Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Giveaway Winners From Whole Foods Market!

Announcing the Whole Foods Market Halloween Package winners! There were 23 comments, but one was mine identifying the unknown commenter that emailed me to let me know their comment went through as unknown! 

I pulled winners from 22 comments (not counting mine) and they were #1, #6, #12!

Comment #1, Connie Weiss!

Comment #6, The SoapDish!

Comment #12, Momandsons!

Winners please contact me with your address at eatplaylove (at) gmail (dot) com! If I don't hear from you within 24 hours, I will pull a new winner.

Stay tuned for a new giveaway from Whole Foods Market next month...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mom Approved Whole Foods Market Halloween Giveaway!

Halloween is just one week away and once again we find ourselves facing the candy dilemma head on. We love Halloween, we love joining the girls trick or treating, having conversations with our neighbors, and watching the girls joyfully sort through their loot at night's end. What we don't love is deviating from our normal diets just for the sake of American tradition. The majority of chocolate gets to stay, candy that dreadfully sticks in your teeth must go. Candy that is full of artificial coloring and flavoring typically gets cast aside as well. Luckily for us, we find in our neighborhood the girls receive all sorts of non-traditional Halloween goodies. 

This year, I'm looking forward to handing out some Mom approved Halloween loot. I am partnering with Whole Foods and passing out some fun treats this Halloween. Some of our personal favorites are small snack sized bags of treats like Annie's Halloween Bunny Grahams, Snyder's pretzels, or Justin's peanut butter cups in milk or dark chocolate. I always appreciate when the girls get school friendly snacks, it makes lunch packing easy the week after Halloween! 

Whole Foods is also graciously sending 3 lucky winners a Colorado River Project Water Bottle, they are aluminum, BPA free, and made by Liberty Bottle Works in the USA and a bag of Halloween Candy!

To Enter:

1. A comment equals one entry, comment as much as you wish. Please leave a valid email address if you comment as anonymous.

2. Contest will close on Sunday October 27, 2013 at 10pm MST. 

3. (3) Winners will be chosen by Random. Org and notified via email.

4. Address must be provided within 24 hours or a new winner will be selected, prize packages will be shipped directly by the supplier of the giveaway.  

5. Open to US residents only. 
Disclaimer, the items in this post were provided by Whole Foods Market to me as a WFM Ambassador! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Filled With Possibility, The Makerie Summer Series: In The Home

The Makerie is a weekend creative retreat that was started by Ali DeJohn and is hosted in one of the most picturesque parts of Boulder, Chautauqua Park. From my interactions with Ali, she's a woman that dreams big, and actually turns those dreams into reality for others to experience. It's amazing to watch grace spilling from a person, that's truly how I would best describe Ali. Ali has mastered the art of detail and those details just compliment one's Makerie experience so profoundly.

This summer, The Makerie was offered in a series, all of which had different focuses in a one day gathering instead of the weekend long retreat. Creative classes were taught by artists complimented by lovingly prepared food from the farm by Chef Katie of EAT Catering. The Makerie session I attended was called In The Home and was hosted at The Lyons Farmette. I actually won a ticket from Whole Foods Market in Boulder, a Makerie sponsor, which made me feel like the luckiest person on earth!

Just imagine this, a day long creative retreat with classes taught by amazing women from our community, at a farm with food prepared on site. If you are wondering if I had a spectacular time, I may convince you that spectacular would be an understatement. It is such an incredible blessing to be offered a day to just feed your soul. I unplugged from my everyday life and let go of so many things that typically hold me back from being creative. I embraced the opportunity to gather with women, who I would come to learn so much about through out our day together, who were filled with such intrinsic beauty. We laughed, we got glue stuck to our fingers, we made silly faces at one another while we donned safety glasses before using the drill press, we worked together to create gorgeous letterpress items on antique machines. As the sun began to set, we dined together on food that was prepared with such love, and fresh vegetables grown just beyond the backdrop of our day. As we raised our glasses to toast the culmination of the labors of love for everyone involved in making the day possible, I easily shed tears of gratitude for a day that so beautifully complimented my life. I realized the opportunities I have are far and few between to experience such synergy in a creative space.

Thanks to the Makerie, I became filled with possibility. 

Here's some photos from my day:

Learn more about the Makerie in 2014.
The Makerie on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.
Fabulous artists that were brought into my life at the Makerie, Studio 22 and Bird Dog Press.

A video which captures a beautiful glimpse into The Makerie:


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fun With Wacky Apple Flat Fruit!

Now that we are packing two lunches everyday, about once a week I get creative and surprise the girls with something out of the ordinary in their lunches. I love using small little cookie cutters of letters and shapes to create fun things out of flat fruit! We all know how nice it is to have fruit in our pantry to add to lunches when we haven't gotten to the market, that's why I love Wacky Apple!

They nibble on the fruit before eating their sandwiches or play around with the shapes until after they are finished. The flat fruit is fun to do many things with and a bonus, the girls find it a sweet treat to replace a processed sugar dessert!

Thank you Wacky Apple for the box full of goodies to make my girls bentos wonderful! My favorite part of Wacky Apple is that it comes from Colorado and is Organic! Non organic apples carry the highest pesticide loads, so we try to buy organic apples as much as possible.

Monday, October 7, 2013

This is 10 {with Audio}

Click on the play button to listen to my read through of this post:
A full week of birthday celebrations finally came to a close as the sun set last night. I'm not quite sure why, but 10 feels like such a momentous birthday to me. I wanted 10 to feel special and different. I wanted 10 to stand out in life's timeline. Sj is now officially double digits, she's got one year to raise both hands, fingers fully splayed out, and tell the world, she's 10.

Turning 10 also means there's a deeper understanding of how life works and sometimes it's an opportunity to grow emotionally, as well as chronologically. We sat down for lunch at Zoe Ma Ma, sipping a pipping hot bowl of chicken noodle soup, while the girls devoured some potstickers. They finished them quickly and decided they wanted steamed buns, so we handed Sj some cash and sent her off to order more. Even in the tiniest moments of independence, I find myself smiling as I carefully observe Sj growing leaps and bounds into her 10th year. As the conversation turned to how we would celebrate her birthday, namely with friends, we also had to talk about how it was not possible to have it all. Sj desperately needed a new bicycle and since our family has a love for all things cycling, buying a cheap bicycle wasn't an option. Even though I tried to talk through valid points for buying a bicycle that was more economical, in the end I convinced myself an investment in a nice bicycle was indeed a perfect way to celebrate being 10 years old. 

But with a new bicycle, some things would have to move off the table as options. Take for example, horseback riding with 3 friends. While tears may have been held back in our conversation, I watched the wheels turn in Sj's head. She fully understood our talking points and within a matter of moments, I watched her almost tear filled eyes dry up and start to sparkle when we started to hatch out a plan. In a very rational way, she chose a bicycle over 1 hour of horseback riding. She also presented the option of having friends come spend the night, where we would craft, watch a movie, have dinner, and a special breakfast in the morning. And just like that, all before we reached the bottom of our soup bowl, a birthday plan was hatched. 

While there is a part of me that wishes I could simply give my daughter whatever she delighted on her birthday, I recognize the beauty of allowing her to be an integral part of our decision making. She's very wise for being 10 years young, and I credit our openness with her to nurturing her ability to make less ego driven decisions and more head smart choices at her age. 

We left Zoe Ma Ma and walked a block to the bike shop, where we picked up her sweet new ride. 

Happy 10th Birthday my lovely, kind, generous, fashionable, mature, beautiful, sweet, and inspiring 10 year old. This year is going to be all kinds of wonderful. 


Friday, October 4, 2013

Hacking Senior Citizens' iPads 101

This story may make you laugh or make you cry, unfortunately it saddens me. My father has owned an iPad for a couple of years now. He's not very tech savvy and is of the persuasion that if you tap hard enough on the glass, the iPad will respond appropriately. Sometime last Spring I backed up his iPad to my computer because it had never been backed up before. I made the mistake of not logging out of my iTunes account first before backing up his iPad. Hindsight is 20/20. If you ever back up someone else's iDevice onto your computer, simply log out of your iTunes account first and the odds are good this won't happen to you. Or simply don't be nice and offer to back up someone's iDevice at all.

A few months later, when updating applications I was prompted to enter in my father's apple ID password on my iPhone. I found that very strange, but quickly realized applications that we both shared became corrupted. Now don't ever say to an Apple employee the word corrupted because one, they won't believe you and two, they find it hard to believe something like this could occur. There is no quick fix, except to delete the confused applications and install them fresh. After I did that for Pandora and Temple Run, I have no longer been prompted to enter my father's apple ID password on my iPhone.

Then yesterday, this happened...

I received a text message and email from my father, see above. Maybe he was feeling heated having to wait however long the folks over at Candy Crush make you wait to get more lives and so he took it out on me, but I find his accusations endearing. He believes I have been spying on all of his iPad activity because of our confused applications. I couldn't quite think of the right moment to come out with the this, but truth be told I have developed software to hack into Senior Citizens' iPads. I have some solid data on their Candy Crush, pinball, and slot game activity. I have been collecting the data and entering it into a spread sheet where I will one day use the evidence to... absolutely nothing.

While my father was in a huff about the confusion with the Apple ID's (that was a screencap of mine that appears on his). I had to break it to him that I actually have better things to do with my time than to spy on his iPad activity. More times than not in my family, Seniors and technology just don't mix.

Should I send him a link to proper usage of you're and your?

ps..Hi Dad! Thanks for blocking me on Facebook! You saved me the trouble! 


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Be Yourself {with Audio}

(Please note, I am experimenting with embedding an audio read through of my blog posts. See player below, if you would like to hear me read it through)

Wednesday is typically the day of the week when I sit down on the couch after dinner, but within moments find myself swinging my feet up and propping a pillow behind my head. I reach down and grab the wool throw, taking extra care to cover my feet. Wednesdays are for melding into the down wrapped sofa cushions and letting go of all the things I should be doing. A pipping hot cup of tea was placed on the table in front of me turned in just the right way, be yourself was staring back at me. A simple message hanging off the tea bag string.

Be Yourself.

In my mind I see a woman sitting on the ground with her knees up close to her chest and her arms thrown around her legs. There's a rounded wall of smooth grey rocks built up around her, not so high that she can't see over, but definitely high enough to protect her. Her head occasionally peers out above the top layer of rocks and sometimes when she sees something off in the distance that makes her uncomfortable she casually lowers her forehead to rest on her knees. Her face is hidden out of plain sight and the grey rocks do their job comforting her. Some days she just sits and taps her toes feeling at ease, but other times she steps beyond those boundaries and feels the sunshine penetrate her skin, the wind blow in her hair, and exactly how it feels to just be immersed in her world. The calm ebbs and flows allowing chaos to catch it and in precise moments chaos may overcome the calm. The calm never slips away, it's always within reach.

Tonight the calm presents itself as a cup of tea and a simple reminder, be yourself.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Post Boulder Flood Reflections: Resilience Is Not Wavering

On Monday, I can easily recall rain through out the day. No sunshine, grey skies.

Tuesday, I woke up to clouds in the sky and maybe some light rain. Josh left very early for a 2 week business trip, his flight was delayed but he arrived in Los Angeles just fine. I waved goodbye to my daughter as she pulled out of the parking lot in a school bus for a 4 day Outdoor Education trip. A day of intermittent rain would follow.

Wednesday, after 5pm I was walking out to my car in the parking lot when the driving rain caught me off guard. Still raining? Then, wow it's still. raining.

It wouldn't be until later in the evening, on Wednesday September 11th, that my anxiety levels around the rain started to rise. Flash flood warnings started hitting twitter, I turned to my ipad for the police radio app to get some insight from fire and emergency crews. Boulder Valley cancelled school for Thursday. Unlike a huge snowstorm about to hit the area that comes with days of warnings, this 1,000 year rain event (100 year flood), completely surprised us.

Text between Josh and I, the first night of the flooding. Josh was in Los Angeles. Our text message time line would prove to validate my level of anxiety, in one hand I'm holding it together for G, while also keeping my eye on the weather where Sj was, which very luckily was 3 hours away in the best direction possible. 3 hours away from the storm that was pounding us. Looking back upon it, September 11th was truly only the very beginning.

Shelter in Place. 

Seek Higher Ground Immediately. 

Flash flood sirens roared. 

On Thursday September 12th 9.08 inches of rain would fall on Boulder. If you were here, saying 9.08 inches of rain would pound Boulder, would not feel like an exaggeration. From Sept. 9 through Sept. 16, the storm dropped 17.15 inches of rain on Boulder. Basically that's our ANNUAL rain fall in one week. By mid-day Thursday we recognized how deeply we were into this powerful storm system. I found myself outside twice digging out ditches to lead standing water from around my home into other parts of my yard. There was officially no way out of my neighborhood for about 18 hours. I texted a neighbor to tell her if the water started to rise from Bear Canyon Creek just 2 blocks from my house, that we would be at her doorstep looking for shelter. Another neighbor updated on Facebook that she was evacuated from King Soopers.

On the morning of Friday September 13th, we would wake to police tape marking an impassable street at the end of our block. The water that normally was barely a trickle in the dry creek bed had taken over it's banks and was rushing down an additional 3 lanes of road that surrounded it, there were boulders filling both eastbound lanes. Parts of the road washed out and a gas line was exposed. In the mean time, I was figuring out how to get out of my neighborhood, at this point about 75 roads were still closed in Boulder, simply so I could pick up my daughter at school from her trip. I was so happy the BVSD transportation department allowed scheduled bus trips to proceed even though the district was shut down. Together my daughter and I witnessed the intensity of the storm on a simple 3 mile trip home from school. A car was turned on it's side washed up in the storm and through someone's backyard fence. Flood debris littered every single street. Rocks, sand, mud, trash cans, tree trunks, boulders, cars, were all strewn in ways only a national disaster could toss them.

There were many moments that my mind could not comprehend what I was seeing. 

Saturday September 14th the rains lightened through out the day, but also came back in fierce waves. At some point I had to get on the roof during one of the heavier rains, to tar a very minor leak we had where our furnace exhaust exits the roof. We finally left the house to get the girls to dance class. We once again witnessed the first hand devastation of the water, swiftly moving currents of water destroys roads, buildings, and bridges. Fences were just gone. Roads washed out. Chinook helicopters (aka flying buses) were flying overhead to rescue people from our mountain towns. While the sound of the helicopters should have been welcoming, it was just a reminder of how incredibly devastated our community was. The Colorado National Guard rescued around 3,500 people in every possible flyable moment. There were also tall vehicles trucking people out of communities like Lyons where the major thoroughfares were washed out.

I sat in the dance school parking lot and just cried my eyes out.

Two weeks later and things haven't returned to normal. I am not even exactly sure what normal means anymore. Resilience is the component of the human spirit that is not wavering, so we just push on through. Lend a hand, heal our hearts, and learn to carry on.

Related Links:

City of Boulder Flood Photos and Videos


I've chosen not to show any images in this post, the continual images of destruction have been affecting my ability to recover. Sharing my words have helped, but out of respect I had to hold off on powerful images.