Thursday, December 23, 2010

On the news!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Next Adventure

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chattanooga Weekend

"So where is this house you all come from, where everyone is beautiful and talented?" -Morgan

Okay, KB has the best sister ever. She managed to get us all together for an amazing weekend in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was a weekend of surprises, new experiences, old friends and beautiful landscapes. We surprised KB and Annie surprised us all by driving up from Atlanta on her weekend off from touring with Invisible Children.

We arrived in Chattanooga around 1am in the morning. I knew Annie was coming but it was a surprise for everyone else, so I had told Annie to meet us at a grocery store parking lot. When we pulled into the parking lot we saw a man in a nice Lexus waving us down. Since I've watched way too much Law and Order; I figured we were about to get gunned down by this drug dealer/pimp so I peeled out of the parking lot. Turns out it was KB's really nice cousin who had come to lead us to the cottage. Embarrassing.

Ashley had planned for all of us to go to Raccoon Mountain Caverns for a 6 hour Wild Cave Expedition. We got to wear headlamps and kneepads and crawl through tunnels called dubious names like "the birth canal" and the "teeth scraper". I never knew human bodies could fit through holes so small. We came out caked in mud and completely amazed by what is under the earth.

Chattanooga is a beautiful city with an amazing art district. The sidewalks even have dance steps printed on them!

Walking around Chattanooga we found a beautiful walking bridge, a giant hill to sled down on old cardboard boxes and awesome crafts for sale, most of which you can buy on Etsy. One of the crafters was Reuse First, sellers on who make beautiful things out of things people usually throw away. I loved their etched jars and wood grain books which they silk screen using old house paint! I think I'm in love. We also went to an amazing dessert house, Rembrant's Coffee House; magical is all I can think of to describe all the desserts and pastries they have. I got Tiramisu and a pumpkin truffle. Amazing!

Such a good weekend. It was amazing to have us all in one place and it made me realize how magical and epic great friendships can be.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Petaluma Whiskerino!

So ridiculous, ridiculously AWESOME.

PETALUMA WHISKERINO: "Beardo Optico" from TINBIKE on Vimeo.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I know, I know, this means I'm a cat lady.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

playing farm

This week I get a farm vacation! I'm house sitting for my friend Mary Beth. Her and her husband Jason, their two little munchkins, Caleb and Kathryn, have a beautiful house with chickens, a garden and two great big labs, Hank and Maggie. Every night I go and gather eggs and then go pick my dinner from the garden!

A few things a city girl like me did not know:

1) Vegetables have WORMS and BUGS on them! Fresh corn taste so wonderful, but not when there's little worms all over the tops. eeeeeeeEEEKKKKKKKKSSSSSS. All I have to say is gardening gloves are the best invention ever.

2) Dogs must be the friendliest creatures ever. It's great being greeted everyday by Hank and Maggie who act like they love me tons and tons even though they just met me. The chickens act like they love me too, but I know its all an act.

3) Chickens are not potty trained, they poop everywhere, including on their eggs. Almost made me stop wanting to eat eggs.

Chickens can be freakin mean too. All of Mary Beth's hens are very nice except for Big Momma Chicken. I never thought I would be afraid of a chicken, but I am. If you met Big Momma Chicken you would understand. Big Momma could be confronted by a flesh-eating-wolverine and still would not get off her eggs. I have never been so against being a vegetarian as I am now. She truly deserves the stew pot.

Staying at Mary Beth's is such a wonderful vacation from my house and Harrisonburg. I get to pretend I have all this wonderful land and animals for a week and then go home without actually doing all the work! I feel very safe too since Mary Beth's sister, grandpa and parents live within sight of the house. Her Grandpa even came by and gave me some vegetables from his garden! I'm going to miss all this country goodness when I go back home to the city!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

do it.

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

I'm doing it.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

free music

Annie told me about the best site, different free music on weekdays, good stuff too.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

summer music

Symphonies started this. It's a Dan Black and Kid CuDi kind of summer.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Council of Dads

A great TED talk. When Bruce Feiler found out he had cancer he asked male friends in his life to be there for his twin daughters in case he should die. He took the advice they gave him for his daughters and compiled it into a book, The Council of Dads. Read the article he wrote, A Father's 10 Lessons's for His Daughters. Definitely worth reading.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dublin...starts with an AWE and ends with a SOME

We got into Ireland yesterday around noon straight from Malta. It is so cold in Ireland! We got off the plane and immediately realized we would be needing our coats. I lost my shoes somewhere in Greece and all I have are my sandals so my toes have freezing since we landed; and no, mom, I'm not going to wear socks with them. Ireland is such a complete change from all the Mediterranean countries we've been in so far. It's so green!

From the airport we hopped a bus to Dublin city and got off at the city center to walk to our hostel. You can tell a lot about a city by how friendly people are when you stop and ask for directions and Dublin is very friendly! We stayed at the Four Courts Hostel which is right on the River Liffey and right down from the Temple Bar district. This was the first time we've stayed in a hostel where we didn't have a room to ourselves. Our 12-bed dorm was packed out. The best part was meeting a few girls from Wales who were getting ready to go on a pub-crawl. Everything they said was funny to us because of their accents. They had the cutest clothes and the shortest skirts and they said they didn't care how cold the weather was. We wanted to go on the pub-crawl with them but we had been out late our last night in Malta and were completely pooped.

We found out food in Dublin is pretty expensive, 10 euro and up for dinner. So while everywhere else we've tried to eat authentic, we decided to go cheap in Dublin. Jeanne and Stephanie went to subway and I got a kebab. Then, even though we felt incredibly lame we went back to the hostel and went to bed! We're hoping that we're going to be getting a little more rest in Ireland than we've been getting so far.

Four Courts hostel is a great place to stay. Its really in central location , the staff is really friendly and the beds seem clean. When we checked in the staff-guy said, "Noow say what all Americans say that starts with an Aw and ends with a Some". The best part about Four Courts is there is free international calling. The connection isn't the greatest but for ten minutes you can talk and not worry about how much it's costing.

Now we're off to Galway city and hoping to see the Aran islands and Cliffs of Moher. We'll be back in Dublin in a few days. The bus system is pretty cheap in Ireland if you use Go-bus or CityLink. Iit was only 8 euro for about a 3 hour bus ride to Galway with free wi-fi included.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I leave April 15th for Dublin and then....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Scribbler Too

Awesome online drawing program. I didn't even try all the different effects you can use. Draw your own....

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Griffin House

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mumford and Sons, may I be your groupie?


~My new favorite band.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

worth the effort

I'm so excited, I made croissants this weekend and they turned out just like they're supposed to, flaky, buttery and fattening.

It's a rather long process, you make regular bread dough, put about a pound o'butter in the middle, fold the dough around it, roll it out, fold it again and stick it in the fridge to chill. You then do the roll-and-fold-and-chill process two more times before chilling the dough overnight. The next morning I rolled it out as thin as I could get it and cut long triangles that I then rolled into croissants. I was really skeptical that they would turn into just blobs of greasy bread, but they are amazingly crispy and flaky; exactly how croissants should be!

I used a tutorial on Wiki-How:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Auntie Emma

Please pray for my Auntie Emma, she is in the hospital after having emergency surgery from a perforated bowel.

She is out of the ICU but not out of the woods yet. Keep praying for her healing and recovery!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday. It's not because I love hearts, roses or have a boyfriend. My love for Valentine's comes from being taught from a young age that it shouldn't just be about romantic love.

Valentine's Day should be about telling and showing the people you care about that you love them. Yes, you should do that all the time, but its always good to have an excuse to show it. How often do you really give the people you care about flowers, candy or cards? Yup, thats what I thought, not very often.

Some look at Valentine's Day as a made-up card company's holiday. I see Valentine's Day as a great opportunity to make life more interesting by celebrating something with people I love. Plus, February is a gross month, why wouldn't you want an excuse to celebrate something?

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Love Letter

My Daughter,

You may not know me, but I know you everything about you (Psalm 139:1). I know when you sit down and when you rise up (Psalm 139:2). I am familiar with all your ways (Psalm 139:3). Even the very hairs on your head are numbered (Matthew 10:29-31). For you are made in my image (Genesis 1:27). In me you live and move and have your being (Acts 17:28). For you are my offspring (Acts 17:28).

I knew you even before you were conceived (Jeremiah 1:4-5). I chose you when I planned creation (Ephesians 1:11-12). You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book (Psalms 139:15-16). I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live (Acts 17:26). You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14). I knit you together in your mother's womb (Psalms 139:13). And brought you forth on the day you were born (Psalms 71:6).

I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me (John 8:41-44). I am not distant and angry, but I am the complete expression of love (1 John 4:16). And it is my desire to lavish my love on you (1 John 3:1). Simply because you are my child and I am your Father (1 John 3:1).

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could (Matthew 7:11). For I am the perfect father (Matthew 5:48). Every good and perfect gift that you receive comes from my hand (James 1:17). For I am your provider and I meet all your needs (Matthew 6:31:-33). My plans for you future have always been filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Because I love you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

My thoughts towards you are as countless as the sand on the seashore (Psalms 139: 17-18). And I rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). I will never stop doing good to you (Jeremiah 32:40). For you are my most treasured possession (Exodus 19:5).

I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul (Jeremiah 32:41). And I want to show you great and marvelous things (Jeremiah 33:3). If you seek me with all you heart, you will find me (Deuteronomy 4:29). Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4). For it is I who gave you those desires (Philippians 2:13). I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine (Esphesians 3:20). For I am your greatest encourager (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).

For I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you (Psalms 34:18). As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart (Isaiah 40:11). One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes (Revelation 21:3-4). And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered here on this earth (Revelation 21:3-4).

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus (John 17:26). For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed (John 17:26). He is the exact representation of my being (Hebrews 1:3). He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you (Romans 8:21). And to tell you that I am not counting your sins (2 Corinthians 5-18-19).

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you (1 John 4:10). I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love (Romans 8:31-32).

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me (1 John 2:23). And nothing will ever separate you from my love again (Romans 8:38-30). Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen (Luke 15;7).

I have always been Father, and will always be Father (Ephesians 3:14-15). My question is...will you be my child (John 1:12-13)?

I am waiting for you (Luke 15:11).

Monday, February 8, 2010

snow love

I have discovered a new found love for snow. We've gotten 3 snowfalls this winter and we got over 20 inches this weekend. Far from being sick of it I now think it's one of the most beautiful weather phenomenons. It truly makes everything look magical!

Fortunately when 8 girls, 1 Tim and a Mowgli are snowed in together fun things happen. First, we put on our bathing suits and made snow angels in the snow, the only proper way to christen a blizzard. Then we sledded our brains out, getting multiple injuries and burning hundreds of calories so we could entertain the bartenders at Jack Brown's Beer and Burger Joint by eating masses of deep fried oreos at the bar. I think Jack Brown's is my new favorite place, not to mention its always open when it snows (they have Belgium beer Janoodles!)

We're supposed to get 10 more inches of snow tomorrow and more this weekend. I'm excited.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hot Chip

Sunday, January 17, 2010

tree obsession

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Are there old, ugly vegans?

Since I'm a dietitian (which means I'm anal about food/nutrients/everything), I'm really worried I'm not going to get enough fat and protein from a vegan diet; my skin will dry up and wrinkle, my hair will fall out and my nails won't grow. Basically, I'm scared 21 days of veganism is going to turn me into an 80-year old woman. Extremely ridiculous, but that's what I'm worried about.

So I did a nutritional analysis on all the food I ate today with the Nutrition Analysis Tool the University of Illinois puts out.
What I ate today:
Breakfast: cinnamon oatmeal, walnuts and raisins;
Lunch: a peanut butter sandwich and apple;
Dinner: pinto bean and butternut squash stew, kale and pumpkin seeds, and basmati rice with avocado.
Its a good thing I don't have a husband because I'm pretty sure he would pack his bags after a day of rabbit food like that.

Surprisingly according to my food analysis; I ate more than enough protein and fat, the only thing I was deficient in is calcium, riboflavin, sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Not bad, not bad at all.

Unless a diet deficient in sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol will make me old and ugly after 21 days, I'm good.

As for riboflavin and calcium, the main sources are animal products but there are some good veggie sources. According to Northwestern University, almonds, soy nuts, spinach and wheat germ have a good amount of riboflavin in them.

It looks like calcium is a little harder to come by in vegetable sources. Fortified cereal, oatmeal and soymilk look like the best sources. White beans and soybeans also have a good amount of calcium. The problem with vegetable sources of calcium is the bioavailability of the calcium and the amount you have to eat. Generally dairy sources have the largest amounts and the type of calcium most bioavailable to the human body. The USDA says:
"Both calcium content and bioavailability should be considered when selecting dietary sources of calcium. Some plant foods have calcium that is well absorbed, but the large quantity of plant foods that would be needed to provide as much calcium as in a glass of milk may be unachievable for many. Many other calcium-fortified foods are available, but the percentage of calcium that can be absorbed is unavailable for many of them."
So that means my best bet is to keep taking calcium supplements, and a multivitamin probably wouldn't hurt either. My former nutrition professor, Dr. Brevard, was right; take your vitamins!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Beans and Day-4 Vegan Kickstart

Err, actually I'm on Day-3, not Day-4, I cheated on Day-1 (it was New Year's for pete's sake).

Anyway, beans, beans and more beans. Here's what the USDA says about beans:

"Dry beans and peas are the mature forms of legumes such as kidney beans, pinto beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, and lentils. These foods are excellent sources of plant protein, and also provide other nutrients such as iron and zinc. They are similar to meats, poultry, and fish in their contribution of these nutrients. Many people consider dry beans and peas as vegetarian alternatives for meat. However, they are also excellent sources of dietary fiber and nutrients such as folate that are low in diets of many Americans.”

Here's what I've learned about cooking beans so far:
  1. Soak them in a lot of water overnight.
  2. Rinse them with lots of water.
  3. Cook them in lots and lots more water for a hour or more.
  4. Basically if you don't have lots of water, you're going to have bad beans.
  5. Alicia Silverstone, author of The Kind Diet, says that cooking beans with bay leaves and skimming off the foam on top will make you fart less. Alicia Silverstone's book shows her eating beans with her very hot boyfriend/husband/lover/paid model, so I'm going to believe anything she says when it comes to farty beans.
  6. Paula Dean does not have any bean recipes that don't call for ham, ham grease, bacon, or some form of chicken, turkey, cow, rabbit, squirrel, or deer. I'm guessing that neither Paula Dean, nor any of Paula Dean's friends are vegetarian .
  7. Don't fill your crock-pot all the way up with beans and then leave the kitchen. Beans expand when they cook.

21-Day Vegan Challenge

Yup, I might be crazy, but I'm going to be a Vegan for 21 days. Mary Beth inspired me and since I always think Vegans are ridiculous, I figured I should at least try it.

The official program is called the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart and is sponsored by the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine. So basically it's very responsible and professional, not some quack telling us to eat Edamame for a month. They have meal plans and information on how to do vegan right.

Even though I'm a dietitian, I really have no idea how to eat not to animal products and yet get enough protein, calcium, B12 and vitamin D. So really this is a very valuable experience. I also want to see if veganism is cheaper. Meat and dairy products are expensive but so are fruits and vegetables. So it will be interesting to see how much money I spend on food.

I already had to go to the Grocery this week (without cheese I literally had nothing to eat) and spent $10.52. Right now I'm cooking the 3 pounds of dried red beans, chickpeas and pinto beans I bought. Needless to say I'm learning how to cook beans. Surprisingly, fresh-cooked-from-dried beans taste a lot better than canned beans. Who knew?