best of 2010.

for me, the day before new year is about the challenges of the new year and the reflection of the year past.  basically, what made my 2010 so crazy-awesome & what will bring excitement and challenge for me come 2011?

it's always easier to start thinking about the new year than reflecting on the old, but it's really important to reflect...otherwise we don't learn from our "resolutions" or have the opportunity to embrace the successes & failures that come annually.  also, when i sit down and really reflect on how long a year actually is and how much i've accomplished over the past 365 days, it never fails to amaze me.

i would love to do this post vh1 style, but my comedian skills are rather lacking.  so instead, without further ado...here they are...my highlights of 2010.

*rang in 2010 with my best friend.  (my new year wish came true since he was *almost* home for an entire year before he had to leave again).
{photo taken by Chris}
*a. and i cross country skied for the first time together.  the conditions were perfect- a balmy 25 degrees, no wind and a soft powder that covered everything.
{highland forest}
*a part time job that allowed us the flexibility to come & go as we wished.  making it easy for a. and i to do everything we wanted while he was home.
*backpacking valentines weekend.  in the adirondacks.  in the snow.
*our first major diy project: the office.  it was a HUGE feat that involved a plumber, but we did it...in two weeks and we are *still* so proud of ourselves!
*trips.  to dc, ocean beach, va, san diego, nebraska, niagara falls & austin.
{san diego via sail boat}
{niagara falls}
*our second major project: the backyard.  this time it wasn't diy, but it was a huge decision.  one we're very happy we made.
{before, backyard}
{after-first breakfast outside}
*getting a csa.  this really improved the quality of food we were eating and made us much more aware of our health.
*wind surfing...hands down.
*spending as much time together as a. and i did.  i swear, we were like siamese twins and never, ever wanted to be separated.
*my new job.  that sent me to huntington beach & australia.  that challenges me to really make something of myself and pushes me to be the best.
*various concerts (dmb, little big town, rain, goo goo dolls) & a great lecture (michael pollan).
*our countless hours mountain biking & exploring new york with one another & friends.
*completed two races this year.  one triathlon and one 5k.  also a shout out to a. who completed his very first adventure race.  (his highlights are my highlights too!  such a proud wifey!)
*spent two weeks with my little sister in both dc and new york to celebrate her birthday and another week with my other little sis in nebraska to celebrate her 21st.
*purchasing our road bikes & using them often.
*the amazing support group of family & friends we have.  and their constant love for us.
*spending time with family for a delicious thanksgiving & a beautiful christmas.
{oh christmas tree}
whew!  we have a lot to be thankful for.  i had so much fun digging through the archives and re-reading my journal to come up with these tidbits.  but it was also much easier to remember everything now that we have a camera!  

we have also had a lot of sadness and stress and grief this year.  but the hard bits combined with the good ones make us who we are.  and hopefully as each year passes and the new one looms, i continue to love the person all those special times and tough times turned me into.

enjoy your last day of 2010!


today i love.

more green ideas.  here is a classy way to send paperless cards to everyone in your life.
calendars.  2011 is going to be another exciting year so why not capture everything in style?  
diy christmas ideas.  here's a great list if your looking for some things to do while family's in town.
garland.  i'm loving it all at the moment.  some ideas are here, here, here & here.
gifts that contribute to a great cause...and of course are pretty too.
easy ways to add a little holiday sparkle to your everyday wardrobe.
that perfect cup of hot chocolate.
books that inspire.
this lovely holiday gift tag.  pssst...they're printable & would look so cute on this year's presents.
hanging planters that are not only functional but so charming as well.
chocolate inspiration...even though they're not real.

there's still time to find that special someone something they will love!


i'll be home for christmas.

even if i have to fly half way around the world to get there.

last week i had an amazing 7 days of sun, sand, surf & gorgeous accents.  crazy, considering only 2 weeks ago i was posting pictures of the massive amounts of snow we've received.

thursday of last week i hopped a plane for australia.  for a company retreat.  not a bad place for "mandatory fun" (as a. refers to it).  the plane ride was long- like really long.  but to be honest, once we reached lax, it was hard to stay awake- making the flight from la to sydney a great time for some much needed zzz's.

we arrived in sydney at 6:30 am on saturday.  i still have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept that you lose an entire day when traveling around the world...but we made up for it on the way home.  as a matter of fact, i actually had two saturday dec. 18ths.  i won't bore you with the details of work and play, but here are some pics to recap the essence of oz and all the fun i had.


baby its cold outside.

it's been snowing for over 96 hours...without letting up...not once.

and i love it. 
we're all about the love....
i love the snow covered wreaths with red ribbons.  the still trees.  the quiet.  the twinkling lights reflecting off the white powder.  wearing hats and scarfs everyday.  big puffy jackets.  the huge snowflakes and the bright, bright white of the snow once the clouds break.

it's officially winter.  who's up for a snowball fight?
take a seat on this lovely snow filled afternoon.


a homemade christmas.

this probably isn't something i should share until after the holidays are over...but i can't help myself.  i know it's generally not kosher to share your gifts before giving them, but i thought this might be something worth making if you want to gift something handmade.  so here is an idea for those in your life who love to pamper and be pampered...homemade sugar scrub.
after a bit of research, i found most recipes call for the same basic ingredients: sugar and olive oil.  there are a few variations, but that's pretty much the bulk of it.  i found this recipe to get started and experimented with various essential oils, herbs and fruit.
the first couple body scrubs i made were tea tree and peppermint.  they smell ah-mazing!  then we experimented with lemon (hint: use lots of lemon peel and a light olive oil to avoid an olive oil scented scrub), rosemary and sage (i blended these in a cuisinart with olive oil and added them- separately- to the sugar with tea tree oil) and vanilla.  the scrubs that used the fresh herbs had a beautiful green hue and the others turned a soft yellow when thoroughly mixed.  

i found the jars at the dollar store (score), stamped and cut out the labels on textured card stock and wrapped the top of the jars with ribbon i had on hand.  i am so happy with the outcome and can't wait to make more.  i'll be using one as a tester but friends and family beware...homemade sugar scrub is coming your way!


30 miles.

{image found here}
in the month of november. 

remember this post about trying walk/swim/bike/run to afghanistan?  well, i've made it 30 miles.  three zero.  at this rate i might as well be crawling across the country.  it's embarrassing.  if someone other than myself was documenting this, it would be dubbed move.  i mean, that's only one mile a day...for the entire month.

originally, i wasn't going to post this.  i am seriously embarrassed at my lack of motivation.  but then, if i can't be honest here and post everything- good & bad, what's the point of having a blog.  so there you have it.  sure, it's better than nothing, but it's definitely not my best.

a fire has been lit.  and it's time to move.