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!

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


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…

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hilarious Entertainment For Kids, Bean Boozled!

After the Warren Miller Movie we went out to dinner with a large group of friends. We were hanging out talking when the kids asked if they could go next door to the candy shop. My girls came back begging for Bean Boozled, so I agreed to buy a package (large box with spinner was $8). I can't believe how much entertainment came from a package of jelly beans, it bought the adults another 45 minutes of catching up. The premise of Bean Boozled is you spin and then you have to eat the color jelly bean you landed on, the only caveat is the color could be a great fun flavor or a disaster gross flavor! The kids had patrons of the restaurant stopping by the table to watch them take a spin! We even convinced two super cool Boulder Police Officers to play along when we were waiting for our vehicle that was right in the middle of a bomb squad call. If you are looking for cheap entertainment for a group of kids, I definitely recommend Bean Boozled!


this is NOT A SPONSORED POST! just simply sharing a fun time that was had by all! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

She May Not Have The Ocean, But She Has The Sky

She set up her camp chair in the front yard, just on the edge of the shade, so her body would stay cool under nature's umbrella and her legs could effortlessly dangle in the full sunshine. Her feet slipped out of her squishy soled flip flops, her toenails recently painted a shade of coral, which started to chip in a way that makes her familiar. She's always been complimented by her imperfections. Her book came to rest on her right thigh, but there's something about sitting outside that doesn't make it conducive for her to read. Her eyes wander noticing the shape shifting clouds, comparing how the sky is pale blue off to the east, but just above her head it's a turquoise that would give the Pacific a run for it's money. She may not have the ocean, but she has the sky. The tips of the branches sway slightly, the leaves whisper and she longs to understand their language.

free write, just sit and fill up the screen, sometimes it goes a little like this.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Oh What A Night!

Tonight I was invited to a free preview screening of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, which releases on Friday November 20th. Typically, I would decline a midweek drive to Denver to preview a movie, but I knew my girl would go absolutely crazy if I took her. I need to note, she's only been talking about the release of this movie for about 6 months. In the past few weeks, we've been getting the daily, I'm so excited Mockingjay Part 2 is coming out in 18 days, 12 days, oh my goodness, it's THIS FRIDAY.

I accepted the offer to attend and kept it a total surprise. On our drive down to Denver, I made up some story about a blogging event, and she was asking if some of our blogworld friends would be there. I played along right up until the moment we entered the theater. She could not believe it, her excitement was met with some anticipation and sadness because the moment had arrived that the trilogy would be over. There were parts of the movie I would cover my eyes, she definitely got a big kick out of my response. I also predicted the ending and I have not read the books yet (I think I have to now). It was a definitely a moment to remember, mainly because I know how much it meant to her to see the movie before it was released. We spent the entire car ride home breaking down the movie, she's already counting the days before she sees it again! I'm going to have to end with, two thumbs up.

Disclaimer, I was given free tickets to attend the preview screening. I was not asked to post about the movie and as you can see, this is not a review. I just wanted to relish the moment with my girl. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Gymastics Is Not A Sport Of My People

Sometimes I have the funniest timed epiphanies. I was standing at gymnastics pickup, looking down at the grey speckled wall to wall carpet, avoiding a myriad of rambunctious toddlers, when I noticed a mom walk by with a pair of socks on I own. I'm sure you're thinking, so what's the big coincidence? There must be dozens of moms in Boulder own wool socks from Costco. What stood out about these socks, was that they went almost to her knee!!! They were peaking out of the top of her boot that went above the mid calf line. Woah. They are crew socks and this woman was so tiny, the sock went so far up on her leg. I'm not joking the socks are basically ankle socks for me. It made me feel tall and long, mainly because I am, but it was like WOW YOU ARE TALL. All that from a simple pair of socks.

Then, not even 5 minutes later a mom stands right next to me wearing a sweater I own from Anthro. At first I thought to myself, my that's a cute sweater, and then I realized hey I own that sweater! So what's the big deal about the sweater? Well, it went down past her butt. I swear, it barely hits the top of my jean pockets. Apparently she has a short torso and I have a oddly long torso because the same sweater looks dramatically different on me. And then I thought…Wow you really are tall, tall, tall, Denise.

Next week I am swooping in moments before gymnastics lets out, so I can feel normal and not compare myself to all the Mary Lou Retton sized moms. I mean seriously, what in the world is my tall child doing pursuing gymnastics, this is not a sport of my people.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Winter Starts Now

Another year, another movie. If we measured time by Warren Miller movies, 50 was the first one J worked on. This year, Chasing Shadows was the 66th film, so that puts about 16 movies in the can for J. In the can is old school lingo for a film ready to be released. I've decided I'm going to print up all of our family photos in front of the Boulder Theater marquis and frame them together, as a fun way to watch the girls growing up. It's such a wonderful tradition bringing friends together, watching the crowd get excited for the ski season that's upon us, so much excitement is always in the air at a Warren Miller Show! 

As the old saying goes, winter starts now...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Her Web Is Glorious And It Sparkles When The Sunshine Hits It Just Right (see also, this post is about Loss)

Some very sad news arrived in my inbox tonight. I sat with my laptop screen open as the tears rolled down my face, I read the words over and over again. My mind wanted to pretend it missed the good news part, the holding onto hope part, but it wasn't there. While the news was not completely unexpected, it did not lessen the pain. It didn't stop my brain from fearing I may never see her again or reflecting upon the fact, if I only knew the Friday in August would be the last day I would see her. I let my mind process what it needs to. I let the tears flow. I cling onto all the moments I remember her pure laughter, her smile, the happiness I felt in her presence, and how it was always a gift to steal even a few minutes of her time to chat. I am overcome by how much goodness she has brought into my life, she is wise and I admire that about her. 

photo source
But the reality is we are losing a cherished and adored member of our community, someone I love and consider a friend. She is incredibly vibrant, outspoken, and driven by a very unique love of educating children with her whole heart. She is a fierce progressive in the most brilliant sense. We share a love for Twitter and it felt like our bat channel, where we commonly have late night conversations interspersed with interesting articles we were reading. She formed a special bond with my youngest daughter which in turn ignited a passion for learning in her, and I will forever be indebted.

It's not difficult to focus on the countless ways she's touched so many lives. I imagine the web of children, colleagues, and families she's inspired over the last two decades. The web is glorious and it sparkles when the sunshine hits it just right and it continues to weave into others endlessly. I wish I could carry around a little box of bandaids and put them over the small holes that have formed in our hearts in an attempt to help us through the healing. I want so desperately to fix this. My focus now is on sending her love and light and on the passage of time being peaceful for her, the way a heart centric person deserves to be held and honored through this time. My heart will forever hold a special space which has been carved out for no one other than her.