A few weeks ago, a friend asked me what I thought was a totally ridiculous question. She said, ‘How do you feed yourself?’.
Um… With a fork. Sometimes chopsticks. Occasionally my hands. Usually a shovel.
What she meant was… how do you feed your creativity? My initial answer was bewilderment. What? Don’t people just work and work until they can’t work anymore and then collapse on the couch and watch reruns of The Voice? Not everyone does that? Oh…
My friend was right. Creativity is such a bountiful blessing but it does take some tending to. Creativity can be exhausted. I reach that point in my brain often and it leaves me wondering exactly what else I can smash butter and bacon into (I’m sorry/not sorry that I do that).
Work is awesome and I’m a total fiend for it, but it’s not a creativity feeder. Couch-time is just like turning my brain to stand-by mode… welcome but not a creativity feeder. Pasta is a belly and creativity feeder. Ok! We’ve got one on the list so far.
Bike rides are also a creativity feeder. Seeing how the sun makes shapes in the world, watching people live this life, and daydreaming about the lives of my neighbors… these things totally get my brain working. Yes! Two things on our list! Now we’re cookin’.
Let’s go on a creativity-feeding, pasta-heavy adventure. I hope this inspires you get out and see your neighborhood in a new light. You don’t necessarily need a fancy bike or mason, a pair of loafers and a granola bar will do for a nice stroll. Get out there and find what feeds you (I hope there’s pasta involved).
Before we head out the door, we must assemble our snack!
Orecchiette is my favorite cold pasta shape. The little ear shape holds all sorts of pesto and pistachio goodness.
I tossed warm pasta with a pre-made basil pesto. If you’d like to make your own pesto… it’s super easy! I love this Spinach Cashew Pesto.
Cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella chunks stud this pasta. I also added salty green olives and lots of chopped pistachios. Green-themed.
Tomato Basil Orecchietti with Pistachios
serves 1 (with leftovers)
2 cups dried orecchietti pasta
about 1 cup basil pesto
1 handful cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves and quarters
1 handful fresh small mozzarella balls, sliced in halves and quarters
1 small handful shelled salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a good sprinkling of salt and pasta. Cook until pasta is tender through, about 9 minutes. Drain well and promptly return to the pot. Top hot pasta with pesto, tomatoes, mozzarella, and pistachios. Taste and season as necessary! It’s totally easy… it’s supposed to be.
Pasta is jarred and ready for our adventure.
We’ll need a beverage treat as well!
Strawberry, lime, and basil seem like wonderful things to smash together.
Our drink is slightly sweet (from the strawberries), has fragrant herby notes, and a little punch from lime. It’s super refreshing.
If it is your inclination to add gin… I totally feel ya… but there’s no drinking and biking. Not so safe.
Strawberry Basil Lime Smash
3 fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
juice of 1 lime
Smash strawberries and chopped basil in a small bowl. Add the strawberries and basil to a glass filled with ice. Top with lime juice and cold water. Serve. Yea… it’s totally that easy!
Adventure supplies include:
– an old painting tarp for use as a solo picnic blanket.
– an old map ripped from the Thomas Guide I used to look through in the back seat of my parents’ Jeep Cherokee.
– a canvas napkin and silver fork… because I’m worth the real-deal.
– sunglasses: designer or otherwise. (Mine are totally from Target.)
– bike gear including flashing lights and a helmet (to keep your hard head hard)
– reading inspiration. I chose the deconstructed food magazine Middlewest.
– a notebook and pencil for random bursts of creativity.
– adventure lunch and strawberry-smash drink!
– (not pictured) my Canon Rebel T5i camera… because i’m using it to shoot (duh!)
With my bag packed and my bike tires pumped, it’s time to take off!
This might sound strange. A majority of the things I say here sound strange… but, I love front doors.
I love how differently people choose to display the door that welcomes people into their space. It’s sort of like looking at everyone’s shoes.
I can be guilty of not stopping to smell the roses, or appreciate the bouganvilla, or take in the craaazy looking ivy.
Taking these little pieces of nature in makes me think I should take out my watercolor paints, right!?
I love how late afternoon light creates these bold shadows.
I played with my Canon Rebel T5i‘s Sport Mode while watching these kids at the skate park. Even just playing with a new camera mode can help me kick the walls out of the box I’m in.
I love when shadows help create new shapes in a photograph. I’m usually at home shooting food on a tiny butcher block, trying to avoid direct light and too many bright brights or dark shadows. When I’m out in the world, I want the let the brights and shadows play.
Also… just so we’re clear. The kid with the blue ball is trying to hit the other two kids in the head. Totally normal.
Also… Let’s be models.
I love Venice Beach.
Bright skies and rippled house shadows.
In the Venice Canals, Los Angeles.
Every day-explorer need a little rest and snack time.
Every day-explorer also needs a giant cone of ice cream.
Los Angeles adopts a dusty pink haze as the sun starts to set.
I love the energy around sunset at the beach. It feels like everyone slows to appreciate the sincerity of the moment.
Ugh… why don’t I just take my dang shoes off?
As the sun goes down, I like to shoot into the light, letting the sun create gorgeous silhouettes of the shapes in front of me.
Palm trees, a shuttered life guard stand, the Santa Monica Pier. It all just feels so pink and dusty and full of anticipation. Is it the kind of thing that makes you want to marry the night… or is that just me?
I hope you’re inspired to take some time, strap on your bike helmet, grab your camera, pack up your pasta, and go for a little day adventure of your own. It really doesn’t take much. Just some eyes wide open to what the world wants to show you. That sounds so hippie-dippy, but it’s totally just true. Feed yo’self!
Sponsored by Canon
All images captured on the Canon RebelT5i.
I love all of this! Can you tell me where you got that napkin!?
I just found your blog and wanted to say I love it! And I love this post! It really makes me miss my bike and going on random bike rides to nowhere!
the pasta pesto cold remind me of a very romananic evening watch those who choose to ride the evening white crest wave in true gunsiela fashion .. In the omniscent of visual process …pasta apple teet>>>…
Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet
What a fun post! I followed an ad on another website to YOU! Very cool! I love the Canon and if it wasn’t pitch black outside, I’d get on my bike and follow your lead.
Lauren @ Books, Tea & Me
This was just what I needed to get me out of my funk! Too bad the weather hasn’t been friendly as of late; but once the sun makes its debut again, I’m going to buy a new bike (with a basket attached), ride to a farmer’s market nearby and purchase some local produce and take a little excursion to a park for the day. I need a creativity-boost. Thank you for this!
Joy, your mind and tastebuds are made of magic. <3 I'm definitely going to have to try that pasta. And if you ever need someone to help you eat all that food, i'm your girl ;)
I've lived in LA county (and the west coast in general) for a year now and i juuuust drove around LA aimlessly for the first time. Last week. Trying to spark my mind from burnout, pushing out painting after painting. So i went to Santa Monica to check out Brendan Monroe's exhibit and got pizza with a friend. So inspired. I wanna be in the city!
I found you by complete accident!! (actually it was due to the Canon T5i ad which popped up) I love, love this post. My creativity was getting a little soft, but now it’s peaked again after reading this. It’s a beautiful day where I live, so I’m going to take my Canon T3i and explore the neighbourhood!
i’m so glad you found me!
Thanks for the trip through Venice on your bike. It has been too long since we have been in L.A. Great memories revived. We need to move back “home.” Cheers!
The first solo bike adventure picture in this post may be my favourite ever on the site. Thank you for the inspiration!
Joy! I forgot that you live in LA. Can you please help me? I’m going to LA for the first time. I’ll be there for a week with a lover whose also never been. I want adventures. What would you tell your best friends or your sister to do or where to go? I want good food. Good for me, good for my soul, good for the planet, good tasting! I want hiking or kayaking. I want exploring, just getting on my two feet and having a typical day in LA. Any recommendations are sooo appreciated, especially when you – with your special way of seeing the world.
Ahahah I am so happy to hear you say “I love front doors”. I have a slight obsession with them too ! ^^
Because the shoes are cute! That’s why!
Ok, that pasta looks amazing. And I’m not even a fan of pesto!