Friday, November 15, 2013

Holiday Wish List


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


Here are some things I'm loving right now.

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.

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)?