Showing posts from 2012

¡Panza Llena, Corazón Contento!

Full belly, happy heart.
My favorite restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico is Cafe Pasqual's.  In a rather delightful and spontaneous turn of events, I was able to enjoy one of my last meals of 2012 at Cafe Pasqual's.  Spending any time in Santa Fe will most certainly guarantee a full belly. 
My happy heart has come from lots of leisurely family time, dedicating time to my home, and a birthday/holiday season full of quality time with the people that mean so much to me.
All the best for a wonderful, happy, healthy, well intended, and accomplished New Year.
Bring it 2013...
(brief, but needed update via the iPad)

Fabulously Easy Chocolate Chip Cheesecake (no water bath)

Once upon a time this recipe was one of my favorite standbys for a special dessert occasion. I loved it because it was the only fool proof cheesecake recipe I found, after trying many, that didn't use a water bath. To me a water bath is just another thing for me to mess up. This recipe is so basic, I hope you find yourself turning to it more often than not. Before you know it, your friends and family will be requesting you bring dessert to the next gathering! 
As you will see, this recipe is very basic and simply delightful and a refreshing alternative to a flour based cake. 
Crust: 2 cups chocolate wafers crumbled finely 6 Tbsp butter, melted
Filling: 3 pkgs of cream cheese 3/4 cup confectioners sugar 3 Large eggs 1/3 cup whipping cream 1 Tbsp vanilla 1 cup chocolate chips
Crust Preparation: Combine cookie crumbs and melted butter. Note, my local grocery store does not carry Oreo crumbs, so I buy chocolate wafer cookies and break them up myself. I have used chocolate graham cracker…

Wordless Wednesday: Love


At Six, The World Is Her Oyster

This week G turned six. Six years old looks like two missing front teeth, a Judy Moody chapter book under her arm, matching outfits with her new look alike American Girl, all while balancing on her new 2 wheeled scooter that has light up wheels.

I envision six bursting with even more incredible milestones, as she fully comprehends that sure enough, the world is her oyster.

It's All Good

As I tugged and yanked the slipcover off my favorite white chair, I may have cursed my love hate relationship with it yet one more time. I allowed too much time to pass in between washings and I was appalled with it's current murky condition. As I walked to the laundry room it took a simple fixation on a little blue spot to get a tidal wave of thoughts rolling through my mind.

I'm done settling...

I've settled for a long time with notions such as that's just how things are, it's all too much, that's how he's always been, that's what she's like, and the comfort of there's always tomorrow. I'll start tomorrow or Monday, the inevitable Monday promise that winds up coming and going like there's no tomorrow. Hardy har har. All of those notions? Settling.

As the water rushes from the backside inner lip of the washing machine I snap out of my thoughts. I convince myself the stains will come out, like they always do. I walk out of the laundry ro…

What Is This Wii U Everyone Is Talking About?

There's no doubt in my mind that we look to Nintendo to give us the next generation in gaming technology, but honestly Wii U is beyond what I ever could have imagined.  You really have to see it to believe it, so here's a glimpse of a video that was shot at the Wii U preview event I attended back in August. 

Tuesday Tips: GMO News! Vote With Your Dollars!!!

Let's face it, every dollar you spend is like a vote. When you walk into a market, the way you shop is directly correlated to the products that grocery store stocks on it's shelves. Unfortunately in this day and age, companies have become savvy about their packaging and it's hard to know if you are supporting a small mom and pop company or a global food conglomerate.

This just happened to us tonight, my husband was holding a Dagoba Chocolate bar in his hand. It's got the paper wrapper, it's organic, the labeling is top notch, the cacao is Rainforest Alliance certified and my husband was SHOCKED when I told him it was a Hershey product. Is it really that big of a deal, picking up a candy bar that looks full of integrity, but all profits go to Hershey? Up until last month, I may have given you a different answer, but after the Proposition 37 (right to label GMO initiative) failure in California, I have very small wiggle room in my tolerance for the companies I suppor…

All Roads Point Within

Courage is recognizing one's weakness, but having the confidence to accomplish what you set your mind to. In the past few months I had so many days of facing situations that made me uncomfortable (example, walk in closet) that I finally drew the line. Enough was truly enough. I held onto to a thread of hope, a simple notion of how I wanted my home to feel. Wheels of motion set a plan of action into place and literally within moments I could feel the confidence to keep the momentum going. I'm still working towards creating a space that feels representative of our family, but I am no longer overwhelmed by how much I was disconnected to my space.

Which leads me, to me. 
I took for granted the routines I had set to help keep my body and mind in a good place, a place where I was content. I'm back to a darker place, a place full of negative thoughts, and a place where I am feeling defeated. Which means it is absolutely time to do the work. Time to establish my healthy routines a…

Celebrating 21 Years

Today Josh and I will celebrate 21 years of being together. It's our original anniversary, the anniversary we celebrated for 6 years before getting married. By my calculations it's a celebration of spending 5 years of sleeping together, with an average of 6 hours of sleep per night.  It's a celebration of having the courage to pick up and move across the country, having faith in chasing our dreams, and living that dream in Boulder, Colorado the place we call home. It's a celebration of living together in four apartments, a rental house, and now the second home we own. It's a celebration of two of the best things we created as a part of our commitment to love, our amazing daughters.

It's a celebration of opening a door at a party as a teenager and recognizing something incredibly charming about the young man you just met. It's about friendship first, just the right timing, and resilience, it's about give and take, and picking your battles. It's a ce…

Books To Inspire Home Organization!

Just a few weeks ago, I wrote a post about craving space. Looking back, I consider the place that I was coming from as rock bottom. I felt so incredibly overwhelmed by what I wanted to accomplish in my home, but knew if I just persevered I could indeed create the harmony I was craving.

One truck load, even with the cab full of stuff to a local charity.One huge week of trash pickup, imagine 2 cans full, bags, odds and ends propped up next to the cans. Imagine me hiding behind the curtains to see if they would TAKE IT ALL! One straight week of work.
I've arrived at a place that I feel more at home in. I'm almost there, but need to still take care of some miscellaneous spaces and sell a few high ticket items. We did donate 95% of the stuff we got rid of, but decided it would be worth our time to auction or craigslist items that were in excellent shape and of good value.

My journey was inspired and nurtured by a few books:

It's All Too Much, An Easy Plan For Living A Richer Life…

If You Give Denise a Couch...

If you give Denise a couch,
she may also love a new end table to put her cup of tea on.

When you give her a new end table,
she may realize that her old rug is a bit small for the room.

Before she puts down the gorgeous wool rug,
she imagines how beautiful the hardwood floors would be if they were refinished.

Once the hardwood floors were refinished,
she would need a new fancy steam mop to keep the floors beautiful and shining.

Then she realizes her towels are so old and dirty that she could use them as rags to clean the floor,
after she was done cleaning the floors she would happily put her dirty rags into her new front loading washing machine.

If she uses her towels to make cleaning rags,
she's definitely going to want a set of new matching towels so every shower would feel like a trip to a fancy spa and hotel.

Wanting life to feel like a fancy hotel everyday,
she would love one of those tempurpedic mattresses to lay her head on every night.

In the morning after her wonderful nig…

Craving Space In Our Space! Operation Purge!

Isn't that a coincidence, I was just thinking the same thing.


I don't believe much in coincidence because all too often it's brushed off as a moment of chance. Whereas I firmly believe, there are no coincidences. Our thoughts and ideas attract unto other's and by ways in which we can't quite explain, just by merely opening our eyes to the possibility we recognize less happenstance and more meant to be.

Which leads me directly to a simple moment that has taken me down a path I've avoided for sometime now. A friend and amazing photographer, Tracey, updated on Instagram last week how she was feeling consumed by her clutter, how she felt like she had been there before, but really wanted to escape the cycle. 52 comments later on the photo and it was clear Tracey opened the conversation by saying what so many of us want to say, but all to often refrain from doing. I became a part of the conversation, I wrote down a few book titles, and it was that simple momen…

Four Years Later: Grateful To Be Way Better Off!

Both presidential candidates are frequently throwing out the question to their captive audiences on the campaign trail, asking if we are better off now than we were four years ago? I think it's hard to listen to canned phrases from politicians on the topic, knowing good and well that they are wealthy and aren't really living the typical middle America lifestyle (yes, the President included). Even though I constantly hear about the doom and gloom of our society and economy, I feel so grateful to be able to reflect upon how much better our lives are now than they were just four years ago.

Two years ago, we escaped the suburbs with cash in hand after the sale of our house. I have a couple of friends that are still upside down in the same community on their homes. Granted, we had never taken out second mortgages or home equity lines of credit, so I do think it's fair that we take credit for being so conservative during the time in our first house. One of our neighbors went int…

Let's Hear It For, Date Morning!

Sometimes life gives us a little nudge to seize the moment and when I do, I feel like patting myself on the back. Just a couple of weeks ago, Josh and I recognized that we could have a few hours to ourselves after dropping the girls off at school. While we have great intentions to have a babysitter for a regular date night, we also recognize how much a date night hurts our wallet. The night out is great, but dropping $50-$75 after getting home is the real stinger. Nowadays we tend to reserve babysitters for events, not so much for a casual night out. Double ouch. 
Shall we agree, staying creative is the key to a happy relationship?
I hike with girlfriends or alone through out the week, simply due to when I have the free time. I rarely get to hit the trails with Josh, until our big revelation. With things slowing down a bit at work for Josh, we are loving an occasional weekday morning escape up the mountain and a nice breakfast to finish off the date. I believe it's time for date mo…

Just Americans

Last night we were able to attend a speech by President Obama at CU. I've been fortunate enough to see him speak twice, but felt even luckier to be able to attend as family. It's truly an emotionally charged feeling to observe your children as they watch the President of the United States engage a crowd of 10,000 people. Memories of a lifetime, right there. 
 My nine year old and I both agree that our favorite quote of the evening was, 
"There are no Republicans or Democrats in a crisis, just Americans" - President Obama 

(my iPhone photo on the left, photo on the right by local photographer Teryn)

NaBloPoMo: Blogging For Blogging's Sake

Autumn nesting, turning back into oneself. Reexamining. Staying present in the home, in the heart. Returning to the kitchen, something is always baking, soul nourishing soups and stews. Time to recharge.

Maybe even, it's time to blog again.

I dug up a post from 2009, the last time I attempted NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, and realized I had a very successful 24 posts. I'm impressed with myself, 24 posts in a month, I'm not quite sure if I've written 24 posts in 2012. Alright maybe that's an exaggeration, but truly not much of a stretch. It's time to fight the resistance and embrace this space that I've given so much to.

Long story short, I'm back to try my hand at blogging. I have so much to say, it's time I honor that.

You can find the NaBloPoMo Blogroll hosted over at Blogher now. I guess NaBloPoMo has grown up since I last participated. 

Growing Into My Skin

I walk past most slip on bracelets for my hands are too big for them to slip over. About 1 out of every 15 name emblazoned trinket never has the name, Denise. I always scan the perfectly lined up shoes or boots at the store, only stopping for flats. I take in the trends and at 5'11" have to pass on anything over than a short heel.

Glimpse of Pairs

The last few days have spilled into the night and even into the wee morning hours. There's been thermometers and charts of medicine dosages, times, and a well documented ebb and flow of body temperature, nasal sprays, inhalers, meds twice a day, every 4-6 hours, every 6-8 hours, grab a wash cloth for it's sinus rinse time. My girl has finally learned to take pills like an adult instead of drink mass quantities of liquid medicine. It doesn't sound so bad, but it's tiring. The reality is there have been lots of spikes and anxiety and no rest. 
But tonight I had this very simple moment to relax. 
I was walking down the hall when I was drawn to the picture window. I pulled the curtains back to see if my car windows were rolled up, but the silence just drew me in. I saw two still swings highlighted by the gentlest of moonlight, one scooter dumped by the curb and a second properly stowed on the porch, a single hula hoop, two soccer balls, and one soccer goal. My cozy vantage…

Well Rounded Snack Bento

Today for snack my Kindie got some red seedless grapes, a pack of roasted seaweed, and some cashews. This size snack seems to be just perfect for her! 

Peanut Butter + Jelly Mix up

When I packed the peanut butter and jelly laptop lunch yesterday, it was on a day when I also pack a lunch for my youngest. I don't create identical lunches. I have many items out for snacks and lunch packing, so I switch things up. This one isn't too different, it has a pear instead of strawberries or raspberries, and no cheddar bunnies! 
Do you pack identical lunches if you are packing more than one?

Blueberries, tomatoes, peanut butter and jelly, italian cookie, pear, and frozen peas (I did heat them up)!

Yes, I Pack Peanut Butter + Jelly

Yes, I know I pride myself on sandwich alternatives, but hey we all have those mornings! I try desperately to balance out a sandwich with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. I think I accomplished that this morning. 

Peanut butter and jelly on multigrain bread, cheddar bunnies, tomato, frozen peas to add some green to the mix, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. Italian cookie for a special treat. I don't pack a treat everyday, but on occasion I think it's just fine. When my girls start to expect a treat, I know that's a good time to take a break from it.

Shit GMO Companies Say


Sandwich Alternatives: Frozen Burrito Bento

I rarely purchase frozen burritos, but a great sale at the market on Evol Burritos (locally produced) caught my eye. I picked up a few as a sandwich alternative and because they are super filling! My 8 year old was so happy with this bento! 
The only downside of the frozen burrito is that we don't own a microwave. It takes a good 30 minutes to heat it up in the oven (and 1 minute in the microwave). One option I am going to try is to pull it out the night before and put it in the refrigerator, so it's not frozen solid in the morning.
This bento is new to us, it's a Zojirushi Stainless Steel Lunch Jar, which is insulated (as well as the bag that came with it) to keep the hot part hot and the cold fruit cold. Win, win, we love it! 

Grapes, yellow watermelon, organic corn chips, bean, cheese, and rice EVOL burrito.

Nut Free Snack Bento

Prepackaged snack foods are the main go to for the majority of us in the morning lunch packing rush. I find it just as easy to pull out a few extra items and just pack a waste free bento instead. I am packing 2 snacks every day and 3 snacks twice a week. 
My girls have great appetites, so packing something like an applesauce pouch or granola bar doesn't quite cut it for them. 34 Degree Crisps (a local Boulder company), cheddar cheese, and a pear sliced made for a sophisticated, but very easy snack for my girl today! 

Panda Bento + Left Over Chicken Tenders!

I'm a huge fan of using leftovers as part of lunch packing, especially if it's something I know the girls will be excited to have. Leftovers equals a sandwich alternative. Of course sandwiches are an obvious go to staple lunch item, but options are a plus to keep things fresh. 
My kindergartner had a leftover hand made chicken tender from her special dinner out the night before her Nana and Papa went home to New York. I heated the chicken in our toaster oven, chopped it up, and placed it in our thermal container. GL did report the chicken was still warm by the time she had lunch. Everything else was cold, so those items were packed in panda. 
This bento came home completely empty:

Chicken tender in a thermal container. Panda Bento had broccoli (also left over), peas, joyful rabbit contained honey mustard, crackers, strawberries, and grapes!

Colorado Bento is Back To School! Nana is in Town, Meatball Sandwich Bento

While school started a few weeks ago in Colorado, lunch making duty has been in Josh's hands. Today he's off on a trip, so it was time to brush off my bento making skills and prepare two lunches this morning. Miss Sj requested a meatball sandwich in her lunch, I happily obliged. As  you will see below I put a piece of cheese in between the bread and meatball to create a barrier to prevent the bread from getting soggy. 

I loaded up her lunch with plenty of other fresh fruits and vegetables. We also are packing individual snacks for the girls this year, so I'm saving their snacks for a separate post. I'm always in search of snack ideas, so I hope to grow the snack label on Colorado Bento!

Meatball sandwich, left over meatball tucked in the same compartment, red peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries on a little pick, cheddar bunnies, Mi-Del graham crackers, and an Italian Cookie (second hint Nana is in town from NY).

the Bentos Are Back

I've dusted off Colorado Bento, come check out what I'm packing the girls for school these days.

Back to School: Learning How To Be Alone

The feeling is odd. Being alone. I'm learning how to be alone again. I've spent the last nine years with a little one by my side for the majority of my days and now I find myself with longer stretches of alone time. I've already caught myself on the escape with hikes, coffee, and lunch out with friends.

But today I've forced myself to stay home, well after a hike. 

The dishwasher is running and I've created a to do list. I feel anxious to find the balance of this new time to myself without running away from what I have. With nothing but good intentions, I am focusing on being present. I didn't realize this wouldn't come so naturally to me. Time to do the work, embrace this next phase, and understand the emptiness I feel will allow me to be more present when my side kicks are back home.

My Mother Of The Year Trophy In NEON PINK!

The tears were rolling down her face in the moment she had gotten hurt, which was definitely out of character for my tough girl. A ball bent her pinky back in a game of dodgeball. I got some ice for her and we set off for lunch. There wasn't much swelling when we got home and I didn't even offer her an ibuprofen. I went through a laundry list of questions I thought would help me indicate if there was really something wrong with her finger, which I anticipated was sprained. The pain wasn't bad, she could bend it, but 6 hours later it did look swollen. When she flipped her palm up, I could see bruising on her finger. I decided to call the nurse line and she felt like Sj should be checked out within 24 hours.

I immediately gave her ibuprofen and sent Josh off with Sj to get an Xray at Urgent Care, rather than wait for our Pediatrician in the morning. The text I received shortly there after, fractured pinky. My girl came home cheery as usual with a silver splint on her finger …

Is Switching Schools A Good Thing? A Fourth Grade Story.

Today was a first, something happened I never would've anticipated just a few short years ago. My daughter started at a new school, leaving behind a school we had become very comfortable with the last three years. Sj bounced around to different preschools every year through Kindergarten and when we received a first grade spot in our former school, I always imagined she would stay there through fifth grade. That was it for me, finally we had our spot, and we were happy there!

Now I have to confess, switching schools makes me uncomfortable, it makes me worrisome. I'm a product of never having to switch schools, my parents still live in the house I grew up in. Maybe I credit my success in life to consistency. I truly don't think there's a right way, but one could easily misconstrue being consistent with also being stagnant, which I am really not a fan of. Anyway, I threw all my hesitations into the wind and decided to place the girls into a new school this year. While the…

it's been FIVE YEARS and it's better with you here

Over the course of the past five years at Eat Play Love, thousands of words have told my stories, some significant to the bigger context of my life and some rather simple and lighthearted. Sometimes the words just spilled out serendipitously onto the page providing space from my thoughts and other times my intentions were wrought with countless edits. While idyllic notions and noble attempts have waxed and waned over the years, Eat Play Love has remained my constant. My tiny corner of the web, the place where I've allowed myself the approval to be simply who I am. There's never been an act or a show, nor fabrication to create something more than which rings true.

Five years of authenticity and I know myself better. You know me better. Thanks for tagging along on this journey through life, it's better with you here.

A Train Ride Along The Hudson River

Steps after entering the train car, I quickly observed a seat that would allow me the most pleasurable ride to my final stop, Penn Station. Heading south along the Hudson River, I knew I had to sit along the right side of the train, intentionally placed in a row between a few business men defaulting to more time for work. I wasn't interested in conversation or even overhearing small talk, I just wanted to take the time to enjoy some peace and quiet I was in search of. I didn't even have my my music playing or my book open on my iPad, when the train started to rhythmically clank and then gently hum over the tracks.

My eyes gazed out over the water, passing through wooded areas, small towns, the occasional stone castle perched upon a hillside starkly contrasting abandoned buildings full of teenage boy's graffiti. I seized the moment many times to take photos to remind me of the journey, little mementos of a feeling that is hard to achieve in the desert of Colorado. The con…

Life Still Has Firsts

Remarkably for one of the first times in my life, I walked away. I can't quite grasp if I was so incredibly exposed, fragile, and vulnerable so I put up walls greater than the Chinese or that I just couldn't handle the emotional state I was experiencing. I've always believed that engaging in conversation that typically escalates to something more than conversation is the best way to go. Get it out, let the words that need to be spoken go, and be done with it. I have a hard time holding things in. I don't stew well. I don't always run with initial emotions, but within a day or two, I typically need resolve.

But not this time, this time I walked. It's good to know I can be grounded in moments that encapsulate for the first time in my life. It seems like I've been craving those more and more these days.

A Slice of Americana, YMCA of The Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado

As I see it, Americana represents the fabric of our cultural heritage. Camping in the summer is one of those cherished slices of Americana, just as sweet as a homemade apple pie. I have very distinct memories of a camping trip I went on one summer as a child with my neighbors. There was bingo, camp fires, getting all sorts of dirty, exploring trails, and a tire swing over a lake.

In June I was invited to explore the YMCA of The Rockies in Estes Park for a few days with a fabulous group of local bloggers, which I luckily also consider to be some dear friends. There was no way we would pass up such an opportunity! Typically we camp a couple of times over the summer, but it's usually in camping areas with no amenities, just back country style. My husband has a degree in Wilderness Recreation Leadership so he really enjoys all the work that goes into planning and experiencing a more back country camping experience. 
We agreed it would be a fun and new experience to visit a place like …

The Adventure: 3 Weeks In New York...

I can clearly remember back to the moment when I was on the final purchase page for our tickets to New York, I pulled up the calendar at the same time and was double checking my days, I sensed a few moments of hesitation. I methodically clicked back and forth, wondering if I was really going to go through with it. Our trip would be three weeks long, with J joining us on the front end for the first 6 days, and I would be solo with the girls for the last two weeks.

I joked with my parents, I am really doing this, say the word if you think it's too long. No, no, of course not too long, we can't wait to have you and the girls! Just do it!

The reality is, we hadn't been back to my home town in two and a half years, and the girls were begging me to go. I started making a list of all the things I wanted to do with them and three weeks didn't seem like a stretch. Granted I knew there would be moments that wouldn't be all happy, happy, joy, joy, but I hit purchase anyway. G…

The Room You Booked Isn't Available...

Finally after navigating the streets of New York City with 4 rolling suitcases, we arrived at our hotel. I faintly heard the hotel receptionist tell my husband that the room we had booked was no longer available. Then I heard the words, suite and 31st Floor...

This was the view from our room, on the top floor of the hotel, on the same block as the Empire State Building! We were so close, I couldn't even fit the entire building in my camera to get a shot. Wow! What a way to start our stay in New York.

Surreal Moment

When you look at a map being played over and over again on the news and realize, your house is in the middle of a preliminary evacuation zone, that's surreal. Tomorrow shall give some insight as to how the Flagstaff Fire is going to go, grow or containment. My thoughts are focused on containment, as I watch micro fires cresting a ridge just miles from my house.

Quickly I look around and stuff becomes stuff, my energy is focused on my family's safety.

Subjected To Interpretation

Yesterday I spent the morning in the hot sun, digging in the dirt, planting seeds, and putting the final finishing touches on my garden. I was literally covered in a thin layer of dirt from my left cheek bone, to the underside of my forearms, dirt was caked under my fingernails, on my knees, and down to the skin in between my toes. After getting out of the shower I slipped on an army green linen dress I picked up years ago in Venice, Italy. The dress flows and is airy, perfect for a hot afternoon after a morning of garden laboring. 
I sat down on my favorite chair in the living room, iphone in hand, opening Instagram simultaneously. The linen dress I was wearing is very long and I've gotten into the habit over the years of pulling it up before I sit down so it doesn't tug and pull at the delicate linen fibers. The camera was open and snapped a shot of my legs freshly propped up on the coffee table. Normally I delete those unintended photos, but today I liked the way the light…

Bucking The Food In Pouch Trend! Applesauce In A Bowl? SAY WHAT?

We were casually strolling the aisle of our local warehouse store today, even though we had all we could do to navigate around the other sample obsessed shoppers, when my girls caught glimpse of the organic applesauce on the go pouches. Comparing to retail prices for the same pouches, it is a deal at around .50 cents a pouch, but today I put my foot down. I feel like those pouches are such a waste, as far as I know they can't be recycled. Yet more plastic straight to the landfill.

Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely enjoy the convenience of them for on the go, but I have found my girls eat them mainly at home. I find little yellow caps poking into my bottom when I sit down on the couch. Little flattened pouches find their way into the most precarious spots and by that I do not mean the trash can!

Today, I opted to purchase a 4 pack of jarred organic applesauce instead. Price per ounce doesn't even compare it's so much cheaper, plus there's only 4 jars to recycle,…

Unexpected News Of The Best Kind!

A week ago we received a simple email that provided a rush of emotions and some mixed feelings, coupled with excitement. Sj had been offered a spot next year in a school that I tried to get her into for two years with no success . It's not just any school, it's one where I started out my teaching career, and one I've remained connected to for 17 years. This school will afford my girls the opportunity to spend the next 5 years together, that prospect alone is incredibly thrilling to me!

While our decision wasn't just simply made, we had many thorough conversations about what ultimately was best for Sj. She's embracing moving on from her school, not with out lack of hesitation, but feels excited by the new opportunity and change. She's made incredible strides in her emotional maturity in the last year and I really feel like she's ready to take on a change of school.

Since making our decision, with both girls moving to the same school next year, I've had s…

Giddy About Motherhood

From the whispers that started between my girls on Saturday afternoon, straight through bedtime on Sunday, the anticipation and excitement my girls felt just naturally energized Mother's Day. As for Sunday itself, there were countless moments through out the day when I just sat back and felt giddy. 
Giddy about motherhood.
My path to motherhood came unexpectedly on one hand, but with perfect timing on the other. I was ready to be a mom. My decision came with sacrifices such as my teaching career (which I consider to be on hold) and many things that were a habitual part of my life were pushed aside. As you would imagine, many of life's luxuries began to fade into the background when going from two incomes to one, one child to two. I sort of chuckle sitting back thinking about creating a list of "sacrifices", what I traded in for motherhood, but in reality those things are all a drop in the bucket in comparison to the fulfillment that my daughters have brought into my …

Eat Play Love Has Arrived...

Nothing quite solidifies the fact that one has truly arrived more than encountering a mug in a retail establishment, with their online identity emblazoned on it. Now mind you, this gorgeous hand made in China mug, was found at Home Goods. The words Eat Play Love are emblazoned on not one, but two sides and it serves about 40oz (I'm not kidding). Talk about boutique quality.

I snapped up both available mugs. I sent one off to my inaugural fan club member. I may have also requested that my inaugural fan club member take over as President, due to the sheer and overwhelming response for membership in said fan club. I mean, I am like blogging royalty now aren't I? My own mug, cast off at a unique and affordable Home Goods store?!

Bring it universe, I'm owning you.


Tuesday Tips: GMO's, Are We Being Scammed? Let Me Choose. [video]


Wordless Wednesday: When Life Gives You A Pope, Confess


Tuesday Tips: Budget Bathroom Organization! Find What You Need In A Snap.

Our home was built in 1962, we have one large cabinet for storage in our bathroom that is separated into a top and bottom. On the bottom we store our towels and in the top we store all of our toiletries, medicines, and related products. The cabinet is not deep enough to fit a shoe box size storage container, so for the past year I had a very disorganized cabinet. I had a couple of rubbermaid containers sideways, trying to organize all of our go to products from nail clippers to neosporin and it was a disaster. I was getting so frustrated every time I needed an item and had to spend 5-10 minutes digging around these bins or on the shelf sitting out loose.

I finally had enough! I knew there had to be a better way.

It dawned on me that I could use food storage containers to help me organize the bathroom cabinet. Plus, it helped me break down the supplies into smaller easy to find categories! I made a minor investment at our local $1 Store, I didn't feel like I needed name brand conta…

Waiting For President Obama

Word broke late Friday afternoon that President Obama would be speaking at CU Boulder and immediately I knew I had to be there. The President of The United States, in my town, at my alma mater? My enthusiasm waxed and waned as rumors of the student ticket lines were deep into the thousands, I assumed there wouldn't be many tickets left for the general public. 
The big question Monday morning was, did I want to wait and try to get tickets? I sent my husband by the ticket line on his bicycle commute to work to see how it looked. At 8:45 in the morning, the line wasn't bad at all, so I decided I'd give it a shot. 

When I arrived around 9:30 am, I was around the 100th person in line with an estimated 1500 tickets available, so I was guaranteed a ticket. Luckily I was waiting in the shade and was sitting around some pretty friendly people. The time passed fast, before I knew it I had these in my hand:

The tickets were handed out in a pretty straight forward fashion, one ticket…

And Then There Were Two... Ballerinas In The Family.

Somewhere in this group of precious ballerinas, is my girl. She was beyond thrilled to finally be performing on stage in front of an audience. Watching her makes me smile.

Kindergarten At 4, A Celebration Story!

Kindergarten can be one of the most stressful decisions a family is thrust into making, typically complete with much internal dialogue, tons of reading, and plenty of advice seeking. Is my daughter or son ready, should I hold them back, she's not emotionally there, will they get picked on, are they mature enough, I don't want them to be the last one driving, he'll be bigger for football, she doesn't quite seem ready. Those are all other's words. Words I've read, words that have come up in countless discussions. There is no formula, age cut off, or magical red shirting to give a child the perfect school experience. We simply have to give a look at the whole child and make a decision and watch how the path leads from there.

Being an elementary school teacher and working right up until giving birth in September, Kindergarten cut off dates were at the forefront of my mind. While I thought a third week of September due date was enough of a cushion to not have to wor…

Wordless Wednesday: In Case You've Never Been Spring Skiing In Colorado...

Here's what you are missing...

Tuesday Tips: Say Goodbye To Toxic Sugar? [w/ videos]

The studies are in, sugar is toxic to our bodies. Every little sweet nibble sending our taste buds into overdrive and our dopamine levels through the roof, is bad for us. Bad, bad, bad. While I hate to be the bearer of bad news, this can't actually come as a surprise, right? Deep down, we already knew this.

I know how my body feels when I consume higher levels of sugar than normal, it feels like crap. After the sugar rush is over, my body feels depleted and weak, most of the time I want to take a nap post-sugar crash. When I detoxed off of sugar in January, I honestly felt like I was detoxing off of a hard illegal substance. I was irritable. I spent one night from 5 in the afternoon until the morning with a pillow over my head, I was miserable, sensitive to noise, achy, and overwhelmed by a dull malaise. But when that detox phase was over and I was eating a diet free of processed sugars, I felt incredible.

With the new studies confirming what my gut instinct may have already told …