Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Spicy Morning


I had a completely different post planned for today, but then my friend Surita gave me a ton of gorgeous peppers from her very own garden and suddenly Spicy Frittata was on the menu! I threw it together with the usual suspects...eggs, cream, green onion, cheese and lots of peppers. It was as beautiful as it was delicious. I will provide one word of warning. Don't be silly like me and chop these little babies with your bare hands. WEAR GLOVES. I had what I will refer to as "an incident" and was very glad to have some milk hand. Enjoy!






Monday, September 28, 2015

Clipping In


I'm writing this piece through rose colored glasses. I'm writing this after a weekend that can only be described as magical. I'm writing this after literally having THE WORLD visit Libby Hill Park. I walk Miss Austen there most days. There was a helicopter! There was a jumbo tron! It was crazy amazing! I will never forget it as long as I live.

Had I written this at the beginning of the week however, there would have been a decidedly different tone to it. Last Monday I thought to myself....how have we f'd this up so bad people?! The city was empty, restaurant receipts were down 40%, the local media jumped all over it and we felt confused.

Were people scared to come into the city because of traffic problems? Did they not understand that a bike race is a spectator sport? Did they not realize that their support was needed? Did someone mislead the organizing committee about how many visitors the city could expect?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I'm sure we'll hear much more in the coming months about them. What I do know is that I'm scared. I'm scared that, despite the weekend's success, enough things didn't go as smoothly as planned, and so, Richmond will do what it sometimes does best, contract into our bubble.

Please don't. We have to start somewhere people.

I've been biking pretty seriously for about two years now. Right before the Cap2Cap 50 mile ride in May, I bought myself a new bike and decided to take the plunge and clip in. For all of you non-riders out there, that means that my shoes are literally clipped in, or hooked, to my pedals. If the bike starts falling and I can't get my foot out, I fall with it.

For me it's meant a huge improvement in my riding. By spreading the workload out between the front and backs of my legs, as opposed to just the front, I've decreased muscle fatigue and increased my endurance which is key on longer rides. I also feel like my bike is now an extension of my own body so I maneuver better and stay on pace more consistently.

Lest you think I'm some kind of expert, I fell within the first five minutes of attempting this. I'd worked out in my head that I'd unclip my right foot, stop the bike and then step down. Well, apparently I lean left when I stop so although my right was unclipped, I tried to step down with my left, which was still in, and you guessed it....fell right on over.

Falling is really jarring. I'm an adult. I haven't fallen regularly since I was seven. It took me weeks to have a ride without one. I would stop and forget to take either foot out. I would try a steep hill not gauging my gear right, loose traction and once again not be able to get my foot out in time. It was embarrassing. It was painful. It left a lot of bruises. But I kept going and gradually I got better. Now, I don't fall so much. That never would have happened if I'd given up the first time I hit the pavement.

If I could say one thing to RVA it's please don't give up. Please don't let any hiccups, falls or missteps preclude you from trying this again. You are amazing. Your city is amazing. Keep letting her shine. Keep clipping in......



















Friday, September 25, 2015

It's Friday, Love

{ So there's this little bike race in town }

Really fun week here in RVA with the UCI World Championship bike races in town! I'll have tons of pics and my thoughts on the race in Monday's Post. Definitely started to feel like fall this week too. Lit my first fall-scented candle and immediately had a craving for gravy. I love gravy. Over the next three months I plan on consuming a lot of it. Have a great weekend everybody!

{ Getting the window boxes ready for colder weather }

{ Feelin all lipsticky lately }

{ Best back-up singer ever }

{ Overnights in Baltimore are always fun }

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Almond Butter Snickerdoodles


I would like to start out by saying that I am not a vegan, nor do I plan on becoming one. I like my steak! But in my never-ending quest to be a bit more healthy, I have found myself lately drawn to vegan desert recipes. Pinterest is full of them, and with a little tweaking, they use great ingredients that still satisfy my need for a little something sweet at the end of dinner.

This was actually the second time I've made these Almond Butter Snickerdoodles. The first time was for a picnic at Dogwood Dell with friends where I ceremoniously walked around and announced they were healthy so the probably didn't taste good. My friends were very polite and ate them dutifully, but I knew they still needed a little something.

You can find the original recipe I used here. This time I added about 3/4 of a cup of maple syrup, and doubled the baking powder and cinnamon. I also used coconut sugar which has a beautiful deep brown color and I think complements the recipe nicely. Justin's Almond Butter has been a long time favorite of mine so be sure to check it out. They have maple, vanilla and chocolate versions you can buy. YUM! And don't pigeonhole these beauties into desert. I've also been loving them crumbled over Greek Yogurt and blueberries for breakfast. Enjoy the pics and I hope have fun with a new type of recipe, out of your cooking comfort zone, very soon!









Monday, September 21, 2015

My Closet





I was having a conversation with someone not long ago, relaying my weekend adventures. At the end of my story a perplexed look came over their face and they said well, you didn’t used to like to do things like that. Their tone was accusatory, like I’d offended or lied to them somehow. We’ll get back to that a little later….

I love the movie Campaign with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. It perfectly satirizes a world that I call home during my working hours. The parts we play, the perceptions we encourage and the utter ridiculousness that can be American politics. I especially love the scene towards the end when they’re at a debate and Galifianakis’ character pulls out a “manifesto” that Ferrell’s character wrote in the fifth grade. It was called “Rainbow Land”. The point of his rather hostile reference is that something Ferrell wrote that long ago should be held against him now. Certainly he hasn’t matured into an adult man in his mid-forties. There’s no way he could have grown and changed and developed an entirely different view of the world quite opposite to the socialistic leanings his fifth grade-self displayed in “Rainbow Land”. Why are we so afraid of someone saying I changed my mind? Why would that make them somehow less?

There’s that word, change. Does anyone really change? I don’t know the answer to that. I can only speak for myself. There are things I do differently and feel differently about now than I did when I was in the fifth grade too. I used to hate beets. I wouldn’t even touch them. I remember them sitting in a bowl on the table during dinner and thinking how gross and slimy they looked. Now, I love ‘em, can’t get enough. I tried them at a friend’s house not too long ago and immediately thought, where have you been all my life gorgeous? Did I change? Or did something just taste differently to me?

Color looks different to me now too. Perhaps it’s because children’s fashion nowadays looks like a crayon box vomited. I think it’s a bit of sensory overload. The city changes your colors too. Black and grey and navy feel cozy to me now. Pink and purple feel a bit silly. Every seasonal shift I ruthlessly clean out my closet to save precious space and just make getting ready a bit more manageable. A lot of color for color’s sake got donated this year. It just didn’t feel right anymore. Not good or bad or right or wrong, just not right for me. 

Have I changed? If I haven’t changed than what has, because something feels different. Just questions that float through my mind as I get ready for the newness that, in this case, fall will bring. I always get a little sad. I don’t like change, ironic, since it always seems to find me.

I think the person I mentioned in the beginning of my story felt betrayed, like I hadn’t shared a part of myself with them. This was a new part of me. I don’t think that was ok with them. I think they felt like I was rejecting them because it was something they don’t like to do. Navigating a relationship that is changing can be hard. Realizing it may not be salvageable can be even harder. How do you exist in a new reality? We have grown differently. If you can’t be happy for the good growth in each other, all be it in a different direction, how can your relationship continue in any other state than one of strife and negativity? 

Cleaning out my closet is always an experience…..




Friday, September 18, 2015

It's Friday, Love

{ A little chocolate sauce never hurt anyone }

Fun week with a lot of work accomplished. The weather in Richmond and DC was also gorgeous, so I officially have nothing to complain about. Looking forward to our show at Center of the Universe Brewery on Saturday because I get to sing a few songs with my best friend Miranda. A bike ride and as much sunshine time as possible will hopefully round out my weekend. See ya Monday!

{ Back on the rails this week }

{ Absolutely delicious pizza at Etto in DC }

{ Dreaming of going outside on a rainy Saturday }

{ I need more leopard in my life so I picked up the middle pair }

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Gazpacho


I'm holding (clawing) on to summer with 10 fingers and 10 toes. Why must it get darker sooner? I know..... science, the laws of physics (not sure if that even applies but it sounds smart), etc., but still, doesn't someone owe someone a favor that we can call in? Anyhoo, one of the few things I do like about this transitional time of year is that tomatoes are in season and nobody does a tomato like Virginia. I'd never made Gazpacho before so I decided to try my hand at it not long ago using some of our fabulous homegrown beauties. You can find the recipe I used here. The cumin makes it so don't skimp and I doubled the horseradish and spicy things because I'm that kind of girl. It would make a great first course, as a little goes a long way, and serving it in coffee cups for a little added twist was also really fun. Enjoy the daylight left my friends!










 

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