darling dinner

This past Friday, Abby and I had the pleasure of attending a Darling Dinner in LA. 

Google Maps routed us STRAIGHT through South Central (don't tell my mom), but we ended up at a lovely DTLA creative space and shared dinner with new friends. 


It was an amazing experience - the quickness and intensity with which a group of 30 women opened up to each other was really unexpected. I had been anticipating more of a blogger gathering: surface networking, pleasant smiles, exchanged numbers. But it's clear that women, maybe a certain type of woman, maybe an LA woman, needs fellowship. Our common denominator is friendship and candid conversation. 

I hope to participate in more events like this, and help spark a movement of breaking bread with ladies. 


We met up with Faith from New Forage, as well as my friend Maurna. I haven't taken a lot of Friday nights off from Ben and Luna in a while, it's always nice to re-meet my friendly side. And wear a necklace and lipstick without rendering baby damage. 


Thanks, Darling. (Really great food by More Butter Please)

the (mostly) vegan marriage

Ally edit: This is the first blog post from one of my dearest friends and best people I know, Marissa Hewko. She's going to be writing about her food love, cooking, lifestyle, dogs, love, loss, everything. I'm so very proud she's joined our story.  end Ally edit. 


Like everyone in the world, my husband Johnathon was born a vegetarian. The thing is, he stayed that way…like, never-had-a-hamburger-vegetarian. When we first started dating, I’d force-feed him bites of my carnitas and laugh at him when he said bacon smelled gross. When we got married, I was working at a restaurant, meaning evenings were spent at work, not at home. Which left Johnathon on his own for dinner. I’d usually scarf down some faulty plate the chefs made that night and he would create some weird can of beans atop lettuce with salsa on it and call it a burrito bowl.

When I got a new job with “normal” hours, we began to have dinners together nightly. This created two issues; one: I felt guilty for making meals that contained meat in them because I knew it did not correlate with my husband’s ideals, and two: I was way too lazy to make a veg dish for him and a meat dish for me. So that’s how it happened. We both became vegetarians. I would mostly make cop-out vegetarian dishes like pasta, or tofu stir-fry, things that had zero thought involved. Somewhere along the way, between watching documentaries and blood test results, we decided to take animal product completely out of our diet. That’s when the passion for cooking came flooding in; crazy, obsessive, creative, passion.

I didn’t want to just make a pizza with fake vegan mozzarella topped with tofurkey, or resort to just throwing a bunch of vegetables in the oven with olive oil and calling it dinner (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It wasn’t just about cutting animal out of our diet, it was about putting better, whole, unprocessed foods in our bodies. I had to be innovative and be willing to put thought into every night’s meals and plan them in advance.

It takes effort, but the resulting food is worth it, and most of all, it makes me HAPPY. If I don’t cook for a week, I get depressed - the combination of healthy fuel and expanding my creativity makes me feel fulfilled. It doesn't hurt that my husband does all the dishes every night, and it really doesn't hurt that he's more than happy to eat everything. 

Every Sunday, I pick out meals for the week, gaining inspiration from various vegan food blogs and finding the accidentally vegan recipes in cookbooks I already own. I try not to make the same thing twice in a month, mostly because I get bored eating the same thing all the time and cooking the same thing all the time. I make a grocery list, and shop on Sunday for the entire week. Johnathon says whenever he looks at our shopping card, he doesn’t see a single thing that looks delicious, but then magically, he’s licking his plate every night. That’s the thing with cooking with whole ingredients, they don’t look like much until you transform them, that’s when their beauty comes out.

I look forward to every night that I get to spend with my husband in the kitchen and eating together at the dining room table…and curled up on the couch on lazy evenings. Our kitchen is small so we are forced to be in close contact, sneaking tush squeezes. During dinner we get to talk about our day, vent, rejoice, kiss and be thankful for the little family we have.

I hope you enjoy my food ideas, and feel free to contact me with questions or high fives. 

The pictured foodgasm is an amazing vegan enchilada casserole, recipe coming soon. 

sausage party in Venice // Courtney and Ally

by Courtney and Ally

[Courtney is the stylish one and Ally always has a baby strapped to her.]

[Courtney is the stylish one and Ally always has a baby strapped to her.]

HELLO! We are the main contributors to Scout Folks (for now), still learning to navigate our voices on this forum. Here's a little intro to our dynamic.

Ally: You can read more in the About Us. But for now: Courtney and I live too far apart, but spend a lot of time together. We've been through a few life changes together, and WAY too many hair changes. We're the kind of people that will send each other the exact same photo at the exact same moment. We are hatching a secret plan to spend every family vacation together. 

Courtney: We were lucky enough to find our tribe in Venice this past weekend. It was a rainy weekend, so we cozied up at Wurstkuche with some heavy German food. 

Ally: I pretty much suggest Wurstkuche every time we set foot in LA. 

Courtney: We met up with the folks over at Girl and The Abode and Styled by Katie. I am blessed to be able to call these girls family; as the years have gone by those lines have blurred between family and friendship. It has evolved into something quite rare and beautiful. The friendship is raw, and we can share our deepest thoughts amongst each other, as well as design ideas. 


Courtney: I also love Wurstkuche. They have vegetarian smoked apple sage to crocodile to pork andouille to...every flavor of sausage. My mouth is watering just dreaming about it.


Courtney: Our conversation over exotic sausages and crisp cider is exciting. To think we are sitting at a table of so many creatives; photographers, interior designers, chefs, fashion stylists, illustrators, and graphic designers. It takes my breath away. Ideas bounce off the walls with fierceness; and all I can do is smile because these are my folks.


Ally: I've been longing for this little artist community for a while, and it's so exciting to be around so many energized people. We walked to the Venice General Store, which is fast becoming the inspiration for my being. 


Courtney: Wandering around Venice we naturally group ourselves into pairs. I listen to passing conversations and it fills me with warmth. Life can be hard enough as it is, even just with daily routine. I am thankful for the people I am surrounded by. They are my rocks.


Ally: We finally got into Gjelina!! OMG their panna cotta. I think I'm hungry because my portion of this blog is centered on food. I'm really in love with all my friends right now. They're moving and shaking, and inspiring me to do the same. 

by Ally and Courtney

ace hotel dtla

by Courtney


If there is anything in my life I have learned thus far, it is to keep loved ones close and to collect as many memories your heart can handle. And the heart can handle a lot of memories.  In this decade of chaos, technology, and instant gratification, I find it hard to make time for those I love. However, when I make it happen, my reward is tenfold. I create more love: The greatest gift we have been given is to live and love.

My husband and I have been in each others lives for over 10 years now. Over the past decade, we have made it of vital importance to travel; it is the only time we can shut off our minds and connect on levels otherwise impossible. Human beings need exploration, and so with my blog posts, I encourage you to explore. Whether it is a hike in your own backyard or a ride on a jet plane to a foreign land. Just get out there! No adventure is too small; keep no rock unturned. Traveling has kept my husband and I close - best friends. It has forced us to walk away from work, even if just for a moment. To share a cup of our favorite coffee and talk about the days and adventures to come.

Something as simple as camping, where you can remove your daily life mask and just BE. We have gathered so many memories over the years, it brings tears to my eyes just to type about it. To think we can share these memories with our future children, and our children's children. To teach them to get a little dirty, to close their eyes and feel the wind on their face, to try things they never thought they would. Teach them to live.

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On our latest adventure, we wandered over to the newest Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles with a few of our closest friends. Dear Ace, you have yet to fail me. Filled with hipsters and gypsies from around the world, eclectic music, and fantastic cuisine- the Ace transports me. In our years of adventures, we’ve been to 5 of the Ace hotels, and they’ve become like home. The Ace has become something we’ve started to incorporate into our identity as a couple.

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At the Ace, staff treats you like family and travelers share their life's adventures over a cups of Stumptown. The design echos the surrounding city - vibrant eclectic chaos. Art deco,old Hollywood, offset by accents of fiber wall hangings and rich ceramic tiles. The moment you walk through those grand doors you are greeted by a coffee bar. We LOVE coffee. You’ll hear more about that as I continue to blog here. Seated next door is LA Chapter. "A carefully cultivated basserie"- Ace Hotel. Fill yourself with fresh and locally sourced cuisine with an exotic spin. Try the potato pancakes at brunch, I'm dreaming about them.

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We wandered up to the rooftop bar playfully named "Upstairs". We gazed upon the entire city of Los Angeles, googling landmarks and falling in love with the familiar from a new view. We sipped hand-made cocktails (they also have tap cocktails!) while lounging on the chicest of ethnic-inspired mid century furniture. The wind was crisp and the music was fittingly ambient. We conversed with fellow travelers. The Ace caters to all walks of life. Nomads who welcome change and new experiences, people who seek adventure-They cater to folks.


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-Courtney Laser