A Big Thank You; Cincy Wrap Up

Emily - Thank you so much for taking these pictures! You know, sometimes you don't realize how much you want a picture of family and friends together until it is too late - maybe that's why I take so many {and always annoy those people who are camera shy}!

I realize my eyes are puffy and red in most of these photos, but it's the thought that counts :)

{Maggie, Jackson, and me}
{Allie, Andy, and me - I have the best cousins!}

{Double Trouble - Andy & Ellie, Allie, and me}

{Our Marine Cody, Jessica, and me}

{Baby Jackson and I get to hang out a little}

We had Apple's wake at the newly remolded and beautiful Blue Ash Rec Center. I wish it looked like that when Kari, Emily, Andy, and I worked there! I wish I still lived down the road so mom and I could walk around the track together after work! It even has a climbing wall now!
I got to chat with Janie, who works at the front desk a few days a week, about Braden, Ashley, OSU football, and everything else in between. It was great knowing everyone when I walked into the rec center! It feels so homey....
Mom and dad signed up for a pass so they can get in the best shape of their lives! NO EXCUSES ;)

After the wake, Dad and I drove to Marge Schott's house in Indian Hill, which is currently for sale, but in need of some serious work. The outside is beautiful and modeled after an Irish manor house, I believe. We took some pictures, walked around, collected acorns and leaves, and even saw local wildlife - a coyote and deer.

{For Sale! Our new home!}

{da loves the gate}
{moss growing between the stones}

{Don't mess with Rangers}

After our traditional drive through IH, the girls picked mom and I up for dinner. It was fun to be with everyone and play Ellie's usual dinner quiz. Ellie is a tiny sponge. She repeats and implements things her teachers say. She says "I'm waiting" to let everyone know to be quiet and awards her "students" with points if their answers are correct.

{Planning our next brilliant quiz question for the family. Ellie: "I'm waiting..."}

{quiz masters Ellie & Stacey}

Emily & Molly at dinner Saturday night {post quiz}

After dinner I headed over to Kathy's house. We played card games, watched the Parent Trap, admired the Autumn/Halloween decorations, listened to the thunderstorm (the light went out for a moment and scared Ellie), and talked about things going on in life. It is always a nice way to wrap up my visits to Cincinnati.

Saying Goodbye

Cincinnati in Autumn - It rained every day I was home - A gloomy visit

I can't say I'm glad to be back to a normal schedule this week. My trip to Cincinnati was double-sided, which goes without saying. I am so thankful I was able to be home with family, despite the fact that Kari couldn't be there - it just didn't feel right.

It was a sad trip, but in a way, a positive visit with family. I spent almost every minute with mom, dad, Pammy, Kathy, Emily, and Ellie. I was able to have quality time with people who I sometimes don't get to see as much as I'd like, like Molly, Maggie, Rob (and Jackson!), Andy, Allie, Amy, and Laura. Mom, dad, and I had our traditional bonding trips (like driving through Indian Hill, Bonboneri, Skyline, La Rosa's, etc.), and I even got to visit Kathy, Emily, and Ellie's house for my traditional last stop, typically the night before I head back to Denver!

I left Apple with no regrets - I called her often and left on a positive note. Before I left for Denver on my last trip home with Joseph, I stopped by her house to visit again with Pammy and Apple. I'm really happy I did that, but I for sure didn't think it would be the last time I'd see her smile and get a big hug. But I have accepted that aspect of life, as difficult as that may be. I just talked to her the week before and had a long and happy conversation - I even called her last Monday...

I'm sad to see her go - but I'll be happy to think of countless great memories and her amazing personality! Saturday started off gloomy, which is apropriate, and things went very well and looked very nice. Apple would have been happy. The cousins read beautiful things for Apple and the family. As requested, dad sang Danny Boy and I honestly believe it was the best I've ever heard him sing in public! It was beautiful and we are so immensely proud of him! I felt a mixture of happiness and sadness, but overall I felt I was in a good place. It was more difficult for me to see my loved ones upset - which is everyone in our family of course - but seeing dad and Pammy upset hurt the most. My emotions were under control, maybe because it was non-stop while visiting in Cincinnati, but as soon as I was seated on the plane back to Denver, I felt the the combination of being tired physically and emotionally. It caught up with me in a harsh way. Slowing down is sometimes the hardest thing to deal with.

I usually feel great and ready to go back Denver after a satisfying trip with family and friends in the Nati, but I can't say I was ready to get on the plane. It was rough leaving Cincinnati, although I was so happy to see Joseph at the airport and hang out with his family all day Sunday. I'm feeling like I'm not ready to go to work today - all day, in fact... I could use a day to write thank you cards to those who helped so much during the last week, do the dishes, put my clothes away, and take a long bath. But I suppose reality needs to hit sometime and I better get going for the day.

Thanks so much to my amazing family! I love you guys so much and I'm extremely lucky. I'll be thinking of everyone so much this week and I hope we get to talk soon. Emily took some great pictures of the family, so when I get them I'll post on NF.

Take care and love you!

This is Love

I've said it before - I love my family! Cheez-It box from Emily =
love :) thanks Em!
My flight was fast and of course I made friends who gave me chocolate.
I'm already with the family and eating Skyline! Jackson allowed me to
hold him only for a while until he was too hungry... And Ellie and I
got to play :)
Tomorrow more family time and lots of running around the city to get
things ready for Saturday. If the weather is nice we are cheering on
the Aves for their homecoming game!


I'm ready to board, but I havebsone extra tine so I'm reading my new
MS Halloween magazine! Joseph was so thoughtful - yesterday while I
was at work he picked up some goodies from whole foods (including my
new mag) and made the best pot pie! And of course he had a fantastic
beer and chilled mug waiting for me! What a great husband :) I'm going
to miss him, even if it is for only a few days!
Cincinnati is so close - I can't wait to be with the family, but I'm
sad that Kari cannot come too. It just won't be the same... We love
you Kari!

The Monday Farm Look

A posh farm where no one gets dirty!

Abercrombie & Fitch Hadley Button Down Shirt

I'm ready for the farm work! Not in reality, but I'm loving this cool weather. It makes me want to pick apples, bake a pie, pick up some Neiman Farm bacon, make something that smells absolutely brilliant, and of course spend some time in front of a toasty fire.

It is harvest time!!!

I'm teaching my students all about gardening and harvest (and rabbits) while we are reading Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit. We are learning about seasonal veg and fruit, how to draw gardens, garden crafts, and how to draw rabbits! I had to throw that in ;) Although The Tale of Peter Rabbit is something I need to teach my first graders according to the Core Knowledge Program. I'm teaching my other students about Scotland - tartan and plaid, oh my! I'll show project results later...

I'm off to J.Crew for some folding! Have a happy Monday evening, XOXO!

A Sweet Surprise

When I came home last night from work, I was pleasantly surprised by the deep aroma of warm chocolate and a nice hug from Joseph! After watching River Cottage episodes non-stop this weekend, Joseph and I felt inspiration from farmers, bakers, and homemade recipes - who could resist easy down-to-earth tasty goodies?

Joseph spent the evening with pink fingers - these brownies having a sweet, and red, pop - beetroot! Here is the recipe from Hugh (River Cottage). They are simple and delicious. Since they have beets in them, they can be considered a health food, right? ;)

There's no tastier way to get your five a day than enrobing your veg in chocolate


  • 250g/10oz good, dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • 250g/10oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for greasing
  • 250g/10oz caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour (we used wholemeal self-raising)
  • 250g beetroot, boiled until tender, peeled and grated

Watching the River Cottage makes me want to trade in the city for a place on Hugh's farm. When I think about slowing down life and leaving things behind - living off the land starts to sound appealing. Maybe in a few years when the city really starts to make me a bitter person... a girl can only handle so many nights without getting a proper parking spot!

We enjoyed the rest of the evening, munching on Joseph's healthy and tangy Asian lettuce wraps, followed by beetroot brownies and ice cream.

Today the weather has finally turned gloomy and rainy - so I get to bust out my Hunter Wellies and cable knit sweater. Now all I need is a Downtown Field Jacket from J.Crew...
I'm dying to have fires, roast marshmallows, carve pumpkins, and eat caramel apples. I feel like Autumn couldn't come any sooner!

Oktoberfest (at home)

Since we couldn't make it out to Breck for a proper Oktoberfest,
Joseph and I are celebrating in our own way! We are sampling Odell's
bourbon barrel stout, from Ft. Collins (and eating pizza from Whole

And since it is the Jewish New Year I treated myself to another
Pumpkin Spice Latte and something sweet to start off the year!!!

Mexican Adventure

Friday night was loads of fun, and a well-needed visit with friends. To kick off our Mexican food night, Patrick, Jaren, Erin, Marc, and I headed to La Loma for giant happy hour margaritas, chips, and salsa. As if that weren't enough, we hit up Patrick & Jaren's new favorite restaurant on Federal. A new favorite as mine as well, the food is simple and delicious - with a family vibe. Plus, soccer was on the tv and cold Mexican Coke was on the table. A win-win situation.

Here we are enjoying the fine tastes of Mexican, right here in Denver.

Thanks guys for a great night out - I only hope we can do more of this during the fall!

Bar Food, Have a Go - 1

My first try at making my roasted almonds was very easy. I noticed over the years that Martha Stewart recipes always need a little tweaking. As usual, things didn't turn out perfectly. The almonds could have come out a minute or four earlier than MS suggested. They still taste amazing and I can't wait to tuck into them later with a cold beer! I think Joseph will be pleased to see them when he comes home from work :)

Happy Friday

Tamari and Maple-Roasted Almonds

Savory tidbits pair perfectly with strong spirits.

Is it too early to be thinking about happy hour with friends? I'm ready for some good snacks, drinks, and company on my Friday night off! Em, I'm sorry I'm ditching the dance drama tonight - I need some R&R and a drink!

I was checking out more Martha Stewart ideas and loved these Favorite Bar Snack recipes. I think Joseph and I might have to fix some of these up in the kitchen! Yum! What is your favorite?

Kari - what do they have in Australia that is different from US bar food?

Take the quiz: What Kind of Cocktail are You?

My result -> You are undoubtedly

Like the timeless manhattan, you exude urban sophistication. You're the perfect balance of sweet and strong and always stand out from the crowd. Try our recipe for the classic drink the next time you crave a cocktail.

Beyond Cute

Bree and Rach - those are some cute soccer uniforms! Classic Perkins!
Doesn't this make you want to wake up early on a Saturday morning to watch SAY soccer?

What Happened Along the Way?

I'm not going to comment, but what the heck happened to traditional ID dresses? Whoa...
Rainbow Brite meets Rainbow sherbet! Yikes!

These girls are from another Colorado ID school. They obviously know what there are doing with their steps because they did a great job at the Estes Park Feis. I think Tim Gunn might have to talk to them about their color choices...

Photo via Flickr

H A double L O W double E N

Spells Halloween!

YES! I just can't wait to pop in Hocus Pocus and get in the Halloween spirit! It is already time to snatch up your costume before the only thing left on the shelf is a set of vampire teeth. Although Twilight might have changed that this year...

While at Target this morning, I couldn't help but slowly stroll down the festive isle of candy, costumes, and decorations. To be honest, I wanted to buy all of it! I love passing out candy, dressing up, listening to spooky music, scary movies... okay well not scary movies, but you get the idea. (I do not do the whole haunted house thing, unless it is in someone's front yard at a neighborhood party).

I'm not sure what the plans are for Halloween - I'm sure I'll have to work on a Saturday night, but if not I suppose I'll dress up as an Irish dancer. I've already got that covered! I've also got in the closet a soccer costume, a poor Irish person from Aran, um... and either George Washington or Moby Dick. I'm not sure, but it could pass as a general or sea captain.

I got my Martha Stewart newsletter in the mailbox today full of cute Halloween ideas from subscribers all over the Nation. Nothing beats a Marth Halloween! I can't wait for the magazine and crafts at the store! Last year I waited until everything went on sale - reminder for this year.

Did I Mention I love Jason Schwartzman?

A decade past `Rushmore,' Schwartzman hits stride

NEW YORK — "Can I do a flashback?" asks Jason Schwartzman.

The 29-year-old actor and musician is chatting over coffee, sitting in a Manhattan hotel lobby almost Zen-like, but full of questions and curiosity. He clearly relishes conversation, pursuing any tangents with a lively interest:

_ Words he hates: "vibe, journey and voice."

_ The "amazingness" of math: "Logic plus logic equals the illogical. Do you know what I mean?"

_ The previous night's Steelers game: "The ... has pretty much hit the fan."

Schwartzman's storytelling is vibrant, abstract and often not chronological. And at this particular moment, everything seems to relate back to the past.

Schwartzman made his film debut eleven years ago in Wes Anderson's "Rushmore" as Max Fisher, the spectacled, love-crazed, eminently intrepid teenage misfit — easily one of the most remarkable first stabs at movie acting.

"I can't express enough to you how bizarre that experience was," Schwartzman recalls. "It was like a drive-by shooting, but a positive one."

Playing such a particular part at a young age (he was a senior in high school) seemed just the kind of role that might be difficult to grow out of. But since then, Schwartzman has made few missteps and given several strong performances.

He's played a clueless, teenage Louis XVI in "Marie Antoinette" (directed by his cousin, Sofia Coppola); he starred in David O. Russell's zany "I (Heart) Huckabees"; and he was one of the three traveling brothers along with Owen Wilson and Adrien Brody in Anderson's "The Darjeeling Unlimited" — and it's excellent accompanying short, "Hotel Chevalier."

But 2009 is shaping up to be especially good for Schwartzman. He played a memorable smarmy supporting role in Judd Apatow's "Funny People" and he lends his voice to Anderson's animated "Fantastic Mr. Fox," which comes out in November.

His highest-profile work, though, is starring in the new HBO series, "Bored To Death." He plays a Brooklyn writer, Jonathan Ames, who after splitting up with his girlfriend (and reading a Raymond Chandler novel) decides to post a message on Craigslist offering his services as a private detective.

He's no expert, but he's no Clouseau, either. Ames (named after the series' writer and creator) may fall asleep on a stakeout or fall too easily for a femme fatale, but with earnestness and a strident belief in love, he somehow seems to solve cases. (He's also got some help from his magazine editor, played in scene-stealing fashion by Ted Danson, and a friend, played by Zach Galifianakis.)

"The characters that I've been lucky enough to play I would say all want something really badly. I typically find that they're at make-or-break moments," said Schwartzman. "I've been in that situation a lot personally, so I'm very attracted to it. I like people that are so close to falling apart in order to get it together."

For Schwartzman, his moment came with "Rushmore." Up until then, he wasn't much interested in movies despite being from one of Hollywood's great families.

Schwartzman is the son of Jack Schwartzman (who produced several films, including Hal Ashby's "Being There," before he died in 1994) and Talia Coppola, the sister of Francis Ford Coppola and an actress most famous for her role as Adrian Pennino in the "Rocky" movies.

But Schwartzman grew up watching action movies he didn't relate to and never thought of himself as an actor — even though his cousin Sofia often cast him in school plays. Instead, he gravitated toward music.

"You could play music alone in your room, blast your music, play an instrument," says Schwartzman. "It wasn't Schwarzenegger or Mel Gibson. It wasn't `Lethal Weapon.' ... Music was Kurt Cobain, Pixies, David Bowie. Music affected me on a deep, deep level — made me feel a part of something."

He played drums in Phantom Planet, a band formed during high school and which found some renown after having their song "California" chosen as the theme song to the TV series "The O.C." More recently, Schwartzman started the side project Coconut Records (a band) and did the theme to "Bored to Death."

But after Sofia Coppola's recommendation — and a number of auditions — Schwartzman was cast in "Rushmore." Shortly beforehand, his mom rented him "Dog Day Afternoon," "Harold and Maude" and "The Graduate." He says that was the first time movies ever made him feel like music did.

"My mom is a real lover of the arts," says Schwartzman. "What's a positive intimidation? Inspiring. It's inspiring. I'm not lying to you, there is a book open in every room in our house. There is music playing in different rooms in our house.

"She even leaves on Turner Classic Movies for the dogs."

That gave Schwartzman what he calls a "freakishly huge" love of books, movies and music: "I knew I needed to orbit around that feeling."

"When I all of sudden became a part of `Rushmore,' it was like a giant acupuncture needle or something. It just put everything in line for me. It was like going to the emotional chiropractor. I was so disjointed as a teenager, from being unpopular or from being not the guy that girls liked — just feeling like an outsider, just being a dork."

Flash forward to "Bored to Death." To Schwartzman, it's a mysteriously perfect confluence. He had been wanting to play a detective — an archetype he gravitates to because of a love of Robert Altman's "The Long Goodbye" and Francois Truffaut's "Stolen Kisses." He also considers Ames his "favorite living writer" and now counts him as a close friend.

Ames describes their first meeting — at an old deli in Los Angeles — as a "great first heterosexual date."

"Someone who screws up and gets the job done is very human — and Jason is very human. He's got a lot of wisdom in him," said Ames. "Paul Feig, one of the directors, felt that this show really highlighted Jason maybe more than other projects did, maybe did access more of his sweet side, his compassionate side — which is the thing I respond to him as a person."

Schwartzman, who married his longtime girlfriend Brady Cunningham in July, says — as he beats a pillow like a tom-tom drum, he just wants to work, to try to say the lines without getting in the way of the writing.

"That's been my whole thing," he says before pausing as a smirk grows. "Give or take a couple MTV Movie Awards."

Thankful for Thursday

Finally! I night off! Free time! Although I have dance tonight, I actually get to sit for a moment and blog, relax... ah...

I'm munching on Joseph's take on vegetarian Midwestern Red Chili - Yum! You wouldn't know it is full of veg, and it has just the right touches of spice here and there. An excellent dinner that gets better each day. I love Mom's chili with spaghetti that goes without saying! Skyline is in a different category altogether... and out here in the West, my favorite spot to get a hot bowl of Midwestern chili is at the Cricket (Cherry Cricket in Cherry Creek) - a perfect Fall hangout.

This Thursday I am very thankful for a few things.
  1. Oyster Crackers
  2. Tillamook Cheddar Cheese (extra sharp or smoked)
  3. Microplane Cheese Grater
  4. Being from the Midwest
  5. (family and friends, of course!)

Monday's a Treat

Happy Monday everyone. I knew today wasn't going to be a short one so
I decided a little Fall treat was in order to make my Monday more
bearable. I'm sitting in Starbucks listening to The Beatles, writing
emails, and waking for my shift to begin at The Crew.
Gramercy gaslight Girl and Kari inspired me to get my free Pumpkin
Spice Latte (coupon - score!) and I always love a good cinnamon roll!
I won't be home for a while due to a long work day, but I'm hoping
this spicy treat will get me through the day!
How is your Monday going?
(we miss you Kari)! Xoxo!!!