Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Just A Peek Inside My Mornings Lately. Of Course, I Held Off Describing The Feat Of Engineering We Have In Our Shower As Every Bottle Is Balanced Precariously On Its Head.

I think I've put off replenishing my beauty supplies a bit too long.  I don't like buying makeup and I especially don't like those mirrors at makeup counters that magnify your face 10,000 times.  TMI.  Ulta (that beauty store) overwhelms me, so I put off buying new stuff as long as I can.  Plus, I like to wait for a '20% off the entire purchase' coupon because life is expensive and we need to put kids through college.

I like Bare Minerals as a base, but the brush I use to swipe it on somehow got wet when we shared a bathroom on our road trip and now it smells like a horse.   So I'm using a tiny brush I found in the back of a drawer - I'm not sure if it was from a sample or if it came with a doll (possibly in a Happy Meal?), but it's all I have at this point.  My blush consists of four pink pebbles - very small pebbles.  Each time I use it, one of the precious clumps falls out so I'm left with pale cheeks and a hot pink polka-dotted rug.  And I don't know if my mascara runs out so fast because it's vegan and is evaporating or what, but for the last several days when I pull out the wand, after twisting it so vigorously I'm surprised it hasn't broken off, I get just a puff of air and a few bits of black dust falling on the counter.

So I'm headed in today.  I will inevitably get sucked into the vortex that is Ulta and emerge (hopefully) with what I came in to purchase, but likely with a pocket full of paper fragrance strips, some sample "guaranteed" to make my curly hair look fabulous, and a raging headache.  All this in the name of beauty.

I'm wearing this today.

The look is inspired by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  She sported a similar style walking through the streets of Greece, whereas I'll be rocking my ensemble through the aisles of Whole Foods.  And at the gas station.

gratitude:  evenings where the temperature isn't either hot or cold, Boulder potato chips, deposits, pumpkin vines

thanks and love.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ask Me Anything About Meredith Grey Or Dr. McDreamy, But Please Avoid Any Current Events Beyond The Birth Of Prince George. My Pop Culture Brain Has Experienced A Recent Growth Spurt.

So basically, the past several days have been filled with spurts of super-productivity linked by long stretches of time with a firm focus on the TV.  The kids have me hooked on Grey's Anatomy.  They have been watching past episodes on OnDemand ever since Eliza saw one at a friend's house and loved it.  Their goal is to have completely caught up on the program when the new season starts this fall.  Their commitment makes us so proud.

Anyway, I tried to avoid the show at first.  Geoff and I both remember being tortured by ER, back in the day, and I certainly didn't want to relive that experience.  We used to enjoy our Thursday night TV - I mean, Friends and Seinfeld?  How could you miss?  But ER came on right after Seinfeld and if you weren't fast enough to click away or turn off the TV completely, you'd see that first (typically disturbing) scene and hear the theme song and you knew instantly that you were stuck on the couch for another hour.  No question.  And even if the lost time wasn't bad enough, I'd tend to carry the storyline with me for days feeling bad for fictional characters and suffering from an elevated heart rate because I'd spent Thursday night in a pretend hospital that was never short on tragic emergencies and difficult relationships.  So I avoided Grey's Anatomy like the plague.

Until the day I sat on the arm of the couch on my way upstairs while the kids were watching the show.  Three hours later, I'm calling the Garlic Knot to deliver a couple pizzas for dinner.  This is how I'm living now, each day I work the balance between responsibility and blankly staring at the TV.  I'm not sure if I have the time or the patience to work my way through all the the seasons, though.  There's a part of me that may just Google a complete update so I can move forward.  That way, I can enjoy some couch time with the kids when it fits into my schedule, but I won't be so testy if they watch an episode without me.  I think it's the mature thing to do.

I'm wearing this today.

I kept this dress in my closet even though I never wore it last year.  I haven't worn it this year either, so today I'm testing it out.  It always felt a little 1960's Florida which is not a look I can pull off, so I'm hoping that wearing it over some rolled up skinny jeans will give it a little more of a boho vibe and make it feel more my style.  If something doesn't work over a pair of skinny jeans, it won't last long in my closet.  They are my fashion litmus test.

It's Meatless Monday and we'll be enjoying the classic poached egg on a salad with new shallot dressing I'm giving a try.  A classic.

gratitude:  sandwiches, dewy mornings, my tuberose and gardenia candle, sharing a couch

thanks and love.

Friday, July 26, 2013

I Think The Pigeons Are Sensing That The End Is Near. Soon The Tales Of The Giant Roost At The High House Will Just Be A Part Of Their Warbled Oral History.

Many of you have asked this week about the latest news about our pigeon "situation".  As it stands, we (and by 'we' I mean our trained pigeon professional) have removed almost 15 pigeons from our attic.  I'm not sure of the exact number because, in a protective response, my brain won't allow me to register the notion of any more than 10 birds living feet above my head.  These 15 pigeons were the unlucky ones who happened to be home when the pigeon party came to an abrupt halt over a week ago.  I imagine more birds lived in the attic, but weren't home at the time of the invasion and are now probably the ones we see sitting on our neighbor's roof and staring, in sort of a bland anger, at our house.

Every couple days our pigeon remover comes by to empty the trap and set up a new one.  This will continue until he's certain all the birds are out, then the entrance will be forever sealed and the massive clean up will begin.  The unpredictable visits by our bird guy though, have added a new challenge to my mornings.

He accesses the roof by placing his gigantic ladder right in front of the French doors we have in our bedroom.  It's impossible to avoid these doors when you're in our room or headed to or from the bathroom.  Because there is no set schedule to his visits, on more than one occasion, I've been midway through a yoga session working down dog in my jammie bottoms and coffee-stained t-shirt when his ladder has shot up the wall from the ground below.  And worse yet, a couple times I've stepped out of the shower, wrapped myself in a towel, and headed across our bedroom to the closet only to catch his feet climbing up the ladder or glimpsing the top of his head as he disappears below our balcony and heads down.  It's disturbing to think how close we've come to a really uncomfortable bit of eye contact.

It's all part of the process, though, to rid our home of these feathered poop machines and, in that spirit, I accept the possibility of awkwardness.  Plus, I'm getting pretty good at peeking around corners and darting across rooms, so a mid-life career as a spy may be in the offing for me.  Exciting.

I'm wearing this today.

I'm digging the combo of bright white and cream.  I think the subtle contract between the two shades feels summery, but not in an aggressive way.  Like, I know it's summer, but just try to be cool about it, okay?

gratitude:  Friday, feeling like you'll be able to figure it out somehow, answers, red onion on cheeseburgers

thanks and love.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

On Finding Insight While Taking On Menial Tasks. Also, Tips On Paper Destruction And A Drink Idea. The Good Stuff Just Keeps On Coming, Doesn't It?

For the last couple months every time I'd sit down at my desk, I'd have to move an ever-growing pile of papers needing to be filed in order to create some kind of work space.   At first it was just one bill paying session's worth of statements and invoices, then we added some medical bills and discharge info, a few sport registrations and subsequent schedules, then eventually some proposals, estimates and drafts of copy.  It required two hands to relocate and, as of yesterday, it became tiresome.

Typically, I'm obsessive about right on top of filing things away.  I find great comfort knowing my file cabinet holds almost anything I might need to reference in the foreseeable future - I'm kind of the Radar O'Reilly of my family.  Usually, around the first of the year, in a slightly ceremonial fashion, I'll purge the cabinet of outdated information and start fresh building my annual collection of records.  But for the last couple years, that papery release has not occurred and as a result, my trusty cabinet had reached maximum capacity.  There was no room at the inn.

It was kind of like on Seinfeld when George's wallet exploded after he added the little slip of paper with phone number on it for 'Free Guitar Lessons' - my file cabinet really couldn't hold even one additional sheet of paper.  Let alone the six-page forest killers we receive from AT&T.  It was time for a non-traditional, mid-summer paper release.  However, because we live in 2013 and I watch the news, I fear identity theft and couldn't possibly rest if I'd just tossed all our account refuse into the trash straight from the cute Target file folder it was in previously.  It must be destroyed.  Of course, I have no shredder, so I took matters into my own hands.  Quite literally.

So yesterday, I began to tear (by hand) each and every paper in a pile that stood nearly two-feet tall.  I sat on the floor beside my desk, listening to videos on YouTube about "Time Management" and "Figuring Out What You Should Be Doing With Your Life", and experimenting with a variety of ways to most efficiently tear a lot of paper.  I tried scissors, big piles, small stacks, vertical, horizontal and diagonal shredding, even attempting a circular pattern at one point.  I settled on five vertical tears (by hand) per smallish stack.  This gave me sufficient comfort that no account numbers would remain intact and no connections could be made to any names and addresses associated with our financial and personal history.  Plus paper tears most easily this way - note to self.

I didn't finish the job and still have half the stack left to do today, but after all that purging combined with some thought-provoking video info, I feel like I had kind of a healing day.  I simultaneously lessened my load and opened my mind up to some new ideas.  As much as I felt like a human hamster surrounded my by own scraps of fluff, I also think I may have kicked off a new phase of sorts (I've been in the market for one of these lately).  I feel a little more inspired now, even though I have three paper cuts and possibly the start of carpal tunnel syndrome.

I think I'll reward myself later this week with this tasty little sipper - The Sidecar.  It's from The Bonne Femme Cookbook - a new favorite.  She calls this the French granddaddy of the margarita and I like the way that sounds.  Here it is:

4 or 5 ice cubes
1.5 oz. Cognac
1.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
.75 oz. Cointreau or triple sec
1 lemon twist

Place the ice, Cognac, lemon juice, and Cointreau in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.  Strain into a chilled martini glass, twist the lemon peel over the drink and drop it in.

I'm wearing this today because it's cute and allows me to continue sitting on the floor tearing paper and finding myself.

gratitude:  the flowers from Geoff for the sweet sentiment and inspiring color combo, The Bonne Femme Cookbook, thoughts and ideas from Danielle LaPorte, birds in our birdbath

thanks and love.

Monday, July 22, 2013

We're Back! And Upon My First Step Into Our Pantry, I Discovered Sourdough Bread Gets Really Funky Once It Goes Bad.

Well, I had every intention to post on Friday, but it turns out we had a much earlier check-out time than I had originally believed.  And, priorities being what they are, the blog took a backseat to showering and hair product application.  That and making sure the kids didn't leave underwear under the big pile of wet towels in their bathroom.

When we spoke last, we were headed to Custer State Park to experience the much-anticipated Wildlife Loop.  These were the types of photos that had me prepared to bond very closely with nature.

I wanted buffalo surrounding our car and a burro head in my window.   I truly believed my Wildlife Loop experience would look and feel something like this.

Unfortunately, it turns out we have more wildlife in our backyard than we saw on the Wildlife Loop.  When we reached the halfway point on the Loop, it was clear that merely observing piles of buffalo poop on the road as signs there must really be animals nearby was not going to cut it, so a friendly ranger sent us down a dirt road across the street assuring us furry creature sightings.

We did find the buffalo.  I can't say it was as picturesque as I'd imagined.  It was a smallish herd standing on some piles of dirt in what appeared to be a construction site.  There were front loaders and bulldozers scattered amongst the animals.  A few of the buffalo had obviously become bored with the dirt mounds and had ventured out into the field.  Lots of people were snapping shots of them as they nibbled grass, then one of the buffalo started to stroll.   Here he comes.

At first, most folks just kept walking along with him as he moseyed down the hill.  However, by the time he reached the road, almost everyone (fearing a one-buffalo stampede) had bailed on the photos and were jumping into their cars and rolling up the windows.  The click-clack of 75 pairs of flip flops running away simultaneously was deafening.  But I was bound and determined to have a meaningful wildlife moment, so I calmly stood my ground and eventually he came close enough to me that I could take this picture.

It wasn't exactly like Snow White in the forest with the woodland creatures, but I'll take it.  I thanked him for preventing a complete bust on our Wildlife Loop and left him there to continue his journey.  Unfortunately for him he was being tailed by a family from New Jersey in a huge SUV - I think I saw him roll his eyes as he walked away.

We spent a couple nights on our return trip home in Winter Park, enjoying some downhill biking, hiking, and eating.  It was fab.  I loved our road trip vacation.  I can't remember the last time we had almost a full-week together as a family and I am so very grateful.

It's Monday now though, and we're back at it.  I'll be wearing this once my load of underwear is dry.

Flip flops for day, wedges for a meeting tonight.  I honestly think those two shoes could work equally well with almost any outfit.  Must-haves, indeed.

It's Meatless Monday so salad sandwiches are on the menu at the High house.  What will you be enjoying?

gratitude:  full moons, eating outside, my new Harmony candle from Whole Foods, the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens for some much needed decor inspiration

thanks and love.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Highs Take Their Act On The Road. Part Deux.

Collecting our fanny pack moments in the Dakotas.

We saw Mount Rushmore.  It was inspiring.

Then we saw Crazy Horse in the rain.  Pretty incredible.  That is a mountain-sized face.  It's not finished yet, but your great-great-great-great grandchildren will love it when it is.

The boys golfed and Eliza and I followed them. When the golf became tiresome we girls did yoga poses and took photos of our shadows.

We saw the Badlands.  And yes, as we entered the park, we played Bruce Springsteen.

We decided to speak with English accents while enjoying dinner the other night.  Our family accents are a mash-up of John Cleese, Spinal Tap and the chimney sweep from Mary Poppins.  However, the jig was up when Eliza ordered a lemonade and gave it kind of a Southern twang.  It was too weird to be believable.

And today we depart for Winter Park.  We'll be heading through Custer State Park on our way because Mama wants to see herself some wild animals.

gratitude:  close quarters, kitsch, nature, baked potato pizza

thanks and love.

Monday, July 15, 2013

We Flew The Pigeon Coop And Are On A Family Roadtrip. #murrica.

Just a quick update and a few photos from our drive to Rapid City.

We saw bears.

And public art displayed in a cornfield.

Then we got to Rapid City and had a meh meal at a local restaurant.  At least they had free hats.

We also witnessed a motorcycle and car collision.  We would have been crossing the street at the time it occurred, but lingered on the corner instead to mock the drum solo in a terrible rendition of Genesis' 'In The Air Tonight' that we could hear from a nearby pub.  Saved by our own snarky attitudes.  BTW, we have confirmed that our children will never pursue careers in emergency response.

More fun to come.

gratitude:  shared hotel rooms, cameras, coffee, the two songs per person rule

thanks and love.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Looking Back, I'm Sure This Is Going To Make A Really Funny Story. If Someone Set That To Music, I'd Use It As My Theme Song Right Now.

Our air conditioning has been fixed and life is waaaay more comfortable now that we have some cool air circulating again.  Turns out our AC wasn't even the problem, really.  The repairman simply had to flip a switch in the attic to turn the unit back on.  The big issues were raised when he came down from the attic (after about 30 seconds) with a very disturbed expression on his face and said, "Mrs. High, you may want to call animal control.  I got your AC turned back on but your attic is filled with pigeons.  It looks like something on Animal Planet up there.  I've never seen anything like that before."

I pictured this first.

Then this.

The term the professionals have used to describe our situation is an infestation.  We have a pigeon infestation.  Not a pigeon problem or an issue, an infestation.  We are infested with pigeons.  Help me.

It seems our attic has been home to a very large group of pigeons for some time now.  We had a wildlife biologist out yesterday to start the recovery process and his professional opinion was that the pigeons have lived in our attic longer than we've lived in our home.  Our home, built all of three and a half years ago, came with pigeons.  Lots of them.  We knew they sat on our roof and could hear them overhead, but we never imagined they were actually inside our house.  We kept convincing ourselves that it only sounded like they were right overhead.  We figured it was just the acoustics of a tile roof that caused the noise to seem so close.  Wrong.  They were right over our heads.  Pooping.

From the reports I've received, the entire floor of our attic is covered with their droppings and apparently our upstairs furnace is too.   There were pigeons flying around, sitting along the wall, even some dead pigeons were laying amongst the living in various stages of decay.  The animal control professional began the removal process yesterday and it will continue all next week while we are out of town.  I didn't focus too much on how the initial removal occurred, but based upon the huge infestation (that word), it wasn't going to be pretty.  Suffice it to say, I lit a candle yesterday under the attic door and apologized for any pigeon "discomfort".

Adding insult to injury, the attic is accessed from the closet in our master bedroom.  The door is just over my sweaters.  After the "removal" I found bits of attic fluff and pigeon poop scattered like confetti on my clothes.  The dry cleaner better staff up because I've got a big load coming their way.

Once the pigeons are all out, we can have the pigeon-sized hole under our eave sealed up, and then the remediation begins.  This involves scraping and shoveling and a bleach wash.  I am so grateful there are people who do this for a living and I am going to make darn sure our closet is cleared out before bags of whatever remains of the pigeon commune are carted out.

So that's the latest.  I'm considering this our Hitchcock summer.  We've had Vertigo and now The Birds.  I guess seeing that we have a road trip ahead of us Rear Window may be next on the list.  Psycho isn't out of the question, though.

I'm wearing this today because I'm washing all the clothes for our trip and these pieces did not make the cut.

I thought the patterned pants may distract from the awesomeness of Mount Rushmore.  That or they would spook a herd of buffalo and I'm just not up for a stampede.

gratitude:  helpful professionals, cool air, maps, adventures

thanks and love.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I Started This Post Prior To The Arrival Of Our Air-Conditioning Repair Man. He Just Left And I Could Rewrite The Entire Post On The Result Of His Visit, But I'm Still Processing Some Emotions.

I have been mocked, by my own children, about my texting technique.  Apparently, texting while holding the phone vertically and using only one index finger is wrong and frankly, embarrassing, to anyone under the age of 21.  I really don't care what they think about my texting style.  I mean, it works well for me and autocorrect rarely has to step in an decipher something I've written.  My style though seems to cut down on texting speed and I guess for some that's a point of pride.

So the other day I began to observe that most everyone else I see texting holds the phone horizontally and texts with their thumbs.  I was home alone so I thought I'd practice that form a little yesterday.  I have now come to the conclusion that I must have freakishly large thumbs.  I couldn't manage to get out three words in a row without inadvertently erasing a good portion of what I'd just texted or texting such gibberish that autocorrect just gave up.  I looked down at the screen and for a moment I thought my phone had gone into a translate mode and was changing what I typed into an ancient German dialect.  Nope, turns out my enormo-thumbs just can't manage to complete one texted sentence.  So, accepting my defect and considering gloves as a fashion statement, I will continue to text with my index finger.  I apologize in advance if it causes my children social shame.

I'm wearing this today.  

These wide-legged pants have served me well this summer.  They have that classic, carefree, beachy feel to them and I can sit cross-legged while I type.  So many benefits.  The cream color works with everything and because it's not a super bright white, I don't feel like I look like a French Naval officer.

gratitude:  humor, massages, a peaceful feeling, pots filled with flowers

thanks and love.

Monday, July 8, 2013

I've Discovered There Is A Correlation Between Body Temperature And Lack Of Humor. As One Goes Up, The Other Goes Down. It Will Become Obvious To You After Reading This Post.

We had a really fun weekend in Beaver Creek with our friends.  There was a lot of laughter and a healthy amount of Boys vs. Girls competition.  It appears the girls are superior players when it comes to Bocce and Buzzword.  In fact, we were so decisively victorious that the guys chickened out of a second night of competition.  They claimed they were tired from their early tee time for golf, but we girls know deep down intimidation was really the cause.  Fear can be exhausting. (Does this qualify as trash talking?)

Unfortunately, a few days prior to leaving for the mountains, our air conditioning gave out.  You know, the scientists are right!  Hot air does rise and it's rising at our house and filling our top floor with a high enough heat to qualify as a cooking temperature.  Because our AC gave up on July 2nd, we somehow were caught up in the 4th of July holiday break and were unable to get a repair man out here any sooner than this Wednesday, the 10th!  That is over a week of 90+ degree days in sunny Colorado and I'm starting to become afraid of my reaction should the repair man tell us he can't fix our unit right away.  I hope he's prepared for tears.

Last night a very windy storm passed us, but because of the the placement of the windows in our master bedroom, we didn't experience even a slight breeze in our room.  A Kleenex wouldn't have moved if it were right in front of one of our windows.  So I lay there in the the sweltering heat, listening to a wind I couldn't feel, imagining how far the cushions on our back patio will have flown when I awoke in the morning.  Waking up sweaty is very unpleasant.  Waking up sweaty and having to collect your seat cushions from around the neighborhood is cruel.

I'm wearing this today.

The shorts and loose fitting shirt are meant to provide good air flow should a cool breeze of any sort cross my path.

Our Meatless Monday dinner will be a large salad topped with with nuts, radishes and white beans.  It will be well chilled.  Oh how I envy lettuce.

gratitude:  games, family time, grandparents, washing machines

thanks and love.

Friday, July 5, 2013

I Will Be Enjoying A Massage This Weekend. I Assume The Draping Policies Have To Do With Body Coverage And Not Window Treatments.

I hope you all had a fabulous Fourth of July.  We had a great time and I'm always so grateful we have a backyard that includes a perfect view of a professional fireworks display each year.  Today Geoff and I are leaving for a relaxing weekend in the mountains with two other couples.  It should be a blast.  I'm sad to be leaving the kids, but they're staying with my parents so I know they'll be having a great time themselves.

The girls have scheduled spa treatments this weekend while the boys play golf.  I really don't do spa activities very often - I'm never sure what the protocol is.  When do you stop talking and give way to the treatment?  I've opted for chatting the entire time in the past and ended up missing out on true relaxation because I was trying to think of my next follow-up question.  I'm sure the masseuse felt just as off as I did afterward.  I suppose they like to work in silence rather than having their client asking them endless questions about why they decided to change their college major from Economics to Business Administration.  I'm going to try to nip the chatter this time and not let myself get weirded out by the silence, although I'm a little concerned about relaxing to the point that drooling becomes an issue.

I'm wearing this today for the ride up and subsequent stroll through Vail and Beaver Creek.

I like the maxi skirt for wandering - good air flow if it's a toasty day in the high country and solid leg coverage if there's a chill.

gratitude:  my kids, time alone with Geoff, sunshine, destinations

thanks and love.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I'm Offering Some Low Cost Life Improvements. When We Are Prepared To Make Bigger Investments, I'll Discuss The Need To Eliminate My Gray Underwear.

I noticed the other day, after my shower, a distinct lack of perky refreshment.  It wasn't (surprisingly) because of the amount of soap scum that is building up at a rapid pace on our tiles.  It was more a scent-based emptiness.  I had inadvertently brought home unscented soap.  Whaaa???  Using unscented soap makes me feel like I've slipped into colonial America and soon I'll be expected to dip a candle or work on an embroidery sampler.  It also conjures memories of Basis soap - used during an unfortunate complexion phase in my teens.  It simply doesn't add any joyous benefits to my life.  Scented soap makes me happy and why ever not add more happy to life where and when we can?

It's little things like a wonderful smelling soap that can raise a daily task (like showering) to a higher level.  It makes the whole experience just a little more special.  I know there are some rashy-types out there (I come from a long line of them myself) and maybe using scented soap isn't in the cards for you, but there are lots of other ways to add a little something extra to daily activities.  I've been doing all of these more or less for the last several years and I really think they have increased the feelings of loveliness in my life.  Give them a try yourself!

Make your bed:  I read somewhere that people who make their beds every morning are more productive than those who do not.  And, a made bed instantly makes your room look better.  I leave the bed unmade for a day over the weekends because I heard it allows fresh air to circulate and bedbugs and mites can't live in those conditions.  So a made bed most of the week and an unmade bed on Sundays is the plan.  A beautiful bedroom and no bugs to freak me out.  It's all about balance, people.

Drink your coffee or tea out of a beautiful mug:  Find yourself some mugs that you love - don't just settle for the ones that came with your dinnerware.  It's weird how something like a pretty mug can start your day on a nice note even if you're racing around the house trying to get ready and telling your family members that the damp underwear you just pulled out of the dryer for them should be considered refreshing.

Light a candle when making dinner:  Sometimes the thought of preparing another dinner makes me want to run my head through a wall.  And I love to cook.  But doing something like lighting a candle and pouring yourself a little glass of wine before you get started can help you feel a little more creative or inspired and less put upon.  We don't want people eating a meal that tastes of crabbiness.  So light that candle even if you're just picking up the phone to order a large with extra cheese.

Use a counter cleanser with a fabulous scent:  It's hard to avoid the necessity of counter cleaning especially in cases like mine with family members who seem to think plates are optional.  Finding one with a great scent almost makes you want to clean.  Almost.  I have a disturbing addiction to Method's cucumber scented cleanser right now.

Use cloth napkins:  This is a win for you and the earth.  Just keep a drawer of them and grab a bunch for every meal.  I don't even require matching, but if you're a matcher buy only white.

Sprinkle some eucalyptus oil in your shower:  Instant spa.  'Nuff said.

These little tips don't really cost much money or take any extra time at all, but I think you'll see they add a nice little zhush to life.  Enjoy!

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July and I'll be sporting this ensemble:

I think it honors the holiday while holding onto a bit of a boho vibe.  Plus, the top can be worn up with the self belt over a pair of shorts for neighborhood parade viewing, then taken down and worn over a swimsuit for a caftan effect around the pool.  I think versatility and adaptability are very American virtues.  A fashion statement indeed.

gratitude:  grilling, coolers, lawn chairs, s'mores

thanks and love.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Highs Have A Firepit Now, So Savvy Investors Should Pay Close Attention To Marshmallow Companies.

We bought a firepit this weekend and we have already run through an entire tank of propane.  This could become an expensive home addition, but it's really fun.  There's something so great about sitting around a fire with family or friends - it's so relaxing and cozy.  I love campfires, it's the subsequent toothbrushing in a cup and general lack of plumbing that takes away from this particular aspect of camping for me.  So a firepit is great!  I can toast a marshmallow and use my own toilet later.  What's not to like?

I'm feeling a bit off today.  I attempted some morning yoga with the doors open (thinking this would give me the peace I so desired) and during the entire practice all I could hear was someone's circular saw and then the trash truck made its rounds (very slowly).  It wasn't quite what I was looking for in the way of calming and non-irritating.

So I lit a candle and am trying to crank out some form of a blog post.  If I manage to get that done, I might take a lap around the block and, as my Grandma Peg used to say, "blow off some of the stink".  BTW today would have been her 98th birthday (love you Gram!!).

I'm wearing this today.

We are previewing a property for staging and they requested we wear closed toe shoes and hard hats.  The classic Converse in navy gives the 'closed toe' request a sporty twist - I'm assuming they will provide the hard hats.

For Meatless Monday we'll be doing open-faced sandwiches with a spread made from yesterday's white beans topped with radishes and chives.  I think I'll throw a salad in with nuts and a creamy dijon vinaigrette.  Lots of flavor in a meal allows me to better distract the family from the absence of meat.

gratitude:  breezes,  my green tea and verbena candle, our firepit, basil

thanks and love.