Pictures Of Things + Le Love List

July 13th, 2014 - filed under: Furthermore » Inspiration

LA sidewalk graffiti

On a sidewalk in Los Angeles.


I’ve always promised to keep this blog authentic. To share the bad as well as the good, the sad as well as the happy, and everything in between.

So. This week.

This week was hard (hence no primary post). And let me count the ways: on Tuesday morning I dropped Waits off at school only to notice that my engine was smoking. Like, a LOT. My car needs major repairs. Also, this week I found out that my house, my little tiny cottage that I love with all my heart, has been sold. I don’t know what that will mean for my residency here, but I’m feeling pretty heartbroken about it. And also, this week I had to make a very difficult decision regarding my path in graduate school. The new path is better, but I had to let down someone who’s done a lot for me, and that hurt (it was also empowering, something I don’t think I’d have been strong enough to do even a year ago, and a testament to my personal growth . . . but still, of course, very hard). So yes, it was an emotional week, and all that on top of life’s ever-revolving parade of small stumbling blocks.

But, well, onward and upward. Amidst all that sadz, there were quite a few special moments this week as well. Like these:


standing in street

Out and about on the 4th of July. Ghost streets.


fireworks palm trees
Fireworks over palm trees; oh I ♥ southern California!


monarch butterfly chrysalis
This is a Monarch Butterfly chrysalis – they’re called “monarch” because of the golden beading along the top, which looks like a crown. Nature is so exquisite.


Sayward Elana Klean Slate
When bloggers brunch, haha. This is the lovely Elana, who joined me last weekend for a delicious meal at one of my favorite LA eateries, Flore in Silverlake.


Flore tempeh reuben
My meal at Flore: classic tempeh reuben, and a vegetable juice on the side. SO GOOD.


vegan waffle cone ice cream
Later that night with Whitney and Jason, for Jason’s birthday party at SunCafe Organic. And dessert? Organic gluten-free sugar-free waffle cones with raw ice cream and coconut cream whip, HOLY MOLY AMAZING, handmade and served tableside by the incomparable Jingslingers.


cosleeping with 4 year old
This is what co-sleeping with a 4 year old looks like. Ha! No but seriously. Every. Morning. (and I’m not complaining ♥)


kid in cage
We were at Jeremy’s work, and Waits wanted to get into this “cage”. “I’m a baby lion, mama!” he growled. “Rawr! Rawr!” . . . “Now you’re the mean zookeeper, you won’t let me out of the cage.” And then Waits decided that Jeremy was the daddy lion who was coming to rescue him from the cage, and we all staged a jail break, and then the whole game ended with the three of us chanting “Animal Liberation! Animal Liberation!” and it was maybe the MOST VEGAN moment of my entire life, and I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. You’re totally allowed to roll your eyes – I would!


green parrot
This guy, beautiful Murgatroyd, is companion to Waits’s great-grandmother. If you call him “pretty bird”, he’ll proudly flash you a little tail feather.


vegan mojitos
Summer = mojitos (with mint right from the garden!)


at the Natural History Museum
Rowing his boat at The natural History Museum.


bumble bee sunflower
The bumble bees love our sunflowers. They just load up on sweet summer pollen. And they pack so much on, Jeremy says they look like they’re wearing sweat pants. Ha!



And now, since I started this post with a big ‘ol grumpy grumble, how about a quick little gratitude adjustment: Le Love List!

Picking my very first homegrown tomato of the year. It tasted like pure unadulterated summer! I ate it on toast. // Filming a video with Waits all about raising, and being, vegan kiddos! I can’t wait to share this – coming soon from Eco-Vegan Gal. // Therapy. I wish it for everyone. I believe it should be offered for free by the government, for reals. Just think of the jobs it would create! // Spending quality time with my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law. You don’t [have to] divorce your family. ♥ // Raw food recipes for summer. // Planning a massive road trip/camping extravaganza with Jeremy and Waits. It’s going to be so fun! And of course, I plan to blog all about vegan camping. // Fresh herbs in everything. // Growing. Feeling myself grow. Knowing it. That’s just so good!

Alright guys, now it’s your turn! I hope you’ll leave your own little Love List in the comments below, and let us all know what’s making you smile these days.

I hope you all had a happy happy weekend!

  • http://howtofeedawookie.blogspot.com/ WookieWifey

    Not the cute little house!! :( I enjoy pictures of that adorable place so, so much, I can only imagine how wonderful it is IRL. I’m sorry you had a bad week, but I sincerely hope that there’s something even more totally epic in store.

    Also, Waits is just too darn cute. (Department of redundancy department, how may I direct your call?)

  • Shango

    Your photos just keep getting better and better. The photos in this post are really well composed and fun and the fireworks one is just wonderful. =)

  • Liv Reiners

    I’m sorry about your house. It’s hard when you have put so much work into it.

    But I love how you still have a positive outlook! And I’m sure something great will happen.

  • Lacy Davis

    I am so sorry about your cottage. I know what it’s like to truly love a space and dread the thought of leaving it! Of course I have faith you’ll come out on top no matter what, but I think holding a little space to say ‘That SUCKS” is really important!

  • Sarah C.

    Sorry about the rough week…we all have them. Hang in there!

    When my four year old learned that our Co-op sells meat she was so angry that she decided to go in, take it all, and throw it in the trash. (I talked her down to just a comment card that she dictated: “Don’t sell meat. – Sarah and Sage”). I thought it was very animal liberation-activist of her!

    We’ve had great success with vegan camping – ramen noodles and dried veg with baked tofu we bring along; dried refried bean and vegan “taco meat” packets weigh little, and with a bag of tortillas you get lovely campsite tacos; honestly, a package of tofurky sausages doesn’t weigh much and is worth it for the protein; and don’t forget the dandies marshmallows!

  • Trisha Jeanette

    I was inspired to get out and visit Balboa Park with my little guy and his Daddy after reading your blog about the Natural History Museum. Thanks for that blog! It was a fantastic day.

    My Love list; spending time out doors and being around strange people, the smells you’ll smell.- learning more delicious vegan recipes – learning more about nutrition, one of my great loves. – The sky, always the sky – Giving in to my need to be creative.

    That was awesome! I should make a gratitude list more often!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I know! It’s my favorite place I’ve ever lived and I’m just hoping with all my heart that I can stay. But thanks, and yes, that kiddo is pretty epically cute. ;-)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aww, thank you Shango. I like this new series because it forces me to pay attention to the world around me all the time. Looking for things to photograph makes me very present! And I’m definitely thinking more about my photos + composition. Thank you for noticing. <3

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Liv, I am definitely trying to stay positive.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Lacy. THIS DEFINITELY SUCKS. Haha. But I’m staying positive and hopeful. And I know that no matter what, things will be okay.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Oh that is so adorable about your daughter! I love the conviction of wee activists, they are so sincere and so passionate! What a wonderful way you handled that too – a great lesson in channeling our anger into productive pathways. Love this story, thanks so much for sharing. ♥

    And thanks for the camping tips!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Oh that’s awesome, I bet your little guy loved it! So fun and such an educational experience as well. ;-)

    And thanks for the Love List – i LOVE reading other people’s gratitude. Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

  • Sheena

    Just a quick comment to say that I always smile when you post a love list. I always intend to write one, too, but I never do. Thanks for encouraging the gratitude and sharing your appreciation of life, ups and downs.

  • Lindsay

    I admire you so much for ending this post on such a positive note! So sorry to hear about the downs, but I suppose if we never experienced the downs we’d have no way of knowing how amazing the ups really feel. It’s so true. :)

  • Lisa B.

    Sayward,

    I’m sending a boatload of positive energy your way! It’s tough when we have days, weeks — months even — that force us to acknowledge the fact that our planet and those who inhabit it are always changing. I find myself getting frustrated when I have to make a big life decision, or when something doesn’t quite go as planned, but sometimes it can be empowering to realize that we are constantly changing, growing, and adapting. After all, we are animals! As much as we’d like to think that we control our environment and circumstances (because humans are a funny type of animal and we think we’re rather special), we’re still subject to a whole host of factors that are often well beyond our control. I feel like our very real and visceral experience of frustration, upset, and anxiety in the face of change reveal just how deep-rooted our control issues are. I mean, of course, we have personal autonomy and are able to exercise choice, but this has its limits and the degree to which we’re told we’re autonomous is a bit of a fiction.

    Maybe the above isn’t helpful in the least, and I don’t mean to minimize what you’re going through! I just find that reminding myself of the fact that change is an essential feature of our existence, whenever I’m having one of *those* weeks, helps me put things into perspective and makes it easier to roll with the punches, ya know?

    As for my love list, this week I am really LOVING:
    (1) Raw buckwheat groats in the morning with hazelnut butter. Need I say more? Seriously, I could end this love list here and it’d probably still be sufficient;
    (2) Finding a local park near my apartment which is perfect for sun bathing and people-watching. It makes up for the beach I lost when I moved further into the city;
    (3) Reconnecting with friends and realizing that I’m slowly (read: very slowly) becoming less flaky (or maybe I’m just spending time with people whose company I enjoy enough to keep plans!);
    (4) Reading an ethnography on crack-dealers in East Harlem. It’s largely about the culture of poverty and speaks to a number of issues such as the Puerto Rican diaspora and its implications on Puerto Rican culture, identity, and notions of dignity; the failures of violent capitalism; racism; the history of East Harlem, with a particular eye to the various waves of immigrants who have occupied and continue to occupy the space; and alternative forms of income generation. So far, not too shabby of a read; and
    (5) Getting better at knowing when to say no and when to say yes. I feel like I’m getting to know myself again after a weird year or two and it’s a great feeling to discover what serves me and what doesn’t — and, importantly, being able to express and externalize this through my actions.

    Hope this new week brings you joy and that the effects from the previous week’s changes simmer and evolve into a source of possibility and encouragement. Also, I hope your week is full of vegan tacos and ice cream. Because it’s the summer, and even if we can’t control the world, at least we have vegan tacos!

    - Lisa

  • jill

    Happiest thing that’s happened to us: coming home with our new baby after spending his first 2 weeks in the NICU, being told that the prognosis ranged from brain damage to not surviving…and it appears he’s totally fine. No issues. Whew! So our darling family is all together again, and even more awesome than before!

    AND we made the broccoli cheese soup from Isa Does It last night, and it’s fabulous. And there are leftovers!

  • http://thegreenpenn.blogspot.com LIndsey at TheGreenPenn

    I hate to hear about your tough week, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in recent years, it’s that all things, good or bad, are leading us somewhere important. If I’d never endured my health crisis, I don’t know that I would’ve taken my path to veganism, which led to finding your site with all of its beautiful pictures and wealth of knowledge. ;-) I certainly wouldn’t have been able to heal myself with raw food and wouldn’t have my smart, funny, energetic little girl. The dark days just make the bright ones even brighter.
    As for my love list: Charlotte, of course. All of her new skills, new words, new discoveries. Every. Single. Day. This week, she’s learned to say “yoga,” “okra,” “onion,” “rhino,” “moon,” “shoe.” I, honestly, get teary eyed every time she does something for the first time. And I’m loving fresh food from the garden right now, too. We picked our first cucumbers and okra of the season this weekend! Oh, and farmers market herbs and cherry tomatoes until mine turn red. I’m loving productive weekends filled with painting projects and MORE gardening. I built a raised bed for watermelons and carrots this weekend, painted four chairs & recovered one, painted and planted new pots for the front porch. Lastly, new Instagram followers… like, totlly famous and important ones. I love that we can share our daily lives through pretty pictures.

  • Merle Lynne Ludwig

    My love list- planning an overnight getaway with my husband next month, Still being able to “chat” with my son on Facebook even though he is 1,000 miles away visiting his dad for 6 weeks. We were invited to my husband’s aunt’s b-day party in Aug. I think she’s turning 89! I celebrated my one year anniversary at a job that I love, my cats are healthy and my husband and I are meeting new friends next weekend and last but not least we are celebrating 10 years of marriage in September!
    I hope things go well for you- your car gets fixed without costing a fortune and you can stay in your little house, which by the way is soo cute! I love your blog. I will admit I’m not vegan but I am trying to make healthy choices and I love your honesty and commitment to your lifestyle.All the best to you, Waits and Jeremy…

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com/ Monika {windycityvegan}

    Ugh, I don’t want to comment on your perfect-for-you house situation, because I would just say the wrong thing, but – oof, I am sad that you will be moving sooner than you’d like. Also, I’ve had a few Vegan Liberation moments with Nina, I definitely roll my eyes, but I’m also proud of her.

    Short love list for me this week, because truth be told, I’m a bit liquored up and the party is awaiting my swift return.

    Law school in five weeks! Holy fucking shit, I’m finally going to do it // recognizing and acknowledging that I had the absolute worst visit home with my folks, ever, and that I probably won’t ever return to their house under vacation circumstances // following that shitty first leg of my vacation with our annual respite in the Upper Peninsula at our family cabin // the most recent SVU podcast, with a surprisingly in-depth review/discussion of Under the Skin // law school reading assignments // shopping for vegan shoes and finding them on the first go // overhearing Nina explain to someone that she was collecting various exoskeletons along the shore because she wants to reassemble them ‘for fun’

  • Maya

    I’ve recently started backpacking with the goal of hiking the Appalachian Trail on weekends and vacations within the next 10-20 years… As a vegan squeezing trips into precious time off, I was initially worried about food on the trail until I discovered Outdoor Herbivore. They are a US small business that makes veggie and vegan dehydrated meals that are mostly organic and mostly sourced locally to the company. The cost is reasonable, packaging is minimal and I have found the meals stating they serve 1-2 are more than filling for myself and a fellow vegan hiker! And most importantly, they are delicious!

    To add to my love list: three of my friends and I just resumed taking a ballroom dancing class as a group after a 3 year hiatus. I had forgotten the excessive laughing and fun we have at this, despite awkward outcomes on the dance floor!

  • Lacy Davis

    One more thing: here’s that shack post I was saying I was gonna do! http://superstrengthhealth.com/my-house-and-my-body/

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Sheena! And no pressure on the Love List. Maybe some day you’ll leave one, maybe not. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Lindsay. I always try to be honest here but yes, it’s good to leave it on an up-note. And I agree, life is about experiencing the entire range of human emotions. The downs allow us to appreciate the ups, and the ups help us to understand the downs. ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Lisa, very helpful indeed. And I agree with what you’ve written here!

    I also LOVE your love list (as always), so thank you so much for sharing. I can’t tell you hoe happy it makes me to connect with the people who read this blog, and to know they’re such an insightful, intelligent, interesting, creative bunch of people. Seriously, the BEST feeling!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Oh my gosh Jill, congratulations on the new and healthy baby! I’m so sorry you had to go through all that, it must have been absolutely terrifying. But alls well that ends well – I’m so glad to hear that you’re all home and safe.

    PS – Isa Does It is my favorite cookbook! =D

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    YAY law school!!! I am so happy for you and proud of you Monika. Can’t wait to read all about your law school adventures! Thanks for the adorable liquored-up Love List as well. SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Lindsey, you are absolutely right. All paths weave and wind, rise and fall, but ultimately lead us to where we need to be. I very much believe that.

    And thank you for the Love List! I love reading about your sweet little girl!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks for sharing your Love List, and hooray for romantic getaways! ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Wow, thanks for the heads up on those camping foods! I’ll definitely check them out. And thanks for the great little Love List, Maya!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    omg AMAZING! Loved that post, had to share. Thank you!

  • Courtney Bliss

    This blog. Seriously, aside from the enjoyment I get from reading every new post I was able to help a friend because of you. She babysits for a little one-year-old who always arrives at her house hungry. Her parents are vegan and are raising her vegan, but she’s not getting enough of the right foods. I told my friend to check you out and she said it’s helped her a lot.
    Other loves: my Dad and the amazing Spanish liqueur Cuarenta y Tres (43) he introduced me to; selling stuff on Etsy; Ethics class; the amazing teachers I have at school; my hubby; best friends; rebuilding bridges with old friends; P!nk; Whole Foods; cats; my amazing and fun classmates.

  • Pied

    I really hate to be *that* person — but I work with parrots at a sanctuary and that lovely amazon’s beak is quite overgrown. :( Maybe the caretaker knows this and there’s something else going on, but I have to point it out to feel better about myself.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Hi Pied – no worries at *all*, I hope you’ll always be “that person” if it benefits animals! I had no idea that beaks needed to be cared for. This parrot’s person is very old and maybe doesn’t know that either. What should I do? Do I need a professional? Or . . . ? Any advice you have would be much appreciated!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aww, what a wonderful comment Courtney, thank you! I love that story (although I’m now a bit worried about that kiddo – please tell your friend or those parents to feel free and contact me if they want).

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Pied

    The best bet would be a good avian vet. Beaks don’t need care normally or in the wild… but parrots in captivity can have all sorts of fun little issues. (Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love parrots and how much I’ve learned from them over the years becoming friends with them, but they are most certainly wild animals kept in cages)

    There’s probably some really good vets in your area but I’m from the midwest so I can’t really recommend any. Also a second opinion would be better since I’m not really a vet or anything. ;) I’d gladly help you research some if it’s needed — as you have been one of my biggest inspirations becoming and staying vegan for this past year. (So thank you)

    Murgatroyd is a pretty awesome name. And amazons are my favorite.

    Wow that became a long reply — must be the wine.

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  • stephie137

    Wow, I’m really behind. I keep meaning to comment on this one…I’m glad so many people did.

    When weeks like this happen, it’s all I can do to stand calm in the middle of the chaos, like the eye of the storm. If you can maintain during all of this, and even have enough leftover to look back and have some perspective, then you are ahead of the game. Even if it doesn’t feel that way.

    Also, someone who fixes your car is priceless, lock that down!