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How bad ass is this? Love love love it.




You have one body. Be good to it.

And Happy Weekend, MFs. Do something that makes you happy.


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The Break Up

It is no secret that I have had a long standing love affair with Cold Stone Creamery’s Cake Batter Ice cream. It was my crack.

I used to get excited just thinking about it. My mouth would start to salivate the second I walked into the joint, knowing what goodness was coming. Sometimes I would think “Should I get something else?” Then, of course, I would come to my senses and remember never to deviate when it comes to cake batter ice cream. Cake Batter ice cream with cookie dough, brownie and fudge. A most magical concoction.

I would watch the employee as they were scooping and hope they weren’t chintzy with the topping because that could screw everything up.

And then after I got it, time would stop for a few minutes during that first bite. There was a party in my mouth with fireworks and live music and exclamation points and DELICIOUSNESS! And moaning. Always moaning.

The shit was good, all right?

So, I haven’t had any ice cream (or any dairy) since January and quite honestly hadn’t missed it. People have asked me “Don’t you miss ice cream?” And my honest answer was “No”, because I didn’t really.

A few days ago, because it’s hot as hell here in Colorado, I gathered the kids to go get ice cream. Driving to Cold Stone, I remembered my old friend cake batter.

I thought “Maybe I’ll get some, to see if it is as delicious as I remember.” I think, more than anything,  I was craving that quick hit of elation that cake batter had given me in the past.

The kids picked out the flavors they wanted, I ordered some for Peter (cake batter ice cream, cookie dough, brownie and caramel)  and I gave the guy my order. I asked for a lid so I could eat it at home with Peter.

I got home, put all of my stuff down, took out the cup of ice cream, and dug in.

No fireworks. No live music. Not one exclamation point. No moaning.


It was fucking gross and I couldn’t get it out my mouth fast enough.

Thinking there HAD to be a mistake, I took another bite. A chunky one, filled with magical bits of brownie and cookie dough.


Still gross.

I look over at Peter who is eating his ice cream.

“Honey, mine doesn’t taste good. Is yours good?”

With a big bite in his mouth, he replies “You’re crazy. This is fucking great!”

I looked down at my cup, put the top back on it and put it in the freezer.

(sad trombone)

I have to admit, there was a wave of sadness. Something that once made me so so happy, now leaves me repulsed.

It’s fascinating to know that my taste buds and body chemistry have readjusted to a life without dairy. I actually had to go brush my teeth to get the mucusy dairy coating I felt on my tongue off.

On the plus side, now I know! Cake batter and I are through. There will be no wondering about “the one that got away.”

I have moved on to my new best friend, Rice Dream Pies. MmmmMm. Mint is the best.

Rice Dream Bars

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My birthday was glorious. Lots of love. SO much of it. I continue to be surrounded by love and light, which feels pretty good. How did I get so lucky?

I felt as if I had been celebrating my birthday for a while after having such a wonderful Asheville trip and then various loveliness sprinkled about (brunches and lunches with fab friends) before the actual DAY of my birthday. So when it arrived I wasn’t prepared.

The most fantastic PGP made THE most beautiful and delicious dinner for my birthday: Broiled Blackened Tofu, Butternut coconut brown rice, and jerk asparagus. (all recipes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s brilliant cookbook “Appetite for Reduction”)

Then…THEN, he also made a vegan birthday cake, that I swear tasted better than most regular cake I’ve had.

E was with us that evening for dinner, which made the dinner extra celebratory.

I kept squealing with delight throughout the meal, that all of this fabulousness was made for me. Throughout this whole “eating for health” journey of mine, Peter has been nothing but supportive and sweet, when he could easily roll his eyes and turn up his nose. I admire that and appreciate it more than he could ever know.

I maintain that my dear husband is my most favorite gift of all time.

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Press On, Regardless

Today my Dad would have turned 70 years old.

I knew this fact but it snuck up on me just the same. I found myself crying yesterday remembering something pretty great about him and realizing how much I miss him.

In honor of his birthday, I was thinking of things we could do that remind me of him.

Perhaps a trip to the bookstore, as he loved books and had a particular fondness for poetry. He knew lots of poems by heart and also had tons of really great quotes floating around in his brain to pull out at appropriate times.

A trip to the hardware store always reminds me of him because he could make even the most mundane thing magical. Now that I’m older, I get it because Peter is very similar. It’s a man shop full of lots of stuff, or as my Dad called them, “treasures”. We would slowly walk down each aisle and he would grab something and say “Look at THIS! You know what this does?”

Or a trip to the museum because he loved learning and never stopped asking questions or wanting to know more about something I can still hear him say “Isn’t that neat?” (Keep in mind, dear reader, that the use of the word “neat” may seem old fashioned or perhaps even lame these days but the way he said it was so earnest. If he said something was neat, it was pretty awesome.)

I thought of him yesterday because I took the kids to Wash Park in Denver to rent a paddle boat and then have a picnic lunch. (I would like to publicly thank my mom and sister, who, when I told them the story of what we did, appropriately gasped and ooohed and ahhhed, validating that I was, in fact, a fun and generous mother.)

Imagine my dismay that they complained and fought most of the hour on the lake. Wha? This is fantastic and novel, you should be overflowing with gratitude!

Finn hated it but Hadley loved it. My little naturalist was in heaven pointing out cormorants and pelicans, along with a flock of ducks, of course. One duck followed us the entire time and Hadley named her Amelia. She said more than once she wished she had a notepad and her bird monocle. Finn was bored and doesn’t enjoy anything where you’re sitting still for long periods of time.

We ended up taking the boat back early because I couldn’t handle the fighting anymore. We got our lunches (me talking through my teeth and dragging them behind me) and sat down to eat. H&F noticed squirrels and started throwing Goldfish crackers to them. Pretty soon, we were hand feeding one of the squirrels. Finn said “This is the best time in my entire life!”

Really? In your entire life?

Life is funny that way. The thing you expect to bring the most joy, often doesn’t. And the ridiculously simple things can often bring absolute delight. The three of us gushed about how we each hand fed a squirrel while walking to the car. My Dad loved Goldfish crackers and hated squirrels. He called them “tree rats.” I laughed to myself thinking of the things he would be saying if he was there.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned many many times before a quality that I loved about my Dad but it’s worth repeating because it’s a good one. Every time he saw me, he lit up. That means SO much to a kid. It meant so much to me. To see that he was genuinely happier because I had arrived. I keep that with me all of the time and try to do the same with my kids.

My mom and Pellegrinos are coming over tonight for dinner. We’re going to toast Roger Padden. Often times, when we were together, he would raise a glass and say “It’s good to be with you.” Simple, yet perfect and heartfelt. I find myself saying it now too.

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Happy 70th, Dad. It was good to be with you.

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I’m still in recovery mode from our most recent trip to Asheville, NC. The trip home was brutal. Peter misread the tickets so we missed our flight. I could not be annoyed with him. He was annoyed enough for the both of us. We rallied and tried to make the best of the 5 hours we had in the Charlotte airport after driving 2 hours to get there.

Luckily,(insert exciting music here!) We bought an iPad the day before and pulled that sucker out to surprise the kids as soon as we got to the airport. Needless to say, the kids were beyond happy and we were saved, quite frankly.

I ache from the tip of my head to the end of my toes. My body is angry and my fatigue is endless. I am working on it though. And by “working on it”, I mean doing a whole lot of nothing. (aside from making out with my VitaMix and giving my doggies love)

With the kids happy and occupied on the flight, I watched Sophia Coppola’s Somewhere, which I’d been dying to see. It was mesmerizing. I love how Coppola describes it as more of a mood, than a film. More like a haiku. It’s beautifully minimalistic. Just a brief glimpse into the life of the main character, a famous actor, played surprisingly well by Stephen Dorff. Elle Fanning is lovely. That girl lights up the screen.

I feel the need to wrap myself in a cocoon and come out in a few weeks. A vacation to recover from my vacation.

If only life were that easy.


Thrown back into the thick of it.

In the meantime, I am smiling remembering sights and sounds from Asheville, good times had with family and craving food from Chai Pani and The Laughing Seed.

I had Peter pull over one day so I could snap some pics of this amazing mural. I only noticed later the creepy hanging chickens in the blue background. Blech. Ignore that part.

While snapping a few shots, a Jack Russell terrier came bounding towards me, barking. He immediately stopped as I bent down to pet him and give him some love. His scruffy bearded owner appeared from a doorway and yelled “BRUCE! Quit it!” I laughed all day at the thought of a dog named Bruce. Love it.

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Pretty brilliant, right?

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