Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Read // Watched // Listened // Savored: December Edition

Here's what I've been reading, watching, listening to, and savoring this month!

Reading

Thanks to Goodreads and several bloggers I've been following lately, I've rediscovered my love of fiction in a big way. Recent favorites include Eleanor & Park, Me Before You, Tell the Wolves I'm Home, and - currently - The Fault In Our Stars. I plan to dive into The Goldfinch while home for the holidays next week.

Continuing my Paleo/grain-free cookbook kick, I'm enjoying paging through the beautiful Gather and Against All Grain. I'm amazed by the creativity and versatility these authors have found in the Paleo lifestyle, and can't wait to try making some of the recipes.

I love catching up on my favorite blogs in the evening. I make myself a cup of tea (or pour a glass of wine) and work my way through the latest posts. Caiti, Kali, and Kelsey are among my current "must-reads."

I enjoyed reading this Modern Love column, which offered a refreshing and life-affirming perspective on the recent flooding here in Boulder. I've read and re-read this list, 24 Rules for Being a Human in 2014, several times.

Watching & Listening
I'm always looking for new-to-me podcasts to listen to while cleaning or cooking. Book Riot is my favorite recent discovery, with funny and smart musings on all things literary. It's definitely feeding my fiction addiction!

I can't get enough Key & Peele. These guys are seriously so funny, and I just heard they're working on a movie with Judd Apatow. Hallelujah!

If you haven't listened to Nathaniel Rateliff yet, do yourself a favor. I also have Straight No Chaser's Christmas tunes on repeat.

Savoring
I've been really enjoying the Gentle Vinyasa classes at Little Yoga Studio. The classes fall somewhere between Beginners and Intermediate, and I find them the perfect way to unwind during the madness of the holidays.

In the midst of this busy holiday season, I've savoring weekly date nights with my husband. Last week, we tried Boulder's newest sushi restaurant, Sushi Tasuki. We dined on ultra-fresh salmon and scallop nigiri and vowed to plan a trip to Japan for our 5-year wedding anniversary.

I'm savoring the anticipation of a week at my parent's farm for the holidays. I'm looking forward to good food,  my dad's coffee (he makes it strong), early-morning talks with mom, laughter, and space and time to simply relax and be.

I've been loving The Republic of Tea's autumnal flavors. Our office buys Republic of Tea in bulk, and it's so great to nip into the kitchen for a delicious cuppa anytime during the workday.

Finally, I've savored the incredible sunrises and sunsets we've been having here in Boulder lately!

What are you reading, watching, listening to, and savoring right now?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Holiday Wish List

Fotor1124194528

With the last week of November closing in, the holiday season has truly arrived. We're flying to Maryland on Wednesday to spend Thanksgiving with my husband's family. I'm looking forward to seeing his family, baking holiday cookies with Grandma Mary, lots of good food (+ seafood!), merriment, and laughter.

For Christmas, we'll pack up the car and drive to Iowa, where we'll gather with family at my parents' farmhouse. A week of wonderful meals, early-morning talks with Mom, frosted country landscapes, and farm adventures awaits.

It's funny to think back to holiday seasons past, when I'd often obsess over a wish list for days. These days, the physical manifestations of the season just don't seem that important. I find myself more eager for the intangibles: the rituals, the traditions, the time to relax and connect with the people in my life.

Still, it's fun to think about those creature comforts that can bring us joy and delight as well. Just for fun, I put together a little list of the things I'm wishing for this year. Enjoy!

To Read: cookbooks, cocktail books, gardening/flower books, a magazine subscription.
To Wear: these boots, this tunic, this scent.
To Sip: a coffee subscription(!) and a ceramic creamer to match.
To Savor: a meal at a favorite restaurant, followed by drinks here.
To Make a Home: a piece of art from this shop and this balsam pillow.
Also Wishing For: long and leisurely meals enjoyed round a table with loved ones, crackling fires, a day spent volunteering, slow mornings with coffee, mugs of mulled wine and apple cider, space, solitude, and time for self-care.

What's on your wish list this year?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Read // Watched // Listened // Savored: November Edition

botanic

Here are some things I'm loving right now.

Reading
Having experimented with different ways of eating, I've found I feel best when I avoid gluten and minimize grains in general. I recently picked up The Primal Blueprint, and am finding that many of the author's recommendations echo the way I've started eating intuitively.

I'm still working my way through The Untethered Soul. I'm trying to read it slowly, to allow myself to really absorb the wisdom deep in my bones.

I love Susannah's Something for the Weekend posts. I look forward to them all week!

I'm adding this cookbook to my holiday wish list. #midwestisbest

Watching & Listening
I randomly watched 2 Days in Paris while home sick a couple weeks ago, and found it to be just the kind of quirky, non-traditional rom-com that I enjoy.

Loving Radiolab in the background while cooking dinner.

I can't stop listening to this Miley Cyrus & Mumford & Sons "Little Wrecking Ball" mash-up. I'm also loving this song.

Savoring
Real grass-fed organic cream in my coffee.

The Denver Botanic Gardens (pictured above). My friend bought a membership, so I've accompanied her several times in the past few weeks. It's such a peaceful place to visit.

This holiday candle. Yum.

Hot morning showers with this coconut pumpkin body wash. (Have you tried Acure's products yet? I can't get enough!).

Spending a solid hour before work at a local coffee shop with my journal.

Lunchtime walks. With the short, dark days, I find it really helps to get my daily fix of Vitamin D at lunch. I pack a pair of sneakers and take 30-45 minutes, sometimes with headphones and sometimes chatting with a co-worker. I return to work refreshed and revived for the afternoon.

What are you reading, watching, listening to, and savoring right now?

Friday, November 1, 2013

My Trail Running Essentials

One of my favorite trails, Mesa Marshall in South Boulder. 
One of my favorite trails, Mesa Marshall in South Boulder.

Since moving to Colorado, I've fallen in love with trail running. The solitude, the wide open spaces, the sun on my face, and dust at my heels. There's truly no better feeling than traversing a dirt path, soaking in the mountain views that surround me. The best part? No awkward bounce-in-place running at stop lights! These days, I can't imagine not running on a trail, and thankfully Boulder provides ample opportunity to partake with one of the most extensive networks of trails in the country. #grateful As I've become a more serious trail enthusiast, I've accumulated a list of  personal"essentials." (Note: many of these could also apply to road running.) 

  Trail Running Essentials:
  • lululemon Run: Inspire Crops and Run: Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve. Recent PR snafus aside, I've yet to find more functional running basics than these two lulu pieces. The Power Luxtreme fabric in the crops supports major muscles as they absorb the impact of the rocky terrain. The tee is super breathable, and just the right weight for almost any weather; from scorching summer afternoons to brisk autumn mornings. It also layers perfectly under a light jacket during colder months.
  • Amphipod Handheld Hydration. I usually don't run long enough distances to justify mid-run hydration, but the combination of dry air and altitude can easily create a pretty serious dehydration situation on mid-distance or longer runs. If I plan to tackle more than a couple miles, I'll carry this lightweight handheld water bottle so I can sip throughout. It comes in a variety of sizes, and fits perfectly in the hand.
  • Oakley Commit. The uneven footing on a trail can cause regular sunglasses to bounce right off your head, so a sport-specific pair is key. I don't actually have these Oakleys, but they're on my holiday wish list.  (In the meantime, I borrow my husband's pair.)
  • Brooks Cascadia trail running shoes. I absolutely love my Brooks Cascadias and - if the reviews are any indication - I'm not the only one. Cascadias are the best womens' trail running shoe on the market, suitable for beginners and elite ultra-runners alike. They're supportive without being bulky, and can do double-duty for light hikes. Also? After a year and a half of moderate use, mine are in perfect shape with almost no wear and tear.
  • Smartwool PhD Run Light Micro. Lightweight, yet nicely cushioned, these are the perfect socks for under my Brooks.
  • Other important stuff: sunscreen, lip balm, and good upbeat tunes. (I don't always listen to music, because I sometimes prefer to simply enjoy my natural surroundings.)
  • One last word on safety. I tend to carry my cell phone on trail runs, especially if I'm running alone. You never know when you'll sprain an ankle, take a wrong turn, or come across a lost dog and need to call its owner (all three of these things have happened to me). Trails can be somewhat deserted, so it's important to be able to call for back-up if needed. Bonus: with your phone handy, you can Instagram those beautiful views!
What are your must-haves for running (trail or otherwise)?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Read // Watched // Listened // Savored: October Edition

aspens

Here are some things I'm reading, watching, listening to, and savoring this month!

Reading
I'm currently working my way through The Untethered Soul, a beautiful and simple primer on meditation and mindfulness. I just finished up A Life Without Limits, the autobiography of Chrissie Wellington, the world's top female Ironman triathlete. I found myself fascinated by Chrissie's tale of perseverance and victory.

The Simple Things, October Issue. It's no secret that I love all things autumn, and this "all-things-warm-and-cozy" issue just made my soul so happy.

I'm enjoying this new-to-me food blog. Great photos, and simple - yet inventive - recipes.

Watching & Listening

Gravity. Have you seen it yet? I found it riveting, despite the slightly cliched ending.

My husband and I recently started watching The Mind of a Chef, a PBS show that combines travel, culture, and food as seen through the lens of modern day chefs. We're watching the first season with David Chang (aka The King of Ramen). The show is produced and narrated by Anthony Bourdain, and is slightly reminiscent of No Reservations.

On Being with Krista Tippett. I especially loved this recent interview with the Indigo Girls, on "music & finding God in church & smoky bars."

Calm.com. Ahhhh.

Savoring

We made this soup for dinner tonight, substituting Capello's grain-free gnocchi for the tortellini. It's the perfect fall soup, hearty yet healthy. I love spinach in soup, so I added about 20 fistfuls of spinach to this and it was amazing.

Cinnamon apple spice tea. A mug of this is just the thing for chilly fall afternoons, with some Golden Delicious apples and this honey almond butter. My go-to snack right now.

A simple kale salad from our local Whole Foods' salad bar. Shredded kale and brussel sprouts with lemon, olive oil, sea salt, parmesan, and almonds. Filling, healthy, and delish. Thinking I'll have to re-create it at home soon.

Walks, hikes, and trail runs in the crisp fall air. The foliage here in Colorado is breathtaking right now (see above photo), and I'm making sure to get my fill by spending plenty of time outdoors!

What are you reading, watching, listening to, and savoring right now?