Wearing Hank out

If you know labs, you know they don't get tired. Ever. And Hank, as a 1-year-old pure-bred choocolate lab, fits the bill; running here, sniffing that, going going going until I can't imagine he has any energy left, but in all reality he is just getting started. Thankfully Hank saves most his crazy energy for outside, but it doesn't keep him from going slightly mentally crazy when he is inside. While I work, he is constantly audibly grumbling; staring at me incessantly; bringing me his ball five million times only to look at it emotionless after I throw it for him. It's so sad.

But let me clarify. Hank. Gets. Exercise. Every day. Up in the mountains or around the neighborhood. Miles and miles and miles. He runs and sprints and sniffs and chases imaginary things. But despite all of this, no dice my friends. No dice. Until this week. This week ::enter congratulatory trumpets:: I conquered that energy ball. WHA-BAM! And surprisingly, the formula is simple. I think the power is in the compound and the double park time. It goes a little something like this (this is a two-day formula mind you):

DAY 1: A varying-inclined 3-mile hike/walk in 8 inches of snow with a good bout of intense running and jumping and playing at the park.

DAY 2: Another 1.5 mile snow walk with another good 1/2 hour round of rigorous fetch at the park.

And TA-DAH! That's it! I caught a whiff of my success when Hank started to run slower and slower back to me each time I threw his frisbee at the park the second day. "Is he getting tired?" I thought to myself? Which was complete nonsense, you understand. But then, by the time we got home, Hank dragged himself up our front stairs and collapsed into a sleepy stupor on the couch. And I sat down too, only I was simply reveling in my success. A tired pup is a happy pup -- that's what they all say. Mission accomplished.

New Balance m576

I'm typically a white Chuck Taylor kind of girl, but I'm a bit smitten with these warm, buttery, tan leather New Balances as of late. I would pair them with all sort of jeans and worn t-shirts during the summer, and would especially favor them on days when I would need to do a fair amount of walking; now that's foot travel with style.


Happy Monday friends! I hope everyone had a lovely, relaxing weekend. I started if off with a girls night on Friday with some of my dearest friends and made a version of this bento tote (tutorial to come); I plan to use it as a lunch sack and may just make one for Ty too. Then I rounded off the weekend with wedding dress shopping with a friend on Saturday and a date night with Ty to see Hitchcock that evening. I had been dying to see it since Thanksgiving, but it just barely ventured into Utah a few weeks ago and happened to go to our favorite Spanish Fork movie theater! The movie was not at all what I was expecting, but it was brilliant. Highly recommended. And surprisingly I even laughed in it.

Necklace layering

I gave necklace layering a go today because look at how cute this is! I want to pick up a few more thin-chained necklaces at a local thrift store, but in the mean time, I'm really loving this look.

NECKLACE 1: Nordstrom, similar
NECKLACE 2: Jcrew, similar
NECKLACE 3: Nikki Lorraine


Banoffee Pie

We few weeks ago I was chatting with a long-lost friend in a local pizzaria when she brought up banoffee pie.

"What's that?" I asked.

Bewildered and slightly in shock she explained that banoffee pie was the most incredible concoction known to man.

"Chocolate, banana, toffee pie," she said. "You're welcome."

And that was that. So, when I came across this recipe today on Sprinkle Bakes, I felt that I must (MUST!) pass it on or I would be failing the universe. You better believe I will be baking this sometime soon to be floored by it's goodness on a first-hand basis -- I may leave the sprinkles out of the crust though, they look a little funny to me.


A little organization

Can I just tell you a little unexpected way my life has gotten oddles better lately? It may seem a bit silly, but really -- I assure you, much much better. Let me tell you the story. You see, last week, as I opened the chaos I call my google reader, I decided it was high time that little blog-reading space got organized. I hadn't touched it since a kind friend helped me get it all started a few years ago (I had eons of unread posts from sites I never checked), and it was high time I gave some method to the madness.

And so I did. Be gone randomly organized sites! Off you go no-longer-posting blogs! Away with you jumbled organizational mess! And poof, my world got better just like that. And can I tell you, organizing by subject matter just makes my blog browsing SO much better. It's like my little brain now has a queue for what we are going to look at and is therefore more prepared to absorb and digest all those great ideas and photos people put out there. It really is really great. So. If you want my advice and feel like you are in a non-productive rut, I say do it. Organize that reader of yours. Make it into a bounteous tool that is there to only please you and provide you with all that great inspiration you are seeking. You won't regret it.


What I sported

Today I sported this lipstick and my $2 patent-leather, garage-sale-find shoes. I felt quite fancy.

And PS -- can I just tell you that that lipstick is the champion of all lipsticks? No smearing. No coming off on cups or spoons or when I smooch Ty. Lasting like the marathon of all marathon lipsticks with beautiful color coverage after 4 hours of wearing. Honestly so impressed over here.

Sick pics

I like to pride myself that I rarely get sick. When my work allots specific sick days rather than just a chunk of paid time off, I tend to get more than a little bugged. "But I NEVER use those!" I always think to myself. But last week that self shut right up cause I was sick for 6 days straight, friends. SIX DAYS! Man, that's a lot of days. During those 6 days, I ventured out less times than I can count on one hand, and I spent a lot of time hanging out with Hank on the couch waiting for my sinuses decide being stuffed up was not their jive. I am happy to report I can now breath out of both nostrils freely and I can go outside without fearing I will develop pneumonia. Being sick really is the pits. My heart and best wishes go out to any of you still under the influence of some yucky virus -- I swear, it seems like everyone has been sick over the last few weeks. Here's the breakdown of the pics above.

1. I made a batch of these tasty honey bran muffins the morning before I got sick. Such a life saver when cooking sounded less than fun.
2. The side table of a sick person.
3. My trusty couch companion -- what a trooper.
4. Sweet potato and black bean burritos for a kick of spice and nutrients.
5. I finished the beanie I started knitting for Ty over Christmas break. I especially love that it's made with yarn we bought in Iceland in September.

A new 2013 resolution

A couple weeks ago, I was celebrating New Years and making New Years resolutions just like the rest of the world, and I came up with three things I would like to do in the new year.

1. Take Hank on at least one long walk every day (except when I am sick)
2. Eat a more plant-based diet.
3. Attend the temple at least once each month.

And there you have it. I thought they were pretty good, manageable goals. The kind of goals that will just make life a little bit nicer, don't you think? But today, friends, today I decided to make one more goal. One that will stretch this little lady just a bit (cause who doesn't need a little bit of stretching now and again). And it is, drummmm roll pleeeeeaaaase....

4. Attempt to make French macarons at least once this year.

Now, let me just say, I used to get really jazzed on macarons. For a while there a couple years back, they were A#1 my thing. My jive. I would make special trips to Salt Lake just to grab some from Gourmandise. And we even had them at our wedding. But that all said, they haven't been all that exciting to me as of late. Often when I buy them they seem over priced and not very well made. They just don't pack the dessert punch that they used to. And, if we are being honest, I just don't really like them anymore.

So why on earth would I want to make them now you ask? Well, I'll tell you. French macarons are notoriously difficult little treats to master (in case you haven't heard). And I think successfully making those finicky little cookies on my own could prove to be quite the rewarding feat for my non-master-baker self. Plus, I think it may just bring a redemption for those little morsels if I can make this happen. And thirdly, I think taking on a real challenge in the kitchen is something I should do at least once a year. I mean, am I right or am I right. And worse comes to worse, I make those fantastic little cookies, still don't love them like I used to, and I just give them away to people I love. I mean really, a bad idea? I think not. And, in case you want to join me, these three blogs seem to be the best of the best in info sourcing. So here we go friends. 2013 -- the year of the macaron (even if I am a bit slow to get on the boat).


A Portland Christmas

Ty and I headed to Portland for Christmas again this year. This was our second Christmas with the Clark family, and I just love it every time. Thankfully, I find I am less cold with each visit too (I swear, something about that humidity just gets me). Plus, coming back to Utah only to be greeted with icicles on our car door handles also helped me put into perspective the coldness of Portland. Needless to say, the holiday was wet (as is to be expected), not as cold as anticipated, and oh so much fun.

You know what I think I love most about holiday time? Game time with family. I just don't think you can beat game time; everyone just huddled around a table, bound to be full of lots of laughing and smiles. And I think it appeals to my slightly, but not overly competitive side. It never fails to be a part of my fondest memories each trip. So random, I know, but I'm telling you I am a game loving girl.

Other trip happenings (besides game time) included a hike to Multnomah falls, biking around the city with my brother and his family, visiting the Japanese Garden, strolling through the (albeit unblooming) delightful Rose Garden, a day-trip to the coast, and last-minute Christmas shopping all over the place. Our trips also always seem to involve the boys running away from the ocean too (as demonstrated by Ty up there as he was trying to get a photo of the water crashing against the shipwreck on the beach, also pictured up there).

This was also Ty and I's first year doing stockings for each other. I honestly think that besides the beautiful stackable rings Ty got me to wear along with my wedding band, my stocking was my favorite part of my Christmas. Honestly. I have no idea why they are so much fun, but they just ARE. It's a Clark-side-of-the-family thing, so I have them to thank for my new-born love (note to all those curious people out there who may think we are scrooges, we Schmidt's did stockings all growing up too, but the tradition has been gone for the last 10 years or so.) I think next year Ty and I should limit our gift giving to one gift and a stocking. That's it. And I'm pretty sure I would be a pleased as peach pie with that; I'll have to discuss with Ty. In the mean time, I want to make us some matching stockings this year (thanks Monica for Ty's childhood stocking! we absolutely love that one too); perhaps something like this all pretty-fabriced and hand-stitch finished (c/o James over at Bluebird Vintage)

Possibly my last meal

This afternoon, I cooked up an eggs dish that included diced pieces of the honey baked ham Ty and I got for our little Christmas party we threw on December 15th; that was approximately 3.5 weeks ago. I had left the ham sitting in the fridge as we left to celebrate the holidays in Portland, and when I leerily pulled it out of the fridge today it passed the sight, smell and feel test. Smelled normal, no sourness at all. Felt completely non-slimey. And tasted just like it should (maybe minus a little bit of flavor) when I ventured a bite. I like the idea of trusting my senses rather than going by some stupid date printed on the packaging (I mean, come on, have we not all had milk last longer and shorter than indicated on the label?). We will see how our tummies feel over the next 24 hours. If we don't die, we will chalk up one for following our noses.