31 October 2009


Grandmommy, Me and Bommy circa mid 1980's

As of Saturday morning, I've lost both of my grandmothers in 2009. This time has compelled me to reflect on some of what these two women have brought to my life...

When I think of Grandmommy, my maternal grandmother, I see Colorado. I will never forget the summer days and months spent working in the dirt, picking berries, making jam, fishing, rafting, and playing cards (usually high stakes penny-poker) late into the night. I don't think I'll ever be able to smell coffee and bacon without picturing Grandmommy in her robe and slippers, standing at the kitchen stove on a cool Colorado morning. She was a South Dakota girl and University of Nebraska graduate. A United stewardess who married a WWII fighter pilot. Grandmommy taught me how to shuffle playing cards, wear panty-hose and make my bed to military standards. Though, I really think her greatest gift was her generosity. She shared everything with those she loved (Her stories, her laughter and food...This woman never ate a meal without offering up something on her plate..."I have a chicken wing for sale!"). Grandmommy gave me a love and appreciation for the natural world...and more importantly, a deep understanding of what it meant to be family. She showed me how to give all of myself.

What can I say about Bommy? It's more difficult to describe what she's given me, because our time together was cut short. Six years of Alzheimer's have left a legacy of family stories, but not as many personal experiences. From the years I did have with my paternal grandmother, I can remember cowboy breakfasts (potatoes and eggs with ketchup), hidden chocolate chips, making gnocchi and Italy. (Much like bacon and coffee with Grandmommy, the smell of pecorino will forever remind me of Bommy.) Bommy was an Italian girl born in New York. A graduate of Keuka College. She traveled to Europe during the Korean War, where she met and married a U.S. soldier stationed in Germany. I think more than anything, Bommy gave me inspiration. Going through some of her things, I found a newspaper clipping from 1991...there was a photo of Bommy standing in the front lines of a Gulf War protest. Attached to the article was a hand written note, "I did this for my children, their children and their children etc.". How many 60-something grandmothers are war protesters? Mine was. Bommy inspires me to say what I believe, to travel and to find beauty in this world. I really don't know if I would have gone to Italy had it not been for Bommy. For this, I am eternally grateful.

These two women have influenced my life in more ways than I will ever be able to write about...or even understand, but I do know that I have been so incredibly blessed to have been loved by these beautiful and strong women. xxxooo

30 October 2009


I'm spending the afternoon baking some nutella treats for Halloween...Hope everyone has a safe and spooky weekend!

How amazing is this Shaw Nielson illustration? Something I would hang on my wall all year round!

26 October 2009

We are all the same.

"I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks."
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Just finished watching "The Boys from Baghdad High", an HBO documentary following four Baghdad teenagers (Muslim and Christian) as they struggle through their senior year of high school.

Looking beyond the obvious political and religious implications of a film such as this one, I'm overcome with the complete awareness that we are all the same. Regardless of race, country or faith...mothers will hope for their children, teenagers will act silly, and men and women will fall in love.

...If you're at all interested in a humanistic perspective of the conflicts in the Middle East, I'd absolutely recommend "Baghdad High" and another film called, "Promises"...

24 October 2009


Spent the entire day working on my Halloween costume! Thankfully my mother decided to lend a helping hand...this woman once created an entire Belle (Beauty & the Beast) dress for my seven year old self! I have to add a few final touches tomorrow, but I'm really excited about the way it's turned out thus far!

I'll post some images of the completed costume soon, but to give you all a little hint..."Let the wild rumpus start!"

23 October 2009

Let's escape!

If only in my dreams...the perfect getaway. Let's pack a bag and escape!

images via ffffound and remodelista

22 October 2009


I've been taking my old Nikon 35mm out around town this month. Here are a few of the images.


One of the best parts about living in southern California is the amazing Mexican food! Now, I'm not talking mushy refried beans and watery margarita restaurant-Mexican. I'm talking spicy carne and fresh cilantro street/taco-cart Mexican. So delish!

This beautiful carne asada taco is from El Campeon in San Juan Capistrano. I knew it was going to be good the minute I realized I was the only gringa in line...LOVE!

21 October 2009


"In any case, to identify oneself with a one-dimensional view is always to deny a part of one's humanity."

I love finding little inspirations in unlikely places. The above was discovered in an educational philosophy text, written by Maxine Green (Columbia University). I've struggled with this concept of identification my entire life. What does it mean to claim allegiance to a group? Have a political or religious affiliation? To me, it often means losing one's own unique and beautiful perspective. I could be wrong, but I truly believe the implications of accepting a label like "Democrat" or "Atheist" are limiting.

The Perfect Fall Boot

Really excited about this new purchase. Hopefully southern California will get the hint, and realize it's fall...because I'm not going to be able wear these in 90 degree heat!

image via j.crew

18 October 2009


In an attempt to literally turn my procrastination into an art, I decided to paint! I don't think I'll be making a career out of this anytime soon...but maybe a new hobby!

15 October 2009

Sioux Prayer

Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds, and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me

I come before you, one of your children

I am small and weak

I need your strength and wisdom

Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset, make my hands respect the things you have made, my ears sharp to hear your voice

Make me wise, so that I may know the things you have taught my people, the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock

I seek strength not to be superior to my brothers, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy, myself

Make me ever ready to come to you, with clean hands and straight eyes, so when life fades as a fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame

14 October 2009


There's nothing sweeter (or easier) than my Grandmommy's "no-bake" cookies...xo

2 c sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 c butter
1/2 c milk
1/2 c peanut butter
3 c quick oats
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix sugar, cocoa, butter and milk
Boil for 1 minute
Remove from flame
Add peanut butter, oatmeal and vanilla
Drop by spoonful on wax paper
Allow to cool and enjoy!!!

13 October 2009


Drowning in what seems to be a countless number of lesson plans, case studies and observation hours...It's getting hard to stay motivated. I think an adventure is in order...

These Kevin Cyr drawings are only encouraging my wanderings!

08 October 2009


"Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity."
B.K.S. Iyengar

Throughout the past two years, I have had an off and on relationship with my yoga practice. Some months I find myself on my mat once a week. Other months it's more like every other day. Regardless of the length of time spent away, I keep coming back. I come back and I grow. I grow not only in my practice, but in my understanding of what it means to be me.

Accepting the limitations of my own body has been difficult, but it has also helped to eliminate some of the competitive restlessness I struggle with. Fortunately, my sense of worth in a yoga class is not determined by how open my hips are (per my beautiful teacher, EN). My sense of worth is more so determined by how open my heart is.

In a pose like Camatkarasana (Yoga Journal's definition: Wild Thing...The ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart.), the body must remain bound to the earth, while the heart faces skyward. This pose is essentially not unlike life. Through the grounding of my feet I am stable, but by offering my heart I am free. Yoga has encouraged me to live with this sense of balance between steadiness and openness. A balance that enables me to act with grace. Anusara philosophy suggests, "On our yoga mat we artistically offer our individual light and our unique music with the heartfelt prayer of adding more beauty, love, and goodness to the world." I couldn't agree more.

Yoga has offered infinite growth, and I'm so incredibly grateful for the teachers who have offered their invaluable wisdom. Namaste.

image via Yoga Journal

Brew Labels

I know what you're thinking...beer and cookies in the same day!? Well, these Northern United Brewing Company bottles are just too charming to pass up! I'll have a Siren please!


Ok, I'll admit it...one of my nicknames just so happens to be "Cookie Monster". It's ok, you can laugh. Well, after spending a long day with the kiddies...Am I allowed to call high school students kiddies?...I was craving a Levine bakery cookie. Unfortunately, my travel budget does not allow for quick cookie runs to the east coast....so I made my own! I don't think you'd find these PB cookies at Levine's, but they were definitely delish!

04 October 2009


I stumbled upon the above image in this morning's LA Times magazine, and it seemed so very appropriate! Tomorrow will be the first of many days spent inside the classroom. I'm very excited, but a bit nervous! I only wish the California classroom looked a bit more like this!

02 October 2009


One of my favorite shots!

After spending countless hours drooling over some incredible Holga produced images, I gave in and purchased this treasure of a toy camera. Because the body of the camera is cheap plastic, the resulting images can be pretty hit or miss...light leaks, blurs etc. It's these "distortions" that create ridiculously beautiful photographs! I decided my recent trip to NYC would provide a pretty awesome backdrop for my first Holga experience. The results are...well...varied!

I'm looking forward to some practice with this little guy. Hopefully with some luck (Dare I say, talent?), I can begin to create Holga magic!

01 October 2009

Make Your Own Path

Letterpress on vintage maps...I need!


When a significant other moves across the country to pursue a graduate degree, it becomes evident that someone is going to be spending a lot of time on airplanes...that someone happens to be me! My recent bi-coastal relationship has provided me with an opportunity to explore life in the big city. The verdict's still out.

I can understand the allure of beautiful architecture and diverse population, but still don't think I'm sold on the idea of being a city-girl. I need (circa 1998 Dixie Chicks album) wide open spaces: big sky, clean air, blues, greens etc. etc. Maybe it was all of those summers spent in Colorado? Possibly a lifetime on the California coast? Ultimately, I just prefer a snow-capped mountain to the Empire State building. An ocean breeze to a stinky stranger on the metro. A starry night sky to a city that never sleeps...

As with anything, I'll keep my heart open to falling in love with the city...we'll just have to wait and see!

One positive note, the city's parks are spectacular! So here's to spending more time lying in the grass!


It seems appropriate to begin my life in the land o' blogs with a quote from one of my favorites, Mr. Anthony "Tony" Bourdain (chef, writer, traveler extraordinaire).

"It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more of it I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it. How many places I have still to go. How much more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough. To know that there is no final resting place of the mind. No moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom, such as it is for me, means realizing how small I am. And unwise. And how far I have yet to go."

These words resonate, because they offer so much potential. It is my hope through art, food and travel that I may continue to experience a bit of what this world so boundlessly provides. xo

image via Travel Channel
sky image via Gina at Warm Pears