Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Whole Foods Market's Healthy Trends For 2016

Whole Foods Market has identified Healthy Trends for 2016 which ranges from exploring seasonal produce (think of all the varieties of apples or even sweet potatoes), biodynamic farming which is a holistic approach to organic farming, plant based desserts and unexpected foods, like yogurt! Meat trends including antibiotic free animal farming which WFM has championed since the 80's, meat with less processing and additives, and higher protein snack bars that incorporate animal protein into them (I am a huge EPIC bar fan).

My favorite trend that Whole Foods named for 2016 is the culture craze, fermented foods and probiotics! We love probiotics in our house and look for alternative ways to keep them on our plate without the default yogurt. Having a few local companies that produce cultured foods such as sauerkraut and beets make my job much easier. Remember they are living foods, so be sure to keep them refrigerated! If you haven't tried them yet, I highly recommend them. Just look at the beautiful variety below:


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Disclaimer, I was compensated by Whole Foods Market as a WFM Ambassador for this post! Content including photos is purely at my discretion. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Joy of December 26th

A pattern has officially developed during the year's end and the start of the new year. Everything ramps up to Christmas, a flurry of overbooked activity to accompany my general grumpiness, and then come December 26th the dust settles and zen sets in. It's in the zen I find us submersed in family time, home cooked meals and baking constantly coming from our kitchen, board games earning their rotation, and extra time spent at home just hanging out. For me, I start reading voraciously, having completed a 454 page book in a day, pulling out my sketchbook, mending some items, deep cleaning, and being inspired. I also wanted to pull out my knitting bin and see what project I can whip up. I want to keep on taking to the trails even in the cold wind and snow, considering it's not going to be tank top weather for months. The last week of break has become one of my favorite weeks of the year. I've been thinking of ways to draw out my renewed sense of self because I really don't want it to end. So this post is my little commitment to keep it going, to not let the hustle and bustle of ballet rehearsal, gymnastics, orchestra, work, and school gobble up what feeds me and makes me content. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh...

We are recovering from the whirlwind that is known as The Nutcracker. Both girls were cast in this year's performance (yeah, throw confetti), but with that comes some give and take. Every year I have this romantic notion of securing a Forest Service Permit to go hike into the woods and chop down a tree. I imagine us taking hours to find the most lovely imperfect tree to grace our house.

But the reality is, we were picking up dinner at our neighborhood Whole Foods Market, and boom there were trees. The girls had ballet buns in their hair and leotards under their down jackets, when we said, sure pick one out! Squees followed when we said yes. Before we knew it, we had chosen a Nordman Fir and up on our car it went! This year, I've decided after we get the lights put on, the girls will carry on the tradition of placing the ornaments. Win, win.

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Disclaimer, I was compensated by Whole Foods Market as a WFM Ambassador for this post! Content including photos is purely at my discretion. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Place I Live

There is snow on the ground and a blustery wind fills the air. The weather change seems sudden and hard, but I know a few days of sunshine will be warming things up (or so I keep telling myself). The wintery conditions don't bother me. I am well equipped with warm base layers, scarves, wool sweaters, fleece lined hats, knee high socks, and the appropriate climate to be rocking Ugg boots. Because somedays on my drive to work (I see this, below) and feel so fortunate I live in such a beautiful place.


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and that concludes 30 days of NaBloPoMo, thank you for joining me and allowing me to fill up your inbox this month. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

I Don't Buy Magazines

I no longer buy magazines. Wait, wait, wait, it's probably more realistic to claim I rarely buy magazines. On a road trip, I adore thumbing through the glossy pages with short articles to keep my attention. While waiting in line at the market I'll pick up a magazine and peruse it, but I never follow through with the purchase. Magazines are instant and disposable entertainment so in a way they don't really fit with my lifestyle. 

But then this happened…


…and yes I bought it and will cherish looking at it for years to come. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Finally, The Nutcracker Performance!

Finally our moment arrived to be an audience member for the Nutcracker performance. No more peeks at dress rehearsal, this was the real deal. There were 4 shows this weekend and I just couldn't wait to be seated, listening to the Boulder Philharmonic live, and witnessing the payoff of the countless hours of hard work the dancers have put into the production. Sitting there in Macky Auditorium, I was filled with a profound joy. A joy where your eyes well with tears and your cheeks hurt from smiling so much. After the show, all I could do was wrap my arms around my dancers and look them in the eyes and tell them how proud they made me. What a gift.



Friday, November 27, 2015

Holiday Time Savers


On Wednesday afternoon we realized we needed to start making the pies, as making them on Thursday just wasn't realistic (mainly due to oven space). All of us were feeling lackadaisical about making the crust, so we decided to pop by Whole Foods Market and pick up our favorite ready-to-bake pie crust. What a savior, we still made the filling from scratch for our chocolate cream and pumpkin pies, but the ready made crust worked perfectly! The crust is so good it made us realize that sometimes time savers are the way to go.

Here are some other holiday time savers from Whole Foods Market:

· Mirepoix & Pre-Cut Squash and Garlic – Mirepoix is the perfect “grab and go” item for your Crock Pot. And pre-cut squash and garlic will save you precious minuets of prep time in the kitchen

· Stuffing Bags – made-in-house stuffing bags from our bakery give you the taste of homemade stuffing without the time commitment.

· Frozen Rice in a Bag – makes rice cooking easy and worry-free, especially if you don’t have a rice cooker

· Frozen Rolls – fresh from the bakery department and frozen, so you can break these out and throw them in the oven when the dinner menu calls for rolls!

· Stuffed Cornish Game Hens – not only is all the work already done for you, but these hens are a wonderful alternative to turkey or ham for your holiday table

· Pre-made Appetizers – a wide variety of appetizers that are already plated and ready to serve can make attending a party while bringing something to share both easy and delicious

· Cocktail Shrimp Platters – again, ready to serve and be enjoyed!

Mmm…pie
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Disclaimer, I was compensated by Whole Foods Market as a WFM Ambassador for this post! Content including photos is purely at my discretion. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Plentiful

Thanksgiving Day is definitely my favorite holiday, a day in the kitchen, surrounded by family and friends. My parents are in town, so the kitchen tasks were split out between the adults with help from the girls. The day seemed to be remarkably mellow and the food was plentiful. I think the cold and snow added to the feeling of the day, it just seemed perfect to be lounging around and celebrating the day off from ballet.


J basting the glorious bird! 



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My Garnet Hill Inspired Bargain Sweater

Whenever the Garnet Hill catalog arrives in my mailbox, its glossy cover is met with both delight and disappointment. Delight for all the lovely items they carry and disappointment that I cannot order everything my heart desires. Of course with the change of weather, comes my deliberate combing over of their sweaters. Garnet Hill is most known for their cashmere and it's dreamy. I found a sweater I really wanted, a cashmere cape priced at $198. There's a 25% off sale right now, so I did the math and $148.50 did not sound as ridiculous at $198, but still I couldn't justify it (maybe for my birthday). The catalog sat for at least a week and a half open to the sweater page, so I could longingly stare at it daily. Here it is:


Now, for the exciting part…

Today I was out shopping with my girls and mom. I wasn't even on the look out for a sweater, but a camel colored turtleneck sweater caught my eye on a round of brightly colored sweaters. I picked it up and gasped! It totally reminded me of the Garnet Hill cape. Now, the sweater was not cashmere (boo), but it was $19.99. I immediately slipped it on and fell for it. And with a savings of $178, there is no way I could pass it up. It came home with me and I haven't taken it off yet.


ps….I need better lighting to compete with that gorgeous Garnet Hill model.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Nutcracker, Oh Nutcracker

We are deep in the throws of being a Nutcracker family, both girls were cast this year which means it's a complete team effort. Drop off, pick ups, changing rehearsal times, make up, sewing new elastic into ballet shoes, is it the performance space, studio, or auditorium, and let's not forget the bobby pins for one low bun and one high bun. The bobby pins seem to be found in the most random places and never where we need them when it's go time! The girls have been amazing through this and I have bitten my tongue on many occasions trying to keep it all together. I dare not complain, as we chose this and I feel so fortunate to have both girls performing. I've watched them grow as dancers and love the bonding between my girls and their fellow dancers that has occur over the past couple of months. The question is, will I encourage them to try out next year? My answer will always remain the same, I will support them through whatever they want to pursue!



Monday, November 23, 2015

En Pointe


On most ballet class days, I drop off and J picks up, and I rarely make it inside the studio to watch the girls. This weekend J was out of town, so I was on drop off and pick up duty. Although we typically agree to meet outside for a swift pickup, I decided to drop into the studio to see if the door to class was open today. I caught a glimpse of my girl dancing en pointe. It's hard to believe she's arrived at this moment, it feels surreal. What I captured is a culmination of her determination and hard work (and drive to work through the pain of learning Pointe). I couldn't be prouder. Pass the tissues.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015

One Dozen Donuts

Top down:
chocolate glaze/w sprinkles, cake w/chocolate glaze, pumpkin
bavarian cream, chocolate kreme filled, pumpkin
bavarian cream, old fashioned, coconut
bavarian cream, old fashioned, cake w/chocolate glaze
                 











Friday, November 20, 2015

There Goes Another One

Brands are bought and sold all the time. It always breaks my heart when a fabulous brand gets snatched up by a conglomerate. Although the public is always told nothing is going to change, I have never seen that happen. Plus, when you believe in supporting small companies over large corporations, it's hard to forget who the parent company is. To my dismay, Intelligentsia Coffee Company was purchased by Peets. It felt disappointing, but not as disappointing as seeing your favorite red bags on the shelf in Target.

Goodbye Intelligentsia…