Showing posts from June, 2014

Reading Lately

Is it truly the end of June already?!  2014 is flying by!  One of my goals this year is to read 52 books again (one book per week for a year) and I'm well on my way to achieving this goal.  I've already read some really great books this year, and a nice variety of novels, poetry, nonfiction, new releases, and a few classics.  Look to the right for a complete list.  Here are a few of my favorites so far for 2014…

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time and I would give it 6 stars if I could.  It is an emotional and complex story about twin boys raised in an Ethiopian missionary hospital after their mother dies giving birth and their father abandons them.  In the beginning, the boys were inseparable, known simply as ShivaMarion, until complex family drama and life events tear the pair apart, only to later be reunited at a most pivotal time.  It's a story about humanity and relationships, a story about the parts of oursel…

Rudy's Firkin Fest 5K

Today I joined my dad in running his first ever 5K race!  My dad's "comfort zone" workout style is indoors on the treadmill or stationary bike, multitasking with reading or checking email as he exercises (in fact he's probably on the treadmill reading this right now!), followed by strength training.  It was definitely a big step for him to sign up for and complete a race, and he kicked butt!  I'm so proud of him, and of everyone who completes a race for the first time, for stepping outside of the routine and trying something new and challenging.  My dad probably doesn't consider himself a runner, but today he ran a 5K and can now give himself that title!

I also want to take this opportunity to give a shout out to all the members of my family who completed (or will complete) races this year.  My brother ran a 5K on St. Patrick's Day with his girlfriend (along with my sister), my sister ran her first full marathon last month, my husband did a sprint triathl…

Nambe Lake

I took Kua hiking up to Nambe Lake this morning, and I always forget how absolutely gorgeous that trail is!  The forests are so lush and green right now (who knew that so many shades of green existed?!) and the air in the mountains is rich and humid from the vegetation.  Everything looks so healthy and full of life.  There were pink, yellow, orange and white wildflowers growing close to the stream, and Kua was getting flirty with the butterflies.  We saw more people than we've seen on a trail in quite some time (tourism season is upon up) and a few familiar faces as well.  What a beautiful morning!

Happy Summer!  :-)

10K Butterfly Run

The New Mexico race schedule has been a real teaser regarding this weekend.  Jaycob and I originally planned to do the Atomic Man Duathlon, a challenging run-bike-run style race in Los Alamos with a very hilly bike portion.  I was so geared up for this race and had my heart set on finishing the long route (10Krun - 40Kride - 5Krun).  Unfortunately that race was postponed, so instead we registered for a sprint triathlon in Ruidoso.  We started training several weeks ago, paid our registration fee, and booked a dog-friendly hotel room, only to find out a week ago that the race was canceled.  Boo!  But I was determined to compete in something this month, so I signed up for the Butterfly Run 10K in Pojoaque with my running buddy.

The Butterfly Run was a beautiful trail course through the Pueblo of Pojoaque that started and ended on a track and offered scenic mountain views.  The course was hilly and I loved it!  I'm definitely not fast, but one of my strengths as a runner is pushing my…

Cappuccino Cheesecake Bars

Those of you who know me will agree that I love everything about coffee -- the flavor, the smell, the culture, the mugs, the artsy mismatched furniture in coffee shops, everything.  I enjoy my cup in the morning and something iced or sweet during the day.  I have bonded with many classmates and coworkers over trading off getting each other coffee any time we have an excuse to leave the building, and I love a spontaneous afternoon coffee date with my besties.  On weekends I crave the feeling of curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee.

I even love coffee in more creative forms!  The other day I had a delectable sample of Santa Fe Brewing's Java Stout, and who doesn't love some Starbucks liqueur and vanilla vodka?!

These cappuccino cheesecake bars successfully fulfill both my dessert and coffee cravings!  Best part - they're delicious any time of the day (breakfast, snack, dessert, whenever!).

Cappuccino Cheesecake Recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker

Books Hitting Theaters This Year

What is your opinion on movies based on books?  Love them or hate them?  I am generally a fan.  Seeing a story portrayed on the big screen, complete with elaborate costumes, carefully planned scenes, and living-and-breathing characters really brings a story to life.  The nonverbal communication between characters is emphasized when watching a story in movie form, and let's not forget the importance of a soundtrack in highlighting changes in mood throughout the story and amplifying important scenes.  Movies also bring stories to a wider audience than do books.  I absolutely loved The Great Gatsby movie after re-reading the book.  I thought the characters, music, and scenes were perfect for portraying the era.  The Help is another example of an amazing story (one of my favorite books I've read in the past 5 years) that was brought to a wider audience through film.  And don't forget that Forrest Gump and The Shawshank Redemption, two of the best movies of the 1990s (in my opi…

Sunny Days

The calendar may not agree, but as far as I'm concerned, summer is here!  After a few weeks of thunderstorms and chilly nights, this weekend was absolutely gorgeous: perpetual sunshine, flip-flopping of flip flops, energetic kids playing in the pool, and savory smells of BBQs.  I gazed up toward the ski mountain and was excited to see very minimal snow for the first time since November.  Here are a few highlights from our first weekend of (pseudo) summer:

Pool Time
I am so thankful to live in an apartment complex with a pool!  If everything works out in our favor, Jaycob and I hope to buy a house within the next year, so this may be our last summer with a pool and I want to make the most of it!  I spent every minute of free time laying out this weekend.  Saturday's pool day was complete with mimosas made with mint leaves from my thriving mint plant!

Farmers Market
I do miss walking through the downtown Minneapolis summer Farmers Market back home, but the Santa Fe Farmers Market re…