Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 2015 // Following the Light

This month was, and will probably remain, one of the most amazing months of my life. I spent most of June walking the Camino de Santiago from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. I walked about 250 kilometers up the Atlantic coast and across the Portuguese and Spanish countryside to follow a dream one yellow arrow at a time. I'm not sure that I can describe the enormity of what I did and the impact of it on my life, but now that I've been home for a few days, I feel like maybe I can start putting it into words.

In the meantime, there is still one day left in June, and I intend to spend it on my first microadventure camping in the mountains above town. A short and sweet sixteen hours in the woods to keep the sense of adventure close to the heart, which is the perfect way to close out June.

Monday, June 1, 2015

May 2015 // Sparks // Big News


My word for 2015 is SHINE. Our family word for 2015 is ALL IN. I have focused on shining bright and big, giving out the light and going for it (pursuing) wholeheartedly. I have been rewarded with so many blessings and positive energy this month, but the truth is, it's not the result of the work being put in this year or last. This is the result of years of pursuing, showing up, being curious, sticking it out, hustling, making connections and trusting.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunities that are ahead.

The first big piece of news is that I leave on Friday to start walking my camino. Although I've been wanting to walk the Camino de Santiago for years,  and I committed to actually doing it over two years ago, this trip feels very last minute. I booked my tickets last week. I'll be walking the Camino Portugu├ęs from Porto to Santiago. I'll be starting a new job in July, and when the window of opportunity to take the time off in between my employment presented itself, I jumped on the chance. The timing isn't perfect, and Andrew can't come with me because of the last minute plans, but I'm going for it. I haven't trained or researched, and I honestly don't have as good of an idea of what I'm getting myself into as I'd like, but I'm embracing the belief that this camino will be a good exercise in finding The Way, not just following The Way.

There are other big developments underway including a new business venture, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all. For now, I'm focusing on getting myself to Lisbon on Friday.

This has been a big month full of exciting developments that have taken all of my energy and attention (and then some). I feel spread thin, but for the first time in years, I don't know exactly how our lives will look next month or next year and that feels really scary and exciting. Adventures ahead!

Elsa has graciously agreed to let me borrow her kerchief for the camino
a visit to great sand dunes national park
sand dunes in a snow storm
a true high desert dog!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Rhubarb Margaritas

I made these for my articles club last week, and they are, in my opinion, a perfect spring cocktail. They are just a little bit sweet, and they pack a nice punch from the lime juice.

Rhubarb Margaritas

2 ounces rhubarb simple syrup
2 ounces tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce Cointreau

Fill a glass with ice and add all ingredients. Mix well and serve. Garnish with lime slices.

Makes 1 drink.

Friday, May 1, 2015

April 2015 // This is How We Do

April has shaken things up. Past efforts, ideas and energy caught up with us (in a good way) this month. I'm not sure where all the balls that are in the air are going to land, but I'm certain that all this energy flowing is going to bring some big changes! It's so interesting how once you take a leap on one thing, all sorts of other things start unsticking themselves. It's exciting! 

I biked, happy houred, napped in the woods, bowled and sewed. I tidied up my stuff and donated and threw away bags and bags of unneeded things. Life is always lighter with less stuff weighing me down. 

About a year ago, we rearranged our house to have a whole room for working on creative projects in our living room, and this space has been fully used lately. The creative work space has even overflowed into the guest room. It feels good to be growing into our house and really making it work for our needs. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Weekend Getaway to Silver City, NM

Andrew and I recently took a weekend trip to Silver City in southwestern New Mexico, and it was just the ticket to help me feel refreshed and excited for spring. I wanted a quick trip to relax, spend some time outdoors, escape my spring allergies and really feel like we had gotten away from home. It felt so good to get out of town.

We took the scenic route through the Gila National Forest, which is absolutely stunning. Andrew had never been to Silver City, and I was excited to show him the charming little town.

We arrived late in the afternoon and checked into our room at the Murray Hotel, a recently renovated Art Deco hotel from the 1930s. It is still a little rough around the edges as the renovations continue, but I appreciated the fact that they didn't wait until everything is absolutely perfect before opening. We had a cute little corner room on the 4th floor, with a yellow and black tiled bathroom and a tiny closet. I had read reviews that the rooms were small, but it was the perfect amount of space for us.

I thought people in Santa Fe eat early, and in hindsight, it makes total sense that people in an even smaller town would eat earlier too, but I learned that 8:00 pm dinner reservations in Silver City means that you are shutting down the place. It also means that you'll be rewarded with extra food from the chef because it is the end of the last night of weekend service. We did a tasting menu at the Curious Kumquat. This place was highly rated, and the food was quite good, but it was also kind of odd and incongruous. They served us a vegetable tisane in red wine glasses (hello boiling hot water!) with our first course and that seemed downright weird. It was also so abrasive that it detracted from the other courses. I think if the chef had left that out, it would have been a much more enjoyable menu all around. The courses were small and rich and the entrees were enormous. We had plenty of leftovers and ended up having our desserts packed up, which was such a nice treat the next day after biking. We also ate dinner at Cafe 1Zero6. The chef posts the menu a few days in advance and we emailed in our order. We were there for an Italian night, but I would have like to have tried his Thai food. The food was very good and obviously made with love but very rich, and without realizing it, the two entrees we ordered had the same rich white sauce. The service was excellent, and we had a lot of fun chatting with our waiter about good spots for biking in the area. Other food highlights in Silver City included hoagie sandwiches from Diane's Deli and gelato from Alotta Gelato. I enjoyed peppermint bon bon with thin mint Girl Scout Cookie chunks. Yum!

The main focus of our trip was biking and trying some new trails. We wanted to ride trail networks since it was our first rides of the season, and it didn't seem wise to start out on a 25-mile trail straight away. Andrew found two nice networks for us to ride. The first is called Little Walnut and it is a short ten minute drive from town. The best part about this network is that it connects to the Great Divide Trail. It is a dream of Andrew's to ride the entire trail someday, and it was so fun to check it out. Also, we saw a javelina, which made my day! The CDT in this section is a dream, a well maintained, gorgeous trail. I was hoping we'd run into some bike packers, but we didn't see anyone on the trail at all. Where is everyone in Silver City on a Sunday afternoon?? After riding, we had a picnic of champagne, ancho rabbit, mole negro cauliflower, creamy mashed potatoes and kumquat cake with white chocolate under the large Ponderosa Pines. So perfect.

We also rode the Fort Bayard Trail System. We started from the Dragonfly Trailhead, which starts out easy and rolling and then drops down to single track near Twin Sisters Creek. The maps for the main loops were easy to follow, but we set off to explore and eventually ended up at Fort Bayard. We had a picnic under the trees, although this time it was granola bars and shot bloks. These are easy trails, but we love getting out and exploring and it's nice to ride side by side talking and scheming.

For maps, directions and tips, we found the folks at the Gila Hike & Bike to be very friendly and helpful.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spanish Tapas Dinner Party Menu

marinated manchego
fennel and winter citrus salad
tapas meatballs

New Year's Eve 2014 

Spanish Tapas Dinner Menu

Empanadas Two Ways
Chicken, Chorizo and Olives
Roasted Sweet Potato, Caramelized Onion & Smoked Gouda

Marinated Manchego with Roasted Peppers

Patatas Bravas

Tapas Meatballs

Tomato Bread

Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese

Artichoke Olive Tapenade

Spanish Cheeses, Charcuterie and Olives

Fennel and Winter Citrus Salad

Dark Chocolate Tart with Gingersnap Crust

Cranberry Shrub Cocktails

Sparkling White Wine


This is one of my favorite menus and I think one of the best that I've planned and executed. Recipe notes and links after the jump. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

March 2015 // Burning off the Fog

March was pretty wonderful, especially after the heaviness of February.

The month started with spectacular skiing, pushing my personal limits and one last class with my favorite instructor. We took a fun weekend getaway to Silver City, continued Century training class and started doing our after-work mountain bike rides thanks to the extra daylight in the evenings. March felt like a good turning point to get off the cozy couch, out of the house and on the trails in the fresh air.

The only bummer was my seasonal allergies. Everyone in town seems to be suffering, even my poor puppy...
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