Monthly Archives: January 2012

rhythm and power

My connection to the earth is reinforced through the rhythm of the waves.  ~Mike Dolan

Just looking at this photo takes my breath away.  The strength in the ocean, the waves and the sheer intensity of mother nature’s power. And to be a human so close…

I hope that your week is going well! I had an amazing time paddling with some new river friends yesterday and trying out the demo down river style. The sun shone brightly, the air was brisk and the water level was super fun.

Now back to the grindstone. Secretly, I really love my job (don’t give it away!). I get to speak to like minded, kind river folks, the occasional beach goer and work side by side with my life partner, aka my babe.  So deeply grateful.

Remember to get out and let mother nature touch your heart!


UPDATE- Unfortunately, I do not know where to credit this amazing photo. If you know, please tell me! The photographer deserves full credit!


rubbing elbows

We’ve had a good time gently joking with my father-in-law about his week with Heidi Klum! He flew to L.A. to rub elbows with the rich and famous! In all seriousness, it was work.

We made him promise to get a photo. What was really sweet about it is she and her agent made sure to get the shot for him before he left! Nice when the famous are still kind!

What a nice change of pace and view, huh?!

Have a great week! See you back here soon!


bakery tour

(Photo from shay brown events)

When we travel from our home in Western North Carolina to Eastern North Carolina, whether it’s to visit family or looking for the golden beaches of the Outerbanks, we like to explore the state while out and about. We’ve been to most, if not all, REI’s in NC, we know a lot of the Micro Breweries and now have our favorites but not once did I ever think to look for specialty bakeries in many of the towns we pass.

Highlighted in the current Our State Magazine are highly credited but maybe not so well known bakeries throughout the State. Well known in their communities but not to a simple passerby. Now I’m looking for excuses to head east in hopes to map a trail to these delicious venues!

Starting in Asheville we will go to The Sisters McMullen (who says we can’t start with a taster in our neighborhood?).  Just as our hair has had enough time to blow in the breeze of I40 East and the belly has settled we are just in time for a quick stop for a slice of famous cheesecakes with Cheesecakes by Alex.  In Burlington we would have to try a famous donut at Paul’s Pastry Shop and a serious slice of pie at the Rosebriar in Albemarle. (At this point we are just now to the triangle area!) I will have to steal the family for some sweet time at the Hayes Barton Cafe and Dessertery in Raleigh. Or even a cake run in Bailey at Bailey Cafe. (exactly half way between my folks and Grandma Iris!!)

Okay, so maybe it’s not realistic to do them all in one or even two days. Plus, this is only a jab at the list of 13 reviewed. We will have to choose one spot each trip. After all, we do head east often! This is just another way to explore and taste our way to family and fun!

If you are in any of these areas or neighborhoods, make sure to check them out. They sound divine!

Happy Sugar Hunting!


Power Lunch

I was grateful this week for the power lunch paddle at the French Broad River Park, Ledges section. I have been trying for a solid week to make it to the river to demo that boat I picked up at Pyranha last friday. Unfortunately, with work and a child sometimes the river is not a reality. However, with a husband that is diligent with making things follow through that I deeply desire we packed up the car with family and gear in tow and headed to the river. Once at the river I attained my little out of shape river self upstream as persistent as I could!

The river is a good place to be. Any time, any section. It is the only thing I can do that really connects with my mind, body and soul. I look forward to and appreciate the next time I’m at the river!


hallelujah moment

Have you ever just had a moment that you have been working towards for a long time then you finally get there? Then, once you get there all you can do is jump for sheer joy, stand in aw of the completion?! Well, one of those moments that I have been working towards was our daughters closet. No, seriously! Ask my husband and he would probably say politely that the closet has been a slight obsession for some time now!

We have used her closet since the day we moved in as toy storage, turned clubhouse room. (She has the only walk-in closet in the house!) The only problem was that both sides of the closet were piled full of boxes (boxes full of amazing toys in great condition from my husbands childhood) and there was no shelving or place to actually store the toys. Plus, being an only child and only grandchild on both sides leaves her not without! See where I am going with this?

Crammed, piled, disorganized, disheveled, you name it. It was bad! So yesterday and today all three of us emptied, sorted, organized and cleaned the begrudged closet. Boxes of old amazing toys are to be taken to the building, a place we can properly sort through the items, old broken toys recycled and the remaining has a place to rest when not in use.

It feels good! Finally, RCB can actually see all the fantastic toys, instruments and books she has. Being diligent to follow through with cleanup has gone pretty well for today. It should be easier at least to clean up once messed up, as opposed to opening the closet door and tossing it in!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You probably know this about me by now too, but I really like to use what we’ve already got if at all possible. After hunting for different shelving for the big closet and the small storage closet in our great room I quickly realized that the hunt wasn’t going far fast. It was either too bulky in depth or too short in height.  Then we realized after some time that we have a set of industrial shelves at the shipping facility that are hardly used and may work perfectly. We were in luck and they are exactly the right depth and height for both spaces.

I have heard several people say that January is a time of renewal. A sort of month that brings on the urge for some early spring cleaning. When I heard this I thought this folks were crazy, not me! Now look at me, I am on fire! Ready to clean top to bottom!

Happy early spring cleaning friends!


first addition

My first addition to my new subscription of Our State magazine has arrived. One of the simpler christmas gifts I received from my main squeeze but one I am ecstatic to have! One that feeds my travel, food and history palate. Specifically for a state that we enjoy to live and explore in.

I am thrilled to receive the February issue and to soak in the delicious pages. This issue is dedicated to all things baked and sugary. (Why wouldn’t you want to dive in?) They go as far a creating 5 original cakes that express traditonal ingredients and character in North Carolina. No, they don’t use Barbecue but there is mention of ham, pimento cheese, peanuts and pepsi!

I am having to stop myself from reading the entire magazine cover to cover in one sitting. It is sparking ideas for the hubs big 4-0 in April, providing tips for traveling between Asheville and the OuterBanks, and all sorts of baking sundries!

Cheers to the gift that keeps on giving!


booty call

I don’t know about you but it is raining cats and dogs here. We have embraced the mild winter, the rain and the fact that the ski weekend with friends at the mountain house is out of the questions, probably. The poor slopes will have some work to do to catch back up if/when the weather turns cold again.

As the rain pours, the jazz music whines in the background, and the excel spreadsheet takes up my screen I found a moment to chuckle when I saw what my husband posted on our facebook page this morning…

Click on Photo

(I’m still chuckling)

For those of you wondering what the hell that girl is doing, well, it is a whitewater kayaking tradition that if you take a swim and your friends help gather your yard sale of gear from one side of the river to the other then you have to drink out of your river booty. AKA: Really nasty, stank, river funk shoe…

Still laughing! Not laughing at her but that I understand every bit of how she feels and what the expression means on her face!! But yes, we are all in between swims. Metaphorically and on the river!

Happy monday morning to you!