Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

So, I’m pretty sure our traditional neighbors already think we are a little bit strange… our giant dog verbally assaults their children, my yoga mat is ever-present on our {covered} back patio and hipster music often blares through open windows.

Well, tonight we might up our weirdness quotient a bit more because in lieu of candy we are passing out vampire teeth, bat wings and bubbles.  Yep, we are those people.

In Arizona, we witnessed parents driving groups of children literally from house to house in a typical suburban neighborhood.  Tonight, those children will get a bat ring.  When I was a kid, I took my pillowcase and walked to all 200 houses in my neighborhood and I had to tell jokes (it’s a St. Louis thing)… I earned every piece of that candy.

Upping the weirdness even more?  The smell of curry that emanates from our house on a weekly basis.  Pumpkin & Shrimp Curry from Bon Appetit is on the menu tonight.  This recipe is quickly becoming a favorite and it’s a perfect way to use the leftover roasted pumpkin I keep in my refrigerator this time of year!

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I hope you have a wonderfully spooky night with family & friends!

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Twenty Eight

I officially have just two years until I turn the big three-oh.

A few days ago, Bob and I wrote out our 30 under 30 to-do lists; we had a lot of laughs while coming up with the frivolous, fun and practical things we want to accomplish before beginning our 3rd decade on this earth.  Since it’s my birthday and I do what I want, I decided to share my list with you!  I hope you enjoy reading through it!

So, I showed you mine, now I want to know, what are some of the fun, silly, serious or unexpected goals on your timeline?

Monday.

That’s all I’ve got.  Well, that and a little story…

Back in April, my husband sat near Albert Pujols while dining at Fogo De Chao in Scottsdale; we are from St. Louis so this is kind of a big deal.  Bob was thrilled because for that brief moment in time he and Pujols had one thing in common… the love of meat wrapped in bacon on a skewer.

We visited a similar restaurant on Friday and now I have one question for Albert… after dining at a churrasco 5 nights in a row (according to the waiter), how does he cope with a meat hangover?  I wonder if he even gets such a thing… we certainly did.

Despite the 2-day food coma, we still managed to get out to do some hiking; we found a lone apple tree on the trail and picked these delicious little guys to take home.

We also got a taste of winter after the first snowfall on Pikes Peak.  Who wouldn’t love this view?

I hope your week is off to a great start!

Birthday Treats

Remember when you brought treats to school for your birthday and everyone sang to you?

Now, if you bring treats to your workplace and demand singing you are perceived as creepy and kicked off the happy-hour invite list.  It’s so unfortunate.

Is it still weird if your wife makes the treats and demands you take them to work on a day that just so happens to be your birthday?  No singing required.

I certainly hope not because I sent my husband off to work with some insanely delicious homemade Pumpkin Oatmeal Creme Pies.  It’s his birthday and the first day we are allowed to cheat on Sugar-Free September without a mile-run-per-offense punishment.

We don’t have big plans; we are just celebrating his 29th year with a little chocolate, a lot of meat and maybe a gin and tonic (or two)- totally his idea of a good time.  Oh, and I’m super excited to announce that he is finally trading in his Env or Chocolate or whatever old-fashioned cell phone for an iPhone 5 and I could not be more thrilled!  Good things come to those who wait and he has been waiting 4 years!  I’m totally impressed, I gave in a long time ago.

Now I can only hope his coworkers don’t send him home with a shaved head…

 

 

Weekending

I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend!

In addition to yoga teacher training (more on that later) I got to hang out with the hub, watch hot air balloons glow and check out Taste of Colorado where we watched a great cooking demo by Daniel Asher, Chef at two restaurants I’m dying to try.  I especially loved the emphasis on using locally grown, fresh foods to support the economy and environment; always a good choice.

And my best piece of advice for the weekend came from the inside of my mug…

 

Weekday Round Up

I walked outside to find my dog sitting like this and staring at a “cat” across the street.  The “cat” was actually a black bag in the neighbor’s driveway and the staring contest, lip snarling and low growling went on for 15 minutes.  Hilarious!

We stumbled across a local spice shop this week and found things like ghost chili powder w/ chocolate and sea salt, New Mexico green chile powder and sweet crystallized ginger.  We will definitely be back!

Wildflowers on a morning walk…

My new favorite mixer…

I wasn’t supposed to buy this desk but I totally fell in love and it fits our space so well!  Eventually I will switch out the printer stand with a stylish, white file cabinet (if those even exist) and I might swap the current chair for an industrial style metal chair or vintage, wooden chair painted a bright color like magenta or turquoise.

We are glamming it up this weekend for Mil Ball then hosting Sunday brunch to kick off the beginning of Shark Week- it’s something I never, ever cared about in the past but this year it seems like a good excuse to hang out with friends and enjoy spicy Bloody Marys, gluten-free red velvet pancakes, ceviche and smoked salmon, quinoa almost-but-not-quite-eggs-benedict.

Have a great weekend!

Getting Settled

Whew.

What a whirlwind of a week.  We spent 9 days searching for a new home and fought an uphill battle to receive return phone calls from property managers until all of a sudden we found & fell in love with a place, signed a lease, got the keys and had our stuff delivered within two days.

We spent the weekend unpacking and trying to make this place feel like our own, even if it is only ours for a year.  I love creating nooks with personal items and photos like this vignette on my dresser where I can artfully display jewelry on this mirrored tray I inherited from my grandma.  Her father gave it to her when she was a girl and it is so special to me.

We desperately needed more storage to house all of our stemware so we installed these white shelves in the kitchen.  Open shelving is so trendy (and functional) right now and it really fit with the layout of our kitchen.  I want to add decorative brackets and I’m sure the display will change so this project is still evolving.

We spent yesterday evening creating a small photo gallery on the stairs; it was difficult to get the angle just right and laying out the photos beforehand was essential.  One of my favorite tricks is to cut pieces of cardboard to the photo size and tape them on the wall before hanging the actual pictures.

We are both ready to get back into our routine and spend free time exploring our new surroundings rather than unpacking boxes.  Despite the craziness, we managed to squeeze in an afternoon trip to breathtaking Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater to catch up with my cousins from Maryland.

I have some great posts planned for this week.  A 2-part series about TV and the tempting effects of commercials, homemade daily shower cleaner, natural patio privacy tips and a recipe or two so be sure to check back!

Moving Week- Eating Healthy on the Road

Driving 8 hours alone is certainly no picnic…

Driving 12 hours through 3 states in 2 days with 2 cars, 1 trailer and 1 giant dog for the 2nd time in a year is my reality.

I’m beginning to feel like a vagrant from The Glass Castle.

As a kid, food was my favorite part of a road trip; except when my family had a giant van with a TV and fold down bed; then I loved watching Full House and dancing to Belinda Carlisle between the captain’s chairs.

I have no idea why I liked the food so much because it was usually a late night dinner at McDonalds, Wendy’s or Subway followed by greasy hand prints all over the leather seats.

These days, I stop at landmark restaurants along the route and check out nearby National Parks and historic sights.  Maybe I’m realizing that life is about the journey or maybe it’s because I got a ticket for rolling a stop sign on my way to close on our house in Georgia and my Realtor sweetly said “ha, bless your heart, I told you nothing good happens when you rush.”

I spent some time searching past episodes of No Reservations, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and browsing Roadfood.com to make sure we get some decent meals during our move.  I cannot even tell you how giddy I am about stopping for lunch in Hatch, NM; the green chile capital of the world!

Eating on the road isn’t only about stopping for meals.  I like to snack when I drive alone and without planning I can quickly run into trouble.  I might find a package of cashews or trail mix at the gas station but lets face it, I’m really walking out with a giant bag of gummy worms.

With summer vacation upon us, I want to share some ideas for easy, portable snacks perfect for driving with or without kids.  Trust me. I take a lot of road trips.

His

  • Clif Builder Bars
  • Beef Jerky
  • Turkey Jerky
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Garlic & Sea Salt Sunflower Seeds (peeled)
  • Coconut Water

Hers

  • KIND Bars
  • Bananas
  • RAW Blueberry Granola Bars
  • Dried Turkish Figs
  • Coconut Water
  • Ginger Tea

Tips for choosing and transporting healthy snacks,

  • Pack a small, soft-sided cooler, one per car, I love my cooler bags from thirty-one, cute and functional.
  • Load up one side with food and one with water bottles, coconut water, etc.
  • Stock up on snacks and drinks without refined sugar, gluten, MSG or nitrates.
  • Choose sturdy fruits and vegetables that travel well and are easy to eat.
  • Place snacks into individual containers or baggies for easy distribution.
  • Keep a trash bag handy for easy disposal at the next gas station.

Planning ahead is key to staying healthy on the road.  Before you make that long road trip this summer take a few extra minutes to pick up snacks that will fuel the whole family.