Monday, May 16, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Have a radically awesome weekend!

I am so, SO, soooo happy the weekend is here!  This week dragged on and on for me, phew! I'm looking forward to my BFF/life-partner/husband coming home tomorrow and for our totally awesome pool to open. Must shave legs and catch up on sit-ups! Have a good one! 

Jasmine Tea Cocktail

2 parts vodka, one part chilled jasmine iced tea, 1/2 part simple syrup, squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Shake well with ice. Serve in tall, commanding martini glass. Lay on couch and enjoy cool breeze and afternoon sunshine. Go.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ooohh, pretty...

What a rad ring! I'd love to sport that rock on my hand. People make such cool things; I'm amazed. 

Down time

I'm a bachelorette this week with Ryan being out of town, so each night provides a dose of time alone that I don't often get being a married woman. I notice the amount of time we spend together, since earlier in my twenties I preferred to get quite a lot of time by myself. Whether in college, when I lived with roommates or while traveling, I used to go on long drives home between Seattle and Leavenworth alone, spend hours in coffee shops reading and writing alone, visit gardens and parks or other indulgences or was generally wandering away from the crowd to get some air and space to think and breathe.

Moving to a new place together where we didn't know a soul changed our lives in many ways. The increase of dependence in our relationship manifested itself in a noticeable way: boatloads, lots-a, tons-a time together, which, surprisingly- against all odds- turned out to be a wonderful thing. After three months living together it occurred to me, "Ryan is the only person I hang out with! Whoa." That changed once we got to know some friends and started eating taco's every Tuesday at a local pub, but in general, we ate, breathed, slept and did everything as a couple. And we still do, really.

At this point in our lives, I truly enjoy doing all the little parts of life together. I know that might change, but I think of it as a gift that we can spend this much time together. I love running errands together, him walking to the train station with me as I leave in the morning or picking me up after work, and going to the grocery store together (even though some of our worst fights occur in the aisles, generally due to my wandering and indecisive nature and his lack of patience for said behavior).

So here I am, alone on the sofa in our new apartment with free time and wondering what it was I meant to do then next time I had time alone... Cooking and music are always staples. A few phone calls are in order. A bit of housework... But what else? I feel a part of myself that needs reconnecting to a side that doesn't get much attention these days.

I can't imagine how women with babies find any time for themselves, but I wonder if that's a natural part of life's cycle? Learning to be with and around others. There's surely a balance to all of this, but for now, my quest remains in how to optimize having a little time by myself this week. Is optimize too objective? Perhaps. Maybe I can just be, sit, breathe, and enjoy. That feels optimal.

{photos by Jonathan via all the mountains}

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Springtime Chop Chop

You've heard me mention this before, but I'm enthusiastically recommending to you a copy of Super Natural Every Day. I've been so inspired and pleased to find new, fresh ideas on healthy ingredients, inspired methods and creative touches that feel accesible, flavorful and surprising. While the recipes stand on their own, the the inspiration has been enough to already take basic new ideas and apply them into my own tasty creations.

For dinner tonight, I did such that. Unfortunately, there was no camera handy to capture the results, so I've included the inspiration photo from Heidi's post.

Springtime Chop Chop with White Beans and Poached Egg:

1 can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 small chopped shallot
handful of finely chopped green beans
5 sprigs asparagus cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces
1 big rib (precisely) sliced celery
4 healthy florets of brocoli loosely chopped
Big handful of chopped spinach
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
black pepper
wait for it...
1 beautifully fresh egg, poached

Heat oil, red pepper flakes and salt until nice and warm on medium heat, then add beans. Let cook until beans begin to brown a bit, then add shallots. Stir evenly. Meanwhile, begin heating water for your poached egg (don't forget to add a little vinegar to help it coagulate). Toss all veggies into your pan, except for the spinach, and reduce the heat a little so your veggies don't cook too fast or (God-forbid) overcook; they should remain bright green and a bit crunchy throughout. Stir again to coat all the veg in a little olive oil. Poach the egg while the veggies are lightly cooking and toss in spinach so it cooks for just a few minutes, stir, toss and make sure everything is evenly incorporated.

Serve in a bowl with the egg right on top and garnish with fresh ground black pepper.

Heaven (and plenty of fresh green earth) in a bowl.


I'm loving the breezy, open feel of our new apartment. So far, my favorite thing is to sit on the couch curled up with the soft gray blanket and drink my coffee in the morning sunshine. These crisp spring mornings are the perfect chance to open the windows and let the curtains wisp back and forth in the breeze. The smell of fresh cut grasp wafts through the space. It feels good to call this place home.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Deviled eggs

What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon by yourself than to make an entire plate of deviled eggs?

For this recipe, I tried out an idea inspired from Heidi Swanson's new book where she prepares an egg salad with yogurt instead of mayonnaise. I used a nice mild flavored and thick plain yogurt and a seedy dijon mustard, but a little old fashioned yellow mustard probably could have done this recipe a little good in terms of depth of flavor. Either way, the yogurt was a welcome and healthier option-- one that I would recommend.

I used:

10 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and cut in half with the yolk set aside
5 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
salt, black and white pepper
squeeze of lemon juice
touch of peri-peri seasoning (spicy African spice rub with hot chillies) as a garnish

Combine yolks with the ingredients, smash and whip with a fork, scoop into egg whites and chill before serving. A nice cold deviled egg can't be beat.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Love and miss you! Have a wonderful day today! xo

Friday, May 6, 2011

Stuck on the side of the road (almost)

When we were in South Africa two years ago at this very time in May, we nearly ran out of gas right near this area. Luckily, the children playing soccer in the streets understood the universal term for mobility which we repeated over and over with concerned, questioning faces: petrol? Petrol?  They ushered us to a local man who sold petrol by the plastic litre and poured it into our thirsty, white VW rental car.

What a beautiful place.

{via High Art/Low Life}

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Can't wait for this little thing to come my way! 

P.S. Have you heard of Heartsy? I'm developing a slight addiction to these fabulous (and affordable) handmade deals that pop up everyday. Worth checking out if you love Etsy. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Quinoa Cakes

Anyone who reads food blogs probably has already bought their copy of Heidi Swanson's latest book, Super Natural Every Day. It's a beautifully arranged collection of healthy recipes and gorgeous photos to accompany them.

Sunday we went to an early evening pot-luck, so I wanted to make something hearty yet still small enough to act as finger food. I decided on these tasty pan-friend quinoa cakes. You can find the recipe here or in the book. For a nice dipping sauce, I mixed 1/2 cup plain yogurt with 1 1/2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and a few healthy pinches of red pepper flakes. The brightness of the yogurt and lemon do wonders for the earthy flavor of the quinoa and the spice of the red pepper brought a punch of heat. 

Do you have Heidi's book? I'd love to hear what recipes you've tried out so far. 

Monday, May 2, 2011


Two of these for our new bar area. 

This lovely little blue dittie

For our growing print collection; isn't this image so sweet? :) 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lolipops and berries

No better way to start the week