Blog Update – Refresh Your [blog]Reader

15 Mon, 2011 § 4 Comments

You can find me posting at Colour Me Happy now.

Refresh your readers. 🙂

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Like most people, I can get fixated on the destination or long-term pursuit: I want toner arms now; I want to climb a (Flagstaff) V5 now; I want a perfect forward fold now…  You get this, don’t you?  “I want [[fill in the blank]] now.”  I don’t know if it’s innately human or a product of social conditioning, but we are a society of instant gratification.  We like goals, but sometimes it’s difficult to see progress as it happens when our “want” looms just ahead.  Not only is it difficult to see the progress being made, but it can even be hard to give ourselves credit or acknowledge seemingly small growth — expecting ourselves to be “perfect” first.  I feel this way, even when blogging, which is just supposed to be a fun outlet.

A few weeks ago, I took a workshop focusing on basic HTML coding.  I loved this & have had so much fun playing with it.  Elise Blaha’s workshop was based on Typepad, so I decided I would “build” a blog there & transition over to it.  As much as I’ve enjoyed playing with HTML, playing in real life has been more of a priority; so the new blog is no where near where I want it yet.  Sometimes I feel that need to be or have things perfect before giving myself props or feeling qualified to share it with others.  But life is about the process, right?  We should allow ourselves to not only recognize it but praise ourselves along the journey — focus on the direction rather than some future destination.

So even though it’s “under construction”, I’ll give you a glimpse — or maybe I’ll just take the leap.

I have struggled with finding the flow of my blog (in many aspects!); I tend to let myself get pulled in multiple directions.  Colour Me Happy is where I will finally let myself escape the need to fit a niche & embrace/share the layers of my life: photography, the day-to-day, “nesting” posts, diy & travel, etc.  That being said, I am going to try using a separate space for my more “fitness”-based interests, such as climbing, training, injury prevention, anatomy, & eventually rehabilitative care.  It is not so much that I don’t think it “fits” with the rest, but it seems some of you are more interested in just talking shop, so you can subscribe or update your reader with my IDEAL FORM blog only if that is the case.  If not, I will still have a link to these posts on my main page. (I will include it soon.)

I am also a little attached to some of my older fitness posts, so I’m taking them with me.  I will be re-posting these, interspersed between new ideas & posts.  Maybe you missed these the first time around or will get something from revisiting — I am.  It is a great reminder to see how far I have come OR if I have let perpetual, unhealthy habits right back in.  It has been good for me to see these again, so I hope you gain something as well.  First up is my premiere into the blogging world & how I was dealing with a specific insecurity.

SO…

In a nutshell,

fitness only: go here.

for everything else: go here.

I still can’t believe people actually visit my pages.  It’s obvious I’m not the most dedicated or consistent blogger.  I found I enjoy posting most when I’m inspired, & I guess I’m not inspired every day or on a regular schedule.  The best way to keep up with me is to subscribe or just add Colour Me Happy to your Reader.  I don’t block my posts, so you should be able to read straight from your email if that’s your thing.

So…I’m just going to leap…& try not to make excuses…because maybe you’ll enjoy the ride with me & like seeing the changes as they happen. So don’t come here for new posts — I’m just going to do it — I’ll be at Colour Me Happy (as well as Ideal Form).

I’m actually out of town & have some fun road photos to share, so click on the one below to check them out.

July Musings

2 Tue, 2011 § 15 Comments

I like looking back over the month.  It’s interesting how our preferences, favorites & inspirations play out, ebb & flow.

Here is what’s been going on this time around.

~We’ve reinstated an old favorite: weekday date night/family nights.  (I never know what to call them.)  Each week, we alternate whose turn it is to plan; the day often differs.  Whether Dave treats me to the climbing gym, I work on his trigger points, we go on a photo hunt together or play cards, these evenings make me smile & force us to do something different to break up the week’s monotony & potential laziness.

~Rain.  More rain.  It is officially monsoon season.  It rains almost every day, but usually only for a couple hours in the afternoon.  You just get used to it & accept being wet if you want to do something.  Fortunately summer temperatures mean it dries up quickly, & we can still climb.  Oh, my hair has finally accepted it is just going to be an afro for the time being.  Strange to have humidity in AZ.

~I am supposed to be reading The Comedians.  Instead, I’ve been spending time at the library perusing the Netter’s Anatomy reference book.  Nerd!

~Bright colors make me smile.  I’m trying to fill our home (& my nails) with bright, cheerful colors.

~Fashion follows a 20-year cycle.  I am beyond ecstatic our haunt of the 80s should be over any day.  So what’s next?  The 90s…which I’m not that thrilled with BUT it means inspiration will also come from the 70s & 50s.  I’m swooning & also irritated at the whole disco-revolt-movement.  Why did they feel the need to burn so many should-have-been awesome vintage pieces?

~Speaking of, if you have any vintage scarves you want to send my way…I’m bringing this back.  I’ve been doing it lately.  Dave totally digs it.

~I am still too obsessed with Pinterest (obviously) & can get a little out of hand pinning the hours away.  I’m not just pinning though; I’m doing.  I am keeping a short list of diy projects I am currently working on — & actually working on them!  Of course, I made a board to keep track.

~My current favorite recovery smoothie add in: tahini, especially with fresh strawberries.  I have been hit or miss about adding kale (it isn’t always blending smoothly), so I’ve taken to adding a touch of chlorella.  The taste is intense, so I’m starting small (<tsp).  The tahini & strawberries are flavorful enough to cover any hint of sludginess though.  My recommended method of making the smoothie: have your husband do it.  Dave’s smoothies always taste so much better.  He must add love.

~I am infatuated with mini homes.  Super neat.

~Also excited about this.  One simple demand.  I agree.

~Thanks, Dave, for introducing me to Doghouse Diaries; this is a favorite — for all you dog lovers — but there are a lot of laugh-out-loud strips.  Other new reads I’m enjoying: Elise Blaha’s Enjoy It, Dee Construction, Marta Writes & In the Little Red House (which isn’t actually new so much as rediscovered).

~Not to rush fall along, but how perfect is this? (Thanks Aubrey)

~

What stood out about your July?  Also, what is on your iPod?  August needs some new tunes.

.friday.

31 Sun, 2011 § 1 Comment

I wanted to do something in Sedona while the guys played a round of golf, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled to do it alone.  It wasn’t far into my hike though before I was embracing the time to be in my own head, tap into some creative energy, or just unplug & take the day in.  Besides, I wasn’t exactly solo; Eisley is my best little company.  I enjoyed the me time so much so, when Dave & Dylan joined us for a more extended hike, I lagged behind.  Ok, so the lagging primarily had to do with my sore (Chaco-rubbed) feet.

I still had fun chasing butterflies though.

~

I hope you enjoyed my Week in the Life as much as I enjoyed the challenge of doing it.

.wednesday.

28 Thu, 2011 § 3 Comments

A Week in the Life.

I have been fighting the blahs recently.  For some reason, the last two Wednesdays have been especially difficult.

But not yesterday.

Bright colors make me happy.

What we surround ourselves with has an amazing impact on our mood, so why not choose things that are bright & cheerful? — this goes for people too.

~

.tuesday.

27 Wed, 2011 § 8 Comments

a week in the life.

here i am.

~

It has been rainy around here.  Dave’s bike ride into work was pretty wet & dirty.  He said it was awesome.  He had this Simon & Garfunkel song in his head the whole way.  It made my morning when he emailed it to me.  Sometimes we just have to make the most of a rainy day, remember what it’s like to be childlike & see the beauty & fun in the ordinary.  Just smile.

Because there’s nothing else to do but smile.

~

.monday.

26 Tue, 2011 § 6 Comments

A Week in the Life.

Like I mentioned, this week I’m trying to take simple everyday photos, accurately depicting our days & lives right now.

Though we have less stuff filling our apartment than most, we still feel the need to reduce further from time to time.  Lately I’ve been consumed with purging, organizing & beautifying our home.  It’s not about going without but truly relishing in what we do have.

*photo taken of a clipping from Sunset Magazine August 2011 issue.

~

We do relish.

As much as I love being home, enjoying our little nest, experiencing life is life’s meaning.  Sometimes we need stuff  to do the things we love.  I love tackling the boulders with Dave once he’s off work.  It’s great to go out there with no expectations & then surprise yourself.

Yesterday was a good day.

~

maps

25 Mon, 2011 § 2 Comments

Last week I scored a basketful of vintage maps.

super.psyched.

I noticed them sitting on the “free table” in the main entrance of the building where I temp at the university.  I was glowing the rest of the afternoon, which is sort of lame.  I don’t care.  I also dig the wicker pail they came rolled up in.

I’m seeing some fun cartography projects in the near future.

Today, while I’ve been sorting through my new maps, clearing out some clutter & even clipping a couple inspirations from a magazine, Eisley has been my constant shadow.

We are listening to thunder storms in the distance , which stress & freak Eisley out.  She actually jumped in the tub while I was showering today to avoid being even more than a couple feet from me lest the thunder get her.  The pup hates getting wet — usually requiring a little coaxing to get in the bath — but apparently she hates that thunder more.

poor thing.

I sort of want to participate in Ali Edward’s A Week in the Life, so I’m trying to take simple everyday photos, representing exactly what is going on in our lives each day this week — “from the mundane to the profound”.  Though I’m not sure I’ll make a paper album, I’m excited to see if I can pull the images together by other means using text & digital composition…then posting here.

Anyone else want to play?

I’ll post today, tomorrow morning; Tuesday, Wednesday morning; & so on.

p.s.  Did you check out the auction?

June Musings

30 Thu, 2011 § 6 Comments

“Wisteria woke me this morning,
& there was all June in the garden…”

~Ann McGough, Summons

I was almost tempted to accuse June of flitting by, but it didn’t actually sweep through barely noticed.  Summer finally made herself known; in the June afternoons, we soaked her in.  When I think about how I spent these days & what they were made of, I smile.  I just love summer.  I thought I would share some of my current favorite things.

~

~ Lately I have been loving red leaf butter lettuce.  We wrap the flavorful leaves, filled with a salad of crushed chickpeas, dill relish & lemon or yellow split peas tossed with a pesto of kale, pepitas & cherry bomb peppers.

~ Speaking of kale, my newest fixation is roasting it shortly with coconut oil, just a tiny dash of toasted sesame oil & a generous sprinkle of flaked coconut.  A perfect snack that travels well enough.

~ When I’m home for lunch (or in need of a quick dinner), a favorite fix is an unda-style quesadilla with a little tarragon in a yummy, flaky rice tortilla.  I don’t miss the cheese & sometimes even throw a spoonful of toasted capers on top.

~ Summer reminds me I do enjoy oats in the morning if done right, which is simply & cold: Italian-style muesli (also known as overnight/soaked oats) softened in vanilla hemp milk.  No frills: I like simple combinations.  Currently my jar is filled with thick-rolled oats, roasted pistachios, golden raisins & maybe occasional flakes of coconut.

~ The glass carafe in the fridge is filled with thick slices of cucumbers floating in cool water.  This is so refreshing & sweet.

~ When we want a little something more than water, we fill casual scotch glasses with Tinto de Verano.  Half sparkling lemonade, half inexpensive, Spanish red wine.  I like tempranillo or a tempranillo-merlot blend.  Don’t forget a squeeze of fresh lemon — this makes it.

~ I am craving chocolate shakes & seeing too many interesting homemade ice cream pairings.  I recently borrowed my SIL’s ice cream maker, & July might be all about homemade creameries.

~ Some might find it a shame to puree beautiful, fresh produce into chilled soups, but it’s heavenly.

~ We are usually climbing to some degree throughout the year, but I feel I am finally getting my training in focus & just enjoying it.

~ Though I still have some mixed feelings, I’m really enjoying a new venture: Bikram.  I also started a glute challenge/experiment based on this simple routine.

~ I can’t stop watching this beautiful & inspiring video of Natasha Wang.

~ How did I just learn about this?  The creative (yet-everything-in-its-place) girl is having a hay day.

~ I am soaking in summer with a lot of play.  In my downtime, my head is usually in a book.  I recently finished two great novels by Margaret Atwood & thoroughly enjoyed The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.  Now I’m onto Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent.  Also on my summer reading list: The Comedians, Graham Greene & Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffenegger.

~ I am feeling crafty.  Again, how did I not know about Pinterest?

~ I am obsessed with the vintage fade of photos.  Like this or Faith, here.

~ Also smitten with minibooks.  We are doing one for our San Francisco trip. definitely.

~

Tell me about your current obsessions & favorites.  Did June fly by or did you soak it in?

Summer Solstice & Creamy Basil Manicotti

22 Wed, 2011 § 4 Comments

Dave & I have grown fond of observing seasonal transitions, marked by particular days.  Following earth’s transitions — while it may seem “hippie” & quirky to some — is centering & meaningful to me.  We don’t chant or pray or sing; we simply embrace the moment for what it is, celebrate it in our own way & take the lessons nature willingly offers.

Yesterday was the summer solstice, the first day of summer & the longest day of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere.  Traditionally, this solstice celebrated a time of fertility, marked by outdoor festivities & gatherings.

Amidst the growing harvest season, it is easy to recognize the fertility & abundance of summer through experiencing the new foods the season brings.  We wanted to pause yesterday & take in all the sensory experiences accompanying summer — the sights, the smells — & appreciate the extra hours of sunlight.

Summer screams freshness & bounty which has the power to transcend us to our deepest childhood memories or cause a yearning to create new ones.

One of my favorite summer notes is the awakening aroma of fresh basil.

Stuffed with a sauteed clove of garlic, a small white onion, half a medium diced zucchini (remove seeds unless using young/baby zucchini) & pressed & crumbled tofu (about 10 ounces firm), I wanted our manicotti to sing basil.

Using Angela’s Creamy Avocado Sauce, I increased the fresh basil to about 1 cup, juiced a whole lemon & thinned the sauce with hemp milk to keep the creaminess of it but make it more sauce-like.  I stirred half the sauce into the sauteed vegetables, stuffed it into 6 prepared manicotti, lined them in a lightly oiled baking dish (which I had also smeared with a spoonful of extra sauce on the bottom) & poured the remaining sauce over the top.

Cover with foil & bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350*F-oven.  Rotate pan midway if needed to ensure even baking.  Remove foil & bake another 10 – 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top.  Watch closely & don’t let it dry out.

Garnish with fresh lemon zest & oven-roasted tomatoes.  A dollop of plain Greek yogurt was also a nice, cooling accompaniment.

*There was extra stuffing mixture, which we saved to combine with leftover quinoa-millet pilaf for lunches.

To further enjoy this extra light, we picked up a few items over the weekend.

A small table, a chair, a rug, a cushion & candles created a cozy, little nook outside our french doors.

Last night, we enjoyed dinner on our little patio, which will become a more common theme around here.

An after-dinner walk in the woods behind our home would have been a perfect way to connect with nature & celebrate the extended sunlight; but as the light faded to golden shimmers & we sipped our tinto de verano, the neighborhood kids kept us entertained harassing Eisley.  Once they learned she preferred chasing sticks to being mauled, everyone seemed giddy, Eisley most of all.

Sometimes, it’s best to just take what the moment offers.

~

Did you celebrate the summer solstice? 

Where do you enjoy your meals?

My Moments & Homemade Curry Spice

10 Fri, 2011 § 4 Comments

I may not be expressing myself here daily, but it does not mean I am without expression or depth lately.

I have been spending a lot of time in my head, twirling thoughts, opinions, ideas, emotions…around the finger of my mind.  It’s not even that I don’t know how to articulate them, though often that’s part of it.  Sometimes, we’d rather just experience the moment rather than focus on expressing — or re-expressing — it.  I guess I am just into feeling these experiences right now & sharing what might arise from them when it feels natural, rather than trying to force it.

How I have been spending my time isn’t a result of “being in my head”; it’s when I do these things that thoughts, emotions & new dimensions arise within.

Much of my days have been spent moving (meaning climbing, swimming, biking, etc), baking, grinding spices, making gifts & reading.

I am content to simply live in these moments & see what arises from them.

I hope you are also truly living just as much as you are sharing & expressing part of your life & yourself here with us.

~

Homemade Curry Powder

makes ~1/4 cup

  • 2 tsp peppercorns (I used a mix of green, pink & black)
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • seeds from 4 cardamom pods, gently crack & remove seeds from pods (save pods for flavoring tea, ice cream, pudding or yogurt)
  • 2 whole cloves

In a clean, dry pan over medium-low to medium heat, toast each spice individually until fragrant & a few wisps of smoke rise.  Gently shake the pan often (or the whole time) so the spices toast evenly & do not burn.  Each spice should only take 1 – 2 minutes to toast.  Set each spice aside to cool slightly.  Combine the toasted spices in a spice or coffee grinder (I use the chop attachment on my Magic Bullet, which works perfectly) & pulse until a fine powder forms.

Play around with the spice combination to find what you love best.  If you are not in love with fennel like I am, reduce the amount.  If you would like a hotter curry, add more cayenne.  Make it yours, & I promise,  you will love it so much more than any powdered curry you have bought from the store.

~

p.s. What is on your Summer reading list?  Suggestions please?  I am recently enamored with Margaret Atwood & just finished Oryx & Crake as well as The Year of the Flood.  I appreciate authors who use their work to make bold social statements.  I need to stop by the library again soon.

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