Monday, February 28, 2011

this just in...

...The Fabulous Beekman Boys is back!  Season 2 starts on March 22nd on Planet Green! Get excited!!

p.s. Totally unrelated, but check out Erin Gates' post about the Oscars on her blog, Elements of Style.  It sums up PERFECTLY how I felt about the night.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

what do young adults care about?

I found this video at a little greener every day:

Aside from being cool, it really makes me wish I had an English accent!

Friday, February 25, 2011

whoa. find and save kansas city

Some things are just meant to be.  Do you ever have those moments where things just fall into place perfectly?  Like a glitch in the Matrix? Maybe? Even though, to be completely honest with you, I don't really know what a glitch in the Matrix means, because I fell asleep during that movie.  Go ahead, hate me. It's true.  I fall asleep during lots of movies.  I fell asleep during Avatar too.  I should probably stop admitting to these things.

ANYWAY, my most recent fortuitous "glitch" is that right after I wrote my last post, I went to check out other blogs, checked out Full House (as previously mentioned in Blog Love) and clicked my way to Melanie's blog at Find and Save in Kansas City.  UM, hello! If you're currently in Kansas City and don't already follow this blog, I definitely suggest that you start!  But also, this will be a great way for me to find new places in KC.  Whenever I visit,  I joke with Dan's family about how I cannot find my way around for the life of me, despite the fact that KC is essentially laid out on a grid.  (This is tourist anger karma coming back to bite me in the butt.)  Melanie divulges where to find great clothing bargains and reviews different restaurants and shops she visits.

On the website there are other deals that remind me of groupon, but I'm most interested in the blog. I'm new to this blog, but Melanie Knopke, a former clothing buyer, calls herself the Shopping Scout and she posts about all sorts of cool things/finds in Kansas City and even includes street addresses for where to find them!  She has another blog called Scout- a Mom's guide to stylish living.  And while I'm not a mom, it's still a pretty awesome blog with lots of fashion and home decor advice.  Check them both out!  I can't wait to live somewhere where it's NOT common practice to wear long underwear as pants :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

the good with the bad

I LOVE living in the mountains.  I love being surrounded by nature.  I love that being outdoors is not only a part of my job, but IS my job.  But sometimes, I start to feel a bit claustrophobic in my small mountain town.  This town is made for tourists, not regular people.  Paying $16 for a movie ticket gets old after awhile (sorry if it's that much in NYC!).  Having only two grocery stores does too...if you're counting WalMart, we have three.  The only places to shop for clothing either sell overpriced ski coats or overpriced fur coats (not that I would know if a fur jacket were overpriced).

Plus there's the frustration that comes with essentially living with tourists.  On most days, I would say 90% of the population here is a tourist.  Of course, that also adds for constant entertainment, like when people drive their cars on the pedestrian-only roads or ask how to take the bus to the mid-mountain restaurant or where we put the moguls in the summer.  Trust me.  It happens more than you'd think.  If you ever want to lose your faith in the common sense of the human race, come here for a week and take note.  I swear, there is some weird chemical in the air here that causes otherwise very successful people to become complete idiots.  Entertainment factor aside, constantly providing information for people and dealing with people who don't know how to use everyday aspects of my life (like load a chair lift or ride the bus) gets tiring.  This video, however, will always make me smile:

Poor man.  I don't mean to complain about my situation.  I know my life is awesome.  I know that I am so lucky to have my job and live in such a beautiful place.  It's just that I'm feeling a little burnt out right now and am looking forward to things to moving to Kansas City at the end of the having a Trader Joe's (will it be open yet?), real shopping, more than three grocery stores (including Whole Foods!), a Target, and just general real life amenities at real life prices.  It's going to be great.

I also know that this season is going to be over before I know it, so I should probably make the most of it while I'm here.  This includes going skiing tomorrow.  Even though my aching feet don't want me to put on those tight, painful boots ever again, even though it's my first day off in a week and all I want to do is clean my room and sit on the couch all day, even though I should really be doing my taxes (running your own business for a summer is a biatch).  Even though all sorts of things, I should probably go skiing.  Because in two months skiing will be gone, but I can always clean my room. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

blog love: full house (and a modern barn)

One of my favorite blogs, Full House, written by, Christina, a mom of FIVE who looks more gorgeous than I could ever dream of being as a mom of zero with lots of free time.   I guess I don't have any more excuses to wear sweatpants and long underwear everyday.  Sigh.

Her ability to look awesome aside, her blog is filled with images of things I love!  Every time I go there, I'm so impressed by what she's written about--most recently, a post about an amazing modern barn home.

Isn't this place just beautiful?  I would live there in a heartbeat.  

images originally via here

Saturday, February 19, 2011

chicken and cheese enchiladas

In an attempt to get out of our cooking rut, Dan and I tried a new recipe the other night.  Dan was craving "a casserole or enchiladas"...yes, I know.  So, we went for the cheesiest enchilada recipe we could find.  I'm not going to even try to pretend that this recipe is healthy, but it certainly does taste good!

Of course, we also wanted to choose a recipe that would allow us to use the new blender I got for my birthday from Dan and his parents.  In typical KP fashion, I tried to wash the blender after mixing, forgot that the blade isn't attached and sliced my finger open when trying to catch it.  Sigh.  It bled for what seemed like forever and of course I keep hitting the cut on EVERYTHING.  Light switches have proven to be particularly painful. 

I need to learn how to be able to put pictures together, so this could look more like a film strip.  I stink at this stuff. 

The recipe we used came from the Food Network Kitchens, although we did alter it a little bit in an attempt to add more flavor.  Despite a few steps, it's a relatively easy recipe to make. 

Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas adapted from The Food Network Kitchens

1 medium red onion, 1/3 cut into thin slices, 2/3 left whole for broiling
3-4 cloves garlic
1-2 serrano chili peppers (we used two and took the seeds and ribs out, per recipe instructions, but found  
we would leave them in next time for more heat)
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, skins removed and rinced

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
salt, pepper and sugar to taste

8 flour tortillas (the recipe calls for corn, but we both prefer flour)

3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 and 1 cups shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
2-3 tsp chili powder
2-3 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic pepper
1/3 + cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 + tbs olive oil
3/4 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese

Broil 2/3 of the onion, the garlic, serrano chilis and tomatillos in the oven on a baking sheet covered in tinfoil.   The other third of the onion should be very thinly sliced for garnish. Rotate occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes (the recipe calls for 7 to 10, but ours definitely weren't browned then).   Add them and any juices in the pan to a blender, along with chicken broth, salt, pepper, and sugar.  Blend to desired smoothness and don't forget to taste for seasoning! 

While the vegetables are broiling, mix the rotisserie chicken, monterey jack cheese, chili, cumin, garlic pepper and chopped fresh cilantro in a bowl. 

Heat the flour tortillas in a wet paper towel in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave and roll them each with a few big spoonfuls of the chicken mixture inside and place inside a greased 8 x 12 baking dish. Roll tightly so they'll all fit in the dish!  Brush an additional couple of table spoons of olive oil across the tops of tortillas.  Place under broiler until golden brown about 3 minutes.

Pour the tomatillo sauce over the enchiladas and top with the additional cup of shredded monterey jack cheese.  You could do less, but we were going for cheesy.  Continue to broil for about another 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and starting to brown on top.

Remove dish from oven, top with crumbled queso fresco, additional chopped cilantro and sliced onion.  Enjoy! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

blog love: black eiffel (and a Turkish cave hotel)

Black Eiffel had me at its name.  Anything with a reference to Paris and any/all things French catches my oeuil.  Although the blog doesn't necessarily have to do with French things, it has the uncompromising style and grace of a Parisian woman. It's written by graphic designer, Rachel Jones, and is filled with gorgeous images of fashion, interior design, food, etc.  Plus, her blog is in the Martha Stewart Circle, and I'm pretty sure anything endorsed by Martha Stewart is okay by me (minus knitting with your dog's fur).

Recently, Rachel posted about the Yunak Evleri Cave Hotel in Turkey that I couldn't bear not to share with you.  It is built into a cave and looks absolutely breathtaking.  What I wouldn't give to spend a few nights relaxing here: 

photos originally from here, found on black eiffel

UPDATE:  I just went back to Black Eiffel and saw this video:

It is about Paris and is part of the EF Live the Language campaign.  EF.  E. F. as in the company I used to work for when I lived in Boston!  They do such a good job with their marketing! If you click on the link there are videos for Beijing, Barcelona and London too.  Rachel said the video has been making its way through the blog world, but this is the first I had seen of it.  Crazy! It makes me want to go back to Paris.  Immediately.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

you say it's your birthday

Today is my birthday!  The big 2-7.  YUCK.  Late twenties is scary.  I think it means it's time for me to be a real adult.  Anyway, I've got to get to work, but I wanted to tell you about a new post series I'm going to try to do.  Birthdays always remind you of how many people care about you and, I must say, I have some truly amazing friends.  So, in honor of all of them, I'm going to start a new series called "My Cool Life" (or maybe a cooler name if I can think of it...I'm bad at these things), where I profile all of my friends.

That's all! Hope you all have a great day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy valentine's day

What is everyone doing to celebrate?  Dan and I are taking it easy and making dinner at home.  Although, there is a Qdoba opening in Vail today.  The joke is that it will be the busiest restaurant in town.  

image from here, via here

Sunday, February 13, 2011

one day without shoes

I recently became obsessed with TOMS shoes.  I had seen them around before, but it wasn't until Dan's cousin, Katy, sang their praises when we visited her in DC this fall that I found myself dying to buy a pair.  In November, I purchased my first pair, which is gray, in Kansas City.  I love them.  They're my grown-up, sneaky way to wear something as comfortable as slippers outside while still looking appropriate.   
Then, for Christmas, I received another pair, this time sparkly and festive!  

And the best part about them is that every time you buy a pair, an identical pair (maybe sans sparkles) is given to children living in poverty.  I know some people are skeptical of this policy, saying that giving an equal amount of money to those same children would help them more.  While I understand their point, I disagree with them.  I think many of the people who purchase these shoes (aka me, as much as I hate to admit it) are more likely to buy the shoes than to find a specific way to donate money.  Furthermore, I think it's a phenomenal business concept.  Why not build some philanthropic mission into your business model?  Now, people can buy cute shoes and feel good about doing it.  Plus, it's a great way to make sure that important resources are reaching the people who need them.

To promote their mission, TOMS has created a "One Day Without Shoes" campaign.  Here is the promotional youtube video: 

I would love to try to go without shoes for a day....although if I'm teaching ski school, it might be difficult.  To learn more visit:

photos of shoes from

Thursday, February 10, 2011

ray allen

Ray Allen just broke the NBA record for the most career three-pointer field goals!  He edged out Reggie Miller with 2561 three-pointers made.  I love Ray Allen! And I love his mom and her glittery "Mom Allen" jersey.  Ah, talk about times you wish you were back on the East Coast!

note: this picture is not from tonight.  


I am sick of my hair.  It is boring and blah and, as I like to joke (although fear is the truth), is mousy brown.   I also have been wearing it in the same loose bun and/or pony tail since the 8th grade (my middle school friends can attest to this).  It is safe to say:  I'm in a hair rut.

The problem is I don't know if I could afford to keep up with highlights or dyeing.  And, to be completely honest, it's not practical to wear your hair down while teaching skiing.  Although some girls do.  They're just like those girls who wear their hair down while running on the treadmill at the gym.  WHAT?  Why on earth would you do such a thing??  I always want to interrupt their run to ask them if they'd like to borrow an extra hair band (I tend to have at least 2 at all times on my never know when one might snap!).  I mean seriously.  Do you need to look good so badly that you want to wear your hair down while you sweat?  Gross.

Tangent aside, I have been noticing some cool new casual up-dos on blogs lately.  Everything Fabulous, in particular, has shown some really great ideas:

The double knot seems relatively simple--just like knotting a string, plus bobby pins.  Click on the link for a tutorial.   Another great style from Everything Fabulous is this ponytail:

If I could make my hair do this, I would be the happiest girl alive!  However, I have no idea how.  Unfortunately, there was no tutorial on Everything Fabulous.  Can anyone who is more hair savvy than I figure it out?   And then explain it to me as if you were talking to a 3-year old?

Joanna Goddard just put another great tutorial on A Cup of Jo.   In case you didn't know, I love J. Crew and Joanna posted all about how to make a great, messy side-ponytail, just like you'll find all over J. Crew's latest catalog.

photo by Jamie Beck

I guess I need to get practicing! Because even relatively simple tasks like this leave me bewildered and frustrated.  Is that redundant?  If I do ever successfully complete one of these looks, I'll force Dan to take a picture so I can show it to you all!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

maine perfume

I think it is an inevitable truth that whenever you're living away from home, you will get least once in awhile. And while most of the time I am so in awe of the beauty of the Rockies that I don't have time to be homesick, every so often, something will remind me so strongly of Maine or the Northeast that I can't help but fight back tears.  I know it shouldn't make me cry, but, let's face it, I'm a softy.

Knowing that I wont be back in Maine this summer (other than for visits, of course), makes me a little sad.  Of course, I am very excited to check out Kansas City and have Dan show me around his hometown, but I know that at the same time, I will miss the ocean and my family and friends.  This past summer in Maine, when we'd drive around, particularly at dusk, I loved to roll down the windows and inhale all of the smells that mean summer to me: fresh pine, musky ocean, the bright scent of flowers.  I loved those moments.  I cherished that smell.   If only I could bottle it up, to keep it with me wherever I go, and be able to smell that favorite smell whenever I want.

I have seen this perfume from MCMC Frangrances mentioned on numerous blogs.  I have never smelled it in person, but I wonder what it smells like.  Could it capture that same essence that I oh, so love?  I don't know if it's possible...but I'd certainly be willing to give it a try.

photo from:

kansas city

Alright, this post took way to look to be published, but things have been crazy here since Dan and I got back from Kansas. Anyway, let me tell you about it:

Our flight was uneventful, phew.  And we made it to the airport with enough time to eat Panda Express before our flight boarded at 10:15 am.  Yes, that's right. Dan and I ate Panda Express, chow mein, orange chicken and all BEFORE 10 am.  Yes, I know it's disgusting.  And yes, given the chance, I would probably do it again.  Please don't stop being my friend.

While in Kansas, I hung out with these four characters:

Meet Zoe, Maggie, Joey, and Bernie: formerly my worst Kansas enemies, now my furry friends. I can pet them and hold them and try to get them to do tricks.  I was pretty excited about all of this.  Although it took some serious self-restraint to NOT wash my hands immediately after touching them--I guess I have trained my allergic self well over the years!  I did feel a bit of a reaction--a slightly itchy eye or lip here and there.  All in all though, it's such a huge improvement from before--looks like that "voodoo" doctor is working! 

Dan and Chrissy (his sister) got to go to the KU- K-State basketball game.  The game was highly anticipated, as K-State began the season ranked higher than KU, an egregious insult to the historically better KU team. 

Jim (see my post about staying in Denver) used his basketball clout to hook Dan up with some pretty amazing seats.  Dan brought our new camera and took some really amazing shots, including this one of Thomas Robinson, whose mother tragically passed away only a week prior. Not to mention that he had to be told the horrible news by his 7-year old sister, because both of his grandparents had died within the past month or two.  The NCAA, rather uncharacteristically, let the team fly out to DC for his mom's funeral.  Watching Robinson play so well under such  horrendous circumstances was really inspirational. The game was a blow out, with Kansas beating K-State 90 to 66.  

Aside from getting riled up about basketball and trying to teach Joey how to "speak," we ate a lot of delicious food (including the popovers shown above), went shopping, and just spent time hanging out.  It was a great, relaxing visit, albeit a rather short one.  But, in just a few short months, we'll be back for awhile---look out Kansas City, here we come!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

change of rules

Alright, I know I promised a picture a day, but clearly I'm failing miserably at it.  And, not being one to enjoy failure, I'm just going to revoke my promise.  Ha...see where my values lie?  I'm just kidding about the values.  But seriously, this one picture a day thing has really been getting me down.  I feel like I can't blog about anything, because I don't have a good picture to go with it.  So, instead of trying to take a picture, I just don't post.  I'm sorry, but I just can't do it. I do still promise to post pictures often (like now),  just not daily.

Dan and I went to Kansas City for this past weekend, with a quick stop in Denver on our way.  We visited our roommate Jim (who only lives in Vail very part-time but is mostly in Denver) and had a blast.  Jim lives in the most phenomenal building ever smack dab in downtown Denver (his place looks out over the Denver Convention Center) that is filled with amenities like pools and hot tubs (outdoors) and fire pits and a gym and a huuuuge theater room and all sorts of cool common areas.  Not to mention TVs in the elevators.  I know that maybe this isn't the best analogy, but it kind of reminded me of the Real World.  Just not trashy and drunken (okay maybe a liiitttle drunken).  But a place so cool you just wish you could live there.  And for a night, Dan and I did.

This picture doesn't really do the view justice, since you can see reflections of the bar stools and me in it. But, it is a great view! And just as good in the daytime, as the Rockies are lurking just behind those lights that go on forever.  Also, Jim has a corner unit and out of the other side of windows (floor to ceiling on all walls, mind you) you can see right into the Ritz.  (I think it's the Ritz? Some fancy hotel anyway.)  And it's realllly fun to spy! Haha, we watched people get lost in hallways and a kid jumping on the bed and the ensuing pillow fight.  Quite entertaining, although I did feel like a bit of a creep.  Luckily, nothing x-rated happened while we watched.  After hanging out in Jim's apartment for a bit, we went out to a bunch of places nearby:  The Four Seasons, a champagne bar and an Italian place.  It was so much fun and almost difficult to leave the next day, minus the fact that Kansas awaited us.

OH WAIT PS I forgot to tell you one of the coolest things about Jim's apartment.  Actually two of the coolest things:  1) We didn't actually stay with Jim.  We stayed in his building, but the building has guest suites that you can get for friends if you live there so they don't actually have to stay with you and drive you nuts.  How awesome is that? Our guest suite was pretty cool, but not as cool as Jim's corner unit.  2) LOOK at what Jim has:

Yup! That's an Olympic Gold Medal from Beijing!!! Jim is basically in charge of (aka I don't really know his title) the USA Basketball Team, so when they win gold, Jim wins gold too.  I asked him if I could touch it and gingerly stuck out a finger to poke at it.  Jim laughed at me and told me to try it on and take some pics.  He even said we could use his coffee table as our podium.  (Don't worry mothers who are reading this--we were polite and kept our feet on the floor.)

This post is getting long, so I think the Kansas City part will have to be separate.  Soon, soon, I promise.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

first of february

My visits to the holistic doctor are making me want to integrate more environmentally friendly practices into my life.  I know that holistic doctor doesn't necessarily equal green, just like a regular doctor doesn't necessarily not equal green.  But my success there (more to come on this later) is inspiring to live a more whole life in general.

I want to try to take baby steps towards making my life both more eco-friendly and healthy.   My goal (do I have enough goals yet??) is to integrate a new "green practice" into my life every month.  This month, I'm starting simple: being better about turning off lights.  I am normally pretty good about this, but, admittedly, have gotten worse this winter.  I think it's because subconsciously I remember that utilities are included in our rent.  I don't feel so much pressure to save money.  But it's not just about saving money, it's about not wasting energy.  So tonight, I made a very conscious effort to turn off every light that I didn't absolutely need on.  There were plenty of times where I realized I'd left the light on in the entry way or in the kitchen.  And while I didn't want to get back up and out from under my blanket to turn them off, I did.

So, yes, baby steps.  Maybe my steps are too little.  But this is one thing I know I can do right away.