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PicMonkey Collagefxcj the time has come to make a big decision. do i stay in the cabin, or do i go? i have two days to make up my mind. yesterday morning i was completely ready to leave and embark on new adventures. in fact, i was excited. then after the rain cleared yesterday evening, i took a walk around the property and i started second guessing my decision. how do i leave this place, this dream i have had for so long? the things that are growing around these parts that i get so incredibly excited about, the sage i discovered and have been harvesting (both two posts to come!). the smells, the scenery, the horses, the ranch, the neighbors, just the sheer fact of living in the mountains. it has humbled me, it has allowed me to stop and appreciate all that i am, all that i have.  i have learned to appreciate all these things on my own with no one to share it with, except you- my readers. i have developed this sense of peace that i have longed for since i was a little girl. i loved playing camp outside as a kid, pretending to live off the land. though, i am far from that in many ways, in other ways the land is presenting itself naturally and i merely get to enjoy it! the apple trees, the mushrooms, the grapes, the flowers, even my own garden.  it has been a dream come true. every day i am continually surprised by something new this land can offer.

but then, there is the loneliness that can subside. at times, i feel utterly trapped and alone, at others i feel perfectly content. in some ways i feel less lonely than i did in LA, and at times i wish i had a group of friends to invite over for a big feast. everyone is too far away to make those commitments, even my friends in denver. sometimes, i will go do things on my own, other times i find myself hesitant and without motivation. i moved here to heal from many wounds, i came here because i dreamt of it. but do i want to continue this alone? or do i move on to seek the partner and family i desire knowing that one day i can come back to this life? i have  a hard time letting go, clearly, and if you know me or have kept up with my blog, you already know that. it took me a while to let go of LA and at times i still miss it. i suppose i am scared i won’t find myself back in this peace again. that i won’t find a cabin or house with this much to offer. do i let go and set off with a bang? with great memories vs. the staggering dread of winter? i went back and reread all my old posts of the colorado adventure, and more often than not i was talking about how much  i missed my friends, having a life, but how beautiful this place is.  at what point am i willing to trader these things?

if i renew for another six months, i worry i will feel trapped come winter. it was beautiful, but it was isolating. if i had snow shoes, perhaps i would set out more. 🙂  i regret not signing that year lease now, that my dad tried to convince me of.  i am sad if i leave by september 1 i won’t get to see the leaves change. i won’t get to eat the apples or taste the grapes, or perhaps see a bear. i have been waiting to see one for a long time! however, if i leave at the end of the month, i take the opportunity for travels. to either move to denver or put my stuff in storage and be a nomad until i figure out where i want to be. truth be told though, i actually really like colorado. i can’t think of a big reason to leave the state. denver would allow me ways to grow as an artist, make new friends, and perhaps find better dates than the country. i can always rent a cabin for the weekend, right? yet, i am still not ready to fully commit to it. changing again feels a little daunting. being a nomad however, well, it’s kind of like home to me.  consistency is something i struggle the most with. plus, there is the struggle of inbetween travels- base camp would be my parents basement. it wouldn’t be my home where i am surrounded by the things that inspire me. there wouldn’t be any more posts about the property, though maybe there are so many photos i can post of the river anyway. and i suppose who knows what kinds of posts are to come. right?

i am the worst decision maker sometimes, well, most of the time. it took me 5 years to decide to leave LA. even though i knew this decision was coming, i still feels so rushed. i think i have just been waiting for a sign, yet, it hasn’t really showed itself. i believe in many ways, it is time to move on. an adventure of a lifetime, better therapy then a therapist, and left with a heart full of appreciation to carry on. i suppose it has done it’s job, perhaps even run it’s course for the time being. i just don’t know. i have less than 72 hours to figure it out.

it is so green again on the grounds. it has been raining a lot!! i started thinking about nature’s transition along with mine. it had been 10 years since i lived in a true 4 seasons (which was the name of the subdivision i grew up in indiana). though, i arrived just after fall was ending, when i first looked at the property in ocotber the leaves were changing. so, in a way, it is full circle, even if it has only been about 8 months- 9 if i move out end of august. 9 months- the time frame we associate with giving birth. maybe i am about to. maybe i already have.

i started thinking about the land and how much it transforms. how, almost weekly i take the same walks around the property and am still finding beauty in the landscape, in the way she changes. i decided to compare the photos i have taken over the last several months. seasons truly are something to be astonished by, to be inspired by, to appreciate. the magic of nature is always there, forever evolving and shaping itself.

i reckon the next time i post, the decision will have been made. and at the end of the day, if this is the biggest decision i have to make, well, i am doing pretty good, right? regardless, i feel like the luckiest to have spent this time here. sometimes, i wish i didn’t think so damn much.

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last week, when my friends were visiting i made this delicious salad. it was so good, i made it again for myself. peaches are everywhere and so incredibly tasty. i am not a huge fan of tart things, but these are perfect. i like to eat them with cottage cheese for breakfast or dessert ! the salad was a hit with my friends and it is more than easy to make after you make that trip to the grocery store!  simply peaches, arugula, prosciutto, and manchego. i bought a case of leinenkugel’s summer shandy the other day too. if you have never had this beer, it is so perfect for a summer afternoon. it is light and refreshing, and i kind of want one right now.

i added some fresh raspberries to the beer just for fun! i made a little picnic outside for myself. taking in all this wonderfulness of my surroundings. i’m not sure how much longer i’ve got left here. i have 5 days to make up my mind whether to stay or go. that is a whole other blog post.

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peaches – peel the skin and dice them up

arugula– rinse and give the leaves a dressing of olive oil, a bit of balsamic, salt + pepper

prosciutto– cut into small pieces

manchego– shave pieces into the salad with a vegetable peeler

combine all ingredients together. done!

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during the planning process, natalie asked me to help with ideas for the dessert table. she was servings pies, cookies, and chocolate covered strawberries. after some pinning on pinterest, we came up with an idea and started shopping for fixtures and cake stands. let’s just say hobby lobby is a gem and possible my new favorite store since moving to CO. we found glassware on sale, that large wood fixture for holding pies, and some wood crates that natalie stained. natalie made the little pie menu and bought the succulent letter on etsy. all the desserts, except the cake, came from a place in boulder. we had the florist bring extra flowers to make small bouquets in mason jars to decorate the table, while adding random pieces here and there! the bow was made by  her family friend. i assembled the cake at the venue about twenty minutes before the ceremony. i would have preferred a little more time for perfection, but nat liked the homemade look anyway!

i decided natalie and brad needed a wedding cake. even if just something small. i did a martha stewart white cake and classic buttercream frosting. i baked three cakes layering them with buttercream, leaving the sides open. using different size skewers, i attached a few of her wedding flowers and some succulents to the skewers so that they stood up in the cake! wallah, there was the cake. apparently, it was pretty tasty! and if you look closely you might see a little lady finger taking a swig off the frosting!!!

see photos below for how to. note: the flowers are different than used on the cake. IMG_4806 IMG_4707 PicMonkey Collagehc PicMonkey Collagegf PicMonkey Collagefgxj IMG_4840 PicMonkey Collagefgdj PicMonkey Collagegfh PicMonkey Collagehgdj

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so…this time, my dear friend natalie got married to her brad. they live here in colorado about 45 minutes away from me. natalie, another old friend from indiana, college, adulthood… she is one of my best! the guest list was a lot of my oldest friends from indiana. larissa would have been here too, but she was off in france on her honeymoon. my childhood best friend, sara, and her husband mark came in a night early to stay the cabin. though the rain stuck right over our head, which is the first time i have ever seen that happen here, we enjoyed a night of wine, conversation, and food. sara and i even had a sleepover in my bed, much like the old days when we were next door neighbors growing up.  it made me so happy. our friend lisa, came up to the cabin the next morning. lis is off galavanting the world, and is moving to australia as i write this. we trekked up to rocky mountain national park for  lovely hike. though it seems i have yet to get use to this altitude. i forgot i live in this high altitude, until my friend bethany kindly pointed that out! 🙂

that night, nat’s parents hosted a little party where the rest of the crew met up. the wedding night was full of laughter, reminicising, john denver, and dance parties. it felt so good to be surrounded by old friends with so many memories. i have known these girls dating all the way back to pre-school and elementary school, high school, and then college.  to see how it has all lead up to this day as though time has not passed, well, it doesn’t really get much better than that. we know each others families, ex-boyfriends, and probably even a few dirty secrets. they are the friends you can leave the bathroom door open with, the friends you can pick off each others plates. yeah, it’s comfortable. now a days, everyone is married with kids. it’s pretty amazing to see all the men with diaper bags and holding babies. perhaps we are a little more grown up, but still pretty much the same.  my parents were even here for the special weekend. that was extra special.

let’s talk about natalie. she looked incredibly beautiful. the setting was extraordinary, the decor perfect, the dress was just so her. i have watched the hard work she has put into this wedding the last year, and it came out so perfect. all the little details, i wish i would have gotten more photos of this! i got to take part a bit in the decor. we collaborated on the dessert table and i made her a homemade wedding cake. this is all in the next post today!

of course, even though i lived 25 minutes from the venue, i was not very well prepared. meaning, i did not bring a sim card for my camera and had to resort to using my iphone. though, i will admit i have been extra lazy lately and using my iphone anyway!

love you girls so much!!! let’s do it again.

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ok, so enough feeling sorry for myself. yesterday, was one of those kind of posts,  but thanks for your comments and for reading. i had to do another post today …i get anal about which ones are the first to pop up…and my internal ranting isn’t the one i want to be on top.  with that said, i also am trying out something new for the blog. hoping to post it next week sometime. i have been thinking of it for some time now and yesterday’s diarrhea of the mouth gave me just the encouragement…so stay tuned!

i have been trying out farmers markets in different areas and though they have absolutely nothing on a california market, i am happy they are there. but honestly, i missed LA a lot yesterday as i strolled through my town’s “farmers market”. my california homesick seems to come in waves.  i brought these peaches home from the market near my parents house in missouri. though they were still a little tart for my taste,but they were peachy none the less! as i was doing yoga yesterday, i thought up this cocktail…that meditating is good for something! 🙂 the peppers are from my garden and are also super hot. make sure after cutting up a hot pepper you wash your hands, say in case you rub your eye directly with your finger and it burns for a good 30 minutes. i mean, that totally didn’t happen to me or anything. PicMonkey Collagekjv IMG_9575 IMG_9577

one pepper (any kind you like!)

peaches

whiskey

sugar

water

club soda

make a simple syrup with equal parts water and sugar.  de-seed your pepper and add the pieces to the syrup. boil until the sugar has dissolved. in a food processor or juicer(less stringy fiber to deal with), puree the peach. about one peach per drink. combine the peach puree, 1-2 tbsp of pepper simple syrup, club soda, and whiskey over ice. as much club soda or whiskey you desire! you can stir a pepper around in the drink for more of a kick, or garnish with a teeny tiny one!

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things have been busy with weddings, traveling, work, orders, and thoughts. i will have to decide in the next few weeks whether to stay in this cabin or to go. and one minute i am ready to pack up and move on to the next adventure, the next staying a few more months seems reasonable. i admit the past month has been a little overwhelming for me…seems to be the month of weddings out there and all the while i am aching for a partner in this life. yet, i find myself wanting to run the second i get discouraged by the thought of being “alone”. i want to run off to the next adventure .i want to not publish this post out of embarrassment of being single. you know, your nobody till somebody loves you. i always hated that song.  dating out here hasn’t been the most intriguing and i admit at the end of my time in LA i did not try very hard. my small town offers little interest to me in men. the surrounding areas are better, but still i have yet to find someone i feel on the same playing field with. do i keep trying in one place? do i try for the next place, say portland or chicago, where i might fit in a little bit better with my hobbies and interest? do i just ride the train and see where it takes me?

i watched this video this morning. i dream of a life like this on a farm, preferably in europe somewhere- simplicity. connecting to nature and our food, forgetting desires that are unneccesary. sure life has its complications and no life is perfect or free of struggle, so why do i complicate with so much worry and want? i love how he speaks of being in the moment, his daily meditation of thinking of nothing. he put into words what i have been seeking out here all this time, and honestly at many times have found. to forget the fret, the worry, to be here and now. to look around me and see the beauty in every moment or living thing that exists around me. the past few weeks of finding the right dresses for events, fretting if anyone will notice i have gained weight, worrying that i will never have a wedding- it has all weighed me down. i see i still have some challenging moments ahead of me, but the moments that save me are the the ones in the present. when i am creating, cooking, traveling, and even blogging. i hope that if i can stay connected to these moments things will fall into place as they should.

i have been following tiger in a jar for a while now. their videos are my favorite. go have a look.

thanks for reading.

 

 

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sometimes, i get this itch for asian flavors. for some reason i have to be in the mood for it, and sometimes the mood is just right. putting an asian spin on fish tacos sounded damn good. probably due to the gwenyth paltrow cookbook i bought, it’s all good. it is filled with healthy flavors that are mouth watering. gwen might get a bad rap, but i certainly like her. this cookbook makes me want to eat clean and healthy all the time. needless to say, it is inspiring.  i had already bought some fish at the market… and i always keep lots of asian sauces and what not in the house. my favorite being, fish sauce. i love this stuff…must be the super salty goodness!

i made homemade tortillas and a simple slaw. dolloped with a little yogurt with lime juice and sriracha. pretty sure the white flour tortillas are not part of gwenyth’s diet, nor the yogurt, but hey, you win some you lose some!   one doesn’t have to make their own tortillas, but they are definitley tasty. i didn’t have any in the house, but i do have a tortilla maker… so, my laziness was awoken that evening.

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ingredients

 1 cup cabbage

 1/4 c cilantro (stems too-lots of flavor there!)

1/4 c cucumber

1/4 c of red onion

2 tbsp of green onion

2 tsp of fish sauce

2 tsp of sesame oil or sesame seeds

3 oz cod

tortillas

greek yogurt

lime juice

sriracha

chop it all up! mix all the ingredients in a bowl. let to sit for a while to absorb flavors.

sauté the cod or other fish you like in sesame oil until cooked. heat up or make your tortillas. mix greek yogurt or creme fraiche with the juice of half a lime.

spoon the fish into the tortillas and top with the slaw, yogurt, and sriracha! wall!

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though lilacs are not in bloom anymore, back when they were i made lilac ice cubes. did you know lilacs are one of the many edible flowers? this little idea can be done with any edible flower. it is such a pretty addition to a drink! simply clip your flowers and rinse them well. place in the ice cube tray and fill with water. the flowers will float to the top, so you can try rolling them in sugar to get them to sink! IMG_8873 PicMonkey Collage5yq PicMonkey Collage34qt

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i spent the last weekend in the finger lakes region of new york state for my dearest friend’s marriage and wedding. you may remember the bachelorette party post in utah. this was the big weekend. i was so excited to get to explore a new region of the country. i have been to NYC many many times, but have never explored much else in the state, but have always dreamed of doing so. it was a perfect and festive weekend. on fourth of july we had a picnic in the park playing yard games and drinking beers on a lake with amazing scenery. we stayed in ithaca at the inn on columbia, but most of the festivities took place out in the wine country of the region. we were shuttled around and ate good food, drank lots of good wine, and shared many laughs. these guys are total foodies and winos- my kind of people! the day of the rehearsal guests had the choice to either go for a hike or go wine tasting. most of us ladies headed out to watkins glen state park for a beautiful hike.  the rehearsal was held later that day at a farm and for dinner we were served a hog roast. it was delicious!!!!

day of the wedding, we bridesmaids spent the morning doing yoga and eating a lovely breakfast at the inn. we got all dolled up together and took a limo out to the farm. on the way, stopping for pictures at barns and vineyards, not to mention a pit stop to take a shot of tequila at a local bar! my friend was possibly the most beautiful bride i have ever seen. she, her man, and her wedding were breathtaking. i know every one says that about every wedding, but this one truly was special. it would be the kind of wedding i would want to have. seeing your friend so happy and relishing in all the love she deserves is pretty awesome too!  during the ceremony the birds were chirping, the sun shinning, and the tears flowing. once again we were served the most delicious meal and quite possibly the most delicious panna cotta i have ever had! dinner followed with a blue grass band in a barn and lots of dancing…as well as sweating. the humidity was intense!

every place you looked was picturesque! they were moments you want to savor and remember forever.  i admit i am sad the weekend is over. larissa and sean are off to france for two weeks. i could not be more proud and happy for one of my dearest and oldest friends.

if you look closely too, you will notice the DIY flower garland from the previous post being put to use!!!PicMonkey Collagerght PicMonkey Collagerthw photo 3 PicMonkey Collagerths photo 4 PicMonkey Collagersh PicMonkey Collage

 

IMG_8985 2there are bunches of wild roses growing around the property. seems when one flower disappears, something else is popping up! i am sad i will be gone for the next two weeks and hope i won’t miss anything. it has also been very hot and dry here. seems the grass could light up at any minute with fire. mid-day i don’t want to do anything it is just so hot. once evening rolls around though, i start the projects up again. two of my besties are getting married the next month and i am helping them put together some ideas for decorations for a photo booth. i thought of this flower garland, but also liked it for my house too! i love the rustic simple beauty of dried flowers.

all you need is twine, scissors, flowers of your choice, and somewhere to hang it! cut the string long enough and place your flowers intermittently. wrap the twine around the flowers tying a knot at the end. hang to dry and decorate!IMG_8959 2

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