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Showing posts from 2009

On Holiday... See You Next Year!!!

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There aren't many bentos to be packed when we are on holiday! So we'll see you next year, when school is back in session.

Delightfully Over The Top Christmas Lights, It's Our Tradition

Every year, we load up in the car and hit our favorite neighborhood to view Christmas lights displays. This one house in particular always has the most over the top displays, which I tried to capture. Moving window displays, a choo-choo train, Santa sitting at the formally set dining room table, reindeers on the roof and in the yard! Enjoy.
Sorry for the audio, I put the music track over to distract from my chatting. Yes, I do say Baby Chuckie up in the window, in case you are wondering.

My Gift For You, Organic and Delightful Steaz Iced Teaz

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Let's not beat around the bush, I am a TEA FANATIC. Hot, cold, iced, spiced, sweet, unsweetened, plain, organic, black, white, green, chai, on and on... Tea, I love tea. Only problem with many ready to serve tea products on the market is that they are full of the stuff I loathe, high fructose corn syrup.

But a product I've been enjoying from Whole Foods Market, Steaz Iced Teaz is now available at Target! Can I get a hallelujah! We all know how often I'm at the big red store, so when I found out I could buy Steaz there I was beyond thrilled.
Steaz sent me a box of their canned iced teas for free, containing Green Tea with Peach, Green Tea with Blueberry Pomegranate Acai, and White Tea with Lime and Pomegranate.

Why do I love Steaz?

Before the tea arrived, I was already a Steaz fan. I'm a person that chooses to lightly sweeten my tea, when I make it at home. Typically I find that I have to brew my own tea to make iced tea because believe it or not, I like the flavor of tea …

My Gift For You, Escape The Holiday Music Doldrums With Some Help From Dan Zanes!!!

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One day about five years ago I found myself driving in my car, all alone. About ten minutes into my drive, it hit me, I was listening to my daughter's music. In my car alone. In that moment I felt silly, but it was a glimpse into how important it is to like the music you play for your children!
Right about now, I'm assuming we've all had it up to our ears with holiday music. Holiday music in the car, in the house, on the iPod, in the stores, at the doctor's office, in the bathroom of the grocery store. Holiday music, holiday music. Well, I've met my holiday music threshold. I know a couple of you haven't met your holiday music threshold, but soon enough you'll be looking for new music to fill the void.
A couple of weeks ago, a package arrived on my doorstep. It contained NEW MUSIC! We all know Dan Zanes, he's the bridge between music we love and our children love even more. The new 76 Trombones cd features songs from Broadway. There are certain parts of…

I'm Not Burning My Bra, But Mesmerize Me With Women's Wisdom

Over the past year, one of the most tender subjects I've touched upon here is my friendships. I wrote a post back in April called, Having The Courage To Say What's Missing. Really I was throwing myself a little pity party, but those feelings needed to be expressed. Today, when I sit here and think about my friends, I feel grateful. I feel content that they have all come into my life at various stages, but have amazingly stuck by me.
A few weeks ago I was asked to join a women's group. Quite simply put it's a gathering of 10 women (9 of which were strangers to me), kind of like book club with out the pressure to read a book. Heck, I've been in book clubs and the majority of the time we just wanted to talk about everything BUT the book. For me the women's group was an opportunity to experience something new, take a bit of a leap of faith and put myself out there to see what the group would be and feel like. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect.
I'm happy I…

You Bento, But What About All This Stuff?

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There comes that day for everyone who loves to pack bentos, where am I going to put all this stuff? Yes, the upside to packing bentos far surpasses the downsides, but organization is the key to successful bentoing.
See this drawer to the left? I have three very oversized utensil/silverware drawers in my kitchen. They allow me the luxury of storing items out of sight, that would typically be displayed on counter tops. I like that, it keeps my kitchen feeling harmonious. Only problem is, the bento accessories have taken over. This particular drawer is the one I use most often, the left side divider once contained our every day go to utensils. Slowly over time (since August) the bento items started to creep in. Cookie cutters, silicone cups, and picks are the main culprits. They are bento items I use every single day, I like to have them at my finger tips. But stealing my coveted utensil spot, not so much. This drawer is on my to-do list. Will update when I get to it.
I keep up above my …

Wordless Wednesday: Pure Gratitude

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100% of the credit for capturing this moment goes to the gracious, Gwen Bell

When The Universe Is Your Cheerleader, You Can't Ignore It...

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There are pros and cons to celebrating your birthday just two short weeks before one of the biggest gift giving holidays of the season. Con, at some point gifts evolve from birthday presents to Merry Christmas/Happy Birthday presents. Friends and family no longer decide to dig out cute polka dot paper for your gift, they use left over Santa paper. But with age, I've come to accept a December birthday as a blessing.
Why? The blessing of reflection.
I personally recognize birthdays as milestones. With milestones, one has the ability to take a moment to reflect upon the year that has passed. For me, I wondered if I accomplished meaningful things this past year, have I been kind and lived a conscious life? Then on the flip side, when blowing out the candles, hopes and wishes for the year ahead come rushing into my mind. Having a few weeks jump start on the New Year, I can begin working through my goals early, honing in on where to focus my energy come January 1st.
On Saturday, I was g…

It's My Birthday & I Request A Do-Over...

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Saturday I hosted a party, unlike any other party I've ever hosted. Details will be coming soon on my little gathering, trust met it deserves it's own post. I had a wonderful time. I laughed, smiled, and felt overjoyed to be able to hang out with my girlfriends, that have never gathered in one location together. This gathering made me grateful to have so many caring and generous women in my life.

There was even a surprise birthday cake for me, it tasted even better than it looked:
After my gathering and the girls went to sleep, I plopped on the couch and watched a little television. I kept my eye on the clock. It was getting later and later, but I had to make it to the toy store before closing. After some mental coaxing, I made myself presentable and headed out to the toy store. Truly it was the last place I wanted to be, but I needed to get in on the last day of sales they were offering. The toy store was worse than I anticipated, dirty, crushed toys in their boxes, some out of…

A Date, Some Toy Shopping, and Disappointment...

My husband and I had a babysitter last weekend, Woohoo! So we decided to go Christmas shopping, BooHoo! Just kidding. Although things didn't quite turn out as I planned.
I'm over at Rocky Mountain Moms Blog sharing what happened...
Struggling With Not Losing Sight of Principles, When Christmas Shopping

Wordless Wednesday: My Anthropologie Boots One Year Later, oh how I love thee...

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*This post was not sponsored by Anthropologie, but I would be open to any freebies they would like to throw at me. I'll write all day and night for Anthro.

Frozen Windshield Washer Fluid, Really Is a Dilemma...

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Have you ever been overly consumed with something so menial that you actually wrote a blog post about it? I'm sure I have explored menial topics over the past couple of years. But the last few days have been rough because of a little problem I'm having. Okay maybe it's not little, for you see I can't let it go.
Consumed to the next level...
In case you live in a lovely part of the country where it's not freezing out, hello it's currently below ZERO. Unlike typical Colorado weather where it's snowy and cold for a couple of days, maybe three tops, the cold just doesn't seem to be going away. Cold and snow for well over a week now. No warm Colorado sunshine melting the snow, warming the house, warming my spirit. It's fine, I'm not really here to complain about the temperature, I'm here to complain about something much more urgent.

Windshield Washer Fluid

That blue stuff you pick up for a buck at the gas station, it helps keep your windows clean.…

Returning Home, Fingers Crossed...

Finally, it's happening. My husband and I are taking our girls back to upstate New York to visit our families. Our youngest who is about to celebrate her third birthday has never made the trip back. The last time I was upstate she was in my belly. Incredible how the time flies.
Quite honestly during the winter is not my ideal time to visit New York. Summer is my ideal time, but this summer the airplane tickets were astronomical. Like so expensive that I could fly to Europe for cheaper. Random airlines, downturn in economy, jack up prices? We kept our search up, trying to work school schedules and my husband's work schedule, the stars aligned and we found decently priced tickets. Hooray!
We're already planning what we are going to do. We've got catching up to do. Three years is a long time and to think my daughter hasn't met the majority of our family, that's the hard part of living 1,800 miles away. I feel grateful that my parents come to visit about three times…

Hot Bento: Mac N Cheese, Carrot Flowers, Pirate's Booty, & Red Peppers

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This week started slowly. An entire week of break is a transition to bounce back from. Lucky for me, my husband has been packing Sj's lunch each morning. Which means, I don't have photos for posts. I think I need to get him on board, so we can have the "Dad Bento" perspective. He does a great job making a typical lunch and I am grateful for the help when I'm not back into the swing of things.
When I was cutting out the carrot flowers this morning, my daughter mentioned how she loves the creativity I put into her lunches (aka dad's been on duty all week). Really to cut out some flowers isn't very difficult. I will admit using the Japanese cutters I found made a huge difference. The flower cutters went right through the carrots like butter! As always, I put the carrot remains on the girls' plates with their breakfast. The gobbled them up first. Funny to think most people would discard them. To accompany her carrot flowers, I cut up some red peppers. I a…

Bento Less Breaks, Whimsical Muffin Tin Meals At Home!

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During school breaks, like last week, I didn't pack any bentos. Although I do occasionally make lunch or dinner in cupcake/muffin tins for my daughters. It's a refreshing change to see everything in little cups. They are a big fan of it and it makes dinner/lunch just a bit more whimsical for them. In the past I've also used ice cube trays as an alternative, it provides many small options which is perfect for a picky eater. Give muffin tin meals a try at home, surprise your kids. In turn they may just surprise you with their eating!

Wordless Wednesday: Man's Best Friend's Best Friends...

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The Whirlwind Weekend: Girlfriends, Pedicures, Vampires, and Lunch

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The weekend has finally ended. I have to admit, we need more Thursday holidays that are steeped in food traditions and gathering to be thankful. I vote for a quarterly Thanksgiving to keep us all grounded. Really to me the weekend was just epic. I started early in the week with some tea and conversation with a girlfriend in the evening. Sometimes it's nice to slip out of the house and have conversation at a coffee shop. We opted out of the meet for a drink because that's just our personality, we needed to vent, we needed warm drinks to fill us up. The chatting overflowed. Oh and there may have been a peppermint brownie involved. I was also fortunate enough to drag a friend along grocery shopping with me, Wednesday evening. Yes, the night before Thanksgiving someone was dear enough to join me at Whole Foods. Talk about that's what friends are for. She's a keeper.

After a wonderful low key Thanksgiving Day with my family, I snuck off with a girlfriend to see New Moon o…

Load Up The Family, We're Going To Staples!

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Earlier than usual my doorbell rang. The rumble of the delivery truck followed. My girls exclaimed, "a package, a package". We're big fans of early morning deliveries around here, unless it's something work related for my husband. But on this particular morning, an envelope was sitting on the landing of our porch.

The girls were disappointed to see me holding an express envelope. I opened the envelope and found a gift card to Staples.

I was anticipating this gift card to arrive at any time now. I was delighted. I had spent the last week, perusing the website, trying to hone in on what I would buy. After visiting the website a couple of times, I will admit, I was surprised by the selection of electronics and variety of items that Staples carries. Every week Staples offers new deals on their website. Cameras, printers, cell phone accessories, GPS, teaching supplies, computers, art supplies, and of course the essential supplies to keep my home running smoothly.

This …

Giving Thanks...

Colorado pulled out a warm 60 degrees today, a gift to us for Thanksgiving Day. J and I were sitting out back on the patio, watching the girls playing ball, swinging on the swings, and just being kids. Our girls play well together, which we never take for granted. J looks at me and said, "we have a family". It was cute. Sometimes you just have to take a moment and appreciate the wonderful way life unfolds.

When you've spent half of your life with someone, it's easy to just go through the motions.

Today we did the exact opposite. We relished the moments. Even though holidays are an opportunity to be surrounded by friends and family, this year we took a step back. We spent the day together, just the four of us, cooking and hanging out. J is dancing right now with the girls in the living room. If only I could record a moment of the screeching and laughter. Pure joy.

I'm thankful for so many things in my life. I'm thankful for the screeching pouring down the stai…

Wordless Wednesday: Gobble, Gobble...

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Craft idea compliments of Family Fun

Sunshine, A Caterpillar, and A Surprise Ending...

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One unseasonably warm and sunny afternoon, I was earlier than I anticipated to pick up my daughter from school. The commute is a bit of a crap shoot as far as traffic is concerned, so I tend to air on the cautious side. I decided to drive through Eldorado Canyon and take a walk with my youngest daughter, GL. I've been visiting this same trail for over 15 years. It's one of my favorites, a very soft approach, just a small incline, a hand built bridge that crosses a creek, and plenty of trees to provide a bit of reprieve from the sun.
Early afternoon sun is the favorite part of my day, it's the peak of the heat. Especially in October, afternoon sunshine in Colorado is something that just lures you in. The sun's rays whisper to you like a spoon dripping with honey, soak me up.
Vitamin D deficiency, not in Colorado.
As we were heading off towards the bridge, to hang our feet and watch the falling leaves cascade down the creek, I noticed something on the trail out of the co…

Happy Thanksgiving Break...

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Colorado Bento is on holiday! See you next week! Have a Wonderful Holiday!

Where Colorado Locals Go: Craving Authentic Country Style Japanese? Domo Restaurant

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Domo is a little oasis in a sea of random apartment buildings, a pothole filled street, and empty lots. To top it off it sits on a light rail line. There are excessive signs warning to not leave valuables in the car. I glanced over at my husband as we walked hand in hand with our daughters into Domo. I initially thought, interesting pick husband.
The front door is delightful carved wood, it feels out of place from the neighborhood. Just on the other side, an amazing experience awaits. The dining room chairs were all small stools made from tree trunks, little nooks are carved out in the walls to house Japanese items from hair combs to paper umbrellas. A table at the entry way of the dining room holds large chunks of ancient salt. The girls couldn't have been more intrigued waiting for our meal, I was right there with them. My eyes were on a journey to see what else I could discover.
To top off the lunch, just on the other side of a large door sits another gem that Domo offers, a gar…

Notes From A Tall Woman's Bathtub...

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Breaking tradition tonight, I am writing this post from my bathtub. No I don't have a laptop precariously perched on my lap. I have a clipboard, a ball point pen, and some recycled paper precariously perched on the edge of a water disaster. In case you were wondering, yes my tub is also brimming with as-hot-as-I-could-tolerate water and some bubbles. Or maybe lots of bubbles, but not Hollywood bubbles.
Right now I feel a bit like Rev. Run, communicating from my tub at the end of a long day. Except for these few simple facts; I am not a bald man, inspiring the world with quotes from my gorgeous tub in the master suite of my mansion, with some made for tv bubble product that makes bubbles that could rise to the ceiling if need be.
I am using the Body Shop's Spa Wisdom Dreamboat Milk Bath to create my bubbles. It has a wonderful floral fragrance. Years ago I was an At-Home consultant for the Body Shop and I still have random products kicking around. They don't go bad, right?

Wordless Wednesday: I wish I was eating...

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Quick Cinnamon Buns (no yeast required!)

Delight your company, this recipe is easy and fool proof!

1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted to grease pan

CINNAMON SUGAR FILLING: 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted

BISCUIT DOUGH:

2-1/2 cups AP flour, plus flour for work surface
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled ***see note

ICING:

2 tablespoons cream cheese softened
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup confectioners sugar

1. Adjust oven rack to the upper middle position- preheat to 425. Pour 1 tablespoon of melted butter into a 9-inch non stick cake pan, brush to coat pan.

2. For Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
Combine sugars, spices, and salt in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the melted butter and stir with a fork until the mixture resembles wet sand, set aside.

3. For the Biscuit Dough:
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking …

Woah! What Happened Here?

Let me start off with, I've been using the blogger "dots" template since I started this blog. It gets the job done. I don't pull up my blog and think, wow gorgeous, but I am okay with that. I really love to play around with HTML. Right now I don't want to dramatically switch up my blog until I make the switch to my own domain (coming soon, I hope). Thanks to Blogger Tips and Tricks, I tweaked my stock template to a 3 column design. Now while I know it's best to have your posts to the left side for SEO and all that blah, blah, blah, I kept my posts in the middle. It just looked better that way.
One thing at a time really.
Then I had to resize my header, with out it being gargantuan! Which it has been in the past. I am hoping these quick HTML fixes will quell my desire to complete change my domain and blogging platform, until the new year.
Hope you like it!

Jumpstart Escape From Adventure Island Wii Game & Fantastic Giveaway!

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Jumpstart has come out with a new Wii game, called Escape From Adventure Island! I am a huge fan of Jumpstart products. My six year old daughter can manage her way around most Wii games fairly well, but Jumpstart games she can master. Quite often even with some of the games geared for her age, she runs into frustration easily. While realistically many game manufactures may envision parents sitting down and playing the game together with their kids, I like games that my daughter feels comfortable with on her own. Jumpstart Wii games always allow my daughter that independence.

Escape From Adventure Island of course comes with my daughter's two favorite activities, the fashion show and the house design program. As with most games, you can switch up your clothes, skin color, hair, outfits on your self created "Jumpee". With Adventure Island there is actually a fashion show stage! Escape From Adventure Island allows my daughter to learn while playing and I have to admit having…

Great Interview Experiment, Meet Me!

Emma from Where there's a Willer interviewed me. Was it revealing, was it what you already knew? You can find out here! Thanks Emma!

Great Interview Experiment, Meet Motherhood in NYC!

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Thanks to twitter, I have come to know many bloggers I read in a different way. Twitter allows a glimpse into small moments, which one may consider more intimate because an update typically hasn't been mulled over and edited like a regular blog post. Two writers that I really enjoy for their wit and sense of humor on twitter are Neilochka and MarinkaNYC.

Neil who writes, Citizen Of The Month, has created the Great Interview Experiment on his blog and this is my first year participating. Lucky for me, I was given Marinka aka Motherhood in NYC to interview.

Let the interview begin, for the record this is my first blog interview ever. I liked it, in a Chelsea Handler, not Barbara Walters kind of way...

Denise: I personally adore your sense of humor and always find myself laughing when I read your posts. Can you give us insight into how to find the humor in everyday situations?

Marinka: No, I'm sorry, that's a trade secret. But I think what I find humorous is exaggeration. M…

Vlog: Meetups, Blogging Conferences, Yes or No?

Happy 2nd Birthday, Maddie...

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Today is the day, a girl with the cheeriest smile and radiating blue eyes should have celebrated her 2nd birthday.

Today is the day, I will think about Heather and Mike incessantly.

Today is the day Maddie would be two, if she wasn't a star in the night sky watching over her family...

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl.

Please spread your love at Heather and Mike's websites today, they can use some loving. Writing about Maddie today? Please link up with AMomTwoBoys!

Meet Big Green Couch...

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This post is dedicated to my couch, my first real couch, that was purchased from the one and only American Furniture Warehouse. If you live in Colorado, you know AFW very well. If you don't, well just count your blessings. The owner Jake Jabs is a very charismatic man who likes wild animals to accompany him in a stream of never ending television commercials. But back to my couch. It as purchased seven years ago when we moved into our new home, our first home. When we purchased the couch, we went the route of AFW because it was affordable. It took hours to find something that had simple lines and plain fabrics.

Those simple lines in a sea of polyester southwest printed recliner lounging sectionals (as Jake ironically is modeling above), was a breath of fresh air. Heck, we even bought a matching oversized chair and ottoman to go with it. The sky was the limit at AFW. But let me end the wait, I'd like you to meet Big Green Couch.
Big green couch today is the kind that you almost …

Dynasty...

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Here we are yesterday at Warren Miller's Dynasty. The 60th year of ski movie magic.

Looking Back At Our Family Tradition: Warren Miller Style

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When I joke about my husband chasing snow, it's really not a joke. He actually does scour the ends of the earth searching for the best and freshest snow to capture on film, every year. Oh and when I say FILM, I mean real 16MM Kodak Film. He is an integral part of making the annual feature length ski movie for Warren Miller Entertainment. The long and short of it is, he started out as an intern over a decade ago and let's just say he's climbed the ladder over the years. The tradition has always been to have a Friends and Family show at the Boulder Theater on a Saturday afternoon. The friends that have joined us have come and gone, some have stayed, and our family has grown. I always look forward to seeing the familiar faces at the Friends and Family show. To my friends who make it out, thank you it means the world to us.

I was just looking back at the photos and thought I would share. 
Last year 2008, Warren Miller's Children of Winter. This photo was randomly taken by a …