February 28, 2011

Salt House

What better way to end a 21-day vegan cleanse than to have dinner in San Francisco. Bread and butter, kohlrabi soup, a couple of glasses of wine and a nice steak and beef short rib on top of a potato puree with brussels sprouts? The atmosphere was fun. The food was incredible. And the guest book they use as a check jacket was fun to read through. And I think the host felt bad that I was eating alone so he kept flashing a smile my way. And I got to sit next to four people on a business dinner drunk philosophizing about being a woman in a man's industry. So dumb. So priceless.
I would go back in a second.
If I didn't take pictures on my walk home I would have thought I was trippin. I didn't make it far before the mean streets of San Francisco scared me and I jumped in a cab.
Starbucks near Fisherman's Wharf in the morning, my first in over 3 weeks and it wasn't even that great
Did I mention the weather was awesome for once? 





February 27, 2011

Bernie's Room mood board without the board

I have no idea how to use this computer, specifically how to create any kind of a picture composite so here are just a few of the things that are going to make up Bernie's Room - our small bedroom remodel that is getting so close to being done. Well, it seems like we are close but I have to paint all of the trim pieces Bernie removed and stripped and he has to put them all back together, patch, touch up paint, etc. so we still have a lot to do. Not to mention furniture and fabrics. Here is where we are right now...

the wall color is Martha's purple agate in eggshell
love it! finished the second coat yesterday
new egg & dart crown molding is painted in BM's chantilly lace in high gloss
we got half of the moldings installed today - so easy!
the Hotel Collection "rings" bedding which may end up being a padded headboard (the rings) and curtains (the champagne side of the duvet) because the room might not fit a full sized bed after all
a new light fixture is on order from Schoolhouse Electric, I've wanted one of their lights for years and I think their turn of the century aesthetic will work well in many areas of our 1905 home
 the light will be in this finish which is a huge departure for me. 
I've also ordered an old push button switch and cover plate which is funny since the last owner removed all of the push button switches that were original.
I wouldn't have considered the bronze finish for the lights but when we cleaned up our door hardware it looked so pretty near the wall color. Did you notice the egg & dart? I'll do a separate post on how easy it was to remove decades worth of paint from the hardware.
the original stained glass
new closet from the Container Store installed a few weeks ago

Can you see it starting to come together? I can, and I like it! More to come...



February 26, 2011

CrazySexyDiet

I read the CrazySexyDiet book by Kris Carr last year and bought it for a lot of my friends for xmas because I think it has some great information presented in a simple and fun way. And despite the title, it isn't a diet book in the usual sense of the word, it's not about weight loss. You don't have to juice or be a vegetarian to relate to Kris' message. I've been a fan of hers for years since watching her documentary CrazySexyCancer which I also highly recommend. Not sure if I've told this story before but when I watched that documentary I practically stood up and declared, "I want a juicer!!!" and then I did some 3-day cleanse with my friend Danielle and had some carrot juice from a bottle. I almost threw up on my desk and then Bernie said (very sarcastically), "still want that juicer?" No. And f-you.

Fast forward to a few years later when I watched the documentary again and again declared, "I want a juicer!!!" And I got one and juice is awesome when carrots and celery aren't involved. Anyway....Right after I got back from Europe I started the 21-day cleanse at the end of the book and man did I need it after the holidays and that long trip. I hesitate to call it a cleanse as that brings up visions of cayenne and lemon water...here is what I did (or more importantly, didn't do):

no animal products (meat, eggs, dairy, etc)
no caffeine
no coffee
no processed food (other than corn chips)
lots of fruits, veggies, nuts and whole grains
I didn't bother with no gluten because I've tried it before with no benefits
no added sugar
no alcohol
move your body - sweat it out
dry brushing - my skin is now softer then when I was 5
green juice - yum!
green/fruit smoothies
lots of water
I ate as much raw food as possible
I ate whatever I wanted

So, how did it go? Great, for the most part. I did a very similar cleanse last year. For two weeks I was all in and it actually made me eat better when I was traveling so I was thankful for that. I lost about 7lbs and kept it off (it's been a month). I was a little weak but I think that is more mental than anything. I would crash every day around 5pm, super tired and yawning like crazy. But I worked out the entire time, weights, yoga, etc. Just like with the cleanse last year it reminded me there is other ways to eat...that I don't need animal protein every day or with every meal. And given I've been reading the China Study which is anti-animal, everything started to come together and make sense. And most importantly, this is working for ME. After choking down endless amounts of protein for the last decade, man am I glad there is another option. The third week I got a little lax, had some cheese and some eggs but pretty much followed everything else.

My typical day during the cleanse, and most of my days since go a little something like this: wake up and have a lot of tea, large green juice around noon, large salad around 1 or 2pm, green smoothie or banana or something around 4pm, dinner whatever I want. Pretty much all raw until dinner, I like my dinner cooked and warm. We ate a lot of soup with fresh baguette, so good. You mean carbs really aren't bad after all? What the f- have I been doing all these years? The only thing I have not been able to give up that I really want to give up is dairy. I loves me some cheese.

As luck would have it Kris Carr came to the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver on her book tour. It was just a short walk from our house. I had never went to a book signing before and was a little shocked at how many people were there, I think the Tattered Cover was too as it was the most people they ever had come for a signing. I kind of felt like a stalker, but a non-creepy stalker. Kris spoke about the book and did some Q&A before the signing. She seems so laid back and full of life. I like the pink streak in her hair.
...oh, and she is very pretty
 ...and very thin and from a distance I thought tall
 ...but not tall because I look like a giant next to her :) The weird look on my face is because I was thinking, her boob is smooshed on my arm. Yes, I'm obviously 10 years old.
Get the book and let me know if you like it!

February 19, 2011

What we're working on...

A little sneak peek on what Bernie and I have been "working on" for the last, ohhhh, 3+ months? And that doesn't include the demo we did or paint swatches that went up like a year ago after I found this bedding
We obviously haven't been in much of a hurry to get this project moving. It was only the threat of Jen and Zak coming out this winter that got us moving again (now you guys HAVE to come). None of the 5+ paint samples I put up were working with the bedding which was surprisingly difficult to coordinate with. Then I saw this room on our designer's blog and thought, hmmmm, I kinda like that. But I don't like purple? But I like that!
 Here is what we started with - the smallest of bedrooms. A very pink ex-nursery.
Demo is done. Moldings and the window have been repaired and painted. Hardware was stripped. Closet was replaced. So where is the rest of it you ask? I guess I have to stop procrastinating because it's time to paint!!! More to come...

February 15, 2011

Macarons and Chocolate

I can't seem to find time to blog lately, and I actually have quite a few things to share! I thought I would wrap up my little European tour with one final post on Macarons! I was expecting beautiful macarons in Paris and was pleasantly surprised to see such beautiful macarons when I was in Brussels. So I decided that a little macaron taste test was in order. And why not try a little Belgian chocolate while we're at it? Unfortunately I waited until I got home and my pretty little macarons got a little, ummm, stale. Luckily Shaboom and I went to Ladurée while I was in Paris and shared four beautiful macarons. I don't recall the flavors except the hands down winner, salted caramel. Seriously to die for. I took a bite, my eyes rolled in the back of my head. Shaboom looked at me, "Right!?!" with a huge smile and an understanding nod. She was totally right. Best macaron ever.

Ladurée - there was practically a line out the door to get macarons and sit in the restaurant but the bar area in the back was virtually empty. And can you believe how beautiful the bar is? The walls, the chairs, everything - amazing. And no pictures allowed...ahem.
Ladurée macarons are almost as beautiful in Denver as they are in Paris!
Pierre Marcolini in Brussels. A beautiful black masculine store front with little macarons and sleek chocolate
Wittamer in Brussels is the exact opposite of Pierre Marcolini's - all pink and girly. The first two chocolates I had were the two best pieces of chocolate I have ever had in my entire life. The rest...not so much. But those two...I won't soon forget them.
That's it for this trip, hope to go to Paris again in the Fall. Until then...Au revoir!

February 6, 2011

Paris!!! part II

Our walking tour of Paris continues...
read part 1 if you missed it
The next three pictures are taken near the Musée du Louvre
1st arrondissement
Shaboom and I had lunch at Le Café Marly at the Louvre. We split a half bottle of nice Bordeaux and I had my very first Croque Madame! So perfect!
(the menu and restaurant pic courtesy of Shaboom)
I would kill for a picture of our hostess. She was a 6 foot tall supermodel working in 4 inch heels and she was completely fabulous. Our waiter was perfectly French.
it seems impossible to take a bad picture in Paris - doesn't this meal look incredible?
We left the Louvre and walked...and walked...and made our way down the Champs-Elysées
l'Arc de Triomphe is at one end...
 ...La Roue d'Excellence at the other
Sometime before the pictures on the Champs-Elysées we stopped at Ladurée for a little more wine and a few macarons...more on that in the next post. 
I don't remember quite how we got everywhere, we walked passed beautiful windows on a Rodeo-Drive-esque street and past the tunnel where Princess Diana died. We looked at the Eiffel Tower from across the Seine...
...and then from the Trocadéro
Looks a little different than it did in 1900 right?
picture courtesy of the internet
I think we took a subway and then walked through the only sketch neighborhood of the day past the Moulin Rouge in the 18th. I didn't take anymore pictures at this point which is really too bad. We went to Shaboom's favorite church, Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. It was so beautiful, and the view of Paris was a-mazing! Now, I could have guessed this next part from the crazy amount of time we spent walking up hill and up endless stairs but I consulted the internets to be sure...Sacré-Cœur is located at the summit of the butte Montmarte, the highest point in the Paris. No joke. And this kind of sums up the French Skinny lifestyle...good friends, good food, good wine, and lots of fucking stairs! Merci Shaboom!!! My first and only 12 hours in Paris could not have been more perfect! I look forward to visiting you in the fall.

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