Saturday, December 31, 2011

Great Moments of 2011

I compiled a short little slide show with photos from every month in 2011! Enjoy...

Moments of 2011 from Eatplaylove D on Vimeo.

I feel compelled to share that is the very edited version. The first version I created was 17 minutes long, oopsie. I'll be burning that version to DVD to mail to our family!

A Pinky Swear With Friends? Catalyst For New Year's Change... 2012 Mind Body Challenge

I believe ringing in the New Year is a great time to set intentions. I like to reflect upon the last year, think about where I would like my year to go, where I want to focus my energy. Typically my thoughts return to the same pillars of my daily life, spending money, healthy lifestyle (how I eat, exercise), focus on my family, as well as new interests to take on.

I'm not so great at making lists, checking off must do's, one by one (I'd call that Resolution Style).

As J and I were sitting around the kitchen table at our friends' house the other night, the discussion came up about a Whole Living magazine article, 21 Day Mind + Body Challenge. I had just read the article that day and it definitely peaked my interest. My friend asked me if I wanted to join her taking the challenge and after some brief discussion, I was on board. Lucky for both of us, our husbands wanted to join in as well. Which also makes me wholeheartedly grateful for my friends, the people I chose to surround myself with, they support me, encourage me, and I adore them for it!  A pinky swear sealed the deal and we even came up with ramifications for breaking the cleanse. Mine is that I have to go snowboarding (with the other 3) for a FULL DAY with only a lunch break. I can tell you right now, there is no way I am going to break the cleanse because that deal breaker truly SCARES ME!!!

We sat around the table for a few hours and discussed what we were up for, it's a 21 day cleanse which eliminates the major allergens from your diet. The six things we will be skipping for the first 3 weeks of January are processed foods and beverages, added sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine, and alcohol. Eep! Well what exactly does that leave you may be wondering? Tons of fresh fruit and vegetables, by week three some grains, and lean proteins. We also agreed on green tea which does have some caffeine, I drink plenty of tea unsweetened.

Sounds like a trendy diet....

I think embodying a detox plan is a bit easier to swallow than the dreaded word, DIET. It's three weeks, I've eaten this way before for over a year, when Sj was a nursing baby. Three weeks should be a cake walk (hahaha). I know it takes a solid 2 weeks for your body to process and rid your body of the 6 things we are giving up.

I'm really not much of a diet fan and I will be so bold as to throw "strict eating regiments" into the general umbrella of dieting. I do enjoy eating what ever I chose, the majority of food in our pantry and refrigerator is healthy whole foods, but like many people I have my weaknesses. I'm curious to see how my body responds, if I can let go of some extra weight that's been dragging me down. I don't own a scale, I'm the type that goes by how my jeans fit and I am definitely not satisfied with my above the waistband bulge that I currently am sporting.

I can guarantee there will be updates from the next three weeks. Day 1 starts on Monday for obvious reasons. Wish me luck....


Friday, December 30, 2011

[Food Friday] Eat Out, Boulder! Brasserie Ten Ten

This may sound funny, but the Brasserie Ten Ten is one of those restaurants in Boulder that sometimes escapes the forefront of my mind when choosing a place to go out to eat. After we sit down and start looking over the menu, I'm always reminded of how much I enjoy the food at the Brasserie. The Brasserie was opened back in 2003 by the Executive Chef of the Med (same owners). The food is French inspired and well executed, while the atmosphere is friendly and casual. My favorite meals at the Brasserie have always been for lunch. I like the price point, as well as enjoy the fare for mid afternoon.

J and I reserve the Brasserie for lunch dates when we are without the girls. Kids are definitely welcome here, but I think I can escape to a Parisian Brasserie much easier in my mind when I just have my love across the table from me. Lunch on this day, happened to be a bit on the conservative side. The Brasserie has a diverse menu, with plenty of options from vegetarian to the classic fruits de mer and many traditional French dishes. Escargot or roasted bone marrow, anyone? Even with those options, don't be surprised when you see more than one Brasserie Hot Dog pass by your table, it's definitely a regular's favorite.


Slider, French Dip

 Bisque De Tomate

Special Salad of the Day (salmon, greens, almonds, apples, onions)

Overall Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5)
Happy Hour: 3-6:30 daily (menu)

1011 Walnut Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Perk, Brasserie Ten Ten does take reservations of any size. A true find in Boulder! 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, we were simply paying customers. 

Happy New Year, Meet My Favorite Bento Packing Inspiration!

Hello Kitty Santa Curry Bento
The bento blogosphere is full of such amazing talent. For months now I've been wanting to share one of my favorite bento bloggers, but just haven't seized the moment, until NOW! Sheri is someone I found via Twitter and I instantly started following her blog. Her bento packing style is top on nutrition and amazingly beautiful. I will admit, I am in awe of her! Not only am I inspired by Sheri's bento skills, but she has a wonderful warm hearted spirit. Go check her out!

How to find Sheri:
Happy Little Bento (blog)
Flickr Photostream

Thank you Sheri for allowing me the use of your photo:
Original Photo link from Flickr

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Unique Knit Cotton Scarf: Raspberry Stitch

I've decided to add a record of some of my knitting projects here, so I can use the posts as a resource for future projects. I started knitting when Sj was a baby and I know the very basics. I'm really good at scarves, blankets, and cotton washcloths aka anything square or rectangle. I have been known to knit a hat or two as well, but not very often.

I love the raspberry stitch because it's unique and fairly easy to knit once you get into a rhythm. I always use natural materials such as cotton or wool. This is a Sugar 'n Cream 100% cotton scarf, I made for a gift. I decided to keep it narrow because it makes for easy wear and also versatile for many seasons, not just winter.

Clover Takumi Size 5 needles
1 full skein of green, 1 partial blue, 1 partial green

The pattern takes 4 stitches to complete, so you can determine the width you would like, you must add 2 stitches for the knit stitch that starts and ends a row.

Cast on 18 stitches
Row 1: K1, P next 16, end K1
Row 2: K1, K1P1K1 (on same stitch), P3 together, repeat to end K1
Row 3: K1, P next 16, end K1
Row 4: K1, P3 together, K1P1K1 (on same stitch), repeat to end K1


YouTube tutorial below, as well as other photos...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Easy and Unique Knit Scarf, Farrow Rib Scarf

My husband returned from Norway with some beautiful Dale wool yarn for me. He purchased two skeins of the exact same yarn, but different colors. Since one skein did not work for a scarf, I decided to create a striped farrow rib scarf. Even though I have been knitting for gifts, considering the source of the yarn (a gift to me from Norway), I've decided to add this one to my personal collection.

 I think it turned out lovely.

Chunky wool yarn
Clover Takumi Bamboo needles size 10

Cast on multiple of 3 (15 shown above)

Row 1: slip 1st stitch purl wise, k1, p1, *k2, p1* across

Rows 2 through infinity: repeat row 1.

For stripes, I switched colors once 10 rows were completed. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Birthday Wish, A New Year and A New Journey...

I never gave a second thought to my December birthday growing up, even though it is less than two weeks before Christmas, they never really meshed in my mind. I'm counting my blessings my mom and dad never stuck a birthday candle in a hockey puckesque fruit cake and belted out the birthday song. I have fond memories of homemade round layer cakes, always adorned by those hard sugar Happy Birthday letters you can still purchase in the baking aisle of the grocery store.

I don't think the birthday gifts wrapped in Christmas paper started happening until I was in my twenties. Living in Colorado with all my family in New York, a birthday slash Christmas package would arrive in one fell swoop. Really it wasn't to take away anything from "my special day" it was just practicality. I've had long conversations with other fellow Sagittarians and I'm always amazed at how some people feel robbed to have December birthdays.

What's the famous saying, it is what we make of it?

Now here's the kicker. Starting a few weeks ago, I've had an overwhelming desire to make some changes in my life. They are mainly related to lifestyle, it's truly the mental fog (hello, denial) of bearing some physical weight I'm having a tough time shedding. I want to feel differently about this body I've had exactly 38 years to come to terms with. While my endurance and strength are apparent as I casually take myself out on a 5 mile hike, I want to feel that same reality when I look in the mirror. I have a hard time seeing the beauty within when I catch a glimpse of a reflection passing by a storefront window. My eyes instantly focus on the areas of my body that I try to conceal, knowing a bulge here or there is the physical representation of what I have not shown I can control.

Which brings me to having a December 13th birthday... I've got a 3 week head start on the focus I want to bring to my daily life, putting at the top of my list my eating habits and exercise. While some will wait until the end of the holiday season, making January 1st the day to start anew, I will start today. When I blow out my candles tonight, I'm going to wish for the strength and courage to find that place in me that recognizes I am good enough to have exactly what I want. As with wishes you unfortunately can't buy a perfect body image, so instead my focus turns to self confidence, dedication, and courage that will make it happen.

To a new year and a new journey...