Hi wordpress family. I decided to step away from this site and spend my time curating something a bit more…me. Feel free to give me a follow, comment, and like and visit my website drewalbo.com and my personal blog blog.drewalbo.com for all the latests and previous happenings.
Since the moment I received my first iPhone, I was enamored by the high gloss appeal of the machine—the simplicity of the design, the intrinsic beauty of modernity that it was—and immediately was dissatisfied with it, when my father slapped a thick black case on it. All of it’s beauty was taken away by this ugly case that clung to the phone like an oversized sweater. I hated it. Thus, began my string of failed relationship with phone cases ever since. I think, at this point, I’ve had more phone cases than I’ve had phones, and no matter what, I am constantly dissatisfied with the case. Either I pick something that is too bold and it feels like it’s clashing with my personal style, or I pick something clear that after a while starts to look dingy, I can’t seem to win.
And to this point, I have decided to simplify the whole breakup process by painting my phone case myself. That’s right folks, painting is the future of phone FASHUN.
Instead of a boring, pink, slightly dingy phone that was eventually going to end up in a landfill somewhere, I decided to up-cycle it. I know, it’s not a perfect solution to a problem, but it is one that inspires me creatively, got me thinking about how I can reuse and redecorate items according to my mood, and it totally works. Who knows, maybe I’ll start making these and all of a sudden you’ll see my scantily clad gentleman popping up near someones ear by you. Get it? Cos’ it’s a phone? AND you talk on them?
It’s okay. I’m stopping now.
That is the feeling I felt when I saw these chairs, love. I love the clean lines, the minimalism, the simplicity of the structure, and the effortless way they go with everything. HOWEVER, and that’s a big however, they are sort of in bad shape.
The frame of the chairs are made from metal, and constructed almost entirely together as a whole piece—while the back and bottom area are made of leather. The edges are frayed, worn, and starting to split revealing a metal base for both the back and bottom seat. Needless to say, I’m not entirely sure what to do, but I love them.
I used to work for an upholsterer in the South Bay who took old furniture and transformed them into these beautiful one-of-a-kind creations, and my first instinct, and probably my best thought—and probably the most effortless thought—was to ask her for some advice and potentially commission her to finish them. BUT, if you know me, I’m never one to outsource things, I like the possibility rolling up my sleeves, getting my hands dirty, and building something on my own.
Let me know if any of you have any tips, tricks, or suggestions. I’d love to hear all the details of what I should consider before beginning—and of course, stay tuned, because sometime soon I’m going to try and tackle these lovelies and I’d love for you to join me on the journey.
Next step, inspiration!!!
Wow, it’s been a minute since I’ve sat down and written anything, or even looked at my blog. A few months ago, it seemed like out of nowhere, Mercury left retrograde and all of a sudden I emerged forth out of my den, looking to write—only to be bogged down by a ton of work deadlines, the stress of moving across the country, potentially not having a place to stay in the transition, my dog (Apple’s) allergy flare ups, and dreaming about finding grey hairs in my head.
Needless to say, I’m back. Here I am. Freshly showered. Briogeo hair mask in my hair. *Not sponsored, although, I wouldn’t mind being a BA because I absolutely LOVE their products.* Almost living in my new apartment in LA, and fully embracing the sunny days, although, not actually embracing them because I’ve been having terrible skin flare ups whenever I go in the sun for more then 10 minutes. Nonetheless, here I am.
It’s nice to be back. I want to make more of a point at being back. Maybe, this is sort of a way of showing up for myself. Ya know? Like, instead of philosophizing on all of the mishegas of the world, I can just, sort of, show up for myself, here.
Are there ways you show up for yourself throughout the week? What do you do? Any of you, who still might be subscribed to this slacker. I need some inspiration. I need some motivation.
Image via Pinterest
It might seem like a tad overdone and slightly unnecessary to start putting another food blog out into the universe, but I’d like to think of this as my own personal journey with food, and if you’d like to join along, then so be it.
Does that make it any less over done? No.
Will I ever stop answering my own questions in my writing? Probably not.
However, I thought it’d be great to start off a new chapter with a not so classic recipe that can very easily go wrong.
Hummus, is one of those things that looks simple, and for the most part it is, but holds a delicate balance between being chunky or smooth, creamy or thick, and sour or savory.
A classic hummus is made with dried chickpeas that are usually soaked overnight and shelled. This hummus, will be made with canned chickpeas, that are also shelled, and still quite good.
One more note, make sure to get good tahini. I’m pulling out my Barefoot Contessa card here and saying, store bought as in, store brand tahini, is NOT fine. Tahini really does range in flavor depending on where you buy it, so ensuring that you are using a good tahini will make a huge difference. A good tahini is Soom Tahini, and I really like Jovya. I do not recommend Trader Joe’s Tahini or 365 Whole Foods, they’re both really basic and not quite as flavorful.
1 15-ounce can chipckpeas, drained, rinsed, and shelled
2 small garlic clove, minced
¾ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons ice cold water
1/4 cup tahini, stirred
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon paprika
Start off by taking your chickpeas and draining them and rinsing them in cold water. Give them a good rub as you are rinsing them off, you’ll find that the the skin on the outside starts to fall off. Set the chickpeas aside and start skinning them and setting the skins aside. This is an extremely important step that I HAVE SEEN SO MANY PEOPLE SKIP! Don’t skip this step. It makes a huge difference in the flavor and consistency. If you’ve ever made a hummus and skipped this step and then wondered why it has an earthy or bitter taste, guaranteed it is because you didn’t skin the chickpeas.
Next, fill a medium sized saucepan with just enough water to cover the chickpeas and bring to a boil. Let them cook for at least 10-15 minutes on boil.
Then, feel free to bring the chickpeas to your food processor and blend the chickpeas until they start to clump together.
Next, add your lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, tahini, cumin, together and blend until entirely combined.
Then place your blender on low and slowly stream in your olive oil. Once the olive oil is entirely blended, start to add ice cold water in very slowly. You will find that the texture changes really quickly, so at this point it becomes a bit of preference.
For myself personally, a really creamy hummus is my preference, so I add a little bit more water than hummus that you would see in store bought containers. Store bought consistency is very thick, and real hummus is usually very creamy.
Sprinkly some paprika on top and drizzle with a bit of olive oil and enjoy.
It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to write. I could come up with a million excuses, but all I can say is that every once in a while you need to take a break and come up for air.
I think when I started this blog I threw myself into it, with so much passion and vigor, that I forgot about the real reason and intention behind it. Before long, I was chasing an idea of my blog that I had in my head rather than actually thriving at it. Needless to say, I needed a break.
Now on this glorious Earth Day, I have decided to take a step into the unknown of this blog, and begin again. I hope each of you stays and joins me along in this journey of self discovery, I’m thinking a lot of the changes to come will be centered around food and wellness and the misadventures I have with my puppy, Apple, but who knows.
Thanks for always listening, thanks for being a source of constant inspiration, and thanks for never judging too harshly.
Social media is one of those things that can be really great, and at the same time, the worst invention ever made. It can inundate your brain with too many images, too many opinions, and too many false narratives of people telling you that, “You’re not good enough, you should be this way, or you don’t matter because,” or your only source of validation. It can feed you emotionally, and cause you to feel a certain way, all because a little heart tells you so.
The best way to block out some of the noise caused by social media is to unplug. Turn off your notifications and if you feel so inclined, delete the app. Invest in real communication, real moments of connectedness, and real relationships. Social media doesn’t validate you.
You validate you.
Sometimes you need a little dash of color before the weekend, in order to set the tone.
The other day, I was listening to a podcast on the topic of silencing your inner critic and stopping self sabotage by Barry Michels and Dr. Phil Shultz. The two developed a pretty simple concept defining our inner self as Part X, who’s primary modus operandi is self sabotage, stopping us from taking risks, criticism, the part of ourselves that says, “You can’t do this, you’re not strong enough, you’re not good enough, you don’t deserve this,” etc.
It sounds very woo woo, but the concept pretty much allows us to identify that part of ourselves that fights against us. If we visualize it, and see it, and then develop a relationship with it, in order to overcome it, the process of self healing becomes much more palpable.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept, even before I listened to the podcast, because in recent years, I have noticed that I have had extremely low self esteem. It has been so bad, its cause riffs in friendships, and really stopped me from pushing forward in things that I am passionate about.
I took a moment a while back, to check in with myself in order to reevaluate past scenarios to find the root cause, and when I discovered the issue, I knew that I needed to stop it from spiraling further. Then, I discovered this podcast on Goop, with Barry Michels. It doesn’t really go into too much detail about his process, but the concept alone, really helped me identify my Part X. Once, I was able to visualize the my inner person, I began speaking to “him” in order to begin to change my relationship with “him.” It’s kind of like building a relationship with yourself.
If this sort scenario is something that you’ve personally been going through, then maybe consider taking a listen to the podcast, or even purchasing or renting at the library, the book called Tools and Coming Alive: 4 Tools to Defeat Your Inner Enemy, Ignite Creative Expression & Unleash Your Soul’s Potential, by Barry Michels and Dr. Phil Shultz. Then sprinkle some glitter in your hair, change your outfit to something colorful, and listen to Maggie Rogers on Spotify.
I can rant for a solid thousand words on why I hate winter—and, while throughout my blog there is similar rhetoric, and most likely has already surpassed one thousand words—I have decided to skip past the frustrated foreplay and nose dive right into the solution.
Color is the solution to winter.
Winter wardrobes, much like their scenic backdrops are starving for color. The sky you look unto is gray, the river alongside the gray pavement is grayish blue. The buildings are gray. The grass is dead. The trees have no color besides a grayish brown tone. Basically, everything in winter is starving for color, and yet, the majority of companies, brands, and the like, drape you in similar color palettes.
Wool coats are a combination of either black, grey, camel, or navy, and while it would be easy to simply throw on something colorful underneath, more often than not, your closet is a combination of the same palette. Winter feels so oppressive and overwhelmingly gloomy because almost everyone stands around looking at their closets adorned in a sea of grays and blacks and navys that encompass the feeling of being cold.
When you’re cold you want to be warm, however, the overcast that’s blocking the suns glorious rays from kissing your skin is causing your brain to forget what it feels like to be warm. So instead of reaching for that bright fuschia maxi that’s been sitting in your closet since last spring, you reach for the dark grey sweater that matches the dark gray sky outside. Winter is playing a fucking trick on us, and to be frank, I’m over it.
There are exactly 37 days, 4 hours, and 20 minutes until spring. Obviously, by the time this is posted on Tova & Wild that time will be cut down by a few days, hours, and/or minutes. Needless to say, I hate winter. I don’t like the cold, I don’t like the rain, I don’t like the snow, I don’t like anything about it, other than maybe coats. Coats, I like, mainly because they are oversized blankets—and because blankets aren’t necessarily the trendiest fashion statement to wear outside of your house—they will suffice in keeping me warm as I suffer through the rainy cold mist that is currently hovering over Austin.
Basically, for me personally, cold weather is okay from December 1 to December 25th, and no later. The day after Christmas I want warm weather. Bust out the sandals, hand me an iced coffee, and bring on the forehead pimples from sun-induced sweat. Even here, in Austin, where the weather is absolutely horrible in the summertime, I would gladly take it over winter.
So, as I sit here, typing away on my green sofa, sitting next to pink and emerald walls, staring out into a gray sky, I have decided to relaunch my blog Tova & Wild, in an effort to call forth warmer days. I’ve cataloged my Instagram account and lined up photos that should cure the winter blues and bring back color into the world.
In the meantime, I’ll be turning the heat to 78 degrees and drinking margaritas in my bathing suit inside my apartment, with my puppy—however, if you have better suggestions, I’m more than willing to listen, but so far, this seems like my best bet. It’s good to be back blogging world. I can honestly say I’ve missed talking with all of you.
I’ve been M.I.A. for a while now. You see, the thing is, sometimes you need a little break from the routine of writing and putting yourself out there in such a vulnerable and complex way. Sometimes, the holidays are so constipated with drama and tension that you need more time to detox. Sometimes, the new year and January in general is rife with so much congestion to get things done and be productive that you decide to do the opposite. Instead of putting your BS out into the world, you decide to hold it in for a minute—dissect it, figure it out in its entirety—in order to one day crack the egg open and release whatever you have out into the world.
In other words…
I need a minute. I’m working on things, I’m creating things, and I’m trying to find a new direction for Tova and Wild so that way content flows like the rushing waters of Niagara Falls. BUT, until then, feel free to follow me on Instagram, check out my portfolio, or stay tuned and keep checking in. Something is coming your way.
For what seems like the entire month of November, my headspace has been preoccupied with so many emotions, feelings, and the like, that I have found myself in a whirlwind of self-doubt and insecurity. I have wanted nothing more than to curl in a hole and wait until spring abounds to which I will emerge, new, and rested, and ready to embrace warmth once again.
I know, I know, a lot of the aforementioned paragraph sounds remotely similar to self-pitying—and it is—but traditionally, what I was able to discard as unhelpful or malevolent in nature seems to be operating incorrectly. Or, then again, not operating at all.
Every word is a knife. Every opinion is like an open wound being scraped again, and my sensitivity is on high alert. So when, where, how do I draw the line? When do I shake off the emotional discourse that has plagued me for the past weeks and actually join the land of the living for more than just a fleeting moment?
I started to try and reflect on it and ask myself what really is lying underneath all of the recent sensitivity, but all I could come up with was the state of my current employment. For those of you in the freelance sector of the world, you might relate to these feelings of complete overwhelming disappointment at your affairs. Sure, you’re making money and income comes in somewhat regularly, but you haven’t yet broken out into the reason why you entered the freelance sector. You haven’t quite figured out that business plan that’s been sitting on your shelf for over a year, or maybe you haven’t even developed one, all you have is an idea, but it looms overhead casting a dark shadow on your life.
Now that I’ve put pen to paper, it’s occurring to me that this conflict has little to do with sensitivity at all—I am, an open book, a vessel, a chalice, hungry and unchained and eager for someone to pick me up, engage with me, and use me to their pleasure. It’s validation for my work. It’s desiring so desperately to have a parade of echoes championing me on for something that I’ve created, and me begging that it never stop.
And then, maybe at the same time, maybe I’m grappling with the fact that right now, it might better to be silent. It might be better to sit back and wait silently for something to happen, rather than so blatantly throw myself out there in all my vulnerability. Maybe, part of this sensitivity is me questioning my own self worth outside of a career and financial success, and instead, is a moment for me to ask, why am I here?