Oh She Glows Every Day

Oh She Glows Every Day

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is settling into January, life returning to a normal pace. For my family this means travel, registering for school, running, getting ready to move, and… continuing to build/refine my kitchen skills. My thirty-year-old self would be shocked to learn I enjoy cooking so much!

Can I tell you a secret? Just after Christmas I told my family I’m going to give Vegan a try, for the month of January. I know this doesn’t sound like a huge leap since I do not eat eggs or meat… BUT, I love cheese, and I can’t imagine starting my day without a whole milk latte!

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2018 Books in Review

2018 Books in Review

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season. I have so many updates to share with you, but they will wait for another time.  Just know that 2018 was filled with more joy than sadness… but the sadness was consuming at times. As we move into a new year, my family is SO READY to see what 2019 has in store.  

As we shift into a new year, let’s take a minute to look wrap up 2018. What was your favorite book read in 2018?

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A book (event) brings life to a new project

A book (event) brings life to a new project

In 2002, I inherited about a hundred photo albums.  A photo archive, for one side of my family, dating back to the 1800’s.  As a child, these albums were a must see during family visits.  I remember having three favorites albums as a child… I especially liked the 1950-60’s. Three years ago I decided to go through all the albums, toss the duplicates, blurry photos, and photos of complete strangers. My grandparent’s lives spread out on the floor of a guest room, building a storybook with photographs spanning more than a hundred years.

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I finally ran a Ragnar!

I finally ran a Ragnar!

I have been interested in running a Ragnar race for years - unable to overcome the race logistics (12 runners, two vans, drivers, etc..) I accepted that I will likely never experience this race.  If only because I don't know enough people who run. 

That all changed earlier this year when I saw a post on Facebook mentioning that a team needed a runner.  This was my chance!

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Jack's Basket

Jack's Basket

Hello friends! 

I'm busy catching up from early summer, with a few stories worth sharing.

Last winter, shortly after returning from Nepal, we started talking about a weekend celebration in June.  Our original idea was to visit Cinque Terre.  We would be in Switzerland and add a week to explore Italy.  Sadly, the trip was canceled just weeks later, so we decided to celebrate with friends back in Minnesota. 

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A night with Paula McLain

A night with Paula McLain

Hello friends,

It's no secret that I'm an avid reader and enthusiast of the industry. Sadly, I hardly take advantage of living so close to NYC and all of the social events available to me. So....

A few months ago, while watching a movie with my iPad in my lap (catching up on all things social media), I read a post from a friend mentioning that Paula McLain was coming to NYC.  She was publishing a new novel, and I had not been in the city in a few months, so I bought a ticket that night.

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Crafting a Patterned Home: a book review

Crafting a Patterned Home: a book review

Hello Friends!

Art and design are my first true loves.  I was practically raised in museums, going to art auctions, and spending hours upon hours in a local design studio that sold fine furniture.  Gabberts was my home away from home, at age ten.  Take a walk through my home and you will find an eclectic mix of high end, local, handmade, and DIY with a sprinkle of IKEA/Target accessories.

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Turkish Delight on a Moonlit Night

Turkish Delight on a Moonlit Night

We traveled to Nepal via Istanbul in October, our first time back since 2013. Oh, how this place has changed.

The photo above is the location of one of our top five travel stories, which happened on Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Street). An unplanned moment that most can't believe we experienced.  

I will never forget Bill telling me that he couldn't wait for me to experience Istanbul. The contrasts of Istanbul are disruptive but strikingly intriguing. Palaces and mosques in random neighborhoods, stray cats wander the alleys of the most beautiful sights, and the voices of the morning prayers chant through empty pathways trimmed with the trash of the food merchant's shops of a busy yesterday.

Welcome to the Orient!

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And the winner is...

And the winner is...

Crisp evenings turn to snowy days, inspiring warm, homemade meals. That's what I think of when I hear the word Chili. 

I remember the day I was introduced to Chili like it was yesterday.  I was a senior in high school - at a friends house.  The father was making a batch on the stove, filled with hamburger I had to wait another decade before trying this dish for the first time.

Much like the avocado, which I didn't try until 2006, I have been enjoying Chili on occasion ever since. 

I am a consumer of other creatives originals.  From knitting patterns to recipes.  Sometime over the last few months I stumbled on  Under a Tin Roof when they were moving from one place to another, and happened to be giving a live property tour on Instagram.  I adore everything about this mother/daughter duo.  The honesty and openness of sharing their daily life: learning new land, creating a CSA, decorating a home, crafting and creating meals from produce they grew, harvested and stored.

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The perfect dessert for a winter dinner

The perfect dessert for a winter dinner

Last fall I told our son that while old fashion, I wanted a Bundt Pan.  I had been listening to an interview about Nordicware, the company, and thought it might be a nice addition for last minute dinner parties. I'm thrilled to tell you that he gave me one for Christmas. 

Growing up in Minnesota, I'm familiar with the company but have had no need for a Bundt Pan, just one of the many products they make. What I didn't know was that the Bundt pan was invented by David Dalquist in 1950, the co-founder of Nordicware. While not important to juggling professional commitments with midweek entertaining... it's a fun fact worth sharing. 

In the baking community, Bundt's are having a moment.  It's likely a second, or third round of popularity and I'm happy to join the fun!  Over ten days in January we hosted three dinner parties, creating the perfect opportunity to try making a Bundt.  

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I read SO many wonderful books in 2017

I read SO many wonderful books in 2017

It's a snowy day here in northern New Jersey. My calendar is full of meetings, or I would be curled up on the sofa with a book, or maybe watching a movie with a roaring fire in the fireplace.  Instead I made this Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili over lunch and will take a snowy walk before the sun sets.

I am late sharing my list of favorite books read last year, a list that is too good not share with you.   I'm thrilled to have read so many wonderful books: from historical fiction to time travel, page-turning modern fiction to books set in cemeteries.

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The Hygge Life, a book review

The Hygge Life, a book review

Hello lovely friends,

My family put away our Christmas decorations yesterday, on St Knut's Day.  A day we have been celebrating for about five years.

Our tradition was to keep the tree up until the weekend after New Years Day until a Swedish runner and her family moved in next door.  She introduced me to modern Swedish traditions celebrated in her childhood home. This aspect of our friendship has shaken up the old world traditions that my family observed.  A welcome shake.

Nordic is a region but the people believe in a blend of Viking customs and Christianity. For Swede's, Lagom the daily practice. For the Dane's, Hygge.  Hygge is having its moment!  When asked to review THE HYGGE LIFE, and flipping through the pages, I knew I wanted to read it.  My lifelong passion for design and the recent discovery of cooking made this a great choice.

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Adventuring on a whim

Adventuring on a whim

When was the last time you did something spontaneous? 

One of my favorite travel memories began on a leap of faith. We had driven through Chaminox (France) several times over the years but had yet to plan a winter weekend there. With parasailing at the top of our list, we tend to call ahead, and the wind isn't cooperating, so we make alternative plans. 

On this three week stay, we were in the area and decided to plan a weekend getaway.  It was early December, so I started researching outdoor ideas. That's how I stumbled on a travel company specializing in outdoor adventures near Chamonix, Happy Tracks.

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Happy Merry Meraki

Happy Merry Meraki

Hello lovely friends,

Happy New Year.  It's a day that is celebrated around the globe, with cheers to new beginnings, prosperity and good health.  I hope you look back on 2017 with fondness, and are ready for a joyous 2018. 

Do you set new year resolutions, or intentions? Or maybe take inventory of your current self and focus on exploration/personal growth?  When I was fourteen I gave up chocolate for a year, except for green M&M's (I can't explain why, let's just go with it).  In July I was gifted a coffee mug full of green M&M's on my birthday... I was told it took pounds of chocolate to fill the mug. Can you believe I managed to eat only one coffee mug of green M&M's for an entire year?

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