A Very Planty Birthday
Hi, friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend (and perhaps, it’s even extended through today)! I enjoyed celebrating turning 31 with my two favorites.
Friday started with a donut and latte in bed. Anthony volunteered to get out of our warm and cozy bed for a JD Flannel Donut run. I love that he doesn’t mind being the runner in the family. 😉Timi arrived later that morning while I was in the shower. When I opened the shower curtain, I was greeted by a beautiful yellow poppy plant and the sweetest card. She had some more goods waiting for me to open, too! I was pleased to unwrap a book I didn’t even know I wanted: Indoor Green Living with Plants. I’ve already read most of it! It’s a beautiful book to flip through, and also a great coffee table decor piece. Thanks for knowing me better than I know myself, sister! I received some cute monstera leaf earrings that she picked up from Melrose in the OC as well as a gift card to my favorite nursery.After eating breakfast, Timi and I left home to visit all the local plant nurseries, and so Anthony could work. (Anthony is the sole owner and operator of Brooks Internet Marketing, an increasingly busy marketing firm. It makes it much easier for him to work when it’s quiet since he works from home.)
We loved wandering throughout three nurseries. Plants make us happy! 🙂I bought a Scindapsus pictus from Plant Depot and an Aeschynanthus longicaulis from Shore Gardens. Shore Gardens is hands down my favorite nursery! They always have a healthy-looking selection of plants, and the owner and employees are the nicest. I 💚 plants! Adding to my collection is my favorite hobby at the moment.
Timi and I took a lunch break at Active Culture in San Clemente. We shared the OC Rice Bowl which has organic brown rice, prosciutto, goat’s milk cheese, apples, dates, basil and lemon vinaigrette. It was so tasty and filling!Timi and I checked out a couple other shops in town before heading to her house to relax for a bit. She curled my hair and did my makeup, and then we swung by my house to pick up Anthony for dinner. I’d been craving carnitas from Sol Agave in San Juan Capistrano, so that’s where we headed! Service was quick and my meal was everything I hoped it would be. 🙂 Timi dropped us off around 7:30 and we were in bed before 10:00. #partyanimals
Since A worked all day on Friday, he had told me to plan whatever I wanted for Saturday. I created an itinerary of places to visit in San Diego county that we’d never been to, but that I’d seen on Instagram and wanted to check out.
I checked traffic to Carlsbad before we left Orange County, and I’m so glad I did! My original idea was to eat brunch at Succulent Cafe, but there was a 39 minute delay, making total travel time over an hour. It was already 11am, and we hadn’t eaten yet, so we decided to have brunch at Ellie’s Table in San Juan Capistrano. I had the bacon quiche while A had the breakfast combo and a latte. It was all delicious! I love Ellie’s Table for a quick and tasty breakfast, lunch or pastry treat.
Traffic was slow, as predicted. However, with all the rain southern California has received this season, the drive south was even more beautiful than usual. The fields and hills were green and littered with gorgeous yellow flowers. This picture is an inadequate capture, but still, an ocean view in a traffic jam? Could be worse.We arrived to the Succulent Cafe just before 1pm. It’s adorable! I’m excited for an opportunity to take Timi (during the week so there’s less traffic!) for brunch and succulent shopping. I’ve never seen so many succulents in one place. They were all cutely arranged. If you’re in the area, it’s worth checking out! They also had this gigantic fern which I 100% wanted to take home with us. Alas, I settled for and air plant.We continued our adventure with a trip to Torrey Pines. Even though Anthony went to law school in San Diego, and lived there for many years, he’d never hiked at Torrey Pines. I was happy to show him a new spot. 🙂 Due to the rains we’ve had, the only open trail was the Guy Fleming trail. It probably took us max of one hour to walk up the path to the trail, walk the trail while stopping for pictures, and get back to the car. We’ll certainly have to go back when more is open for exploration.The next stop on my list was a locally owned San Diego nursery called North Park Nursery. While their selection of plants wasn’t large, the selection of plants they did have were very large indeed! I sent Timi some pictures and she joked that the plants must be on steroids. Haha. I really wanted another variation of a lipstick plant (above), but went with a Maranta Lemon-Lime (below). All of the plants at North Park Nursery looked so healthy! I’ll totally pop in again if I’m ever in the area.After browsing some more while Anthony picked up a latte next door, we got in the car and headed toward Pacific Beach. I was thinking of having a late lunch/early dinner at World Famous (we’ve been there many times), but I knew if we did that, I wouldn’t want to make the last stop I had planned, which was an an organic brewery. So, I rerouted us and we landed at Protector Brewery.
In my mind, I’d amped this brewery up to the level of awesomeness that is Docent Brewing, a local brewery in San Juan Capistrano. I’m sad to report, it left me craving more. While the beer was delicious (I tried their stout) and organic, I wouldn’t go back, specifically. The atmosphere was small and dark with two large TVs mounted to the walls. No games and no food. Not my scene. Docent is large and airy, many friendly faces, tons of games (think giant Jenga and foosball), a food menu and no TVs. With all that being said, I’m still glad we stopped by, because I’ve been wondering about the establishment. (It was so cold inside!)We made the drive back to Orange County. Luckily, traffic was moving freely northbound! For dinner, we decided to stop at TJ’s Woodfire Pizza. I ordered the Bianco and Anthony ordered Big Al. We ate half there, and brought the rest home. I was anxious to get home and let the dogs out, as we’d been gone all day. The pizza was fabulous, as usual! It reminds me of the pizza I used to eat when I lived in Italy.
It was another normal night at the Brooks’ Casita–everybody was in bed before 10pm. 😉
Sunday morning I spent time tending to my plants while Anthony visited his dad. We went indoor rock climbing followed by a trip to Home Depot to price out bathroom vanity countertops. The deeper we get into the vanity project, the more tempted I am to say screw a new vanity! We have an odd length (77″) which requires a custom build and we have exposed plumbing under the cabinet, meaning any drawers would have to be worked around all the pipes. Also meaning affordable DIY-install shaker cabinets wouldn’t be an easy fit, as we’d have to make so many cuts to accommodate the plumbing.
Ideally, we’d like to move out of this condo next year and buy a single family house, so we’re weighing out our options and considering how much money we want invest in this place. I think a nice bathroom goes a long way for the resale value. Ahhh. Hope to make a decision on that within the week so we can move forward or move on with life.
The rest of our Sunday was low key, including a nap for A, wine for both, reading and TV time.
I hope you enjoyed whatever it was you did over the weekend!