Showing posts from July, 2015

A Summer Couple's Wedding Shower

This weekend I hosted a couple's shower for my good friends who are getting married in two months!  Couple's showers and coed engagement celebrations are becoming more and more common as gender roles equalize, allowing the groom to join in on the celebration and providing both members of the couple with an opportunity take a part in collecting gifts to set up their household together.  Couple's showers are a great way to involve both the bride and groom's friends and family equally, and a fun idea for couples who wish to break away from tradition.

The bride and groom are having an out of state wedding and were excited to celebrate with their Santa Fe friends and coworkers who are unable to attend the wedding.  It was an afternoon event on a warm, sunny day.  The decor consisted of burlap table runners and bows, teal and fuchsia accents, and succulent center pieces, to parallel the couple's wedding theme.

I wanted to encourage mingling and socialization, so the menu r…

Favorite Summer Cakes - Part Two: Hummingbird Cake

I'm on a mission this summer to discover light and delicious desserts with all the fruity and bright flavors of the season.  Last month I made the traditional St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake, and this month I bring you carrot cake's fruity southern cousin, Hummingbird Cake!

Think warm, moist banana bread blended with pineapples, with a pinch of cinnamon, topped with cream cheese frosting and pecans...

Hummingbird Cake was first introduced in Southern Living in 1978, and since that time a variety of recipes have evolved, some containing vanilla pudding and applesauce, some that are eight (!!!!) layers tall, and others in a bundt pan.  I was really satisfied with this yummy variation from my favorite blogger, but next time I'm going to try adding lemon zest to the frosting, and shredded coconut for a more Hawaiian flavor.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

Hummingbird Cake
From the Brown Eyed Baker


For the cake:
2 (8-ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice
3 cups a…


This past weekend was the Live.Love.Tri all women's triathlon in Rio Rancho.  What a fun event!  I really like all women's races, especially when there are a lot of beginners and first-time racers, because there seems to be a strong sense of camaraderie and support.  I got to the race site at 5:45 a.m., just as the sun was beginning to rise over Sandia peak.  The event was well organized (and there were lots of clean bathrooms, bonus!).  We had a fun pre-race warm up with yoga and Zumba, followed by singing the National Anthem together.  Racers were in good spirits and it was sunny and warm when the race started at 7:00.

There were 22 women in my age group, and we all started in the second heat.  A few fast runners sprinted away and I settled into my pace in about 8th place.  There were a few steep and constant uphills in the first half of the 5K run, followed by a long, gradual downhill along a trail.  The downhill was hard on the knees, but I love hills and embraced the chall…

Summer Reading

Ahh, summer!  Barbecues, sunshine, flip flops, fruity cocktails, cold beer, patios, yard games, boats, late nights, sundresses... and beach reads!  I wish there were more time to just curl up with a juicy novel and a cold lemonade on a sandy beach (or, in Santa Fe where we don't have beaches, on a backyard lounge chair!).  My summer reading list is constantly growing!  If only time would stop for a limitless sunny afternoon so I could read all the books on my wish list...

Summer Reading 2015 "Dream List" (in no particular order):

Marathon Pasta

Race season is in full force in our household!  Jaycob is competing in the Xterra Mountain Championship off-road triathlon in Beaver Creek next weekend, while I'm doing a women's sprint triathlon in Rio Rancho.  When it's race week, we are all about the carb loading.  Some of our favorite pre-race dinners are spaghetti with turkey meatballs, and spicy chicken rigatoni, but I recently discovered this yummy recipe from Runner's World!  In honor of the city of Marathon (where a man ran 26.2 miles from Marathon to Athens to announce the defeat of the Persians in an ancient battle, hence the distance of what we now call a "marathon"), Marathon pasta is made up of truly Greek ingredients.  You can add some chicken or seafood for a little extra protein. 


(from Claire Hopley with Runner's World) Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1-2 cloves garlic (according to taste), chopped
1 28-ounce can chopped or crushed tomatoes
8 small …

Reading Lately: Update #2 for 2015

The year is half over!  I truly can't believe it.  I set a goal again this year to read a book every week, for a total of 52 books in 2015.  I have to confess that I've gotten a little behind during the second quarter of the year, but here are my reviews of a few of my favorite books that I read in April through June...

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel
While the Allied and Axis powers battled to gain dominance in Europe during World War II, a special force of military personnel fought equally hard to preserve and gain back the treasures that Hitler and the Nazis viciously stole from families and museums throughout the continent -- paintings, sculptures, historical artwork, tapestries, jewelry, gold, musical manuscripts, household goods and other significant monuments.  In the biggest art heist in history, Hitler had a vision to gather all important works of art in all of Europe, especially those with any …