Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Etsy Love . Dean Russo Art

While searching for puppy stuff a couple months back, I stumbled upon the most awesome artist who makes gorgeous, colorful pop art portraits.  I was so excited to see that he offered prints of not only a pug but also a lab, both of which looked like my puppies!  You can find his art here....Dean Russo Etsy Shop or here....Website He is an artist based in Brooklyn and according to his bio, creates vibrant acrylic paintings that combine soft touches of realism and the bold playfulness of pop art.  Beautiful!  I'm so happy to have his art in my home...and a bonus, it represents our dog family members.  IMG_0092

Monday, March 08, 2010

Adagio Tea Article

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Confirmation that I picked the right tea company to become infatuated with! Fresh Cup Magazine - Web Feature: Is This the Apple Store of Tea?

And come on, they picked Chicago as the place to open their first retail store? My favorite large city.  Confirmation I need to book a trip there again soon.  

Saturday, March 06, 2010

4 People, 12 Times - February Edition


Photo taken in Bend, Oregon.  One of our very favorite places.  One day we hope to retire there.

February Notes:

Dexter the Pug came into our lives to live for good.  It's been a month of pooping and peeing and biting and training.  Kids begged us for a puppy.  Now that he's here, Ella is seriously reconsidering.  

Participated in the first Redding Handmade public event which introduced our team to the public.  Our Open House was held at the Sweetspot.  I met so many creative and fun people. 

Took a vacation with our dear friends to Central Oregon for snow skiing and home away from home fun. 

Aaron and I saw Avenue Q, off-OFF Broadway.  Loved it.  So much I bought the soundtrack the next day. Quickly realized I can't listen to it with the kids around when they started singing, "The Internet is for Porn" around the house.  Oops. 

Ella turned 6 with a day trip to Chico for lunch, shopping and park fun.  I turned 29 years and 364 days older than her with a day of roller skating, Chevys and movies.  Lots of treats, snacks, cake and ice cream for 48 straight hours.  

Girly Fun

Her birthday continues into a second weekend! Ella and 5 of her friends got their nails/toes painted today at a local salon....lots of glitter everywhere! They then feasted on pizza and yogurt with all the yummy toppings.

Afterwards I did a little photoshoot of Ella in her party-wear.  I'm eager to go through the photos...but not tonight...tonight is family movie night.  (The photo above was taken with my iPhone and the Hipstamatic App-love this app!)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

My Adventures into Tea

I don't drink coffee, wine or beer.  I want to, I have just never acquired the taste for them.  I also gave up diet sodas and I refrain from drinking anything high in calories or anything that uses artificial sweeteners.  I drink water.  And I'm bored.  (Disclaimer: I do drink David Rio SF Chai every morning but I do have concerns about it-specifically the partially hydrogenated stuff in it.).  I read on Cathy Zielske's blog that she was introduced to an online tea company that she highly praised....not only for the tea but for the packaging and service of that tea.  I LOVE GOOD PACKAGING. 

IMG_9535 Even though I've dabbled in tea before with not the best of results, I decided to get an intro package to this Adagio Tea - Gourmet Loose Leaf Tea and see what happens.  First of all my order came within 36 hours of my ordering it on a Sunday evening.  Love that.  After watching the 'how-to' video on how to brew a cup of loose leaf tea, I was on my way.  My reaction to my first cup of tea?  Uh, it tastes like weeds.  And like tea.  Aaron says, "Uh, duh."  (The chai I drink daily tastes nothing like tea to me.  It's practically more like cocoa then tea.) He then helped me make about 5 more cups with varying levels of tea vs. water vs. brew time vs. sweeteners.  None thrilled me.  After being disappointed, calling my Mom for tea tips and even typing into Google: "I want to like tea, but I just don't, what do I do?"  I decided not to give up and persevere.  I WILL LIKE TEA.  I went back to the cup that had been sitting on the counter and tasted it again.  Hey, it's actually not bad.  Turns out I don't like hot tea!  I like lukewarm tea much better....add some soy milk, and mmmm....this stuff is tasty! 

The next day I went one step further...I brewed a cup of really strong tea, added some honey and IMG_9546 poured it into a tall glass filled with ice. I added some vanilla soy milk....I'm in heaven.  I'm back in the tea business!  Now I'm experimenting with different sweeteners...currently I'm using the amber sugar crystals that they sell. 

I'm eager to try the other flavors of tea offered at Adagio.  I can't wait until their chai sampler is back in stock.  Chai how it's supposed to taste...without partially hydrogenated crap!  (Don't get me wrong....I do love me some David Rio...I buy it 3 pounds at a time!)

If you are intrigued and want to try it too....Here is a $5 gift certificate to Adagio Teas: 3587330875!! http://www.adagio.com  It's a great deal because for $14 you get the Starter System as well as 4 sampler tins...which equals up to 40 cups of tea!  (Click here for the Starter System.)

And when I'm not drinking some freshly brewed, doctored up tea...I'll be drinking my vodka water out of my beautiful new wine glass given to me by my Dad.  Making water a little less boring!


Monday, March 01, 2010

Healthy Living-Phase 2

At the beginning of the year I committed to a new me and a new way of living...the main component of that plan was to become a runner.  I started strong, I was feeling good and it was becoming a habit and a need.  I have had a few set backs in the last month, I'm still running-though at a slower pace and intensity.  Without going into a million excuses (OK just a couple); I had sickness and a vacation that slowed my progress down.  I still ran, did my exercise, yoga, etc..but not with the consistency as I started earlier in the year.


2 different birthday cakes. Yes, I ate all of this today at lunch-after the leftover Mongolian BBQ. If it's here, I eat it.  Period.

It's time to commit to Phase 2 of my Healthy Living 2010 plan (the name is constantly evolving)...a new way of eating needs to be introduced.  The problem with exercising but still eating without clear boundaries is that I tend to start looking like a Jersey Shore Guido--bulked up.  Time to slim it down!  Screen shot 2010-03-01 at 9.50.31 PM

I have had luck in the past following Jillian Michael Making the Cut plan so I am going to start with that.  The items she recommends eating are all things I should be eating anyhow.  I feel healthy on her plan and NEED that way of eating to become a way of life.  Portion control, lots of vegs, fiber balanced meals--not rocket science.  I will start with a couple breakfast choices, lunch choices and dinner choices each that I will rotate through the week.  Once I get bored, I'll switch it up.  Trying to keep it simple.  KISS (Keep-It-Simple-Stupid) works for me!

Birthday Girls

The greatest birthday gift I have ever received or ever will receive is my daughter Ella.  She was born the day before my birthday 6 years ago.  Six years.  Doesn't seem possible.  We celebrated our birthdays this past weekend and I couldn't have asked for a better weekend.  Beautiful weather and filled with fun and family.  

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One of the many highlights was roller skating together.  Our new favorite thing to do!