NY TIMES BEST ICED LATTE!

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Last summer, I gave up caffeine for a month. This summer, I’m embracing the iced coffee. Ha! My usual morning routine would be to make  espresso in my Bialetti and pour over ice, top with some half & half, sip through my stainless steel straw. But last week I read about the NY Times Best Iced Latte in America. It called for homemade almond-macadamia milk. I’ve never made homemade almond milk and found myself bored and cooking up a storm this Sunday – literally made homemade lemonade, iced coffee, almond-macadamia milk, ginger chicken stir-fry with spicy peanut sauce, and brownies…from a box, ha! Still. The most cooking I’ve done in years and it felt so gooood.

Both the cold-brew coffee and almond-macadamia milk are so easy to make. I like to triple this cold-brew coffee recipe. The almond-macadamia milk makes a lot – it’s 1 cup blanched almonds, 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, and 1/3 cup dates all soaked over 1 liter of water. I just put everything in my blender to soak overnight.

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In the morning, I blended and then strained. Ta-da! It was this creamy gorgeous nut milk that will last 4-5 days in the fridge.

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What’s your favorite way to make coffee? I’m always up to try new methods!

Posted in EATS | Tagged | Leave a comment

MEET MILLIE, my instagram obsession!

My sister forwarded me this article about Millie, the rock-climbing/adventure-loving cat.

“Millie has all the qualities a good climbing partner should have. She never complains, no matter how bad it gets. She always wants to go higher, and she pushes herself hard. But she also knows when to stop. When she’s done, she’s done. She’ll find a cave or climb a tree and won’t move until she’s rested. She takes big risks and doesn’t bitch when they don’t pan out. And she cuddles at night inside your sleeping bag and keeps you warm. She isn’t annoyingly mono-focused on climbing, either. She’s happy to explore slot canyons, caves, deserts, fields, etc.”

So…Millie is bad-ass, no?

I’m now obsessed with @pechanga‘s instagram. It’s inspiring, adorable, and heart-warming.

Posted in LIFE | 4 Comments

VT –> NYC –> VT: the past week in iPhone pics

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Oh hey, I never got around to posting all these pictures last week. Last Saturday, I hiked up Stowe Pinnacle (one of my favorite Vermont hikes) with Ashley, baby Finn, and their pup Jackson.

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Finn slept most of the hike and has the most AMAZING lashes I’ve ever seen on a baby.

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Ashley was so sweet and brought maple cookies to snack on at the top of the mountain.

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On Sunday, I hopped over to NYC to visit with Laney while she was in the city for work. Highlights included picnic and bike rides in Central Park, a visit to MoMA, sipping rose champagne at the Plaza with Laney, and seeing my friend Teresa who just moved back east from a two year stint in San Francisco!

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Unpictured: the most fabulous meal at Nobu! And more pictures of me and Laney. I only got one…

This weekend we had sunny, 80-degree days and I got FRIED playing outside – picnics, biking, swimming, and long walks – despite numerous applications of sunscreen. I even used the SPF 70 for babies.

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Sunset picnic on the second floor of Splash on Burlington’s waterfront.

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Dessert with girlfriends at Leunigs during Jazz Fest in Burlington.

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Swimming and playing in the woods in Bolton.

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Paddle-boarding and sun-bathing with Jen at Oakledge Park.

Posted in LIFE | 1 Comment

Pretty views –> From STOWE to NYC!

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I just got home from New York City today and I had to laugh at the vista contrast on my pictures.

Saturday: hiking in Stowe. Lots of trees, very few buildings.
Monday: urban walking in NYC. Lots of buildings, very few trees.

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MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND: Bolton, braids, and bike rides.

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Long weekends are the best, no? I got out in the woods near Bolton on Sunday afternoon, after watching some friends run the marathon. It was nice to escape the city spectator crowds and walk around the woods later that day. There were people swimming (okay, skinny dipping) down the river. I have NO IDEA how they stood the water temp? I put my feet in the water but it’s still frickin’ freezing.

I went down to watch the marathon with Jen and we played with braids in our hair. I never do anything with my hair except wear it down or in a ponytail.  I’m thinking of challenging myself to do more braids! I found this site and it’s fantastic, as is Barefoot Blonde’s hair tutorials. This is the Dutch side braid.

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Bathroom selfie. Ooooh, quick curly hair routine update. This isn’t the best photo, but lately my hair has been curlier than it has been in years.  My sisters and mom were even surprised when I saw them last weekend. It could totally be hormonal – my hair didn’t get curly until I was 13, then around 23 it got less curly, and now at 33 it’s finding its curls again – OR it could be my updated hair routine. Who knows? I’ve started to use all the DevaCurl products: no-poo shampoo, one condition conditioner, their defining gel. And I’ve even stopped using a comb when it’s wet, preferring to just use my fingers. So no brush, no comb,  NO TOWEL, and no heat. In the shower, I’ll “shampoo” (except it doesn’t lather), then add some conditioner (letting it sit for a few minutes, while I shave), then I rake my fingers through any knots, briefly rinse with cold water (my least favorite part), flip my hair over and scrunch in gel while I’m still in the shower. I’ll let it air dry or wrap a t-shirt around my hair to soak up excess water. The downside is that my hair takes EONS to dry, so this routine is easier at night. I wake up and it’s super crazy curls.

**Speaking of shower routines, have you read the recent NYT article about going 28 days sans soap? Fascinating. I had a laugh at this line: “I started to smell a little bit and then, later, a lot. It turns out my natural odor is something between fresh-cut onions and pungent marijuana, and I would never have discovered that otherwise.”

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Jen watching the marathon.

Perfect running weather and I had fun being a spectator instead of a runner. Lemonade and sunshine helped!

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Some other random fun weekend tidbits: yoga, my first kickball game, long bike rides out to the Causeway, creemees, lilacs, and raspberry baked goods.

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Jen made her mom’s raspberry pie one day and then I used leftover filling to make homemade crepes on Monday. Smitten Kitchen recipe OF COURSE.

 

Posted in LIFE, WEEKEND | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Virtual Road Trip Out West!

100 mph arches bryce canyon camping carlsbad caverns colorado river colorado grand canyon yavapi point joshua tree lemonade break okabts abd burds abd rocks and things san diego santa fe thornehill broome beach utah zion
Photos via @ratatatnatcat

Heyyyy! Happy Friday. I might do my usual Friday routine – work, work out, go get a burger at The Farmhouse tonight. (Last night I stayed in and cried, I mean watched Dallas Buyer’s Club, which I’d been wanting to see for months now. So good, so sad.) But here’s a glimpse of my cousin Natalie’s life right now. She just graduated from college in Ohio and is on an epic road trip out west. HOW MUCH FUN DOES THIS LOOK!? I’m stalking her instagram (@ratatatnatcat) on a daily basis. There’s so many places I haven’t been out there! Dying to visit Zion, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, The Badlands, Santa Fe (again), San Diego, anywhere in Oregon, anywhere in Washington, and on it goes.

Posted in RANDOM | 1 Comment

Weekend in the Midwest: Leah’s Bat Mitzvah/HOME!

Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME

Took a quick trip home for my cousin’s bat mitzvah in Michigan and to see my niece Amelia on her first birthday. When she was born, I remember that I was on a train en route from Osaka back to Takaoka after a Sigur Ros concert (a blast), but I missed her teeny tiny baby days…sad!

I flew into Ohio on Thursday, then we drove the four hours to Michigan on Friday, stayed there until Sunday, drove home, I played in Ohio on Monday, and flew back on Tuesday. I got back to Vermont at midnight, whew! But I miss out on so many things living either a few plane rides or a 15-hr car ride from home, that it was nice to be part of the party weekend.

So, the bat mitzvah, my first one and WOW. Leah did an awesome job (I would have been a paralyzed mess by public speaking at age 13) and what a celebration!  I realized that Leah has like 100 of these to go to this year between all of her friends. It’s like prom times 1,000, and I’m so jealous of this 13-year-old’s social calendar, because it was a blast.

Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOMELeah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME

On Monday, Mom and I went on a little adventure to the Hartman Rock Garden (the strangest/coolest backyard in Springfield made entirely out of rocks) and to Yellow Springs for some hiking at Glen Helen.

Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME

I could be in England or some medieval fortress by the looks of this picture…WILD.

Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME

We couldn’t get over how nice it was outside – the weather had been colder in the midwest than Vermont that weekend.  I love the Glen too, the rock formations and water remind me of something out of Last of the Mohicans.

Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Mom and I loved this plant – the stems looked like thread.
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME

And look at this baby, coming to visit me in my room while I packed. Deliciousness. I could eat her up with a spoon.

Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME

I tried to get some outdoor pics of the birthday baby, but she actually HATES the grass. Hahaha! She’s walking everywhere, and I think doesn’t like the soft unstable feel of it.

Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME

She tried to climb up my leg, so dad got out a blanket for her, but she tired of that quickly too and tried to climb on top of him.

Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME
Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME

Mom and I took her on a stroller ride and she passed out before I had to leave for the airport. Such a short visit! I’ll be back for a longer time in July, which will be really nice.

Leah's Bat Mitzvah/HOME

And it’s already almost the weekend again. Peeps have fun plans? It’s marathon weekend in Vermont and I might watch some friends run this Sunday. It will be bittersweet, since I can’t run those distances anymore, but at least I’m able to go on 6-mile walks pain-free these days! Adulthood –> all about perspective.

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