Hello, hello beauty bomb-shell! It’s Friday! Woohoo! What are your plans for the weekend? I’ve been super busy with all kinds of stuff lately (hence the absence from this corner), but it’s all for good reasons. Before I get to the meat of the post, if you’re in Southern California, and don’t have anything going on this Saturday or Sunday (June 11 & 12), I’ve got you covered. My buddy Steve Seabury is hosting the first Hot Sauce Expo on the West Coast. Not only does he make some great hot sauce of his own, there will be tons of other hot sauce vendors there. Who can’t resist good ‘ol eating competitions? There will be spicy burrito eating competitions, pizza, tacos…. Also a bloody mary, and margarita mixdown. It’s going to be so much fun. I’ll be there Sunday if you want to come and hang out!
Things have been in a bit of an upheaval for me lately, but in a great way. I am thrilled to announce that I’ve gone part time at my day job in order to continue working on this site to bring you the best content possible. While I love what I do for a living (and my boss is the most kick-ass human on the planet), I want to do more of what I absolutely love – what I am ultimately passionate about, which is exploring the culinary world, and creating awesome, delicious, and healthy recipes for you! It was getting really difficult to split my time between the two, and take care of myself at the same time. I wasn’t working out, wasn’t getting enough sleep, and was always frustrated that there weren’t 25 hours in the day. That’s no way to live! I know I haven’t been around much, but I’m not only taking care of myself, but I’ve got a few projects in the works that I’ll be able to share with you soon (and right now too). It feels great to finally have this “hobby” paying off.
Like I said, I’ve been really busy taking care of myself, and it all kind of kicked off with Gala Darling‘s brand spanking new book Radical Self Love: A Guide to Loving Yourself and Living Your Dream.
What follows is what I’ve been working on, including carpentry, gardening, and self-care! I hope you enjoy!
I sat down reading this book (which is absolutely fantastic), and I got the uncontrollable urge to do something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. For eons I’ve wanted to make a bookshelf to house my library of fiction, science, food, and metal. I’m not a carpenter though, but I’ve got some skills and some tools, so I went full boar into the project of turning my office closet into a bookshelf. Here are the progress pics!
First, I added support beams across the back where I wanted the shelves to be. That’s how the initial closet shelf was constructed, and since I knew I was putting heavy books on these shelves, they were going to need that little extra support.
Then came the painting. I used “Chakra” in Behr Semi-Gloss. Love the pop of color!
Now for the shelves. I sourced some good poplar boards, and routed the one outward facing edge to create a pretty ridge. Then, sanded, stained them “ebony,” and put a few coats of polyurethane on them. This step was probably the most time consuming because of the wait time in-between coats. It’s TOTALLY worth it!
These are the supports and brackets that were attached to the beams of the closet as the main support for the shelves.
Almost done! I’ve wanted this for such a long time that I couldn’t wait to get my books on the shelves.
Here’s how it stands now. It’s not quite finished. I still have the bottom to do – it’s going to be a raised shelf, supported by a frame of 2×4’s, which you can see on the floor there. I’m thrilled with the outcome, and there’s finally a home for my – dare I say – library! SO STOKED!
Onward! I’ve always wanted a garden. My awesome neighbor gave me some plants, and I went nuts getting them in the ground, and getting them their own special bubblers. I put in an extensive sprinkler infrastructure, making sure the plants, and only the plants are getting water. Must conserve! Here are some of the beauties I’m blessed with now.
These worms look pretty, and violent at the same time, and are they ever! They’ll destroy a plant in record time. I keep them off without pesticides, and we’ll leave it at that. I’ll spare you the gory details!
I went to Knott’s Berry Farm last spring, and these are the fruits of my labor – real Boysenberries. They remind me of my grandpa, who grew his own black raspberries, among a plethora of other veggies, including tomatoes.
Speaking of tomatoes (again), this one right here is the prize. My grandpa passed away in 2013, but before that, the hubs and I went to visit him in 2011. During that visit, he showed me his organic garden, which he took so much pride in. He had beets, zucchini, carrots, black raspberries, onions, and his tomatoes. On this trip, he gave me a bunch of different varieties of his tomato seeds that he had harvested every year for who knows how long. I’ve tried to grow them every year, but they don’t seem to be too keen to either the climate, or the soil, and I had growing seasons which yielded absolutely NO results. The plants would flower, and be healthy and strong, but no fruit. I was walking yesterday in the garden, doing my daily survey, and I noticed this! It’s the very first tomato I’ve gotten from one of my grandfather’s plants. I hope that we get more tomatoes off the three plants of his that I’m growing right now, but as it stands, there’s a lot riding on this little guy. I’ll keep you updated with progress as it happens!
Omg you guys, this book. Every single smoothie in here is deeeeeelicous, and vegan too! No processed stuff. The Hubs and I have been making smoothies just about every day from this book for breakfast, and they’re great. They’re big enough to be a satisfying meal for breakfast. Thought I’d pass it along if you were interested! You can get the book here.
I hope you all have a rockin’ weekend, and remember – if you’re in the area, hit me up this Sunday at the Inaugural California Hot Sauce Expo!
mila furman says
You are incredible!!! I love that book shelf!!! good for you for getting up and doing it! sometimes we all need a bit of inspiration… happy friday to you doll! Have a great weekend!
Natalie Wiser-Orozco says
You have a great Friday too, Mila!!
Cathy | She Paused 4 Thought says
Your bookshelf looks fabulous. And yes, those tomato worms are a nightmare.
It was awesome to meet you and i love your food blog!! from one foodie to another hope to run into you again even if its not with jack fire =) its always awesome to meet other people in love with food! haha
Natalie Wiser-Orozco says
Thank you Desiree!! It was great to meet you too – we had such a blast. I’ll be posting pics of the Hot Sauce Expo soon, so stay tuned!! I’m sure our paths will cross in the future! Cheers!
Love the book shelf. Now I’m motivated to get my BHAG (Big Hairy audacious Goal) projects done!
Natalie Wiser-Orozco says
Thanks, Vjo! Just takes a little push to get started! 🙂