Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best of '12

2012 was a solid year. Now that it's coming to a close I have a chance to look back and reflect on some of my favorite things from this year. While there were many, many amazing things that never even made it onto this blog here are, in no particular order, five of my favorite things that happened this year:


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I've always been a huge fan of ram-shackled ruins, if you haven't guessed by now.  The scenery in this area is the most beautiful in Colorado, as well. This camping trip took the cake, even if our tent was broken, it was raining for part of the trip, and I ended up sleeping in the car. 


WORS - Battle of Cam Rock

Sometimes we call winning "Taking the W." I had the chance to race a lot this summer, in several different places. I think I won five races this summer and a series overall as well! Not too shabby and I hope to improve upon those results in 2013!


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Santa Fe seems to be our holiday town. We spent Easter weekend there this year and we also went for Thanksgiving. It's really a beautiful place, full of art and classic southwestern architecture  Can I also say I'm slightly obsessed with The Shed, the best (and most difficult to walk in if you're tall) restaurant in Santa Fe for classic New Mexican food? 


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This was the trip, as two guys I met in a hostel in Nashville told me, of a lifetime and I didn't even realize it until they had pointed it out. They had worked and saved for a year to do what I had flippantly decided to do. I was able to ride my mountain bike in 8 different states on some amazing trail systems, see both sides of my family, take my grandmother-in-law on a roller coaster, go swimming in a classic southern swimming hole in a pebbled river in the smokies, camp all by myself for the first time since before I was married, couch surf in a beautiful home filled with books, head out to Nashville's honkey tonk bars with fifteen people from eight different countries, and so on... 


Early 1960's Ball Gown

One of my favorite things ever is to take pictures. I also don't mind being in front of the lens, either, especially when you have someone as fun and patient as Jessica taking the photos. The pictures that came out of this session are deserving of framing - she is an amazing photographer and doesn't mind heading up to the archives room of the library and shooting away in front of the card catalogues! I don't think there is a better combination than libraries and vintage ball gowns.  

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Abandoned House

For Christmas this year JR and I are spending a little time on the East Coast, amongst the history and old buildings and horse farms...and best of all both of our families came too! 

I hope that you are having a wonderful time with your friends and family, too! 

JohnChaddhouse

OutfitHouse

Wreathdoor

Each of you is loved and appreciated!


Tidings of Comfort and Joy

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Saturday, December 08, 2012

May Your Days Be Merry and Bright!

It's been a while since I've posted - I've been convalescing from some sort of virus. As a teacher I rarely get sick...but when I do I get really sick. There's something going around at school, many of my students were out last week and some of the other teachers are also feeling poorly as well! 

That being said...it's Christmas party season around here! I love holiday parties because they give you a chance to pull out those party dresses you never get to wear. Last weekend, before I got sick, I got a chance to go to the first one of the season!

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Dressing up for the holidays doesn't have to be intimidating - I always try to figure out who will be attending, I read the invite for the dress code, and I interpret it without over thinking it. Most of the time simple clothes are best.

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 For work related things, particularly for J.R.'s company where he is one of the younger employees I wanted to make sure my clothes were fresh and modern but still had a sense of propriety about them to be respectful to the older ladies and gentlemen that would also be attending the event. I also knew that every single woman there would probably be in a "little black dress" or some sort of holiday colored confection so I chose to go with a creme colored dress to stand out in the sea of black. For a little holiday flair I added burgundy tights, a set of four thin bracelets in gold, carbon, copper, and silver, and grey booties. 

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We shot these pictures in the dark  on our way down to the party on campus at ILIF and the halogen light was turning everything yellow - switching to black and white provided better, clearer pictures! 

Dress: Madewell
Bangles: Madewell
Shoes: Dansko
Tights: Target


Friday, November 30, 2012

Small Bits of Wisdom

This much I know is true: It is not about what you have in hand at the end. It is about the things you do to get there, the string of choices you make, the cultivated life. Even after you leave things behind in the dust, when they are a tiny speck of a memory in the corner of your brain you will carry that movement with you into the future in the memory of your bones and muscles and synapses. 

Difficulty teaches you resilience. Need teaches you gratitude. Failure teaches you patience. 

(Sometimes I just like to dance. Don't tell my former dance teachers!)


"I’ll leave you with two pieces of advice: Choose to struggle with something — we live in a culture of the quick and easy and it has made us impatient and lazy. When you commit to something that takes work and see it through to the end, it will develop you as much as you develop it. Second, invest in art — I am not just suggesting my art, but any art that you like. We are a society that looks at everything and beholds nothing. Good art is something to behold and will bring you a sense of peace and stillness in a world in constant motion." - Jake Weidmann

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

We Are the Reckless...

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Paper writing today for grad school. I always like to wear impractical shoes when I write papers and these shoes are pretty impractical. It makes sense to me - I basically walk from the car to the coffee shop, from the counter to my table a few times, and most of the four or five hours I just sit there, clacking away at whatever I'm supposed to be writing.

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I caught these pictures just before I went out to write my paper. Today's paper is a research paper on whether or not literacy coaching is effective. The results were unexpected (which I like) and interesting (which is an added bonus). It'll make a good narrative. I actually like writing papers, strange enough. It's meditative work for me. It's a very different job than my day job - teaching. 

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Sometimes I sort of regret not going 100% academic when it came to grad school because I missed out on both collegiate cycling and being a full time grad student and all the tweed and bookbags and morning coffees and crisp fall air and the fun new school supplies that come with being an academic but I'm hoping I can do that when it comes to my Ph.D. 

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I've been listening to Daughter lately. Youth is my favorite of her four song EP. 


I think I'm responsible for about a quarter of the 5 million plays on this song. 

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PS: Happy Thanksgiving, for those of you stateside. I'm thankful for so many things. 

Shirt: Urban Outfitters
Jacket: Unknown
Tank Top: Gap
Necklace: Forever 21 (robot) and Gatlinburg Artist Collective (Hemlock)
Jeans: j. crew
Shoes: Urban Outfitters

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Denver Debutant

Early 1960's Ball Gown

While I was in Kansas City this summer my lovely friend took me to this fantastic vintage store. When I tried on this particular over the top gown I felt a bit like a debutant. Which, of course, in my book is a good feeling because in my brain one should always feel like a debutant. 

Early 1960's Ball Gown

I still have no idea where I'm actually going to wear this dress but it's been added to my collection of largely impractical dresses. I have dreams of a spring season ballet or a trip to the symphony with other friends who still enjoy playing dress up.

Early 1960's Ball Gown

Luckily my amazing friend Jessica offered to take pictures of this dress and gave me a reason to wear this dress, do up my hair, and twirl around Denver for an afternoon. Jessica takes pictures with the Heartflip Collective. You can check out her other work here. 

Early 1960's Ball Gown

Early 1960's Ball Gown

Early 1960's Ball Gown

Early 1960's Ball Gown

Early 1960's Ball Gown

Early 1960's Ball Gown

Early 1960's Ball Gown

Early 1960's Ball Gown

Early 1960's Ball Gown

All pictures in this post by Jessica Triggs. She's amazing!



Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Daily Changes

How many changes of clothes do you go through in one day? Probably more than you know. I go through four on a regular day. I've never actually thought about it until this Saturday when I realized could easily fill an instragram photo template with three of the four looks I wore throughout the day. No wonder I spend so much of my life keeping up my wardrobe. It's not a full time job (yet) but an assistant would be great! The only one missing was my workout face...which was probably a good thing. I ran before I showered and lets just say my hair was in desperate need of a shower.


(Left to Right: Day, Evening, Bedtime)

I'm not exactly sure why the one on the left washed out so much. My best guess is that it's the fact that we have such great natural light in our apartment. Also, sorry about the cop out instagram pictures for you! My husband fled to the mountains with the DSLR and the weekend is my only blogging time these days!

In other words I voted today!!! We have vote by mail here in Colorado which makes things very easy. I sit down next to my computer with my ballot and research everyone and each ballot measure to make sure I'm making informed choices. It takes a while but it's an interesting ritual. This year was especially long because so many judges were up for retention here. 


If you live in the States...this is just a friendly reminder to exercise your civic rights and duty! Go Vote! Please! I don't care who you vote for, just do it. Especially if you are a women...do you know how many places don't allow their women any voice or say? I read this CNN article and was reminded yet again about how precious our civic rights and rights to basic securities and freedoms are and at what great cost they were won. 


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Grey Gardens

The roses in the garden are dying, they are frail pink, petals hanging their heavy heads. It's crisper now, and it's dark when I get up in the morning and most nights it's dark by the time I make it home around seven or eight. I can see my breath, even as the sun comes up to warm up denver.

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It rained today, a steady drizzle that started as we were riding our bikes home from a ride we had decided to go on this morning. I'm thankful we left early enough to get two dozen miles in before the rain really came in. 

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But I don't mind the rain - it was cozy today, wrapped up in this sweater, folding laundry, cleaning the house, organizing and re-organizing the scattered pieces of my home, restoring order to my domain. 

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I've also been watching the second season of Sherlock and plotting things for a big summer trip and the holidays that are coming up (In order: Halloween, Mom's Birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas). Have you seen it at all? It's a great show - I love figuring out the puzzles and the humor is spot on. Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes is an insufferable man. I think I like John Watson best of all the characters. The show pairs well with tea. 

Greyscale

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Sweater: H&M
Snowdrop Pin: Thrifted
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Leggings: I can't remember
Boots: I can't remember

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Work Bag



You know the school year has started because blogging has gotten tough for me to do on a consistant basis! Also, we are in the throes of coaching High School Mountain Biking, so after a week of chasing 26  8-year-olds I help my husband and some parents chase 11 thirteen through eighteen-year-olds! That doesn't leave me with a ton of blogging time. Life is busy. Life is real. And right now, life is happening on the outside of my computer!

Anyways, I just wanted to check in and say hello. That's my work bag up there, courtesy of instagram. You can see a big project in a zip lock bag and a stack of papers to be graded. If you're curious, that's another reason why I don't have any time to blog. I should be getting some fall outfits up at some point! You can (sometimes) see what I'm wearing on Cloth, my new favorite app. There's no way to direct you straight to my outfits, unfortunately, but while you're scrolling you can get lots of new outfit inspiration.




Sunday, September 30, 2012

You Should Know: How to Avoid Getting Sick - 5 Tips From a Teacher


(My breakfast - designed to help me avoid getting sick - a smoothie with veggie based protein powder, mixed greens, almond milk, and frozen berries)

My lovely husband is sick today - sneezing, sniffling, dripping everywhere. I’m working really hard to avoid getting sick from him. Also, cold and flu season is just around the corner. I’m a teacher and I’m around sick kids a lot. I really try hard to stay healthy through diet and lifestyle but sometimes you have to go a bit further, especially when parents send their kids to school sick or someone is sick around you. Here are the top five things I’ve found that help!  
1. Avoid sick people. Yup. Avoid them. This one sounds harsh but it’s totally the number one thing you can do to keep yourself from getting sick. Try to stay away from the air they are breathing, the things they are touching. Don’t sleep next to them. I always kick my husband onto the couch when I’m sick and when he’s sick I go for an air mattress. When a student is sick I try to help them from a distance, without putting my face to near to their hands or face. This is still totally effective teaching and helps keep me from having to get a sub a few days later…which is generally not effective teaching.  
2. Don’t touch your face, nose, or mouth! This advice was given to me by a doctor when I was really sick during student teaching. There’s only a few ways for germs to enter your body and your hand connecting with one of them is a sure fire way to get sick. If my eyes itch I’ll scratch them while holding a tissue or use part of my sleeve in a pinch. I wash my hands before food prep and try to use utensils instead of my fingers to eat. When I put my moisturizer on my face I make sure that my hands are clean both to avoid bacteria in my pores and also to avoid germs that could make me sick!
3. Wash your hands! This was alluded to in the previous point, but washing your hands and washing them frequently is such an important thing! Hopefully I’m preaching to the choir with this one but it’s important to get rid of those germs. You can really make handwashing as fun or as boring as you want to. At work it’s whatever soap they provide but at home I go for the Method soaps in the fun containers and of course minty smelling soap! I generally do liquid over bar soap because it makes my sink less messy! Wash all the time, especially before food prep and eating and…do I even need to say it…after you use the restroom!
4. Rest and hydrate! If you find yourself feeling like you’re coming down with something…rest! I try to get as much off my schedule, I stop training cold turkey for a day or two, and I just hydrate and rest. I try to nap, and give my body the space to use the energy I’d generally be putting in at the gym to repair the damage before it gets too intense.
5. Eat Right. I hope that this is one thing that you already do! Eating lots of great living foods, healthy grains, lower amounts of sugars…I believe that would be called eating clean…is the best thing you can do! Having good food will give you a good immune system and having enough vitamins and minerals help with that, too. I personally take a high quality multivitamin purchased through my natropath with a healthy dose of Vitamin C to help with absorption. I also strive for 9 servings of fruits and veggies a day and try to stay away from refined sugars. Eating healthy is a little less easy to do when you are on your way to getting sick because your energy is drained but it’s the number one thing you can do to help keep yourself healthy. When I’m getting sick I get Zicam (I’ve found it’s the best of the cold remedies out there for my physiology) and take a few zinc supplements on top of it. I completely cut all sugars (including fruit sugars) out of my diet because I know bacteria loves sugar and uses sugars to multiply, and really, really go crazy with the veggies and hot soups. I make a huge kettle of Veggie Soup and just eat that for a few days as needed and the heat and liquid helps you stay hydrated and clear out those sinuses. I put Cayenne pepper in it, tons of garlic, organic veggie broth, rosemary, and any veggie that looks appealing into it. I snack on carrots and bell peppers and Kale chips. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Farmer's Market

I can't always manage it but I like to keep my Saturdays slow.

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I like eating a lazy breakfast, sleeping in, cuddling the cats, drinking cups and cups of tea, and just hanging out with JR. 

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This past weekend we went to the farmers market. We didn't buy anything because we forgot to bring cash but we enjoyed the morning and the bustle of the crowd.

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Oh, and these beautiful flowers...

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***

Tank top: Old Navy
Jacket: Ann Taylor
Jeans: J. Crew
Shoes: Topsiders
Sunglasses: Vintage Ray Bans 

***

I have terrible handwriting...but these links have inspired me to clean it up. 
I love this card case. 
Here are some more little tutorials and things to help you with your lettering and handwriting. 
This notebook makes me happy. 

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Your heart is like a ghost town...

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It's been a while since I've blogged. School started and that's kept me busy. Mountain biking season wrapped up and for those of you following me on Instagram you might have picked up that I won the series in my category, earned a few medals, and really got to know every single inch of the mountain bike trail system whether I liked it (Serenity) or not (WTB). 

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Our favorite camping partners and their new puppy came with us to Ouray, Colorado last weekend for a little trip to celebrate the long weekend. We stopped the first night in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, looked around the second day and declined to go into the canyon once more and then drove on to Ouray, which is probably the most beautiful place in Colorado...and I do not make that statement lightly. The mountains there have an incredible amount of Iron in them and they are a gorgeous rose color. Finally, the forest is lush and green and filled with Blue Spruces and mosses and it just smells delicious. 

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The second and third nights we camped in a legit Ghost town. Irontown, an abandoned mining town, is part of the National Forest so you can simply camp anywhere in the town. At one point the town had 2,500 residents but now it's reduced to a few standing houses and a lot of collapsed outbuildings. 

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