Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Maddy's shoes

We watched our friends Jess and Justin's little girl Maddy tonight while they went to the Death Cab for Cutie concert at Red Rocks. Maddy had on the most amazing little girl shoes so I had to look them up.

See Kai Run
- check them out. So cute. Here are some of my favorites:

Aaah, I want a pair, too!

Oh, and while you're there, get good ideas for your next baby's name! They can be named after a beautiful pair of shoes, right?

Dumpster diving for furniture - a favorite pasttime

So Ross and I are known for pilfering furniture from dumpsters. Heck, pretty much everything in our house (except for the kitchen island and the rocker) are either from a dumpster, garage sale, or family hand-me-down. Even Mirelle's crib is from craigslist (but it's one of the nicest pieces of furniture we own!). Oh, and Ross made my desk. We have tales behind pretty much everything in our house: the requisite futon from college (just got rid of that last month after we inherited a red couch from Lisa, my brother-in-law's girlfriend). We have the old wooden drafting table we bought from a couple in Ithaca, NY - they retrieved it from a barn that had been occupied by birds (you get the picture). Our bed is from our mortgage guy and friend Brian. A table and bookshelf from my sister. A coffee table and couch from two different women in Durango. A wooden filing cabinet from our condo's dumpster in Aspen. My favorite IKEA chair and table from a garage sale in Fort Collins. Mirelle's lamp was mine growing up. And I could go on and on. Let's just put it this way: if our house burned down, we wouldn't have a large insurance claim on our furniture, that's for sure.

So this new piece? Well, that was sitting in our neighbor's trash this winter. We don't know her really well, so, I hopped across the street and dragged it back. It was missing arms and needed a little shoring up.

It lived in the garage rafters until this weekend. Ross created some arms for it and a back support beam, and I got out this awesome orange stain I had bought for my desk. Check out the colors. They are amazing. I want to do something with the olive green next. I think the color I picked is fruit punch. Anyway, it's waiting for its polyurethene coat, but I think it's gonna be a beautiful thing. I'll post again with the final product.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rainy Thursday

Alas, a span of three days have past this week, and no posts. I suppose I should say right now that this will become a new trend for me: I'm probably shifting to a 2-3 posts per week kinda schedule. It feels a little less forced to have a more casual approach to the whole blog thing.

Some things I'm excited about right now:
1. that summer is here
2. that Louisville now has its own Farmer's Market on Saturdays (can't wait to check it out this weekend!)
3. all of the incredible recipes I keep discovering in the Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper cookbook, my new favorite, like really easy macaroons (can't wait to make them again and dip them in chocolate this time)*
4. the pressure cooker/bean kick I'm on at the moment, and actually the cooking kick I'm on: a great way to wind down from a day at my desk.
5. the thought of doing a Hawaiian luau party this summer sometime, and the fun invitation I could create for it
6. running the Bolder Boulder on Monday with about 50K other peeps
7. that ross is actually going to start on the tiling project in our shower this weekend (or tomorrow, maybe??)
8. zumba class this afternoon

here's that macaroon recipe (but you should probably just go get the cookbook, it's that good):

Sally's Coconut Macaroons
Oven to 350. Spread a sheet of parchment on a large baking sheet.
In a large bowl, whisk together: 2 large eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, generous pinch of salt, and 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract. Blend in 3 cups sweetened shredded coconut (I used unsweetened raw shredded coconut and it worked just fine). Drop generouus teaspoonfuls on baking sheet, and bake 20-25 mins until the macaroons are golden brown with crisp edges. Transfer to a rack and cool.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A weekend in the garden

I know Memorial Day weekend is typically the kick-off to summer, but this past weekend might have rivaled it this year. It really felt like summer. A perfect weekend for mission:garden. My friend and gardeness extraordinaire Mary (who has a garden and yard in Fort Collins that needs to appear in Sunset magazine - she and John grow tomatoes that warrant cages special-ordered from Texas that need a ladder to be retrieved) was doing her annual plant buying this weekend here in Boulder with her mom Peg. I was invited along on the outing to the fab garden center, Sturtz and Copeland. Saturday. 8 am.

our empty little patch of earth

I took the 8 am thing seriously - I mean, Mary and Peg don't mess around when it comes to plants, so I better keep up, right? When I arrived, there was a cluster of people around the door, waiting to get in. Well, they were employees. And yes, that sign says 'closed.' Mary and Peg arrived shortly thereafter.

After two hours perusing the plant life, I had choice selection of flowers, herbs and veggies. My new veggie this year? Kohlrabi, a cabbage-like wierd-looking thingie that's great in stirfries. Tastes a bit like a broccoli stalk.

Me, Peg, and Mary. (I met Mary in Fort Collins when we were getting our undergrad degrees.)

The planted earth. Lots of seeds this year, so not much to show... yet. Oh, and some containers with flowers, too. Our soil leaves much to be desired, so we'll see what grows. Somehow we had a pretty good bounty last summer, so I'll hope for that again! One thing I did learn this year: plant the zucchini in the farthest corner of the garden, with lots of room for it to spill out into the yard.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Parents Magazine's baby announcement contest

Yippee! I just found out that the birth announcement I made for Peapod (aka Mirelle) is in the runnings for Parents magazine's announcement contest. Woohoo! Just got an email from Amanda Kingloff, Parenting's Lifestyle Editor, asking me to send an actual invitation to them for the judging. (They've only seen the JPGs, above).

Here are the details I told Amanda about the announcement:

Here are a couple of photos of my daughter Mirelle’s birth announcement (showing front and back). Since we called Mirelle ‘peapod’ while she was in utero, it seemed fitting to use this peapod patterned paper from iota. The announcements included a colored corrugated backing; the back featured an entire sheet of the peapod paper; the front of the card just a torn piece of the paper overlapping the announcement. Everything was tied together with a piece of green velvet ribbon. (I had all of the pieces cut out and ready before she was born; the piece of paper with her photo and birth news was the only thing I had to create after she was born.) Cross your fingers!!

Friday, already?

Wow, I've been a very negligent blogger this week. My apologies! It was one of my goals when I started this blog (well, when I finally decided to actually go for it), was to maintain it - that means a post every week day (or every other, at least). Oops. For some reason I was feeling some blog rebellion this week. Not sure what it was. But I'm back, today. What has been happening this week? Not only have I not been posting, I also haven't found a lot of time to exercise. Not even a little window of time. Work is busy (like usual), but what else? I'm looking back over my calendar from the last five days, and I think the reason exercise and blogging wasn't present is because I had other appointments and activities scheduled - and those took up my little window of time away from my work stuff. (Not really a great excuse, but c'mon, I'm reaching here.) Monday Mirelle and I had a chiropractic appointment. I know chiropractic care is controversial, but it's worked for me, and Mirelle gets checked out every couple of months for preventative care. It's really shown to be effective in preventing ear infections in little ones. (Mirelle didn't have any last winter, but she's also not in a daycare setting.) Tuesday I took Mirelle to the local science/kids museum with our friends Jess and Maddy in the morning. She loved the music room, the giant dinosaur, the balls, the lights, the mirrors ... super fun. Good reminder about all of the cool things to check out with kids in the big city. Well, anyway, somehow the week got away from me. And now it's the weekend, and we have big plans for our garden. More on that to come.

Here's one thing I've been working on this week. Creating a fancy invitation for the Aspen Writers' Foundation's annual gala. At $25K a table, the invitation has to be fabulous. This is the email blast image that's going out. The actual invitation will combine iridescent paper, metallic ink, a diecut ... It'll be a beautiful thing.

P.S. It's bike to work day! I walked down about 5 steps to get to work, so guess I did my part! Here's a cool little bike commuting calculator you can use to figure out cost savings, calories burned, etc (thanks for the tip, Lindsey!)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mom time

Whew! Happy Monday! A very busy weekend, but a lot of fun, and all revolving around moms. Thursday night my mom, sister and I headed to the tony Cherry Creek district of Denver and listened to Lynne Rossetto Kasper chat about food, entertaining, and the correct lighting for your dinner table (that's eye level). We nibbled on appetizers from recipes from her book: fried risotto, plumped ginger shrimp, and local mou co cheese from Fort Collins. It was a wonderful event, not crowded, and Lynne and her producer, Sally, were so friendly and receptive.

Sunday morning, for mother's day, Mirelle and I jogged in the Title 9K run around Boulder Reservoir. Lots of moms, dirt roads, beautiful cool weather ... a lot of fun. (Mirelle enjoyed the run from the comfort of the jogger, while eating a pancake.) Met up with mamas and dads afterwards for a little picnic.

Hope your mother's day was great!

Oh, and check out the new lobotoME pads I designed for Jenny over at her blog. I think my favorite right now is the FitME pad!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

An Evening with the Splendid Table

The Splendid Table's Lynne Rossetto Kasper has a new book, How to Eat Supper. I'd read some other reviews of the book on angry chicken's blog and soulemama's blog, and being a fan of the radio show, decided I needed to check this book out for myself. If you order it through the NPR site, part of the proceeds go back to NPR.

Anyway, got my book yesterday, and we made the roasted butternut squash and bowtie pasta last night ... absoluement delicieux. I loved the idea of heating up a low baking pan in the oven while you prep the veggies, and then throw them in the oven ... you're done! A lot easier than slaving over the stove. The whole cookbook (even though I've just begun exploring it) has wonderful weeknight recipe ideas.

And the best news? My mom, sister and I are going to hear Lynne speak at an event at Room and Board in Denver tonight. Yipee! And hopefully get a book signed ...

And if you've never heard The Spendid Table on NPR, check here for airtimes in your area.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I made the stunning realization yesterday that the reason I enjoy going for runs (especially on dirt trails, next to streams, and past blossoming trees) is because it makes me feel really alive. It reminds me (subconsciously) about what I really am and about what I'm here to do. My body gets to work hard, I get to be connected and in touch with the natural world and the rhythyms of the changing season. I made this realization yesterday after being at my desk all day. At 4, Mirelle woke up from her nap and we went outside. Aah! It was such a glorious afternoon. Glorious is the most fitting description. Little blossoms were emerging on a red-leaved bush, the delicate first shoots of growth on the tree in the front yard were starting to shift toward leaves, purple flowers had already appeared on a creeping vine. I plucked one, two, three, four and five ! purple flowers and placed one in each of Mirelle's button holes on her sweater. We watched a fat robin dart from tree to tree. Since Mirelle notices everything, I start to, too -- we are a good team. I show her new things, tell her what things mean; she reminds me of the beauty and wonder in the mundane.

But spring is anything but mundane, and it was just then, laying in the grass with Mirelle, already a world away from the glow of my computer screen, that I remembered/woke up/realized what I already knew: that doing things that make you feel truly ALIVE are really what it's all about. And I remembered how I had felt the day before on my run: it was that feeling. I do love my job, but it's still a job: Working at my computer, sitting, moving from task to task. My work is so much easier at my desk if I instill some aliveness into my day, away from the computer.

Other things that have recently brought on a sense of aliveness: hot yoga class, being creative with paper/collage (need to do this one, but I know it works...)

More aliveness. More often. What does it for you?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Snacks for kids

Happy Monday! Picked up the latest Delicious Living magazine at the natural foods store this weekend. I really love that magazine, and I love that it's free. Of all the magazines I subscribe to (Yoga Journal, Body + Soul, Sierra, Mothering), Delicious Living is one of my faves, and I don't even have to pay for it. They always have the best recipes. If you can't find one at the health food store near you, they're online, and this issue features some great snack ideas for kids.

Here's one I'll have to try out on Mirelle (a huge fan of this combo): Core an apple, stuff it with a mixture of peanut butter, rolled oats, and a touch of honey. Slice the apple crosswise, and voila! Apple rings with peanut-butter centers.

Some other ideas for kids snacks from that issue:
• Apples and cheddar cheese
• Graham crackers crumbled in cottage cheese
• Yogurt dip with fruit slices
• String cheese and whole-grain crackers
• Salsa with baked chips
• Whole-grain, low-sugar cereal and milk
• Raw-food fruit and nut bars
• Whole-grain pretzels and almond butter
• Cinnamon graham crackers and peanut or cashew butter
• Guacamole or hummus with jicama sticks
• Smoothies with yogurt, milk, frozen berries, and banana
• Organic dried veggies

Also, you may be interested in reading Jenny's post about kid's lunches here.

Oh, and I had breakfast on Saturday with my college roommate, Genia, who is now chef extraordinaire and owner of her own healthy, tasty meal business. If you live in Denver, you may want to utilize her services next time 'making dinner' doesn't make it on your to-do list for the day.

Obama in 30 seconds

Vote for your favorite 30-second ad here.

All of the ads are really inspiring. Thanks for the link, Lindsey.