We walked to the trail from the PCH, which was along a beautiful road through Malibu’s mansions.

About a half mile in, we arrive at the trail head!

Not even a mile into the trail we decide to stop and climb a tree.

On our merry way, finally making some time.

Things starting to get steep…

After two waterfalls and using ropes to climb, we finally get to the third waterfall.

Wading in, but not too far, as there were some snakes in the water…

Extra little hike with Jeff. Climbing down when we realized it didn’t go anywhere but a rock overlooking the ocean.

Please note how dirty I am.

Back to the girls, all rinsed off.

Headed back down.

For more photos, check them out on Jeff’s site. Thanks, Jeff, for documenting!

an elephant named Jennie.

Today Jeff and I ventured to the Skirball with M and M to see the Houdini exhibit. We’d been talking about it all summer, and with only two weekends to go, despite still feeling the kick of this summer cold, we decided it was best we go. Off to the westside we went, to see Houdini and all his magician glory.

Photo from the Skirball website

As it turns out, the Skirball was having another exhibit about Jewish magicians in general, which was a fun way to see where Houdini fit into the historical timeline. Also interesting was the hand lithography had in making magic as well known and popular as it became during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The exhibit was a good time, although we were sad not to see any magic acts taking place, and missed the musical portion of the afternoon. We did get tacos afterwards though, so all and all, a good day with M and M.

And, we did find out that Houdini’s elephant’s name was Jennie. A perfect name for a disappearing elephant, I think.


this is how you become the pioneer woman.

I didn’t want to post about this on GMS because I feel like it’s unprofessional (read: gloating.) And it’s not even a big deal. And it might lead to nothing.

But big changes are going on over at GMS. We’re working on some stuff that’ll knock your socks off. It’s making us excited for the fall, another Thanksgiving, and another holiday season.

And the first little bitty thing that happened was we got contacted by someone who wants to give us product for a giveaway. It was in connection with one of M’s gluten-free posts.

I read this email at the laundromat with Jeff.

“This is how it happens.” I said. “This is how you become the Pioneer Woman.”

I was giggling, so excited to be contacted and know that someone other than my family and Corelyn’s family and the Lears read our blog. As it turns out, they do.

And thus we enter the world where the blog is more than just a blog. We’ll see where it takes us — maybe to 100 readers a day. I wish we were so blessed. (Well, we are, but you know what I mean.) My point is, we have big plans, two girls from the east made Californians now bi-coastal. Now five girls, always growing, always changing, becoming something bigger, better. Here we go.

Photo by Mary Costa

29 days.

I had a long post in my mind for yesterday about all I have to do for my sister’s wedding, about how nervous I am, yadda yadda. About the need for a pedicure and my gross nail to fall off and a diet to start and a tan to even.

Alas, I fell ill, instead, and spent the afternoon on the couch wondering why summer colds exist at all.

Now, 29 days to go, I’m back at it. Things to do include get my dress back, make sure it fits, double check the list with my sister (all the lists, that is), write my speech, make sure the shoes I have will work, and generally prep myself for this day.

I am also starting a diet that will help me feel great for the big day. Things to cut? Unnecessary sugars, carbs, and most things I don’t “need.” Like the milk chocolate covered raisins at my desk, or the extra helping of pasta because it’s not enough to save for leftovers, or the handful of lentil curls because that apple wasn’t enough…

I think that a healthy diet and some delving into P90x with Jeff (we got a copy and have to start! We must) or at LEAST getting back to three times a week work outs with yoga, running, biking, and hiking, I should be in good “shape” by the time the wedding rolls around. Pun intended.

Now I’m off to make a massive to do list so by the time Nikki gets back from Montana I have something to show for myself…

Here’s to 29 days until these two tie the knot.